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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
Ileng 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.
lle 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 taught, 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.
And than his neighebour, right as himselve. In felawship, wel coude she laughe and carpe He wolde thresh, and therto dike and delve, Of remedies of love she knew perchance;
For Cristes sake, for every poure wight, For, of that arte, she coude the olde dance.
Withouten hire, if it lay in his might. A good man ther was of religioun,
His tithes paied he ful fayre and wel
That was a poure Persone of a toun:
Both of his propre swinke, and his catel.
But riche he was of holy thought and werk. In a tabard he rode, upon a mere.
He was also a lerned man, a Clerk,
Ther was also a Reve and a Millere,
That Cristes gospel trewely wolde preche;
A Sompnour, and a Pardoner also, His parishens devoutly would he teche.
A Manciple, and myself; ther n'ere no mo. Benigne he was, and wonder diligent,
The Miller was a stout carl for the nones, And in adversite ful patient,
Ful bigge he was of braun, and eke of bones; And swiche he was ypreved often sithes :
That proved wel; for over all ther he came, Ful loth were him to cursen for his tithes :
At wrastling he wold bere away the ram. But rather wolde he yeven, out of doute,
He was short shuldered, brode, a thikke gnarre, Unto his poure parishens, aboute,
Ther n'as no dore, that he n'olde heve of barre, Of his offring, and, eke, of his substance.
Or breke it at a renning with his hede. He coude in litel thing have suffisance.
His berd as any sowe or fox was rede, Wide was his parish, and houses fer asonder; And therto brode, as though it were a spade: But he ne left nought, for no rain ne thonder, Upon the cop right of his nose he hade In sikeness and in mischief to visite
A wert, and theron stode a tufte of heres, The ferrest in his parish, moche and lite,
Rede as the bristles of a sowes eres: l'pon his fete, and in his hand a staf.
His nose-thirtes blacke were and wide.
This noble ensample to his shepe he yaf,-
A swerd and bokeler bare he by his side.
That, first, he wrought; and, afterward, he taught. His mouth as wide was as a forneis:
Out of the gospel he the wordes caught,
He was a jangler, and a goliardeis,
And this figure he added yet therto,
And that was most of sinne and harlotries. That if gold ruste, what shulde iron do?
Wel coude he stelen corne and tollen thries. For if a preest be foule, on whom we trust,
And yet he had a thomb of gold parde. No wonder is a lewed man to rust :
A white cote and a blew hode wered he. And shame it is, if that a preest take kepe,
A baggepipe wel coude he blowe and soune, To see a shitten shepherd, and clene shepe. And therwithall he brought us out of toune. Wel ought a preest ensample for to yeve
A gentil Manciple was ther of a temple,By his clenenesse, how his shepe shulde live. Of which achatours mighten take ensemple He sette not his benefice to hire,
For to ben wise in bying of vitaille. And lette his shepe acombred in the mire,
For whether that he paide, or toke by taille, And ran unto London, unto Seint Poules,
Algate he waited so in his achate, To seken him a chanterie for soules;
That he was, ay, before, in good estate. Or with a brotherhede to be withold;
Now is not that of God a ful fayre grace, But dwelt at home and kepte wel his fold,
That swiche a lewed mannes wit shal pace So that the wolf ne made it not miscarie;
The wisdom of an hepe of lered men ? He was a shepherd and no mercenarie,
Of maisters had he mo than thries ten, And though he holy were, and vertuous,
That were of lawe expert and curious; He was, to sinful men, not dispitous;
Of which ther was a dosein in that hous, Ne of his speche dangerous ne digne;
Worthy to ben stewardes of rent and lond But, in his teching, discrete and benigne.
Of any lord that is in Englelond, To drawen folk to heven, with fairenesse,
To maken him live by his propre good, By good ensample, was his besinesse :
In honour detteles, (but if he were wood,) But it were any persone obstinat,
Or live as scarsly as him list desire, What so he were of highe, or low estat,
And able for to helpen all a shire, Him wolde he snibben sharply for the nones.
In any cas that might fallen or happe; A better preest I trowe that no wher non is. And yet this Manciple sette hir aller cappe. He waited after no pompe ne reverence,
The Reve was a slendre colerike man Ne maked him no spiced conscience:
His berd was shave as neighe as ever he can: But Cristes lore, and his apostles twelve,
His here was by his eres round yshorne; He tanght-but first he folwed it himselve.
His top was docked like a preest beforne: With bim ther was a Plowman, was his brother, Ful longe were his legges, and ful lene, That hadde ylaid of dong ful many a fother.
Ylike a staff, ther was no calf ysene. A trewe swinker, and a good was he,
Wel coude he kepe a garner and a binne ; Living in pees and parfite charitee.
Ther was non auditour coude on him winne. God loved he beste with alle his herte
Wel wiste he, by the drought and by the rain, At alle times, were it gain or smerte;
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 bis 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 lie 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,
Hold up your hondes withouten more speche." Whan we were in that hostelrie alight.
Our conseil was not longe for to seche: And after wol I telle of our viage,
Us thought it was not worth to make it wise, And all the remenant of our pilgrimage.
And granted him withouten more avise, But, firste, I praie you of your curtesie
And bad him say his verdit as him leste. (beste; That ye ne arette it not my vilanie,
Lordinges,” (quod he) “now herkeneth for the Though that I plainly speke in this matere,
But take it nat, I pray you, in disdain: To tellen you hir wordes and hir chere,
This is the point, to speke it plat and plain, Ne though I speke hir wordes proprely:
That eche of you, to shorten with youre way, For this ye knowen al so wel as I,
In this viage shal tellen Tales tway; Who so shall telle a Tale after a man
To Canterbury ward, I mene it so, He moste reherse as neigh as ever he can,
And homeward he shal tellen other two; Everich word, if it be in his charge,
Of aventures that whilom han befalle. All speke he never so rudely and so large;
And which of you that bereth him beste of alle, Or elles he moste tellen his Tale untrewe,
That is to sayn, that telleth in this cas Or feinen thinges, or finden wordes newe:
Tales of best sentence and most solas, He may not spare although he were his brother; Shal have a souper at youre aller cost He moste as wel sayn o word as an other.
Ilere in this place sitting by this post, Crist spake himself ful brode in holy writ,
Whan that ye comen agen from Canterbury And wel ye wote no vilanie is it:
And for to maken you the more mery, Eke Plato sayeth, who so can him rede,
I wol my selven gladly with you ride, The wordes moste ben cosin to the dede.
Right at min owen cost, and be your gide. Also I praie you to forgive it me,
And who that wol my jugement withsay
All have I not sette folk in hir degree,
Shall pay for alle we spenden by the way.
Here in this Tale, as that they shulden stonde. And if ye vouchesauf that it be so,
My wit is short, ye may well understonde.
Telle me, anon, withouten wordes mo,
Gret chere made our Hoste us everich on, And I wol erly shapen me therfore.”
And to the souper sette he us anon;
This thing was granted, and our othes swore And served us with vitaille of the beste.
With ful glad herte, and praiden him also,
Strong was the win, and wel to drinke us leste. That he wold vouchesauf for to don so,
A semely man our Hoste was, with alle,
And that he wolde ben our governour,
For to han ben a marshal in an halle.
And of our Tales juge and reportour, A large man he was, with eyen stepe;
And sette a souper at a certain pris;
A fairer burgeis is ther non in Chepe:
And we wol ruled ben at his devise,
Bold of his speche, and wise, and wel ytaught, In highe and lowe: and thus by an assent
And of manhood him lacked righte naught. We ben accorded to his jugement.
Eke therto, was he right a mery man,
And thesupon, the win was fette anon:
And after souper plaien he began,
We dronken, and to reste wenten eche on,
And spake of mirthe amonges other thinges, Withouten any lenger tarying.
Whan that we hadden made our rekeninges,
And saide thus; “ now Lordinges, trewely
Ye ben to me welcome right hertily,
THE SQUIERES TALE. (A Fragment.) For by my trouthe, if that I shal not lie,
At Sarra, in the land of Tartarie, I saw not this yere swiche a compagnie
Ther dwelt a king that werreied Russie, At ones in this herberwe, as is now.
Thurgh which ther died many a doughty man.
Fain wolde I do you mirthe, and I wiste how ;- This noble king was cleped Cambuscan,
And of a mirthe I am right now bethought
Which in his time was of so gret renoun,
To don you ese, and it shal coste you nought. That ther n'as no wher in no regioun
Ye gon to Canterbury; God you spede,
So excellent a lord in alle thing:
The blissful martyr quite you your mede;
Him lacked nought that longeth to a king, And wel I wot as ye gon by the way,
As of the secte of which that he was borne, Ye shapen you to talken and to play:
He kept his lay to which he was ysworne; For trewely comfort ne mirthe is non,
And, therto, he was hardy, wise and riche: To riden by the way dombe as the ston;
And pitous, and just; and alway yliche, And therfore wolde I maken you disport,
Trewe of his word, benigne and hovourable; As I said erst, and don you some comfort.
Of his corage, as any centre, stable; And if you liketh alle, by an assent,
Yong, fresh, and strong; in armes desirous, Now for to standen at my jugement;
As any bacheler of all his hous. And for to werchen as I shal you say
A faire person he was, and fortunate, To-morwe, whan ye riden on the way,
And kept alway so wel real estat, Now, by my faders soule that is ded,
That ther n'as no wher swiche another man. But ye be mery, smiteth of my hed:
This noble king, this Tartre Cambuscan,
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 bire 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.
Phæbus 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 :