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Full text of "A Complete Edition of the Poets of Great Britain.."

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PrifiUif/hr John x-Arthur ;Vrc h^j^Onn^ritu^rJ^stj^f 



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POETICAL WORKS 



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GEOFFREY CHAUCER. 



CoBtaJnIng 



CAVTltlUKT TALIS, 

¥OUAU!IT or THE ROSE, 
IftOILOASiO CRCSriDC, 

THi cootT or Luve, 

TUC COMPLAINT or PITBC, 
ANNEUDA AND rALSC aRCITI, 
IRK A9IEMBLCE Of rOULES, 
«U<QOMrLAIMT or THE BLACK KNIGBT, I 



THE BOOK or THE DUCUBSSBy 

chauccr's a, B, C, 

THE HOUSE or rAME, 

chaocer's oreme, 

the elour and tue lere, 

the lccenoe ue ooode women, 

the complaint oe mars and venul, 

TUE COCKOO AND TUC NlOliTlNCALI, 



tj**. \^c, to'r. 

Tb wblch b prefixed 

THE LIFE OF THE AUTHOR. 



Old Chaucer, like the wmUgfiar^ 
To us difcovert day from far ; 
His light thofe mifts and clouds diflblvM,. 
Which our dark nation long invoWd \ 
But he defcending to the Ihadcs, 
X>u-kners again the age invades. 

DeVOAM's VCBSBS on TUE DEATH OE COWLKT. 



' ED^INBUR 




P&IMTED BY MUNDELL AND SOS, ROYAL BANK CLOSE, 

.1793. 



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L O^H ON . 

imiedfhr lollTI A-Arth U r Arr h/Z^Omfy^rimrJ^S/m'/ 






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POETICAI. WORKS 



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GEOFFREY CHAUCER. 



CoitaJiilng 



GAWTIRBIMtT TALIS, 

mOMAUNT OP TBC lOSK^ 

TtOlLDSANO CRESCIDB, 

THL COniT OF LOVE, 

rat COMPLAINT OP PIT£Cy 

ANKfUPA AND PALSB ARCITK, 

TflS AStEMBLCK OP POOLES, 

74E Q0MPI.A1MT OP THE B2.ACK KNIGBT, 



THE BOOK OP THE DUCUBSSE, 

chauccr's a, B, C, 

THE HOUSE OP PAME, 

CHAOCER*} DREME, 

THE PLOOR AN9 TUE LEPB, 

THE LCCENOE UP OOODE WOMEN, 

THE COMPLAINT OP MARS AND VENUS, 

TUE COCKOO AND TUE NIOUTINCALE, 



tj**. toV, Vtf. 

Tb whkh b prefixed 

rHE LIFE OF THE AUTHOR, 



Old Chaucer, like the warning Jlar^ 
To us difcovers day from far ; 
His light thofe mifts and clouds diflblvM,, 
Which our dark nation long invoWd » 
But he deTcending to the lhadcs» 
Darknels again theag^ invades. 

DbVBAM*S verses on THE DEATH OP COWLET. 




PRINTED V^MUNDELL AND SON, ROYAL E^NK CLOSE* 









■:|^ 





THE LIFE OF CHAUCER, 



H tW begioniDg of the elerenth century, our Ternacalar poetry receiTed firom the Noraunt, the 
uliments of that CDltivation which tt has prefenred to the prefent timet. 

In the two fucceeding centoriet, the principal efibrts of our yet untutored Terfifiert, vere rhyming 
lironjcles and metrical romances, the ftyle of which was rough, and the harmony of the nnmhcrs 
try dcfedive. 

In the reign of Edward I., the chara&or of oar poetical compofition was confiderably changed, hf 
he introdttdion and increafe of the ules fA chivalry, and the popular fables of the troobadonn of 
?TOfencc- 

Fiditioos sdventores were then fubftituted by the minftrels in the place of hiftorical and tradi^ 
ionary iads, and a ufte for omamenul and exotic eipreffion gradually prevailed over the rude ilaiu* 
ackj o£ the native Engliih phrafeology. 

Thefe fabulods narratives, afterwards enlarg^ by kindred fancies, derived from the crnfades, 
id enriched by the marvellous machinery of the lulian poets, formed the ufte, and awakened 
ic imagination of Giorviiit Cbaucir, the illuibriotis ornament of the reign of Edward lU. and o£ 
^fucceflor Richard II., the father of the EngUii heroic verfe, and the firft Eoglifh veriifier whft 
rote poetically. 

or the great poet, with whofe compofitions this colle^ion of claffical Englifli poetry commencei, 
ic curioHty which his reputation moft excite, will require more ample information than can now 
e given. His contemporaries, who reverenced his genius, recorded few particulars of his lifie ; 
nd all who have fince written of him, relate nothing beyond what cafual mention, uncertain tra- 
iticn, and difcordant conjeAure, have fupplied. 

This meagre narration, therefore, fcarceljr merits the title that is given to it ; but the materiala 
'jt a fuller account are not to be found, without fnpplying the deficiency of fa^ by the commenta 
nd inventions of his biographers, which have nothing to recommend them to credit but the fingU 
ircumHance of being often repeated. 

The birth of Chaucer, in 1328, has been fettled^firom the infcription on his tomb (tone, iigniiying 
ba: he died in 1400, in the 7 2d year of his age. 

Of the place of his nativity there is no memorial, any more than of his parents. Bale fays he was 
. Berkihireman ; Pits would entitle Woodftock in Oxfordfliire to his birth ; and Camden affirms that 
^Ddon was his birth-place : '* Edmund Spenfer," lays he, ** a Londoner, wait fo fmiled on by the 
bfofcs at his birth, that he excelled all the Englifh poets that went before liim, if we except only his 
cllow citizen Chaucer." But Chaucer himfelf feems to have determined the point. In his Tifim» 
tent of Lrt^ he calls himfelf a Londenou or Londoner, and fpeaks of the city of London as the 
)lace of his aigenJrure, 

His defcent has been varioufly alfigned. Leland fays that he was of a noble ftock ; Pits, that he 
•as the fon of a knight; Spcght, that his father was a vintner'; and Heame, that he was a merchant* 

This difference of opinion Ihews, that nothing can be faid with any tolerable affurance of hit 
baily; but the patronymic name iecms to indicate, that it came originally from Normandy; and 
dkcrc is fomewbat more probability of his being the fon of a gentleman rather than of a tradcfmao* 

a % 



U THS LIFE OP CHAUCER. 

Hii hiognphen wtt tt amch in the dark about the place of hi« education. The^ tell m that 1 
received the rudimenti of hit edncation in Solere's Hall, Cambridge, where he wrote hit Cmirt 
Js9ve : and afterwards completed his ftudies in Mcrton College, Oxford. 

In his Cwri c/ Lcve, he fpeaks of himfelf under the name and chancer of ** Philogene^ 
of Cambridge, Clerk.*' This is by no means a decifiTe proof chat he was really educated at Csi 
bridge ; but it may be admitted as a ftrong argument, that he was not educated at Oxford, as L 
land has fuppofed, without the (hadow of proof. The biographers, howcTcr, inftead of wdghii 
one of thefe accounts againft the other, hare adopted both, and tell us very gravely that be w 
firft at Cambridge, and afterwards removed from thence to complete his education at Oxford. 

After he left the univerfity, he is fuppofed to have added to his accomplifliments by traveUii 
into France and the Low Countries ; but when he went abroad, or at what time he retamed, i 
circumftances not determined. 

His biographers agree, that on his return, he entered himfelf of the Inner Temple, and pro/ecnt 
for fome time the ftudy of the law. 6peght has given us a record in the Inner Temple (which i 
fays a Mr. Buckley had feen), where •* Geoffrey Chaucer was fined two (hillings, for beating a Frai 
cifcan friar in FIcct-ftrcet." It were to be wiihed that he had given the date. Leland fays, " C 
^egfa Leguteiorum frequentttvit, after his travels in France, and perhaps before." Thefe travebin Fran 
Tcft entirely on the authority of Leland, whofe account is full of inconfiflendes. 

He appears to have been early converfant with the court, and particularly attached to the fervi 
*sof the king's fon, John* of Gaunt, Duke of Lancafter, by whofe favour he obtained in marria 
TMIippi, daughter of Sir Payne, or Pagan Rouet, a native of Hainault, and fifter of the fame 
Catherine Swynford, the duke's miftrefs, and afterwards his wife. 

As the credit of the Duke of Lancafter increafed with his father, Chaucer's alfo rofe in a U 
proportion ; and the livclinels of his parts, and the native gaiety of his difpolition, rendered hira 
-very popular and acceptable charader in the Englifli court, at that time the moft gay and fplend 
Hn Europe. 

That he had difVingniihed himfelf before this time by his poetical performances, is almoft certafi 
and there is a tradition fupported by fome paffages in his Dteam^ and Cuk9o and NiikimgmU, thx 
*when he attended the court at Woodllock, he redded at a fquare ftone houfe near the park ftil 
-which dill retains his name. 

The firft authentic memorial of Chaucer, is the patent in Rymer, 41. Edward \\\, by which tl 
lung grants to him an annuity of 10 marks, by the title of yaUttus He/ler. He was then in the 39^ 
Tear of his age. How long he had ferved the king in that or any other Aation, and what particuL 
snerits were rewarded by this royal bounty, are points equally unknown. There is, however, i 
•ground for fuppofmg that this mark of his Majefty's favour was a reward of Chaucer's poetic 
snerits. If it is confidcred that a few years after (48. Edward III.), the king appointed hii 
Comptroller of the Wool, &c. in the port of London, with the following injuncftion in the pattni 
^ So that the faid Geoffrey write with his own hand his rolls, touching the fuid office, and continual 
Tcfide there, and do and execute all things pertaining to the faid office in his own proper perfo 
•nd not by his fubftitute;" — it (hould feem that Edward, though adorned with many royal and hero 
'virtues, had not the gift of difcerning and patronizing a great poet : a gift which, like that of genuij 
poetry, is only beflowed on the chofen few, by the peculiar favour of Heaven ; 



> neque enim, nifi cams ab ortu 



Diis fuperis, poterit magno fuilTe poets. 

Milt. Man'sui* 

Prom this time Chaucer is frequently mentioned in various public indruments. In the 46. E 
ward III , {Rymer] the king appoints him Envoy (with two others) to Genoa, by the title of 6V*//; 
utfier. This embaffy might probably have afforded him an opportunity of vifiting Petrarch 
Padua, where he tells us, in the prologue to the Uerkts Tale, he learned from him the (lory of Gi 
ieldii. Bat it is unccruin whether he ever went upon the embaffy ; and the biographers of Petrarc 
who died the year following (1374)1 have not recorded the rcvercutial villt of the EogUlh cnva 



THE LTFE OP CHAtlCEIt. v 

Ipotaie write,*' bjt Speght, •* that he> with Petrarke, was prefeot at the liamigiR of Lbnell thkt 
^Clarence, with Violante« daughter of Gakafius Duke of Millain; yet Paulas Joviiu nameth nbc 
kaocer, but Petrarke, he (ayeth, was there." It appears from an inftrument in Rymer [4*. Edward 
D*]. that the Duke of Clarence pafied from Dover to Calais in his way to Mihn, in the fpring of 
^38, with a retinae of 457 men and laSo hoHes^ That Chaucer might have attended the Dn^ 
|0D this occafion, is not impoilible ; hut his name does not appear among the ** Grandi Signori 
l^gni Inghilefe," who were '* Com. Meflere Lionell in compagnia** [Mmratan], In the 48. Ed- 
ptd 111^ he has a grant for life of a pitcher of wine daily [Hymer]. In the 49. Edward HI. the king 
pants to him the wardfliip of Sir Edmond Staplegate*s heir [Rymer], for which he receiTcd 104 b; 
pid, in the next year, fome forfeited wool, to 'the value of 7XI. 4 s. 6d. [C/rr. Li/r of C6.]. In the 
iftyenr of Edward III., he was fent to France with Sir Guichard D* Angle and Richard Stan [or 
ihirry ], to treat of a marriage between Richard Prince of Wales, and a daughter of the French king 
frmfart]. 

f In the next year, i. Richard II. , hit annuity of 20 marks was granted to him in lieu of the pitcher 
f wine daily. In his 7efiameat •fLcve^ he alludes to the misfortunes brought upon him by YatmedtUii^ 
I the diflurbances which happened in London in the 7. Richard II. What the real defigns of John 
toberton, commonly called John of Northampton, and his party, were, and how a trifling city-rioe 
vne to be treated as a rebellion, are points of great obfcurity. There is good ground to belicTe that 
Donibertoo, in has endeavours to reform the city, according to the advice given by Wickliffe, was 
MDotenanced by the Duke of JLancafter, which may account for Chaucer's engagement with 
iat party. When Chancer fled to Holland, to aToid being examined in relation to thefe ,^- 
turbances (as he lays, Teft, •/ Love) he was probably fuperfeded in his office of Comptroller. It 
is probable, too, that he was confirmed in it on his return, though the inftrument has not been pro- 
ioced. In the XX. Richard II., he had the king's licenfe to furrender his two grants of 20 marks, in 
tvour of John Scalby. This furrender was probably occailoned by his diftrelTcd circumftances. la 
be 13. Richard II.,he appears to have been Clerk of the works at Weftminfter, &c, and in the fol- 
iwing year at Windfor. In the xy. Richard II. the king granted him a newannnityof 20}* 
^ymerJ] If he was ever poiTelTed of Dunnington Caftle in Berkfliire (as his biographers fuppofe), he 
ull have purchafed it about this time ; for it appears to have been in the pofleflion of Sir Richard 
ddcrbury,in the 17. Richard II. [Mofiajt. Amg. it. 474]- But there is no proof of any fuch pur- 
uTe ; and the iituation of his afi'Airs makes it highly improbable. The tradition of aa oak in Dun- 
ogton park, called Chaucer*s oak, may be fufilciently accounted for, without fuppofing that it was 
inted by Chaucer himfelf, as the caftle was undoubtedly in the poifdHon of Thomas Chaucer, who 
fuppofcd to be his fon, for many years. 

In the 21. Richard II. the king granted him his protedion for two years [Hymer]; and in 22, a 
pe of wine annually [iiiJ] . In the next year, the i. Henry IV., his two grants of the annuity of 
) 1., and of the pipe of wine, were confirmed to him [Xymef]; and at the fame time, he had an ad- 
tional grant of 40 marks, [itU], It appears that he received an annuity of 10 marks on account 
hi.H wife. He died, according to the infcription on his tombftone, in the 2. Henry IV., on the 
ith of Odober 1400, and was buried in Weftminfter Abbey. A monument was ereSed to his 
cmory in 1556, by Mr. Nicholas Brigham of Oxford, upon which he caufed his pidlure to be 
Limed, from the original of Occleve, in the illuminated manufcript of his treatife De regim-m 
rifu:jUf together with the following infcription, which ftill remains. 

M.S. 
Qui fecit Anglorum vates nofter maximus ollm. 
GALraiDUs Chaucie conditur hoc tumulo : 
Annum fi quaeras Domini, fi tempora Titx, 
Ecce notx fubfunt qus tibi cup^ notunt. 
25 Odobris 140a 
JErumnarum requies mors. 
N. Irigham hos fecit Mufanim nomine fumptut. 
1556. 



TheCe arc the i 



THE LIFE OF CHAUCflt- 
ii^ in Chaucer'i life, whidt are attefted I: 






* prtDcipftl fai^ in Chaucer'i life, whidt are attefled iry authentic cvidenrtv* llf wP 
ttfrtati/t M iie ^}*Uh», lie tnformt ut chat he had a Ton called X.cwi£, who wa& ten yran of tge in 
159 1« There is no account in vrhAt ftacioo he lived, or when he died* The relatioo of ThaaiM 
Chauctf to him baa ftcit been aCocrraiDed. Speght rajt, " ih^t fom£ hdd opinion, thAt Thaon* 
Chtticer was not the Con of Geoffrey;** and there are certainly many circumilances which render 
that opiniofi probable. He ntarricd Maude, daughter of Sir John Durgherihe, rcfided chiefly^ it 
Ewclm in Oxforddliretpancd through fcveral puoHc flation% and died on the iSth of April f 4i4- 

The po«cicai c^mpofitionft of Chaucer, particularly his Canterbury Tales, obtained him the highcft 

place of diilio^iofi asong hit eontemporarict. The tales, it is probable, were coonpofcd at differ* 

cnt pciirid* of hii li£c. He connected them together in that admirable dramatic flru^urc in which 

they are at preCcUt* about the year 1583, They were fir(l printed by our meritorious countryinM 

William Caxtirn^ the firft Enghlh printer, i« Ames fuppofei, aUmt i47jor 1476, and again In t^tm 

Subfequcnt editions wtrc printed by Wynkcn dc Wordc, in I^^j, and by Pynfon in I49il,aad r5a4w 

if^hich wai the iTrjithat Indudcdhts mifccllaneous piecet. Thennt edition was printed by God/rcf 

^ 15 jii with Mr. William Thynne*f dedication to Henry VIIL, and a great number of piece* never 

■jeforc publi(hed. Thi& edition waj many timet reprinted, as the llandard edition of Oiaiipar% 

^orkt, till the appearance of the editions of Scowc and Speght in 1561, if 97, and t6oa; andiT 

Phte edition undertaken by Urry, %vhich wai publiibcd fome years after his death, in 1711, wk|l#, 

preface by Mr, Timothy Thomas. An edltioia of the Camterhtry TaUt was pablifhed by Tl 

Tyrwhiu, Efq*, in 4 ¥als. Xto, 1 775, to which waa added, in 1778, a fifth volume, contamti 

*" Eflay on the Language and VerfiBcauoo of Chaucer/' ** ma Imrodudkory Difcourfe to the 

|Jirrj Talit^ and *' a GblEiry."* 

% The prdeot edition '4 the CamUrUiry Takt H printed from TyrwKitt*t inconiparable editloo^ 
and his Learned and Tahiable OMTary i» copied with little vartatiofi* except iu the omiflion of tkc 
nuincrtcal rrfctcnce*. The Flovmnm* TiXp, T*lr ff Gamrlytft Aivmlurt of Farduur and T^^jfltf^ 
And ile Mf^iMMi'i ftxMtt Tnlf, omitted by Tyrwhitt, ha« been retained, though all evidence, 
intcmal and external, is againft the fuppofition of their being the produdion of Chaucer* 

Tlic genuine w*/f»i/.i*«i/* fiteut of Chaucer are prmted from UrryV edition, exctuGve oithMk 
lieces which are known to be the peodudlton of other autborf, and the anonymous compoQtionaf 
khich, from time to time, hare been added to Chaucer'i, in the feveral editions, without any evi» 
nee whatevfr* Befidei thefe more confidenable works, it appears that he had cainpoled oianf 
tltt^rit Mmmdds^ f^inl^ys, and that he had m*ide many a Lay mmd mamy a 7Xi«^. A few pieeci of 
hi* fort are A ill extant, and tnferted here at they A and in the editiont. 

The wnrk^ of Chaucer in profe are, a tranHation of Bocthiua de ewtt/aiatitmt PbUtftpU^^ 
he Kst mentioned himfetf in Iht L*j^e 9/ Gotir J^vmn^ A Trtatiji on tlM AfiftUU^ 
\ his foD twe«^i« in I J9fi and tit Tefammf 9f L»w, which is evidently an knitation of Borthi 
mfidatinnv PUtf^fi^, 

The pri^ratc chftra6ker t{ Chaueer appears to have been as rrfpedable as hti» literary 
|pj.» truly iUttilrious. In hit manners he wat mild and gentle; in his difpofition he wai open and 
tioua. He wis a fine gentlemen, an agreeable companion, and a learned writer. Hij con- 
ries and dJfciplcs, Cower, OccIctc, and Lydgatc^ are bvifti ^n his praifc. With Wickltffe, the 
Ikllier lithe Preformation, he concurred in fentimcnts of religion, and cn-operated in hit moil va* 
lusible dc£ig;n« ; fo natural » the roiinc6liIon between genius and the love of liberty* 

Oq the llteraf y chancer of Chaucer it is the left nctelTary to enlarge, as it has within thefe few 
yean been fo accurately and «mply displayed by Mr. Warton, the learned biAorian of the EngtiJh 
poetry, whofe death i» an irreparjiMc lofs to Englilh literature, and Mr. Tyrwbict, whofc edition ol 
r CiJitn^ry T'^ia'iM thcmoA curluUft, erudite, and Yaluabk publication thai hat yet appeared in thia 
Ocntry. 

Chaucer is ufually charaflerifcd as the Reformer of the Englifh language, and the father of Bng- 
liih poetry. He undoubtedly critically cnltlYated hjs native t<ingne« that he might reform its irrc- 
uiaritici, ard rfVaklifh au EiigUih Hyle; and he was certainly the ilrft perfon in Englatid Co whom 
^ tbe appelkiion of a |-n€t» in its genuine luilre, cuuld be aj'pticd. He lias attcmpud every fpe- 



Sorthi^i^H 
f charafl^^ 



I 



^^^^^P THE LIFE OF CHAUCER- ?f 

Eifilffiiecry, (ttoBO. Ill epigttm to m epic porm, and hts faccccdcd la all. If, t10wc^^r he ippeirt 
L^BiPOit m mtrf one poetical drpartment, it is in the defcriptlYe. The CamUrUtj T^tru 
Jm yniif predo^ion, eihtbit a wonderful variety of tmtcDti; for they abound with ihr fuhltme and 
irff fcnii. with admirable fatire, geisuine humoor, and an uacotmiiQ*i knowledge of life. They 
wmtfnhMj compoied in imitation of the" Decameron" of Boccice tliotigb upon a diflfencnt and 
I fdftn* The general plan may be learned from tlic prolof oe he has prcfited to rhcm. H« 
itberc* that a company of p'ilgrim« g^otng to Canterhuty, aHemble at an inn in Southwark« 
vAifFQt* that for their common amofement on the road, each of ihfm flialt tell at lesjl one talft 
Ifliiig^lo Cafitcrhury, and another in coining back from thence; arid that he who Ihall tell the 
Midi! fliiU be treated by the reft with a fuppcr, upon their return to the fame inn. It appcart 
AtlM Kc dcGgned to dcfcribc their journey, and ail tht wtmumMi *f thar fil^wmit^ includioj; 
laliUy their adventure* at Canterbury, as well a» upon the road ; but this ejttcnlivc and diifjcult 
nil ill I ij^ has been left impetfcifi ; and tnore than one half uf the tales he intended to give 
ir^BCicg, l*he chara^cr* of the pilgrlme are ai variout a§ at that time could be found in the de- 
jiTBiidifi of middle life ; and the ftoties are cxadly fuited to their chara£lcr'» and clearly evince, that 
QmccT, notwithflanding the aids he derived from hit aci^uaintance with Italian literature, waa 
pfefiedof a Doble ij)Yention« and a fruitful imagination. 
ThtKM^yi Talt, The Wtjt ^f 3<^th* i TW^ raUofthi Nunt Pntjf, Fhiifet wdth tt/e, and T&f 
■^ c^ m €J*0d Far/mf, have been thought worthy of imitation and revival by Drydcn^ whol^ 
f particularly of the Knigbt*t TaU^ and of the FUiDtr itmiihe Lt^f^ arc the moft animated 
\ pieces of vcifificaticn in the Engliih langtiage. Pope has imitated the Mcnhwt** 
T^ Tl» §9^i/k 0/ Baiif*t Pftvgtie^ and Th< Houft of Fams^ with his ufual elegance of di<5iion and 
.ksMtoy <if v«r{i£catioD* Mr. Betterton hai tranflated the Jitv/4 Tah and the CbttraGen oftSe FiU 
mm$ t sDd a coUe6tioD of '* The C^^itcrburj Talcs Moderoixcd," was publifhcd by Mr. Ogle, 14 

I TW SfM^arV T^le it coofidered by Mr. Warton ai Chaucer^s capital poejn ; and he has admirablf 
1 file origin of the fiSions with which it abounds. With like ingenuity and learning ho 
> the various poems of Chaucer \ and with regard to thofc which had a foreign original^ 
' ^r the produdions which gave rife to them have been copied, altered, and improved* 

lToh tumi out in many rcfpcifU to the advantage of the Engliih poet. 
ccr,*" fays he/* was a man of the wcn'ld; and from thi» circumflance we art to accoant, 
^Agreat tncafore, for the many new cmbellifhinents conferred on our poetry. The dcfcHptiona 
^H|ba^id proceOions and gallant car oufals, with which his worki abound, are a proof tJiat he waa 
^Wmt6ati with thepraAice and diverfions of polite life. His travel likewife enabled him to cul< 
L ilMilW tiaJian and Froven<;al poetry with the grcateft fucccfs, and induced hira to polifh the af- 
^^^, tttd cmich the fterility ol his native verHficatlon, with fofter cadences, and a more copioui 
^Voiic|>ted pbrafcology/' 

I teorsiirg the licentious pafTages that are to be met with in Chaucer *s poems, the fame ingenious 

■ilame^ writer obfervcs, that they are in a great meafure to be imputed to the age in whicla 

^were written. ** We arc apt," fays he, " to form romantic and exaggerated notloDf aboufil 

I ^•ocal ioooecsce of our anceflors. Agei of ignorance and flmplicity are thought to be ages 

I ^riiy. l^hnt^BttSt cotitrary I believe is the cafe* Rude periods have that giofTnefs^of manncrig 

I Wfckh is tJOt J<f* friendly to virtue than luxury icfelf. In the middle ages, not only the mod flagrant 

r llAlitioc»i of roodcfty wcfc frequently pradlifed and permitted, but the moft infamous vice*. Men 

I «t kit sftacoed as they are kfd polifhed. Great refinement multiplies criminal p1cafure«, but at tkc 

isu lisle prevents the a&uaJ commiQion of many enormities, at lead it prcferves public decencys 

ad ^pprttfea public UccntioufneCi.** 

I lidclMitiag Chaucer's talent for humour, Mr. Warton agrees with Dr. Hurd, who, in htf 

"IcQBV on Chivalry," fnppofcs that the Rmt 0/ Sir Titcpar, waa intended to expofc the leading 

lijiililiti of ih9 old f omancc. That thii wa» Cbauccr*» aim appears from^ many palTages takeo 



1W 



us 



viii THE LIFE OF CHAUCER, 

ffom Ifamirast TJSeatis Defiiiust and other romances, in the fame ftyle, which arc dill extant t anA 
therefore the tale may juftly he called a prelude to Don Quizotte. 

From Mr. Warton's furvey of the poemi of Chaucer, thefe conclufions are deduced coocem^ 
hioi:— -That in cultivation and elegance, in harmony and perfpicuity of veriification, he fnrpafiSet his 
predeceiTurs in an infinite proportion ; that his genius was univerfal, and adapted to themes of «•« 
boiiiided variety ; that his merit was not lefs in painting familiar manners with humour and p ro pri a 
tyi than in moving the paffions, and in reprefenting the beautiful, or the grand objeds of : 
vrith grace and fublimity ; and that he appeared with all the Inftre of a true poet, in an age i 
impelled him to ftruggle with a barbarous langutgey tnd a national want of tafte ; and when t% 
^itc v^fc» at all was a iin|^ular quaUficatiQ^« 



THE CANTERBURT TALES. 



THE PROLOGUE; 



L 3ScpffiirD 
rof £ath i 



Wkabks that Aprtl with his ibour(» fote 
tit JfuMgtuc o£ March hath pcrccd to the fotc^ 
■ 1 cTcrjr ¥cinc in fwichc licour, 
I vertuc cngcndred i« the flour ;) 
}iirus eke with his fote brcthc 
I in trtty holt and hcthe 
TW Isdrc croppet, aiid the yooge foaoe 
Hidl 4a the lUin his halfe court yrofmCi 
4bI istle foiilcB zTukkeD melodic, 
TliC leym &Ue night with opco eye, 
i>|lftrtii l»eiB nature in hir coragei, 
TIb liegcn folk to goo on pilgrim^es, 
iii frimcm for to fckcn ftrangc i>roiidc«, 
TWIm hftlvet coutbe iu fondry loudei ; 
4li|fpectaUj from every ihire's ende 
PI Iw^ifflnnil to Canterbury they wende, 
tk koly liUfilul martyr for to fckc 
Jkm ken h«K bolpen whan that they were fcke» 

Biff Br chat: in that fefoo on a day, 
hfaKkwiikat the Tabard at I lay. 
Up m weiMkn cm my pilgxisuigc 
T#€k»iE^yry With deronte courage, 
! into that hoftelrte 
r in a compagnic 
ift^ by avcnture yfalle 
, tod pilgrimci were they aHe 
t Canterbury woldcn ride, 
«i and the Jtablet weren wide, 
Iwtlire wo-enciirfi atte befic, 

I fronlf when the foane waigon to rcfte, 
ii IftAie 1 fpoken wkk bem cverich on, 
Thm 1 irai if liir febwlhip anon» 
AaI wmU. liirword c;rly for to rife, 
7»iak« «Btt wsy thcr,at 1 you devlTe* 



But nathclcs while ! have time and fj 
Or that I forthcr in thii tale pace, 
Mcthinkcth it accordant to rclbn 
To tellcn you alle the condition 
Of echc of hcm,fo as it Cemcd mr, 
And whiche they weren, and of what degref 
And eke in what araie that they were inne ; 
And at a knight than wol I firfte beginne. 

A Knight ther was, and that a worthy inaD# 
Thtt fro the time that he firfte began 
To riden out, he loved chivalrie, 
Trottthe and honour, frcdom and curtiCe* 
Ful worthy was he in his lordci wcrre, 
And therto hadde he ridden, no man fctre 
As well m Crimen dom as in Hetheneffe, 
And c^cr honotircd for hi* worthincJTe* 

At Alifandre he was whan it was wonne * 
Ful often f tme he haddc the bord begonnc f 
Aboven allc nations in Pruce : 
In Lettowc hadde he reyfcd and In Ruce, 
Ho Crificn man fo ofte of his degre : 
In Gcrnade at the ficgc eke hadde he ht 
Of Algefir,. and ridden in Belmarte i 
At Lcye^ was he, and at Satalle, 
Whan they were wonne ; and in the Grttc S^ 
At many a nolile ahnce hadde he be. 
At moHal batailles hadde he ben fiftenc^ 
And foughtcn for our faith at TrattuJIene 
In liilcf thricf, and ay flain hii fo. 

This like worthy Knight hadde ben alfci 

« AleiundrEt in ^gyv^ ^a* won (And Immed^tdf tftef 
•bindoDcd} in 1365 by Pierre dc LuJittiiAn KinK uf Cf • 

f Hehad been pticed at ttic I»»d of thetible, th« ufU^ 
4I coRiplimenC to txtTjordmaff mcfJt, ai the coiniiKtita* 
tor» TCfy propery explalu \u '^ 



I 
I 
1 



I 



THE P li O L O G t; ^. 



Some time with the I.or J of Pulatie • 
i^gcn another Hcthcn in Turkic, 
And evermore hi* haddc a lovcrcinc pris. 
And though that he was worthy, he was wife, 
And of his port as im ke as is a mayde. 
He never yet no vihmic nc faydc 
In allc his lif unto no manere wight : 
He was a veray parfit gtntil Knight. 
But for to tcllcn you of his araie. 
His hors was good, but he nc was not gaie. 
Of fuiHan he wered a gtpon 
Allc bcfmotrcd with his habergeon. 
For he was late ycomc fro Uis viage. 
And wente for/o,d<2n his pilgrimage. 

With him thcr was his fonc, a yongc SqnUr^ 
A lover and a lufty bachcler, • 

Vri»h locVcs cruU as they were laide in prefTe ; 
Of twenty ycre age he was, I geflc. 
Of his ilature he was of even jengthc, 
And woiidcrly deliver, and grete of ftrengthe ; 
And he hsddc be fometimc in chcvachie 
fn Flaunders, in Artois, and in Picardic, 
And borne him wcl, as of fo litul fpace. 
In hope to ilondcn in his ladies grace. 

Fmbroudcd was he, as it were ain«de 
Allc full of frcsfhe flourcs ^hitc and rede : 
Singing he was or floyting allc ihe day : 
He was as fresfhc as is the moncth of May : 
Short was his gounc^- with fleves long and wixie; 
'W'cl coudc he fitte on hor*, and f^yre ride : 
He coudc fong » make, and wcl endite. 
Jufte and ckc danre, and wcl pourtraic and write; 
So bote he loved, that by ni?htert;;le 
He flep DO more than doth the night-ingale : 

Cuitcis he was, lowly and frrvifablc. 
And carf before his fader at the table. 

A I'aKOM haddc he, and fervantes no iqo 
At that time, for him lufte to ride fo, 
And he was cladde in cote and bode of grese ; 
A ihefc of peacock arwcs bright and kcne 
Under his Velt he bare full thriftily : 
Wcl coude he drcffe his takcl yemanly : 
His aru es drouped not with fbtheres lowe. 
And in his bond he bare a mighty bowe, 

A notched hadde he, with a broune vifage : 
Of wood-craft coude he we( allc the u&gc : 
Upon his arme he bare a gaic bracer, 
And by his fide a Cwerd and a bokelcr. 
And on that other fide a gaic daggere, 
Hamcifed wcl, and fharp as point of fpere : 
A Criftofrc on his breit of nlver flicne. 
An home he bare, the baudrik was of grenc ; 
A fprfter was he fothely, as I gelTe. 

i^icr was alfo a Nonne, a Prioreffi^ 
That of hire fmiling was fui fimpie and coy, 
Hire f retell Abe n*as but by Scint Eloy, 
And ihe was cleped Madam Eglcntine ; 
Ful wel Am fangc the fervice devine, 
Entuned in hire nofe ful fwetely ; 
And Fk-enche fhe fpake fvl fayre and fetiHy, 
After the fcole of Stratford arte Bowe, 
For Prcnche of Paris was to hire unknowe : 
At mete was Ihe wcl yunghte withelle. 
She Ictte no ^prfcl from mre llppc* fallc, 

« PalathU la AnstOIb. 



Ne wette hire fingres in hire faucc dep^*; 
Wcl coude fbe carie a morfel, and wel kepe^ 
I'hattc no drope ne fell upon hire breft : 
In eurtcfie was fette ful moche hire icSt : 
Hire over lippc wiped (he fo clenr. 
That in hire cnppe was no fcrthing fene 
Of grcfe when (he dronkcn hadde hire dbraagfai 
Full femely after hire mcfic flic raught > 
And fikcrly flic was f if grete difport. 
And ful pleufaiit and amiable of port» 
And peined hire to contrcfctao chere 
Of court and ben tftatelich of manere. 
And to ben holden diene of reverence. 
But for to fptkro of hire coofcicncc. 
She was fo charkable and fo pitous 
She wolvie wcpc if that flie faw a mous 
Catighte in a trappe if it were ded or bledd^. 
Of fmale houndcs haddc flic, that flie feddc 
With roiied flcfli, and milk, and waftel bred^ 
But fore wept flie if on of hem were dede. 
Or if men fniote it with a yerde Imert ; 
^Vnd all was confciencc and tendre hcrte. 
Ful femely hire wimple ypinchcd was. 
Hire nofe treiis, hire eycn grey a* glan ; 
Hire mouth ftUl finale, and therto foft a:id red: 
But dkerly flie haddc a fayre ferehcd : 
It was alnioil a fpanne brode 1 trowe. 
For hardily flie was not undergrowe. 

Ful fctife was hire cloke, as I was ware. 
Of finale coral! aboute hire ami file bane 
A pair of bedes gauded all with grenc, 
Ar.d thereon heng a breche of gold ful ftcM 
On whiche was firft ywritten a crouacd A, 
And after /Imor wneh 9mma, 

Another Nwne alfo with hire Icdde fte 
That was hire cka^kUeine, and Prtt/Us tturc. 

A M§mi ther was, a fayre for the maillrie^ 
An out-rider thar loved venerie ; 
A manly man to ben an abbot abic ; 
Ful many a deinte hors hadde he in fbiblr. 
And whaa he rode, men mighte has bride! ben 
Gingciing in a whittling wind, as ckre 
Anil eke as loude as doth the chapelt belle 
Ther as this lord was kcper of the rdlc. 

I'he rcale of Scint Maure and of Seint BcA 
Becaufc tl\at it was'oldc and fomdcle ftreit. 
This iHre nionk lette 6]dc thinges pace, 
And hclde after the newc world the traee. 
He yave not of the text a pulled hen 
That faith that hunters ben not holy men, 
Ne that a monk whan ke isrekkttes 
Is like to a fHh that is waterlci ; 
This is to fay, a monk eiit of his cloiflre ; 
This iike text held he not worth as oiftie ; 
And I fay his opinion was good. 
What ! fliulde he ftudie and make himfelTcii woi 
U)K)n a book in cloiiVre alway to pore. 
Or fwinkcn with his hondea) and labourr, 
A4 Auftin bit ? how (hal the world b.- ferred f 
Let Auflin have his fwink to him relcrved : 
Thcrfore he was a prickafimrc a riglit. 
Grcihoundes he haiMc asfwift as foul of flighc* 
Of pricking and of hunting for the liare 
Was all his lull ; for no coil woMe he fpare. 

I faw his fleves puriiled at the bond 
With gris| and that the fincft of the load ; 
3 



1*HE I*ROLOGllE, 




hU hood under hit chLnne 
ywrooght a curlou* pmjie ; 
the grctcx cndc tiirr was : 
m^M WQed, and Qionc &« any gU»s 
I liii ta^O^ a.« it hadde ben anoint ; 
I A tor4 isil iat, aa<i tn good jKiini : 
I ttrpc, aiiid rolling in hi» hcd, 
toed «* a fomcii of a led ; 
fees fbaplr, liis Kors in grcc cilat ; 
foinly Kc wat i , 'at: 

IMC iaAc a« a I jl ; 

ro loTcd he bvit ^^i ^j.; jo{l : 
pef Vi^ as brouoc &« ii a bery. 
ir# jhtr T\ J ',. J wanton and a mcry# 
pr, pocman : 

tor<^: 1^ Hon that can 

r o{ daLancc: and fayrc luigage* 
e fOiAdc ibl many a ntanage 
p wimmtn at hi* owcn c<ik { 
^ 0rdrc be wa» a noble pofl, 
^elovv^ and ^miller wai he 
KJiclciiift OTer aU in hia contreff 
\ mith worthy wimmcn of die TouD| 
Wl fcw€r of confcfTion, 
t haisCfilrt more than a curat, 
n osiirc he was a hctnciai. 
lefj herde he confeOioc, 
^nt wsa hb abfolution. 
an eff man to give pcnaoce 
fcc vt^ ^ * uj * good pitanccg 

lap - for to give 

SbiAt « iik«i» t-> wd yfhrivc; 
t cAve he dorfie make avanc 
r Jiat a man wan repentant ; 
ff A mao fu hard it of his hcitc, 
'Cfif wcp< atthough him fore fmcrtc; 
h of wcping and praierea 

^ ! r<T to th«p poQxe i^rerei. 

^p;t: ^^) ' ^^^1 ^ knivcf 

Irt (or to wivea : 

feinly be Kiiua^ a nitryno:c; 
le he fifige and plaicu vu a rnte. 
■iptl * he ba.r<: utttrly the prr« ; 
Wwwm white 31 the flour dc if. ; 
|9 ftrrittg was a$ a chanipioun, 
ar wej Uve ta'rcnics in c%*cry touD» 
r| lifiOfirT and gay upflcrc, 
■B a lasar or ;i beggcrt ; 
flwiehe a worthy man as he 
MiO^ht, as by his faculce 
^ vrith iUu lazars acquaiiiiance ! 
|i0Oeila»C inay ^t ayancc^ 
1 4cleii with no fwiche jTounL^k^ 
ith rkhe and feUers of vitaiik-. 
vcf all» cbcr a» profit ihold arifc 
br '♦as, mtid lowly of fcmfc : 
I ao amo no *«rbcr fo vertuoun; 
be Iprfte '^^^^^'^ *^ ^^J^ ^^^^ hou», 
Af r ihc grunt 

iat 'bis haunt : 

;h a fiiJL'vtc ozdoc hut afhoo, 



Yet wold he have a fertMng or be Went ♦ 

Hh pourcba» waswel better than lii» rent i 

And rage he coude as it hadde ben a it help ( 

In. Jovedayea ther coudc be mo^rhel help ; 

For thcr was be nat Ukc a doiftcrcrc^ 

With thredbarc cope, at is apoure ftolcre, 

But he wa4 like a maifler or a pcipc ; 

Of doable worftcd was hi» fcroicopt*, 

That round wa^^ as a bc-lle out of the prdTe. 

Somwhat he lifped for hij watitonnelle 

To make his Engliih fwet'c upon hia tongc; 

And in hi& haiping ^ whtui that he haddc fongr, f^ 

His cyen twinkeled in his hcd aright 

A^ don the fterres in a frolly night. 

This worthy liinitour waft deped Huberd. 

A Mi^rcbant was thcr with a forked herd | 
In mottclce, and highc on hors he fat, || 

And on his bed a Faundnfh bever hau 
His bootcf dapfcd f^yre and fetiidy; 
His rcfons fpakc he ful folcmpncly, ^ i 

Souning alway the encrelc Q>i his winning : 
He wold the fee were kept * for any thing 
Bctwixcn Midddburgh and Orcwcll* 
Wd coud he in cfchangcs ihddcs fcUe. 
This worthy man ful wcl his wit bcfctte; 
Thcr wifte no wight that he was in dette. 
So HedcfalUy didde he his governance 
With his bargtinei and with his chcvijancei j j 
Forfothe he waJi a worthy man withallc, | j 

But foth to fayn f n'ot how men him calk» 

A CUrk ther was of Oxcnford alfo, 
That unto logike haddc long ygo. 
As lent was his hors as is a rake^ 
And he was not right fat I undertakti 
But lokcd holwf, and therto foberly. 
Ful thredbare was hi« ovcrcft courtcpy. 
For be hadde gcten him yet no benefice, 
Nc was nought worldly tr/ have an office ; 
For him was lever ban at his beddcs bed 
Twenty bokes clothed in blakc or red 
Of Ariftotle and bis philofophic . 

Then robes richc, or fidd or fautrie s 
But all he that he was u philofopbrc 
Yet Jiaddc he hut litd gold in cofrc. 
But all tluit he might of his frcodes hente 
On boke« and on lenang he it fpente. 
And hcfily gan for the foules praic 
Of hem that yavc him when^iih to fcolaic. 
Of ftudic tokc he mofte cure and hcdc ; 
Not a word fpakc he more than was ncde. 
And that wa» faid in forme and reverence. 
And fhort and quike» and ful of high fentcnce I 
Souning in moral vcrtuc wa* hi^ fpeche, , 

And gladly wolde be Icme and gladly teche, 

A Srr^t^mt of ihf Ltrwt ware and wife* 
That often hadde yben at the paruis 
Thcr was alio, fol richc of cicclknce ; \ | 

Difcrcte he waa, and of grcte reverence; 
He fcmcd fwichc-, ht» worda were fo wife r 
Jufticc be WIS ful often in afiifc 
By patent and by pleinc con milTibun : 
Fof hia fcicncc and for his fTigb reooun 

1 1 rVibllJv ortcmii jgC cf pmindspe 
pur U (aufgardc et culHoCL ^ei 



THE PROLOGUE 



, Of fees ind Tohb% had he tnany on : 
Bo grctc a pdurchafour wat oo whcr non ; 
lil w'ms fee fimpic to hjm in effc<^, 
i pourchafing mig^ht not ben tn fafpcd t 
No whf r fo bcfy a man as he thcr a*a*. 
And yet he fciive d bcficr than he was. 
In tcrmci haddc he ca* and domes iUc 
That fro the time of King Will, wcrcn falle ; 
Thcrto he coude enditc and make a thing ; 
I Ther coudc no wight ptnche at his writing ; 
I And every ftatute coude he plaine by rote« 
I He rodr but homely in a medlec CGPtc 
I Girt With a fi-int of iilk with barret Onale. 
Of his amy tell I no Icngcr tale. 

A FrmmhUh was in thi* compagnie ; 
White was his herd as ts the da ye tic : 
lOf hit eompiexion he wac fanguin ; 
Wcl loved he by the morwe a fop in wki ; 
Xo liven in delit was ever his wone. 
For he was Epicure** owen fone, 
That held opinion that picin delit 
Wiis Tcratiy fehcite parfite. 
And houfhulder, and that a ^r*^^ ^^'^^ ^^* 
) Sctnt Julian he was in his CTK7trec, 
\ His brede, his Ac\ v^-a* alw^y after on ; 
k A better envyned man was no vrhcr non. 
'^^''ithoiitcn bake mete never was his hous 
Of fifh and flcfh, and that fo plenteous 
It fncwcd in his houfe of mctc and drinkc 
Of allcdeinte^sthat men coud of thiiike. 
After the fondry fefons of the yere 
^ changed he his mete and hit foupere. 
i Ful many a fat patrich hadrk he in mewe, 
I And many ahremc, and many a luce to ftewc- 
[ 'Vo was his coke but if his faircc were 
1 Poiniint and fharpc, and rcdy all his gcrc, 

Hi» ublc dormant in hi£ halle aWay 
^ €tode re<ly covered tile the lotigc day. 
At feffions there w» ke lord and fire; 
Full often time he was knight of ibc 0ltre« 
An anelacc and a gipcierc all of filk 
Hcng at htt girdcl w'mte a* irrorwe milk, 
A ihcreve hadde he ben ami a coimtour ; 
Wat DO wher fwiehc a worthy vavafour ** 
An Hmir*d*fi€rt and a C^ffftnUr^ 
I A l^''i^, a BfjfTy and a ^Tapifir^ 
[ Were alle yclothcd in o livcrc 
I Of a folempoe and gretc fratcmite. 
( Fill freflie and ncwe hir gcrc ypiked wai; 
\Kx knive-f were ychaped not with bras, 
LBtjt all with filver wrought fnl ckne and wcl, 
[HiV girdcle^ and hir pouches every del : 
I Wcl ttmcd eche of hem a fayre burgeis 

To fitten in a giJd halle on the dd* : 
\ Evcrirh iot the wifdom that he can 
I fliapcUch for to Bet* an alderman, 
p caicl haddcn they ynoiigh and ivnt» 
I eke hir wivct wolde it wcl Affect ; 
And clfet certainly they were to blame : 
It it fill (ayrc to ben yclepc»i Madame, 



tTlieKtelfttmt 
w MtMAmiQi 



d«r^ 



or thli fKird Uof^en atti^rcurc ai 

^t tA Vt In Rit* place U ikoald per* 

M«De*a itie wMt Uaitol niM^Unc 



And for to goo to vigiJes all 
And have a mantel rcaUich ybore. 

A Celf they haddcn with hem for the nMic% 
To boik the chikenc$ and the marie bonet^ 
And p4>udre marchant, tart and galingalc, 
Wcl coudc he knowe a draught of LoodciQ aleh 
He c«>ude rof^c, and fethe, and broiJc,, and iiie^ 
Maken mortrewes, and wcl bake a pie ; 
But gret harm was it, as it though te me^ 
That on his Oiinne a mormal hadde he. 
For hlatic manger that made he with the 

A SififhmttM wa& ihcr woned fcr by wcfl ( 
For ought I wote he was of Dertemouih i 
He rode upon a rouncie, as he couthe. 
All in a goune of falding to the knee. 
A dagger hanging by a las hadde hcc 
About his nekke under hit arm adoun - 
The hate fommcr hadde made kis hewe aH 
And certainly he was a good frkw ; 
Ful many a draught of win he hadde draw 
From Burdeux ward while that the chapmen He] 
Of nice confcicnce toke he no kepe. 
If tiiat he faught and badde the higher hand. 
By water he fcnt hem home to every land. 
But of his craft to rckcn wcl his tides, 
Hi» ftrcmcs and hi* fkrandes him be fide*. 
His hcrbcrwe, hi«moQe»and bis lodcmanage^ 
Ther wat non fwiehc from Hull unto Cartage* 
Hardy he waa, and wife, I undertake ; 
With mairy a tempefl hadde his herd be fhakejf 
He knew wcl alle the havens as they were 
Fro Gotland to the Cape dc Ftniftcre, 
And every creke in Bretagne and io Spaloe : 
His barge ycteped was tJie Magdetaine. 

With MS thcr wat a Do^omr 9/ PKiJih ; 
In all this world ne was ther non him like 
To fpeke of phifike and of furgcrrc. 
For he was grounded in aftrooooiie. 
He kept his paticm a ful grct dc) 
III houres by hit magike naturel ; 
Wcl coude he fortunen the afcendent 
Of his images for his patient. 

He knew the caule of every maladie. 
Were it of cold, or bote, or moift, or drie. 
And wher engendred^and of what humour : 
He was a veray parfite ptadifoar* 
The caufe yknowe, and of hit harm the rotc> 
Anon he gave to the fike man hit bote, 
Ful redy hadde he hisapochecarirt 
To fend him dragges and his Icttuariet, 
Fi^r eche of hem made other for to wtnne ; 
Hir frendfhip o'a* not newe to bcgiose. 
Wcl knew he the old Efcolapiut^ 
And Diofcoridci and Ac Rufat, 
Old HippCMrrat, Hali, and Gallicn, 
Scrapion, K%£\\ and Aviccn, 
Avcrrois, Damafcenc, and Conftaatiiif 
Bernard, and Gatifden, and Gtlbertill. 
Of his diete mcfurable tiras he ; 
For it wat of no fuperflulcee. 
But of grct no<iriflliing and digefliible : 
His ftudtc was but Utel on the Bible* 
In fanguin and in perfe he clad was alle 
LiD«4 witJt ta£aca and with feodailc 



THE PROLOGUE. 



"*- "^Tit tfj of difpence ; 

^2n m the peHilcocc; 

ne be k»Yed gold in fpcciaJ* 

»$^*fm^9 thcr ^ befidc JW*r. 
a fbm dcldefe, and that was fcathe. 
b iRftktog Ike haddcfwiche an haunt, 
•^^n of [prc» aod of Gaum. 
ifh ^rif ne wai ther con 
^ " ? before hire fhufde gon, 
I rtasa (6 wroth was &e» 
ol allc char i tee. 

liil fine of ^ound ; 
wcycden a pound 
ly were upon hire hcdc : 
of fine fcarkt rede, 
and IhooQ ful moili and newc ; 
face, and fayre and rede of hew. 
* y woman all hire live ; 
the chtrche dore had (he had five, 
CMnpagme in fouthe, 
I net to fpeke as nouthe ; 
fhe ben at Jerofaicme ; 
nusy a flrange (Ire me t 
^iliadde heUf and at fioloine, 
James, and at Coloine : 
of wandring bj the way ; 
p»ai flic, fothly for to fay ; 
bbkr efily (be (at, 
L, and on hire hede an hat 
a bokeUr or a targe, 
about hire hipped ^^* 
a pair of fporrc^ fliarp^. 
coikIc (he laughe and rarpe* 
love (he knew parchance^ 
the cotidc the oldc dance. 
thcr WW of rcligioun 
Parjw of a toun, 
cf holy thought and vrcrk ; 
a feftied man, a Clerk, 
goQpd ttcwciy wolde prcchc ; 
devoutly wold« he tcche ; 
and wonder diligcnti 
hi patient, 

u yprevcd often (ithes; 
t to curfen for hl» tiihct, 
he yeven out of doutc 
parilhens ahoutc 
mzd eke uf hi* fubfUncc ; 
rl thing have fuliilance : 
parUh, and houTrs icr afonder, 

o^u;:-" ' ram tic thondcr. 

vifitc 
bis J c and Lite 

an- i i a ftaf : 

f ^«^p« ^^ J^ff 

rottj^ht and afterward he taught, 
* he the wprdc* citjglitp 
he added yet thereto 
what (buld iren do 

- Jiom we trull 
luft; 
n, .i >«^4 « ^<*te(l take krpc 
I ihcf he^d ar.d ckot jhf pt : 



Wcl ought a prccft cnfamp!e for t« jtm 
By bis dcncncfTc how hit Ihcpc fhuldc live*. 

He fette not his benefice to hire, 
And tctte his ihepe accombrcd in the mire, 
And ran unto London umo Stint Poule» 
To feken him a chanterie for foulei^ 
Or with a brotherhede to be withold. 
But dwelt at home and keptc wcl his fold^ 
So that the wolf oc made it not mifcarie ; 
He was a Ihepherd and no mcAcnaric ; 
And though he holy were and virtuous 
He was to finful men not difphou*, 
Ne of hit fpcchc dangerous ac digne^ 
But in his tcching dilcrcte andbcnigne* 
To drawen folk to heven with faircneffc ; 
By good cnfampie, was his beftnclTc ; 
But it were any perfone obftinat> 
What fo he were of higl^c or low cftat* 
Him woldc be fnibben Iharp^y for the Docieif 
A better prced I trowe that no whcr uoti ii^ |] 

He waited after no pompe ne reverence, 
Ne maked hini no fpiced confcicncc 
But CriJlc« lore, and his apofUes twelve 
lit caught^ but firft he Ixilwed it himfelvev 

With him ther was a Pia^mait, was hisbrothcjy 
That haddc ylaid of ck>ng ful mapy a f other ^ 
A trut* fwinkcr and a good irt as he, 
Living iu pect and par lite fharitee : 
God loved he bcfte with aJlc hiA herte 
At allc times, were it gain or (mcrte, 
And than his neighcbuur right as hiiiifelvc* 
He wuldc thrcfti, and therto dike aud dclvc^ 
For Criftes fake» for t^cry pourc wight 
Withouten hifc^ if it lay to his might. 

His tithe* pajed he fuj fayrt and wcl 
Both of his proprc fwinke and his catcl. 
In a tabard he rode upon a mere. 

Thcr was aifo a Rcvc, and a MtUcrep * 
A Sompfiour, and a Pardoner alfo, 
A Manciple, and niyfclf ; ther ti'crc no mo. 

The MiiUr was a (lout carl for the nones^ 
Ful biggc he was of braun and ckc of boncs^ 
That proved wel, for over all thcr he came. 
At wrafUlng he wolde here a^way the ram. 
He wa« (hort (huldcfcd, brode, a thikke gnarre| 
Thcr n*aa no dore iJiat he o'pldc hcve of barrc 
Or brcke it at ii rcnning with his hcdc \ 
Hi^ bcrd as any fowc or fox watj rede. 
And therta bfode as though it were a fpade* 
Upon the cop right ui hj» nofe he hade 
A wert> and the eon (lode a t\»fte of hcrei 
Rede as the briflles of a lotves crcs : 
His nofc-thirlcs blacke i^crc and wide : 
A fwcrd and bokclcr bare he by his Gde ; 
His mouth as wide was aJia foineis: 
He was a jangler and a Goliardeis, 
And that was mod of fmne and hiirlotriej : 
Wcl coudc he Uclcn come and tollcn thries ; 
And yet he Lad a thonib of gold parde, 
A white cote and a blew hodc wered he : 
A baggepipe wel coudc he blowc and founc. 
And therwithali he brought nsoitt of louiic^ 

A gen til AJaivipit was thcr of a temple, 
Of which achate ursmighUD take enfctu|}t^ 

^5Jj I 



t:ie pmoLOGUE, 



M U 

^ An 

ml 



W<^ td hen wife in bylng' of vitailk, 

ir whether tJiat he paide or toke by tailie 
l^tc he waited ib in hii achate 
at he t^as ay before in good cflate : 
fow is not that of God miul fay re grace 
[That fwichc a lew^d mannct wit Ihal pace 
""he wifdom of an hrpe of Icrcd men ^ 
Of maiftcrft had he mo than thrie» ten 
lat were pf lawc cxpt rt and curious, 
f whtch thcr was a dofein in that hou* 
orthy to ben fitwarde*of rent and lond 
Of any lord that if in Ejigtelond, 
To rnakto him Uve by hit propre good 
In honour dettcles, but if he were wood^ 
Or live at fcarfly ai him UH defire, 
And able for to helpen all a (hire 
~ any cas that nii||^hte fallen or happe *, 
id yet thif Manciple fcetc hir allcr cstppc. 
The ^*%fe was a fl4:ndrc colerikc man. 
Hi* beisd wa» (have at neighc a» etcr he can ; 
Hii' here wa- ^ - " ' - =i round yfliorne ; 
His top wa a prceA beforne s 

KuJ iongt vvc:_ ^gt*aud ful lene, 

yiikc a fUif ; ther was no calf yfene ; 
Vfci coude he kcpe a gamer and a bitinc; 
Thcr wa» non auditour coudc on him winne; 
Wei wiftc he by the drought and by the rain 
The jelding of hi» feed and of his grain. 
Hii lordei fheiv, hta nete, and hi* deirie^ 
Hi* fwinc, hi* horf, hit (lore, and hi* pultrie. 
Were holly in hh Rtyc» govern ing» 
And by hia covenant yavc he rekening, 
Sin that hi* bird was twenty yerc of age; 
Thcr ctiude no man bring him in arerage, 
Ther n*a» bailltiT, oc herde, ne other hine, 
That he nc knew hii Height and hia covine ; 
They were adradde of him a» of th* dcth* 
Hi« wanning was ful 6ayre upon an heth ; 
With grcnc tree* ylhadewed wai hi* place j 
He coudc better than hii lord pourchace : 
Fu} rich* he wi* yAorcd privily : 
Hj* lord wcl coadc he plcfen fubtilly 
To yevr and lene him ojf hit owcn good, 
And have a thank and yet a cote and hood. 
In youthe he icrntd hadde a good miftere ; 
"*c waa a wel good wright, a carpentere. 

J9 Rcve fate upon a ri};hc good (lot 
That wa» all pome Ice grey, and h»ghte Scot : 
A Jong furcf)te nf prrfe upon he hade. 
And! by hli fide he liare a mlly bLide, 
Of N<iTk>lk wa» rhi» Rcvc of which 1 tcU, 
Befidc 3 toun men depen BddrfwelL 
1 ockrd he waa, as is a frere ibouie, 
And ever he rode the hi' "<"-'♦ "f the route, 
A SM/Af>n*ur wMs thrr that place 

Tb'*t hadde a fi reared ^i face, 

'or faufeHemc he was, with eycn narwc ; 
bote he wn^ and !i*t^n>Lr* a* a fparwe, 
^1 dberd; 

Ther n ' u - .] u I L fc j nc brimfion, 

Boras ccrufr^nv - ' non, 

ojncmcnt, ih^t wil*!. tjctifd or bite^ 
h^ him ought hetpcn of hit ^ hcik« white. 



Nc of the knobbc! Citing on hit cKeket t 
Wd luvcd he garlike, onion«, and Icket, 
And for to drinke drong win aa rede as bkuxit 
Than woldc he fpeke and crie aa he were wood 
And whanth^t he wel dronken had th^t 
Than w«]r| he fiicken no word but Lathi ! 
A fewc trnnrt coudc hc^ two or thrce» 
That he had temed out of fom decree ; 
No wonder is, he heard it all the day ; 
And eke ye knowen wel how that a jay 
Caii clcpi;n watte as wel as can the pope i 
Btil who fo wolde in other thing him grop 
Than h^de he fpcnt all hi* fihilofophic ; 
A}' ^ejlio qttidjwrid f woMe he crie. 

He wa* a gcntil harlot • and a kind ; 
A better fclaw fliuldc a man not find : 
H.; wolde fuffre for a quart of wine 
A good felttw to have hi» concubine 
A t V ' 't, and cicufc him at the fuU \ 

FuJ \ ich eke coudc ho pull ; 

Ami i; ... iviihki o where a good fclawe 
He wolde tcchcn him to have non awe 
In fwiche acas of the arcliedekcnci curic» 
But if a manncs foulc were in hii purfe. 
For in his purie he (hulde ypanHhcti be; 
Purfc is the archedeken* heUe» faid he. 
But wel I woie he Bed right in dcde ; 
Of curfing ought cche gilty man him dredc 
For curfe wol flc right as aflbifing lavccily 
And alfo wire him of a fignifna^it. 

In danger hadde he at his owtn 
The yongc girlct of the diocife, 
And knew hir counfeil and was of hit rede* 
A geriond hadde he fette upon hi» bede 
As gret as it were for an aleflake ; 
A bokcler. hadde h« made him of a dkc. 

With him ther rode a gentil Fgrdmtr^ 
Of RouncevalJ, hit frend and his contper^^ 1 
Thitt ftncit waa comcn from the court of rJ 
Ful louUc he fang, Come hither Jove to i 
This Sompnour bare to him a (litf^htmlo 
WiU itever irompe of half fo grrt a fciOn, 
Thii Piirdoncr had here a» yctwe u wajL 
But (moth It heng a* doth a ftrikc of flax; 
By uncc> baig his Iokke»that he hadde. 
And therwith he his fliuideri ovcrfpradde ; 
Full thinne it lay, by culpons on and on, 
But bode for jolirc ne wcrcd he noo. ^M 

For It wa* trutfed up in hit wallet, ^M 

Him thought he rode all of the oewf ge% 
Dilhevcle, fauf his cappc» he rode all bare ; 
Swichc glaring even hadde he zb An hare : ^Ji 
A vemtcle hadde he fcwed upon hit cappcf^l 
His wallet hiy beforne him in his lappc ^^ 
Brci-ful of pardon come from Rome al hofe i 
A voii he hadde as fmalc as hath a gote i 
No bo-d hadde hc» nc never noo ftulde hti 
Ai fmoihc it was as j( were newc (have ; 
1 trowe he were a gelding or a marc. 

But ofliis craft, fru Bcrwike uztto Ware 



• The nameof luflot wit ancicoiJf gIvCB I 
wcUsswuneo. 



THt PUOLtJGtn!, 



E VM €bcr fwlc^ an othtr Pardoricrc, 
I in lii^ male he haddc 4 pilwcbrre 
^-'^, s* %c Cude, was ourc J-JuJict vicl : 
f he h»ddc & gobbet ol the fcyl 
: Sctut Fctcr had whan that he went 
I the ice till Jcfu Criil hlni Kent ; 

I a crciis of T*t*>n/ul of ftone*, 
I in « idu K ;?g« bo»ca. 

klrtdi QiciL iOBc tliYt he food 

^ ^ EtpeHboc u waiting up on )ond, 
X^fod a Cay lie gat him more moncie 
7te than the perfone ^t in monethes eweic; 
Aai ihB» wtCll famed fiattcring and japc^ 
lit Made tlie perJonc and the pepic bis apei. 

Bntrcwely to teHcti arte kft, 
^ «i»vi cJhxr^e a noble eeclc&aft ; 
Wd Fudr he rede a kCTon «r a (lorie, 
teiyeiKA he iang aa oflertorie ; 
r«r eiJ Ibe wttfbc wham that fong was fonge 
HeiiBit preache and wcl afile bi» tone 
IT^viape fiJvrr, a« he right wcJ cotide, 
rfoKe he r^ng the mericr and loodc. 
pv Itwc I told you fhortjy in a clause 
eftaft, th* araie, the nombrc, and eke the cazife, 
/that aJTcmbltd was thi» compagnie 
|Ib Somhvrerk at this gcndJ hodclrle 

E highte The Tabard, faft by the BcUc. 

' it time to you for to telle 
} that we baren u« that tike night 
I we were in that hofteb-ie alight ; 
I alter wol I tell of our wage, 
I aQ lh« remcnant of our pilgrimage. 
it6Hle I praic you of your curtefie 
I ft »c ^Ttnc it not my vilanic, 
an that I plainly fpcke in thie^ matcrc, 
FT* MB yem hir word«« and hir chcre, 
Jlr l> >a |;h I fpckc hir words proprcly ; 
F«r thk ft kficwen a1 fo wcl at I, 
Who fo fiiall telle a Talc after a man 
Hk rnoUc rchcrje as neighe as ever he can 
Ifrsich tpord, if it be in hj% charge, 
M fal« be DercT fo rudely ind lo large, 
1[jk» be mofte tellen hi» Tale untrewe, 
I thii>ge^or fuiden worde* ncwc ; 
ioe Ipftre although he were hh brother; 
I wd fayn o word as an other. 
i %ake hsoifeU ful brode in holy writ, 
I fid ft w»tc no vilanie is it : 
^PVeo faycih, who fo can him rede, 
e w^dtB tnoft ben cofin to the dedc* 
All] praic you to forgive it me 
41 ^tft I fi<BC fette folk in hir de^ee 
fetii ihb Tatf aA that they Ouildcn (^onde : 
Mf mt iA Ihoet ye may well undcrllonde. 
CfcT cbcTV made <mr Hofte us evcrich on, 
I to the fMifCT fctte he 110 anon. 

1 tn with Titaillc of the befte ; 
I waa the win, and wel to drink us lc%* 
Ittil oor Hode was with alic 
I ben a marflial in an ha lie ; 
AlsTt tnao K h eyen ftepe; 

A ^er buff. nc in Chipc : 

\ Void of hi«ft«^^><^^ «iMi tvife, and wcl ytaughf, 
' ^M oC fBMkbood diked right him nsiught : 



Eke thcrto wa« he righf ^ ^^-^ ^>tin, 

And »ftcr foijpcr plaicn ' 

And fpakc of mirthe anp _ " thirigc* 

Whan that \fc hidden madf our rckcnlngt^ 

And faide thus ; Now Lording v*4, tr cwtly 

Vc ben to roe welcome right hertify. 

For hy biy trouthc, if that I fhal not lie, 

< faw nat this yerc fwiche a cmnpagnic 

At ones in this herberwe as is now ; 

Fayn wolde I do you mirthe afid 1 wiftt hofv^l 

And of a mirthe I am right now bcihw/ught' r 

Ti> don jou cfc, and it Ihall coftc you nought. 

Ye gon to Canterbury ; God yoo fpeJc* 

The blifsful martyr quite you your mcdc i 

And wcl I wot a» ye gon by tbc way 

Ye (bapen you to talkcn and to play ; 

For irewcly comfort ne mirthe is non 

To riden by the way dombe a& the fton ; 

And thcrforc wold I maken you dJTport, 

Aa I faid eril, and don you fomc coinfort- 

And if you liketh alJe by on a0ent 

Now for to ftondcn at my jugement. 

And for to wcrdien sa I !Iml you fay 

To-morwe, whan ye riden on the way. 

Now by my fadcrs foulc that is dcd 

But ye be rncry* fmitcth of my hcd : 

Hold up your honde* withouteo more fpeche^ 

Our counfcil was not long for to fechc ; 
U? thought it was not worth to make it wifC| 
And granted him withoutcn more avifc. 
And bad him fey hit vcrdit a& him Icftc. 

Lordi!^«,(quodbc) now hcrkcneth for the bcflc^ 
But take it nat, 1 pray you, in dildain : 
This is the point, to fpcke it plat and plain. 
That cche of you to Ihortcn with youre way 
In this vlagc Ihal tellen Talcs tway. 
To Canterbury ward I mtne it fo, 
And homeward he fhall ttlltn oihtr two. 
Of aventurcJi that whilom ban be faille. 
And which of you that bercih hini heft of aUci 
That is to fayn, that tcllcth in thi* ca» 
Tales of bell fcntcnce md moft fplas. 
Shall have a fouperat yourc aMcr coil 
Here in thi« place fitting by thi^ polt, 
Whan that yc cwiicn agcn from Caiuerbuiy, 
And for to maken you the more mcry 
I wol my fclvcn gladly with you ride. 
Right at min owcn coft, aud be your gide. 
And who that wol my jug^ment withfay 
i'^.z\ pay foralle we fpcnden by the way* 
And if ye vouchefauf that it be fo. 
Telle me anon withouteo wordei mo. 
And I wol erly Hiapen me tberfore. 

This thing was granted, and our othes fwo^ 
With fulglad hertc.aiid praidcn him alfo 
That he wold vouchefauf for to don fo^ 
And that he woldc ben our govcroour, 
And of our Talcj jugc and reportour, 
And fette a foui-er at a certain pri§. 
And we wol rculcd ben at his dcvilc 
In htghc and lowe* : and thus by on aJTcnt ^m 
Wc ben accorded to hi» jugcment j H 

# M, or, Dt ah'} ft biijfb. Iwrb Lit. H^iuf tt hnt, Fr, wt^ 
c3cprc(Ilon' or cuikc fubaul&un 0° one AilciiiU rovcreiisnty 
n tUeuUier. 

A iiij 



THE PROLOGUE* 



And therupOD the wio was fette anon : 
We dronk^n, and to rcftc wenten echc ©n 
tV'ithouten any Icngcr urying. 

A morwc whan the day hcgau to fpring 
tip fofc our Hojle, and was our aller cok. 
And gadcrd us togedcr in a flok, 
And forth we Hdoi a lied more than pat 
Uato the watering of Scint Thomas, 
And thcr our Kofte began hit hor» arcfk, 
And faid, Lord«, hcrkcncth if you left ; 
Yt wctc yoiir forword, and I it record : 
If cir<tD fong and morwc fong accord, 
Lrt fc now who {hal telle the firft Talc : 
Ai ever mote I drinken win or lic 
Who fo I* rebel to my jugement 
Shal pay for alle that by the way it fpenf- 
Kow drawtth cnltc or that yc forther twinuc ; 
He which that hath the fhortcfl fhal bcginrfc, 

Stre Knight, (c]uod he) my maiilcr and my lord, 
Now drawcth ci»ttC| for that ii miti Mcord. 



Cometh ncrc (quod he) my Lady FiioreSk ^ 
And yc fire Clerk ; let be your fhamefaftnei'' 
He Itudieth nought : lay hand to evct7 man. 

Anon to drawcn every wight began. 
And Shortly for tcllcn as tt was. 
Were it by aventure, or fort, or ca% 
The foche is thii, the cuttc fell on the Knight, 
Of which ful hiith and glad was every wight | 
And tell he mud hh Tale as was refon. 
By forwordand by ccmipofition, 
A* yc han herd ; what ncdeth wordes mo ? 
And whan thi» good man (aw that it waa lb, 
A» he that wife was and obedient 
To kepc his forw'ord by his free affcnt. 
He fxide ; Sithcn I (hal begin thi^ gamie. 
What, welcome be the cutte a Qoddcs nao 
Now let us ride, and hearkeneth what I fayS 

And with th U word we ridcn forth omr T 
And he began with a right mery chere 
His Ti&e anoDi and &idc aa yc ftal here. 



) 



THE KNIGHTES TALE. 



WmoM, o olde ftorici teilen m. 

Her was m duk thiit highte Thefeua ; 

QfAdbcztcs he was lord smd govemour, 

lid ta his time fwkbe a conquerour, 

Ttat greter Twas thcr dod under the Tonne ; 

Wfcuiy a richc coatrec had be wonnc* 

flbt ^th bu vrifdom and his chevalric 

We cy a niiLiJ all the tejgnc of FemifuCr 

Hk wliiloal was ycleped Scythia, 

AaA wedded the &^eslhe quene Ipolica, 

Aal tvontgiit hire hoiDe with him to his coatrec 

W«h mochcl glorie and great folcmpnitee, 

AmA eke hire jongc fuftcr Erne He, 

Ab4 t^as witli vidfcorie and with melodie 

la 1 this worthy duk to Athcnes ride, 

<Aiid aH kit bcdl in armct him bcfidc. 

Aodccrtct, if it n'ere to Jong to here, 
1 Wilde bft^c told fou fully the maoere 
H»w wvnacR was the rcgnc of Feminic 
iy Tbeicuft aod by hi* chevalric, 
Mad §i dte gTcte bataillc for the nonet 
ietwii: Atheocs and the Amafonci, 
Asd )mm mflcged was Ipohta, 
iWfairr bardy quenc of Scythia, 
Atfdfll the fefte that wa» at hire wedding', 
J^ of the temple at hire home coming ; 
Bb lA lilts thing I mofte as now forbtre : 
IImk^ G<»d wot, a large fcld to ere, 
Aoi wckc ben the oxen in my plow j . 
I *IV rd&cDent of my Taje is Jong ynow. 
liiaoclcttcn eke non of this route; 
iv efciy Ccla-w tcUe his Tale aboute, 
iid kt A: Qiow who (hal the fouper winnc. 
I Iko li I left I will agen beginnc. 

Tlat du^, of whom I made mentioun, 
Vku ke ^ras ccrmen almoft to the toun, 
bull jlil weLe and in his mo£le pride, 
■*' are, as he caft his eye a0dc, 

; 'ther kneled in the highc wcy 
;pir of ladies twey and rwcy, 
' other* clad in clothe* blakc j 
II a crie and fyirichc a wo they makcj 
I this world n'is creature living 
«cr herd fwiche SLoather waimenting ; 
I <oi thil crie oe wolde they never (^entea 
ni they the resnet of his bridel henten. 

What folk be yc that at min home coming 
Vtnurhen fo iny fcftc with crying ? 
^od Thdeos; have ye fo grctc cnvic 
Of ado hooonr^ that thus cnntpbtne and crie ? 
Or who kath yoo roifbodcn or olf ended ? 
Pfeldk ou:, if that it viav be umcnded^ 



And why ye he thus clothed all in btake i 

The oldcft lady of hem all than fpake. 
Whan fhe had fwouned with a dedly chere. 
That it wm» reuthe for to fecn and here. 
She faydc» Lord, to whom Fortune hath ycvot 
Vii^oric, and at a conqueror to liven. 
Nought grtvcth ui your glorie and your honour, 
Bui wc befeke you of mcrcic and focour ; 
Have mcrcic on our woe and our diftrcfic : 
Some drope of pitcc thurgh thy gentillcffc 
Upon us wretched wimmen let now falle ; 
For ccrte», Lord, ther n'i& non of usallc 
That flic u*hith ben a ducheffc or a qucnc j 
Now be wc caitives, as it' is wel fenc ; 
Thanked be Fortune and hire faUc whele 
That non cftat cnfurcth to be wele. 
And certcs. Lord, to abidcn your prcfcne^ 
Here in thii temple of the goddcffe Clemcace, 
Wc han ben waiting all this fourtcnight : 
Now hclpc u I, Lord, fm it licth in thy might- 

1 wretched wight, that wepe and waiJc tkua. 
Was whilom wif to King Capancus 
That ftarfc at Thebes, curfed be that day g 
And allc we that ben in this aray. 
And maken alJ this lamentation* 
Wc ioften all our hufbondcs at that toun 
While that the ficge therahotiten lay : 
And yet now the olde Creon, wala wa 1 
That lord is now of Thehct the citcc, 
FulAlkd of ire and of Jtjjqiiitttc, 
He for dcfpit, and for his tyrannic. 
To don the ded bodies a vilanic. 
Of allc our lordes, which that ben yllawc. 
Hath allc the bodies on an hcpe ydrawe. 
And will not fpfiVen hem by non alTcut 
Ncyther to ben ybcried nc y brent. 
But makcth houndciete hem in defpite. 

And with that word, wtthoutcn more refplte| 
They fallen grolT, and crien pitoufly, 
Have on us wrcichtd wimmcn Ibm mercy, 
And let our forwe fink en in thin herte» 

This gentii duk doun from his courfer (tcnc 
With hcrtc piteous whan he herd hem fpeke ; 
Him tlioughtc that his herte wolJc all to-breke y 
When he faw hem fo pitous and fo mate 
That whilom wercti of fo gret cflate^ 
And in his am^es he hem all up hcntc. 
And htm comforted in ful good entente. 
And fwore his oth, as he was trcwc knighc^ 
He wolde don fo ferforthly his might 
Upon the tyrant Crcon hem to wrcke. 
That ail tlje pcpU of Gi cc? Ihukle l^^eke 




THE KNfGHTES t A L t. 



How Creon was of Tbcfcu* yfervcd» 

As be thu hath his dcth ful wcl deferved« 

And right ajiewjjWiihoutcn more abode. 
Hit banner he difpUidc, and forth he: rode 
To Thebes ward, and all his hofl be fide : 
No ncr Athenci n'oldc he go nc ride, 
Nc take Kis efc fully hidlf a duy, 
Bur onwitrd on hu way that night be lay, 
Aud fent anon Ipolita the queue. 
And EmcUc hire youngc fiftcr (hene. 
Unto the (oun of Athencs for to dwell ; 
And forth he rit ; thcrr n'aa no more to tcIL 

The red ftatuc of Matsj with fpere and targt. 
So ihineih in his w bite banner laTp:^ 
That ail the felde^ glitcren up and dotin ; 
And by hi& banner borni- is his |>enon 
Of gold ful richc, in which that ther wt* ybctc 
The Miiiotaure which that he flew in Crete 
ThuB rit this duk, thus rit this conqucrour. 
And in hb hoft of chcvalrie the flnur. 
Til that he came to Thebe*, and alight 
Fayrc in a fekl, ther as he thought to Hgbt. 
But flionly for to fpcken of this thing. 
With Creon, which that was of Thebes king 
He fought, and flew him man^ a* a knight 
In plaine hataille, and put his folk to flight ; 
And by afTaut he wan the citcc after, 
And rent ;idoun bothe wall, and fparre, and rafter | 
And to the ladies he reftorcd again 
Tbq bodies of hir houfbondes that were (lain. 
To don the obfef^uie^ as was tho the gife. 

But it were all to long for to de^rife 
Thtf grcte clamour and the waimeuting 
Whiche that tjlc ladies made at the brennmg 
Of the bodies, and the gret honour 
That The feu*, the robic con<iuerour» 
Doth to the ladies whan they from him wente; 
But fhortly for to telle is min entente. 

Whan that thi« worthy duk» this Thcfeas, 
Haih Creon flain and wonnen Thf bci ihus^ 
Still in the feld he toke all night his refte ^ 
And did with all the countree as him lefte ; 
To ranfakc in the ta* of bodies dedc, 
Hem for to ftripc of hamcif and of wcdc, 
The pilloars dide hir bcfincfTe and core. 
After the bataiUe and difcomliture ; 
And fo befell that in the tas they found, 
Tbiu-gh girt with many a grevoui blody wouftdf 
Two yonge knightes Ugging by and by, 
Bothe in on armcs wrought ful rkhely ; 
Of whiche two Arcita highte that on, 
And hd that other highte Palamofi. 
Not fully quik nc fully ded they wcftf. 
But by hir cote armure and by hir gefe 
Th€ beraudes knew him wtl in fpecial, 
As tko ihttt wcren of the blod real 
pf Thebes and. of fuflrcn t^'O y borne. 
Out of the taa the piltours han hrm tome. 
And han hem carried loft unto the tentc 
Ol Thcteus, and he ful fonc hem fento 
T" Atlwi,^ fnr fr> dwctlcn in prifon 
Pi QorauDfon. 

A' rihy duk had thus ydofl, 

^ tukc his hcril, ^d homc ^ VA iaoHj 




With laurel crouned as a eonqucn^nr^ 
And ther he liveth in Joyc and in honour 
Termc of his lif ; what ncdetli wordcs too f 
And in a tour in angaifh and in wo 
Dwcllen thii Palamon and ckr Arcite 
For cvcrmo, ther may no gold hem quite* 

Thus paffcth yerc by yerc, and day by daf^ j 
Till it fell one* in a morwe of May 
That Eittelte, that fayrer waa to fcoe 
Than is the Ulie upon hn flalke g;renr« 
And fre^fher than the May with fiourcs neVy 
(For with the rofe colour ftrof hire hcve; 
I n'ot which was the finer of hero tw«| 
Er it was day, as fhe wsa wont to ^ 
She was ari^n, and all rcdy dighc. 
For May wol hare no flogmrdie a night | 
The felon prikcth every genttl hertc, 
And maketh him out of his Hepe to ft«rte. 
And fayth, Arife, ;ind do thin obrtrs^jiec. 

This maketh £mclie ban rennrtnbranec 
To don honour to May, and for to rife ; 
Yclothed was (he freslbc for toaevifr, 
Hire yelwc here was brotded in a tncflc 
Behind hire back, a ycrdc hmg I geffci 
Aiid in the gardin at the iV iine uprtfV 
She walketh op and donn whet aji hire hH t 
She j]r;i{hereth floures, partic white and rt4^ 
To miikc a fotcl jfcrlond for hire bed ; 
And xi an angel hevenlich fhe fong. 
The grctc tour that was fo thikke and fbtiti^ 
Uliich of the eaAel was the chef doogron, 
(Wlicr as thcfe knightes wenen in pdfbn. 
Of which I tolde you, and tetlen (hiE) 
Was even joinant to U>* gardin waU^ 
Ther ai this Emclie had hire playing, [ 

Bright was the fonne and clere that inorw 
And Palamon, this woful prifoner, 
As was his woue, by leve of his gayftr 
Was rifenf and romed in a chambre on high. 
In which he all the noble citcc (igh, 
And ike the gardin, fut of branches greof, 
Ther as this frcsiie Emelia the jfacne 
Was in hire walk, and rom^d up andd<>un« 

This forweful prifoner^this PaMmon, 
Goth in his ehambre ron ing to and fro. 
And to himfclfc c T - of his WO : 
lliat he was born Jayd Alls! 

And fo befell, by ivtiMun; or cas. 
That tliurgh a window ilnkke of piaay a 1 
Ofyrcn gret, and (quare as any fp^rre. 
He caft his cyen upon Emcliai * 
And thcrwtihat he blent • and cried A! 
A* though he ftongen were unto the herte? 

And with that aic Ar<!itc anon up ftertf* 
And-faide, Cofin mm, what eyletb thei; 
That art fo pale aiid dcdly for to fee ? 
Why cridcfl ihoti ? who hath thee don offeficel 
For Goddes love take all in patience 

• Tliii word hu v^Hdai fcnfe* \n Ch»»»feTt #• li U d«» 

rfifrtH^ ft >jBfiri» >..■ , t(ir 

linic In ^McfrSh.^t »0 

(hnnit or tijirtttlldc 



THEKNTGHTES TALI!. 



I 



tlV fnfim. for k Iniy fioo other be ; 
W^ftioc bath ycrco ttt this adrerfoe i 
Son vUe ikfped or dilpofittoD 
OfSatnmc, \rf iom coci£t«llarian» 
Httib fcvctt ut this« &hhoU|^h wc had it Tworn : 
SoisDil ihe beren whan that we wcr^ bom : 
Wt onttt cndsre; Ch» is tlte fhort atid plain. 
Tka Pkhmnin anfwcrdc, and £iyde again, 
Ce^Mg Cbfibdi of thi« optoion 
*Ihm baft a T^ainc ioiaginatioti : 
Tbii frifoQ cxufirti me not for to criCf 
l>t ] was hurt right now thnrghotit tnxn eye 
laid fnin brrtcr, that woL my banc be ; 
IV ^TmefTe of a lady that 1 fe 
YoaA vt tiic Rrdta ramiii^ to aad fro 
h cnife o£ mU m j oying and my wo : 
I %'tt. wbc'r Ihe be woman or goddeflc, 
Jl^r ToHii is it fbthlf at 1 gefTc. 

Aad tberwttball on kjices adovn he fill, 
Aai fzfde ; Vcntit, if it be your will 
Tmi in tbi> g;»rdm thua to tranffignrr, 
BeiiarB me Ibnrdol wretched crearure* 
Oat of tbi* prilbii helpe that wc may fcape ; 
And if 6> be our dciliiie be (bape 
By etcTVC word to dirti in prifmif 
CHT OCT ^gsagte have fome compaflion, 
TbM. h to lim ybrou^ht by tyrannies 

As>d with that word Arata gan cQite 
miicr a« thit lady romcd tu and fro, 
Asd with tbat ft^ht hire beautc hurt him fo, 
That if thftt Miimof} were wounded fore 
Ai«Cc Ki hmt u moche as be or more ; 
And with a fif h he fayde pitottfly^ 
31lc iredbc bcaute fleth me fodcnly 
ptfbire that roincth tntbe yotidcr place; 
A>4 but t bATC hire mcrcie and hire grace, 
TlBi I muy fteo hire at the leilc way, 
t e'iBB bttt dcd; thern'it no more to fay^ 

Tlis P^lafncMip whan be theft wordeb herd, 
taHfi/touiij be lokcd, and anlwcrd, 
lAeibcr hytSi thou this in entefk or in play I 

m^^q^o^ Arcitc, in emcll by my fay j 
M belpc jne fo, Die Itifl fuU y vcl play« 

Tbia Pftlanton gran knit hi« browcs twey. 
It were, ^U0d he, to thee no ^rct honour 
fm M be faJle, ne for to be tnytnur 
Tottc^tbit am thy cofio and thy brother 
IkMgmc ful ^fCt and echc of q« to othcr^ 
Tbtf orvrr for to dien in the peine 
TTI dMi tbe deth dcp^rtcn (h:J ut tweinCi 
K ij l lKf vf OS in love to hindrc other, 
Jle m »aii other ca^, my Ic vc brother ; 
1^ flat tboB ftiiildcjl trewtly forthcr me 
ii «9efy c» aa I fltidd forthcr thee. 
T\a was tbm oth, and niln olfo certain ; 
1 wot it w«i tb'niu darH tt not with fain : 



TWmfcMi 


jl outof doute, 


AadtowOk^T^ 


Hy ben aboute 


T»W*<iiiy L 


love and fcrvc, 


Aadera^flial 


Ucrtc Ucrvc, 


NSW. 


.trcuc, thou fhalt not fo ; 


IWwit 


ndtoldcthcemy wo. 


Aii»sn> v.^i^.. 


^..i my brother fworac 


Tifenbamaa 


1 bxvc fold btfoine, 



For which thou art yl>ound«i a» a knight 
To helpcn me, if it Ik in thy might, 
Or cUc^art thou fulfe I dare wel fain. 

This Arcita full proudly fpakc again. 
Thoti fhalt, quod he, be rather falfe than ] 
And thou art falfe, I tell thee utterly ; 
For /iar amaur I loved hire firil or thou. 
What wok thou fayn? thou wiftcfk tiat right t 
Whether (he Wert: a woman or a goddcfliie : 
Thin ia afl&r<Sion of holineffe. 
And inin h love an to a creature. 
For which T tolde thee min aventure. 
As to my cofin and my brother fwome. 

I pofc that thou lovcdeft hirv bcfome i 
Wo ft thou not we! the olde clerkeu fawc f^ 
That who fhall give 3 lover any bwc f 
Love is a gretcr lawc by my pan 
Then may be yevcn of any erthly man ; 
And thcrfore pofitif lawc and fwidic decree 
la broken all day for love in cche degree. 
A man moflc ncde* love nlaugrc his hed ; 
He may not flccn it though he fliuld be dcd^ 
^\11 bcfhc maid, or widewCjor ell<^ wif. 

And eke it is not likely all thy lif 
To lion den in hire grace, no more fhal I ; 
For wcl thou woft thy fclven vcraily 
That thou and I be damned to prifon 
Ptrpctuci ; us gaincth no raunfon, 

Wc llrive ab did the houndcsfor the hooe. 
They fought all day, and yet hjr part was none 1 
Thcr came a kyte, while that they were fo wrothc. 
And bare away the honi; betwix hem boihc. 
And thcrfore at the kinges court, my brother, ^ 
Echc man for himfelf, thcr i* non other. 
Love if thee fu{t, for I love, and ay fhal i 
And lothly, leve brother, I hi i is ah 
Here in this prifon moften wc endure, 
And cvcrich of us take his avcniiire* 

Grct was the (trif, and long bttwix him twey" 
If that \ haddc Iciitr for to fey : 
But to th' cflcd. It hopped on a day, 
(To tell it ynu as fhortly as I may) 
A worthy duk that hightc Pcrithous, 
That felaw was to thi-t duk Thcfeus 
Sin thilkcday that they were children Utc, 
Was cotnc to Athencs Im fclaw to vifitc. 
And for to play aa he was wont to do, 
For in thi» world he loved no man {o^ 
And he loved him as tendrcty again : 
So wel they loved, a* olde bokes fiin, 
That wlian that on was dede,fothly to tell. 
Hi* fclaw wente and fought him down in hcU : 
Put of that ftortc lift me not to write. 

Duk Perithouft loved wel Arcite, 
And had him knowc at Thebes ycre by fcre ^ 
And finally, at requcfl and praicrc ^^ 

Of Perithous, withouten any raunfon, ^H 

Duk Thcfeus him let out of prifon, ^K 



►the. 

1 



1 



f The older i^' I' £*Tir, n.io* 



':iy In mijiy plic«. Tbc' 




» 



THE KKlCHTei V A h t. 



Frely to fOQ whfr that hini lift over all, 

»tn fwichc >, gife as I you tellcn Ihalt. 
Thi$ was the forword, plainly for to cAdtte, 
Betwixen Thcfeyiand him ircite; 
That if To were that ^cite were yfouad 
£vcr in his Li f« by day or night, o ilouod 
Id Any countrce of this TbcTcui, 
Ajid he were caught, it w^i accorded thus. 
That with a fwerd he (huldc lefc hit hcd; 
Th<;r wm non other rcmcdic ac tcdc ; 
But takcth his lcv<r,and homeward he him fpeddc ; 
l^ti him beware, hit nekke licth to wcddc. 

How gTCt a for we faflercth now Arcite ? 
The deth he fcleth thurgh his hcrte imitc ; 
He wepcth, waiJcth, cheth pitoufly. 
To flc£n hirafctf he wmittth privcly. 
He faid, Alas the day that I was borne * 
Now tft my prifon werfc than bcfomc ; 
Now it me (hape etcrnaJly to dwellc 
Not only In pur^toric but in hcllc. 
Alu! that ever I knew Ptrithoua, 
"For clle* had I dwelt witli Thcfcy»> 
Yfetcred in hLi prifoo cTcnno ; 
Thau had t ben in bliiTc and not in wo; 
Only the Ught of hire whom that I ferve. 
Though that 1 never hire grace may dcfcrvCi 
Wold have fufftccd right ynough for tnc, 

O derc cofiQ Palamon^ quod he. 
Thin is the vrdoric of this aventure ; 
Ful bliiful in prifon maicfl thou endure : 
Id prifon ? ctrtc* nay, bet in paradile. 
Wcl hath Fortune y turned thee the dife, 
That hafl the fight of hire and I th' abfence. 
For polfible i*, fiti thou haft hire pre fence, 
And art a knight, a worthy and an able, 
That by fome cas, Hn Fortune h changeable, 
ThoQ maicft to thy delir fomtime attcinc ; 
But that 1 am exiled, and barreine 
Of alle grace, and in fo gret dcfpaire. 
That ther n'ia crthe, water, fire, ne aire, 
Ne creature, that of hem maked i». 
That may me heic or doo cotnfort in thii, 
Wcl ought I ftervc in wanhopc and diftrefle* 
Farcwel my lif, my laft,and my gladncflc. 

Alas ! why pUinc^i men fo in commune 
Ofpurveiancc of God or of Fortune, 
That yc^cth hem ful oft in many a gife 
Wcl better than they can hcmfclf dcvifc f 
Som man delireth for to have richcl!^. 
That caufe i» of his murdre or gret fiknelTe ; 
And fom man wold out of hi» prifon fayn, 
That in his honie u of hi« meynie 0aiQ. 
Infinite harmes ben in this materc ; 
We wotc not what thing that we praien here. 
We faren as he that dronke is ai a mous ; 
A dmokcn man wot wet he hath an houi. 
But be nc wot which is the right way thider) 
And to a drtmKen man the way is fltder. 
And certcs in thlh world fo farcn we. 

We fcken fad after fcHcitc, 
But we go wrong ful often trewcly. 
thut we may fayen lUc, and namely l^ 
Thai weAde, and had a gret opinion^ 

C Alight dcapca fro f^in 



Than I had ben in joye and ptrftte hele, 
Ther now 1 am exiled fro my wcle- 
Sin that f may not fccn you EmcJie 

I n'am but dcd; ther n'is no rcmediev 

Upon that other 0de Palamon, 
Whan that he wtft Arcita was agon, 
Swiche forwc he maketh, that the grctc tOI 
Refouucd of his yelling and damourp ^ 
The pure fetters on his Ihinnes grete , 
Were of hl» bitter falte teres wctc. 

Ala* ! quod he, Arcita, colin niin> 
Of all our ftrif, God wot, tlie fnite is thin. 
Thou walkcft now iti Thebes at tliy large, 
And of my wo thou yevcflt litel charge. 
Thou maift, {iih thou haft wiidom and mt 
AlTcmhlen al] the folk of our kinrrfie. 
And make a werrc fo iharpc on thi» ton tree. 
That by fom aventure or fom tretec 
Thou maift have hire to lady and to wif 
For w^hom that 1 muft nedes lefe my lif. 
For as by way of pojhbilitce, 
Sith thou art u thy large of prifon free. 
And art a lord, gret is thin avanuge. 
More than is min» that ftervc here in a cagt : 
For I may w^pe and waile while that \ live. 
With all the wo that prifon may roc yevc. 
And ckc with peine tliat love me yeveth alfo. 
That doubleth all my tourmcnt and my wo. 

Therwith the fire of jaloulie up ftertc 
Within hi.sbreft, and hcnt him by the bene 
So woodly^ that he like was to behold 
The b-OA.-trcr, or the afbcn dcd and cold, 
llien faid he ; O crticl Goddes ! that govemc 
This world with binding of your word ctemCi 
And writen in the table of athamanl 
Your parlemcnt and your ctcrnc graot* 
Wliat is mankind more sin to yhold 
Than is the flicpc that roukcth in the fold i 
For £bin ts man right as another bccft. 
And dwellc th eke in prifon and arreft^ 
A nd hath fiknefte and gret adverfite, 
And often timet gilteles parde. 

What governance is in this prcfcicnoc; ' 
That gikeicfs turmcnteth innocence I 
And yet encrefeth this all my penance. 
That man h bo un den to his obfcrvanc^ 
For Goddcs lake to letcn of his will, 
Ther as a bccft may aU his luft fulfill. 
And when a becft is ded he bath no peine ; 
But man after his dcth motcwepe and pkine«^ 
Though in this world he have care and wa I * 
Without en doutc it mayc ftooden fo. 

The anfwer of ihii Icte 1 to divines. 
But wel I wotc that in this world gret pin^ ii» 
Alas [ I fee a ferpcnt or a thcfc. 
That many a trewc man hath do meichefe, 
Gon at his large, and wher him luft may turn. 
But t mode be n in prifon thurgh Saturn, 
And eke thurgh Jimo, jaloui and eke wood 
That hatb wcl neye deftruicd all theblooi 
Of Thebes, w^ith his waftc walh wide. 
And Venus ileeth mc on that other Jide 
For jaloufic, and fere of him Arcitc 

Now wd 1 i^t of Palaxmia i bie. 



:i 



THE ItNlGHTfiS TAtfi- 



And keen lum in hit prifon ftiU dwelk, 
MA of Arciu forth I wol you tcUc. 

Tbe fofniner pafTcth, ind che Dightci long 
laoefetl doable wi£e the peines ftron|^ 
Bb^ of the lover ac4 of the pnroner ; 
Ib\>c which haih ihe wofuUcr miftctc 
For feoTtly for to fay, thi> P&UmoD 
FcTpetncily is damned to prifon, 
In chaincs and in fctt€r» to ben ded i 
AbI Arcite Im exiled on his hed 
for rrersiore a* out of that contrre, 
Ik nnrcr more he fhal hit Udy frc. 

Yo« loTCTi a.ie I now thi« queHion, 
Wh* haUi the wcrfe, Arcite or Faiamon f 
Tktt om my fc hU Udy day by day, 
Bm *m Mifba moftc he dwellen alway : 
"nvmer whcr him luil may ride or go, 
Ak la hi* lady £hal he never mo. 
Mom tencth ^ you hilr, ye that csm^ 
ft€ I wil tcU you forth ai I began. 

When that Arcite to Thebes comen wu* 
M 06 ft ^f he twth and faid Alat ! 
For Ccn hia Udy (hal he never mo. 
And Chortly to concluden all hit wo, 
So ntochd forwe haddc never creature 
That k or flul be while the world may durc« 
His llcpe, his mctc, hi> drinkep is him byraftf 
That Icse he wex, and dric »• i» a Ibafc 
Hb eycB holwe, and griily to bchntd. 
Hi* hewe fkhnre, and pale a» a£hen cold, 
And SaUtMTf he waa, and ever alone, 
And waahag aU the night, making hit mone i 
Aad if he benk fong or inftrument, 
Tkao would he wepe, he mighte not be (lent* 
<» fithle were hit fpiritct, and fo low, 
Jkmd dtanged fo, that no man coude know 
fb ipechc PC hit voif, though men it herd. 
Aad m hi* gere, for all the world he fcrd 
Ho^fht only like the lovcrt malmdiey 
Of Ereet, hut rather ylike maDic^ 

of humoori melaocolike, 
; hit hed in hit cellc fantaftike. 
MIfrorrfy Htmed wat all up fo douil 
Btk hsbif and eke dlfpoCitioun 
Of lln. thk woM lover Dan Arcite, 
WIkAsU tall day of hit wo endite ? 

Whaa he endured had a ycre or two 
WlcnKl torment, and thit peine and wo, 
JtlMiea, ID hit contree, at I faid, 
Oh a bI^I bi flepe at he him laid, 
Kathaof^ hew that the winged gbd Mercury 
Bdarve htm flood, and bad him to be mery. 
Ha 4epy ycrde in bond he bare apn|ht ; 
As hat hr wered upon hit heret bright i 
Amied WMthis^od (at he toke kepe) 
M he waaflitoxi that Argut tokc bii flq^e, 
Aad fhtd liint that i To Athene^ fhalt thou wende ; 
Ther tt thee IbipcD of thy wo an ende. 

Aad with that word Arcite awoke and ftert. 
How trewdy how fore that ever mc fratrt* 
f^odhe^to Athenci right now wol I tarej 
Me kr 00 drodc of dcth fhidl I not rp;ire 
To fe my lady^that I love and fervc ; 
Ji kire gttfemot X nkkt not to ftcTV% 




And with that word he caught 1 gret fllifltl^i 

And law that changed wat ^ill his colour. 

And faw hi| vifagc all in aaothtr kind s 

And right AioD it ran him in his mind» 

That Jith hit face wat fo disfigured 

Of maladic the which he had endured. 

He Blight c wel, if that he bare him lowest 

Live in Athenct evermore unknowe. 

And fen his bdy wcl oigh day by day. 

And right anon he changed hit aray. 

And clad him as a poure labourer. 

And all alone, fave only a fquier, 

That knew hit privite and all his cat, 

Which was difguifed poure I y at he wa% 

To Athene s it he gone the ncxtc way. 

And to the court he went upon a day. 

And at the g^ite he proffered his fervice, 

To drugge and draw what fo men wold dc^Q 

And Ihortly of this mat ere for to fay n. 

He fell in office with a chamberlain. 

The which that dweU-ng was with Emelie, 

For he wat wife, and coude fone efpie 

Of every fervent which that fervcd hire ; 

Wel coude he hewen wood* and water here. 

For he wat yongc and mighty for the nonet^ 

And therto he waa ftrong and big of honet 

To don that any wight can him dcvife- 

A ycre or two he waa in thit fcrvicc. 
Page of the chambrc of Emelie the bright^ 
And Philofkrate he fayde that he hight. 
But half fo wel beloved a man as he 
Ne was ther never in court of his dcgrc. 
He was fo gcndl of conditioun, 
That ihurghout alt tlie court was his rcnoum 
They fayden that it were a charitc 
That Thcfeus wold cnbaunfe his dcgrc, -^_ 

Aod putten him in worfliipfui fervicc, ^H 

Ther as he might hit vertucs cxercife- ^1 

And thus within a ul\ilc his name is fpronge 
Both of his dcdcs and of his good tonge. 
That Thefeut had taken him fo ner 
That of hit chambrc he mudc him a fquier^ 
And gave him gold to maiiueine his degrc; 
And eke men brought him out of his contie 
Fro yere to yerc fol privcly his rent ; 
But honeftly and (ieighly he it fpent. 
That no man wondred how that he it haddt^ 
And thre yerff in thii wife hislif he ladde^ 
And bare him fo in pecs and eke in werrc ^^ 
Ther n'as no man that Thefeus hath dcrre^ ^H 
And in this bli fie let 1 now Arcite, ^| 

And fpekc I wol of Palamon a lite. 

In dcrkcnefTe and horrible and ftrong prifofl. 
Thit feven yere hath fitten Palamon, 
Forphied, what for love and for diftreCTc* 
Who fclcth double forwe and hcvinefie 
But PaJamon ? that love dillraincrh fo. 
That wood out of his wit he gotii for wt^ 
And eke therto he it a prifoncre 
PcrpctucU, nut only fi>r a ycre. 

Who coude time in Enghlh proprcly 
His martirdom ? forfoth it am not 1, 
Ther fore I paffe at lightly as I may. 
It feU that ill the revemh y^cre, to May , 

J 



1 
I 



14 T H £ K N f a 

The thruldt night, (ti oidc boke« fAyo* 

Timt a\\ thU {lurie LcUui more |)dlia) 

Were it by ^venture or dcftiDce, 

( Ai when i. chtog is IhxpcD it flial be) 

*i*hat ioac after the nudnlght Puldinoo, 

By helping of a frcnd, brake hii prifon. 

And ficcth the cite faftc a% he m^iy go^ 

For he had yeren drinkc his gaylcr fo. 

Of a clarre made of a certain wine, 

With narcocikci and opie ol Thebes fine, [fhake, 

That tXl the aight though tiiat men wold him 

The gailcr flcpr, he might c nor aw^ake : 

And thufc he fleeth ai faftc as ever he may. 

The night wufhort, and fallc by the day. 
That nedcs coil he moiic himfeWen hide; 
And to a profc fafte tber betide 
1^'iih drcdful foot than ftolkcth Pilainon : 
For fliortly thi* was his opinion, 
That in that grove he wold hiw hide all day. 
And in the night than wold he take hi» way 
To Thcbct ward, hi* frendc^ for to pccic 
On Thcfeua to hclpen him werreitf ; 
And ftjortly, cyther he wold lefe hit Uf 
Or winaeo Emelie unto Liii wif. 
Thii It tlie cfied, and his entente (deiti. 

Now wol 1 turncn to Arcite agrin, 
That Heel wifV how ncighe wat h^ care« 
Till that Fortune had brought him in the foarc. 
The bcfy larke^ the meflager of day, 
fiaiewith in hire (nng the m«rwc graji 
And firy Phcbus rtfcrh up fo bright, 
That ail the orient lauglieth of the fi^ht. 
And with his ftremcs dricth in the gir 
The fiiver dropei hanging on the Icvei, 
And Arcite, that it in the court real 
With The fen I the li^ttier principal, 
li rifen, and loketh on the mcry dsy ; 
And for to don hi« obrcmmce to Maj* 
Remembring on the point of hii (kfiret 
He on hift courfcr, Aerting ai the firci 
Ii ridden to the h\dc% him to pley. 
Out of the cottTt^ were it a mile or twey ; 
Aod W the grove ol which that i yon told 
By ftvcEsnirv hit wsy he gio to hold^ 
To makcfi him a gerlond ckf the grcvct, 
Were it of woodbmd of of hatithom lcvc»» 
And hnid he fong agen the fomie Ihcae. 

Miye, with aU thy floors and thf greoe. 
Right welcome be ihoo faire frefhe May, 
I hope that t fotoc greoc here getten may. 
And from his courfer with a luily hcrtc 
Into the grove fal hailily he fterte, 
And iu a path hi weawi up and doun, 
Thcr at by »v«linirc Uiia Palamoa 
Wat in a boil, that no iiiaa might him fc^ 
For fore afcred o^ hk deth was he. 
Nothing nc kcew he that it was Arcite : 
God wof he woid have trowed it ful lite. 
Bnt foth ii faid, goo &thcg arc many yerev, 
That feld hath ryen, and the wood hath eKi^ 
It it ful fair? a man to bere liim even 
For at day mrtea men it unlet Ocven* 
f^ litd wote Arciie of hit CcUw, 
That wa« fk Deigfa to huhm of hit kw. 



ll T E » T A L «. 

For in the buHi he fitteth now ful (ISL • 
Whan tli^t Arcite had romcd all his hii. 
And longvn all \hr mi.Mri, i luHily, 
Into a lludic he t 

As d fj n thcfe lu V L r , . inte geret, 

N»jw in the crop, and now down in the brere^ 
Now up, now doun, as bokct in a well. 
Right as the Friday, fothly for to tell. 
Now fhioeth it, and now it raineth fail ; 
Right fo can gci-y Venus overcaft 
The hcrtcs of hire folk, right a« hire day 
h gcrfuU, right fo diangeth Ihe oray. 
Sclde t» the Friday all the wcke yiike, 

Whaji Arcite haddc yfonge, he gan to lik^ 
And fct him douu withoutcn any more ; 
Alas ! (quod he) the day tliat 1 was bore 1 
flow longc, Juno, thurgh thy crucitee 
Wilt tliou wcrrcicn Tiicbes the citcc t 
Alas I ybrought i| to cotlfufioti 
The blood real of Cito€ and Amphion • i 

Of Cadmijs, which that was tht fuHc man 
Thai Thcbc* buik, or firfte the touu hcg*n. 
And of the citcc firltc was crountd king. 
Of hi^ linage am 1, and his ofsprtng 
By vcray line, as of the iUtk real ; 
And now 1 am fo caitif and fo thral, 
I'hat he that is my mortal enemy 
1 fcrTc him as his fquicr pourely. 
And yi't doth Juoo me wel more fliamc!* 
For 1 dare not bcknowe mm oweo ntme, 
Bnt ther as J was wont to highte Ajrc(t«» 
Now highte T Ahiloftrat nut worth i mite, 
Alas ! thou fell Mars, alas ! thou Juno, 
Thus hath your ire our linage all fordo. 
Save only me and wretched Palamoo, 
That Thcfeus martircth in prifon. 
And (yvcT all this, to flcn me utterly, 
Loire hath his firy dart fo brcnninglf 
Yftikcd thurgh my trewc carefDl hert. 
That Ibapcn was my deth eril than my (bcrL 
Yc flcn mc with your cyen Emclie ; 
Ye hen the caufc wherfore that 1 die. 
Of all tlie remoiant of mlo other care 
Ne fct [not the mount ancc of a tarSa 
So that I coud doB ought to your pteMnce. 

And with that word he k\\ doiai m a tmuc 
A loDge lime, and afterward up fterte* 
This Palamon, that thooghr thurghvut hit h«rie 
He felt a catiic fwcrd fMenty j^lide : 
For ire he cjuoke, no I ule: 

And whan that he had 
As he were wood, with i* :c lini «ja pjie. 
f k Ikrte him i^» out of the buihet thikke 
And fayde ; Falfc Arcite, faUie traitoor wiclSr, 
Now art thou heat, that loYcSt my lady fo. 
For w httot thai t have all thit peine and wo* 
And art my blood, and to my cotifeil fworti. 
As I ful oU have told :hc« herebefom. 
And hail hciapcd here Duk Tliefinit^ 
And fallcly changed haft thy name thtti; 
1 wol be ded, or ellcs thou Ihalt die : 
Thou fhalt not lore my bdy Emelieg 
Bbt I wol love hire only and tin mo^ 
For 1 am PahunoD thy mortal lc 




^m THE KNIGHTES TAXI. i$ | 


^^m thai f no wvpen have in this place, 


Thou mighteft wenen tbarthiK Pjlamdn H 


^■MToa Am «flm by gr»ce. 


III hj4 JighuDg were as wood loon, H 


^^Wit t^ae eythcr thou (hAlt die 


And a.s a cruel tigre wa» Arcite : H 


^^^■mlt Bmt Invcn Hmelic ; 


As wildc bores gan they togcdcr finite, ■ 


^^KiIniv frolt, for thou (fadt not «Aerte. 


That frothcn white a» fomc for ire woo*! * ■ 


^^^k, f 9ii» with fill difpitouK hcrtc, 


Up to the ancle foughte they in hir hUnul ; 1 


^^^p kniTPP, and iud hi* t^^k herd. 


Ajid in this wile I let hem fighting dwclle, 'ft^^l 


^^Hk^tt f^vtlltriioue 3 fwerd^ 


And forth 1 wol orThLfLU& yoti telle, M^^H 


^^Kba; By Ood that fictcth al>ove^ 


The dell i nee, m i n iilr e gc ncral, ^^^^| 


^^^Kiiiofi Jirt fikc xnd wood for lure. 


That executcth in the world over d ^^^H 


^^Ktlwo no wepen haA in thi« pbc«^ 


The purvciaace that God hath fen hefome, ^^^B 


^^Hl never cmt of this grove pace. 


Sii fining it i^ that though the world hath fworne ■ 


^^BlbuMeft dien of miit hond; 


The contrary of a thing by ya or nay, ■ 


Bnke fuf^ctec and the bond 


Yet fomtime it Ihiil fiillcn on a day 1 


MiM thoB fjuft that I have mide to thcc. 


That f'llleth nat cftc in a thotifand ycre 1 


mcray ienA^ tkirikt wei thaf love is free, 


For certainty oar appetites here, ^^^^1 


pul km Hire maugre aU thy mtfrht. 


Be it of werrc^ or pcet, or bate, or lore, ^^^^| 


hlMm *tt B worthy g^ntil knight, 


All is this ruled by the fight above. ^^^H 
This mene I now by mighty Thrfeus, ^^^| 


MMft to darrainc hire by bataille. 


fceiBT trouth, toiDiorwe 1 will not faille, 


That for to hnntcn is fo defirout, ^^^H 


^^HpetiBf of AJiy other wight, 
fHi^oi Sip foon^fT! a* 8 knight. 


And namely at the grete hart in Miy, ^^^H 


That in his bed ther daweth him no diif ^^^H 


BSni harr n i*>r thc«» 


That he n*is c)ad, and redy for to ride ^^^^| 


m£ the fcw \vcr<\c for mc ; 


With huntc and home, and hotindcs him bcfide;^^^^| 


praddttr ol 1 hriii)? 


1 For In hi^ hunting hath he fniche dclitc, l^^^l 


kl«r tll€c . f hy beading | 


That it is all hi^ joye and appetite ^^^^| 


^^ftthxt ^.^_< .vin« 


To ben himfclf the grete haris banc ; ^^^^B 


^^■b chi^ woder, thcr 1 am in, 


For after Mars he fcrvcth now Diane^ ^H 


^^Hirel tave thy bdy as for mc. 


Clere wa* the day, as I have told or lid*, ^^^B 


^^Hbmmi auTwered, 1 grant h th<e ; 


And Thcfeos, with allc joye and blis, ^^^M 




With bis Ipolitla, the fuyre queno, ^^^H 




And Emclic, yclothod all in grene» ^^^^| 


iptfsl oat of iMc thantte. 


On hunting bea thy ridden really t ^^^H 


t' that wolt no felaw hare w:th thee. 


And to the grove, that Aood ther faOf by, ^^^H 


1 h fayde, thai love ne lordfbip 


In which ther was an hart .^s men him tukt, ^^^H 


1 ho thaiilcci haye no feiawOiip. 


Duk Thcfcus the ftreite way hath hold, ^^^M 


ilea tlue Arrite and Piibmon. 


And to the bunde he ridcth him ful right, ^^^H 


t^^A-t^ri snone UDtO the tOUR, 


Ther was the hart ywont m have hit flighty ^^^^M 


^^ftrr It were Aaj I'ght^ 


And over a brooke, and fo forth on his wey, ^^^H 


H^v 1 ^ hath he dight. 


This Juk wot have a cours at him or twey ^^^^| 


l^&BS aad mete to danrine 


With houndes, fwichc as him lull to eomiiiaunJ^^^^H 




And when this duk wa» comen to the taunde^ ^^^^H 


Ehi« hor¥, alope zi he was borne, 


Under the foiine he Inked, and auon ^^^^H 


■e^ all rKU hameii him beforne ; 


He was ware of Arcite and PaUmon, ^^^H 


t{Tor<<, « tiroe and place yfctte* 


ThiiL , as it were holies two; '^^^H 


jtifc anil thit Palamon ben mctie. 


Til wemr n to and Tfo ^^^H 


^^^^ .-.r, tK^ ^,.L.*.r;n h.T- f'T,^.-^ 


•% K. ,,.J. the Icfte aroke ^^H 


^^K 


h fcmcd that it woide felle an oke, ^^^^1 


^^Kt' 


But what they weren nothing he nc wottf ; ^^^^| 


^^Bt^' 


This duk his c'ourfer with hi^fporresfmote^ ^^^^| 




And at a (Icn he w^is betwii bent two, ^^^H 


^^^V bothc il«& boughc^ and the levef. 


And pulkd out a fwcrd and cried. Ho I ^^^H 


^^Hi Here Cometh tny mortal cn<my. 


No mere, up pcin? of leCng of your bed; ^^^H 


MmhSHe he mu{> be ded or I : 


By mighty Man he fhall anon be ded ^^^H 


KcT 1 niotc flain him at the gajvpe. 


That fmitcth any ftrokcthat 1 nny fen ! ^^^H 


KMKfict} n - -'"-' nac mifhappc. 


But telleth me what miAere men ye hen, ^^^^| 


^^^P^ in rhirhev/e, 


That bco fo hardy for to d^r^Acn here ^^^^| 


^^HifeeT r-i ■ -T knewe. 


Without<?n any jugc or other ofBcerc, ^^^^| 


^^Hp good day, oc no filuinj^, 


As though it were in liAes really. ^^^^M 


^^Hkl^cAitet:! TTOfdcs reherfing 


This L^lamon anfwrred h:i{li]y ^^^^B 


^^Bfem Irajpc to armm other 


And faide; Sire^ what ncdeth wordc« mo*? ^^^^| 


^^Khe Vtfe hii owen brother ; 


Wc have the dcih dcfrrved bothc two : j^^^H 


^^Wi with (hirpe fpern (Irong 


Two wofnl wretrhet ben we, two caitivet, ^^^H 


^^bpcdtc ai #t^er iroo4q^ i^J*^- 


1 liat hcu accombrcd of our owcn lives^ ^^^H 



tt 



THE KiriOHTES T Att 



I 

■ ni 

■ The 



I 



dioo trf t Hj^htful lord and jugc 
jcrc us ncythcr mcrcte nc refuge; 
And flc mc firit for Tcinte charitcc. 
But flc my felaw ckc as wcl a^ mc ; 
Or lie liim firft, for though thou know it Iitc» 
ThJjt U thj mortal fo, this is Arcitc^ 
That fro thy lond is biinijhcd on hi« hcd, 
lor which he haih dticrvcd to be ded; 
For thii is he that came uato thy gate. 
And faydc that he lug^htc Philoftratc. 
Ilus tuth he japed dice ful many a ycre. 
And thou haft malted him thy chief fquiere. 
Add this is he that lovcth Emclie. 

For Cth the day is come that 1 {hal die 
I make pUinly my confcflion* 
That I am thilke woful Palamon 
That hath thy prifon broken wilfully : 
1 am thy mortal fo» and it am 1 

toTcth fo hot Emeiie the briglit, 
That 1 wold dien prcfcnt in hire fight, 
Tteforc f axe deth and ray icwife, 
■^ Oc my fclaw in the fame wife, 
both we havr deferred to be fiain. 

This worthy duk anfwerd anon again, 
, Aivf layd, Thi» is a fliort conctufion ; 
YottT Qvren mouth, by your confefll on^ 
Hath damned you^ andf wol it retordc; 
It ncdcth noi; to pine you with the cordc ; 
Ytf fhul he ded by mighty Mars the Rede, 

The quene anon for veray womanhcdfi 
€«i for to wepe, and fo did EmcIic, 
And ill the ladies in the compftgnie. 
Gret pite was it» as it thought hem alle. 
That ever fwlche a chance fhulde bcfolte, 
For gcntilmen they were oi grct cOat, 
And nothing but for love wnt this debat ; 
And fawe hir blody wonnde» Wide and fore. 
And alle cridcn bothe lefle and more, 
Have mercie Lord upon ur wimmcn allc, 
And on hir bare kne« ndoun they falle^ 
And wotd have kift hii feet ther a» he llood, 
TiU at the bfl aflaked wat hii mood; 
(For pitec renneth f<^nc in gentil herre) 
And though he tiift for ire quoke and llcrte. 
He had confidered ihortly in a cli^ife 
The trefpat of hem both, and eke the caufie ; 
And although that hit ire hir gilt accufed. 
Yet in his rffon he hem both cxcufcd ; 
A% thui ; he though te we I that evf ry man 
Wnl hclpe himfcLf in love if that he can. 
And ckc deliver himfcif oat of prifon ; 
And ckc hit hertc had compafTum 
Ofwimirien, for they weptcn ever in on, 

j'N ;.: 

I ^ ' ' rcic, 

Bi:r be a teon both m word and dcde, 
*to hem that be io repentance and drcde, 
A« wcl at to a proud dtfpitoun man 
Thn wol maintctnrr that the firft began. 

That lordbn 

Thnt in f» M 

BufwcjKctti ,rr.. r ,M ,. ^,,,.i^,.. .tftcr OS* 
At^ (bt»nl2 whin hii Ire iv thu* agon, 
2 



He gan to lokcn up with cycn light; 
And fpakc thcfc fame worde* aU on higkt. 

The god of Love, a henedkiU / 
How mighty and how grcte a lord i« he f 
Again his might thcr gainen nun obftaeletv 
He may be clepcd a God for bis miracle^ 
For he can roakcn at his owcn gifc 
Of cverich hertc as that him lift devife, 

Lo here this Arcite, and this Palamon, 
That quitely wcren oat of my prifon. 
And might have lived in Thebet really. 
And wctcn I am hir mortal enemy. 
And that hir deth lith in my might alfo. 
And yet hath lave, tnaugre hir eyen two, 
Ybrought hem hither both for to die i 
Now lokcth, is not thti an heigh folic ? 
Who may ben a fool, but if that be love ? 
Bcho)d fur Goddc4 fake that fitteth above. 
So how they hledc ! be they not wcl araied ? . 
Thui hath hir lord, tlie god of Love, hem ptilii 
Hir wages and hir feci for htr fcrvice. 
And yet they wcnen for to be ful wife 
That fcrvcn Love for ought that may bdaUc* 
And yet is this thebedc game of alle. 
That (he for whom they have thit joUte 
Con hem therfore aA moche) thank aa me. 
She wot no more of alle thit bote fare, 
By God, than wot a cuckow or an hare. 
But alJ mote ben alfaicd bote or cold ; t 
A man mote ben a fool other yonge or old; 
I wot myfcif ful yore agon. 
For in my time a fervent wa& I on ; 
And therefore fith 1 know, of love* peine. 
And wot liow fore it cap a man de&rcine^ 
A<^ he that oft hath been capght in bit laa, 
I you foryeve all hc^ly this trcfpas. 
At requcft of the qucoe that knelcth hot^ 
And ckc of Emelic, my fuiler dcre. 
And ye (hul both anon unto me fwcit 
That never mo ye (bttl my contree dene, 
Ne makcn wcrre upon me night nc day^ 
But ben my frendcs in alle that yc may. 
1 you foryeve this trcfpas every del. 
And they him fvvare hi^ axing fayr and wel. 
And him of lordJhip and of mercie praid. 
And he hem granted grace, and thut he fiyd :, 

To fpcke of real linage and richcflc. 
Though that fhe were a quetie or a princefieg 
£che of you bothc is worthy doutclci 
To wedden whan tirpc is, but natlirlcs, 
I fpeke as for my fuAer Emeiie, 
Far whom ye have tliisflrif and jalooGet 
Yc *vot yourfelf flic may not wcddcn iw« 
At ones, though ye lighten evcrmo; 
But on of you I al be him loth ox Icfe, 
He mot gon pipen in an ivy lefe : 
This is to fay, ihe may not have you botlie^ 
Al be ye never fo jalaui ne fo wrothe. 
And forthy I you put in this degree. 
That cche of you uaO have hit deJLne« 
At \xTn is fliapv, and hcrkncth in wHat wife ; 
Lo here your cndc of that I ihal dcvife. 

My will i> this for plat cuoclufiaiif 
Withoutf n any replication^ 






T H J9 K K la H 
Bu iiLe&^ tdbe it for the hcftc, 
tkh m£ yov flud gem wkrr him k£bc 

imuiQm or datig^rr. 
^f iftf wdbe^ IcfTe or acre, 
i fmilM bnng to htaulred knigbH^i 
rfl/ttmrnp at alle rtglite% 
to^wneia hire bf ba»ii]e« 
beKcce I Y^n witkenttcD faille 

tht^ of yim boihc hailt thact mfghti 
frfitf tii»t whether h« or thdd 
i hU bondrcd, m 1 fpake of now, 
iferay, ur cmt of It^cs drive, 
f f cYCQ fifodie to wbe 
that ForxiMe f«vcth fo hjr a grftce. 
lei AtaJ I nnfcni tn tbk phct^ 
fo wtilf on mf &mU rrv^^r, 
mil lugr ben atiii trewe* 

^tacT endt with me mak^a 
F f9m fie fliall be dcd or uken t 
b clkALefh thii b wcl jfitfd, 
t s^ia, axid hoktctft joti apaid £ 

Wid f oar cofichition, 
brtib lis^tlf ft«w bat Pabnofi f 
fedi «p for joje birt Arcite f 
I 'd tell, 0(r wbo cond it cndite, 
ihst is Disked in the phce 
{Mem hacii don ib fafre a grace f 
tatt lEneet urcut every manerc wight, 
hi4 Ihk Wftb all hir herte» migtrti 
9y ikcie Tbebases often fith. 
bf With comI hdpe and iirtth herct hVtih, 
tsliir kvc, and hoitiewart! nn thtf rnk 
p, wdch hii olfk wakin wide* 
lineii wtMt 4ant k nt^f^e^ 
|i «» idle* tlie fttlpcocc 
^ tim gt^h fb befikf 
w^ ^e Tiftet rcaHf , 
m mdhU thextre ws n wu 

in ail thi» world tfacr n*4» : 
titile waff ibcrate 

and diched all withoute; 
le (hipe, 'm xnarfere of a coinpai 
|rees ^^^ bight of fiity pai, 
fet on o dcfree 
for to fee. 
oflaMtc of marbel white, 
AHcie another in th^ cppofite} 
t^tMihtitjit fwiche a placi 
m ertbe in fb IneJ i ^e, 
lotid tlier fi^as so crafttt maa 
^Kcu-k or arfa nc ti ikie can, 
[kroft ae ker«er of itna|re», 
libsi Ht |if bin mtit and wagci 
^ for C0 flbibeB tnl deviib. 
r ttf das Wt rive mi frefifitt 
|4 taikipoe the fa» above, 
i|p^ Tfiftftf godd^lle 4^ Lote, 
^ «v aoter aAd an nraefrrii;, 
^pnff4, in tbc miodc and in memftfie 
flw oufcid bath right fwiche tnother, 
fcl^lrfy ol |f)M a fotbiT : 

ftdcofatt 





T E a T A t R 

An orjtorie Hcbc fbf fO <^C, 

In wuffhip of Dime of cha^tte^, 

Haih Thd'cua dbn wrought in n/>hl4t wife* 

But yet had i ftJryttten to devil^ 
The no'jlc fcCT^n^ and the portrcieuret, 
Tbr fbspe, fhe cofiteiidfice, of the flgurfii 
Tliat wtf en io thefe oritorid three. 

Fjfft In thercinple of Vcnat Tnaiftfhoii (li^ 
Wfanght on the wall, tu] f)t"U^ rn brholdc. 
The brokeft ftepes, and tke 
The facred fcir<» ati*ithe ^^ ^, 

The liry fir > "Jg", 

That Lt'v.. lif enduren, • 

The otbr* rh it mr cun :iunr» afTuren, 
Plftace and Hope, Defire, Foolhwdioefl>4 
Beautc and Youthe, Biudrfe alid kichefTe, 
Charmei and Force, Lefinge? and Fbtcritf| 
Difpence, A^ftnefle, and Juloufie, 
That wcrcil of yelwc golde* a gerlond. 
And hjdde a caekow fitting on hirr h-ncf, 
Fcflca, tn^brnmenti, and car ncet^ 

LuA and ^^rr^ij, and all the r9 

Of Love, which that I rektn and r> ken fhsMg 
By ordrc wereti petntcd on the wall. 
Ami mo t^-' T -- -'- -^ - - - - ^ 
Forfothly L 

Thcr Vcnu. — i ~ r f— ^ -^i 

Waifhewed on thecal] in pnrtreying, 
With all the gardin, and the luftJncrfe ; 
Nought was foryetten the porter fdelftcfl«| 
Nc NarcifTiis the fayreof yore ajfoti, 
He yet the folJe of King Salomon, 
Nc yet the petf ftrcftfthc of HemiJes. 
Th* eijchantment ' *' ' i and Circe% 
Nc of Tumo* tJ ', ^ corjgej 

1 he ricbc Crefo- , .-.. 

Ihvh may ye f^* rtehefl^, 

Bcaiifc nc lUigbt , ., Hardineflfe, 

Ne may with Venus holdrn ehajiipinie, 
For as hife liHe the world may Jbe gie. 
Lo, all thefe folk fo cnught weie In hire lit 
Til they for vro ful often faid Ala»! 
SufRccth here tfiftmplei on or two» 
And yet I coude rektn a thoufand mo. 

The ftaeue of Vcnu*, ^plorious for t© (be, 
Was naked ileting in the Inl^ge fee, 
And fro the navel doun viM covered w«i 
With wawes grene, and bright as any gin* 
A cilok in hire rtght hand htdde (he. 
And oD hire bed, fuJ femely for to ftr> 
A rofe gerlond fftfh and ^r*! fmcTlmpf 
Above hiH bed birt d -ng : 

Before hire fto<id hire i -, 

Upon hia ftoolders vi'^^'^:^ n .: ne tw<*, 
And blind he ws*, a* it k often fcne ; 
A bow he bare and arwe« bright and kefle. 

Why fhalde I not is wel eke lell yoa dl 
The purtreiturc that was npon the trail 
Within tbe tenipl* of mighty Mart the ft.ede f 
All peintrd wl» the wall in length and brede 
Like to the cftf-en of the gftfly place 
Tliat hightc the gret tcmflc of Mtf» bi Tracrt 
•In tKi)kc colde af d ftxjfty regiof<, 
Thcr at Mirt bM llii fovtr<iflc mtflfi^iu 



tJ 



|g TMEKNIGH 

Fifd on tlie wall wa* peiutcd a foreft. 
In which thcr wonncth ncythcr man nc bcft. 
With kjiotty knarry barrcin tree* old 
Of ftubbci iharpe and hidout to behold. 
In which thCT ran a rombk 2nd a fwough, 
^s thaiigh X ftormc ftiuUI brcftcn cvtry bvugh; 
And do un ward from an hiU under a bent 
rhcr ftood the tcmpk of Man Armipotcnt, 
Trought all of bunicd ftelc, of which th' entree 
Was longc and (Ircite, and ghafily for to fee ; 
And thereout eamc a rage and fwtchc a vife 
'l*hat Jt made all the gatei for to rife. 
The northern bgbt in at the dore fhone. 
Far window on the wall «c wai thcr none 
Thurgh which men mightcn any light dikemc ; 
The dore was all of athamant ctrnav 
r*y clenched otcrthwart and endelong 
^ith yrcn tough, and for to make it ftroog. 
Ever pilcT the tei»ple to fiillcne 
Was tonne<>gTet, of yrcn bright and llicne* 

Ther faw I 6ri% the derkc imagining 
Of Fclonie, and alle tke comp^lTiiig ; 
The cruel ire, red a» any glcde. 
The pikepurfc, and ekt the pale dredf, 
Thtr fmiJt r with the knif under the cloke^ 
The (bcpen brening with the blake fmoke. 
The trefon of the mordring in the bedde. 
The open werre, with woundet atlbibkddc; 
Contekc with blody knif and Ikarp manacc ; 
All full «f chirking wafr that forry place. 
The fleer of himfcLf yet f»w 1 there, 
Hii herte blood hath bathed ill hi* here ; 
The nailc ydriven in the fhode on bight. 
The cold deth, with mouth gaping Mpright* 
Aniiddes of the tcmpk fatt Mifcluince, 
"With difcomfort and forry contmancc j 
Yet (aw I Woodnefle laughing in hit rage. 
Armed Complaint, Outhee», and fires Outrage ; 
The carraiae in the buA, with throtc yeorvcn ; 
A thoufaod flain, and not of aoalme yftorvdi ; 
The uranc, with the prey by force yraft ; 
The toun dcflroied, ther wa» nothing kft ; 
Yet faw I brent the fliippei hoppellcre*. 
The huntc yftrangkd with the wilde here* ; 
The fow freting tKc child right in the cradel. 
The coke yftalkd for all his long tadel : 
Knught vns for^'fte by th' infortunc of Marts 
The carter overridden with hit carte ; ^ 
Under the wheel ful low he lay adouo. 

Thcr were alfo of Martci diviCon 
Th* annerer and the bowyer, and the fmithg 
That forgeth Ibarp fwerdc* on his ftith j 
And all above depeinted in a tour 
Saw 1 a CooqucfC fitting in gret honour, , 
With thille Inarp fwtri over hi* bed 
Yhanj*tng by a fohtil twined thred. 
Depeinttd was the (Isughter of JuUiii^ 
Of gret Ncr« and of Antonius : 
All be that thilke time they were iinbomc, 
Yet was htr deth depeinted thcr hefornc. 
By menacing of Mari, right by figure, 
&• watic ihewed m that purtreiturc 
A* is depetnted in the fercjcs above, 
iRThe iUl be flame M lUct M fef li0TC 



T I 3 T A L R 

Sufficeth on enfample in ftorie^ a1 
I may not reken hem alle though 1 woCdev 
The ftatue of Mars upon a cane fto<»d 
Armed, and loked grira M he were wood,. 
An4 over hi» bed thcr fliinen two figures 
Of flrrret that ben clepcd in fcripturciy 
I'hat on Puella, that other Rubcus. 
Thi» god of Armes was araicd thus ; 
A wolf thcr ftood befornc him at his fete 
With eyen red, and of a man he ete i 
With fubtil pcnCl printed wa« this ftorir. 
In rcdouting of Mars and of hts glaric« 

Now to the temple of Diane the chafle 
A* (hortly as I can f wol mc haftc. 
To lellcn you of the dcfcriptioun, 
Depeinted by the walks up and doim. 
Of hunting and of ihamefafl chaiUtee* 
Thtr faw I hnw woful Califtope, 
Wh^n thai Diane agrcvcd was with herv 
Waft turned from a woman tilra here. 
And iftcr was (he made the lodefterre : 
Thui was it pcintedf I can fay no ferre; 
Hire fone is eke a ftcrrc as men may fee* 
Ther faw ( Dane y turned til a tree, 
I mmc not hire thrgoddelTe Diane, 
But Pcncub daughter, which that highte 
l^her faw I Atteon an hart ymakcd, 
For vengeance that he (aw Diane all naked : 
] faw how that his houndes have him caught. 
And frcteii him, for that they knew hun naugjb 
Yet pcinted was a litcl fortherniore 
How Athilante hunted the wilde bore. 
And Mclcagre, and many another mo. 
For which Diane wroughtc hem care and wo* { 
Thcr faw t many another wonder Itorie, 
The which me lifte not drawcn to mcmork* 

This goddcfle on an hart ful heyie fete. 
With fmak houndet all aboat hire fete. 
And undemethe hire feet flic hadd<e a molie, | 
Weaing if wju, and Ihuldc wantn folK. 
In gaudy grene hire (latue clothed wat« 
With bow in hond, and arwcs in a caa« 
Hire eyen cafle (he ful low adoun, 
Ther Pluto hath his derke regioun* 
A woman travailling was hire beforne. 
But for hire childe fo longe was unbome 
Ful piioufly Lucina gan fhc caU, 
And fayed ; Hclpe, for thou may eft bede of 
Wcl coudc he peinten lifly that it wrought. 
With many a florcin he the hewe« bought. 
Now hen thefe U(kes made, atid Thefcua 
That at his grctc coft arrajcd thus 
The temples, and the tliratre evcridcl, 
Whan it was don him liked wonder weL 
But ftint 1 wol of Thefeuft a lite. 
And fpcke of Palaraon and of Arcite, 

The day apprechcth of hir returning. 
That evtrich Chuld an hondred knighte* briil|^ 
That hatailk to derrcinc, as I you told ; 
And til Athene! hir covenant for to hold. 
Hath everichol hem brought an hundred hlU^ 
WrI armed for the werre at aUe nghtes. 
And fiktrJy ther trowed many a man 
That ocYCf Hthea that the world begaa^ 



THE KNiaHTES TALE. 



I 



Jb^eo rpeke of knighthood of hirhoad, 
A« tcr *» God hath mcked fee and lond, 
iTi* o£ fb fcwic Tu noble a cumpagnic i 
For mtry ^ri^^t that loved chcvalnc, 
JM vtttc ^ han j, piiTitut nime, 

Bkk prm. I rif^ht !>rn of that j;:ime» 

ifaiwd »..^ iLitn ihjit thcrtocbofen wi*, 
I^ if tber Xcll tQMmorwc fuch a c^% 
Tc lanWcu we I that every lufty knight 
Tkv lovtih ^r tf«io»r, mnd hiich hj& migbl| 
Were it m J^ng^Idond or ellcfwhcf , 
TlMTf wroki hir chaakcA wUicn to be ther* 
To Oght lor a ladj^ a hn^tiuitt / 
It w^r a iufty fifhr« for to fc. 

And right fo (cr ten thcf with Palamon. 
Wwlk kim tlicT wcQten kxiightcs many on ; 
Sam ««|-beTi armed in id habergcoa, 
^•i ii a brell plate, and in a gipun ; 
Amd fcm -wo] liaYC a pair of platea large, 
.Am lam wol have a Prucc (held or a targe ; 
Sam wol lien a.rnied on ht^ Icg^e* welc, 
As<i hmTC ui axe, and foine a mace of ftdc. 
TWr a*c» no newc ginfe that it D*ai old. 
Acmed Uicf wcrcn at I have you totd, 
Bvcvich after hi» opinioct. 

Thcr Rxatfl thou fc comine with Palamon 
lumfelf, the grcte lung of Trace *, 
tt hU herd, and manly wa» hti face ; 
oerddi of hi» eyen in hii hed 
They (fcrwedcn betwizen yelwe and red, 
Aad &€ % gHfibn loked he about, 
Wiak Iccmped herci on hi» browt« dout ; 
^ MiiMri grct, his bratmes hard and fLrongf , 
Ki ftoitldrc« brode, hii armei round atid loogc i 
Aid at dire gutfe wa^tn his contrec, 
Mla^e npoci a char of gold flood he. 
Wkfebsre white bolle« iii the trais. 




ofcocc armure on hi« harnais, 
iil attic* fxiwc, and bright ai any gold, 
lit Ii4ic a bereft fkin, cole-blake for *jld. 
liili^gc here was kempt behind hii bak^ 
Jmy rsvcDe» f ether it ihonc for bUke. 

I of gold arm-gret, of huge weight, 
I hed late ful of flooca bright, 
rIalMiaaiid of diamantf. 
iacharther wen ten white atauns, 
lod mo, u gret a^ any flcrc, 
the Icon or the dere, 
I liim, with mofcl fail ybound, 
iih gold, and torett^ Hied round. 
' lordet had he in hii route 
ffeU wtj, with hertet ftcrne and floute. 
i Arcila, in f^oriet ai men find, 
CoMtritis the King of Indc, 
' : hay, trapped in ftele, 

k cloth of gold di:(prcd wcle, 
like the god of armcs Mar« ; 

It of a doth of Tars 
^ perles white, and round, and grctc; 
I* of brent gold new ybctc ; 
A mactr^rt apoo hii fhouldrti. hjnguig 
Brtx-M of mbiei ncid, ai fire fparkling ; 
JSicriffc brre 1^ riogea wa* yronnc, 

m* fclwc, a^ gUttrcd ii ihc fbonc; 




Hifi nofc wai high, hi» cycn bright c!crit)| 
His lippes round, his colour waa fanguin, 
A fcwc fraknes in hi* face yfprcint, 
Betwisen yblwe and blake fonidel ymeint. 
And ai a Icon he hia loking caHc, 
Of five*and-twc;nty y ere his age [ ctfte ; 
Hia herd Was wel begonnen for to fpring. 
His Tois was as a trompe thondering ; 
Upon his hede he wered of laur;r grenc^ 
A gerlond fresihc and lully for to fenci 
Upon his bond he bare far his deduit 
An egie taxhr, as any lily whit : 
An hundred lordet had he with him thcrt» 
All armed favc hir hcdes in uU hir gerc, 
Ful richcly in allc manere thinges ; 
For tmftcth wel that erics, dukes, kingt«| 
Were gathered in this noble compagnic. 
For love and for cncrcfc of chcvah ic. 
About this king ther ran on every part 
Ful many a tame Icon and leopart. 

And in this wife thefe lordcs all and £bme 
Ben on the Sonday to the citee come 
Ah out en prime, and m the toon alight. 

This Thcfeus, thi«du)c, this worthy knigh% 
Whan he had brought hem into his citee. 
And inned hem cverich at his degree. 
He felleth hem, and doth fo gret labour 
To cfen hem, and don hem all honour. 
That yet men wcnen that no mannca wit 
Of non cftat nc coud amcndcn it. 
The minllndcie, the fervicc at the fefle. 
The grcte ycftes to the moft and Icftep 
The richc array of Thcfcu? paleis, 
Ne who late firft nc lafl upon the deis. 
What ladicii fay reft ben or bell dancing. 
Or which uf hem can carolc befl or iing, 
Ne who mofl fclingly fpeketh of love. 
What haukts fitten on the pcrche above. 
What houndcR Hggcn on the floor adoun. 
Of all this now make I no mcntioun. 
But of the cffcd, that thinketh me the bcfle ; 
Now comcth the point, and herkcncth if you ItSkc^ 

The Sonday nightc or day began to fpriugi, 
Wlian Falamon the larkc hcrdc ling. 
Although it n'erc not day by houres two. 
Yet fang the larkc» and Palamon right tha 
With holy hcrte,aiid with an high corage 
He rofe, to wcnden on hia pilgrimage 
Onto thr biifsful Citherea benigoe, 
r mt:ne Venus, hduourablc and digne.^ 
And in hire houre he walkcth forth a pat 
Unto the liftcs, ther hire temple was. 
And doun he kncleth, and with humble che^ 
And hcrte fore he fayde as ye Ihul here : 

Fayrcll of fayre, o lady min Vcnijia, 
Daughter to Jove, and fpoufe of Vulcanut, 
Thou glader of the Mount of Citherou ! 
For thilke love thou haddcft to Adon, 
Have pi tee on my bitter teres fmert. 
And take myn humble prair at thin hcrte. 

Aha ! I ne have no langage to tell 
The eflc^e nc the torment of min hell ; 
Min hertc may min harmes not bcwrey j 
1 iun tu coufuk ^imi 1 guviot fay : 

>9 



TTH E K N I G H T £ 3 T A L #♦ 



I 

I 



I 

I 

I 



]6ut mf r^y, Udy bright ! that knowcfl welc 

My thought, and fcrft what harmcs that I f«k : 

Confider all this, »rd ntc upon my fofc. 

As wifit ai I Otjd for evermore 

Emforth my might thy treYre Trrvant bf , 

And holdcn wcrrc alway with chdlite ; 

Thiit make Imin avow fo ye mc hdlpe, 

t kcpc (luught of annc» for to yetjk-, 

Ne axt I nal it»-tuorwc to hive vidorie, 

Nc rcnoun in thh cas tic vaine gloHe 

Of i^riAtf armcs, hluwen up and douo, 

But J wold have fuUy foffirffirrun 

Of Emelle, and die in ncr'fcrvifif j 

Find rhou the mancre how, a,iid in what wiic, 

f rekkc not but h may hettcr be 

To have vidorie of htm, of f hey of me 

Eo ihat I have my lady in mm irmei ; 

l"or though fo he that Mars h god of Armcs, 

Your Tcjiue h fo grcte in hcvcn above, 

That if you liftc I ftid Wcl have my Igtrc. 

Thy temple wol I worfhip evermo, 

And on thin aotcr, wher t ride orgo^ 

I wol don facrifice, and firt^ bete. 

And if ye wol not fo, my lady fwetef 

Than pray I you to-morwf with a fpcrc 

That Arcit* mz thurgh tHt hcrtc here ; 

Than rckkc I not whin 1 have Jod my iLf 

Though that Arclta win hire to his wif» 

This iitfaerfiTe^e i"'^ 'ttI^ i,r my poiiTr, 

Wve mc ray love ! Udy dcrc 1 

When th« ori Jon ! F^j^tmon 

His famficc he did, aiid thiit aticn, 
Ful pitcuily, with allc eircuinllancc% 
All tcU f not as now hi« ohfcrvanct t. 
But at the JaU the ftafne of Ycnm i>iokt% 
And made %f ' Ity that he rokc 

Thai his pr;i r [ wa» that day ; 

For though I J. u ..^^ . .-.twcd adeUy, 
Vet wift be wel that j^ranted w»8 hi» bone. 
And witli glad herte fie wrnr him home ful fofic. 

The thridde hour itrcqual that HaUmon 
degsn to Venus temple for tn gun. 
Up rofii the fonnej and itp rofe Pmelie, 
Aod to the temple of Diunc g^m hie. 
Hire maydcn* chat fhe thidrr with hire 1ad4e 
Ful redily with hem the £re they haddc, 
Th* encexcCr, tike clothef, tad the rcmenant all, 
That to the facfUke lairgen ft alt. 
The homes ful of mede, af wn^ rhr vnf.^ • 
Ther lakked noog^ht to doii h 
Smoking the tempc, ful of cl ' , 

Thi« EnicJic wtfh hert* debonaipc 
Hire body wetfbe with waiter of i wefl^ 
But how ihe did hirt- rite f dart fiot tet}. 
Bat it' be any rtttng m general* 
And yet it were a game to hcren iUj 
To him that mcneth wtl it n'erc nu charge 5 
But it t« good a w'^ ■" •" '■ ^' lirg^i 
Hire hnpht here V . mitrefled all ; 

A eorotiif of a gn tal 

t)pofD hire hed was fet fui tayre Rfld mctc : 
T«o fire* on the autcr gnn (he bete, 
Aod did hit* thingei annen m»y behold;] 




hetr 



Whan kindled was the fire, with pftoui ctietif 
Unto Diane flic fpokc as ye may here i 

O chaile goddrJTr of the wodes grcne» 
To whom both he-yen, and crthe, aodiee«li 
Qticne of the regne of Fluto derke and lowe^ 
Goddefle of maydeiit, that min hertc haft kii< 
Ful many a yerc* and woft what 1 deCtre, 
A* kcpc mc im thy vengeance and thin ire» 
That Alteon nboughtc cruelly ! 
Ch^ goddtffc ! wel wotefl thou that I 
Dcfire to hen a mayden all my lif, 
Nt' never wol f he no love nc wif : 
I am Jthou woft) yet of thy compagnte, 
A mayde, and love hunting and veneric. 
And for to witkcn in !hc wodes wilde, 
And not to ben a wif and be wjtJ) childe ; 
Nought wol I knowen compagnie of miin ; 
Now heJpc nie, Lady, fith you may and can. 
Fur though three fomic? that thou hail in 
And Pulamon that hath fwiche love to me, 
'And eke Arc itc, thai lovcth me fo fore^ 
Thi* grice 1 p«iic thee witbonten more. 
At feiide loTC and pees b^twtx em two. 
And fro mc tome away hir hcrtcis. fo. 
That all hir hote love and hir defire, 
And ail hir htPy tonuent and htr fire 
Be qoemtf, ortonicd rti another place. 
A»id if fo be thou woh not do mc grace^ 
Or if my dtftiacc be thapen fo 
That I fhal nedci have on of hem twr. 
As fendc mc him that mo ft deftreth me. 

Beholdc, goddefie of clctJC Chaf^ite, 
The bitter tercf that on my chekes fdJJ : 
Sin thou ait mxyde, and kcper of us all, 
My maydetibe^ thou kepc and well coai^rt^* 
And while 1 live a mayde I wol thee fervt. 

The fires brennc upon the autcr clcrc 
Whik- Emelie was thu» in hire praiirc,, 
But fodmly ihe f-^ a Cghte queinte; 
For right Anon on of the fires quiente 
And quiked again, and after that anon 
That other fire was qncinic and all agotJ, 
And a9 it qtidnte it made a whifteling 
A* d<»n thcfe broadei wet in Inr brenniiig;, 
And at the hrondes ende outcan anon 
Aft it wcrr blody drope* many on ; 
For which fo (on agift was fimflie , 
That (he w»» wtl nci^h mad, and gan l« O-iff^ 
For Ihc ne wide what it fignificd. 
But only fur the fere ihut (he cried 
And wcpT,ih3T it wai pitec for to here. 

And there with ill Btaiie gan appt tc 
With bowc in bond, right as an hunff rcfH^ 
And fayde, Dtntghtrr, ftint thin ht ■ 
Amoii^ the goddrs highc tt 1$ affc: 
And by eiernc wond wrinen and conu rmtd, 
Thuu ihalt be wedded unto on of thy 
That ban for rhve fb mochcl care and wo. 
But unto which of hem I nay not tell 
Farewcl, for here t may no longer dwell; 
The fire* which that on min autcr hreunc 
Shal thcc dtclaren er that thou go henxic 
Thin avcnturc of love as in this caa. 

And wnh thu ysQid ikc znvcs in the cij 



«r tefcdUfe clatt«tieB hit sad ring, 
Md fianik lbs wcoc aod aiAcU i r«nilbia^ 
f«r which thb Ejncjie aitonUd w««^ 
Jbid6fde, Ultec amoucittih thk| aImJ 

^ ( ta thj iUTporitioa, 

! goth inon the ncit* way. 



Thma^bm^eS^^* 


M no wore to hy. 


TV MXie h«* 
Of fierce Kl 

r«hiaih' 


Ifoiwiag thM 
vv Milted it 
1 hi* lacf iiifc 




in 



Oiros^ Uutl. UiAi in the rcgnri cuid 
if XncK JMOourcd an, znd lord yhnM, 
AiihiA sg» c«<ry regnc and cirery land 
ttsBC^ftU the hiidd 10 tluo limrd, 

t «f toe atf f item* Cti:7iElc ' 
k fiMt wy ^ ' - •?--' '-r-rvr, 

7>ygoihed» ik^i t chine, 

Haa prak I thee to nrw>e erion my pioc» 
lor tkolhipeifhc arH rhtlkc horc: fire 
iiHiiclltliou w! r rirfu-e 

WWiBrth»t t|^r' julcC 

Of %re yertkgir Vcnub irtrit^v .%nti irec, 
^t Iksre » innca It thy tviUr; 

I h$4 crnv^t thrc io hti Im^ 
1 thee licgil^ by hit wit, %lan I 
t liSke UfW^ei^ thsl wu tho ic thin lif rta 

I at iv<I upon my pciJ5*t fmcrtf, 
im joagm an ' / u thou woll, 

i«i, li 1 trow, % I c ndcd flwit 

llv (PV 1PA# Oi 1 I tire ; 

^fteditfdbtb V WQ endure 

I IkKeceth Ojcma wricmcr J Unke or fictt; 
I 'Mwd I Wo« or flw me mercy Kcte 

^^ wkh A««l|fth€ win hinr io the plaet| 
Mi«itl woi withomeB hclpc or gnice 
tt % IK 17IST rr^T ilrcxiffthc aof »^Ue| 
^WhEipBr rwr ia my bxtaUIc, 

XrMht^' rcr^ncd thee, 

ii«4Maia£tii rhmc, 

^4^«l^l I t'- . vidarle; 

^WUMnvirakUic any LhJii be thefbrkw 

il mj pbct-« «ad ahrAy m«A Ubouren 
htf^cUMK9 and in ihf crmfNit Urstig ( 

JlKtfjB-lby tc-ii^^lc' I w^al mv hanrr hoog* 

WcvLrm - 

I tv»4 i»^Wi»f; tiict Tuid ; 
'Jul avow i wul be Hkid 
, mj h«9c tjhac h*ii9t«h Umg adoun, 
' T«t l«lc aoii oCtfifioiui 

\ wd th«« yt vc, 
A«twhik Ilivew 
" "T^*-^ "ny forwet fiire* 
im more, 

re that houge, 
1 ful Ut, 



The (ires brent npao ibt aut«r hrig^ht 
Thar it pan .ill the icmpje far to light ; 
A fwois fourU aiiofl tJtc grouod u^ ya/. 
And Arcita anos hh hond up haf» 
^od more enfccnic i<;ca the Ijrc htf call. 
With otlicrntci mo^iind at the Uft 
The ilauie of M^k bt^gan hi* hauherke riOj^ 
Aiid ^ith iPiat louj3 he herd a murmuring 
Ku) low a^nd din;, that laid thui» V id one ; 
For whtch he yr.' ^ M- h<iiiour and jcWiiu 

And thu4 WH hnp« wd to fari 

Afciic &II04 uiu .u,:u If Tare 

A* fajTi as fovl it of ti.» brixHtd fanne. 

And right anon fwiche llrtf thcr ia bcgoim^ 
For thilke granting in the hevcu iibove 
J}/t%vix<:a Veiiui the god diltc of X^oVi\ 
And Muff the Ikrnc y^od Armipotcnt^ 
Thit Jupiter WW htiy it to fkcM^ 
Til hit I 
That k.ic\ , 

Fond in I l 

That he ji I every j»>rt» 

As footb 1 I f^ret »«riAtagv; 

la cide it both nviidom and ttfaj^e t 
Men ma>' thr pM nrtt^r^noc but iwt otit-rcdc* 

S^itu^ti' If fW and drcde. 

Albeit tji ind» 

Of alltJi. - ■ 

My d* I ' '-tunifj, 

My !"■■■ ■ ■ "■^t'-.x rji .'A r ulUC 

HaN Q wot aiiy man. 

Mir' i- : • ir> fin- fa- Co WIH^ 

Mih I'. tL .i^c, 

Min istir byihethrotSy 

The murmiirc^ a>iid ti»c chcrtca rcbclitU|r, 

The ;;Toynin^ ind tbe pcivc ejaipoyfomcg. 

I dtj VLn;;cAtHc ikod pjciae corrc^liulk 

While I dwell in the figne of the L^^n, 

Mm h thr ruiiic of the highelialk% 

Ihc ftUJing Gj the ioiire& aittd of the wallc| 

Up ji the piitictiir ^r ttie carpenter j 

I Qc w S;iiniba in ChakiDi^ thr jtiler* 

Min ben «il9 ihe AiAlidiei CoMe, 

The ddke trcf«ot and the cmllc& old« ; 

Aly lokbg 19 iha fader of PcAilencr. 

Now we pc Ao nM*e, I fii^ do diJiMflce 

That l\lj»w^n» thul ia Ihia vmcn kaigbt, 

Sbal b»vc hit J4dy« as thou haft lum highc 

Thogh M.i4« fiiai help hii kaifrht yet nailwlasp 

B^tw ijccn ycm ihtr mot fpmctime be pcci : 

All be ye not ci< o cnmplorion 

Ti:at caiiTeth :iti day fwiclie diriCoii. 

I ani tl^in aycl, tcAj at thy wtAI ; 

Wepe now no more, i ihall thy laft ftilfiO. 

Nqv^ woi I fioocca of the guidei aboWy 
Of Mars and td Vetms goddeiFc of Ix^tc, 
And ttUen you as pjainjy a« 1 can 
ThcgTct eflfeei for which tliat t hcf^stn. 

Orel V'Mi the fcfte in Athenei thilkc day, 
And die the lufty fefon of that May 
Made every wij^be to ben in Iwichc plefancr. 
That :ilJ that Monday juflcn tlicy and dance 
And fpcndeJi it in Venui highe fcxvife ; 
put hy the canfe that they 3iuld«a ftU 
J3 iij 



h« 



THE KMIGHTE3 TALE. 



I 



Efly a-monrc for to teen the fight. 
Unto hir retle wcoten ihcy at night. 
And on the morwc whan the <!ay gan fpring 
Of horsand harnris ooifc and cluttering 
The r wa« in the)ioQclric« all aboute, 
And to the paleis rode ther many a route 
Of lordet upon ftedcs and palfr«i»» 

Thermaycft thuu fee devifing ofhamds 
So uncouth and fo rich c» and wraiighi fo wcle 
Of goldfmithry, of brouding and of ftcle ; 
The iWldcA brightc, tcllcrcs, and trappure*, 
Gold'hcwcn hclmev haubcrket, cote annures ; 
Lordesin panementcs on hir courfcrcn, 
Kni^htes of retcnue, ind ebe fqiiici e», 
Naihng the fperc*, and hclmca bnkeUng, 
Guiding of (heldes, with kincr% Ucing ; 
Thcr a& ncde i» they wcren nething idel ; 
*rhc fomy ftcdci en the golden bridcl 
Gnawing, and fafi the armurc* alfo 
With file uid hammer pnking to and fro; 
Yemen on foot, and conimunct many on 
"Wtth fhorte flave«, thickc a» they may gon ; 
pipes, t7onnpeft,nakeres, and clariouneft. 
That in the battaillc blowen blfwjy foune« ; 
ThepalciA fill ofpcpk up and doun. 
Here three, ther ten, holding hir queflioun, 
Dcvming of theft Thcban tuiightcf two, 
Soni iiy den tbu», Ibm fay dc ii ftalJ be fo ; 
Som hekJm with h'm with the bkcke herd, 
Som with the ballrdf fom with the thick herd j 
Som laide he lokcd grim^ and woldc 6ghte ; 
He liath a fparth of twenty pound of wightc. 

Thui was the halk full of dcTining 
XtOiig after that the fonne gan up fpring. 
The grct Thcfpui that of hii flepe U waked 
'Withfuinflralcie and noife that was maked, 
Held yet the chambre of hi» paleLs ri<.he. 
Til that the The baa knigbto bothc yUche 
Honoured were, and to the paleis frtte. 

Duk Thefeuiii at a window fette. 
Araied right a»he were a god in trone 1 
The pcple prcf^lhtblderward ful fonc, 
Him for to fcen and don high reverence. 
And eke to herkcn hi« heflc and hi» Icnteocc. 

An hcraud on a fcafTold made an O, 
Til tbat the noife of the pcple wa» ydo. 
And whan he faw the peplc of noiie al ftiU 
Thuji Ihcwed he the mighty dukc4 wiU. 

The lord hath of his high difcrctiofi 
ConHd^red that it were ^t^ftrudtion 
To gcntil blood to fightcn in the gife 
Of mortal bataillc now in this cmprtfe ; 
Wherefore to (bapcn that they (huloot die. 
He wol hit firfte ptirpo* modifie. 

No man therefore, tp peine of lofle of Uf, 
Ko mancr Ihot nc poUai nc fhort knif 
Into the lift C4 fend or th * ' 
htc fliof t fwcrd for to 1 nt biting^ 

Ko M^ nc draw nc bct^ . l t • • ^ -Je ; 
K& no man (hd unto hi* felaw ndc 
But o eoiir», with a iharpe ygrounden fpere j 
FoiiT if ^iim Jill on fr.ot. himfcH to were : 
And he that it at mefc) lef (hal be take. 
And not il«aic, but be bf ought unto the ft^ke 



Th:it fhal ben ordeined on eythcr Ude j 

Thider he Ihal by force, and ther abide t 

And if fo fall the chevetain be take 

On eythcr (idc, or ellei ileth hi» make, 

No longer Ihal tlie tourneying ylaft, 

God fpcde you ; goth forth and lay on fa(l : 

With longe fwerd and with mafe fighteth your &^ 

Goth now your way ; thi« in the lordc« will. 

The voii of the peplc touched to the hcves, 
Se loTjdc crieden they with mcry fteven^ 
God favefwiche a lord that ii fo good. 
He wilncth no dcllrudiou of blood. 

Up gon the tTompe!»and the melndie. 
And to the lifie& rit the compagnie 
By ordinance, thurghout the cite large. 
Hanged with cloth of gold and not with 
Ful like a lord This noble duk gan ride. 
And thelc two Thcban^ upon eythcr fide, 
Ajid after rode the queue and Emc]ie^ 
And after that another compagnie 
Of on and other after hir degree ; 
And thu* they pdTen thurghout the citce. 
And to the Ufict comen tliey be time : 
It n'as not of the day yet fuUy prime. 

Whan fet was Thefeu» ful riche and hie, 
Ipolita the queoe, and EmcUe, 
And othtr ladies in degrees aboute. 
Unto the fetes prefcth all the route* 
And wcftf^ard thur|jh the gate* under Mart 
Arcitc, and eke the hundred of his part, 
W ith baner red, is cntrcd right anon | 
And in the fclvc moment Pakinon 
Is, under Venus, cfl ward in the place, 
Wjtii bancr white, and liardy chere and lice. 
In all the world to feken up aod dotto. 
So tven without voriatioun 
Ther n'crc Iwiche compagnie* never twcy ; 
for ther wai non fo wile that coudc fey 
That a|iy haddc of other a vantage 
Of worthinelTe, ne of cftai nc age. 
So cyen were they chofen for to gelTe i 
And in two renge* fayrc they hem drcfTei 
Wlian that hir names red were cverich on. 
That in her uombrc gile were thcr non, 
Tho were the gate* flictte, and cried wa« loude, 
Do now your devoir, yongc knightci proude. 
The heraudcft left hir priking up and doun. 
Now ringin trompei loud and clarioun. 
Thcr ii no more to fay, but eft and weft 
In gon tlie fpcrc* fadly in the reft j 
In goth the fharpe fpore into the fide t 
TUct ice men who can jufte and who cati ride : 
Thcr fliivercn jhaftei upon fhelde* thickc ; 
He ftleth tliurgh the hcrtc fpone the pricke : 
Up fpringen Ijpcres twenty foot on highte j 
Out coo tlic fwerdc^at the filver brighte r 
The Itclmca they to-hewen and to-lhredc ; 
Out breft the blod with fleme ftremen rede ; 
With m;ghty macei the bonet they to-brefte; 
He ihurgh the thickeft of the throng gan threfte t 
Thcr ilombleo flede* ftrong,and doun gmh all^ 
He ralicLh under foot aa doth a ball : 
He foinetli on his foo wlili a trooctu^on. 
And bp hua huriicth with hbhors adoun : 



THE KMtCHTES fALl* 



*» 



liedy U Iron, and fitk ytalce 
hod, and brought unto the ilak^« 
ml was, right thcr he mufl i^idci 
lad U on th^t other fide : 
tiine doth hem Thefeus to rcffc, 
Itirefli znd drinken if hem left, 
i a day hao chilkc Theb&nci two 
lact and iwrtiught cche odier wo : 
I liacli ecfac other of hem cwey. 
I BO cigje in the vale ef Golaphey, 
bt hire whetpc h AoTe whao it is lltti 
DO the bttnt as ii Arcite 
llierte opon thu Palamon; 
kmsrie thcr n*H fo felt leon 
tied i*t or for his hungrr wood, 
I ppey dclireth fo the bloody 
IDQ CO Jleeo hi* foo Arcite : 
ki ftrokes cm hir hclmei btte; 
eth %»Ioo<l on both her Gdw rede, 
kie an code ther i» of every dede ; 
le focmc unto t^ - '^ nt 
B^ King Mtncr < , i 

iroon, !• he f«u|^... .. ._ .\rcite, 

k hia fwcrd drpe io his flcth to bite i 

tlie force «( twenty is he take 

^and ydrawcn to the (lake : 

jibe ref<QU»of this Palamon 

Bgc King Licnrge i» borne adoun ; 

^ Emetn^t for all his flren^the 

out of hi» fadel a fwerdes Icngthc, 

lum Palasioxi or he were take : 

n aottj^t, he wm brought to the ftakc ; 

I7 hittte might him helpcn naught * 

Ic ibidcQ whan that he was caught 

I and eke by compofition, 

Ibrweth now but wofuJ Palamon, 

pfftc no more gon again to fight ? 

lan ihai Thefeus had feen that fight 

t folk thAt foughieu thus eche on 

i. Ho? no more, for it is don. 

6 trewc jugc and not partic. 

f Thchcs fhal have Emtlie, 

f bi> fortuflc huth hirr fay re ywonoe* 

i dicr n a noifc of pepk begonne 

t oC thk fo loud and high withall 

4 that the liiles Ihuldcn fall. 

I can now fayre Venus done above ? 

^Ui Ckc now f what doth thisqtiene of Love 

pcth fo for wanting of hire will 

> lure tern in the liftes fill : 

de,l am aikamcd doutelces. 

imu fryde, Daughter, hold thy pecs : 

atli hi^ wilj^hii knight bath all his bone, 

f tarn bed thoa (halt ben cfed fone. 

trofnpoores with the loud minflralcie, 

randea, tiut fo loodc yell and crie, 

hlTToye for wele of Dan -arcite. 

rkcneth me, and ftcnteth noifc a Ute, 

r a niiraele thcr befell anon. 

ificrcc Arcite hath of hiihelme ydon, 

I a courier for to (hew his face 

belli codclong the large place, 

» opvrard upon this Emelic, 

i^^ain hm cafe » £r»dlich eye, 



( For women, as to . ^ .ken in commune, 
1 hey folwcn ail th,' i^vour of Fortune) 
And w^> all his in cherc as his in hcrte. 
Our of the ground a Fury infernal fterte. 
From Pluto fent, at rcqucfte of Satunie, 
For which hiu hors for fere gan to tumc. 
And lepte aGdc, and foundred as he lepe; 
Artd er that Arcite may take any kepe 
He pight him on the pomel of his hcd. 
That in the phcc he lay as he were de^. 
His breil to^broften with bis fadel bow; 
As blake he lay as any cole or crow, 
So was the blood yronnen in his face* 

Anun he was y borne out of the ptadp^ 
With hertc fore, to Thefeus paleis ; 
Tho wat» he corven out of his hamcts. 
And in a bed ybrought ful fayre and blive^ 
For he was yet ia mcmoric and live^ 
And alway crying after Emclie. 
Duk Tbtrfcus with all bis compagn'e 
Is comen home to Athens his citee 
With aUc biiflc and grct folcmpnite. 
^l be it that this* venture wasfalle 
He n'oldc not difcomforten hem alle* 
Men fayden eke that Ardtc fbal not die, 
He (hal ben he led of his mabdie* 
And of another thing they were asfayn, 
That of hem alle was ther non yilain, 
Al were they fore yhurt, and namely on. 
That with a fprrc was thirled his breft bone* 
To other woundes and to broken armcs 
Sam haddcn falvcs and fume hadder ' irmet; 
And ftmiacies of hcrbes, and eke fave 
They dronken, for they wold hir lives have ; 
For which this noble duk, as he wel can, 
Comforteth and honourcth every man, 
And made revel all the longe night 
Unto the ftrange lordes, as wa* right, 
Nc ther n*as holden no difcomforting 
But as at juftcs or a tourneying ; 
Fur fojhly ther n*as no difcomfitnre, 
For falling n*ts not but an aventurc ; 
Nt to be lad by force unto a Hike 
Uoyoldcn.and with twenty knightei take, 
O pcffon all alone, withoutcn mo, 
And haricd forth by armes, foot, and too. 
And eke hii ftcdc driven forth with ftavcs. 
With fiMPtmtn, bothc ycmen and ckc knave^ 
It was arettcd him no vilatue ; 
Thcr may no man cicpen it cowardte* 
Fiir which anon Duk Thefeus let eric. 
To llentcn allc rancour and cnvie. 
The gree as wel of o fide as of other, 
And cythcr fide ylikc, as otben brotbcrj 
And yavc hem giftes after hir degree. 
And hcldc a feftc fully dayes three 5 
And conveyed the kingc» worthily 
Out of hi a toun %. joumee largely \ 
And home went every tnan me rigbte wayj 
Ther n'as no more but Fare wel, Have good day* 
Of this batailk 1 wol no more enditc. 
But fpeke of Palanion and of Arcite. 

Swclleth the breft of Arcite, and the for^ 
Encrefcth at bit herte more and more, 
fiUi| 





«4 


TlffKNiaHTESTA^.!. ^ 


1 


The clotcrcd blood i" 


.ir inv I.Tln-.-rnft 


Au, ;,i J 

Then.: ; 1 


1 


Corrumpeih, ftAci - 


■ ft, 


f 


That ne^thtr vch 


iiing, 




Ktf driiikc of I 


ii^ b^jpi*ifi. 


pf loule* find i not in i 




ITic vcrtoc V . 


^ 


^'c mc luft not th' op:? 


1 


Troth like v rioc . 


'^^'' n 


pfhcm,th' tai wiicrtJicjrdi^cJki 


Ke may d^ veoiin 


.xpeU; 


Arcitc is f !<iulc gic. 


The pipcf r>f ' 
And every 1. 
1» (bent with 


in. 


Now wol i lpC**P lor 

Shn^^htl^aiirjpill .nan, 


• 


H«m giiineth 


id * 


Saou .] the corpt a.w%f^ 




Vomit upwdi 


-•■■.- .-.^ .-i i 


Wiiat : ^ -, ' ., [th the dav. 




All ii to-broikii tiiiiiLc region ; 


To tcUcti how ihe wcp Wh - 




JNjiturc hath ^w no 


daniu3;uion : 


kFnr in fwichc ca> v. nmncn h , 




And ceruinly thcr nature wol not wcfchc. 


Wlun that bir houiUcj i..i*i4^4>, J 




Farcwel phvftkej go 


bcrc the man to clicrch€. 


That for the more par^ ii £q, J 




Thjsii.: 


1 die J 


Or dies fallen in f Lw, Mm 




ForwJ. 




That attc lafb c. ; dk. ^H 




And Piij^unijri, r i,.r. 


Ml 'Juie ', 


Innnitc bentli' '* tcrf^ ^^| 




Than fayd he thfi», 


.iffcr ^crc. 


or oldc folk 4UJ ca ^H 




Nought may th 


,n njya bcTt^C 


In all thr touD la. .^..... „. _.. ...l»an; ^^M 




Drclarc o point yi 


np 


For him thcr w^pcth bo the child and man t ^H 




To you my la-l ,\i; 




.So grcl a wtpjui: n-;ii tJicr n-'ii ccrt-ifa ^^M 


1 


But 1 bcqutt! 


ly goi 


Whanii^^ aa 


To yonabuv^ 




To Troy:., 




Bin tJiat my Hi ut j 


src. 


Cratchinjf of chwkci, i- 




Ahi the wol aL 




Why woldeft thou be li ^r\c^ 




That 1 i ' 


,'i .^ k'UgC f 


Ar«d haddtft gold ynwu^h arai ijsiciit. 




Ala*th 


. ' 


No tnjM Duuht gladcn thi* Puk TticffUA 
Sjvin^T Ilia yldc fcidcr Eg«US i 




Alas acJ|i,♦^.,. 


!■: ! 




Alas mm he,': 


wif! 


That knew tPu> wurldt ^ trauTmuUticN], 




Min bcitci ; 


1^ r 


A ' he Iti.'I Il-'i !j .'^ kh^uiip-cii ur» anl iiou;i, 


1 


What i 


to U-ivc^ 


J^'y^ 


Uow%^. 


<jri4vc 


And 11 




Alone wiiiiGi. 


IC. 


Right a^ ihi.r diCii nt ¥eir n ) 




Firewel my 1 


Emeliel 


That hr tic Uvrd te crth in f 




And foftc tak 


' y 




Porlovf of G 


iftr 


In all t . 




I have hcr^ 


"11 


This vn>nu 11 i.s. iiiu A ii.Liw'-iii.Lir EU-i ^ij wn. 




Had ftrif and 


<>p 


And we ben pilgrim C4 pifliiig to and fro ; 




Forlofcof yi 




©tth ift an end of tv. -* v. r hies fore. 




And" Jupiter 1 


-i^t 


And over all t L mochel fHOM 




To fpekcn t»f . 


')■» 


To this JIlcI, fi.; .li.jr: 




Wjth ail 




Thcp 




That k 


And kuJtfhthcde, 


Du'. 




'Wifdow 


■ ' ■"'..■-':'., 


He .afl-ih liuw >^iicr K .:ufc ' 




Frctlon- , 


- ' ' ^ 


Of >rood Afjate may b. i ; , 


m 


Sr iM.M.r , 


'^ 


Aiuiokemo-i ' A^^^^l 


1 


A*:', -r-.v^ 


ivnow ( nin 


Ai^d at die i , 


1 


Sc, uoft*i; ; 




1 hat thcr a. ;.. .. .^. ... .^.. . -^ 


1 


TJfat fcrvr-th 


UX; 


iHadden foriryc the Ujtailk I c, •! 


1 


And if that c * 




Ihat injb^liUvc jirov . t'^. . 


1 


Foryctc not I 


, 1 


Tbcir^hcbaddc : ., |l 


1 


And witji I 


ie UtSTftii: 


M/iComnt^iict. afi'' ^ . i'irc^, | 
!Hc wi,;. ' luc, ui v^Wh Jiv wlliwe * 




For from hj* f«u *^p fo li^ lifi^il ^^ come' 




The coW tif rieth tiu* had him *>v?rnonic ; 


lOf fun Tit aUacmmphir} || 
Aiid let an. -ad bcW« fl 




And ye! ' 


! : . ■ 1- 




The vii 




Theokeaolr v | 




Onl- '^' 




In enlpont, \i L J ,x .»iu»i n/i l.. u^^uiit. i 




VI. 




Siii o£c£i& wuh fwifte feet they cenoo ^ 




Oai-„ 




And ri^C anon ^t his rortMn^xulcinrnt, 




ft|M^ 


'- cth : 


And after tl : it 




ittSTji 




After i h' rf , 






With ckth 0. ^14 4^ ^iUli fcUi be Mdikt ' 



THE KNIGHTES TALE, 



UfC he cUdde Ardtc. 
_ _ I Were Ilia glovca wliltr, 

I his^od a croime of burcr groic, 
i&tt honii m fwf rd fal bright and kenc* 
ii him bare the viXagc on the l)cr&« 

p^ the pep- en him allc^ 

lil wiA d^) ; t him to the h^Ik| 

I of the crjitfij *xid the foun, 
; thi& w of 111 i hcban Paiamaii 
r bcxd aod ruggy a^y hcrci, 
I hjikcy y dropped zilJ with terciy 
f o^cr of wepicg Emclie) 
': of 4II ths compagnic. 



^■^. 




coble and i 
ikt fibril 



V idle I 
t ihcfc IU-ck4 grt.t .uui uiuU 
I ioiky of which ou bare hit fhdidf 
fckts f|)£rc up ia hi» ' ! ; 

Irid4e b&rc vriLja hw^ irkcU, 

■H gold uta^ die <,^«uti»i 



im ionh ;i |>^ 


-Xi|l cfwrc 


lltllC Vr-JVC. 4: 


. r here. 


[oot; 


were 


kr ih 




Kacke p;i^, 


; <d Aiid \y44^, 


Immu the c. 
^wt wail ^1 V 


maifttr ilris^ 


ndcr hU 


Inf the lame is 


n'« 




, 


b tiiat oshet Uc 




prSels in bi^ ^" 


«-"i 


lef boay. 


vine I 



OQ wir ^ _ ^ 

' ikat c^iic wofui iLm^Uc 
? in hond, .-l* wj> that tTqtr the giie^ 



.»v..^ ^»i^ -:*.».- .traqghtj 
ighc* were fo h;odct 
Ukd miwiy 4 Wr. 
Jbcxw ifi^ tire was mated vp «q highte, 
kr the noraci how the trees hightc'i 
br h, afpe, alder, holm, poplcre, 

|r, is:, alb, bojLjChc^iltin, Imd, Jaurcre, 

Lcum, beche, hafci, ew^ iiviii>pukK, 

ere £cid, fhai not be toid for ipc j 
llie KQildei rn/iQcn up ax^d douii 
■ M htr habitaticmii, 

Cthc -^ alle 

for frPB wh*a the wood gan fallej 
the ground Agaft was of the light, 
oot wect ta fee ilic fonnc bright ; 
the fire waa couched ftrft with ftrc, 
with dric ftiekei dove n a-tlire, 
wirh grenc wood and fpiccric, 
Itt with doih of gold 3^<i with pcrnct 




And gcrbndj bang^ing with fu) tnanf a flour, 
TTit! mirre, the enceqle aifo with fwcte odour; 
No how Arcita liy aroong all ihi», 
Ne what richeire about hii body jj ; 
Kc how that Emiiie^ as was the gife. 
Put in the fire of funeral fcrvice ; 
Nc how Ihe fwouned whaji ihe made the fiq^ 
Nc what fhe fpake, ne what was hifc deilrc) 
Nc what jewclks men in the fire caile. 
Whan that the fire was grct and brente fafte; 
Nc- how fom call hir fhcld and foin hir fpcre^ 
And of hir vellimentc* which ilicy were^ 
And cuppca full of winc, a»d mlk, and bifMi4» 
Into the fire, that brent a* it were wood; 
Ne how the Grekes with a huge route 
Thice times ridcn all the Ere aboute 
Upon the left bond, with a loud £boutlag« 
And thrics with hir fpcrc» datcring, 
And thries how the la^lici gim to crie ; 
Ne htnv' that led was homeward Emdie ; 
Ne how Ardtc is brent to aihen cold; 
Ne huw the lldiCrwake • wai yhoid 
All thiltc night ; nc how the Grckci play ; 
The waVc-pTaiei ne kepc 1 not to fay ; 
Who wrelllcd bed naked, with oile enoint, 
Ne who that bare him befl in no disjoint i 
I vvoll not tellen eke how they all gon 
Home til] Athenei whan the play ii don. 
But fhortly to the pfunt now wol 1 wende. 
And maken of my longc Tale an cade. 

By proccife and by lei^gtbe of certain yei^ 
All (lenten is the mourning and the tcru 
Of Grckcs by on general slfcnt ; 
Than fcmeth rae thcr ww a porlcniient 
At Athene* upon certain pointH and cai 5 
Amonges the which points yfpig>k<D waa 
To have with certain contrce^ alliance. 
And have of Thcbanes fully ohdfanee : 
Fitr whidi thif noble Tbefrus aaoa 
Lctfcndcn after gentd Palamon. 
UnwitI of him what %v'a» the cayfc and why ^ 
But in his bbcfce clotheE^ forwc fully 
He came at his commandment on hie | 
Tho fcntc Thefeut for £ me lie. 

Whin they were fct, and hufbt was al the plac^ 
And Thcfcus abiUcn hath a fpace, 
Or any word came from his wife br^ft 
His cyen fet he ther as was his left, 
And with a fad vifagt: he fik<?d fkill. 
And after that righi tlius^hc fayd hi«wilL 

The firAc Mover of thccaufe iihovc, 
"Wlian he Jirilte madt: the fayrc chainc of Icure, 
Grct was tli' dTcd, and high wa& hi§ entemj 
Wdl wifl he why and what thcrof he mentis 
For with that f^yre chaine of bve he bond 
The fire, the air, the watr*", and the loud. 
In certain bondcn, that they may not flee : 
That tdmf prince ^d Mover ^\ui (%iiod he) 

• Thecuflrin orwaicliin^ vnWt dead bfMlle^ (fice, Stv.) 
K prob*blv very ancknt In lhi» coufHrv. Jt wat ahurcil, 
»< nttxcr w«kc^ and vigtW wci*-. »cc Dtt Ci»fe in ¥, IV- 
tsltdi. "' Jn *il.|;lilJi» circi cnrimr* fT'Oi nigrum vct«»irur 
** chnrejie ct C4*itikn»e, rcciitaro liidi ctaiji turfe« ctfi* 




THE KNFGHTES TALI. 



Hath ftibUftit, In thi* wretched woHd adotm, 

Ccrtiin of daycs and duration 

To ail that arc cng^endrcd in this place, 

Over the which day they nc mow fioi pace, 

Al mow they yet the dayci well abrcgc* 

Ther ncdcthnon autoritcc allege, 

For it U prcvcd by experience. 

But that mc luft dcclaren my fentence. 

Than may m^ii by thh ordrc wcl difccme 

Th It ihilke Mover ftabJc it and etcmc ; 

Wei may men knowen, but it he a fool. 

That every part derivcth from his hool ; 

For Nature hath not taken his begioning 

Of no partte nc cantel of a thing. 

But of a thin^ that parfit ti and liable^ 

Dcfccnding fo til it be comunpablc ; 

And therefore of hia wife purveyance 

He hath fo wel bcfet his ordinance. 

That fpeccs of thin^i^ex and progrcHioiil 

Shullen enduren by fuccefhons. 

And not etc me, wi thou ten any lie ; 

Thi« maiefl thou nnderfland and fecn at eye, 

Lo the •ke, that hath fo long a norifhing 

Fro the time that it ginnctb firft to fprinjf, 

And hath To long a lif, m ye may fee. 

Yet at the lafle wafted is the tree 

Ccmfidercth eke how that the hardc (lone 

Under our feet, on which wc trcdc and gon, 

It waflcth a» it lieth by the wey ; 

The brodc river fometime weieih drey ; 

The grctc tounet fee wc wane and wcndc t 

Than may ye fee that all thing hathc an code. 

Of man and woman fee we wcl alfo. 

That nedc* in on of the termc* two, 

Tha^t is to fayn, in youihe or ellca age. 

He mote h« ded the king as fhall a page ( 

Som in his bed, fom in the depe fee, 

Som in the large fcld, ai ye may fee : 

Thcr helpeth nooght, all goth that like wey ; 

Than may 1 fayn that alle thing mote dey. 

Whatt maketh this but Jupiter the King, 

The which is prince and caufe of alle thing, 

Converting alle unto his proprc wille. 

From which it is derived, foth to telle i 

And here^gaines no creature on live 

Of CO degree avaiUcth for to ftrivc. 

Than is ii wifdom, as it thinketh me. 

To makcn vertue of occeffite, 

And take it wel that we may not cfcbewe. 

And namely that to u» all ti> dcwe ; 

And whofo grutcheth ought he doth folic, 

And fcbel is to him that all may gie. 

And~cettatt]ly a man hath moft honour 

To dicn in his excellrnce and flour. 

Whan he is fikcr of hn goode name \ 

TbtO hath he don his fi^nd ne him no (hame ; 

And gladcr ought his frcnd ben of hisdcth, 

^ffhsm with bopour ia yoklcn up hit brcib| 



I 



Than whan his name appalled is for tge. 
For all f^r^'cttcn i« his vaffalage : 
"i han if* it bcft as for a worthy fame, 
To dein whan a man is betl of name. 
The contrary of all this is wilfubicffc. 
Why grutchcn wc ? why have wc hcvineCe, 
That good Arcitc, of chivalry the flo^r, 
Dcpiirtcd is, with dutec and honour. 
Out of this foulc prifon of this lif ? 
Why grutrhcn here his cofm and his wif 
Of his welfare, that loven him fo wcl f 
Cati he bcm thank f nay, God wot, never a del 
Thit both his foulc and eke hcmfelf offend. 
And yet they mow her luflres not amend. 
What may I conclude of thisUongc fcric, 
Bur after forwc I rede us to be merie, 
Atid t^anken Japitcr of all his grace; 
And er that we departen Irom this place, 
I rede that wc make of forwes two 
O parti t joyc laAing evcrmo : 
And loketh now wher moil forwc is hereifla 
Thcr wol I firflc amen den and begin. 

Sifler, (quod he) this is my full affcnt. 
With all th' avis here of my parlement, 
i hat gcRtil Falsmon, yoarowen knigbe. 
That fervcth you with will, and herte, and i 
And ever hath don fin you Brfl him knew. 
That ye fhall of your grace upon him rcw. 
And taken him for hutbond and for lord : 
Lene mc your hand, for this is oure accord* 

Let fee now of your womanly pitec : 
He is i kinges brothers fomc par dee ; 
And though he were a pourc bachelerc. 
Sin he hath fcrvcd you fo many a ycrc. 
And had for you fo grct advcrfite. 
It molle hen confidered, levcth me, 
For gentil mercy oweth lo paffen right* 

Than fayd he thus to Palamon the ICnight ; 
I trow ther nedcth Utcl fermoning 
To makcn you aJTcnten to this thing* 
Cumeih ncr, and take your lady by the hond« 

Betwixen hem was makcd anon the bond 
That highic Matrimoine or Marbge, 
By all the confcil of the baronage ; -- 

And thuf with allc Miffc and melodic ■ 

Halh Palamon ywcddcd Emelie ; m 

And God, that all this wide world hath wrougin 
Send him bis love that hath it dere ybought. 
Far now is Palamon in alle wele. 
Living in bU0e, in richelTe, and in hcle. 
And Emilie him lovcth fo tcndrely, 
And he hire fervcth all fo gentilly. 
That never was ther no word hem bctwcDQ 
Of jaloufic, nc of non other tene. 

Thus cndeth Palamon and Emelie, 
And God lave all this hjr^ compagnie. 



1 



I 




THE MILLERES PROLOGUE. 



'Waal ifczt the Knight bad thtii bii Tale told« 
1ft dl the compogsic n*at ther young nc old 
Tki£ he «e laid it was a noble lloric, 
^^kad VOTtlty to be drawen to memortc, 
Aad aafeciy the gcrmilcs cvcriich on, 
0» HoAe ioucli and fwort, So mou 1 goo 
thi goUk ari^t ; unbokcl<;d u the male ; 
Let kc new who flull ul another T«Je» 
f«r trcvcJy tltS9 game ii wel begociiic : 
Hhv tdkth yc lire Monk, if that yc conne, 
lliiM pliii to qvitm with the Koi^htcft TaU. 
• Tkr MiUex, tJui (or-dronken wa& jJlpalc, 
iotiai itsikcthet upon hU hon he lac. 
Be tt okd svilcn neither hood ne hat, 

^|k almlcsi no m«ci fur hli curtcfie, 

■hi IB Piktcs vo)« he gan to eric, 

Vdlftdfircire by amies, and by blood| and bones, 

F t OB • noble 1 ale for the noac», 

I WjA which I wiU now quite the Kntghtct Talc, 

f Our Hode faw that he wa« dronkcn of ale, 
Afidftyd, abide, Robin, my Icve brother, 
betacr man ihaiJ tcU u* firft another ; 
id let Uft werken thriftily. 
Bf Goddiet Ibule (quod he) that wot not I, 
f«f I mtl fpekr, or elks go my way. 

I Ok |ioltc afifwertd. Tell on a devil way ; 

K IOns art a fool ; thy wit ia overcome. 

^w Hmt berkcfieth^ quod the Miller, all and fome 

f Mm M 1 make a protcftatioan 

I 73m I ana drcmke, I know it by nty foun, 

I Aid therefore if that I milTpcke or fay 

I Woe it the aic of Souihwcrk 1 you pray i 

f fv 1 wotl tcU a legend and a lif 
Maih of s carpenter and his wif, 

I B»w tint a derk has fct the wrightcs cappe. 

H The Rrve anfwerd and faidc, Stint thy dappc 

H la be thy lewed dronken harlotrie. 

' jk Ji » lifiDtf and eke a gret fohe 

To i^cireo any man, or htm defame, 

' ckc U briPgco wiTca m fwidic » aamc $ 



Thou mayft ynough of other thingr^ fain* 

This drunken Miller fpakc ful fonc again. 
And fayde, Levc brother Ofewold, 
Who hath no wit he is no cokewoid ; 
But I lay not therefore that thou art on ; 
Ther ben ful goode wives many on*. 
Why art thou angry with my Tale now ? 
t tiavc a wif parde a& wcl as thou, 
Yet n*oldc 1 for the oaen in my plough 
'1 akcn upon me more than ynough 
As dcmtn of myfelf that I am on ; 
I wol beLcveu wel that I am non. 
An hufbond fhuld not be inquifitif 
Of Goddrs privite nc of his wif : 
So he may linden Goddcs foifon there 
Of the rrmcnant ncdcth not to enqucre. 

What fliuld 1 more fay, but this Miller* 
He n'oldc his wordes for no man forbcre^ 
But told his chcrles Talc in his mniiere, 
Mc thinkcth that 1 (hal rcherfe it here ; 
j\nd therefore every gentil wight I pray. 
For GoddcH love, as deme not that I fny 
Of evil enteot, but that 1 mote rehcrfe 
Hir Taks alle, al be they better or werfe. 
Or cllcs fatfcn fom of my materc ; 
And therefore who fo liil it not to hrrc 
Tumc over the Icef, and diefe another Tale, 
For he Ihal find ynow bothe grete and fmak. 
Of ftorial thing that touchcth gcntiUcfl'c, 
And eke moralite and holineflc. 
Blaracth not mc if that ycchcfcamis; 
The Miller is a cherl, yc know well this, 
So was the Rcve, (and many other mo) 
Ai)d hartotrie they toldcn bothc two. 
Avjieth you now, and put me out of blame ; 
And ckc men Ihuld not make ernefl of game. 

♦ After this vcrfc the twci (<Mctviia% »rc fnuod In fo mt> 
ny mfT. thai perhapt (hey uugbt to have beca interted i\ 
the text 

And ever i ihauf^nd Knod acetnt on baildc. 
ThMi ksowett tbuu wd but If ibuu b^ uaawle* 




THE MII.LERES TALC. 



THE MILLERES TALE*. 



I 



▼Vmilom thcr wai dwnclling in Oxcnfordc 
A riche gnof, that ifcftcs helde uj bordc. 
And of hii cnft he was a carpenter. 
With him thcr was dwelling a poor fcolcTp 
Hud terned art, but all )U9 fantalie 
Wa* turned for to tcmc aJlrologi>, 
And coude a certain of concluHoni 
To dcmen by interrogation&» 
If tliat m^ ijkcd him in certain kram 
Whao ^tit men fliuldc have drought ttr dies 
Or if men a&Qd him what Ihdde falle [Biouivj ; 
Of every thtng, J nu^ not rcken alic 

This dtrk wn* clepcd Heady NicboUi; 
Of dcrnc love hecoude tndof folaa; 
And thcitohc wsa flic and fd pnvc. 
And like a maid en mthe iof to &, 
A chambrc hiMl he tn that hoftek ic 
Alone, withouteaaoy campsgoie, 
FuJ fctiHy ydight with herbc* fiite» 
And he himLIf wm fvirctc a» is the Tots^ 
Of licoris, or aoy fetcwale. 
His ahnagclle, and bokft gm ind froak , 
Hltadrelabrr^ kiigiog for Kit art, 
Hii Mgritii ftoaeaf, layta fainc apart 
On fhrj«ei couched at hit bedik^i htd» 
Hii preffc y covered with a fa]din|r red 5 
And all above t;xr lay a gay fantric^ 
On which he made on nlghte* nricJodie 
So fweicly, that all the cham W nag^ 
And AftgfJtu ad yiijmtm he f«ig; 
And after that he Cang tlir kingu pote ; 
Fill often bleifcd wa* hii mcry throte. 
And thiii ihji fweic dcrk hi% time fpcnt 
After h» frendtrt finding and hi» rent. 

Tbii carpectirr ku) wedded new m wif 
Which that he luvcd more than hli lif : 
Ot cj^hrcnc ycrc flic was I gclle of age. 
Jalou* he »^4, aiid held hire narwe in ca^^ 
J'or flic was wild and yongc^ and he wa$ old. 
And cicrued hinifcU bclikv a cokewolu. 
He know fioi Caion, for iiin wit wa« rude, 
*i'hat bade a. man Ihuddc wcdde his finulitude^ 
M-n ikMm ipodiiea %hct bir efbte. 
For yflutbr U^ elde ia often at debiite ( 
But iithca he wajs f.ilkn in the foarc 
He inoil eadujrc (as other folk) hb care, 

Fayre was this yonguc wif, and therwithal 
Ai any wcfcl hire body gent and imal, 
A leiiN Ai« wcred, b«iTcd all of filk, 
A bMmc-cloth eke it white at morwc milk 

• Nicholas a fcholir nr Offord, pnaffHh wUh Allfon, 

the flifj^cTiTcr** wtff rif fifViev, %. .ltf«e»*c her hufband, tiuc 
J" V- TM% l< o»>c of thcife j 

*' ue to The Story of ttic 

(, comjufiyr. 
«*» '«' -re tv* cxped; rcid or ' 

f Ai-fi ,, . ^ . , .. ^ritbm^ the ArabHtn term 

fw ouii^crjUi4i^ JL*>trim jivnr* ihcf cfore wtre l^lc (icMttc* 
•r counter* wlucli v»«rc anckmly urea in QuateratAHii \ 



Upon hire Icndc*, ful of many a gore j 

White wa» hire fmok, and broudcd ail bcibctt 

And eke behind on hire colere aboutc 

Of cole-l}lack illk within and eke withoute t 

The tapci of hire white volupcre 

Were of the fame iiiit of hire coIcre ; 

Hire filki brodc of fdk, and ftt full hye ; 

And jikcrty flic had a likeroui eye ; 

Fill fmal ypullcd were hire browe» two» 

And they were beot, and black ai any do I 

She was wel more blifaliil for to £se 

Than i* the ncwe pcrien^rte tree. 

And foftcr than the wwjUe ii of a wtih«r. 

And by hire girdcl hmg a purfe of lafhcib 
TalTrlcd with filk and perled with latoun. 
in all thitwoTld to fekcn up and doun 
Thcr Q*it 00 man fo wife that coude thentbt 
So gay a popdoi or fwiche a wen eke. 
Ful brighter was the JUining of hire hewe 
Than in the Tour the uoblc yforged aew« | 
But of hire fong» it wai a^ loud and yvTM 
As any fwslow fitting on a heme, 
1 hereto flie GOiide flcip and nidkc a gome 
As any kid or calf folowing hitdume. 
Hire mouth W3« fwete a« hraket or the m«tli« 
Or kord of applet laid in hay or heth* 
Winftng the wa» at is a |of y colt. 
Long a« a mail, tad upright as a boll. 
A bro^he flie bare upon hire low colerv^ 
A* brode as i« the bojTe of a bokelerv. 
Hare ihoon were laced on hire legg«a |de£ 
3he was a prinaerolej a piggefnie, 
For aoy lord to liggen in hi« bedde, 
Or yet for any good ycnien to wedd«« 

Now ftre, and id[t Cire, fo befell the eai^ 
That on a day this Htndy Nicholaa 
Fol with this yooge wif to rage aad plcfr^ 
Whik that hire hufbond was at Ofeney^ ' 

A) clcrkes ben ful fubtil and, ful queint^ 
And privcJy he caught hire by the t^tietnt^ 
And laydc, Ywis but if I have my will 
Fvr dcrnc love of thee, lemman^ I fpLU ; 
And hcldc hire fafte by the hanche bunci. 
And Aiyde, Lemman, love me wej at onc«^ 
Or I wol dien, al fo God toe lave. 

And flic fprong as a colt doth in tile era^ne 
And with hire hcd ihe writhed faftc away^ 
And fayde, I wol not kiffe ihee by my fay* 
Why» let be, (<|Uod flie) let be, Kicbohw, 
Or 1 wol eric out Harow and Alas \ 
Do way your hondc$ for your curteiie. 
This Nicholat gan mercy for to criev 
And fpake io fairc, and prefer cd him fo fail, 
That the hire love him granted at the laik. 
And fwore hire oth by Scint Thomas of Kcotf 
That flie wold ben at hii commandcfoexit 
Whaji that flie may hire Icifcr we I efpic. 
Myn hufbood i| is fo ful of jaloufi^ 




tf jt wtfftfi wd afid be pi ve 
^f r w«l 1 n^Afn btii ded, <|Uod /he; 
fuul dcrtie 2* in ihi» cbm. 
rare jou not, qocKl NkbvUi ; 
ki n trtbrrlj bcfct his whik 
m cai^eotci hef »lc. 

I li forne. 

iMddeiL ; dcK 

sbotit the IcHfkil wcl, 
d Ittrc tmciCt KOd uketH hi« rautrie. 
Ml fmtkt iLO^l m^kcth rot^l^die. 
fdt && Uiu»^ tb9t to thepiirKYt clicrche 
^a^^ntetk mrcrkc* for to wcrclic) 
hd: wlf itfent upon a t^cty day ; 
1 .-., . .. K.. i.r a* ally dajr, 

i Sc hire wcrk. 
rc*h« a fi^riA ckrk 

> hrcfe* «Ad X4 the g:o1d it fhon, 
«• » isftJM Urge and br ode ; 

KaMd even Uif hit joiy (hode : 

w i il di t iyn carvcn on hk jhoos i 
bs wenc fill fciiHy r 
tt wmm M IbmI and proiirety 
II yttti «f a kifftu waget * ; 

' ttmkf hen the polnte* Pec ; 

he had a jf»y furplife, 
is th< blolme upon the rife. 
chftUc ht w»iT to God me d-ve ; 
Im krteo bbdp Slid clippc and fhsf e, 
a chartrc of tockl and a (^tiiunee : 
<0id he trip lud dtm^e, 
of Ctenfei^ th«) 
i§ caAea m «nd fro ; 
«• a fiOk) rihiMe ; 

a loud qutnibic : 
he pUf on a f itcftic : 
at hrc^^hnuA rve uveme 

f illerewaa; 

ic MJL4 lomdcl fqti&rmitt» 
«l fpeche dangerous. 
JMI joly wzt aiid gfty» 
i ii« ti« holy dJiy, 
of tfn puifn fafte, 
a lowly toll* he «» hem caHe, 
ci*pettlcfeti*if; 
ton thonght a mery lif ; 

fv»etc, and Vikcfouf, 
it ih« had keen a snoxa 
bo tvotde htre hcnt^ anun, 
clerk, chit joly Abfolttn, 
liorU fwkhe a Ioyc lon^in^, 
wif M>hf hr — '^— ' • 
befiiyd, 
at ni^' . righte (boo. 



_ .ki»#«ff ei|»htri« ttfatchet t9 



4 



And forth he goth jolif and amorout, 
TiJ he came to the carpeuttfre* hoas, 
A Utel after the cockcs had ycrow, 
And dreffcd him up by a fhot window 
That wafc irpon th** carprntcrc* TivaL 
He fiDgeth in his to* gcntil and fmiil. 
Now, derc Lady— if thy wiilc he, 
1 pray you that ye — wd rewc on mtf i 
Ful wcl accordant to his gieerniog. 

Thif carpenter awoke, herd hin^ fing. 
And fpakc unto hii wif, and faid jktion^ 
What, Alifon f hcrcs thou not Abfuloft, 
That chantcth thos under mir Wjrcj waff 
And fhc anfwtrd bipe hufbund therwlthnl, 
Yci, Cod wot, jnhni I htrc blm cvcrj tM. 

This palTeth f<-rth ; what v ol yc bet Uian wc|| 
Fro day today this joly Abfoloit 
So lirveth hire that him is w6-hegoi] : 
He \f»akcth sl] tlic night, and aJl the day 
He kembcth hit loekes brodc, and made him Dfl 
He wocth hire by inenes and brocage. 
And fworc he woMe he a hire o«^rn page : 
He finjfcth bfnkkinjr ^ 

He kilt htr prnnet, i : ale. 

And wafrcs piping hot uui ui um •^ntlc ; 
And lor i!he was of toun be proftrcd mc Jc j ab 

For fom folk \ro! be wonncu for t-> i <f. 
And fom for flrokec, and fi>me v iTe, 

Sometime to Jhew his hghtn* • llric 

He pblcth Herode on a flcaifuld hie. 

But what avaittth him as in this caaf 

Sw love I h fhc thin Hendy NIchob*, 

That Abfolon may blow the bucket horiK ; 

Ht nc had for his labotir but a fcornc : 

And thu» ftic make th Abfolon hire ape. 

And all hii crneft tourneth to a jape. 

1 ul foih is. fhtfi provtrbc, ii is iio lie ; 

Men fay right th»« alway. The ncighc file 
^aketh *f time the fer lecf to be lothe ; 

For though ih^t Abfolon be wood or wrothc^ 

Becaufc that he fer was from hlie fight, 

Tliis ncighc Nicholas Aood in hji light. 

Now bfTL thee i»er, thou Hcndy Nicholaf, 

For Abfolon may waile and flng utts. 
And fo bcTcU that on a Saturday 

T I lis carpenter uasgon tu OfccQy^ 

And HLndy Nichnb* and AlIfoA 

Accorded ben to this coRcIuCun, 

That NicholuA ft^l (hapeu him a wih: 

riiis fely jftl6u« huibond to Scgik ; 

Ajid if fo were the giamc went iirighc 

She ftiuld flepc in his armes allc nighty 

For thi* -was hire dcfirc and hii alfo. 

And f?^t anon, withouten worde^ rao^ 

Tlii* NiclMjlat no lengcr wold taric^ 

But doth ful ffift unto hi» cbanibre caric 

Both mete anddrinke for a day or twcy. 
And to Lire huibond bcid)u;r for to Stj^ 

If thaE he axed after Nichok* 

She Ihulde fuy fhc n'iile not wher he was; 

Of all the day Hie law htm not widi eye ; 

She tr6wed he wai in fom tnaladiet 

For for no eric hire maiden coud him catle^ 

He n'oldc anfwer for nothing ibut might faEe. 
Thui pailcth forth all thiikc Saturday^ 



|H> 



rnn MILLER E3 TArL^; 



And etc, anci flept, incf dide what him Uft, 

Til Sonday thdt the fonoe gothc to reil. 
This Tcly carpenter hath gret mcrvailc 
Of Nicholas^ or what thing might him aile, 

And fdid, 1 am adrad hy 5cmt I'homu 
It ftondcth not aright with Nicholas; 
Cod fliildc tliat ht: died fodetily ; 
Tliis world is now (a\ tikcl fikcrly : 
I faw to-day a corps ybomc to chcrchc 
That now on Monday lafl I faw him wcnchc. 

Go up (quod he unto his knave) anon, 
Clcpc at hia dorc» or knockc with a Hon ; 
Lokc how it is, and telle mc boldcly. 

Thii knave got him up ful fturdcly, 
And at the chamhre dure while' that he flood 
He cried and knocked a» thzt he were wood ; 
What ? how ? what do ye, MailUr NichoUy ? 
How may ye flcpcn all the \ongc day I 
But all lor nought, he hcrde not a word. 
An hole he fond ful low upon the bord, 
Thcr M the cat wa* wont in for to crepe, 
And at that hole he loked in ful dcpc, 
And at the lad he had of hLm a dght. 

This Nicholas fat ever gaping upright^ 
Ai he had kykcd on the ncwe mone. 

Adoun he goth, and tclkth hib maifier fotlft 
In what array he taw thia ilkc man. 

Ttu» carpcntrf to blilTeo him began. 
And faid. Now helpe u» Seintc Fridcfwidct 
A man wotc litcl what fhal him betide. 
This man is fallen with his allronomic 
In fom woodnefTc or in Com agonte, 
1 thought ay wcl how that it IhulJc be ; 
Men fllulde not knowe of Goddc* privetcc* 
Ya.bleffcd be alway a Icwcd man. 
That nought but only his bcleTe can, 

I fto ferd another clerk with aftronomic ; 

t He walked in the fclde« for to prie 
Upon the fterres, what ther (huld befaUCf 
Til he was in a marlqiit yfallc« 
He few not that. But yet hy Seint Thomas 

\ We rcwcth fore of Hcndy Nicholas : 

' H." thai be rated of hi* fludying. 
If that! may, by Jcfu*, hevcn king. 

Get me a flafT, that 1 may undcrCpore 
While that thou, Robin, hevefl of the dorc : 
He ihal out of his (ludying as 1 gefTr. 
And to (be chambre dore he gan him drclTc, 
Hi& knave was a ftrong carl for thu none*, 
And by the hafpe he haf it of at ones ; 
Into the florc the dore fell anon. 

This Nicholas fat ay a» (lillc as Hon, 
And ever he gaped upward into the eirc* 
Thi* carpenter wond he were in defpcirc, 

ijknd hcnt him by the ihuldcr^ mightily, 

I And Qioke him hard, and cried fpituuHy ; 

I What, Nicholas ? what, how man ? loke adoun ; 

1 Awake, and thinkc on Criftes paflioun. 
I crouche thee from elves and from wightei. 

i Therwith the oightfpd faid he anon rightcs 
On foure halves ' -' ^ ; iboutc 
And on the thr dorc withouKc • 

TcfuCnttand S.: - ^ ..- i.^^ht 

I WiiTc Uu> botuir^mi cY^ry wicked wight, 



Frr» the rightcs marc, the wlte Pltef-ilo 
Wh^r woned ihou Seint Peter* fuflcr ? 

And at the lad this Hcndy Nicholas 
Can for to Gken fore, and faid, alas t 
Shal all the world be lod cftfone* now P 

This carpenter aafwcred, What faieft i 
What ? cjtinkc on Ood.as wc do, men tbalf 

This Nicholas anfwercd, Fetch mc a < 
And after wol I fpekc in privetcc 
Of certain thing that touchcth thee and in4i 
I wol tell it non other man certain. 

This carpenter goth doun and cDti 
And brought of mighty ale a lar^c c 
And whan that cche of hem had droU 
lliis Nicholas his dare fafle ihettc. 

And doun the carpenter hy him he fd 

And faide, Julin, min hodc lefc and dcre^ 
Thou fhak upon thy trouthe fwcrc mc he 
That to no wight thou ihalt my counfcil i 
For it is Cride& counlcil that I fay, 
And if thou tell it man thou art forlorr; 
For this vcngeatice thou Ihalt have thcrfof^ 
That if thou wrcye mc thou flialt be ^ 

Nay, Crift forbcdc it fgr hi* holy blotidtij 
Quod tho thii» fcly man : 1 am no lahbe^ 
No though 1 fay it I n*am not Icfc to frab' 
Say what thou wolt, I (hall it never telle 
To child ne wif, by him that harwcd hellc. 

Now, John, (quod Nicholas) I wol not T 
1 have yfourde in min aUroIogic, 
Ai I have lokedin the moone bright. 
That now on Monday n est, at quarter tag 
Shal fal a rain, and that fo wild and y 
That half fo grct wos never Noes flood : 
Thi>» world (he faid) in Icffc than in an I 
Sh;il all be drcint, fo hidous is the Ihoure ; i 
Thufr dial manktnde drcnche and lefe hir I 

This cafpenter anfwerd, Alas my "wif * 
And dial flie drcnche ? ala* min Alifoun I 
For forwe of this he fell almod adoun. 
And faid, Is ther no remedy in this cas f 

Why yes, for God, quod Hendy Nich 
tf thou wolt wcrkcn after lore and rcde« 
Thou maid not werken after thin owtn 1 
For thus faith Salomon, that was ful tr 
Werke all by confcil, and thou fhalt not i 
And if tliou werken wolt by good confcil 
I undertake, withouten mad or feyl. 
Yet Ihall 1 Civen hire, and thee and mc 
Haft thow not herd how favcd was Noe, 
Wlxan that our Lord had warned him I 
That all the world with water diuld 1 

Ve», (quod thi& carpenter) fut yore I 

Had thou not herd (quod Nicholas)] 
The forwe of Noe with hi* feUwdiip, 
Or that he might get hi* wif to fliip ? 
Him had be lever, 1 dare wcl undertake. 
At thilkc time, than all hi» w ethers Make, 
That fhc had had a dvip hire fclf alonr | 
And therfore wod thou what is bed to doocf 
Thii^ axcth had, and of an hadif thing 
Men may not preche and maken tarying* 
Anou jfo get us fad into thi* in 
A kncdin^ trough or ellcf a kcmeljti 




THE M 1 L L E R E 8 T A h f^ 



fee oi ui ; bot loltjt thit they ben Urg^e, 
ich wc nnj'.vc u L"-4'immc a* ill a barge i 
Ift'fc tkcrifii vituUt ruiHfiUit 
pr » day ; he on the remcnaat ; 
Wwtcf IhalL all^e aod gon away 
Ieh prane upon the nettc day. 
^afaiin may oot wetc af thU thy knave, 
|ft thy maydcn QiUc I may not fave £ 
f0t why ; for though thnu aae me^ 
fPoctfUen Goddcs privctcc 
^ thrc, but if thy wittes madde, 
^ m§ grei a grace at Hoe hadde. 
|tf Aal I wcl Taven out of douti:. 
m tkf wmy, and fpcdc tbcc hereabouts* 
l-wAixa thou haft for hire, and thee, and me» 
pi m thefc kncding tubbed thre, 
I ftiit thou hang hem jn the roofe ful hie, 
IAD Bua of our ptirvcya;nce efpie : 
^pfaut thou hafl don thiu a» I have faid. 
Ml our Titaille faire in hem ylaid, 
ike \a axe to fmitc the cord a-two 
^ ehac the water comcth, that we may go 
hr^e an hole on high upon the gable 
tlicgardin ward, ov<rr the (lahlr, 
«rr may frely pafTcn forth our way, 
I that the grete fhoure i& gon away^ 
f fhal thou fwim as mcry, I undcrtaket 
ich the white dokc after hire drake ^ 
\ wol I clepe» How, AlUbe ! how, John ! 
ery, for the flood wol palTc anon. 
mum wolt fain, Haile ! MaiOcr Nicholay. 
Inuirwe ! I fce thee wt I, for it k day, 
fhall we be lordea all our U£ 
the worhi, aitNoe and ht« wiL 
o thing I warne thee ful rights 
tCed on that ilkc nighCf 
\m€ ben cntrcd into (hippes bord, 
tsC ui ne fpckc not o word^ 
lie eric, but be in hi a praiere, 
li Godi^ owen heflc dere. 
wif and thou mode hangco fcr a-tWiDDC, 
bctwtxcn you flial be no Unne, 
t in loking than ther fball in dede. 
ce i» faid ; go, God thee fpcde. 
f ni,.hf whan men ben all aflcpc^ 
V 'l>cs wol we crepe, 

(tier '^mg Goddt*i grace. 

thj way, I have no lengcr fpace 
t *k this no Icnger fermoning : 
thut. Send the wife, and f^y nothing : 
i art io wife it nedeth thee nought tcche. 
c our live*, and that t thee bcfeche, 
lely carpenter goth forth hii way, 
^ fa« laid All* ! tod WaU wa ! 
to Kitwif he totd hi* privatee, 
I Ihe was ware, and knew it bet than he 
It all thit queinte cafl wa> for to fey ; 
ligiathele • Jhc fcrde ad (he woid dey, 
Ifrid, Ak«1 p* forth thy way anon; 
ir IB to fcapc, or we be dcd eche on : 
I thy trrwe ferny wedded wif ; 
ijdere ^ufe ^ and hclpe to fave onr lifl 
-^ *haf a gret thing i« affcdiou J 
mrf die fi^ iina|;ix;*|io£i. 




So depc may impreffion be tat** 

Thi» fely carpenter begin neth quake; 

Him thinkcth veraily that he may fee 

Noes flood comen walwing ai the fee 

To drcnchcn Alifon, hi* honey derc : 

He wepeth, waileth, maketh fory ohere f 

He fiketh, with ^1 many a fory fwough» 

He goth and geteth him a kncding trough^ 

And after a tubbe and a kcmelin, 

And privcly he fent hem to his in, 

And hcng hem in the roof in privetec. 

His owcn bond than madt! he ladders three f. 

To climben by the renge^ and the fblkes 

Unto the tubbci honging in the bafkfii; 

And hem vitailled, kcmclin, trough, and tubbc,^^ 

With bred and chcfc, and good ale in ajubbe. 

Sufficing right ynow as for a day. 

But er that he had made all this array 
He fcnt hi« knave, and eke his wcnchc alfo. 
Upon his nede to London for to go. 
And on the Monday, whan it drew to night. 
He fhettc hiidore, withoutcn candel light. 
And drefTcd all thing as it ihuldc bee ; 
And Ihortly up they clombcn alle three. 
They fittcn ilillc wcl a furlong way. 
Now, pMer-nofler, Clum, faid Nicholay, 
And Clumf quod John, and Clum, faid Aliibn S 
This carpenter faid his devotion. 
And ilill he fit, and biddetb hi* praiere. 
Awaiting on the rain, if he it here. 

The dcde Ilepe,for wcry bcfinefle, 
Fell on this carpenter, right sa I gcffe, 
AboutLQ curfew time, or litcl more, 
for travaillc of his gofl he groncth (brc» 
And eft he routeth, for hi* bed miflay. 
DotiD of the ladder (lalketh Nicholay, 
And Alifon ful foft adoun hire fpedde. 
Withouten wordes mo they wtnt to bcdde, 
Ther a* the carpenter was wont to lie ; 
Ther waa the revel and the mclodie. 
And thu!^ lith MMon and Nicliola» 
In befmclTc of mirtbc aiid in folaa. 
Til that the bell of iauiUj gan to ring. 
And frcrc* in the chancel gon to fing. 

This parifh clerk, this amorous AbfbJoD, 
That is for love alway fo wo-begon. 
Upon the Monday was at Ofcnay 
With compagnie^ him to difport and play. 
And afked upon cas a cloiflcrer 
Ful privcly after John the carpenter ; 
And he drew him apart out of the chirchc* 
He faid, I no't, 1 faw him not here wlrdie 
Sith Saturday ; 1 trow that he be went 
For timbre ther our abbot hath him fcnt ; 
Fnr he i* wont for timbre for to go, 
And dwelli-n at the Grange a day or two; 
Or cEes he is at his hous certain : 
Wher thiit be be I cannot fothly fain. 
Thi^Abfolon ful joly was and light, 
A^ thoughts, nov^ is time to wake al night, 

f VTithhUownhaad. So Cover, Ctoi^f. Amant*^Qi^96*^ 
The cmfte Myowvcof v»ollc lundc^ 



I 



3* t H E 

For Clccrly I fiw him nat Airing 
About hi^ diire &n day began t<i fpni)^. 
So mote I tln-ivc H (h^l at cockci crow 
Ful privcly go kuccke at hh v^mdow. 
That (bni full lo^ upon his buuret wrU ? 
To Aliibl) wol [ now telle n all 
My love lonj^ng ; for yrt I iliJiU not milTc 
That ar the lefte way I (hal hire kiffe. 
Some mancr comfort (hal I have parfoyp 
My mouth hath itched a] thi* longe day ; 
That h a %nc of kifTing at the IcSe : 
AU ii^ht me rrettc eke I wav at a feflc : 
Therforc I wol g^o flepe an houre or twty, 
And all the mjjht than wol 1 wake and pley. 

Whan iltat the firftc cock hath crowc, anon 
Up rift this joly JoTcr Abfolon, 
And him araycth gay, at point devifc ; 
But fir ft he chcweth grein and licorife. 
To fnieUm fotc or he had fpoke with here. 
Under his toQ^ a trewc love he here, 
For t her by wend he to ben gr^iciouf. 
He Cometh to the carpen teres hotit, 
And flill he ftant under the Ihot window; 
Unto his breft it ratight, it wa» fc low ; 
And foft he cocghcth with a femilmm, 

Xrliat do ye, hofl) combe, fwcte Alifotin, 
My fftlrc Iftrd, my fwetc (i&amome ! 
A waketh, lemmaen min, and fpeketh to me. 
Ful litcl Lkinken ye upon my *o, 
That for your lore I fwcte ther ai I go. 
Ko wonder is though that I fweltc at>d fwcte> 
I mourne at doth a bunb after the tete, 
Ywi», temman, ! have fwicbc lore longing 

That like a tixrte! trewe i« my motiming, 
1 may not ete no more than a maid. 
Go fro the wmdc w, jacke fool» (he faid : 

Ai helpe me Ood it wol not be, compAmc. 
1 love aoof her, or eOea t were to blame, 

Wei bet than thee by Tcft, Abfobn. 

Go forth thy way, or I wol caft a ftoo ; 

And let me flepe ; a twenty divcl way. 
Alas ! (quod Abfolon ) and wala wa ! 

That trewe lore was cter fo yvci bcfette i' 

''I han Lifle me, fin thst it may be no bcttc. 
For Jcfun love, at»d for the love of me. 

Wilt thou than go thy way thcnvith ? i^nod fhe, 
Ya certef, lemman, <jood this Abfolon. 

1 ban make thee rcdy, (qtrcd Ihc) I come anon. 
Thi* Abfolon dotin fct him on hi* knbes, 

And (aide, 1 am a lord n all degreei : 

For afte? this I hope ther cometh more ; 

Lemmanf thy ^aec, and, fwcte bird ! thyn ore. 
The i^inxlow Ihe undoth, and that in hafte, 

Hive don, (quod fhe) come of, atid fpedc thee faftc, 

lycfl that our neighboures thee efpie. 

This Abiblof) gan wipe his mouth ful drte. 

Berke wia the night as pitch or at the cole, 

And ftt the window ihc put out hire hole, 

And Abfolon him felle ne brc nc wer?. 

But witk his mouth he kill hih: naked ers « 

Ful favorly, er he wai ware of thi». 

Abak he (Krrte, tad thcrughc it wai atniv, 

For wcl he wt^ a womaii hath do bfnl« 

He felt a thing all rowc, aod long )LerJ, 



Mitttftts TAif. 




And inACf Fy, aUa \ what have f da f 

Te he, quod ihe, and ctapt the window 
And Ahfolon goth forth a fory pat, 

A berd, a bcrd ! faid Hendy Nicholas; 
By Gnddes iOffitj thif goth faire and itck 

Thi« fely Ahfolon herd every del, 
And on hii Hppe he gan for angtr bite, 
And to kimfelf he faid I Ihal thee quite. 
Who rubbeth now, who {rnteth now his ItppCft 
With dfiil, with fond, with flraw, with cloili. 
But Abfolon f that faith full oft Alai ! (i 
My foule betake I unto Sathanas 
But rrc were lever than all ihit toun (qindbe) 
Of thisdefpit awfoketi for to be. 
Ah^ ? aJas ! that 1 ne had ybleni. 
Hi* hotc love h cold and al) yqueint ; 
For fro that time that he had kift hire cr» 
Of paraniourf ne raught he not a kerS| 
For he was heled of his mabdie ; 
Ful often ptramoura he gan dcjic, 
And ivcpc as doth a chiM that ii ybete.* 
A fofte pa& he went him over the ft ret c 
ITntil a fmith man callcn Dan Otrvc'n^ 
That in hh f*irge fmithed plow-harness; 
He (harpeth fliarc and culuc bcfily. 
I'his Abfolon knocketh all efily. 
And faid, Undo, Gcrvei9,aiid that anen. 

What, who art thou ? It am 1 AbfoM^ 
What, Ahfolon ? what, Chfiftes fwcte tre, 
ViHiy rife ye fo rath ? ey hneditrtef 
What eileth you ? fome gay girle, Gtid it wote^ 
Hath brought yoa thuj npon the viretot* r 
By Seint Neotc ye wote wel what I meue:. 

This Abfolon ne raughte not a bene 
Of all his play ; no word again he yaf i 
He haddc more tawe on hi« dijlaf 
Than Gervew knew, and faide, Frmd fi> dcrff^ 
That bote cdter m the chcminee here 
As Icne it me, I have tberwith to don ; 
I wol it bring ajra-n to thee fiil fonc, 

OerVei? i i ertes were it g«ld) 

Or in a p< ■ untold, 

i hoa fliuidcu It ni\t-, an lam trewe fmith* 
Ey, Criftes fuot, what wol ye dun therwith I 
Thtrof, quod Abfolon, be as be may, 
I fhal wcl tellen ihec another day ; 
And caught the cutter by die colde flelc. 
Ful foft out at the dore he gan to dele, 
And went unt© the carpenferes wall \ 
He coujrhed firft, and knocked therwithaU 
Upon the window, right at he did er. 
Thii Alifon anfwcrcd, Who is thet 
That knocketh fo ? 1 warrant hinn t thefc. 
Nay, nay, (quod he) God wot, my fwcte 
1 am thin Abfolon, thy dereWng. 
Of gold (quod he) I have thee broaght a ring; 
My mother yaVe it me, fo God mc fare, 
Ful fine it is, and iherto wel ygravc ; 
This wol I yeven thee if thou me kilfe. 
This Kichola^ w:i^ rfJrn for fo pilTe, 
And thought he v jco all the japfj 

He ihulde kiffc I ^ be fcape j 

And up the window cihi lie hifHIy, 
And out hit en he puftcth privily 



tHC MiiL£R£d tAlS. 



' tht t>nttolc, to the hanche bon ; 
therwith fpake this clerk, this Abfolon, 
:c fwctc biridv I n'ot not vrher thou art. 
b» Nicholas anon let fleen a fart 
ret as it had been a thonder diDt, 
: with the fbxkke he was wcl Hie yblict I 
he was redy with his yien bote, 
IGcholas aznid the ers he fmote^ 
fgoth the {kinne an hondbrede al aboytej 
b^ cnher brenned fo his tonte, 
£ar the fmcrt he wencd for to die ; 
e were wood for irro be gan to trit 
e, water, water ! help for Goddes herte ! 
Bs carpenter out of his ilumber fterte, 
herd on crie Water as he were wood, 
diongfat, alBt ! now pometh Moes flOod« 
fat him up withooten wordes mo, 
with his ase he fmote the cord atwo^ 
coun goth all ; he fond neyther to feile 
reed ne ale til he came to the ieOei 
1 the flove, and ther afwoune he lay. 
> fiertes AliA>n and Nieholay, 
cTJedcn, Out and harrow ! in the flrete* 
kc Deif^icboures bothe fmale and grete 
men for to ganren on this man, 
^ afaroimc by^bothe pale and wan, 



IV 



For with the fnll he broften hath his arm. , 

But ftondcn he mufl unto his owcn harm. 

For whan he ipake he was anon bore doun 

With Hendy Nicholas and Alifoun* 

1 hey toldcn every man that he was wood. 

He was agaile fo of Noes flood 

1 hurgh fantafic, that of his vanitee 

He had ybought him kncding tubbc4 three. 

And had hirm bonged in the roof above. 

And tliat he praicd hem for Goddes love 

To fittcn in the roof />ar compagnie. 

The folk gan laughen at his fantafie. 
Into the roof they kyken and they gape. 
And turned all his harm into a jape. 
For what fo that this carpenter anfwerd 
It was for nought, no man his refon herd* 
With othes gret he was fo fwome adoun 
That he was holden Wood in all the toun, 
For everich "clerk anon right held with c thef | 
They faid the man was wood, my lere brother} 
And every wight gab laughen at thit ilrif. 

I*hu8 fwived was the carpenteres ^if 
For all his keping and his jaloufie. 
And Abfolon hath kift hire nether eye, 
And Nicholas is fcaided in the toute. 
I'his Tale is doD,'«ad God lave aH the routes 



II. L 




tf AK folk han laughed at this nice cas 
Of Abfolon and Hcndy Nicholas, 
Divcrfe folk divcrfcly they ftjdc, 
But for the more part thcf lought and pkide ; 
Ne If tliis Talc I fkw iio man grcve 
But it were only Ofcwold the Reve ; 
Bccaufc he was of carpcn teres craft 
A litei ire J» in hi» hcrtc ybft ; 
He ga» to gmtch and blaniLn it a lite. 
&e the ik, quod he, ful wel coudc I him <].ii;Ite 
With birring of a proude ntillereicye, 
If that mc lift to fpckc of ribaudric. 
But ik am oldc ; mc lift not play for agf ; 
Graa time is don, my foddrc i* now forage : 
Th"» white top writcth mine old ycre* i 
Min hcrte is ^o moulded as miri herc»; 
But if I fare as doth an open ers, 
That ilkc fruit ii ercr Icngcr the wcra 
Til it be rotcn in muik-k or in (Ire. 

Wc" oldc men, I drcdc, fo fa Pen we ; 
Til wc be rotcn can wc not he ripe ; 
Wc hoppc alway while that the world wol pipe ; 
For in our wiUthcr ftiketh ever a nayl. 
To have an liorc hed and a grcne tayl. 
As hjith a Icke ; for diough our might be goB 
Our will dcCreth foUy ever in on ; 
For whan we may not don th;ui wol wc fpckeDi 
Yet in our afhcn cold is fire yrcken. 

Four glcdt* han we wliich 1 fhal devife, 
Avauniiitg, lying;, anger, and covetifc ; 
*rhcfc fourc fparkes longt n uuto cldc ; 
Our oldc limei mow wcl ben unwclde, 
Btit will ne Oiall not faJlkn that is fothe : 
And yet have \ alway a coltct tothe, 
A^ muiy a yere as it pafTcd hcnne 
tsiD. that my tappc of Uf began to rencc : 



For fikorly wKan I was home anon 

Deth drow the tappc of lif and let it gOD j 

And ever fith hath fo the tappc yronne^ 

Til that almoft all empty is the tonne ; 

The Jlrcmcof lif now droppcth oo the chiin^* | 

The ft:ly tongc may wel ringe and chimbe 

Of wrctchcdncflc that paffcd is ful yore : 

With oldc folk fave dotage is no more. 

Whan that cmr Hoftc had herd thii lennocuflg^ 
He pm to fpcke as lordly as a king, 
\nd fayde, What amounteth all this wit ? 
'^''hat, (hall we fpckc all day of holy writ ? 
The devil made a Rcve for to prechc, 
Or of a footer a fhipman or a lechc. 

Say forth thy Tale, and tary not the tisic ; 
Lo Depcford, and it is half way prime : 
Lo Grcnewich, thcr many a Ihrcw is ioiie : 
It were al time thy Talc to bcginne. 

Now, fires, quod this Ofcwold the Hew, 
I pmy you ailc that yc not yoti grtvc 
Though I anfwere, and fomdclfct hishowr^ 
For Icfwl is with force force off to fliowve. 

rhisdronkcrn Miller hath yiold oabcre 
How that bcgiled was a carpcntere, 
para venture in fcorae, for I am on ; 
And by your tevc I Ihal him quite anott I 
Right in his chcrle* termei wol I fpckc j 
I pray to God his necke mote to breke. 
He c»n wel in min eye fcen a ftalk, 
But in his owcn he cannot fecn a balk* 



• jtuflfft Tcut- mc»n» the prnTtilnencTOf the(l«*«l 
yand the hci4 of the Unci. l"bc UBigery h «ry <" 
«itabca«tiful# 




THE REVES TALE*. 



B, not fcr fro Cantcbrigge^ 
I m brook, and over that a brigge, 
^pes ilie whichc brook tber ftone a mclk ; 
Aki tlkit U vcra^y fothe that I you telle. 
A mSkr W94 cher dweUing many a day, 
Ai Utf peacock be waj proude and gmy ; 
FifCB he coodCf and fime« aJid nlttcsbete, 
Afid tsmeo ciippes, and wnlUeD wel uid {bete. 
Ay by bU belt he bare a loog pavade, 
Aod ol a fwcrd fol trenchuic wa« the blade : 
A jolf |x>pper bare be in his poucbe. 
Tbcr &*ai oo man for peril dorft Mm toucbe. 
A ftrfrW thwitc] bare he in hi» hofe : 
Mamd was hit £ace« aiid camufe was hU Dpfe : 
At pllkd as an ape was hia ikull : 
He wa* a tuarket-beter at the full. 
IWdor&e oo wight bond upon bim Icgge* 
^InC be nc fwore be {huld anon abegge. 

A thdc he was fodbth of corne and nlele, 
Aidtbts flie^ and ufaot for to flele : 
RiiBiBC waa hotcD Dcinout Simekin f. 
A viTlie bftdde comea of coble kin : 
E pcrlion of the toun hire father was : 
fc hire he yaf ful many a panne of bra» 
|d^ Simldn fliold in hit blood allie ; 
Iktn jCoHered In a nonnerie ; 
fir Ibifc in wolde no wif, as he fayde^ 
Bk Ae were wel ynooriibed and a tnaydei 
Tm (twem his eikat of yemanrie : 
MM fre wat proud azid pert as it a pie. 
\ Jk U fmtc fig^t wai h apoD hem two. 
Cm hakf dayes befome hire wold be go 
Wiik hi I tiprt ybounde about hit hedf 
Mad Ale came after in a gite of re^d, 
Aad Simkin badde ho(ca of the fame. 
Tfaer dorfie no wight depeo her but Dame : 



MmklA, the tniller of Trompf npton^ decclveth 
of SotltrVhall lnejmbrid|;c \n fieiliife Ebtir 
III mtjugctbdr rriATter^tUjit thct revenue 
KftiU. Thl* Tate is iroiutcJ frnrn Bcctjce, 
tfrtu, flay the yth.-^Thit you m»f paft otcr if 

i*j|51dion« or «ilikh Itmekin kthe^Smi 






Mh>«« Jkiid frx^m bif dtfdainful inrolent mann.-rj he hut 
iftftrt.i tUc mraatneor Oeta,m^^ jult at Nklu>Ut* Iri the 
tmmu ttJe, w«« Ucpcd £fri«tf>' from the very opponte be- 
fc aitoiu . A fiTit tumhjf ut our fijfn*tnr? hn*c been 
#(M«eA limn ^quaUiies of the iriind. anil >t k- 

•»%|n«ie that at die bcfinnirf (hcv «^* 
teal, lifee «%il «e call idcknamc*. It I , 
Vwale wf }itKrtit»nrl'*}nuinea ¥^uaoi evcti »> v.>i« d^.'» 
%ff* fatty 'etikUteiamoBLS cbe lower cUirct of people. 



Was non fo hardy, that went by the way, 
That with hire dorile rage or one* play. 
Bat if he wolde be JlaiD of Simikin 
With pavadc, or with knif or bodckin ; 
(For jaloUG. folk bcQ pcritout evcrmo, 
Algate they wold hir wives wendcn fo.) 
And eke, for (be wasfomdcl fmoterlich. 
She w^ as digne as water in a dich, 
And al fo ful of hoker and of bifinare. 
Hire thoughte that a ladic fliuld hire fparc, 
What for hire kinrcdc and hire nortelrie 
That Ibe had lemcd in the nonnerie. 

A doughter haddets they betwix hem two 
Of twenty yere, withouten any mo. 
Saving a child that was of half ycrc age ; 
In cradle it lay, and wat a proprc page. 
This wcnchc tbicke and wel ygrowcn wat. 
With caraufe nofc and eycn grey as gb» ; 
With huttake& brode, and b relic a round and hdc^ ' 
But right faire wai hir here, t wol not lie. 

The perfon of the toun, for fhe was fairc, 
In purpot was to maken hire hit, haire 
Both of his catcl and of hn mefuage^ 
And ftrangc he made it of hire mariage^ 
Hh purpos was for to bellow hire hie 
Into fomc worthy blood of anceftrie. 
For holy clurcfacs good mote ben defpendcd 
On holy chirches blood that ti dcfcended ; 
Therforc ht wolde his holy blood honourc 
Though that he holy chirdie ihuld dfvoure, 
Grct foktn hath this miller out of doute 
With whetc and mak of alJ the land aboute. 
And namely ther was a gret college 
Men clep the Soler hall at Cantehregc, 
Thet was hir whctc and eke hir maltc ygrotind* 
And on a day it happed in a floutid 
Sike lay the manciple on a maladie^ ^M 

Men wendcn wifly that he Ihuldc die j V^ 

For which thit miller (iale both mcle and com * 
An hundred times more than beforn. 
For thcrbcforn he ftalc but curtcifly^ 
But now he wa» a thcfc ootragcoufly. 

For which the wardcin chtdde and made fare, 

But therof fct the n<illcr not a tare ; jM 

He craked boft, and fwoVe it n'as not fo, "^1 

Than were tJicr yonge poure fcolorc* two 
That dwclten in the hal!e of which I fay j 
Tcftif they w«re>4»d lufty for to play, 



I 



Ml 




rut REVES TALE* 



And only for hir mirth and revclric 

Upon the wardeln befiJy they eric 

To ycvc htm levc but a litflc j!^otind 

To gon to irtillc and fccn Kir com y^round ; 

And hardily they dorften lay hir neckc 

The miUcr ihuki not Hclt hem half a peckc 

Of corn by flcightc, nc by force him reve. 

And at the bft the wardcin yave hrm Icvc. 
John hightc thit on, and Ale in hlghte that other ; 
Of a toun were they bora th;kt hightc Strotherr 
Fcr in the north, 1 caimot tellen wHere. 

Thit Alcin mnkcth rtdy aUhiigHcre, 
And on a hors the fak he caft anon : 
Ff'ftb goih Alcin the clerk, and alfu John, 
With good fwerd and with bokckr by hir £tde. 
John kney^ the way* him ncded not no ^iUc, 
And at the mille the f&k adoiui he laith. 

Alcin f]vj|r^ fird; AlIhaiie,5imond, in faith. 
How (jj^ci thy falrc daughter and thy wif ? 

Alcin, welcome (quod SmiAjji), by my lif» 
And John aUo. Hc-w now, whstt do yc here I 
By Gix!, Simond (quod John), nede has no pert ; 
Him brhovcf ferve himlelf that hin n^ fwaio. 
Or elleft he ii a fool, as clerke^^ fain. 
Our manciple 1 hope he wol bcdcd, 
Swa werkcsi ay the WiDge* in hit bed ; 
And thcrfore i« 1 c«me, ar.d eke Aleln* 
To grind our com and cary it bamc agein ; 
I pray you fpc^ • - ^- -^ r that ye may. 

It fhal be dr I kia) by my fay- 

tVhat wol TC d" '.Jt it ii in hatid? 

By Gad, right by the hopper wol I ftand, 
(Ouod Jubn) and fcen how that the corngaJ to; 
Vet faw I never by my fader kin 
How tliat thc^ hopper wagges til ^nd fra* 

Alcin anfwered, John, and woli thou fwa? 
Than wol I be bcncthc by my eroun. 
And fee how that the melt filltt adown 
in til the trogh j that llial be my difport ; 
For, John, ;•' ' r*!^ I may leu oif youi fort j 
I it a^ tU ii yL\ 

Thii n 1 at hirniccttc. 

And thot^ght ali thi^ u*is don but for a wiLc, 
They w<ncn that no man rrfrry hrm bfgilc. 
But hy my thrift yet flial ^ ^ 'c 

I'or all the fleightc in hir i 
The mcF' ' ' ; T:r, 

'i'he mor 
In ii^'' 

Thr 

A* V ; . , _ . ^ . . _ . .... . . ; 

Of ali hir art ne cvitat 1 n^t a t.^ *e. 

Oi|t at »hr dote he goth ful privcly 
Whan th;*t he faw h:» time fofu^'y. 
Me lokcth up ;:nd doun, til he hadi found 
The clerk e» hors ther a» he flocd y bound 
Behind the mille under a levefcU, 
And to the hon he ;_ ' ' "" JfC itid well. 
And ftriprth of the 1 joou. 

And -nh " ^k. u. ^ ^ to gon 

Towarc' jic» 

And for! ^ :.:td thione. 

Thi» miHcr ^otb ag^in, no i»ktird he iald, 
But doth his lujtei a&d with tLck cL:»kci plaid. 



Till that hir corn was faifc and wcT ffrrennim 
And whan the mele if facked and yboond. 
This John goth out and Ont hi* hor» away, 
And gan to eric Harow and wala wa? 
Our bora U loilt Alcin, for Goddct baoci 
Step on thj feet; come of, man, al at anet r 
Alas i our wardcin has hi* palfrey lorn- 

Thia A!eir4 al forgat both mele and com ; 
Al was out of hi* mind kh hufbandrie ; 
\Vhat,whilke way is he ^on ? he gan to crk. 

The Wif came Icptng inward at a rcnnc ; 
She fayd« Alas \ yourc hot* gotb to the fenoe 
Witli wildc marcf as f^l as h^ may go, 
Un thank come on hh hand that bond him fo^ 
And he that bcttot flmld have knit the rcifiv 

Alai ! (quod John) Alcin, for Crifte^ pcia 
Lay doun thy fwcrd, and I Chal min aifwa ; 
I h ful wight, God watc, as s& a ra<. 
B/ Goddcfe faulc he fhal I not fcapc us bathe. 
Why nc had thou put the capcl in the latlic f 
111 haile, Alrin,by God ibou if a fonnc. 

Thjcfc fcly clerks ban ful fall yronnc 
Toward th j fen, bothc Alcin ard ckc John t 
And whan the miller faw tl\at they were go« 
He half a bulhcl of hir flour hath takc» 
And had bi» wif go knede it in a cake* 
He fayd, I tfcw the clcrkc* were aftrdf : 
Yet can a miUcr make a clcrki:* bcrde 
For til liii art, Ye» let hem ^on Lir way. 
l.o whtT thry gon, Yc, Id the children play : 
Thjygct him not fo lightly by my ctou«. 
Thcfc fe!y ckrk^ft rcnncn up and doun 
With Kepe, kepe ; Stund, (land; jofTa, wardcrctc 
Ga wbifllc lbou« and I flial kepe liim bctc. 
But fliortly, till that it wa» veray night 
l*hey coudcf not, though tkey did aU hir nighty 
Hir cupel natch, he ran alway fo fail. 
Til In a dichc they caught him at the lift. 

Wery 'and wet, 4% beftes in the rain, 
Cometh fcly J ^^' *^ ' ^ith him contcth Aki]t« 
Ala* (quod J that I wa* borne I 

Now arc wc iV i^hing and til fcome. 

Our corn i* ftqinc, men wol u» fouiKi calle. 
Both the wardein and eke our fdawc* aUc» 
And namely the miller, wala wa I 

Thus pbincth John a* he gotb by the w^f 
Toward the nuUt, And Ii>i ' bund. 

The milkr fitting by thr u 

For it wa» night, and fori.ij jiu^^j^i they nouj 
Hat focUic love of God th^y h\m bcfoir^ht 
Oi h rbcrwL and <if efc,as for h*r pcny. 
i lit: miUcr laitic agtu, It thcr be any, 
Swithc n it i* yet 1h»ll yc have your part. 
Myn houfc is ftrcit.bui yc lave lerned art ; 
Yc can by argumcnti m^ikcn a place 
A mile brode of twenty foot of fp*ce- 
Let fee now if tliit place may Ui&tc^ 
Or ma!: « r - ^ ^^^ 

Now, -> itbb«4 

Ay i*tht. u ,r,,.,. ;, a 

I have herd fay niai s 

Slikc ai he 6ndc% • ^, 

PuL fpecJally I pray thee, hol>e dere. 
Gar u* have mctc and dritikc, aadr ixaakc u* 



THE R1VE8 TALE. 



Add ve £a] palcii trewelf at tBe full : 
Witli empty h»ad znen may na haukcs tuU* 
Lo Iwrevur filler rcdj for lo fpend. 

This Tnillrr to the touil hit doughur feod 
For ^ and hred, acd roiled hem a goos, 
J»d bond bir hon he Jhtdd no more gn lacs, 
Am! ia ha o'vrcti chsmbrc hem made a btddc, 
Vkh AM^ef and with chalons fa Ire ffprcddt. 
Kit firom kU oiirco bed tea foot or twcWc : 
Hk doQgliCer badmhcdall by hire fclvc, 
Si^jbiS m the lame cham^Tc hy and by : 
k Wjgjhrg be DO bet, ;uid cauic why, 
ThtT vras no roucicr hcrhcrwe in the place. 
T^ fowfKji^ kud they fpekco of foh^ce, 
Jkai T^ - :cr ftrong ale at the heft, 

i^nL -. ^ h t wente the Y tu reft- 

Wil h.irh iJriis mtUcr vcrnilhcd hi* bed, 
hlfalc be vr2«, for-dronlteo, and aought rrd. 
Hr yoicth^vul he fpeketh thurgh the uofc, 
At be "vrcrc on the quaitke or on tlic pok. 
To bed be gotb, and with him fi;uUi hia wifi 
Ai aanr iaf Ibe light wai :md jolif; 
Se n kh^ joly whi/lk wcl ywcttc. 
The crftdel M hire hedde* feet w«» fette 
To rockna, cod to yeve the child to foukc. 
A^ wkao tku dronken was a.!l in the croukc 
To beijde west the dou^hter ri^ht aui.n, 
T« be^tdc gocli Aleiu ' " I Iiiu 
Ulicr n*^9 tto more ; : :n dwaie, 

llii Milkr h^th ' ^ 

Tbtf a»aL& bor , 

Ife «f |l» ttd,bu . 
ISs wirtRUV him a burdon a ful i 
Mai mi^br hir routing hrren j t < j. 
TV wmche routcth eke par compcgmtf. 

AkSfi tbie clerk, that herd this inelodie, 
Bff ftkirtb John, and fi^yde, Sk pcH thou } 
H u^Jt cboo AVer Hike a fong cr now ? 
r a complin i» ymcl! hem allc; 
re upou hir bodit-:; Ij.llt.% 

"i ever £like a fcrly thing ? 
tc,^e|' iball b^Tc the /lour of yvtt ending. 
Tliik^g:e night ther tidci me no rcfle ; 
iBjff cia ttxce, all ihal be for the belie. 
hi^fAok (ra>*d he), u ever mote t tbriTe, 
ittlkic f anty yoo wenche wo! 1 fwivc* 
lb« dimeot has lawc yfhapcn us ; 
?flrf jttlua, titer ii a iawe thatfaieth thus, 
Tba if a man in o point he agrevcd 
fktf aft *iiother (be Hial be releved* 
^ Olrcpni ia Xkolne, fcnhly it is na nay, 
\ hui had an yvel fie to-day ; 
' MfA iifi 1 fl>^ b^^^ *^^"> amendemenc 

J my loiTe I wol have «d cfement ; 

l%Go«ldct latde it &al nan other be. 

Tllk Tokn anfwered, Akiii, aviie thee ; 

\ mtjler is a perilous man, he fayde, 

L if that he out oi his Depc ahraidef 

bUf ayvfeo^ don Uf bathe a vLlaiiie. 

m ^dwFtrtd, I count him oat a 9ie« 
__ j tpbe rift,4Dd by the wenchc be crept. 
jmii W0icbe lay upright, and fafte flcpi, 
^ TDbc To fiirb was, cr flic might efpte, 
T^ it bftdlica to Uu Iff to eric : 



And fliortly for to fay, they were at on* 
Now play Alriii,for J wol fpekc of John* 

This Joha lith ftill a furlou|r vray or two, 
And to himfclf he mafeech touth fod wcu 
Ahs ! (quod he) this i*^ a wkkt:d jape i 
Now may I fay that I is but an ape. 
Yet has my felaw fcMuwhat for hik hanttc | 
He has the miUcrs duuj^htcr in fik aroia : 
He auntrcd him, and h^ith his nudes IpcJde, 
And I lie a^ a draf fak in my beddc ; 
And whan thj§ jape i% tald smother day 
I fhol be halden a daffe or a token ;»y ; 
I wol arife and auutrc it by my faj : 
Unhiu-dy is uufcly, thya men f^y. 

And up he ro[c,and i'olteiy lie went 
Unto the cr^el, aud iu his hand it hont^ 
And bare it foft unto hi$ beddet fete. 
Sone ctfter thii the wif hire routing letc;i 
And|;;an awake, and went hire out to pi(r«» 
And came agair, and g^u the cradel miHe, 
And groped here and thcr, but ibc fond n/tn* 
Ala? (quod flic) ! I Uiid «ilmoll milgon ; 
I had i\moi\ gon to the cierkes beiJdc : 
Ey hnt^i^iti 1 than KmI i toulc yiptddc 
And fiifth flie goth til fhi? the cr*dti fond. 
She gropeth alway fottlicr whh hire liotid, { 

And fond tie bed| and thoughte nat bur goo^* \ 
Bti-uifc tluit tlie cradelby it ilc<jd, 
xVnd nMIe wher f}ir wati, for it was derk^ 
But fairc and wcl (he crept in by the clerk. 
And lirh ful ftilU and wold ban caught a Hepe* 
Withm a while this John thcckik Up kptf^ 
And on this goode wif he laieth on tore \ 
So mery a fit ne had ftic nst ful yore : 
He priketh hard and dcpc a^i he were mad« 

ThI* joly lif ban thefe two ckrkes lad 
Til that ihc thridde cok began to fing. 
Akin wcjc weriein the morwciung^, 
For he had fwonken all the ionge night. 
And fayd, Farewcl, MuJLin, my fwetc wight i 
The day is com? » I may no lonj^er bide. 
But cvcrmo wher fo I go or ride 
I js thin awcn dwrk» fo have I hck. 
Now, dcre lemmau, quod Jhc, go, farcwck; 
But or thou j;f>, o thing I wol thee lelL 
Whan that thou wcndcft homeward by the mcll. 
Right at the entree of the dorc behind 
Hiou flialt a cake of half a bufliel find 
That was ymaktd of thin owen m»;k, 
Which tliat I haipe my fa.dcr for lo ftelc : 
And, goode kmman, C>nd thee favc and kepc» 
And with that word fljc gan almoil to wcpc. 

Akin uprift, and thought er that it daw, 
I wol go crcpen in by my felaw ; 
And fond the eradcl at hi* hand anon. 
By God, thought he, all wmcg I have mifg^Q I 
My bed i&tottic of my fwink to night. 
That maketh mc that I go nat aright. 
1 wot wel by the eradcl I have mifgo; 
Here lith the miller and his wif alfo. 
And forth he golh a twenty divcl way 
Unto the bed, thcr iis the niilkr lay. 
He wend have eropen by hit felaw Jobi3| 
And by the ^iljer ia he crept anon, 
I C iii 



38 



THI REVES TALE. 



And caught him by the nckkr, and gan him fhaltc, 
Atid fayd, 1 hou Johc^ thou fwiiielhcd, awikc 
Ftir Crtftcs fituk.and ticrc a noble ijamc; 
For by that lord that called h Scint Jame, 
A» I have thrici aa ifi this (hort night 
5?vs ivc J the nitllm doughter bolt upright 
While thou bad as a cow|rd ben ag^ifl. 
Vc, faife hiirlot, quod ihc niillcr, haft ? 
L, falfe traitour, falTc clerk (({uod he), 
rhou flialt be dcd by Goddcv dignitcc, 
I'^'ho dorfte be fo bold to difparagc 
iMj doughter, that k come of fwiche linage, 
I And by the tbxote'-bollc he caught Aleio, 
"And he him hent defpitoufly again, 
And on the riofe he fmote him with his fift ; 
Doun ra6 the blody ftreme upon his breft : 
And in the lore with nofe and mouth to-broke 
They w^lwe, as don two piggca in a poke. 
And up they gon, anddoun again anon, 
1 il that the miller fporned at a fton. 
And doun he fell backward upon hii wif. 
That wifte nothing of ihi» nice ftrtf : 
For (be %Ta» fall aAcpe a litcl wight 
With John the clerk » that waked had all night, 
And with the fall out ot hire ilepc Jhe braide, 
^clpe, holy crof* of Bromeholnie! (ftic faydc) 
ij&i manttji ttmt. Lord, to thee 1 call* 
Awake, Stmopd, the fend is on me fall ; 
Myn bene ii broken ; helpc ; 1 n*am but ded ; 
Ther lith on up my wombc and op myn bed j 
Hflpe, Simkin, for the faU'c ckrkc* 6ght. 
jrbii Jolm ftcfc up M faA a9 ever he might. 



And grafpcth by the walk's to Mid fro 
To find a flaf, and ftie ftcrt up alfo. 
And knew the cftres bet than did thii Johil| 
And by the wall iSie toke a ftaf anon. 
And faw a litcl fhemeringof a light. 
For at an hole in fhone the mone bright. 
And by that light (he faw hem bothc two. 
But Qkcrly (he n*ille who wat who, 
But af ftc fuw a white thing in hire eye ; 
And whan (be gan this white thing efpie 
She wend the clerk h-id wcrcd a volupere. 
And with the (Vaf fee drow ay nere and no 
And wend han hit this Alein atte fuU, 
And fmote the ifiiller on the pitied fknll. 
That doun he goth, and cried, Harrow ! 1 c _ 
ThiTe clerke» bete him wel, and let hint lie, ^ 
And greithcn hem, and take hir hort anon. 
And eke hir mele, and on hir way they gon j 
And at the mille dorc eke they toke hir cak« 
Of half a buftiel flour ful wcl ybake. 

Thu* i» the proude miller wcl ybette. 
And hath ylofi thr grinding of the whete. 
And paid for the fouper every del 
Of Alein and of John that bete him wel ; 
His wif i* fwivcd and his doughter al« ; 
Lo, fwicbc it is a miUcr to be faU : 
And thcrfore thii proverb ii fayd ful foth. 
Him tharnot winnen wel that evil doth; 
A gilour fhal himfclf begiled be ; 
And God, that Cieth hie in mageftee. 
Save all tkis compagnie gret and finale. 
Thm have I (]uit the miller ia my Tile. 




YHE COKtS PROLOG Vt. 



THE COKES PROLOGUE. 



be of Loodoo^ while the Rerc fpake, 
[turn thought) he clawed him on the h^k : 
~ ke) for Criftts paOioD, 
" » fharpc conclufioti 
,t of hcrbcrgigc. 
in hii laagmge 
ercrjr m^n into duo hoaSi 
ig by DJght ii perilouaL 
kt a man avifed for to be 

he brought into his privetee. 
» God Tq y eve me forwe and care 

1 hightc Hodgt of Witt, 
i Miller bet jfctte »^erk ; 
I JMe of malice in the derk. 
od iorbedc that wc flint en herc^ 
if ye Touchen fiaiif to here 
me that am t pourc tnaq^ 
tell as wel a»^Ycr I can 
^ that feU in our citee. 

a&fwcrd a&d faydc^ I grant ll thee ; 



Kow tell on, Roger, atid loke that it be good, 
For many a paftcc hafl thou Icttco blood. 
And many a Ja*:kc of Dover hafl thou fold 
l^hat hiith been twiei hot and twic» cold : 
Of many a pilgrim halt thou Criflcs curfe. 
For of thy perfelee yet fare they the wcrfef 
That they ban cten in thy ftoblc gooft. 
For in thy (hopgoth many a flic looa. 
Now tell on, gcntil Roger by thy name. 
But yet 1 pray thee be not wrofh for game ; 
A man may fay ful foth in game and play. 

Thou fayfl ful foth, quod Roger, by my fay ; 
But foth play fMadeJfrel, as the Fleming laith, 
And iherforc, Hcrry Ballly, by thy fiith 
Be thou not wroth, or wc departcn here, 
Thotigh that my Talc be of an hollclerc : 
But nathcles, I wo I not telle h yet. 
But cT wc part ywis thou lb alt be quit. 
And thcrwithal he lough and made chcre 
Aud iayd his Talc, at yc fhal alter here. 



THE COKES TALE* 



liTTs whUoin dwelt in our citce, 
I craft M ▼itailler» wat he : 
he «rm*a» goldfinch in the Ihawe^ 
l» a bcry, a proprc (hort fclawe, 
kke» bbke kcmbcd ful fctifly : 
he coitde (o wel at^d joUjy, 
waa cleped Fcrkin Revelour: 

B fol Of lave and paramour 

hhnr fol of hon^y fwete ; 

tht wcochc with him mightp metc* 

BflprMaiieraii ontbHAy prenriec (rltco to dtet, 
li vtec* waftinjt thcf cby itu mtfUr'a p>P(N, mr.4 
•0 MmfctrufcwrcAte. < h€ BioQ, ifiLTi of %hh Tale 



At every bridalc would he finjr apd hopp# | 
He loved bet the tavernc than the ihoppc; 
For whan thcr any riding was in ChL'pe 
Out of the ihoppc tliider wold he kpc, 
And til that he bad all the (ighe yfcin, 
And danced wet, he wold not conic ugein ; 
And gadrcd him a meinie of his fort 
To hoppc and ling, and makcn fwichc difport ;» 
And thcr they fcttcn flcvcn for to mctc 
To plain at the dice in fwichc a (Irctc ; 
For in the Toun nc was ilicr no prciitix 
That fairer coudc callc a pair of Ji» 
Than PtrUn coudc, and thereto he wa* fre 
Of his dtfpcccc, m pliec of pnvctce ; 
U iii> 



TMS OOKSS «rAL«. 



That fond his maiiler wel in his chafiere^ 
For often time he fond his box ful bare. 

For fothly a prcntis, a revelour, 
Th2t haunteth dis, riot and paramoQ|r, 
Hismaifter Ihal it in his fhoppe.abie, 
M have he no pan of the mkiftrakiei 
For theft and riot they ben convertible^ 
Al can they play on giteme or ribiblc. 
Revel and trouth, as in a low degree, 
They ben ful wroth ail day, as men may fee. 

This joly prenti» with hi« maifter abodp, ' 
TJl he was neigli out of his prefttifliede, 
Al were he fnibbed bothe erly and late. 
And fpmtime lad with revel to Newgate ; 
But at the lafl his maiiler him bethought. 
Upo ! a day whan he his p^er fought. 
Of a provcrbc that laith this fame i^oHt 
ly^clbetisrotenafpclotitolhord ' 



Than that it rots alie the remepant t 
So fareth it by a riotous fervant ; 
It is wel laife harm to let him pace 
Than he fliende all the fervants in the place : 
Therforc his maifter yaf him a quittance, 
Ar« mht him gty, with for vie cncF witii ikieftAHM 
And thus this joly prentis had his levc : 
Now let him riot all the night or leve. 

And for ther n'is no thefe without a louke 
That helperh him to waften and to fouke 
Of that he bribeB can or borwo mays 
Anon he fent his bed and hia array 
Unto a compere of his owen fort 
That loved dis, and riot, and di^rt. 
And had a wif that held for countenance 
A ihoppe, and fwived for hire fuftei\aiice. 



THE MAN OF LAWES PROLOGUE. 



(Wi MoSkc Cxm wcl ihat the WigKtd foanc 
Tkck oThii artificui day had ronttc 
TklNETtbe Bart aod half an houru and more | 
I ikhotagb he were not dcp« expert Iq lore, 
r vifte it wa» the cighu-<uid.cw<:ae]r d^y 
I Afril* tJmt U mclTiigcr to May, 
■d Bw wei that the thodow of every tree 
lr>ft«* ia leogtbe of the j}une qiuniitoc 
I «» tbc bcKly trc>A that caufed it, 
[ ibcrfore by the fhadow he tokc hu wit 
t Fbelfcs, which that ihonc fo ticrc ajjdhrightf 
D^greet wa* fiifo-aDd-fort j *:Iombe on hight i 
Ai^ior tliac day, ai in th^it htitudc;, 
ll vm tea of the dok he gan conclude, 
Aftd Mesly he piight his hors &boute* 

LcrdiD^, quod he, [ waroc you ail this route 
TV f&wrthe parcie of this day U gon : 
Ki« fior the love of God and of Semt Juhn 
Ldali no time, at fcrlbrth as ye may* 
Imiat^lK the time it wailcth night and day, 
^it£ §tleih from u4, what privciy flejung, 
JIaA what thurgh ocgligcncc in our waking, 
AtAetk the itrrme, that turntth never again^ 
'>'tT-tlr«*g §ro the montagoe iota a plain, 
Vd can Senek and many a philoJbphrc 
Vvaira tixnf more than gold in cofT^c i 
f^k^crf c«td ftiay rccovcicd be, 
Ik hie of titne &endeth us, quod he. 
Aiafaac cioibc again withouten drcde, 
tkmatt than wol Malkint nuidenhcde 
Tboiibe hath loSk it in hire wantooneirc ; 
Ut K# not tnoulen ihu& in idJcnelTc. 

Src Man of Lrawe,<)uud he, to have ye bill, 
T^ B»a Tale auon, a5 for word is, 
ti hen fijabsnitted thurgh your Ifce alTcnt 
Tft^aode in thii ea«at my jugimrnt. 

I yon now, and hoideth your behefli 
Ate ye doo your devoir at the Icil, 
e^ s^iod he, dt f>ar dUvm jf& ajftntt^ 
en forword tH not niin entente. 
t is del ee, and I wold hold it iayn 
1 my heheft, } can no better fayn« 
r fwkbe bwe as man ycvctli another wight 
e^fikohl timCclven ufen it by right. 
Thn* wol 9Qr icjit ; but nathcles certain 
1 am lighi now no thrifty Talc fain, 
{(ut Cliauccr (thotigh be can but lewdely 
Db metrei and on riming craftily) 
Hieh Qyd hem in fwiche EngUih at he can 
pf olde doi^Ci u koowoh nuny a maa \ 



And if he have not fayd hem, levo brother. 
In o book, he hi^th fayd hem in another : 
For he hath told of lovcra up and douu 
Mo tJiikn Ovidc umdc of incntioun 
In kis EpWiQiti^ that b«& fut olde. 
What IhulJ \ tellcn hem fin they ben toldc J 
In youthe he made of Ccyc* and Atcyoa^ 
And Jlthan hath he fpoke of evcrich on 
Thifc noble wive*, and thife lover* cke« 
Who fo that woj his large volume feke 
Ctcpcd Tbc Seintes Lcgendc of Cupide : 
Thcr may he £t: the large woundcs wid<; 
Of Lucrccc, and of Babylon Thifbc \ 
The fwcrd of Dido for the falfc Ence ; 
The tree of Philli» for liirc Demophon \ 
The pfaint of Deianire and Hermlon, 
Of Adriane and VHphilee ; 
The harrcinc ile bonding in the fee ; 
Tbc drcint Lcandre for hi» fayre Hero ; 
'I'ht \^x^% of Hclcine, and ckc the wo 
Of Brileidc sind of Ladomia j 
The crueltee of thee, Quetic Medea, 
Thy Hie! children hanging by the haU 
For thy Jafon, that was of love fo fals ; 

Hipcrmetlra, Penelope, Alccflc \ 

Your wif hood he commendeth with the bcdc. 

But certainly no word ne writeth ho 
Of thllke wickc cnfampk of Canace, 
That loved hire oWen brother fmfully j 
(Of all fwiche curfed ftorie* 1 fay Fy) 
Or clles of Tyrius Appolonious, 
How that the curfed king Antiochus 
Beraftc hiidoughtcr of hire maidenhcde, 
That is fo horriljlc a tak for to rede. 
Whan he hire threw upwn the pavcmcnu 
And thcrforc he of ful avifemcnt 
N'old never write in nou of his fcrmoa* 
Of fv.ichc- unkindc abhominattoiM ; 
Ne 1 wol Hon rthcrfe, if that I may. 
But of my Talc how Ibai I don thij day \ 
Mc were loth to be likened douttlcs 
To Mufei thit men clcpc Picrides, 
( MetjTHarpbofe^i wrote what I mene) 
But nathcks I rccche not a bene 
Though I come after him with hawcbake ; 

1 fpcke in profc, and let bim rimes make. 
And with that word he with a fohre chcre 
Began hii Talc, and faydc a« yc fliuil hcitf. 



THE MAN OF LAWES TALE. 



I 



O iCATHFUL harm, condition of povcrtc, 
With thirflfWitti cold, with hunger, fo confounded, 
To aikcD helpc thcc Ibamcth m ihioc hertc. 
If thou non aflc, fo fore art thou ywoundcd. 
That vcray ncdc unwrappeth all thy wound hid* 
Maug^rc thin bed thou moft for indigence 
Or itcle or beggc, or borwc thy difpcnce» 

Thou blameft Crift, and [Ji3fft ful bitterly, 
He mifdcp&rteth rkhcHc temporal ^ 
Thy neighcbour thou witcrll finfully* 
And fay^ thou hail to Litcl and he hath all ; 
Parfay (fayft thou) fomctimc he rckcn fhall, 
Whftti that his tayl flial brenncn in the gledc, 
For he nought helpcth needful in hir ncde. 

Herkcn what h the fentcncc of the wifc» 
Bet ii to dlen than have indigence. 
Thy fclvc neighcbour wol thee defpife ; 
IT thou be ponre farcwcl thy reverence. 
Yet of the wife man take thb fcntence* 
Allc the dayes of poure men ben wicke ; 
Beware therfone or thou come to that pricke. 

If thou Ik pourc^ thy brother hateth thcC| 
And ili thy frcndct flcen fro thee, ala> f 

richc marchanti! ful of wcle hep ye, 
C nublc, o prudent folk * a* in thii cas. 
Your bagges ben not filled with ambci as^ 

But with fii cink, that rrnocth for your cbanee ; 
At Criftcnmafle mcry may ye dance* 

Ye fekcn tond and fee for your winninges \ 
As w ife folk ye knowen all th* eflac 
Of rcgncs ; ye ben fathers of ddingci 
And tales both of pees and of debat : 

1 were right now of talei defolat, 

N*erc that a tnarrhant, gon ii many a ycre, 
lAc taught a Tale which that ye fhull here* 

In Surric whilom dwelt a compagnie 
Of chapmen rich, and therto fad and trewc. 
That wide were fenicn hirfpicerie, 
Clothes of gold, and fatini riche of bcwe : 
Hir chafl«rt wai fo thrifty axid fo ncwe. 
That every wight hath dcintce to chaflare 
With hem, and eke to fell en hem hir ware. 

Now fell it that the maiHen of that fort 
Hin fhapen hcni to Rome for to wcnde. 
Were it for chanmanhood or for difport, 
Nan other meflagc woldc they thider fcnde^ 
But comen hemfelf to Rome, this it the ende; 
And in fwielte phce a» thought hem avantagie 
for hir entente they taken lur hcrbcr^gt. 



Sojourned han thefe marchantt in that torn 
A certain time» aj fell to hir plcfance : 
And fo bcfcl! that the eicellent reooun 
Of the tmpcroure* doughter. Dame Cuflancc, 
Reported was with every circumilancc 
Unto thefc Surrien marchantf in fwicbc wife 
Fro day to day as I fhall you dcvife. 

This was the commun vots of every mm : 
Our emperour of Rome, God him fe, 
A doughtcr hath that fin the world begain. 
To rccken as wcl hire goodaeffe at bcaute, 
N'ai never fwiche another at it (he ; 
t pray to God in honour hire fuftene, 
Aad wold fhc were of all Eurwpc the t}oene« 

In hire is high bcautc withouten pride, 
Youthc withouten, grcnehed or folic : 
To all hire werkes vertuc is hire guide ; 
HumblcfTe hath flaien in hire tyrannic t 
She is niirrotir of alle curtcfie. 
Hire Kerie ii vcray chambre of holinefTe, 
Hire bond mini^re of fredom for almcflfe. 

And al thi» vots wa» foth, as God it trewc j 
But now to purpot let ui tume agetn. 
Thcfc marchants ban don fraught hir fluppei Qcwe, 
And wlian they ban this bltsfAil maiden fein 
Home to Surric ben tliey went ful fayiij 
And don hir nedes, as they ban don yore, 
And liTen in wele ; I can fay you no more 

Now fell it that thcfc marchanti flood in grace 
Of him that was the Soudan of Surrie; 
For whan they came from any ftrangc place 
He wold of bis benigne cnrtcfic 
Make hem good eherc,and bcfily cfpic 
Tidings of fundry rcgncs, for to lerc 
The wonders that they mightc fecn or here, 

Amongei other thinge* fpeciatly 
Thefc marchants han him told of Dame Cu 
So grct noblelTr, in emeft fcrioufly, 
That thi^ Soudan hath caught Su grtt p!;iaiice 
To han hire figure in hi* remembnmce. 
That all his luft and all hit befy core 
Wa» for to love hire while his lif may dure, 

Piraventure in tbilke large book 
V^Tiich that men clepc the Hcvcn ywritten 
With fterret, whan that he his birthc took. 
That he for love (huld ban hii deth, alat J 
For in the ftcrrc*^ clcrer than it glas, 
U writ en, God wot, who fo coud it rede. 
The dcth of CTcry nan witboutcB drWc« 



THE MAN O 

mAoy a winter therbcf«m 
m the dcth of Hcdor, Acliilles, 
Ifiry, Julius, or they vrtrt born ; 
iof Tbcbcft, snd of Hcrculc*, 
Titnnis^ mnd of Socr&tc^ 
Mt ayaukCM wittci ben fo dull 
cm wd rede it at the full. 
for hU pKre councel foot, 
Pftly of thU fT»tcrc for to pace, 

to hem declared hi§ entest, 
fd hem certxin, but he might have gncc 
I Cyfhincc, within a htel fpacc 
I hut dedf and charged hem in hie 

for his lif fom remedie. 
Hr atcD dWcrie thingi faiden ; 
q^amentet caftcn up and doun ; 
kfabcil reibn forth they laidco i 

of magtkc and abufioo ; 
^^ mm in conclufion, 

feen iimthat non avantage, 
loo other way favc manage. 
I frw they therein fwiche difficultee 
( of rcfon, for to fpcke all plain, 
kther w»t fwichc diverCtcc 
tc bir b«itbe lawe», that they fayn 

CD diat no Crifttn prince woU fayn 
ha childe under our law fwcte, 
■na ycven by Mahound our prophetCt 
Ihe snfwcred^ Rather than 1 kfe 
I wol be criftened doubteki ; 
9 hirea, 1 may noo other chcfe, 
m hold y ottr arguments in pecs ; 
kny lif, afld beth not recchcles 
a htre that hath my life in cure, 
lii wo I may not long endure. 
sedech greter dilatation i 
trctirc and ambalTatrie, 
the Fopcs mediatioun, 
the chirche, and atJ the chcvalrte, 
ideftni^ioi) of Maumetric, 
\tmewtik of Crifiei lawe dcrc, 
ttaiK!orded fo as ye may here : 
M die Soodan and his baronage. 
Am Urges, fliuld ycriftencd be, 
bil hs!n Caibincc in manage, 
giold, 1 D*ot what quantitce, 
finden fuffifant furetcc. 
accord is fwome on eyther Ode ; 
^r Cullance, almighty God thee gxde. 
wolden fom men waltcn, as I gefie, 
Ihuld telkn all the punrciance 
ikh that the Empcrour of his noble He 
tipen for his doughtcr Dame Cuftancc« 
ty mco know that fo grct ordinance 

cdlen in a litel daufc 
airaied for fo high a caui^. 

bcB flupen with hire for to wendcj 
its, and knig^htcs of re noun, 
ker Ibik ynow ; this is the end : 
ti£ed is thorghout all the toun 
cry wight with gret devotioun 
prayca CriSk that he this mariage 
IP grcc^ aod ijpcdc thl^ viagc* 



F LAWES TALE. 4f 

The day h comen of hire departing, 
1 fay the woful day fatal is couk 
That ther may be no longer taryiag* 
But forward ihey hem drcffen all and fome, 
Ctiftante, that was with forwe all overcome, 
Ful pale ariil, and drcfleth hire to wcnde. 
For wel Ihe fech ther n*ig non other cnde. 

Ala* ! what wonder is it though flic wcpt^ 
That Ihal be fent to ilrangc nation 
Fro fircndes that fo tendrely hire kept. 
And to be botinde under fubjcdion 
Of on fhcknowcth not his condition ? 
Houfhondes ben aU good, and han ben yore* 
That knowen wive*, I dare foy do more. 

Fader, (flje laid) thy wretched child CuftaBce, 
Thy yonge doughter, foftcred up fo foft^ 
And ye, my moder^ my foverainc plcfance 
Over all thing, (out taken Crift on loft) 
Cuilancc your child hire recommendcth oft 
Unto your grace, for 1 {ha! to Surric, 
Ne &al 1 never fcen you more with eye. 

AJas ! unto the Borhare nation 
t mulle gon, fin that it t* your will ; 
But Crift, that ftarfc for our redemption. 
So ycvc mc grace his hellcs to fuliJJ, 
I wretched woman no force though I fpill : 
Women arc borne to thraldom and pcoance. 
And to ben under mannts governance. 

I trow at Troyc whan Pirrus brake the wall 
Or Ilion brent, or Thcbca the citcc, 
Nc at Rome for the harm thurgh HannibaU, 
That Romans hath venquclhcA times three, 
N*as herd fwiche tend re wcping for pttec 
As in the chambre was for hire parting j 
But forth ihe mole whtdcr ft>e wcpc or Xing. 

Brftc moving cruel firmament * 
With thydmmal fwvgh that troudtft ay. 
And hurtlcft all from ell til Occident, 
That naturally wold hold another way. 
Thy crouding fet the hcvcn tn fwiche array 
At the beginning of this fierce viagc 
That cruel Mar^ bath llain this marriage. 

Infortuiiat afcendeut tortuous. 
Of which the lord is helpeles fall, alas ! 
Oat of his angle into the dcrkell hous, 
O MarH,o Atyzar! as id this cat; 
O fcblc Mofic ! unlutppy ben thy pat. 
Thou knittefl thee thcr thou art not received, 
Ther thou were wel fro tbenncs art thou wdved« 

Imprudent Emperour of Rome, alas J 
Was ther no philofophre in al thy loun I 
Is no time bet than other in fwiche ci&^ 
Of viagc is ther non cledioun, 
Namely to folk of high conditioun^ 
Nat whan a rote is of a birth yknowc ? 
Alas ! we ben to lewed or to How. 

To fhip is brought this woful faire gaaid 
Solerppnely, with every circuniflance : 
Now Jcfu Crift be with yot* all, (he faid* 
Ther ii'JA no more, but Fiirewcl, fair Cuilancc. 
She peineth hire to make good countenance ; 
And forth I lee hire faylc in this mauere, 
And tumc I >vol ;»gainc to my luatcrc. 




THE MAN OF LAWES TAL«. ^ 



That, 
^H^or tl 



Tlie mcrttitf of Saudto* well of vkct, 
Efpted hath hire fonci plelne entente, 
How he wol Icte hit old ficrifices ; 
And right inoji flic (or her confcil frote. 
And they ben comen to know what {he mcntc; 
And whao affembled wi4 ihi* folk in fere, 
She fft hire down, and fayd as jv fliul hcrei 
l4^rdft*j (fbc fayd) yc kmrwn tytrkhon 
How that my fone in point i» for to lete. 
The holy Uwe^ of our Alk^Lron^ 
Yeven by Godde« MeJTager Muhomete ; 
But on avow to g^rete God I hete» 
The Ijf fhal rather otit of my body ftnte 
Than M^homctet bwe otit of niyu hcrt«. 
. Wktkt Oiuld U9 tiden of ihift newe la we 
Mot thraldom to our bodsei and peiiance. 
And afWrward in he He to Hen drawt% 
fet wc rcncicd Mjthound our ereince f 
Btit, Lorden, wol ye mukeii afTunince^ 
As I fhal fay, aifenting to my Wre ? 
And I (hdt m;ike us ttnl for cvcrm<ire. 

They fworcn ind a Hen ted ev^ery man 
•To live with hire and die, and by Hire flond ; 
And cverich on, in the heft wife he can. 
To ftrcngthcfl hire ih^l all hi* frendc* fond. 
Ami Ihc huth this rmprife yt:iken in bond 
VTifch ye {hull hcfcn that \ Ih-tl dcvife, 
Antl lo hem all (he fpakc right in thit wife. 
We Ihnl firf\ fcio irt Criftcndom to uke | 
Cold water fbal nen ^eve ut but a lite j 
And 1 fhal fwiche a fede and revel make 
That, SEf I trow, I (h»l the St.)udiifl quite i 
~~ If tho hii wif he cflftencd never fo white 
(hal have nedc to wafh awiy the rede 
igh the a font of water with hire ledti. 
O SoudannelTcf rote of inj<]u»tee, 
"Vrraj^o ihou Semyramre the fecoad^ 
O fcrpc, nt under fcmioirtitet, 
Ukc to the fcrpcnt depe in helk y1ioun4» 
O fciiied won^oin ¥ A.U thiit may confound 
Vcrtur and innatrence, thurgh thy malice 
Ia bred in thee, a neft of every vice* 

O S<ithxn cnviou! ! Cm tJuLkc dny 
That thou were chnfed from oitf heritage, 
Wei knowdl th«u to woman the oldc way i 
Thou m^Jcll Evn 1n -. . - -, r,,.- ", 
Thou wtiit fordi 

Thin inftrtimcni 1 ') 

Mskrfl tfeou of women whan thou wok Hegile. 

Thi» SoudinnefTe.whom I thtwhlameandwurric, 
Let privety hire conlcil gon hif way t 
"What fhuld I in this Tile lonjjcr turic f 
fihc ridctli to the Sotidan on a d.iy. 
And fayd him that flic wold reiiite hire lif , 
And CnUcudnm of prejlci hondev fo^t 
"^.epcntiug hire (h? liethen w»i fo lonj? ; 
Bcf^,K,r.., u,*^ to dot] hfte cbM hon«iur 
Thai i II theCrift«n folk to Mi 

To fl vol drt my hbour. 

^^ ic 8 ,1 wol dun at yotir heft, 

rA kv l^ed hire of that requett ; 

gUd ht wa* ne nMfte not what to fay, 
1^ bi|T fpnc^ aad home ihc ^h hiire w»y. 



Arrived ben th«fc Crimen folk e« loni 
tn Surric, with a jpret folcmpnc rouvc. 
And haftily thi* Boudan fent hit fond 
FirR to his mother and a.U the regne abouti 
And fayd liii wif was comen out of dout^ i 
And praide hem for to ridcn af^n the ^ti 
The houonr of hit re^e to fuilene. 

Gret wiu the prefie, and rictie waa til* 1 
Of Surrient and Romanci met in f<rre. 
The modier of the Sonian richc and gvf 
Received hire with all fn glad a ehcrc 
As any mother miitht hire douj^hter dercp 
And to eke ncxte citcc thcr befjdc 
A foftc pa» folempncly they ride. 

Nought trow I the triumph of Julioa, 
or which tliat Lucan niaketh fwiche a boll^« i 
Was realItT or more curious 
Than waa th* aifemblee of thi* blitful hoft $ ( 
Butte this fcorpion, thii wicked goft. 
The Soudaade, for all hirc#atrcring 
Cail under thi* M mortally to ftin|r. 

The Soodan coimjeth himffif fonc titer t 
So really, that wonder in to tcll^ 
And wekometh hire with alle joy and blii. i 
And thus in mirth and joye I let hem dwell 
The fruit of thi» materc i* tJiat I tell 
Whan time came, men thouj^ht it for th* I 
That revel ftint, and men go to hir reft. 

The time come It this Mc 9owhamt&, 
Ordeined hath the fcftc of which I tnklt. 
And to the feUe Criilen folk him dreife 
In general, ya, bothe yonge and oldc. 
Thcr maymcnfeft and rcaltec beholde. 
An J dcintec* mo than [ can you devife ; 
But all to dt:re they hou],;ht it or they riJSe. 

O loden wo, that ever art fucceifour 
To world!)' bllffe! fprciut h with bittcniriSr ' 
Th* cnde of the ]oye of our worldly la&oiir^ 
Wo occnpicth the ^n of our gladodTe, 
Herken this coafeil for thy fikemcfTe, 
Upon thy glade day have in thy minde 
The uiiwarc wo of horme that cooKth bd 

For Ihortly for to tellea at a word. 
The Soud.iD and the Cnilen everich oa 
Ben all to-hewe and iUked at the bord 
But it were only I>ime Cultmncc alone- 
Thin old Sotidancffc, thia curfed crone. 
Hath with hirui frende* doo tbia curted tfcde* 
For fhe hi re ft If wold all the contree Icde. 

Nc ther wa» Surrien non that was Coavc: 
That cif the confcil of the Soudan nmU 
That he n'as aJl to-hewe crhc aficrted ; 
And Cullance han thry taken aoofi fot»>hof ^ 
And in a llhip alt ft«n:lc6 (God wot > 
They han hire fet, wad hidden hire l^nc Uf 
Out of Surric agaiaward to Uaille. 

A certmin tTofcir that ihe thither Udde» 
And foth to fayp vkaiik grcc pfcatee. 
They han hire yevca^ and clochet ek« ifae ] 
And forth lie faylcth in the faltc icew 
O my CuHaocc I fal of bcnsgAttee, 
O Exnpcrottm yonffc dioQgfater dere J 
He tlut it poii of lonnRC be thy ilcie. 




rrtg MAN Of tAWE3 TALI, 



H^ 



'ill pttJOUi VOU 

)ilc Ihc i 
nolj croi»! 
fit! of pftfe, 

kcpc 
:> t;u dcpc- 
r trcwc, 
f ujbcrc 
Ul> wc'undcs newe, 
! was with a fpcrc j 
d here 
iJ_, crtindcn, 
n»c might tnr lift© amctidco* 
fleet thi* cTciture 
of Gr<!'c'', unto the Stnitc 
If WM% Ktrt avrtiture : 

ihc baitc ; 
,uc waite, 
^,.., ., ,M !, ire drive 
fti fhi! Old irtvc. 
n why ftic was not flaio ? 
nvfghi hire body fcvc ? 

til demand again, 
Dftiiici ii) the horrible c&ve, 
^ wif^lkt favc hf, miftcr or knave, 
tk kao frrttt or he ailerte ? 
bvt Co«3, that he bare in hit hertc* 
I to Hktw h\% wonderful miracle 
r« Qmid fecD bis mighty wcrkei r 
tfj^t i.. f.v *>very harm iriacle, 
fr Liiewcfl clerkc^, 

l^fbf nde that ful drrke is 

I wti, that tor our ignorance 
korrw hi« prudent porvciancc. 
h IW wat not at the felle yfl;iLwe, 
t hirr frty the drcnchi»g in the Ice ? 
jot- ■ ■ fifhe* mawe, ^ 

I §p^ HincTfec ? 

Ktt - * no wight hm he 

lib' ulce fro drcr]'-:hirgj 

Irfei : ^1 jur thefecpairmg, 

the four* Ipiriti of temptft, 
laut to an oven lond and Tee, 
k«Bd fi>uth, and alfo v/eil an^l cll» 
Hrr fe*? , ive' load, ne tree ? 
!?r of tUat was he 
* fty thi^ wvman kcpte 
iti .1 -,•,■: 1.C :i^ u' ... r^ic lltpte. 
ijpJif *" .'A i-fiinri. -..i drinkchavc? 
— "* re Vitaillc ? 

_. ../,;//*. 

^v • iwri to ftde : 

,iL Utrc greic nede* 
rn^o tj%ir ocean 

■ ■ ■ !1 
. n, 
. v» turc call, 
t fo fait 
^ , _ ... Ai a tide : 

l^ot Crift w tftyt Ok Ihuldc abide. 



The ConfUbleof the calUe doun it fare 
To fccn this wrecke, and al the ihip he fou^h^ 
And fond thii vcxy woman ful of earc ; 
He fond alfo the trefouf that Ihe brought ; 
In hire langa^ mercy the bcfooght. 
The lif out of hire body for to twiunf. 
Hire to deliver of wo that ihc wa* innc. 

A mxtiLT Latin c<?rrupt wu hiie fpe^he. 
But alj^e th<:;rby wa^fbe usderAond. 
The CoiiAable, whan him lifl no longrr fccht!;^ 
This wofal woman brought he to tliC lofid. 
She kncleth doun,iind thanketh G^dJix^ tond^ 
But wh4.t ihe was Hie wulJc tio miai f<:ye 
For foule ne [aire, though thtit ye Aiuldc dcfO. 

She faid (he wa* To mufcd in the fee 
Thjt Pt\c formate hire mindc, by hire troulh. 
TK : C'-nftaldc hath of hire fo gret pltce. 
And eke his wif, that tliey wcpc/i lov routh : 
She wai {o dUtg;cnt withouten Houth 
To ferve and pUfen cverich in that plicc» 
That LiU hire love that hiken In hire face. 

The Conllabk atid D^n^c (icTmrgildhit wif 
Were Payenea^ an<l that contrcc every wliCT£ 
But Hcrmcgild loved Cuflance at hire lif; 
And Cu fiance hath fo long fojourncd tUcr 
In crifoDs, with many a bitter tcre, 
Til Jtfu hath converted ihurgh hii grace 
Diimc Hermcgild, ConftablcfTc of thnt place. 

In all that land no Criflen dorftc route ; 
All Crit"len faUt ben fled fro that contrec 
Thurgh Paycticft, that cunquercjcn all abouto^ 
The plages of the north by Lond ind feci 
To Wdlci fled the Chrinianitce 
Of oldc Bretons dwcUiug in this ilc ; 
Thf r wTu hir rcftjgc fer the mene w}tile. 

But yet ri*cre Criften Bretons fo cxUcd 
That ther nVrc fom which in hir priviicc 
Honoured Crift, and Hethcn folk begilcd. 
And neigh the caftlefwiehe ther dwcltcn three r 
That on of hem was blind, -od might not fee. 
But it were with thiike cycn of hitminde. 
With which m^n mowcn fee whan they ben blinde.^ 

BH f^ht was the fonne a* in that fomjners day. 
For which the CoBllahk atd his wif alfb. 
And Ciiftance, han ytake the rightc way 
Toward tlie fee a furlong way or two, 
To plaicQ and to romen to and fro, 
And in hir walk tJiiiblimle lu^n they mcttc, 
Croked and olde, with eyen fail ylhctte- 

In the name of Crid, (cried thi» btlndc Breton)^ 
Dame Hermegild, yevc me my light again. 
Thiihidy wejce afraicd of tliat foun, 
Left that hire hujbond, fiiortly for to fail]. 
Wold ^ire for Jdu Crifte* love have flain, 
I'll! Cullance made hire bold, and bad hire trcrdi^ 
The will of Crift, a«doughterof holy cherche. 

The Cdnflablc wcxe abafhcd of that fight. 
And fuyde» What amounteth all thi» fare ? 
C\i^ tiuc anfwercd. Sire, it js Cnfte»mi[;ht^ 
i h:»t liclpeth fglk out of the fcndesfnarc : 
And fo fc I forth ihe o^au our lay declare. 
That Ihe the Conilable, er that it were eve^^ - 
Convccted^ and on Qvlk made him hckv^. 




4l THE MAN O 

TKi» Con{bW« wai not lord of the place 
Of wbicK 1 fpcVc, ther as he Cuftancc fond. 
But kept It flrongly many a winter fpacc 
Under Alb King of Northumbcrlond, 
That wai ful wife, and worthy of hkhond 
Again e the ScottM, at men may wel here % 
But tourne I wol againe to my matcre, 

Sathan, that ever Ui waitcth to begilc, 
Saw of Cttftarjce all hire perfcdiouo, 

I And C3A anon how he might quite hire while, 

I And made a yongc kntght, that dwelt in that toim» 
" ovc hire fo hole of fnuk affedioun, 

bj,t veraily him thought that he IhuldfpiUc 

rSut he of hire might ones han hiii willc. 
He woeth hire, but it avmiteth nought ; 
She wolde do no fmncby no wey ; 
And for dcfpit he compafTcd his thought 
To makcn hire on Oiameful deth todey : 
Hr waiteth whan the Conflable it away. 
And privily upon a night he creptc 
In Hcrmcgildcftchambre while fhe Hepte. 

Wcry, forwakcd in hire orifotii, 
Sk-peth Cutiince, and Hcrmcgildc alfo. 
This knightf thurgh Sathanes temptations^ 
All foftely is to the bed ygo, 
And cut the throte of Hcrmcgildc atwo. 
And kyd the bloody knif by Dame Cuflance, 
And went hi J way* ther God ycve him mifchance. 

Sonc after cometh this Conflablc home again, 
Atidekc Alia, ihatking was of that lood, 
And faw his wife defpitoufly yflain, 
For which ful oft he wept ^nd Tvrong hii hood; 
And in the bed the blody knlf he fond 
By Dame CuRance. Alas ! what might (he fay t 
For veray wo hire wit wai all away* 

To King Alia wa» told all this mifchaiice^ 
And eke the iime, and wher, and in what wlTci 
That in a {hip was fonden thU Cuftancca 

^Jk4 here before ye han herd mc dcTife : 

pThe kiDgcs herte of pttee gan agrife 

* Whan he faw fo benigne a creature 
Fall in difcfc and in mLfa venture. 

For as the lamb toward hi» deth it hrought| 
Sn flant this innocent befom the king : 
Thi» falfe knight, that hath this trcfun wrought, 
£ereth hire in hond that (he hath don thU thing : 
But nathelet there wa» gret murmuring 
Among the pcple, and fayn they cannot gtfle 
That ihe had don fo great a wickednciTe ; 
For they han feen hire ever fo vertuouA, 

|> And loving Hcrmcgild right as hire lif. 
Of this bare witneflc cverich in that hous 
Save he that Hcrmegild flow with his knif. 
Thif geuiil king hath caught a gret motif 

I Of this witoef*, and thought he wold enqucte 

I Drpet in thit cms, trouthe for to lerc. 

I Alaft I Cuflance, thou hzQ. do champion, 

' Ke Hghten canft thou cat, fo wala wa ! 
But he that ftarf for our redemption, 
And bond Sathan, and yet lith Uicr he lay. 
So be thy IVrongc champlan this day : 

\tor but ifCrffton thrt miracle kithe, 
Witliuiitcn gilt thou (hale be Uain a« fwithe. 
Sbe Ui hire doim oa kB&es» and thiu fbe fiydc; 



F LAWES TALI, 
Immortal God ! that («fv4A Su^annt 
Fro falfc blcme, and thou mcrcifnl may <fi^ 
Mary 1 mcne, doughtcr to Seint Anne, 
Beforn who« child aneeU fingen Ofadne* 
If I be giltclc« of this ^lonie 
My foconr be, oreUcii fhal I die. 

Have ye not feen romtime a pale face ^ 

(Among a prees) of him that hath ben bd j 

I'oward his dcth, where as he getteth no fff/0^ ^ 
And fwiche a colour in his face hath had. 
Men migliten know him that wax fo beftad 
Amongea all the faces in that route, 
So llant Cullance, and loketh hire aboute* ^ 

O quenes living in profperitee, ^ 

EhichtfTcs, and ye ladic* evcrich oo ! jy_ 

Havcth fom routhc on hire adverHceCfl , 

An cmperoures doughter fta; t alone ; - j 

She hath no wight to whom to make hire flMSii^ 
O blood real, that fkoxidck in thi* drede, 
Fer ben the frendes in thy gretc nedc ! /^ 

This Alia king hath fwiche compa[&oao» y. 
As gtntil herte is ful felled of pitce, - l 

That fro his eyen ran the water douzi* <. 

Now haftily do fecchc a book, quod he. 
And if this knight wol fweren how that flic '^ 
Thii woman flow, yet wol we us avife. 
Whom that we wol that fhal ben our julUcei ^ ' 

A BretoEi book, written with Evangiles^ 
Was fet, and on this book he fwore anoo «. 

She giltif was, and in the menc whiles ■ 

An hond him fmotc upon tlic nekke booCf \ 

That doun he fell at ones a^ a (lone. 
And both his cycn broft out of hit face 
In fight of every body in that place, 

A voice was herd, in general audience. 
That fayd. Thou haft defciandercd gikcJe* 
The doDghtcr of holy chirche in hi^ ftfdeace 
Thus hall thou don, and yet hold I my pee 
Of this mcrvaille agafl was all tbcpreo; 
As mafed folk they (londen cTcricK «l 
For dredc of wreche, favc Cuftance alone, 

Gret waa the drcde and eke the repentaa 
Of hem that hadden wronge fufpcdioQ 
Upon thisfely innocent Cuftancc i 
And for this miracle, in concluiioo. 
And by Cuftances mediation. 
The king, and many another in that place. 
Converted was, thanked be Crillei grace. 

Thisfalfe knight was flainfor hituntroutlM 
By jugcment of Alia haftily ; 
And ytt Cuftance had of his dctb gret routhc | 
And after thia Jeftis of his mercy 
Made AJla weddcn ful folempncly 

This holy woman, that is fo bright and flie ^ 

And thus hath Crift ymade CuSance a qiteil«« 

But who was woful (if 1 ihall not lie) 
Of this wedding but Donegild, and no mo. 
The kingcs inother, full of tyrannic f 
Hire though^e hire curfcd herte braft atwo; 
She wotde not that hire font had do fo t 
Hire thoughte a defpit that he (huldc take 
So llmngc a creature unto hit make. 

Me lift 6oC of the ch:if ne of the ftrc 
Makcn fo long a talc as of the com« 
WhMt ihuld I tcUcfl of the rcaltce 



THI MAN OP LAWES TALR 



"isflrt or uliich coun gmh befom, 
^w«th Id ■ tronrtpe or m aa bom f 
h oi c^cry taht U for to f»y ; 

~ drink, and daoce, &nd (ing, uidpUy* 
r^oii to bcd» aa it wai fklll and nght^ 
■igli tbtt wiTCsben fal holy thingct, 
pften t^ke id patience a aight 
Bsoer o>e<cirArics, as ben plcIiiigeB 
tlkac ban ywtdded hem with ringct. 
f 1 lite hir holincr» siilde 
ihe time, it may ao bet betide. 
Ire he gat a knave cbildc anoD» 
a biAop, ajid hit Coojbble elcc, 
i ham mf to kept, when he ii goo 
kod ^raxd, his fomcn for to frktr, 
Irr Chift^ancCf that h fo humble and m^ke^ 

gen with du]dc til that diU 
ikire ckacnbre^ abiding Crifteiwill, 
r b come, a kn»Te child flie bere ; 
at eke fontftone thej him calle. 

lie doth forth come a TncHager, 
aoto his king that clepcd wat AUe, 
tkiftblisfu] tiding U befalle, 
r tidiDgt fpedcful for to fay. 
k the lettrc, and forth he goth hit way. 
lefigcr, to don hii a vantage, 
kingea mother ridcth fwithc, 
betll hire ful faire in his languor. 
tt ^aod he, yc may bt glad ajid blithe, 
token God an hundred thou fan d fit he i 
f 4^Beiie hath child, withouten doutc, 
md btilTe of all tkit regne aboute. 
Ire the Icttrc feled of thit thing, 
~ here ID all the haft 1 may : 
jbf BDto your fane the king, 
■r ferram bothe night aiid day. 
~E Aofw^crd, A« now at thb time oay ; 
t wol all night thoa take thy reft, 
■e wol 1 fay thee what me left, 
lefagcr drank fadly ale and wine, 
^ were hi* lettrc* priTcly 
b has, while he flept at a fwiae ; 
Brdeted wu ful fnbtilly 
r lettre, wro jg^ht ful CnfuUy, 
le king dircde of thii matere 
Conltahie^ » ye (hal after here. 
Icfzre fpake, the quene delivered was 
Irrihie i fendlichc creature^ 
the cmftle turn fo hardy was 
w while dodt therein endure : 
ther waa an elf by aventure 
hy channel or by forccrie, 
tnth man hateth hire compagnie^ 
mB thi4 king when he thb tettre had fcin. 
lo wight he told hii forwet fore, 
omen hand he wrote again j 
the fbode of Crift for evermore 
am now Icmcd in his lore : 
;ic be thy luft and rhy plefance; 
I ptit ill in thyn ordinance. 
Bi tji Ne it foalc or faire, 

f wv iiin home coming : 

;, fendeu me an hcirc 
|Tca; , * to my Ukiug. 

Irt he Iiicd,privd| wcpin^ 



Which to the mclTager wa^ttikcn Osne, 
And forth he goih, diere i« no more to done* 

O mclTager fulfilled of dronkencfte? 
Strong is thy breth, thy limmes fattrca ay. 
And thou bcwreieft alle fecrcneJIe ; 
Tlky mind i» lorne, thou jangleft as a jay | 
Thy face U toumcd in a new array : 
Thcr dronkenefTe rcgntth in any route 
Ther is no copfeil hid withouten doute. 

O Bonegild! 1 nc have non Engtilb digne 
Unto thy malice and thy tyrannic, 
And thcrforc to the fcnde I thee rcfigne* 
Let him cnditen of thy traitorie, 
Fy, mannifti, fy ! o nay, by God I tie ; 
Fy, fendlichc fpirit! for I dare well teUe, 
Though thou here walke, thy fpirit is in heller 

This meflagcr comcth fro the king again^ 
And at the kingc^ qiodrcf court he iight^ 
And fhe was of thit mcftagtr ful fayn« 
And pkfcd him iojall that ever ftie might. 
He drank e and we 1 his girdel undcrpight i 
He |]epeth and he fnorcth in his gifc 
Alt night until the fonne gan arife. 

Eft were hislcttrcsftolen everichon. 
And coDtrefeted lettres in thi« wife. 
The king commanded his Conftable anon, 
Up peitur of hanging and of high jewife. 
That he nc ihuldc fofTran in no wife 
Cuftance within hi*i regne for to abide 
l^hrec daici and a quarter of a tide ; 

But iu the fame Qiip asi he hire fond 
Hire and hire yongc fonc, and all hire gerr, 
He Ihulde put, and croude hire fro the lond. 
And charge hire that (he never eft come there. 
O my Cuftance ! wcl may thy ghoft have fere. 
And (Icping in thy drcme ben in penance^ 
Whan DonrgiJd caft all thi» ordinance. 

Thit mcfFagcr on morwe whan he awoke 
Unto the caftd halt the ontc way^ 
And to the Con^able he the Icttrc toke; 
And whan that he thii pitovt lettre fey 
Ful oft he fayd Ala£, and wala wa * 
Lord Chrift,quDd he, how may this world endure^ 
So fill of flnne is many a creature f 

O mighty God t if that it be thy will. 
Sin thou art rightful juge, how may it be 
That thou wolt foffrcn itmoccnce to fpill. 
And wicked folk regne in profperitcc ? 
A ! good Cuftance, alaa ! fo wo i» me. 
That 1 mote be thy turmcntour, or dey 
On ftiames dcth, ther is non other wey. 

Wq:>eo both yonge and oldc in all that plact 
Whan that the king this curfed Icttrc fcnt : 
And Cufltance with a dedly pale face 
The fourthe day toward the ftiip fhe went ; 
But natheteff flie taketh in good cntent 
The will of Crift, and kneling on the ftrond 
She fay dc. Lord, ay welcome be thy fond. 

He that me kcptc fro the faUe blame. 
While [ was in the lond amongct you, 
He can me kepc fro harme and eke fro Hiamc 
In the fait fee, although I fc not how : 
Af ftrong as ever he was he i* yet now ; 
In him truft I, and in his mother dcre» 
That U to mc my fail and ckc my litre. 



THE MAN OP LAWES TAtt. 



I 



I 



Hire litcl child lay weplng in hire arm. 
And knctifij; jiitoully to him flic faid, 
Pecht lire! fooc, I w«I dn thcc no harm j 
IV'iih tliut hire touvcrchicf of ^ji^c hcd llic brud. 
And over bis Ittd eye n file it lard » 
And in liirc armc ibc lullcth i( ful faCt, 
And into ihc hcfvctj hire eytn up ihc caft- 

Mother, quod ihc, iind n»wydcn» bright M«rie * 
Snthittli&t thury^li U'oRi:inc»<ggi?meot 
Miirliind wia lorne, and diumued nj to die, 
J-^jr which thy cliild waa on a croi* yrcnt : 
*Jhy hlififui cycD faw all hi» turmem, 
I']),!!! ii ther no comparifou hrtv»i'tie 
Thy wo and any i^omfea m»y fu(>cnc. 

Thou fiiw thy child ylUin haorc thin eyen, 
Alififtt now livcth my liicl child parfay : 
Now, Lady brtglit ! to whom all woful crirn, 
^rhfiU glory of womnflhtfd, th&y fi^irc May! 
Thou haven of rrfutr^ bright ftcrre oi diy! 
Rcw on my chiklp that of thy g^cnUleflc 
JLcwcft oth tvery rtwful in diftrcfie, 
" O litclchild, al.i* ! what is fhy gilt, 
•That never wrou^htuft finne a* yet pardc I 
'Why woj thiD harde father have thee fpilt ? 
O mercy, dcrc ConftabU- ! (quod ihc) 
A« let n»y litcl child d^eli here with ther; 
And if thou darft c» t U\cn him fro blame. 
So kiHe him on«« in inn f^drc6 n?in'.c. 

Thcnvith fbc k4cth bsckv/ard to the Innd, 
And fsiidcp Farewcl, houibond routhelet ! 
And lip (he rift, and walkcthdoun the ftrond 
JTo^'ard ihr (hip ; hire fokrwrih all the prea i 
k ^d evrr (he praicth hint chiid to hold hi* pers 
I -ire kvc, and w^th an holy ciitcnt 
[ic, and iniothe (hip fhc wfrtit, 
*^ (hip, it ta no drcdc, 
>rca ful lonjr fjiaci:; 



llahur 

And ft 

She h^c' 

For \\y. ' 

And brtiig htrc in 

Huf tn fit- f-cfhc .: 

''rtif con.tiii 

-I. 



le 

race : 

d purchace* 
o better fj»y, 
> hire way* 
foDr after thk 



r J, of thr uhich I I old, 
/ ■ t:d it; 

'1 old, 

A^w, J... .., .H ,P. :okl 

A*' TC lull l-trd, I ' "f, 

Aud flirwid the ki: ^, .... :-- ii;tt Ictttsri 

And fj^iile, Lord, as ye comn>atided m< 
Up pii 1. .,f ,«t'l\ f" ! .iv ! d*rti certain. 
1 dJ he 

^i ..t and plain 

Fro nt^jjt !u ui^hi in what ybce he hiMl lain : 
And Ihurby wit and fuhtil cf»i;tieriii<( 
Imigmed WM by wliom '* ^innjr- 

Tljt lixnd w»i kiwiw r ^^rlKe» 

A»d Ji!l •' - * ' uu ".'uv, 

But in at. 

The e'J . _.,:._: ,.... . yr r.f ^r,,\e 

Hi% «io4er litxv, that moun u rede, 

For that H.c triaitosr was to h . . 

Tim* tndcd thai oW Donej^dd wjth mckhstsoe. 
The Ltw'c than tiiia AUa night and daj 



MkihfHh fur hi» wif and for hi» chll^ 
Ther is no ton^ethat it telle m muy. 
But now wol 1 agcti tn f ^f** 

That flctctb in the H* 1 W* 

Five yerc and iricire» ** i-^ivi v . liKtAHulf* 
Or tli:4t hire (hip approdied it» the l&niri. 

Under an Hethaie^ftel at tlic kft, 
(Of whieh the name in my tcJrt I not fit^) 
Cuflatiee and eke hire eliild the fee up ead. 
Almighty Crod, that favcd ail mankind, 
H^vc on CuflatKe and on hire child fotn fl 
That fiillen i« m Hnthen hondcftfutic 
In point to fpiJJ, ^*> I fh^l telJ you futie. 

Dciim fro the cailel Cometh ther oiAilf al 
To gaurcn on thi§ Ihip and on Cuflalice : 
But iliorily '-^^ ''« -' " - ■ ^ -ht, 
Thf lordc- I n m<i 

A thc^f til / «cc» 

Ciiincinfii theihip alone, andiudhe wol^le 
Hire Icniman he wli-jfber fhe ^%Adr or nVlde. 

Wr« V, as thif wretched womaxi tho b^«iL$ 
Hire chill rn'd, an<f ih»*cr«'d tiiroofly 5 
Bi(thliJ>h«l ^ I , 

For with h If 

Ihe thcef i 
And in the ' 
And thus \ l . .. 

O fouK- hj*t oi luxi 
Not only ehrft thou fun 



it 1 1 Ji'U'JjM) , 



♦ d (or Tcnjjcancr ; 

- — '1 L.-t C* 



But iccrally thou wok hii btniy ihvmUe* 
rh' ende of thy werk« cr of thy lulle«btia 
U ctmpl,:uii5ng : how many may men luid 
Th;it not for v'erk fonictitnc, but for th' tnitem 1 
To don thift finn^, ben cythcr (laiti or Vu 
How ma^ thift wekc woman h^v the : 
Hire todri ^ -! ^ .--..- ? 

GoliaA ! 

How oil f ._ ;..,-..,;. ..„, :i <r..l. '■ 

So )i armure fc dcK ' 

How ^.s upon thy dredr 

Wcl may men fceii it was but G«n> i » t^ 

WIio yaf Jtwlith ccrafre or harduKiic 
To fivcti him Hfilof'.'rne^ in hie teat. 
And to dciivcr out of wretcludneffe 
The pcplc of God* ! Iky fc*. ' 
That right a» Cod (ptrit ol 
'] a hem, andi^ved hem em i'^ >^'^ < .r,<.n , 
So fent he might and Tigotir to Cuilwice. 

Forth goth hire (Hip thurrhu-.it thr nAr «.- moll 
Of Juhaltcrf and^pi , 
Sometime wtH, and i^ 
And fnmetime ejl, ful 
TilCrif>t^ffiod<Tfbk]. 
Hafh r?h lure cii . 

To n t.f aU hire ) 

titiw lit ij. mat of (' 
Aftd fpckc wc of the i^ 
Thnt outo^ c, .^;.. \,,.. 
The daug] 
Dun to ht* 

1 mere the 
Thct at ihr .^ ',!,,.. 

For whicU thie cuipcr^^iir imiti icu; ; 
Hii fenatuur, with- tcoi ordifiimcet, 




HE MAN OF LAWJSS TALK. 



tut^f many on, 
rii high vcngftncc : 
cn, ami bring hem to mefchonce, 
piilirft but (hunly tfus ii th*cTidc, 

I Cif R<in *'■ - " !mn to wetidc, 
stour r cleric 

■ ward, !^ . -,, .- --..J, 
I the Aip driving, a* iJith the ftoric, 
I Cu^iHcc Iftrcth fnl phnudy * 

he whit ftic was, ne why 
array, nc fhc wil fey 
though that (he ihuldc dey. 

hire td Rome, and to his wif 
And hire yoji^c fonne i«li\>, 

* fmrntour ihc lad hire lif, 

• Ltody briiigcn out of wo 
and many another mo : 

r 4 willed (he in that pUio! 

I ever, a« was hire grace, 

k wif hire atuite wa*, 

knew hire DCTcr the more : 
■ tarirn in ihi« cas, 
r AlLa^ -which J If Ac of yorf, 
. wif wipcth and nkcth fgrc, 
I wcl CuiLince 
ivcftiance. 
•r hat! his moder dlln^ 

re];u'nta.ncc, 
ih-J iad pUin, 
til to receive his pcTiancc, 
Jie Popci ordinance 
^Oii Jcfu Cr'ift bc'foir^^ht 
,:! ^rrkfi that hr hu[ wrought. 
St a^Di " bom, 

II t: ', as wa* afagc, 

ay. ^ "J y of his linage, 

i<b I g^jficencc 

bit doth tiu9 nobic fcnatnur 
r*l3., jrid he tohimalfo : 

^th other jfrct honour ; 
.t in a day or two 
tvjjr I* It! Kiiijj Alia go 

t Oicrt ly* if I Ihal r.fjt He, 
• foBC wrtit in hi* comp^'jifjc. 
I wold fain zt fv'queii^t! uf Ctiilance 
r liatJb tad thii childc to ftCtc i 
mrvciy^ circumllacce ; 
f ikcr wu he at the Itrftv : 
I tliii, that at his imothcrs hefte 
dyunng the metc^ fpacc, 
' picking in the king^fs face. 

> hath of this child grct wonder, 
fald anoOi 

: that ftondcth yonder ? 
>d, and by Seint Juhn ; 
fader huth he a on 
shortly tn a (lound 
lAlUfeow that thift cbtld was found. 
I woi, qood thii fcnatour itfo, 
I a li^eT in all my lif 
^ Cxc^ u: herd t^f mo 



Of worldly woman, m;ildcn, wid 
I dar: wcl fayn hire haddc lever a Itnif 
'rhin*;hout hire h re ft tha^i ben a woman wiWkc ; 
'I hci' IS no man cou Jc brin^ hire to chat prikke. 

Now was thi« child as lil^c iinto Cullauce 
A^ ,» jfliblc 1*1 a creature tu be : 
Tlv* .\llahalh the face in remembrance 
Of Uiimc Cuftance, atyd thcrun mufed he, 
If that tlie cliildcs mode r were aught 0llc 
Thjt Ift hi- wif, and privdy he llghtc. 
Ami fpcd him fro the table that he mightc-, 

I'irfay, thought he, fsntnmc i» in min hcd; 
1 ought tadcmtf of Ikilful ju^cmeitt 
That in the fjhe fee my wit lb detL 
Ajfid afn rward he made his argument ; 
Wh:iT wot I if that Crift have hidcr fcnt 
My wif by fee, as wel as he hire lent 
To my co«tree, fro ihennt-s that (he went ? 

And after noon h «»iic with the fcnatour 
Goth Alia, for to fee this wonder chance, 
"^ihii kuatour doth Alia ^rct honour. 
And haftily he fcnt after Cu{hincc; 
But tnUlcth wcl hire lufte not to dance : 
\V*han that flic wifte wlicrfore was that fondc 
Uiinr.'the upon hire feet fhc mightc (Vonde. 

Whan Alb fuw hit wif fuire he hire ^rctte. 
And wept thai it was routhc for to fee ; 
For at the firftc look he on hire fettc 
He knew wel veraily that it was fhe ; 
And flic for forwe a» domb flant as a tree ; 
So w;i» hire hcrtc fliette in hire diftreflc 
Whan Ihe rcnicmbered his unkindcncfle. 

'I'wics fhcfwounctli in hjsowcn fight; 
Ilf wepcth and him cicufcth pttoufly : 
N<iw Gud, quod he, and all his halwe* bright, 
:>o wifly on my foule a» have mertry, 
Hue of your harrae a^ gilteki am 1 
Aa in Maurice my font-, Co like your face, 
£lki» the fend rac fetchc out of thi?^ place, 

X-ong wx. the fobbing and the bitter peine 
Or that hir woful bertes mighten ccfe; 
Gret was the pitcc for to here htm pUine, 
Tburgh whichc pleintes gan hir wo encrefc. 
J pray you all my bbour to relefc, 
I may not tell hir wo until to^morwe, 
1 am fo wcry for to fpckc of fonve. 

But finally, whan that tlic foth is will. 
That Alia giltttes waj of hire wo, 
I trow an hundred times hau tbey ki(t. 
And fwi:he a blifle h thcr bctwix hem two, 
That, favc tlie joyc tiiat laflcth cvcrino, 
Ther i* non like that any creature 
Hach fccn or flial while that the world may duft, 

Tho praicd flir hire hufbond mekcly. 
In relccf of hire longe pitouj pine, 
rhat he wo!d priy hire fader fpeciallj 
Th:t cf hii A'.agcftcc he woldc* cnclinc 



ally 



To vouchcfuuf fom day wirh him to dtnc j 
She praicd him eke he fliutdc by no way 
Unto hire fader no word of hire fay, 

Scm men wold fayn how that the child Maurt^^ 
Dotli thii melTagc until this cmperour; 
But aA I gclfc AlU wa* not fo nice, 
To hiiii tiut is fo Ibveraiuc of hououri 



THE MAN OF LAWES TALE. 



A« he th*t i« of Criftcn folk the Hour, 
Send any chiKt, but it is bet to deme 
He went himiclf, and fo ir may we I feme, 

Thi* cmperour hath grunted ^ciitilly 
T»Tt come to dinner zs he him beloughte ; 
And wel rede I he loked bcTily 
fjf.ori thifi child, and on his doughtcr thought. 
Ailji goth Vt hjs innc, and as him ought 
Arr-iicd for this feftc in every wife 
At ferforth at hi* conning may fufGc^. 

The morwc came, and Alia gain him dreiTe, 
Atii eke his wif^ t^is empcrour to m-^tc; 
And forth they ride in joyc and in gJudncfTc ; 
And whan fhc hvr hire fader in the Itrete, 
I Bhc light at^ouQ and falleth him to fete. 
' Fitlcr, quod ihe, your yongc child Cullance 
It nnw ful cicne out of your remembrance* 

t am yoi^ dou^hter, your Cuftance, quod flie, 
That whilom ye ban fcnt mr<4 Surric ; 
It mm 1, fader, diat in the fake fee 
Wj«t put done, and <lampncd for to die : 
Kow, goodc fader, F you mere le eric ; 
Send me oo more into non Hnhcncflc, 
But thankcth my lord here of hitkiadodTc. 

Who c*fi the pitouf joyc tcilen all 
BetwijL hem thre fin they ben thui ymeUti 
But of my Talc make aiti cnde I fljal. 
The day goth Me^ [ wol do longer Icttc. 
Thifc glad • to Ik to dinner ben yfette ; 
In jf?yc an J blrffe at mete I let hem dwell, 
A thoufan Hold wH' more than f can telL 

Tl it ihiid M:«uncc w*» Uih<'n Empcrour 
Made by die Pope, and iivcd ChriAenly; 
To Criilet chirche did hcfirrct honour ; 
Biit t Jet all hit (loriepailcn by; 
Of Cuftancc if my Tale fpccially ; 



Ic the olde Romane gelles men may Und 
Maurices Tif* 1 b«rc it not in mind. 

This King Alia, whta he hi* time fey. 
With hi» Cudance, hi* hofy wif fo fwite. 
To Znglond ben they come the righte wey, 
Ther as they live in joye and in quietc : 
But litt'l T^hilc it b[tcth I you hetc ; 
Joyc of tlu« world for time wol not abide. 
Fro day to night it thangcth as the tide. 

Who lived ever in fwiche d*rlite o day 
That him nc mcved cythcr confcicncci 
Or ire, or takut, or fom km affray, 
Envic, or pnde, pr pafllon, or offence f 
\ nc fay but ft>r thi* aid th>» fcntccce, 
That litcl v^hik in joye or ip plefaoce 
Laileth the bliflc of All* with Cuftanc*. 

ForDcth, that ukcth of hie and iowel 
Whan p^iffed was a ycrc, even as 1 grflc. 
Out of this world this King Alia he hcnte,J 
For v.'hotn Cull an ce haih ful grct hevcnci&ll 
Now let us praien God his fuulc blcflc : 
And Dame Cu(bjiee, finally to fay, 
Toward the toun of Rome goth hire way. 

To Rome it come tht» holy creature. 
And findeth ^cr hire frepde^ hole and foi 
Now is Oic fcaped all hire avcnture : 
And whan thai ihe hire fader hath yfound^ J 
Doun on hire knees falleth Ihe to ground^ 
Wcping for teiidemeiTi in htrte blithe, 
She htrirth God an hundred thoufand Htl 

In venue and in holy alniefle dede 
They liven ille, and ntver aibnder wcode| 
Till deth dtparteth hem ihi* lif tlicy lede j 
And fare th now wcl, my Tale is at an end 
Now Jcfu Criil, that of his might may 1 
Joyc after wo^ govcrnc us in his grace. 
And krpe us allc tliat ben in this place. 



t 



THE WIF OF BATHES PROLOGUE*. 



k 

^■k, thoBgh Don adontire 
IBs ^^orld, i» nght ynough for me 
of ifro that ii in nuriagr ; 
dxi^g%, fin I twcU ycre was of age 
gi, be Ood that ii ttcme on live) 
les at chif che <Iore have I had five, 
au^hc han wedded be) 
inarthy men in hir degree, 
told, not longe time ag^oo ii^ 
Ort£L ne went never but onift 
_ m the Cane of Galilee, 
that tike cnfample taught he mc 

Ihulde wedded be but onc&. 
|c eke, which a ibafp word (or the nonet, 
i wcUe Jcfu God and man 
renrele of the Samaritan ; 
I ]it»dde five hufbonds, fayde he, 
kc man that now faalh wedded thee 
tfa hoflyand. Thut faid he certain ; 
kat he meat therby 1 can not fain ; 
1 1 aflce why that the fifthe man 

iMllbond to the Samaritan f 
my ought (he have In manage ? 
H I oerwcT tellen in min age 
l6» ootimhre diffinitioun ; 

devioe and glofco up and doun. 
twd I wot cxprcflc withoutcn lie, 
|f«t for to wei and multiplie; 
iKil text can 1 wcl umlerftond : 
1 1 irot he iayd that min hufboud 



) 



. of a few vrrfei tf> c^fine^ this Prnjoctie with 
TaJc w»i perceived la^n aijtf^, jitad the rlt'crt 
Vto^<■ fupi^lkd bv Ehcftutlior of rhet<»iIow*Mg 
iA if. B* «ic ptetined to iTie comnK'n Pro- 



F nu.iP--. rt R f s 



- uri annn* 

' cvcdcti onCa 
ife 
V Talc, 



:•: lean. 
r Tile byt;unne. 




Inytan. . 
» are prmfea iitf < *4 « Ju^Ulicattea for not la* 



Shuld Icve fader and moder and take to in«; 

But of no noumbre mention made he 

Of bigamic or of o<^ogumie ; 

Why ihiild men thaji fpckc of it vilanic? 

Lo he PC the wife King, DiUi Salomon, 
I trowc he hadde wive* mo than on, 
(Ai wplde God it Icful were to me 
To he refrcJhcd half fo oft a$ he) 
Which a gift of God bad he for allc hji wivc» ? 
No man hd^th fwiche that in thic» world on live i 
God wot this noble king, as to my witte, 
The firde night bad many a mery littc 
With cchc of hem ^ fo wcl wm him on live, 
Bkfled be God that I have wedded five ; 
Welcome the fixthc whan that ever he IhalJ; 
For fith 1 wol not kepc me chafte in all. 
Whan mill huiband i^ fro the world ygonc 
b'oni Criftcn man Ihal weddcn tnc anon ; 
For than the apofllc faith that 1 am frc 
To wedde a' Goddcs half wher it liketh mc j 
He faith that to be wedded is m> IJnne ; 
Better ift to be wedded than to brinne. 

What rckketh mc though folk fay vilsuitc 
Of Ihrcwed Lamech and his bigamie i 
I wot wcl Abraham wa* an holy man. 
And Jacob eke» ash fer as ever 1 can. 
And cche of hem had wives mo than two, 
And many another holy man alfo. 
Whcr can ye fcen in any maner age 
That higlic God defended mariagc 
By cxprtffc word ? 1 pray you tcUeth mc. 
Or whcr commanded he virglnitec ? 

I wot as wtl as ye, it is no drcdc, 
The apoflle.whtLn he fpakc of maidenhcde. 
He faid that precept thereof had he non ; 
Men may cotifeillc a woman to ben on. 
But confeilltng is on commandement i 
He put it in our own jogement. 

For hadde God commanded maldenhede. 
Than had he dampned wedding out of dredc; 
And ccrtcs if ther were no fcde yfowc 
Virginitee than whereof fhuld it growc t 

Poule dor ft e not comroanden it the left 
A thing of which his maiflcr yaf non heft. 
The dart h fctte up for virginitee. 
Catch who fo may, who renneth hdk let fee. 



rtit %fl^ df fiATHEt >ROLOGDg. 



I 



I 
I 



But till* word 19 not take of every wight. 
But tJjtr a» God wol yeve it of his might, 
! wot wti that the apoftlc wa&a mild. 
But naLlicIe*, though that he wrote and fajd 
He wold that every wi;;ltt wcrr fu ichc ^ he, 
All n'iftbut coufcll to virgimiec. 
And fnr to ben a wif he yaf mc Icvc, 
€)f indulgence, fo n'is it nou rcf?rcvc 
To wcddcn me, if that my make die, 
WItliout exception of higamic ; 
All were it good no woman for to totiche, 
(He ment a* in hi* bed '»' in his loiichc) 
For peril 1% both fire and tdvv to ulTctrihle $ 
Ycknow vshat ihiscnf^mplt! ntay iclemble* 

Ihisi&ail and lom, he hild vLrgiuitcc 
f^i,.-, fjiint ihan wt'ddiijg in frccliee : 
(1 1 c 1, but if that he a:jd flic 

V t live* all in challitec) 

1 t-raunt It %vrl, T have of non en vie 
Who maidenhed prcfcrrctobigfamic ; 
It liJkeih hem to be cletic in body and goft : 
Of min cilat I wol not makcn boft. 

For wel yc know a lord in bis houfhold 
^c hath nat every vcfTcll all of i^old : 
Som ben of tree, and don hir lord firTvicc, 
God clcpeth folk to him in fondry wife, 
And cvcrich hath of God a proprc gift, 
Som thii, fom thai, »« that him likctlx Ihli^. 
VirgLnitcfc ti grct perfcdion, ' 

And continence eke with devotion ; 
Bui CriQ, that of pcrfciftlon h wetle, 
>fc Lade not cvCTy wight be ftiiild go fclle 
Ail that he had and ycvc it to tlie poure. 
And m fwichc wife follow hiiiv and his lore ; 
He fpakc to hem that Wold live parfirly. 
And, Lordings, (t>y your Icve) thai am oat I : 
I wol bctlow the flour of all myn age 
In th* atle* and the fruit of mariagc. 

Tell mc alfb to what conclullon 
Were membrcs tnnde of generation. 
And of fo parfit mfc a wi^ht y wrought ? 
Trufteth me wtl they were nat made for nought. 
Clofe who fo wol, and fay bothc up and douii, 
That ihcv were made for pureAtioan 
Ofunra' ' r . 1 ^ .,.^ 

And cl. liici 

Andfot 1...... — .. V * 

The opcrlcncc wot wt' 
8o ihit the tlcrkcibc n . wroth j 

I fay thK, that ihcf maked ten (or both ; 
This it til fayu, for olljcs? i.^d f >r cfe 
Of cngcndnircj ther we f ] !cfc. 

Why Jhuld ff<cn «*f!f* Ir ffc 

Thit n; ' r.? 

Kowwl cnt 

If he nc UKt: iji/ K:t} ii:j;/ULiui.r r 
Than were they made upon a creature 
Topurgc urtf ^--^ -i - -^ . r.*. ,^jr-,,r.- 

But I fiy 1 
That hath r\\ J , 

To gon and ukn hem in \ 

Tlian fhiJd men take of i. cure, 

Criil V.1U a maidc, aad Ih&pLD ^ a iitan, 
Aud ouoy a feint, iith that this world began. 







Yethved they ever in par&t chaftltee; 

] n'ill tnvic with no vir^'nitcc. 

Let hem with bred of puf«d whctc be (itd[« 

And let us wivc» ctea barly brc4 : 

AiA yet with barly bred, Mark tcllet! cati, 

Our Lord Jefu rcfreihed many a man. 

In fwichc e{tat a$ God hath cleped us 

1 wol perftvcr, I nam i*ol preciouf. 

In wii hodc wol I ufe min tnilrument 

A* frcly as my Maker hath it fcnt. 

If I bt dangerous, G«h1 yeve me forweT, 

TVTin hufband Ihal it have both even and 

Wbiiutlut hhn iii^ comQ forth ax^^ J^y Hi« dcaife 

All hitfhond wol I have, [ wol not ktie. 

Which ITial be hoih my detour and my thnfl. 

And have hii^ tribulation withall 

Upon his flcfti, while that 1 am hi» Wif. 

I have the power duritrg all ray lif 

Upon his proprebodt, ajid na« he ; 

Right thus the apoftlv told itunto nie« 

And bad our hulbonds for to love ire wel t 

All thb fcntence mc Hkcfh every dil. 

Up ficrt the Pardoner, nn^^ 
Now, Damt;, quod he, by C 
Yt beo a noble prx;chour in tl^r^ i.a. : 
1 was abmtt to wed a wif, a]a» 1 
Uliat ? fhuld I b(C ft on thy Hdh fo dtrc i 
Yet hitd T lever wed no wif to*yerc 

Abide, quod ftic, my 'rale is not be^nne 
Nay, thon flialt drinkcn nf another lonti' , 
Er that I go, fhal! favor worfe ihim ale : J 

And whan that I have toM thee fonK my Tak, J 
Of tribulation in manage, ^2 

or which 1 am expert \n al min age, J 

(This if tofayn myfclf hath Ircn the whtppe| j 
Than maieft thou chefen wheder thou wolt iff9' ]j 
Of thilke tonne that f fhal abroche : ^ 

Ecwirc of it erthou to i\^\-A\ :r»rroefcie# .^ 

For I fhal tel enfomplc n, ^ 

UTjo fo that n*ill bcwai mat '% 

By him fhal other nren correelcd be ; J 

Thife fame wordes writeth Ptho-lwnce, . ?j 

Rede in his Almnjeftir, and take tt there. ^ 

Dame, I wo!d pray you, if your wiU ji w«rf^' ' ''I 
Sayde this Pardoner, as yc began * 

Tell forth your Talf, and iparet h fin tto Bun/M^^ 
And techeth us yi^nge men of your pra<5ike. 

Gladly, quod fhc, fiu thjU it may you like, 
But that V pray to all thin compagnic. 
If thiit I fpekc ai^er my fantafie, 
A* tikt'th not a grecfc of that 1 fay. 
For frrin entente is non but for to pby. 

Now, Sine*, than wol 1 tell you forth l»*y Tllfc*^ 
Afr ever mote 1 drinken win or ale 
I (hal fay foth, th£ hufbondcs that 1 had 
As three of hem were [^ ' ' ^ ' 

The three w ere goodt 
Unnethes migi t«» they 
In which that they wc, ic . 

Vc wot wcl what I m*. r , 

A* God mc helpc I Uugfa whan that t ihui^ 
How pitcufly a-night 1 made hem fwiiiLf , 
Bur hy my fay I toldc of it no ftorc t 
They had mc ycvco hir lond and hir t?Tcfwr\ 



ifa 



THE WIF OF BATHES FROLOGp?. 



, ICC 

vf fence. 

Idc «iilde no <r. 

kir love iher a m.(1i 

ch I had hen hti: u], 

thaf €jicy h.a<4<j alJ hir Innd, 

tftttid I tidteti >r k,,r ?o pkfc, 

I were lor my pr^^uc i)r uiin d'c ? 
fi» a-wprk*" l^y my fay, 
lya ri 1 Wala wa ! 

It "wmi I truw 

fncti r iuow. 

nied hef^ 

rr}>r of t ; fawfc 

f the fey re : 

I } 4kc him byre ; 
■Wfft 1 c:ki4i«k: htrm ipitoufly, 

th how I Ikirc rue proprely. 
inrivc$, that can untlerflood, 

rpeke, and be re hctn wrong on hood, 




cr no man 
\in can. 
!ut ben %vlfe, 
^M nnfuyjfc.) 
- Ai hire good» 
ofid the cow w wood, 
uf ImrcoweQ inayd 
lit ; but bcrkiftieth how I J'-iyd* 
Kaytiard* ift tJiia ihin aray ? 
■••wy no^hctvoijrcs wff fo gay? 
^h'-oiourod Qvrr id whcr (he gmh ; 
c» I h«vr oo thrihy cloth. 
► than At my ncij>;hehmirc» houi ? 

li our m:iide ? 
y jipes br. 
hare a goilib or a. freisd, 
^tlt) thou elude ft a* a fend 
<»r play unto his hout. 
hom ai droukiin « a mou», 
t oo thy bcnchc with rvU prcfc : 
: to mc-, U M a gfret nirfchiefc 
^ nagcj 

. - wunnentriL' 
aod hire mcl«inc<ilic; 
'a>fc, thou vtJiay knave, 
y<l uu-r every holour wol htt€ have; 
' no whflr l-rt cha<lifec itbidt 
r Gdf. 

uf for riebrntf, 
ti far our faifo.'iT , 
r fine or datict*, 




ititf/ 



ffi IftCiT -ifflii 



male : 

1 oLitcl wal« 

vit that fhc 
iy fee I 

^IBSJ Soden ibiii man hire to chcpe. 




Nc non fo gr<y gooa goth ther in the take 
(As fayil thovi) ih^t wnl ben withtiut ii msJke : 
And fayft Jt is an hard thing for to wdde 
A thing that no man wo) his thankrs httdo. 

Thus fayftthon U - i . i .- i ^\ (^ bci}> 

And thit no wiit i J, 

Nt no man that * ] 

With wild<f -thondcr diut aiid hiy kirtn 
Mote thy wciked mkkc hr TfT-hrnlt<r, 

Thou fayit tliat droj ; Andckc^kn 

AnA chidipg wive*, ml JlcG 

Out of ^ir oWeii Kcu». ' ^ 

What atlclh fwiche ao t© dild* I 

Thou fayft wc wivcu^ v.ti nut >ico hide 
Til wc be Lft^ ^tnd than we wol hLni (luwr* 
Wd may that he a provcrhc of a flircwc 

Thou fayll that oxen^ aiTcs, hof«, and hotmdcs. 
They ben aOUicd at divcrfc Ooundeti, 
BxfincBij bvoure*, or that men hem hie, 
r>ponc% floatea, and all fwicbe htifbondne. 
And fo bea potte^ dothci, ^^<^ any, 
BtJt folk of wives makcn non a0ay 
Til they ben wedded, obk- dotard fhrewe, 
And than, fay It thou, we wol our vices flicwe* 

Thou f^yli ftUu lltatit difplcfcth me 
But ff that thou woit prtUcn niy beautcc. 
And but thiiu pore alway U(.'on my farc^ 
ArM clcpe me Faire Datie: in every pi !> >? ; 
And but thou make a fefte on thilkc day 
That I W35 borne, and make mc frcfli ojkI gay; 
And but thou do to my uorke honour. 
And to mychambtrcre within m^ buitr* 
And to my fadcrs folk and mrn mUici : 
'J'hu* fayft thou» oldcbr* ' "' , 

And yet ailb of our ] ■ ^ 

Ftr his crlfpe here, Ihi> , i io fir, 

AjuI forhe fquicrcth ni d doUHi 

Yft bait thou i: } f i ; '':--mi 

I wul him 1. J io-morwe. 

Butteiln iwithfbnvc 

The kcicH of ihy chett ^tway iro mc ? 
I: h my good as well aa thin parLie« 
W'lat, wcncil thou mukc an idtor of our Damc?*^ • 
Now bj» thn: Lord that ekpcd i» Stint Jamc, i* 
Thuu tlidt nut bothr, tliough tiuit ihnu were wocmU 
Be tniifttT of my bof^y attd of tny good; 
*rh>it on thou fuel: T- --- - -. * .^Ji, cym. 

What htlpLth it t ' nd fpicn ? 

I trow thou tvoidti" . y chdle. 

Thou {hulddl lay* Fayr WaI, po wh^re thee kfte; 
TAc yo»?r difport ; I wul «.it levc no taJt;* ; 
1 know y^o icir u ucwc wif. Daino Ales. 

W\- love no man thut taiEcth kcpe or char^ 
Wh«r that wc gon ; wc wol be at ottt iar^. 
Of aijc men yM JTed mot£ be be 
J'hc wife aft roloj^" ^ "' » ,..^^ 
That fayth tiri* pr ugtHc, 

O' allc men htswli -> ••> - i..^ — - 
That rtkketh not who h?.thfbe world in bond. 

hy this proverbc thoo ihalt wcl uiidLTdond, 
H^t J thou ynough, wh:d thxr thee rekkc or eaic 
How merily that ether folkts fare f 
For ccrtcs, oldc dotard, by yoor levc, 
Yr. fhulJcn have Quctntf i^hc yncragh at rvc» 

V 5 



f HE WIF or BATHES PROtOCWf. 



» 



He h to fjrct a ni^rd that wol wertic 
A rmn to light a can del at his lantcme ; 
He fhal have never the IrfTc light pardf i 
Havt then ynough ih;:^c thar not plainen chcc. 

Thou fayft alfo if that mc make u* gay 
With clothing ami with prtcciou» amy. 
That it w pfril of our chaftitec : 
And yet with forwc thou cnforcrft the*', 
And rayfl thljt worde» in the aix>(llci name ; 
IQ habit made with cha(^itec and (hiunc 
Ve women fliul apparcilc yot^^ (quod he) 
And nai in irtflVd here asd gay perric, 
A» perk i, ne <rith gold, nc clothes richc. 

After ihy text dc after thy rubrichc 
I wdI not wtnk a> mochcl ui a j^nat. 
Thou fay ft alfo I vrJkc out Hke a cat 3 
ft^ «rho fo wotde kngc tlic caitc* fkin 
Than wol the rat wel dwcHen iif hire in ; 
And tf the c^ttri (kin be fleke and gay. 
She wot (tst dwetlen tn houi half a day. 
But forth (he wol, or any day be daw^d. 
To fticw hire (kin and gon a caterwawcd. 
This i» to Tiy, if I be guy, fire (hrewei 
I wo^rcrTIC out my borcl for to(hcwe. 
Sire oltlt fuo>, what hclpcth thee to fpien ? 
Thoijj^h thou pray Argus with hi^ liuadred cyen 
To be my wardccorpa, a* he can heft. 
In faith be ihal not krpe me but me left : 
Vet coudc I n'take his lirrd, (o mote I the. 

Thou (ayeft ckc that thcr ben thingcs three, 
Whicli thitigei» grctly troubkn all this* crthe, 
And that no wight nc may endure the ferthc : 
O Icfe fire Arcwe, Jcfu Ihort thy Iif. 

Yet prechcft thou, an fayft, »m hateful w\( 
Yrekened 11 for on of thjfe tnifchuices* 
Be ihcr Bon other maner refntiblanccs 
Thit J4 may liken your parablo to 
But if a fcly wif be on of tho ? 

Thou likeneft eke woman s love to hrQe, 
Tohirrcin lond thcr water may not dwclk. 

Thou Ukcoeft it alfo to wildc (ire % 
The mor it brccmcth, the more it hath dcfirc 
To confuitiervcry thing that brent would bc- 

Thou Uytfi right at wormes (hcnde a trc 
KigW in a wtf deftroieth birc buftK)nd i 
This knowco they that ben to wivci bond 

I^rdings, right thtv^ avye hao ondcrflondy 
B&rc I (lifly mis old hnibondcion htind, 
That thus tliiry faidm in hir dronktnnellc ; 
And all WIS lalfe but a» I toke wltceHc 
On Janliin,and upon my nccc alfo* 

L^rd I the peine 1 did hem and the W9$ 
Fill gtkelefa, by Goddea fwete pine, 

FoiT a» in hor!i 1 coudc bite and whine i 

1 eoude plain^ and 1 was in the gilt. 
Or ellcn oftcntimc I had ben fpih. 

Who fo firft cometh to the miU firft grint ; 
1 plained firO, fo wm our weire yftitit. 
They were ful glad to cxcufcn hem full hHve 
0( thing the which they never apit hir live. 
, Of wcnche* wold I bercn hem on bond 
Whan that for like nnnethc* might they fto<id. 
Yet tikcfffd I hithrrtc for that he 
Wcad that 1 ba4 of hun fo grci chicrUe ; 




I fworc that all my walking oUt by ni'gM 

Wis for to efpicn wenchei that he dighi ; 

Under that colour had I many a mirth ; 

For all fwiche wit i» yeven u» in our btnh ; 

Deecitc, weping, fpinning, God hath ycveti 

l*o women kJCfiUy whHe ihat they may IjvelXtfj 

<.\nd thus of i» thing I may avauotcn me. 

At th' endc I had t'le betex in cche degree. 

By height or force, or by fom maner thin)f. 

As by continual murmur or gmtching. 

Namely a-bed ; ther hadden they mcfcfaan 

Thcr wold I chide, and don hem 00 pi 

I wold no icnger in the bed abide 

If that I felt hit arme over my fide. 

Till he had mnde hi« raunfon unto me, 

1 han wold I foffre him do hit nicetee : 

And tlicrforc every man thi* Tajc I tell, 

Wiitnc who fo may, foe all it for to fell, 

With empty bond men may no haukr* lufe 

For winning wold I all h 19 tail coduie. 

And makcn me a felned appctit, 

And yet in bacon hid I ne rer dclit. 

That maked mc that ever I wold hitn chide f 

For though the Pcpc had fittcn hem be fide, 

I wold not fpare hetn M hir owen bord, 

F<jr by my trouLhe 1 <ftiittr hem word ftir wor4^ 

As hclpe me vcray God omnipotent, 

Tho I right now fhould make my trfbamc9it» 

I ne owe him not a word tliat it n*ta quit ; 

I brought it fo abwutcnby my wit 

""i -k they muft yrve it up ai fof the bvA^ 

Or cllc» had we never been in reft ; 

For though he loked as a wowl kon 

Yet (hulJ he faille of hi» conchifiorn. 

Than wold I fay. Now, goode lefe, talEf Icpt ; 
How mckcly k»kcth Witkin oure (hepc * 
Come tier my fpoufe,afid let me ba thy chtke; 
Yc (huldcn be al pari en t and mtkc, 
*\nd ban a fwcte fpiccd confciencc, 
Sith ye fo prechc of Jobis patience^ 
Suffreth alway (in ye (o wel can prcrhc. 
And but yc do, certain wc (hall you techc 
That it it faire to ban a wif in pee». 
On of ut two moil howen douteleet; 
And fith a man it more refonablc 
Than woman i»» yc mullcn ben fofTrable. 
What ailetli you to grutchcn thus and gf«MK f 
U it for jc wold have my queint alone f 
Why take it all ; lo, hare it every del } 
Peter, I (hrew you but you love it wel : 
For if I wolde fell my LiU sh^y 
I coude walke a« frc(he a« it a rofe. 
But I wol kcpc it for your owen toth. 
Ye be to bbune, by God I fiiy yon (bdi, 

Swichc maner wordeshaddco wecB li^tt^ 
Now wol I fpckcn of my of fonrthc huibood. 

My four? he hu(bonde wii a feveUottTi 
This it tn fayn, he bad a paramoor* 
And 1 wa* yonge and ful of ragerie, 
Stlblnirr^ .uid llrong, and |oly a* a pie ; 
'1' ho ugh coude 1 dancen fo aa harpe fmajc^ 
And fmg ywit at any nighting^e, 
UTien 1 had dronke a draught of fwcte 
Mcttcliiui, the foul chc/kjthcfwtBCy 




THE WiF OF BAT 
a IW 1: craft hi* wif hire li/ 
dnukk wine, though I had been his wif 
* he soc have dstuntt^d mc fro drinlLc; 
■nc aif Vcnui moft I thinke ; 
lb fikcr as cold rngciidrcth hay^l 

mouf h nvoil han a Ukcrous tsiyh 
▼molcnt is no defence, 
Icchours by experieDce. 
Ijord Criil ! whan that it rcmembreth me 
l^atli, silld on tnj jolitec, 
mat about myn hcrtc rote : 
it doth myn herte bote, 
luLd my wurld u in my time. 
I ! that all wot envenimc, 
tierafr my bcautee and my pith { 
farr^Nr«l, ;hl devil go therwith ! 
cs gno, thcr n'isDo more to tell ; 
«s I hcik may now mo^c I fetl, 
la be (%bc mcry ^rol I fond, 

to tellcn of ray fourthc hufhond* 

in hcrtc grtt defpit 
mnj other hjJ dclic : 
^juit hy God and by Stint Jocc t 
ban of the fame wood a croQc, 
body in oo foule mancVe, 
'y ] made folk fwkhe chcre, 
orwcn grcfe I miide him fne, 
and for veray jaloufie, 
ill CTth I yt^£ hii PurgatorlCf 
I hope his foule be in gjorie : 
wote, he Utc ful oft .uui fonj^e 
hi* fhn ful hiitcrly bim wrojijjo : 
no Wight, favc God nnd be, that will< 
iBf a wife how fore that I bim twUle« 
md 'whan I came fro Jcrufalcm, 
Ith ygrave under the rodc-becm ; 
»]i» totnbe not fo airiont 

the fepulcre of him Darios, 
% tkac AppclkswTOugbt fo fotctly t 
waft tu bury hem predaufiy, 
k£wrw"-' ' ' . Jm foule reft, 
■v in h '\ in his chcft. 

of my i\..... ....wi>ndc wol I telle : 

hia foule never come in hcllc : 
fEl was he to me the mofte fhrcvr ; 
irie 1 oo my ribbet dl by rew, 
fltal tiuto min ending day : 
r bed he was fti frefli and gay, 
" lall he coude fo well mc glofe, 
be Wcfldc baa my Aei/^ ^^''fi^ 
iborQ^ he had be bet on every bon 
win agrn my love anon. 
I loved him the bet, for he 
love fo dangerous to mc. 
haii» if t}ut I ihal not lie, 
a queiote fantafie. 
^rh:it thing we may nai lightly have, 
tr wol we cry oil day and crave. 
: m thioi^ and that dcfircn we ; 
* oa « lift and ihanne wol we flee. 
idangcritttren wc all our chalTare ; 
Iproea at mvkec maketh dere ware, 
iVD gret chepe h holdcn at litcl prife ; 
\hmmtth every woman that is wifc. 




HES PROLOGtJt. S3 

My Crrhc hi]fbondt\ Cod his foule bklTe, 
Which that 1 toke for love imd no hcheffeir 
He font time was a clerk of Oxeniorc^e^ 
And had Ic/t fcole, and went at home at horde 
With fny goflib, dwtilJrg in cure toua, 
God have hire foule ! hire name wa^ AliToan. 
She knew my hertc and all my privctcc 
Bet than our parlQi prccfl,fo mote llhc : 
To hire bewned I my couofcil all. 
For bad my huibt<nd pifTcd on a wrII, 
Or don a thing that Ihuld imve Ln{\ hi* lifj 
To hire, and to another worthy wif. 
Anil to my nece, wbleh th.it I lovrd wel, 
I wold have told bi» cotinftiil tvcry del : 
And fo I did ful often, Gad it wote, 
That made hi* face full oftrn red ^nd bote 
For vcray ftiumc, .ind blamed hitnfclf, for he 
Had told til mt ir> gret a privE^tec. 

And fo be fell tint out n in a Lent 
(So often rimes I to my gnlTib went. 
For ever yet 1 loved to be g-jiy, 
And for to walkc m March, April, arid May, 
From bout to houi, to hercn fundry tak») 
That Jank'n clerk, ^nd my goilrb Dame Alcig 
And r mj^felf, into the fiUci went. 
Myn hufbond was at I. en don all that l.ent : 
I had the better Iclfcr for to plLie, 
And for to fee » and eke for to be fcie 
Of lufty folk. What wift I wher my grace 
Waa fliaprn for to be, or in what place ? 
Therforc male 1 my vilitatioiu 
To vigilic^ and to proccfiion^, 
To prcLhinjrs tkc, and to thife pilgrimage*!. 
To playes of miradeii, and manage , 
And wcrcd upon my guy flcarl':t gitcn. 
*rhifc wormes, nc thifc mothtf^ tie thife mitei(| 
Upon my paraiUc frctt hem never a del ; 
And woft thou wfny ' for they were ufcd wcl* 

Now wol I tcllcti forth what happed mc* 
I fay that in the fcldci walked wc 
Till trcwcly wc had fwichc daUance, 
This clerk and I, that of my purvcance 
t fpake to him, and laid him how tl^at he, 
If I were widewe, Ihulde wcddcn me. 
For certainly, 1 fiiy for oo bobance, 
Yet was I net er witliout purvcancc 
Of mariagc^ nc of other thinges eke : 
I hold a niuufe* wit not w6rth a Icke 
That hath but on hole for to ftcrtcn to. 
And if tkat faille, than is all ydo. 

I bare him on bond he had enchanted mc^ 
(My da43r!c taughte mc that fubtiltce) 
And eke 1 fayd I metre of him all nighty 
He wold ban flain mc a« I lay upright. 
And all my bed was ful of vcray blood; 
But yet I hope that ye (huln do me good. 
For blood bctokcncth gold, as me was taught. 
And al was fal/c, I dreamed of him right naught, 
But as I fojwcd ay my damci Icre, 
Aft wcl of that as of other tbiiiges more. 

But now, Sire, let me fc<?, what Ihall I lain ? 
A ha ! by God 1 have my Tale again. 
Wrian that my fourthe hulhonJc was on btre^ 
I wept algatc and made a fory chctc, 
Diiij 



I 



I 

I 



si THE WlF Ql' iA 

As wi?f»niotcn, for it i* the ufag^e, 

And with my covcrchcfc covered my vifagi:; 

But for that ] waipurvrycd of » make, 

I wcfit biiL(h!aI,»ud that I umLrtakc. 

To cliirchc wm myn hulbond h<im a-morwe 

Witli-Dciy^liebourcs that for him madeti forowc. 

And J^ukin ourc cltrk wa.i> on uf tho : 

As htlpc me God, whan that 1 faw him go 

After iKc btrcj roc thought he had a pairc 

Of Itg^rcsand of feet focknc und fairer 

^'hat all my hcztc 1 yave unta his hold. 

yic v-as, 1 trow, a tT\cniy witittr old, 

And 1 waffourty, if I fhal fay foth. 

But yet 1 had alway a coltcs toth* 

Gat^toihcd 1 wa», and that became me wde ; 

1 had the print of Sclnt Venus fcle. 

As he\p€ nie God, 1 was a lully on. 

And fairer and riche, and yongc, and wcl bcf«Q ; 

And trcwcly, as niin hidboudcs to)dcn mc, 

I had the belle qucint that mighu be. 

For ccrtcs I am all Vcocmn 

In fclingt and my hcrte I> Martian : 

VcntiA me ya:¥c my lufl and likt-ToufnclTf, 

And M>i» y^vc mc my fturdy hardlnc (Tc. 

Min afccndtrnt was T&iirc,jLnd Mars ihctimic i 

Alas, alaa ! that ever Ioyc wii» (iotiel 

I fo!wcd ay min inciination 

By vcrtuc of my confleUaticn ; 

That made mc that I coudc nat wiihdrEW 

My chanibtc of Venus from a ^CKid felaw ; 

Vet have I Maries mcrtc upon my facc^ 

And alfb in aitothtr |iiivcc place , 

For Godi ib ttiOy be my rJvatioii, 

1 loved never by no difLrettoti, 

But ever folwcd min a^tpcttt. 

All i^erc lit ibofte, longc^ blacke,or white r 

I tokc no kr|«r, fo that he iikcd me. 

How poiiie he woi, nc ikc nf what drgrec. 

WhatibuLde 1 fay f btit at the moiuhrs cndc 
*rbi& joly cltrk Jankin, that wa» fo hcnde, 
Hath wedded mcv.::; tec. 

And to htm yave I . t 

That ever ^was me yt-xiL n.^i^-^i-^.^. 
But afterward repented me fui furc. 
He n'oldcr fufTre nothing rt n v lift : 
By God he fmotc r hh fifl, 

For that 1 rent out o. > Icfc, 

That of the flroke mya cr« wcji all dcfc. 
S^tibborne 1 ww a* i* a let^ncfTi-, 
And of my tongc a A 
And Vb'iHie 1 wold, . 
Fro hcius tn how", aititriK 
For \^hl<Lh be oftcntim^t ^ 
And mc < ' ' - ii..,*.n,n.- 

How i r, 

Acd hirr cl, 

Mot but for &pro4>cdf:d he hire t-y 
XjCi^Eg out at h:c dorc liptiu a da y. 

Another Rcnkainc told he tue by name, 
Thit for his wif w«* at a (hmmrr jrame 
Without hii Wt lire eke. 

Ai*d thin V. ] ible feke 

That ilkc provtinc >>i i.tc ;i titc, 
Ulicr he (omtiiacdctli, and foibedcth folle, 



tHKS hKOhOQilt* 



' Man dial not niffcr hia wif ^ mtde aljotlt^. 

Thau wold he fay ri]|^ht thu* withoutcn dout% 
Who fo that bildrtb lit . hou» all of fkiwci, * 
And prtkcth hi^ blind hort over the ffthrea». 
And fufiVrcth bi» wif to go fekcn luilwc*» 
1» worthy to be boojged on the gaiwei* 

But all for nought; I fctte uot an bawe 
or his provcrhcft ne of iii% oldc fnwc ; 
Nc 1 wold not of him corrected be» 
I hate hem that ttiy vice* leiien me, 
And I'u du mo bf us (Gud woic) than I, 
Thi^ made him wood with mc all utterly ', 
I n'oldc uot fnrberc him in no an. 

Now woi I fay you foth, by Seint Thoft.at^ 
Why that I rent out of hi* book a lrfe» 
For which he Imotc me fo thai I wa* dz,'r. 

He hud a bo«:tk that ^adly night and day 
For his difport he wcldc it rede alway ; 
He tlcpcd it Valerie atid 1 bcophraft, 4 

And with tliat hook he lou^h away lul fait> 4 
And eke thcr w:i» a clerk foretime at Romrpi 
A cardinal, that hightc Scint Jerome, 1 

Thut madt a book again jovimin, 
\V*liich book was iher, and eke TcrtuUiar ■, 
Crifippus, Trotula, and Helowis, 
That waa abbcITe not fer fro Parit, « 

And eke the Parabolcs of JSalomoB, 1 

Ovides Art, and Ixjui det many on ; 'd 

And allc thife were boaden in o volume^ I 

And every night and tUy wa» hi» aajQ.ux^ir 
(Whan he hatl kifcr ^nd vacatittn 
From other worldly ocnipatioo) • 

To redin in thi» book of wikkcd wiv** : •i 

He knew of bun mo Itgtnde^ and mo ltve« • 

Than ben of goodc wivc^ in the Bibic 

For truflefh wel i* is an impuCkblc 
That any ctcrk wul Ipckcn gtMHi of wive*, 
(Bitt if it be of holy feinted lives) 
Ne of nnn other woman never the i 
Who primed the J»Jon, telleth me w 
By Cod if wimmcD hii* ' r 

A* clerked ban, witJur^ 
Thty V--' ' - ■ • ' 
Th:.n 

Thccl . , . 

Ben in hir wcrking fiU cofitrartous. 

Mercury loveth wiidam aj^d fdaicej 

And Vcnui loveth riot atjd ddpencc ; 

And for hir divers diipofition 

Eche fallcth in otheri L-itaitaticQ : 

A$ thu»; God wote Mercury t* uefuUt 

In Pjfces, wher Vcnui is csdtat. 

And Venu»i fjikih whcr Mercury ij rrifed, 

Thtrtorc no wutnati of p" '- '-^ >-- . »■ -* »^ 

l*hc clerk whan he la vt i do 

Of Venut wcrkc^ not 1-. I 

'J 'ban fiteth he doua and writeth m hi* du ., j. 

That wimmen caimot kepc hir manage, 

Bui IK.W to purpos why 1 toldc t!ice 

Tliat 1 iva* belrn for a book pardr, ^ 

Upon a iiigiu Jxnktn, that was oar ftrc. 
Red on hh boolc ai he fate by the firt , 
Of £va fir&, that for hire wickcdncne, 
Was all mankind c k ought to wrctehcdccfie 




THE WIF OF BA 



I the loiic of iill itiii^nkif 1 J. 
K lie mc huw Sanipfon lofl his hcrcs, 
ikittc hcna with hire £bcrc«, 
trcfoa loR ht hath hi& cycu* 
i he inc» il that 1 (hall not litn, 
^ sud of hU IkiaDlrc, 
1 to fet hiinfelf a-firc* 
&t he the care and the wo 
*. r.i, " ,, t^^ivcs two; 

upcn his hcd. 
. . were tied; 
K lied ; DO more dorii he Hua 
ftluMvdrr (Hot ther comcth rain, 
, that was the Qncne of Crete, 
kidnrrffc liira thought the ulc fwctc. 
t luone (it is a grifcly thuig) 
ble lull and hire likmg. 
' r hire kchcrit: 
t imlbond for to die. 



L kmd a ieg;t:Dd oj hi9 wif 
|r, flat for ati c^ucKc of gfdd 
tly uTito the Cn:kc« tol*l 
thtrc huibond hidde htm ina placc^ 
' l^^zd at Thclic* fory grace. 
\ %old he me, and of Lticic ; 

' *" ~ ' ^' ' for to dir, 
llfrr ' :or hsLtc. 

lllti- lib Jo : 

1 fo, 

re thuikr, 
• c^irifike, 

i u^ti vf A wlk liy ti^ mcirwc r 
ate^ hiiJfbonde5 hadd^en forwt* 

[ he ortc huw on L^ktumco* 

i to his lelaw Arius, 

: - -^nwcd fwichc a trcr, 

that his wi\c» three 



rrce, 

I u fti U be:. 

j.Lh he tcfl'^r, 
u,i Ui huilondci ia hir bcddc, 
>ur di|(ht hcQi all the night, 

^lic ilore ujulght; 
in hir bruirit 
bus thty han Iicm iiiln ; 
I in hir diiUi . 
-:. : : hcTit may lic:liink«J* 
knew of mopiovcrbcs 
itr grow en gra^or hcrbc*. 
I habitaiicu 
t: dragon 

for to chidi?* 
Lhc roof abide 
lajTgtv wunMD douniu the hou&, 
rikked and ccctrariQUi ; 




THIS PROLOGUK. 

They hat en that tiir htiibondfi loves ay* 

H'i fayd a woman call hire Oiamc »wiiy 
Whan (he caft of hircfhmi J: - uu! f. -th. r n r 
A fnire woitian, but fhc i 
h h'ke a gold ring in a i^ 

Who coudiz wcne or v^ho cuuiic i 
The wo that In rain hcrtc was and ti 
And whan i faw he n^oldc never fine 
1 o rcdcn on this curfcd Iwok alt :iigh% 
At Mcnly tlirce Icvc* have 1 plight 
Out of his hook^ri^ht a* he rcdde, and eke 
1 with my flit to tokc liim on the cheke 
That in cure fire he fe!l hatkw;inl ndotin ; 
And he up flcrtc 8»doth a wood Lour, 
And with his lifl he fmolc luc un tlic hed» 
That in the ilore 1 by as 1 were ded. 
And whan he faw how flillc that 1 lay 
He W4* agaft, and wold jiavt fled awny. 
Til at the lafl uvcuf my fwduj;h 1 hrayde. 

I hiUi thou flain mc, falfc thitf ? I fayde. 
And for my lond thus huSi thou mordrcd mc ? 
Er I be dtrd yet wo] I kiflea thee. 
Aiid nerc he came, ^:' ' ' '^ ^ ' ftirc zdoua. 
And faydr,D<re fi i ! 
Aft helpe me God II i ^cr fmitc : 
That I havt dofi if h thyfclf lo wit< ; 
Forycvc it me, and that 1 ihcc heft 3;.. 
And yet c/tfoncs I hlttc him on the chcTte, 
And fayde, Thtcf, tliii* much am 1 u.wrck^* 
Now vfo\ t die, I may no longer fpckc. 

But at the bft, widi niochclcarc and wo. 
We fell accorded by oorfelveii two. 
He yaf mc aM the bridctin min bond 
To ban the govcniancc of hou> and \r*n(}. 
And of his looge and of hi* htmd alfo, 
And made him hrcnne \\h hooTv anon right tho, 

And wlian that I had gctten unto mc 
By maiilric all the fovcrainctce. 
And thnt he fayd, Min owcn trmT wif, 
Do 3! thee lift the tcrnnc <^f iHl tliy Itf ; 
Kcpcthin honour, " ' '.• min cftai; 

After that day we i -bet, 

God helpc me fo, 1 %.wi'. t j F.mt as kindc 
As any wif fio Denmark unto Inde, 
And al fo trc^vc,and fo wa*» he to me : 

1 pray to Gad that fu in rwajcflcc 
Srj bliiTe hirt foule, for hi* mercy dcrc. 
Now wol 1 r?,y my T?J^ IT f c wol here. 

The Frcrc iotj^h w?jan he had herd ;i!I thi> rr 
Now% Dame, <juod he, fo have 1 joyg and blils. 
This is a long preamble of a Tale. 

And whan the F ' ' i'lc Frcfe ple^ 

i\si two. ' 



r:iv:s two. 



ho (cji;od thi^ Son 

A 1" rcre wol entcnvi^. lu u . :. i .. . ■. i j mm ; 

l.o, goode men, a flic and elte a Frcrc 

Wol fall in every difli and eke matcrc. 

What fpckcft thou of prc«imbuiaLiouu ? 

Wh« ^ aniWc or trot, or pre?., or go fit doun % 

Thou kttcfi our difport in this matcrc. 

Ye> wolt thou fo, Stre Snmpmmir ? quod the Fr€fe^ 
Now by n.y faith 1 flul, er that I go, 
TdX of a *Sompnoiir Iwielu- a Talc or two. 
That all the folk Qiiil lyughcn in thh plaee. 

No%y dki, Ffvre, I will bcflircwe tliy fcicc. 



is THE WIF OF 

(Quod thii Snmpnotir) and I bcftircwc nic 
But if I idle T*icsi two or three 
Of Ffcrcs, or 1 came to Sidc?n borne. 
That I flial make thin hene for to mornc, 
For wcl t %vot thy patience is j^onc. 
Our Hoftc chcd, Pcvs, and that anoo ; 



BATHES PROLOGUE. 

And fuydc, Let the woman tell hire Tak ; 
Yc fare as folk that dronkeu b«i o( aJc. 
Do, D»ime, tcU forth your Tale, and chat i» 1 

A\ r(!dy. Sire, quod ftc, rij^iit as yuo left«| 
If I have licence df thit worthy Frcre. 

Yc», Daimc, qaod h«, tcU forth, aod 1 1 



THE WIF OF BATHES TALE". 



I 



In olde dayc« of the King Artour, 
Of which Uut Bretons fpcken grct honour. 
All wasthii lond fulfilled of Facnc ; 
The Elf qacnc with hire joly compugniQ 
Danced ful oft id many a grcne mede, 
l^htft waa the old opinion as I rede ; 
1 fpekc of many hundred ycrct ago, 
But now can no man fee oon eUcs mo j 
For now tht; grctc charitec and praycrci 
Of limitourc* and other holy freres, 
That fcrchcQ every land and every ftrcmc. 
At thikke aa motci in the fonnc heme, 
Bliiling hallcs, chambrei, kicheni, and hourct^ 
Citeei and burghcs, eaftlc* ^^«ghc and tourcs, 
Thropc»and bcrnc», fhrpene» and dairtt, 
Thii maketh that therb<-n no Faerie* : 
For ther a« wont to waken wa» an elf, 
Ther walketh now the limatour himfeif 
In undermelet and in morweningci. 
And fayth his matines and his holy thingct 
Ashe goth ID his limitutioun. 
Women may now go fafcly up and doun. 
In every bufli, and under every tret, 
Ther it non other tncube» but he. 
And he n^ will doti hem no dilhonour. 
An fo befell it that thi« King Artour 
I'tad in hif houi a lufty hacheler, 
Th4t on a day came riding fro river ; 
And happed that, aJone aiflic was borne. 
He faw a maiden walking him bcforne, 
Of which maid he anon, maugre hire hed, 
By veny force beraft hire maidcnhcd ; 
For which opprcGlon wai Iwichc clamour. 
And fwiche purfuite unto the King Artour, 
That damned was thii knight for to be dcd» 
By coon of bwe, and ihuld have loft hit hed, 
(Panveniure fwiche was the flatutc tho) 
But that the qticnc axid other Udiei ma 



i b^tchclnrnf icingr ArthutN cour^ Ucnj.tlrtci! by 'he 
»* upiin p«lf» oi <le*th, to tdl wh«t thine It i* ^^^^ **": 
Id mtia aelit*. al IcoriIi h« U uuf M it by *» "*»* 
D» frbon> H »• cnf^uei to marry « i'lrj , 



• A 
WMUti^ frbiito iKi* cnfgiuei to marry « 



Sr» longe praicdcn the king of graice, 
I Til li'- hif» hi liiin granted in the pbcf, 
, And yaf him to the qucne, all at hJre WsU 
To clitfe whether Die wold him hvc or fptlLl 

The qiicnc f hankcth the kitig wiL*i all hire i 
Arid after this thus f|j jke Ihc to the knight. 
Whan that fhe faw hire time upon a day. 

Thou ftandeft yet (^jaod i])r) in fwiche ai, 
Thait of thy lif yet halt thou not feuretoe; 
I grant thte lif if thuu canft ttUcn me 
What thing is it tliat women mol> dcfirtu : 
Beware, and keppe thy rekke hoa« frotn ynen. 
And if thou cinft not tell it me anon. 
Yet wol 1 ycve thee levc for to gim 
A twelvemonth and a day to tike and Uft 
And anfwer fuffilani in this mat ere ; 
And frurctce wol I have, or th^t thoilfioe, 
1 hy body for to ycldcn in this place. 

Wo was the kriight, and forwJaOytef 
But wh^it ? he may not don al! ns himliketh. ' 
And at the \i\\ he chefc him for to wcnde. 
And cnme jgcn right at rhcyeres cndc 
With fwichc anfwer as God wold htm panray. 
And taketh hi* levc, and w*^ndi th for lu» i 

He fckL-tli every hotis and every place. 
Whcr as he hopeth for to findcn grace, 
Tij IcTOcn what thing women loveti i 
But hcne coude arivcn in do coftc 
Wher ist he mighte find in this materc 
Two creature* according in fere. 
Soni faiden women bvcn beft richcfTe, 
Sum Ciiidcn hocotir^ fom faiden joUneflV, 
Som richc array, fom faiden lull itA^d 
And oft time to he wid^rwe and to be v 

Some faiden that we bui in hertc mo , 
Ulian that we ben yflatered and yprcifed. 
He goth ful nigh the fotb, I wol not lie ; 
A man fhal winnc u* beft with flaterie ; 
And with attendance and with hcfineJle 
Ben we ylimcd bothe njore and Icffe* 

And fom men faidf n that we loven bcft 
For to be frer^ and do nght at uf kQ:, 




ben wife and notliing skc : 
ntf tbcrn'b DOD of u« all, 
^rol claw us on the g^H , 
kk« for-^ -»^ rhit*fothj 
Chajfir loth; 

XT fo Vki . :iSIiC 

holden w^fe ^rd dene of finne* 
bai faidm tib,^t gret dclic ban wc 
^holdrn Hjihlt and ckc fecrc, 
^ frarpo* flcdfidlly to dwrll, 
LWvrycjtm tbing^tliAt men us tcU; 
!ia]£t«i Dot worth a nkc-flelc. 
Ic woftscn cocincn nothing htlc, 
I on Mt<ia ; wol yc hrre the Tak i 
*^ SfKVOO^ft other thingrs iinak, 
Ida, liad un^tr his loQ|rc hcncs 

Enpon his bed two nSfct eret , 
lie ▼ice he hid, aihe bcfbc might, 
tilly from rrery mAonc» fight, 
Irr tu« "wif thrr wifl of it no mo ; 
hire moft^ kud tfuAed hire ftlfo; 
d ktrc that to no cr«iture 

f ellcn of ki« diifi^re* 
ore him Ncy, for dl the world to winnc 
do tluit vilaiEtietie fmnc, 

c huiboiid han To foulc a name : 
t tell it for hire owcfn (hanic. 
hire thoughtc that fhc didc 
longr (huld a coufeil hide ; 
' It tt ivril fo fore aboi.; btre herte, 
IctB wt>fd hire mufl aflcrte ; 
dorft nat telle U to no man, 
Tinaret^ fi^Ilc by (be rmn ; 
MDC iber hire hertc wrs a-fire : 
ibiloR bumbteth iu thr niire, 
btre iriOQth unto the water doutt. 
not, tliou WBter, with thy foun, 
:ci thee I tcH tt, and no mo, 
hath long' affeacres two. 
aio herce ftll hole, now h it out, 
to Lender krpe it out of dout. 
ye fee, though wc a time abide, 
paefle ; wt^C^n no corjeil hide. 
tof theTale^ if ycwol here, 

Mud thcr yc may it If re. 
t, of which my Talc is rpccjaUy, 
le faw he might not come therby, 
frjn, what women loven moft) 
I brefl fvl forwcful was his gofl* 
be goth, he mio;hte not jfnjoume j 
come that homward mufl he turtle. 
af it happtrd him to ride, 
t^ under a forcfl fide, 
heJk'ir upon a ditnce go 
fotire-ai>d-twcnty, and yet mo. 
lhi» like djsnce he drow ful ytmc^ 
be f' ■ - ' ' -^ fliulde Icme ; 
cr ;iiy there 

is Li.. . J c n'iftc not wh«; 

law he that bare Itf, 
greec he faw fitting a wif, 
ight thrr may no man devife. 
knight thif oldc wif gAS arilc, 



no way. 
Tell me what that yc fcken by your fay, 
Paraventnre it may the better be : 
Thife oldc folk con mochel thing, qnadfhe. 

My Icvc mother, quod this kni^bt, ccnaln 
I n'am but ded but if that I can fain 
What thing it i* that women moft dcCrc : 
Coudc yc mc wifle I woM qnirc wcl your hire. 
Plight mc thy troutbc here in myn bond, qut>d (hc» 
The Hctte thing that 1 requcrc of thee 
Thou fhalt it do, if it be in thy might. 
And 1 wol tell it you or it be night. 

Have here my trouthe, quod die knight^ I 
graunte. 

Thannc, qucx! llhr, I dare mc we! avadDte 
Thy lif 11 fauf, for I wol ftond therby. 
Upon my lif the quenc wol fay ai I. 
Let fee which is the proudcft of hem allc. 
That wcreth on a kcrchcf or a callc, 
♦ hat dare fayn nay of that I fhal you tcche. 
Let U4 go forth without en knger fpechc* 

Tho rowncd Ihc a piflcl in his ere, 
And bad bins to be glad, and have no fere. 

Whan they ben comen to the court, this knigbt 
Said he had hold his day as he had hight, 
And rcdy was hi^ anfwcre, aj he faldc. 
Fui many a noble wif, and many a maide, 
And many a widewe, for that thty ben wif*^ 
(Thcqur^nc htrcfclf fitting as a jufticc)^ 
Aflcmbltd btn his anfwer for to here, 
And afttrward tl:is knight was bode appcrc 

*ro every wig^Kt commanded was filcncc. 
And that the knight IhuM tell iu audience 
What thing that wnrldjy women loircn bed. 
This knight ne flood not flill as doth a belt, 
Bui 10 thin qucftion anon anfwcrd 
With manly vtws, that all the court it herd. 

My licgc Lady, generally, quod he, 
Women deCrcn to ban foveraintec, 
As well oirer hir biifbond as hir love, 
And fur to ben in maiArie him above. 
Thii your mofi defire, though yc me kjlle ; 
Doth as you lift, I am here at your wilLc. 

In all the court nc was tticr wif nc maidc, 
Nc widewe, that contraricd that he faldc. 
But faid he was worthy to han hts lif. 

And with that word up llcrt this oldc wif 
Whicli that the knight faw fitting on tlie grcne. 
Merty, quod ibc, my fovcraioe lady Queue, 
Er that your court depart, as doth me right. 
I taughlc this aofwerc unto this knight, 
Fnr which he plightc mc histrouthe there, 
The fi die thing I wold of him rcqucre. 
He wold it do, if it lay in his might. 
Before thi* court than pray 1 thee, Sire» Knight, 
Qnad fiic, tliat thou mc take unto thy wif. 
For wel thou wofl that 1 have kept thy lif : 
If I fay fJfe, fay nay upon thy fay. 

This knight anfwered. Ah* and wala wa ! 
I wot right wcl that fwichc was my bchcft. 
For Goddes love a* chde a new requcH ; 
Take all my good, and let my body go. 
Nay thaji, q\iod fbc, I Ihrcwe %$ bothc twt ; 



i 



6o 



THE Wil^ OF BATHES TALE, 



lF6r though that I be oldr, foule, and pore, 
I n'clde for all the metal nc the ore 
Tliat under ertbc u grave, orliihabovc^ 
But if thf wit I were and t;kc thy luvc. 

My love I quod he: nay, my dstnpaadon. 
Abi ] that any of my nation 
Shu Id cYcrfo fouk difparaged be. 
But all fpr nought ; the cud i% thi6, that hi: 
Conft rained was he nedcs muft hrre wed, 
And tiiltcth thi» oldc wif» and gnrh to bud. 

Now woldcn fom men fayn paravtiuure, 
Thai for my negligence t du no cure 
To tcilen you the jcyc and all the Army 
That ai the feilc was that iike dliy. 

To which thing Qiortly wjirwci^cn 1 flial : 
I fay thcr wai no joyc nc fctle at a! ; 
Thcr n*ai but hcviaeiTe and mochelforwc; 
For privfly he wedded hire on Ok morwe. 
And all day after ^hid him assji oul^ 
iyo wo wa» hini hl% wif Joked io foulc* 

Gret was the wo the knight hid in his thought 
Whan he was with his wif a-bcd ybrought ; 
He walwelh, and he turncth to and fro. 

Thi& oldc wif lay fmiling cvcrtno. 
And faidt dcre huihuodf b*:ti«fiiaii\ 
Fareth ever kni^t thu-* wlih wif z% yc ? 
1i this the lawc of K.ing Artourcs hoys f 
Is every knight of hii 3iui d;aigcrou» ? 
1 am your owcti love, aud ck^ yoxis wif» 
I am fhc which that fivcd hath your Iff, 
And ccrtci yet did I you never mu-ight ; 
Why fare yc thuj with v.^-: '^ t^r^. night ? 
Yc faren like a man h.. 
What b my gilt I kr G tdt it, 

And it fhal ben amended tl 1 may^ 

Anknded ! quod thi» knight, alts! nay, luy. 
It wol not hen amended never mo; 
Thou art fo lotlily, and fo olde alfo, 
And thcno comcn of fo low a kind, 
That littrl wonder i* though I wtijwc ftud wiml ; 
So wolde God mfn hcrte woldc bred. 

I» this, quod ihc, the taufe of your unreA i 

Yc certainly, q\iod he, do %voRdcr \^ 

Now Sire, quod ihe» f cuude amend all thl^t 
If ih Jt me lift, er it were diyc^ three. 
So weJ yc mtghtcn here you unto mc. 

But for yc fpcktn of fwichc grntiilcflc 
Ai is dcfcended out of old ricItcBie ; 
That therefore fhullcn ye be gentilnica ; 
Swiche arrogaccc n'i^not worth an hen. 

Loke who that is rio£1 vrrtuotK alway, 
Privc andap«rt, and ir- '^ - - - ' 'h ay 
To do the gcDtil dcd^-!^ ' 
And take him for the gri ^ ilinan. 
Crift wol we claimc of him our gciiiiUclIc, 
Koc of our clJcrt for hir old richeffe ; 
For thci^h they yqvc ui all hii heritage. 
For which we cFaimc to ben of high pangc. 
Yet may they not bequcthen for ixu thing 
To non of u« hir vcxtuou* living, 
That made hem jyentllmen called to k*^. 
And bade m folw<^n hem in fwichc; i^^i-gree 

Wcl can the wif^* poet of JFlorencc, 
That hightc Dant, fp^kcn of this fenicnee : 



Lo in fw/ehe maner rime U Dapiet t^l^j 

hul fildc 11 }> rifcth by his b^aiichcaf 
Prowefle of man, fur God of hiai^oo 
Wol that we ciaimcof him our gcotillcflJe \ 
For of our ciders may we DotJiing clailiK 
But tempore! thing, that man may 

Eke every wight wot thUaa wcl aa i, 
If gcntiUcfle were planted naturelij 
Unto a certain linage doun the line, 
Privc and aprrt, than wold they ncTcr fiiifl 
To don of gentillclfc the fairc Q^t ; 
They mighten do no viiiuiic or vice. 

Take fire, and here it into thrdcrkcilh« 
Betwix thiiand the Mount of Cac*i'u», 
All! let men ftictt* the doert, andga the 
Yet wol rhe fire a* fairc Tic and brcunc 
As twenty ihoufand mra might it bcixilds a 
His ofVicc naturel ^y wnl it hold, 
UppcriJ iff m> I it die. 

Here may yt . tliat getltefic 

hnot annexed tu y u. », 

Sitb folk DC don hir operation 

Alway» a!t duth thefir<' = 1*. «ti hi* kiti<! i 

For Go J it wot men ; ten find 

A lordeifoAc tio ihBn> h*. 

And he that wt>1 ban gei»cari«r4 

For he wa» boren of 

And had hi* eidere uable j 

And n'ill himJ'elven do tiO). 



til auucctlrit nun or o. it, 
be he dak or cil, 



Uce«l 






He. 
For 

For • 

Of i:. 

Winch is 
Thy?:nr 
Tha- 

Th!i:hahlu-. 
WasthilkcTul 
Th:^f 
Re.l 
Th : 
Th:r 
And ^ 

A\ be It tJiat mm amictjlrc* wcrr 
Yet may the hrghc God, and fo F 
Granten mc grace to livcTi vertuou-I> ; 
Than am I gentil whan that I bef^'iuuc 
'Fo ]t uily and wcJ 

A c of povcir r, 

Thtfciiivi' vrwij, on whom i.>».^ «^ ivittve, i 
In wilful povcrtc chcfe to Icdc hi| Uf ; , 

And ccrtrr* every m»n> [HiLlt-ii. or wif. 
May undcrftond that • king 

Ne wold not chcfc a \ \ 

Glaii i)OVj:rte ii an K iisi, ^H 

Tht« wol .Hcnck and qi ^^ 

Who ft I that fi4lt hinBpjjd ot his p .vcrte, 
I hold him r*ch, aJ had he not aihcrtc* 
Ho r ' - - . v,t^ 

For ! s might ; 

But i.- ;. .. „. ,,, ., ... -. -.itcth to hav^^ 

U nci e. ftUhou^h yc bold hm\ buia knare. 




THE WIF d? BATHiS' TALE. 



It' 



I feof povnte h finne profrdy, 
I Jmatl Cstih of povrrtc mcrilff 
ITv fow nuQ wh&D h« gt>th hj the W37, 
I lewii eke fKevo hr may &of^ a^nd play. 
iNmte if haccfo! ^ood ; xad, ai I gclTc, 
1 4 nJ ^Vl vdftccT' ont or bcfincwF \ 
[Hfrrt amcsd^T <kc of fapjencc 
I Te him th^t takcth it in patience. 
l&nrcnc U this, although it fomc clcnge, 
"■I thjkl no wight wol chAlkngc, 
E f«l oftcti, whan a mam is low* 
I hi% God ^nd ckc khnfrrf to ko<rw. 
i a fpe^akel is» e§ thinkcth mc, 
I TWiJb wluclk he may his veray frendcs fcr, 
jEBl^creforc^ Sire, fin tlmt 1 you not grcvc^ 
Of mf |ofertc no more me reprevc. 
Jfam, Sire, of elde that ye rqireven me : 
iSil £0%», Sire, though non auifioritce 
r no bc»ok, yc gentilc-« of honour 
t mrn Ifiuld an olde waght honour, 
: Kim Fader, for your gcntillt fTc ; 
V fital T finden, as 1 gc^Tc. 
' ibcr jc fain that I am foulc and oId» 
sde jrc not to ben a coke wold i 
e, aild elAc alfo, fo mote I the, 
deini upon chailitee. 
df] 1 know your delic, 
I your wordly appetit, 
am (quod fh<) on of thifc thingci twcy, 
Ibttic and old til that I dey, 
t tt» ftfu a tfcwc humblt wif, 
' you difplcfe in all my liT ; 
\ wol yc han me yongr and fairc, 
your a venture of the rcpaJrc 
t be to your houa becaufc of mc, 
I oth<T place ir may wcl be f 
lea dtde yourftlven whether that you liketh. 
T^lsight a<)fttli him» anJ fore fikcth, 



But at the bfl he faid in this mancrc : 

My lad/ and my love, and wif fo dcrc, 
I put mc in your wife governance, 
Chefeth yourfcli" which may be raoft pleiaDce 
And moA honour to you and me alfo, 
tdoxio force the whether of the two, 
For 35 you Uketh it fufliceth me. 

Than have f got the maiftere, quod i 
Sin I may chcfc and govcrnc a« me IclL 
Ye certcs, wif, quod he, I hold it be ft. 

KiiTr ntt* quod Ihc, we be nu Icngcr wrothc^ 
Few by my trouth 1 wol be to you bothc. 
This to faiTi, yc bothc fa ire and good. 
I prjy to God that I mote ftervcn wood 
But I to you be al fo good and trcwc 
A* ever was Wif fin that the world wat QCWe^ 
i'Vivd but I be to-morwc a» faire to iecn 
As any lady, cm peri ce, or queue. 
That 11 bctwiir the eft and ckc the wcf*» 
Doth with my lif and dcth right as yon left 
Caft tip the cortcfn, loke how that it is. 

And whan the knight faw vcraily all ihii, 
That (he fo faire wa^, and fo yongc thcrto^ 
For joyc he bent hire in his armct two : 
Hi^ hcrtc bathed in a bath of bliffe, 
A thoufand time a-row he gan hire kiffc : 
And lb c obeyed him in every thing 
That mightc don him plcfancc or liking. 
And thus they live unto htr live* ende 
In parfit joye j and Jefu Crifl us fendc 
Hufbondcs olekc and yongc, and fresih a-bcd. 
And grlce to ovcrliTc hem that wc wed. 
And ckc I pray Jefus to fliort htr Hvc* 
That wol not be governed by htr wivci 5 
And old and angry nigards of difpcncc 
God fend hem fonc a veray pclliknct» 



THE FRERES PROLOGU& 



THE FRERES PROLOGUE. 



Tmf worthy UmlCour, this noble Frcrc, 

He iilaJc alway a majier tourinj^ chcrc 

Upon the Sompnour, but for honcftcc 

No viUin* word as yet to him fpake he ; 

But at the Uft he faid unto the Wif, 

Dumc, (qtiod he) God ycve you right gcxid lif, 

Yc have here touched, ill fo tnotc I the. 

In fcok m&tcnc m ful gret dilEcultic ; 

Yc han fald mochd thing right wcl I fay ; 

But, Dame, here as we ridcn by the way 

Us nedeth not to fpeken btit of g^une^ 

And let au^oritccs, in Goddct namCp 

To prechrng and to fcole ckc of c1ergtC4 

But if it like unto this compagtiic 
1 wo I you of a Sompnour tell a game ; 
P*fdc yc may wel knowcn by the name 
That of a Sompnour may no good be fa id ^ 
I pimy that ooa of you be evil apaid : 



A Sompnour ii t renncf ap and dooB 
With mandcmrnt^ for fornicatioun. 
And U ybctc at every tounet cnde* 

Tho fpakc our Hofle, A, Sire, yc (ku 
And curteis ai a man of your eilat. 
In compagnie wc wiln have no debat ; 
TcHcth your Tate, and let the Sompoour 1 
Nay^ quod the Sompnour, let him (ay by I 
What (o him lid ; whan k comcth to my loi 
By God I Jhal him qui ten every grot ; 
I fhaJ him tell en which a gret honour 
It is to be a Aatcring limit our, 
And eke of many another maner crime^ 
Which nedeth tiot rchcrfen at this time, 
And hi* ofitcc I ihal him tell ywii. 
Our Hoftc anfwercd. Pee*, no more ol ebiv 

I And afterward he faid unto the Frcrc 
Tel forth yowr Tale mm owcn maiiier dcp 



THE FRERES TALEf. 



WpitOM thcr was dwell iftg in my contre« 

An archedeken, a man of high degree. 

That boldely did execution 

Id punifhing of fornication, 

Of witchecraft, and eke of bauderie, 

Of defamation, and avottteric. 

Of chirche-revet, and of tcfhuncnti, 

Of contract, aod of lack of facramcntt. 

Of ufurr, and of fimonie alfo. 

But certei lechours did he greteft wo ; 

They fhuldf n flngen if that they were hent, 

/kod finale tidierei werco £Dule yfiicnt i 



infer ^er, A • 



- A^vi\ mfftino nn the waVf ifter 
to hctt tney jjo 

*. i/tf¥. 



If any perfonc wold ypon hem plainc 
Thcr might aftert hem no pccunial (leine. 
For fmalc tithc» and fmale ofTering 
He made the peple pitoufly to fing, 
For cr the biHiop bent hem with hit crooll 
They wcren in the archedekent book } 
Than had he thurgh hi» jurifdi^oo 
Power to don on hem corredtion. 

He had a Sompnour redy to hit houdt 
A flier boy was noQ in Eoglelond ; 
For fubtilly he had hi« cfpiailk^ 
lliat taught him wel wber it might oagKt i 
He coudc fparc of lechour* on or two 
To techen hem to foure-and-tweiity mo t 
For though this Sompnour wood be aaao I 
To tell hif barloiric t wol not fpare, 



THE FRERES 



> 



wt htn ««C of hir corredicn, 
L of ti« no jorifdidioD, 
frill have, tcrtnc of all hlr Itvca. 
cTf fb bcB the women of the (live^ 
A*» Sprnpff'^ur, yput out of our cure ? 

r : !(.c uid with nufavencurcy 
V t him tcU Iti* TaJe. 

.jr t » II na^ j.ud let the Sompnour gale, 
rth not, QUO owcn maifter derc. 
f*ifc tbccf.thia Sornj'nour, c^uod the Frerc, 
mnj hmudc% redy to his homl, 
ia|rh4.ukc to lure in Englelond, 
•old him ail the fecree that they k tie we, 
tir acqiiauatuice wai not come of dcwc; 
Tfef wcrm lvi» approver* privcly : 
1k«Ki4c btmfelf a grct profit tbcrby, 
&iidier knew not alwiiy what he wan* 
Wl^mtcn matwlcincnt a kwcd man 

CHlir f<ict-*pnc up peine of Cnfle^i ciirfe^ 
they were inly glad to lilit It^ f urfc, 
lakrfi him gret fci^es st tht uj.L% 
f^llhct an Juda4 hadde puric^ itjiiilic, 
«M a checf, rif^ht fwiche a thcef wa« he ; 
Kb coiier ha^de but half hiit ductce 
Fk «^ (if 1 fhal yevcn him hi,s laud) 
A tbtcti^ And eke a f^ompnour, ond a b«ud. 

He hmd eJbe werchei at hm rcttnue^ 
TbiC vrhrthcr that Sire Robert or Sir^ Hue, 
Or Jakke or Rauf, or whc» fo thstt it were 
Ttac Imj by hem, they told it i;i his rre* 
Tbw W9^ the wrenche aitd h<^ of or all cut ; 
Jlodke wotd fecch^a feined mandcnient, 
Amd Jbmpne hem to the chapttri: bt^thc two, 
MmA psil the man and let the wiurhe go : 
Ikim wold he Ciy, Freud, I £hal for thy fiike 
BsfijiLc thee out of oure lettrc«blakc; 
TWt tbar no more aa ia this ca§ travaiUe ; 
l^thy firend thcr I may thee av^tlc. 
Cvaia be 1tx;^cw of briboure* many ma 
T^pof&ble iK to tcU in yeret two ; 
fwi^this world n'i» dr»ggc for the bowe 
"nB ao an hurt dere from an hole yknowe 
IksdM thiQt Scnnpnour kjiew a Die Icchour, 
^» arcnitrcf' or a paramour ; 
JUf iar that was tlie fruit of all his rent, 
Tlcflore on it he fct all hi» entent, 
Aad io befell that oae» on a day 
Ikn Socnpoour, waiting <^vcr on his praye, 
%cef forth to fompnc a widewc, an old ribibe, 
hmmg a cauie, for he wold ban a bribe j 
And happed that he faw bcfom him ride 
A fTj ycwati under a foreft fide ; 
A >)0w he bmrc, aod arwce bright and keric. 
He ^^ upon a coitrtepy of grcnc. 
As hat upon hi* htd with frcngcs blakn. 
Sire, quod the Sompnour, haile, and wcl atakc. 
Welcome, qnod he, and evtry gopd fcUw. 
Vbider rideH th .11 under ihii grenc fhaw ? 
fSaiAt thli yeman) wolt thou fcr lo-nlay ? 

Thi» iH>mpnouf him aofwerd, and fi>idc Nay. 
He»t £aAe by (quod be) ift min entitnt 
1o riden, fct to reifen up a rent 
71^ loeii^tlL to my iordc# ductcc* 
A! sn Cioutbafl »■ bailUf ? Ye^ rjuod he. 



(He dorftc not for veray filth and fliime 
Say that he wo^ a Sompnour, fur the name.) 

Bt ^r dl^x, quod tlii* yeman, Icvc brother^ 
Thou an a bailUf, aod I am another. 
1 am unknowtn a& in this con tree ; 
Of ihin acquaintance I wol prayen thee. 
Arid tk.c of brothiirhed, if that thee liil, 
I have gold and lllvcr lying In my chid; 
If that rhce hap to come in to our fiiirc 
Al fhal be thin right a* thou wolt dcfire. 

Grand mer^y, qucxL tiiis* Sompnour, by my fiutb^ 
Everich in others bond hi» trouthc Uith 
For lo bt fwornc brethren til they dey. 
In daliauncc they riden forth and pley. 

Thli bompnour, which that waa a« fill of jaliglei 
Aa fill of veninie ben thifc warianglet. 
And ever enquiring upon every thing, 
firochiT, quod he, wher h now your dwelling. 
Another day if that [ fliuld you fedic ? 

This ycman him unfwcrd in fofte fpcche, 
Brother, quod he, fer in the north contrce, 
Wher as I hope fometimc I flull thee fee. 
Or we depart 1 fhal thee fo wd wific. 
That of min hom nc (halt thou never miffe. 

Now brother, quod this Sonipnour« 1 you pray 
Teche me, while that we ridcn by the way, 
(Sith tliat yc ben a baillif as am I) 
Som fubtihec,and tell me faithfully 
In min office how 1 may moflc winne; 
And fparcth not for confcicncc or for finne. 
But as my brother tcU mc how do yc. 

Now by my trouthc, brother min, faid he, 
A* I Ihal tcHen thee a faithful Talc, 
My wage* ben ful fbdt and eke ful fmale ; 
My lord i.s hard to me and dangerous, 
And min office n ful laborious, 
And thcrfore by tritortion 1 Icve ; 
Forforh 1 take all that tntn wol rae ye¥C % 
Algatc} by flcightc or by violence 
Fro ycre to ycre I win all my difpence : 
1 can no better telle n fajthfully. 

Now certes (quod this Sompnour) fo fare I^ 
I fparc not to taken, God it wote, 
But if it be to hcvy or to hole* 
What I may getc in confril prively 
No mancr confcicncc of that have L 
N'crc min extortion 1 might not liven, 
Nc of fwiche japes wol 1 not be Ibriven. 
Stomak nc confciencc know I non ; 
I fhrew thife Ihriftf fadcrs cvcrich on ; 
Wei be we met by God and by Stint Jame. 
Butt Icvc brother, telJ mc than thy name. 
Quod thi^ Sompnour. Right in this mcnc whi!^ 
This yfman gan a litel for to fmilc. 

Brother, quod he, wo^t thou that I ihcc tclit 
I am a fend, my dwelling is in hell, 
And here I ride about py pourchafing 
To wote whcr men wol give me any thing ; 
My ppurchas la ih* effcd of all my rent, 
JLokc how thou ridcft for the fame entent ; 
To winnen good thou rt;kcft never how ; 
Right fo fare I, for ridcn wol 1 now 
Unto the woridcs cmlc for aprsyc, 

A, quod this Sompnour^ ^«^iV«l« / what fa^ yc/ 



!^ 



i 



m 




THE FRE RES TALE. 



I weoil ye were a ycmm irtrwtly, 
Yc have 3 manncs ft ape as wcj as I : 
Have fc ihc^n a figTirc dcicrrainsit 
la hclle, thtryc hen in yourcftat ? 

Nay ce^:aul^y, quod he» ther lave wc non, 
But whan tis tikcth we cau i^ke 111 on. 
Or dies wake you we Of th:it wc ben fhape 
Somtime like a miinj or like an ape, 
Or like iuj angtrl cin 1 ride or go ; 
It h no wotidcr t'liiig* thouj;h it be fo ; 
A loufy jogelour can deccivcn thee, 
And parde yet ctlv. I more cmft than he. 

Why, quod the Sompnour, ride ye tlua or gon 
In fou Jry (hupc, and not aJT^*ay in on .' 

Fo? we, qood he, wol ns fwicht forme makt 
As moft is able our prcye for to take. 

Wlut msketh you to han a) this bbotir ? 

Fill nuny i caui'c, Icve Sirx- Smnpnour, 
Saidc this ft nd. But allc thinj; hatb time ; 
*rhc day im ftiort, and it is paJlcd prime, 

I And yet ne wan 1 nDthtn]^ tn thii day; 
I wol cntcnd to winning iff may. 
And not emend uur thin^c^ to dtclare ; 
For, brother m in, rhy wit i^al ta bare 
To underftand, alihouj;^ I told hem thee. 
Bat for thou aicft why lahourcn wc ? 
For fomtinie wc be Goddes infh-urr.entt, 
jyid inenc* to don his cominandLmcnts, 
inian rhat him lift, upon his crcaturei, 
In d' ^ .md in divert figurei j 

Wi : we have 00 might ccrtiiii} 

If t!... ;..,,. - :l to flondcn thcragain. 
And lomtimc at our praicrc Inn wc lefc 
Only the body and r.ot the foul to greve ; 
"WitntJlc on Job, whom that we didcn wo, 
And fomtime han we might on bothc two. 
This is to fain, on foolc and body eke : 
And fomtimc be wf fuflercd for to fekc 

■ Upon a n;. ' T hit foiilc unncfte 

jVod no! id all if for the bcfte* 

Whanht - rtcniptaiion 

It »acn,i , 

»AI be it t'.-. . .-. - . ..., I r entente 
He Qiuld be fjuf, bn: ibut wc wold htm heiite. 
And fomtimc bewc fcrvtints unto m.ui, 
Aatn the Archcbifhnp Siini Dunfhtn, 
And to the apoAIr fcrvunt ckc was L 

■ Yct tcH mr, qticd this Sompnour, faitiifttUy^ 
Make ye you newe bodies this alway 
Of clement*? Thcf fend anfwcrcd N.iy* 
Somtimc wc fcinc, and fomtimc wc arife 

I With dtd bodies, in ful fncdry wife. 
And fpeke 3% renably, and fain:, and wc1» 
Ai to the PhitonciTc did Samuel; 
And yet wol fom men Ly it was not be : 
1 do no force vrf your divitjftce. 
But o thing wirnt I ther, I wol not pft. 
Thou wn!r ^!]^fct tvetr how wc be (htifc : 

■ ThourtuI ward, my brother drre. 

Come u1 th not of me to Icre, 

For r' " --C 

Cor c 

BetL*.^, ,Mt.<',vi. .;..;•. >,., ., 

lDlrI>3iit 9}fo, Now let Ui riden blirt, 



For I wol holil. 11 rnmnr^rlr^ith thee 

Til it be fo il ic. 

Nay, quod at ih»f urver bettic^ 

1 am ye man knciwru isiui wide; 
Nfy trouthc woM hold, as in thii cat; 
For though thou were the ^evil Sath)i?iai 
My trouthe woi I hold to thcc, my brother. 
As t have fwome, nnd cchc of ua f o other. 
For to be trewe brethren in this ca*, 
Amlbithc vrr ■ - ^ ■ t'^n our pmircbaA* 
Take thou th r that men wol thee 

And 1 fbal mm, : : . ..) wc bnflt h vr * 
And if that any o* u» have mr 
Let him be tru we, cud part it ', .htr. 

I gnuntc, quod the devH, by my Ijy; 
And with th;ii word they riden forth her wsy^ 
And rit;ht at cntring of the touncii rtide 
To which tltf* Sompnotir fliope him forfo 
They Utw n csrt that charged wa* with hay. 
Which that a carter drove forth on hi* way 
Dcpf waikthe way, for which the eattf fto<*dj 
The carter fmotc, and cried a* he were wc 
licit Scot, hert Brot; whal,fpare ye for tb<? 
The fend (qu^d he) you fccche body and boat 
Ai ferforthly as cvtr yc were foled, 
So mockel wo a» [ have with you tholed. 
The devil hive al, bothe hor», and cart, and 

Th(c9flmpn*>urr»yde,Hcre Ihil we hive 4 
And ncfc the fend he drow, a$ aoug^hf ne i« 
Ful privtly,aml rouned in hi^ere, 
Hcfkcn my brother, hcrkcn, by thy faith ; 
He re ft thou not how thit the carter faitb f 
Hent it anon, for he nath yevc it thee, 
BotJi hay and cart, and tke hi* caple^ thnre. 

Nay, quod the devil, God i^ot never a dcH 
It IS not hia entente, truft thou me wel t 
Axe him thyfclf, if thou not trowcft me^ 
Or liki ftint a while and thou Jhalt fee. 

This carter thakketh hi« hor* upon the croupe. 
And they begontie to draw en and tv fliMipe. 
Hcit now, quod he; thcr, Tefu Crift yoo blcffe. 
And aU hi«« hondca werk bothc more and IriTe! 
That wa« wel twighi, min ow* f T > r^' 
1 pr-y God five thy body and 
Now is my cart otii of the flov,^, 

Lo, brother, qtiod the fend, what told I the<P^ 
Here may yc fecn, min owcn dcrc brotJier, 
The chert fpake o thing but he thought ajiolhci 
Let MB fro forth abouten our viage ; 
Here win I notliing iipcn iht% cariage. 

Whan that they comen fomwhw out of I 
This Sonipnuur to his brother gan to rtatne % 
Brother, quod he, here woneth an old rrbcklic 
That had alinoft a» Icfe to lefc hire uekhjc 
Aifor to yeve a pcny of hire good, 
f wol have twtrlf pen* thonjjh ihut (he be wo 
Or I wol fomonc hire tf> our other, 
And yet, God wot, of hire know I no vice ; 
But for thou canft not as in thi« eorttrce 
Winnen thy ccft» take hcic enfample of mt\ 

Thiji Sonipii' ' ' ' * -^g^ll 

Conic out, be I 
I trow tbou, W^u ;.-... ..^.. v, ..,,.... ...... ihee,1 

MI1U ebppeih ? fai J thu wiij tmtiiosi / 



wBS^ yopr fwete will f 
he, of fnnions here a bill ; 
iirilii^ lokt th;4C thou be 
licforc the archc<Icltcot!s knee, 
fi. t^ . ,uft of ccrt^im i^ijiigei, 
1 1 Chrifl Jcfu, King of kingcs, 

I i nc may t 

l^ii like:, .iu%i Lhsit fuU man^ a diy : 
btt go fo fee (quud {be) ne ride 
' d^il, fo yrii.-. th kin my fide. 
ItbcUSjrc S'jnipnour, 
' curatour 

111 appolcii mc ? 
.;, pay juioojcl Icc^ 
I will ihce ftccjuite; 
rhy but ijte; 
■o^t znd not!, 
lien bailily; 
K ' niity no Iciiger taric. 

I i!ic ; now Lady Seint Marie 



jt'jf of care andfianc. 

Be « .> ^^h ihat I fbuld it winnc, 

h 0»t t \« t-li ^cnf within my held, 
pm -wel t>iat t fttn poure and old $ 
'*— ilm ft-, t'pon me poure wrctchc. 

i^ i^ikmI be» the fuule fend me fetche 
BCUA4^ L^^ugii thoo £buldc(l be fpilt. 
lod Ac, God wot I have no guilt. 
^quod l»c, or by dicfwetc Seiou Anoc 
,Wt« vwvf thy nt-wc panne 
whicb ihuu oyfcH me of old, 
t thpni tti«^efit thyn hufboDd cokewold, 
tiofne for thy corrediion. 
"UdL^tftMod fhc, by my falvatiun ; 
I «rrrr or oow^ widew nt \vif, 
adco yotxr court to ail my itf^ 
I «•*< but of my body trcwe, 
t AiTil rmi^h «Jid bUke of hewe 
§^ lodf «rtfl my panne alio. 
^JLam the devil herd hire curfcn to 



ESTALt, #5 

Upon hire kneei he fayd in this manere ; 

Now Mabily, min modT dcre, 
la this your will in camtii thit yc fay ? 

The devil, quod Ihc, fo fetche him or he dcy, 
And panne and all, but he wol him repent. 

Nay, olde flot, that is not min entcot^ 
Q^iod thU Sompnour, for to rtpcnten me 
Fur any thing that ] have had of thee : 
I wold T had thy fmok and every cloth. 

Now brother, quod the devil, be not wroth; 
Thy body and thi?* panne ben min by ri^ht : 
Tf;ou flialt with mc to hcllc yet to-night, 
Whcr thou Jhalt known of wur privetce 
More than a maljlcr of divtnitee. 

And with that word the loul^ fend him hcnc 
Body and foulc : he with the devil went 
Wlier a^ thJfe Sompnour^ ban her heritage : 
And God, thatcnaked after his imaj^c 
Mankinde, fave and gide us all and lome, 
And \ti\c thti SompQour good nmn to become* 

LordingH, 1 coudc have told you (quod thicFrore} 
Hid I had leifer for this Sompnour here, 
After the text of C rift, and Poule, and John, 
Aud of ourc otiier dodoiir* many on, 
Swichc peiue« that your hcrtcn might agrife, 
Ai be it fothat no tonge may deviie. 
Though that I might a thoufand winter tell, 
Thi.' peine* of thilke curfcd hous of hell ; • 
But for to kcpe us fro that curfcd place 
Wakfth and praycth Jefu of \\h grace 
So kcpe uj$ fro the temptour Sathanu«. 
Hcrkneth this word, beware at io this cu { 
The leon fit in hi» awaitc alway 
To fle the innocent if that he may. 
Difpofcth aye your hertesto withdond 
The fend, that you wold makcti thral and bond t 
He may not tcmptcn you over your might, 
For Criit wol be your champion and your kntght ; 
And praycth that ihia Sompnour him repent 
Othii miidcdet, or that the fend him henr. 




THE SOMPNOURES PROLOGUE. 



Tttti Sompnour in hj» flirops high he flood; 
Upon this Frcre his hcartc wa* fo wood» 
Th«l like an afpcn \cci he quolte for ire* 
X,4rdiDgt, quod he, hut o thing I dcfirc ; 
I you bcfeche th«t of your curtefie. 
Sin ye hoo herd thit falfc Frcrc lie, 
A» fufTercth me I maiy my talc telle. 

Thi» Frcrc boftcUi that he knowcth hcUe, 
And God it wot that ii but litci wonder ; 
Frcrc» and feadrs ben but Ikel nfonder. 

For pardc ye han often time hetd teUc 
[ How that a frcrc ravifhcd was to belle 
In fpirit ones by a vifioun. 
And as an angef lad him up and doun. 
To flicwcn him the painet thit ther were^ 
In all rhc place faw he not a frcrc : 
Of other folk he faw ynow in wo. 

Unto this '^°^^ l^akc the frcre tho ; 
Kpw Sire« quod he, haxi frerc4 fwich a gnctf 
That non of hem fhall comcn in this plaec ? 

Ifet^quod thi» angel, many a miUiouo; 
And unto S&thanu he hd him doun. 



(And n<ny hath Salhuiai, faith he, a tayj 
^rcKJfr than ttf a carrike ia the fay I) 
Hold up thy tmyl, thou Sathaoat, quod he^ 
Siiew furth thin cri, snd let the frcrc fc^ 
Whcr i» the ncft of frcrc* in chit place. 
And ere than half a Ivrlong way of fpace^ J 
Right fo aa beea out fwarmen of an hlire^ 
Out of the devils en ther gonnen drive 
A twenty thoufand freres c 
And thurghout hdl they fv^rmed al abooCi 
And com agen, as fafl a» they may gcKi, 
And in hiscrt they crepen evertch on : 
He dapt hi» tayl igrain, and lay ful ftill. 

Thii frere, whan he loked, liad his fill 
Upon this turmenu of thi* fory place ; 
Hi» fpirit God rellored of his grace 
Into his body agcn, and he awoke ; 
But tiathlefs for fere yet he qtioke, 
So was the dcviii ert ay tn hii mmd^ 
That is hi* hcretage of vcray kind. 

God favc you alle favc thii cur fed FreW| 
My Prolu^c wol lend in thii i 



wol 1 end iQ thii m^cre. ^^ 

4 



THE SOMPNOURES TALE*. 



JOKDfNes, there is in Yorklhire, at I gtffe, 

A merib contree y called Holdernene, 
In which tlirr went a limitour uboutr, 
To preach and Ac to beg it i« no doubte« 

• ANte^nffrlar comtng to ■ farnTcr** bnurewhoby 
fttk, vbiaiiictii of the tick mtn m cettjuti tt|;icy wtttch 
muH be equiliyiliv tiled aiaon£ hi* ciuivcnc. A rrquitil 
tw ihe PrUr, Wte^lnit thetr co^en^^, toiuhnfi ioipiHlcnt 
UgKiiic,«fid hypoallical prtyiiif . 



And fo befell that on a day thi» frrre 
Had preached at a chirche in hi* manere. 
And fpecially ftboven every thing 
Eicited he the pcpic in hi« preching 
To trentab, and to yeve, for Goddc^ fafcr, 
Wherwith men mighien Loty houfcamake, 
Ther as divine fcrvice is honoured. 
Not Uicr 09 it b woibd and dcYovrod, 




THE SOMPNOUkES TALE. 



' h nc^rth not Cor to be ycvcn, 
» pollHEouer%, that mowcD levcn 

I be God) m wclc end abundance* 
, r^yd he, deliver en fro pcni^nce 
ic» fbulcs a^? well old as ) on^c, 
i^wfe^ii tKat they ben haJlily yfonge^ 
t for to hold a precft jolif and gay, 
* , not but D miiTc on a d.ty. 
aVout (miod he) aaon the foulcj. 
'd it ts wkh fldhhook or with ouka 
t jdanredj or to brcn or bake. 
r %i^ ytyuhAilily for Cnll«4 f.ikc. 
Aod whui tlilt frcre bad &id oJl his enteDt, 
\ tmi fifjB jt^tri fonh hi? way be went. 
¥!« folk in chircKe had ycTt him what hcni Jell 
^Iky mf hi* way, no knger wold he rcil. 
'ri^pc and tipped ftaf,ytucked hlc, 
r hous be gan to pore and pritf, 
mele and cKcfe, or ellc» corn* 
r had a flaf tipped with hornj 
IfHTof iabte« a.U of ivor)% 
f a fmoizl jpolifhcd fetifly, 

: alway the numes, a* he Hood^ 
that yavc hem any good* 
: tbat be woulde for hem prcye. 
c fttmbtifiicl whetc, or malt or reyc, 
i luchd, or a irtppc of chcfei 
IcfinwliAt ycu lift,wc may not cbefc; 
iGoddca halfpenny, or a maiTe peny, 
'ryevcilAof yotif braun, if ye have ikny, 
k h^pm of your tiUckct, Icve Dame, 
OirliftcT deix, (loyherc T write your name} 
Inmor hcdT, or fwichc thing as yc find. 
A.9ii^y ha^rlot wetit bem ay behind, 
IW mrki h/tr boflo maoi and bare a fakkc^ 
Afiiirtat waca y^ivc hem laid it on hia bakke« 
4ai mhaa that he was oat at dorc^ anoo 
He plaied away the names evcrich on 
^^ he before had written iu hh tahle^t; 
Bifned hem with nifics and with fahli«. 
Mq thrr tboa Uefb, thou Sompnour, <{uod tbe 



^■^ffeid ewir Hofte, for Grilles inodcr dere 
TfilfTh thy Tale, and fpare it not at all. 
i*£biTe I, i|uod this SompooiLf} tc* 1 (hall, 
Si lt»g he wcttt fro hous to hous ttl he 
C^ eo afi houf ther he was wont to be 
korc than in a hundred pb4:ct. 
i by th« hufbond mau who» that the place 
b; 

I opof] a couche low he lay, 
I ^L\ iptod he ; O Thomas ! frtnd, goM day» 
IliTde ihii frcre ail curtrily and foft. 
iTIaBas <|U'>d he» God yclde it you, ftil oft 
rf vpoD this benchc faren ful wdc, 

I i eten many a tticry mc!c. 
I fro the beache he drove away the cat, 

1 idouTi bit potent ^d his hat, 
• c^ hts fcrtp, ajjJ fct himfelf adouu t 
ttifekw wa*Twalkcd into toUDt 
flvdiirith his knavc» into that hoftelrie 
|lnter aa he Ihope him thilke night u lie. 

dcfc o»i0er ! quod this filke man, 
lil»« harm ft fkrezi fia that March began ? 



i faw you not this fourtene night and more. 

God wot, quod be, laboured have I full fore> 
And rpecially for thy falvatioii 
Have I fayd many a precious orifon, 
And for our other frendes God hem bUrfle. 
I have thh day ben at your chirchc at mclTe) 
And faid 4 fermon to my flmple wit. 
Not all after the text of holy writ | 
For it i» hard to you aa^ 1 fuppcfc. 
And therefore \,ol I techc you ay theglof<l« 
Glofjug is a ful glorious thing certain^ 
For letter fleih, fo ai we ckrkcs f;ua ; 
ThtTc have 1 taught hem to be charitable, 
And fpcnd hir good tbtr it isrcafonabic ; 
And fher 1 faw our dame ; a ! wher is fhc ? 

Ycnder, t trow that In the yard !hc bt, 
Saydt tbi» man, and jQic wol come ancjn» 

Ey maiiter, welcome be yc by Scint Jcha^ 
Saydc this wif ; how fare ye bcnlly ? 

This frere arilbth up ful curtiUyi 
And hire embrace tb m her arme«t narwc, 
Aid kifftfh hire fwete, aad chirkcth as a fparwil 
With his lippc*. Damei quod he, right \vt), 
A* he that is your iVrvaoi every del. 
Thanked be God that you yaf foulc and lif 
Yet faw I not this day fa faire a wif 
In ali the chirchc, God to lave mc, 

Yc God amende defantci. Sire, quod Qic, 
Al gates welcome be yc^ by my fay# 

Grand iif^'rrvj Dame, that have 1 found alway^ 
But of your grcte goodncfTc, be your Icvc'^ 
I woldc pray yoti that yc not y&u grevc, 
1 Wfil with Thomas fpekc a litel throw, 
Tbife curates bcti lb negligent aud flow 
To gropen tenderly a confdcnce, 
In fhrift, \n prcchiug. Is my diligence 
And ftudy, in Pcteri wordes and in Poulcs; 
I walkc and fisflie Criftcn mcnnea foidcs. 
To yield our Lord Jcfu hii proprc rent| 
To fprcd bis word is fct all mine cntcnt. 

Now by your faith, o dere Sire \ quod ihe^ 
Chidcth him we I for Scintc Chariiec ; 
He is ay angry as is a pifTtimir.j 
Though that he have all that he can defirc : 
Thouji;h I him wric a-night^ and make him waroi ^ 
And over him lay my leg and eke mine arm, 
He groneth as our bore litb in our llie : 
Other difport of bim right non have I ; 
1 may not pleafe him in no niancr cas. 

O Thomas, J« i*out lAV, Tbomas, Thomas ! 
This makcth the fend, this mid^e ben umt^iulfd* 
Ire ij a thing that high God hath defended, 
And iberof wol I fpckc a word or tv. o. 

Now malUpr, quod the wif, cr that I go, 
IVTiat wol yc dine ? I wol go thcraLoutc. 

Now DamJ,quod kctjco votn di^ fanx Jottte^ 
Have I not of a capon but the Uver, 
And of your white bred nat but a Ibivcr, 
And after that a rolled pigge* hed» 
(But I ne wf>ldc forme no bceft were dcdj 
1 han had I with jou hi mly fu^fan:!; ; 
1 am a mnn of little fuftcnaucL ; 
My fpirit hath hii fell ring in the Bible i 
My body is ay fo ready and So petii^ 



68 



THfe SOM^KOURfiS TALt* 



To waken, that my (loma^ is deftnjicd. 
1 f my you, Daoic, that ye be nougbi unjioied, 
'Jhough I io frrndly you my confcil fhcwc ; 
By God I ti'otd have toM it hut a fcwe. 

Now Sire, quod fiir, but o word cr I go. 
My child is dcd within theft? wffctrs two, 
Sonc after that yc went out of this toun. 

Hi* dtth faw I by rcvchtioo'i, 
Sayde thifl frcrif, at home iu our dortour, 
1 dare Wcl fain that tr than half on hour 
Aftirr his dcth I faw him borne to bliffc 
In mine a.vinon, lo God mc wilTc ; 
So did our Icttein and our fcrmcrere. 
That han ben trewe frefea fifty ycrc* ; 
Thty may now, God Lc thanked of his lone, 
Makcn hirjubdce, aod walkc alone. 
And up I arofe, and all our coveot eke. 
With many a tcrc trilling on our chtke, 
WiLlKJutcn noifc, or dattcriog of belief 
7i Jeum was o;lr fong, and nothing cllcs, 
f)iivc that to Crift ! bade an orifon, 
*nianking him of my revelation. 
For, Sire and Dame, trufttith mc right wcl 
Our orifont ben more cfTeducl, 
And more wc fcen of Criflet fecrct ihlngeii. 
Than burcl folk, although that they be kingck 
Wtf live in povcrtc and in abHincnce, 
And borcl folk in richcflc and difpencc 
or mete and drinlcc^ and in htt foule delit ; 
\^^chan thi& worlJes bil all in defpic« 
La^ar and Divts Uviden diverfcly. 
And divtr* fjucrdon haddcn they thcrby. 
1\Tio fo wo} pray, he nuifl fail a»d be clcnc^ 
And fat hi^ fonle and make hi^ body Icne. 
We fare as fayth the apoHle ; cloth and food 
f^ufhccth u», though tbey be not ful gtH>d. 
The cUncncfle and the falling of us irtrt^ 
Makt'th that Crift acccpfcth our pfaiercs« , 

Lo, Moifc* forty daic&and forty night 
Faded er that the high God ful of might 
8pakr with him in the mountagnt of Sinay ; 
With empty womhe of fafling many a day 
Keccivcd he the Isrwc that was writen 
With Got uct Enger ; and Eli, wel ye wltcn, 
1ft Mount Or b, cr he had any fpcchc 
With higl-^ Cod, that i* our live* Icchc, 
lie faftod 1'^^, and wa»in contcmplance. 

Aaron, that had the temple in govcrnancr. 
And ckc the other pncc£le» everich on. 
Into the temple whan thry (fiuldcn gon 
To praien for the pcple, and do fervire. 
They n'olden drinkcn it no maner wife 
Kodrinke which that might hem dronkcn make, 
But thcr in abdinencc pray and wake 
Left that they deiden. Take heed what I fay- 
But they be fobft that for the prple pray — 
Ware that 1 fay — No more ; for it fufficcth* 
Our Lord Jcfu, as holy writ dtvifcth, 
Yavc Ui cnlample of falling and praicret: 
Thcrforc wc mcndianti, w« fcly frcrc*, 

♦ See Dii C^/f , in t, Semftitat. Pecullaf honour* and 
Ifpiitunuici i»i-rej;rinted|b¥ th< ftilco4 ti Bcitcdid to th <fe 
monk* *' ^t quinqnaf inia> aniviHi in ordtnc execcr«nc» 
<• qti' I sitnunf jubilicum rtc^iffe vulico illdmut." It I* 
^nb4bk th«t limine lioiiUr reguktlva wbtaiocU in the oUicv 



Ben wedded to povcrtc and continftice^^ 
To charitcc, humbkffe, and abftinence. 
To pcifecution for rightwifnc Ye, 
l*o weping, mtfericordc, and to cicncncflc £ 
And thcrforc nfiay yc fee that our praicrc* 
(t fpckc of us, wc mcndianti, we frercs) 
Ben to the highe God more acceptable 
Than yourcs, with your fcftcsat your tal>le«. 

Fro Paradis firfl» if I fhal not Uc, 
Was man out chafed for his glofonic ; 
And chaft was man in Paradi* certain. 
But hcrken now. Thorn a% what I dial £ijn \ 
I haVe no text of it ai I fuppofc. 
But I fbal find it in a inaoer gtofe ; 
That fpccially our fwcte Lord Jcfu« 
Spake this by frercs whan he faydc thtt*^ 
BiclTcd be they that pourc in fpirit ben ; 
And fo forth all the |,ofpcI may yc fen. 
Whether k be Itkcr otir profcdion 
Or hirs that fwifimien in poifcirKSn. 
Fic on hir pompc, and on hir glotonie. 
And on hir lewcdncfTe ! 1 hem dcfte. 
Me thinkcth they ben like Jovinian» 
Fat as a whale, and walkcn as a fwatl ; 
AI vmotcnc as bote! in the fpcnce; 
Hir praicr is of ful grct reverence : 
Whan they for foules fay the Pfalm of DlT 
Lo, buf they fay,C9r memm rru^anHi, 

Who folowcth Criftes gofpel and his lore 
But wc, that humble bcn^and chafl and j 
Workcri^ of Goddes word, not auditors } 
ThtTforc right as an haukc upon a fours 
Up fpringeth into the aire, right fo prair«* 
Of chariublc and chafl befy Ircrcs 
Makcn hir fours to Goddes crci two. 
Thomas, l^homas ! fo mote I ride or go. 
And by that lord that ck|K:d is Seint fvr, 
N'crc thou our brodcr Ihuldcft thou ooi thritc, 
in our chapitre pray we day and night 
Tu CriO, that he tnec fcndc hele andmtglit 
Thy body for to weldcn haflily. 

God wot, quod he, nothing thereof fd I. 
As help mc Crjfl, as I in fcwc ycrcs 
Hwc fpL-ndt'd n|>on divers maoer frcrw 
Ful many a pound, yet fare 1 neref rhc brtf 
Certain my good have I almoft befct : 
Fare wcl my good, for it is al ago. « 

The frerc anfwcrcd, O Thomas ! doll Uion fo f 
What ncdcth you divcrfc freres to feche f 
What ncdcih him that hath a parfit lechc 
To fcchcn other leches in the toun ? 
Your incondancc is your confufion. 
Hold yc than me, or cites our coTcnt, 
To pray for you hen infuflicicnt ? 
Thomas, that jape nls not worth a Dtite ^ 
Your maladic is for we han to lite. 
A ! ycv.' that covent half a quarter otc#j 
And yevc that covcnt four-and-twcnty giMte^ 
And yevc that frere a pcny and let him go i 
Nay, nay, Thomas, it may no thing be fo. 
What IS a ferthing worth parted on twelve ? 
Lo, cchc thing that is oncd in himfelve 
U more ftrong than whan it is yfcatcred, 
Thomasy of Bie thou Ihilt not b« y&Atttcd^ 



■1 



THE fiOMPNOURES TALE. 



I fwr labour al for nought ^ 
TW U^be Co4« that all this world h»th wrought, 
" ''\ tliat the workman worthy k hU hire 
J nou^l of your trcfor I dc&re 
r mjlelf, but that aJl our covttit 
yo« I* ay fo diltgent, 
p tjft bildc-ii Criftcf owcn chirche, 
, if ye wol lemen for to wirche, 
t klding up of chirchcs siay yc findc 
^t be good in Tbomai lif of lade, 
fe bgigcii here ful of anger and of irCy 
rdi which the devil fet your hcrte oa fire, 
bl duden here this holy ionoccntj 
' laar wif, that is fo good and patient ; 
kai therfore trow me^ Thomas, if thee Icffc, 
^ ' wc not with thy wif, as for the bcfl. 
r thi^ word away cow by thy faith, 
^ r«richc thitvg, lo, what the wife laith ; 
i thj hous nc be thou no leoo, 
f^fo^grts do noo opprefEon, 

: thou not thin acquaintance to flee. 
I yrtL, Thoinaa, cftfone* charge J thee, 
^ £ru«i ire that m thy bofom ficpctb ; 
Ware fro the ferpcnt that fo flily crcpcth 
Hbdcr the gra*, and iiiingcth fubtilly : 
iHnrcvaif Cboe, and hcrkeo pjtfiently, 
Tk^ fcniy thoufand men han In (I hir Uvea 
!follrmn|p with hir Icmmant and her wivct* 
Worn fith ye han fo holy and meek a wif, 
WiMt sedcth you, Thoma», to makcn fbif f 
TWr a*i» ywT» no ferpcnt fo cruel, 
▼kn m^tk trcdeth od hit tail, uc half fo fcl, 
Jk»%aatan tawhao (be hath caught an ire; 
^tny vcweance is than all hire defire. 
Ipb ii » fifinc on of the gn te feven, 
hie unto the God of hcvcn^ 

' "it i» deHnidion '. 
r lewed Ticar-and pcrfon 
J how ire engcndrcth homicide S 
, Ir '•« loth executaur of pride. 
I md of ire fay fo mochcl forwe 
Vylik fholdc kften til to-tnorwe ; 
4*1 ^rf (pre pray I God both duy and night 
JitM^m cnan God fend him litd might, 
. ft«|retb»nn, and ccrte* gret pitcc, 
I T* Die ao irom man in high degree. 
L thcr was an irou» potellat, 
I Ai ^ith Senek, that during hi« eftat 
|C^ a day outriden knighte« two{ 
\m Fortune wold that it were fo, 
tea «| hem came home, that other nought* 
t the knight before the judge i» brought, 
; fet4 * thtti; Thou hiidthy felaw Oain, 

I t deme thee to the deth certain^ 

Icoasiother knight commanded he^ 

vkile him to the deth, I charge th(-C. 

s they wcnten by the wcy 

I the place ther aa he (huldc dey, 

~ ' L came which men wenden had be ded i 

I they it waa the beftc rede 
h^ both to the juge again. 

Q, l>ord,thc knight tic hath not flain 
aw, here he ftondcth hoi alive. 
: fl^tiu he dcd| i^uod be, fo mot 1 thrive. 



F^kyJ 



rhat h to fay, both on, and twn, and three. 
And to the firftc knight right thus fpake he* 

t damned thee, tljou muft algatc be ded ; 
And thou aU'o muft nedes lefe thyn hed« 
lor thou art caufe why thy felaw deycth ; 
And to the thridde knight right thus he Icycth, 
Thou hall not don that J comnunded thcc. 
And thu» he did do flen hem allc three. 

Irous Cambifcs was eke dronkelew^ 
And ay delighted him to beu a fhrew : 
And fo bcfcU a lord of his nictaic. 
That loved vcrtaou3 moralitee, 
Sayd on a day betwLx hcnj two right thus; 
A lord 14 lofl: if he be viciouft; 
And dronkenneUe it eke a foule record 
Of aoy man, and namely of a lord. 
Ther is ful many an eye and many an ere 
Awaiting on a lord, and he n*ot whcr. 
For Goddes love drink more attemprely ; 
Win makctb man to kfen wretchedly 
Hk mindi and ckc his limmen cVL'rich on. 
The rcyers fhalt thou fee, quod he, anon. 
And prevc it by thyn owcn experience 
Than win nc doth to folk no Cwichc offence^ 
Ther i* no win berevcth me my might 
Of bond, nc foot, ne of myn tycn fight. 
And for dclpit he drankc mochel more 
An hundred part than he had don before. 
And right anon thit curfed irou» wretchc 
This knightcs fonc let before him fetch c. 
Commanding him he t»uld before him flond^ 
And fodenly he took hi« bow m bond, 
And up the firing he pulled to his ere. 
And with an arwehc flow the child right thcr# 

Now whether have I a fikcr bond or noti ? 
Qund he j h al my might and mind agon I 
Hath win bcrevcd me min eyen fight f 

What fhmld I tell the anfwer of the knight i 
Hi» fun was Hain, tbcr is no more to fay. 
Beth ware therfore with lor dc» for toolay, 
Singeth Placebo, and I fhal tf I c^n. 
But ti it be unto a poure man : 
To a pourc map men fbuld hi* vices telle. 
But not to a lord, though he Ihuld go to hcUct 

Lo, irons Cirus, thllke Pcrficn, 
How be defiroyed the river of Gifen, 
For that an hor& of his was dreint thcrin. 
Whan that he wcntc Biibilon to win i 
He made that the river was fo fmal^ 
That wimmen might it wadcn over al. 
Lo, what faid he, that fo wtl tcchcn can } 
Nc be no fcUw to non tfous man, 
Ne with DO wood mat} walke by the way. 
Left thee repent : I wol no fort her fay. 

Now Thomas, leve brother, Icve thin ire, 
Thou fhalt me find as jufl aa iii a fquire : 
Hold not the dcvi!» knif ay to thin hcrte^ 
Thin apger doth thcc aU to fore fmerte j 
But fhew to me all thy confcfiion. 

Nay, quod the ick man, by Scint SimoQ 
I have ben Ihrivcn this day of my curat; 
1 have bim told al holly min t flat, 
Nedcth no mo to fpcke of ir, fayth bC| 
But if mc lifi ijf min humilitce. 




^ 



Ycve m« than of ilvy ^oM to make our cloiftrff, 
QijoJ he, for many a mufck and many ati oiilrC| 
V han other men han ben fulweJ at cfe, 
Hath ben our food, our cloHlre for to rcfc; 
Afi*! yci, Gpd wot, uniicth the fundament 
Patfourmcd », nc of our pavcmcni 
H'is not a tiJc yet within our woncs : 
By God wc ovvcn fourty pound for ftonw. 
Kow help, lliomas, for him that harwcd hcUe, 
For cUe* mote we our bokcs fcUc, 
And if ye lack our predicatioD, 
Than goth thU world all to dtflnidior! 5 
For who fo fro thi^ world wold u^ ht-reve. 
So God mc fiinre, Thomas, by your Itrvc 
He wold hcreve out of this world the fonne; 
For who cat! tcrlie and worken as wc connc ? 
And that i» not of Utd rime (quod he) 
Btit fithcn £lic w;ksi and Elifcc 
Wan htm ben, that find 1 of record, 
In vliaruce, ythpnked be our 1 ord. 
K«w Thomu, help for tfeintc Chiiritce. 

Acd dfitin anon he fcttc him on his knee, 

Thh Ckc man woxe wei neigh wood for ire ; 
He woldc that the frcrc had hen a-firc 
^''ah his falfe diCrimalation. 

Swichc thing a» m in my pofFefTioQ, 
^od he, that mjy I yerc yoa^ ;icd oon *ithcr. 

r lain mc thus, how that I am your brother, 
ctneit qnod thi* frere» ye truOeth wcl; 
I took our dame ihc letter erf our ftfc. 

Now wel, quod he, and fopiwhnt (bal I ycvc 
Unto your holy cotent while I Uvi^ j 
And in Unn hond tho j fhait it have anon, 
On thii condltjViTi, and other non, 
Thu thou depart it fo, my dcrc brother, 
That every frerc have a& ntochc as other « 
Ttas ihalt thou fwcre on tTiy profeOion 
Withouten fraud or caviladon. 

1 fwcre it, quod the frcrc, upon my faith; 
And therwi^hal his hond in UU he luyth. 
Lo here my faith 4 in me fhal he no tak. 

Than put thin hond adoun nj^ht by my bak, 
aide thii man, and gjope wel behind 
*"n<;the my ljurtok,ther thoii (hake find 
Fa thing that 1 have bid c. 

I'A! thought i^ii frcrt, with mej 

And doun hi* hond he i,.. ,.-... ... to the diftc, 

I hope for to finden ther a gifte. 

And whan this fike man felt ihis frerc 

bout his towel ^TOpen thcr und bene, 
kid hi; bond he Ut the frcTC a fart ; 
|'herii%> no capel drawing in a cart 
That might han let a fart cf fwiche t^ fotin, 

7 he frere up fterie u d'^th a wood Loun ; 
A ! falfe chcrl, quod he, for Goddci bonei, 
f3*hi» h;Lil rh'" ' ^ '^'^ d'^-n for the ncraci; 

hou ihalt it that I may. 

Hi* meiii. . .^ it herden thii affray. 

Came lepirtg m, and <:h:ifcd out the frere. 
And forth he gOth with a ful anp7 chert. 
And fei hiifeUw thcr ai by hit florc : 
fc Inked M It were a wllde bore» 
Ind j^rinte with hi* teeth, fo wi$ he wroth. 
\ ilurdy paa doun to the court he gocb. 




THE SOMPNbURES TALE. 



Wher aether woncd a man of ffet lionaWt 
To whom that he was i^lway confetfour : 
Thi» worthy man wa* lord of that village. 
This frcre came, aihe wltc in a rjge, 
Wher as this lord fat eting at his bord : 
Unnethrs might the frcre fpekc a word* 
1 il aite laftc he faide, Go4 )ou fee ! 

This lord gan lok/, and fa id, Bfi*eSiiUf 
What? I'rcrc John, what mancr world i» illTi? 
I fee wel that fom thing thcr is amii ; 
Yc loken ^% the w^ood were ful of theve*. 
Sit A<fati anon, and tell me what your gr^ftil| 
And it Ihal bcnimcndcd if t may, 

1 havCf quod he, had a defpit to day^ 
God yelde )OU,adoun in your village. 
That in [his world ther n'is fo poure a pagC| 
That he Isolde have abhominatioun 
Of thai I have received in youre toun ; 
And yet ne greveth me nothing fo fore 
As that the olde chcrl with lokkc» bore 
Biafpbemedhath ourc holy covtnt eke. 

Now niailtr, quod this lord, ! you hefekcv 

Ko maiflcr, %'ire, quod hc^ but fervitour^ 
Though I have had in fcole that honour. 
Gid hkcrh not that mcin u& R4bi call 
Neither in market ne in your large hall. 

No force, quod he, but ttll mc all yt»«r 

Sire, quod thisficre, an odiou* mifchefe 
This day betid i» to trJn ordrc and roc, 
Aijdfo^,T t^nff^untt toeche degree 
Of lioly tliirchc, God antcndc it fone, _ 

Sire, quod the lord, ye wot what \% to doc r 
Diftempre you not, yc ben my confcffour; 
Yc hen the fait of the erthe and the fivour ! 
For Goddc« love your patience now hold ; 
Telle me your grcfc. And he anoti hhn tcW 
Ai yc ban herd before, yc wot wtl whtL 

The lady of the hoiis ay ftillc fat 
Til flic had herdc what the frere feid. 

liy, Goddes moder,quod ihe, blisfu] ttsidl 
Ift ther ought cUei \ tell me faithfully* 
M idamc,quod he, how thinkcth you therby ? 
Bow tiiat mc thjnkcth f quod (he ; foGod one fpe^ 
f fay a cherlchaddon a cherlei dede. 
Wh? I fljuld 1 fay? God let him never the ; 
Hk fikc hcd is ful of vanitee ! 
1 hoid him in a mancr frcneric. 

Madame, quod he, by God I ilial not lie^ 
But 1 in other w ifc may ben awrckc \ 
\ fhal diUkme him over :ill ther 1 fpeke ; 
Ttj* falfe blafphemour, rJiat charged Oae 
To parten th;tt wol not departed be 
To every man yllkc^witli mefchance. 

The lord fat lUUc it^he were in a trance. 
And in his hertc he rolled itp and doun 
How had thi&cherl imagmatioun 
To ihcwen fwichc a probleme to the fircre. 
Never crft or now ne herd I fwithe matcre \ 
I trow the devil put it in his mind. 
In all arfmctrike fhal ther no man find 
Bcfora thit day of fwichc a queflion. 
Who (liulde make a demonUr^tton 
That every man (huld han ylike hiipart 
At of a foun or favour of a fan | 



THE SOMPNOURES TALI. 



Mce^oode dwrl! I fhrcwc hi«fMc. 
Lo, Sires, <}ix»d the lord, with hardc grace, 
■* herd of fwiche a thing or now I 

rp rwery ramn ylike * tell me how, 
k a » impollible, it may not be : 
■ ; Wkt dierl ! God let him uerer the. 
c nmJbEisi^ of a fart, and every fouo, 
' ITti but of aire rcveTbcratioun, 
Aid erer It waActh lite and lice awsy ; 
[ Thcr B^it no man can Hemen, by my fay, 
ff ibz k vrcTZ departed cquaUy. 

s? lomy chcrl, lo yet how (hrewedly 
> icy confilTaur co-day he fpake ! 
cert&ia » dcmoolake. 
joor lActe, ajid let the cherl go play ; 
I gp hoogc himfelf a devil way. 
'%m ftood the lordet fquicraite bord 
^ Bcsff hht metCf and herdc word by word 
F aO this thing of which I have you fayd. 
Mf Lord, quod he, be yc rot cvii apaid ; 
' fimie telle for a goune-cloth 
[Tofiv, Sttc Prere, fo thai ye be not wroth, 
[Bapir thas this fart Ihuid eves ydeted be 
Imemgt jvar covent, if it liked thcc 
Tdl, ^iiod the lord^ and thou Ihalt have an on 
La. gOB^e^cSdch, hy God and by Scint John. 
I Iff LonI, quod he, whan that the weder is i 
Wnfmmtioi mriode or pertoarbiog of aire, [fAirc, 
^ Ia brag a cart-whcle here into this hall, 
~ i kkK th«i it have his fpokes all ; 
Jwdl fpokci hath a cari-whele communly ; 
I ^Kmg Bic than twclf freres, wcte ye why f 
[ is a covent as 1 gcS[c : 
r here for hU wonhinefle 



ft 



Shal parfourme up the coumbrc of Kis torentt 

Than fhull they knclc udoun by on alTcnt, 

And to every fpokcs end in this manerc 

Ful fadly lay his nofc ihal a frcrc ; 

Your noble confcfToufi thcr God him fave, 

Shal hold his nofe uprig^ht under the nave, 

Than fhal this cherl, with bely ftif and tought 

A»any tabour, hider ben ybrought ; 

And fet him on the whele right of thii cart 

Upon the nave, and make him let a fart. 

And ye ihull feeo, up peril of my Uf, 

By vcray precf that is demon ftratif. 

That equally the foun of it wol wende. 

And ckc the Hinke, unto the fpokes cnde, 

Save that thif worthy man^ your confcffour, 

(Bccatife he is a man of g^ct honour) 

Shal han the iirfle fruit, as refoci is. 

The noble ufage of frercs yet it h 

The worthy men of hem (hu! fir ft be fcrved. 

And certainly he hath it wcl defervcd ; 

He hath to-day taught us fo mochel good. 

With prcching in the pulpit tlier he ftood. 

That I may voucbefaf, I fay for me. 

He haddc the firfle fmcl of fjirtes three. 

And fo wold all his brctjircn hardcly. 

He bcreth him fo faire and holyly. 

The lord, the lady, and eche man, IkTe die 
Say den that Jankin fpakc in this matere [frerv, 
Ai wcJ as Euclidc or cllcs Ptholomcc. 
Touching the chrrl they faydan, Stibtiltce 
And hi^hc wit m<ide him fpcken a> he fpA^ ; 
Hl- n'i* no fool nc no denioniak^. 
And Jankin hath ywonne'a new goune* 
My Talc is don ; we ben almoft at touuc* 
E jiij 




THE CLERKES PROLOGUE. 




5iRt Clerk pf Oxcnforde* onr HoUc faid, 
Y«r rid« a* ftiUc and coy a« doth a m^iid 
Were ncwe fpoufcd, fitting at the hord ; 
1*1114 4;»y nc herd | of your tonjjc a word. 
I fraw ye {ludic abouien foro fopKimc ; 
But Salomon faith that every thing huth time. 
For Goddc* fake as b^th of better chcic. 
It IS no time for to iludetn hcr«» 
Tell us foni mcry Talc hj your fay- 
For what min that h entre J tn a pUy 
He ncdc« nioft unto the play afTcut. 
""lit pnechcth not, it, frerc* don in Lent, 
b make u§ irr our olde (inties wcpc, 
to that thy Talc make u& not to Ccpc* 
TdU us fom m^^ry thing of avcnttircf | 
our tcrnu 4, your coloured, jind your figiirci, 
K^jv hem in Itore tU fo be yc ersdit* 
Hie ftilc, a* wU^n th^t tnen to ktagci write. 
Spcketh fu pluin at thi» tmic» I you pny» 
That wc may underAondcn what ye fay. 

Thii worthy Clerk bcnigndy aiifwcrdc | 
HoAc, quo«! he, I a:n under your yerde, 
Ye ftavc of VA now the governance, 
Aiid therefnrc wolde I do you obcyjance^ 
Aj fcr a* rcfon aiketh h^rdcly : 
I wol ycu tell a I itlc which that I 
Lcmed st Padowe of a lyorthy clerk, 
A* prcvird hy bin word "i anH hit work : 
He la fSfTW did and nailed m h*fccheJic, 
] pmy to Gbvl to ytvc hts foalc rdle. 



FmuneeiB Petrark» the Lnurrat poete, 
Hijrbte rhi» clerk, whos rdborikc Iwctc 
Hnlumined all Itaille of poctrie, 
As Lynyan § did of phiiofophir 
Or law, or other art pariiculere ; 
But Deth that wol not fufrc utdwell^n ] 
But as it were ?. twinkling of an rye. 
Hem both hath flaine, and alle we (hnl d| 

But forth to ic lien of this worthy tmn 
That taughtc me thi» fak is 1 began, , 

1 fay that firft he with highe Ailc cnditcth ^ 
(Or he the body of hi» Talc wrttcth) 
A prohcmc, in the which defcriveth he 
Picmont, and of Salucci the con tree. 
And ffjeketh of Apcjinin the hille* hie, 
I'hat ben the boundei of weft Lnmbardici 
And of MouiTt Vefuluf in fpccial, 
Wher a« the Poo out of a wcilc fmal 
I akvth his llrite fpringin^ and Jii» fours 
That cftwiird ay eccrcfcih in hi*ro'- 
To Emrlic ward, to Fcrarc and \ 
The which a longe thing were u-> 
And trewcly, aa to my jugcmcn:, 
Me tliinketh it a thing impertiucut. 
Save that he wol* conveyen ht»m;iiere: 
But thi* ii the T^Jc which thjit ye mow here. 



i Or Unian. The f>tTfm mcftnt w«t«ii wmm 
411 J iiu4c 4 |p(4t ^g^|( ^^^ ^f jn^^ j 1^ iii^ ^^^^ 




THE CLERKES TALE. 



I Twi k riffht St the weft fide of Itailk, 
I It the Ttftc of Vtftilu* the cold, 
Ahkf piaia habundam of vjuiUc, 
] Thffwxn^j a toua uid tour thou maiA behold, 
I lltf CoiDi^cd were io time- of fathers old| 

Me fiphtc, 
l^aiiMi tree highte* 

Anas^i^'^ ' I iu Ml I ,. u WM of tJiir lond, 
I jb w^iT Hm* worthy cldens Kim before, 
A-- »rLfvf^M. iv red) rohUhond, 

th Itflcand more ; 
rli, and hith don yore, 
-jii, thurgh favour of Fortune, 
i^cs and of his commune. 
:u be ma*, to fpekcn of linage, 
'-J1 ybomc of Lumbardic, 
ribn, and ftronj,% and yong of age, 
r honour and of curtcfic ; 
" ^>i. hit eoatrcefor to ^ie, 
,mge§ that he was to blame, 
, i» thi»yoage lordea Qanic. 
f tniTT* hitn thui, that he conCdcrcd nought 
b tvne coming what might him bctidc, 
Is! QA kit luft prefcnt waa all hi* diought, 
Aai^ to hauke and hunt on rvery fide ; 
Vd^Q^h all Cither curci let he Qidc \ 
JiAfbr he nol'd (and that wa« worft of all) 

• oo ^if for ought that might befall. 
f th*t point hij peplc bare fo fore 

tiockincl on a day to him they went, 
I ^ bcm« thtt wilefl wa^ of lore, 
ilhBt the lord wold befl afTcat 
t iltfiki tell hem what the peplr ment, 

• «oa1d he wel (hew fw iehe materc } 
trkit £aid as ye fbuU here, 

\ Markit, your humatiitee 
\ a» aix! yTcth u& hardinene, 
I time ift of ncceflitee 
r te> yon mow tell our heTtnefTe; 
<fiK, Lord, than of your gentillefle 
T w^th fiitiou* hcrteunto you plainc, 
I yoitr erei nat my iro:( difdAJne. 
tc 1 HOC to den in thii matere 
\iSksuk another man hath in thi» place, 
Kk a> yc, my Lord fo dcrc, 
■ ahvif tbemtA en r J grace, 

ibntrralk' ce 

ICC t^ fljtrWvi, * .. ...,.^it, 
i fCt mj LorU, to doo right >» you kfU 



For certcs. Lord, fo wcl us liketh you 
And all your wtrke, and c\^t hath dow, dial 
Nr couden not ourfelf devifen how 
Wc might en live in more felicitee, 
Save o thing, Lord, if it yotir willc be 
That for to be a wedded man you left 
Than were your peple in foveraln bertcv reft. 

Bowcth your nekke under the blif&ful yok 
Of fovcriintcc, and not of fc-rvife. 
Which that men clepen Spoufaile or Wedlok ; 
And thiuketh, Lord, among your thoghtea wtfCf^ 
How tliat our days paiTe in fondry wiic ; 
For though we ilcpe, or wake, or rome, or ride, 
A^ flcth the time, it wol no man abide. 

And though your grene youthc floure ai yet. 
In crepeth age alway aa llill u fton. 
And dcth nianafcth every age, and iinit 
In cchc cftat, for tbcr cfcapclh non ; 
And al fo certain a* wc knowc eche on 
That we fhul die, a» unartain we all 
Ben of that day whan dcth flial on us falL 

Acccpteth than of U4the trctv>'e entent. 
That never yet rcfufeden your heft, 
And wc wol. Lord, if that you wol a0ent, 
Cht fe you a wife in fhort time at the meil 
BoTJi^ of tlic gcntillefl and of the befl 
Of all thii land, fo that it oughte feme 
Honour to God and you as wc can dcme. 

Deliver us out of all this bcfy drcde. 
And take a wif for higbe Goddta fake ; 
For if it fo befell, a* God forbede. 
That rhurgh your dcth your linage fhuldc ilake« 
And that a llrange fucccffour fhuld take 
Your heritage, o f wo were us on live ; 
Whcrfurc wc pray you haflily to wive* 

Hir mckc praiere atid hir pitous chere 
Made the niarkit for to ban pitcc. 
Ye wol, quod he, min owen pcpJc dere. 
To that I never cr tluiught coDilrainiM mc : 
I me rejoyced of my libcrtee. 
That fclden time !* found in mariage ; 
Ther I was free I mullc btn in fcrvage. 

But nathclc& I fee your trcwc entcnt. 
And trufl upon ynur wit, and have don ay ; 
Whtrfnrc of my free will 1 wol afTcnt 
To weddcn mc ai^ fone as ever I may : 
But thcf a& yc ban prof red me to-day 
*Fo cht fen wc a wif, 1 you rclcfc 
Thatdi^i$i Slid pray you of that piofcrccfe. 



I 



I 



I 



I 



For GccJ It wot ihM children often ben 
Unlike hir worthy cIcJre* hem before : 
Boumee comcih al of God, not of the ffrcn 
Of which they ben y^adred and yborc : 
I iruft in Goddes botintce, and thcrforc 
My mariagc, and min cllat and reft, 
I hini bctzike ; he may don as him left, 

L.ct mc Alone ra chrfmg of my wLf ; 
That charge upon my bak I wol endure : 
Eut 1 you pray and charge upon your lif 
That what wit that J take yc me alTure 
Toworfhip hire, w*iilc tlut hire lif may dure, 
la word and werk both here and dies where, 
A* flie an cmperourcs doughtcr were 

And forthcrmorc this fhuUi yc fwcre, ihat yc 
Again my choii (hal neTcr grutch he ftfife j 
Ff* flih ! Ihat forjro my libcrtec 
At yonr rcqucfl, a5 ivfr mote I thrive 
Thcr a* inin he«c i* fci thcr wol I wire : 
And but ye wol affent in fwiche manerc 
I pray you fpeke no more of this matcrc. 

With hertty will thL7 fworen and aflontcn 
To all this thin^f ther faide not i> wight nay, 
Befccbing him of i^raee, or that they wetitcji. 
That he wold grzncen Ivcra a certain day 
Of his rpoufftile as fone at ever he may, 
For yet alway the prpic Tome what dred 
hth that rhi* marki« wolde no wif wed. 

He Jointed hrm a day, fwiche as him left, 
Oo which he wold he wedded fikcrly. 
And faid he did all ihii at hir requejl ; 
And they with hnmble bcrtc ful btixnmly, 
Kneling ufon hir knees ful rcTercntly, 
Him thonken all : and thus they han an end 
Of hir entente, and home agen they wend. 

And hereupon he to hit officered 
Commandeth for the feftc to punray, 
And to hi« privce knightei and fquieres 
Swichc charge he yave a* hem lill on hem lay, 
And they to hia commandcmeot obey, 
Aitd eche of hem doth all his djligeoce 
To do unto the feflc ai reverence. 

Part ffiVJ»da, 

Nought fer ffo thiike paleit honoiunible, 
Whcr a» thtjt mark is Ihopc his manage, 
Tberftood a thorpe, of fighte delitabte, 
In which that poure folk of that Tillage 
Hadden hir beftet and hir herbergage, 
And of hir labour toke hir fufleoance. 
After that the erthc yave hem habtindance. 

Among thii poure folk iher dwelt a man 
Which that was holden pooreft of hem all, 
But highe God fomtime £enden can 
Hta grace unto a Ittel oiet flail ; 
Jiokola men of that thorpe him call : 
A doughter had he, faire ynough to fight. 
And Grifildit this yonge maiden hight- 
* fiut for to fpeke of ▼ertuouibcautee^ 
Than was fhe on the faired under foooe. 
Ful pourely yfoftrcd up wa* flie ; 
No likerouj luft wai In hire henc rronnc ; 
Wcl oftrr of the well than of the ttmnc 
She dnnke ; and for ihe wolde vcrttie pkfc 

\ kaew wel labour but noo idel cfc. 



But though thii mayden teodre W£re of 2ge« 
Vet in the bred of hire virginitec 
Ther waa enclofed fad and ripe corage. 
And in grct reverence and charicee 
Hire oldc poure fader foftrtd Cm : 
A few fheep fpinning on the feld (he kept ; 
She wolde not ben idel til (he flept. 

And whm Ihe homward came fhc wolde bri0| 
Wortcs and other hcrbts timcioft. 
The whirh fhc fhrcd and fcthc for hire living. 
And madr hire bed ful hard and nothing fofi i 
And ay (He kept hire fadret lif on left 
Wiih every obetfance and diligence 
That child may don to fadrcs reverence* 

Upon GrifiMc, thi* poure creature, 
Ful often dthe thit markis fclte hit eye, 
A* he on hunting rode paraventure ; 
And whan it fell that he might hire cfpie. 
Ho not with wanton loking of folic 
Hit tyen caft on hire, bur in fad wife 
Upon hire (here he wold him oft avife ; 

Commending in hit herte hire womanheile. 
And eke hire vcrtuc, paOing any wight 
Of fo yong age as wcl in chere aa dcde r 
For though the peple have no gret in (ight 
In vcrtuc, he confidcrcd ful right 
Hire boontcCf and difpofed that he wold 
Wcddc hire only if ever he wedden Ibold. 

The day of wedding came, but no wight 
Tcllcn what woman that it Ihulde be. 
For which marvaille won dred many a mmik, 
AnA faidcD, whan they were in privcCce* 
Wol not our lord yet Icvc his vanitec ' 
Wol be not wtdde ? Alas, alas the while ! 
Why wol he thu^ himielf and us bcgile I 
But natheles thit markis hath do maks 
Of gemmcii fcttc in gold and in afurc 
Broches and ringes for Grifildesfake; 
And of hire clothing toke he the mefi 
Of a maiden like unto hire flature. 
And eke of other ornamentcs all 
That imto fwiche a wedding ihuldc fall* 
The iLmc of undeme of the fame day 
Approcheth that this wedding Ihulde be^ 
And ^1 the palclt put was in array. 
Both halle and chambrca, eche io his degree, 
Houfes of office fluffed with plentee ; 
Ther ma)'d thou fee of dcinteoui vitaiUe 
That may be found as fcr as lafltth Itailk* 

This real markis richely arraide« 
Lordes and ladte«» in hit compagnie. 
The which unto the fcfte weren praidCg 
And of his retenuc the bachclerie, 
With many a foim of fondry melodie, 
Unto tlie village of the which I told 
In thit array the righte way they hold. 

Grifildc of this (God wot) ful innocent 
That for hire ihapeti was all this array. 
To fctcben water at a welle is went. 
And cometh home as fone as ever (he may; 
For wcl fhc had herd fay that thilkc day 
The markis fliulde wedde, and if fhc might 
She wolde fayn han fecn fom of that fight. 

She thought 1 wol with other maidens llondj 
That ben my fclawe%, in our dore, and fc« 
The markjfeiFc, and therto wd I fo&d 




THE CLER] 

• f5m;, 2«^fGne as it may b«, 
whJcJi tlrAt longeth unto me, 
tiXD t may at leifer hire behold, 
likvay unto the CaOct hold. 
i£ at ftie wolde over the thrcfwold gon 
tMrU* casnc and gan hire for to call, 
ll^fift doQo hire water-pot anon 
^^^Btrertvold in an oxes ftall, 
^^B^oo 111 re koeet Die gnti to fatl, 
Iriib &d c»\Lntenatice luiekth ftiU, 
t bid berd ^wbat was the lordcs will. 
ia dhoughtful xnarki^ fpake imto thi« moid 
bcrty, and f^id in thh mancre ; 
ii jour fadcT, Griiildu .' he faid. 
k with reverence in humble chcrc 
D«d» X^ord, fie it al tcdj here, 
i ibc ^otli withoutcD lenger Icttc, 
» iKc m^flus 01C hire fader htte* 
hf tlic Ko^d fhan loke thii poure man^ 
aide thus ^han he him had afidc ; 
)la, 1 neither majr oc cao 
cr tlu: plcJknce of min herte hide ; 
l^'U vaischcfauf, what fo betide, 
hter w ol I t^ikc or thac I Bcnd 
unto hire lives end. 
me, that wot 1 we! certain, 
fxifhful liegeman yborc, 
that liketh me, T dare wcl faio, 
t)tee,aiid fpccialli' thcrforc 
that point tliat 1 have faid before^ 
ihoB wolt ufito this purpos drawe, 
» me 9M for th7 foa in lawc ? 
ibdcfi ca» tiii» man aOoned fo, 
d he weXf abajft,and a1 quaking 
id ; ui^ncihr^ faid he wordci mo 
kthm ; Lord, quod he, my willing 
: vol, nc ageins your liking 
o tliiog, inin owen Lord fo dcrc ; 
II ^u lift govemcih this matcrc. 
Birol 1, quod this mat kit fofttly, 
chainbre l,and thou, and flic, 
lOfi ; and wofl thou why ? 
hire if it hire wilJc be 
wif, and reulc Iiire after me ? 
Ihal be don In thy prt fence ; 
c nut of chin audience^ 
chambre, while they were aboute 
, which 3A ye fliul after here, 
eamc into the hous witlioute, 
idred hem iti hnw hondl manerc 
jhe kept hire fader dcre : 

Grifildji wonder might, 
er^ ae ijiw fhr fwiche m fight* 
r is though that Ihc be aflooed 
a gen come in that place, 
to non fwiche geftcs woDcd, 
ftie loked -n ith ful pale face, 
forth thii itiaterc for to thace, 
wordct that the markis faid 
^ le vcray faithful matd. 
be faid, ye fliuln wel underAond 
your fader and to mc 

>, and eke it may fo ftoitd, 
:, ye wol that it fo be ; 
kuodca aike f £rlt (quod he) 



That fin it fhall be don in baAy wilV, 
Wol ye aficnl, of elles you avife ? 

I fay this be ye redy with good hcrte 
To all my lull, and that 1 freely may, 
A» me beft thlnketh^ do you laugh or fineftCp 
And never ye to gr^itclicn, night ne day. 
And ckc whan I fay Ya ye fay Nay, 
Ntiihcr by word ne frouning countenance I 
Swcrc thi«,and here I fwerc our alliance, 

Wondring upon thii thing, quaking fordrcdc^ 
She faide, Lorde, indigne and unworthy 
Am I to thilke honour that ye me bede. 
But ns ye wol yourfelf, right fo wol I : 
And here 1 fwcrc that never willingly 
In wrrknc thought I n'ill you difobcie 
For to be dcd, though me were loth to dcie* 

This is ynoiigh, Grifilde min, quod he. 
And forth he gttih with a fui fobre chcrc 
Out at the dore, and after than came Jhc, 
And to the pcplc he faid in this mancre ; 
This IK my wif, quod lu, that flondeth here j 
Honourcth her, and toveih hire, I pray, 
M*ho fo mc lovetJi ; thcr n'iino more to fay. 

And for that nothing of hire oldc gcrc 
•She ftiuldc briijj: into his hous, he bad 
That women {hu!d defpoilcn hire right there. 
Of which thifc ladic* weren nothing glad 
To handle hire clothee whcrin flie was clad : 
But nathclcs this maiden bright of hew 
Fro foot to bed they clothed ban all new. 

Hire hcres ban they kempt, that lay imtrcJTcd 
Ful rudely, and with liir fingrci fmal 
A corounc on hire hcd they ban ydrefled, 
And fettf hire fuj of nottchei grct and fmal. 
Of hire array what ftiulJ I make a talc ? 
Unncth the pepk hire knew for hire fairncfTc 
Whan (he iranfmcwed was in fwiche richelTc, 

This m^rkii hath hire fpoufed with a ring 
Brought for the fame caufe, and than hire fcWtf 
Upon an horRfuow-whitc and wcl ambling. 
And to his pflleis, or bt* longer Ictte, 
(With joyful pcplc that hire hd and mette) 
Conveyed hire ; and thus the day they fpcndt 
In revel til the fonne gan dtfccjdc. 

And Ibortly forth this talc for to chace, 
] fay that to this new markifcfTc 
God hath fwiche favour fcnt hire of his gracCt 
That it nc fcnicth not by likelineire 
That fhc was borne and fed in nidcnelTe, 
A$ in a cote or in an oxc* ftall, 
But nourifticd in an empcmurcs hall. 

To every wight fhc waten is fo dcrc 
And worihipful, that folk thcr flie was bore* 
And fro hire birthe knew hire ye re by ycre, 
Unnethes trowed they, but dorft ban fwore 
That to Janick, of which I fpake before. 
She doughter n*a»j for a» by conjedurc 
Hem thoughte (he was another creature. 

For though that ever vcrtiious wai the. 
She wai encrcfed in fwiche excellence 
Of thewes good, yfct in high bountee. 
And fo difcrcte, and faire of cli>qucifcc, 
So benigne,and fo digue of reverence. 
And coudc fo the pcpltjs hcrte embrace. 
That echc hire loveth that k^kcth on hiie face. 




THE CLERKES TALI. 



Not only of Sa^laceim the toun 
Pubjifhcd Vf^i the bouatee of hire nAmCt 
But ckc Kefidc icmany mrcgiouti; 
If on faith wel, another laith the fame ; 
S« Cprcdcth of hire hie bountec the hmc. 
That men und women, yon^g as wcl as oltl| 
Con to S3 1 aces upon hire to [>chold. 

Thus Walter lowly, nay but nsilly, 
Wcdtkd with fortunat honcflec^ 
In Goddc» pcc» livcth ful cfily 
Af liomc, and grace jnoug^h outward had he ; 
AM for he faw that under Tow degree 
Wiii horn ft Ttrtu hid, the pcplc him held 
A prudent man, and that in fern fttl feld. 

Not only this Grifildis thurgh hire wit 
Coude all the fete of wifly homlinelTc ; 
But ckc wh^ifi th:it the ca» required it. 
The comunc profit copde ibe rcdrcJTc : 
Thcr n*ai difc or J ,f rancour, nc heviueffe. 
In all the lond that Ihc ne cuude appefe, 
And wifely brings hem all in herte« efe. 

Thou|^h t^at hire huibotid abfcnt were or non 
If genuuncn or other of that contrcc 
Were wroth, fhe woldc bringen hem at 00. 
So wife and npc wordet haddc fhc. 
And jugemeot of fo gretc equitec, 
That rht: from hcvcn fent was, at men wend, 
Peple to favc, and every wrong to amend. 

Not longc time after that thi» Orifilde 
Was wedded, flic a doughtcr hath yborCi 
All had hire lever ban borne a knave childe ; 
Glad was the markis and hi» folk thcrforc i 
por though a ma^iden childe eotnc all before^ 
She may unto a knave child attrinr, 
Bj likelyhcd, Im Ihc n'is not barreinCi 

jPtfr/ Urtia, 

Thcr fell, as it befalleth times mo. 
Whan that this childe had foukcd but a thro we, 
This marki* in his herte longed fo 
To umpt hii wif, hire fadnelTc for to knowe. 
That he ne might out of his hcrte thro we 
Thii marveillous dcfir his wif to aifay : 
Kedlees, Ood wot, he thought hire to afiraj. 

He had aflaicd hire ynough before, 
And found hire ever good ; what necdcth it 
H^re for to tempt, and alway more and more I 
Though fomc men praifc it for a fubtil wit ; 
Bui K5 for me, I fay that evil it fit 
To affay a wife whan that it t% po ncde. 
And putt en hire in anguiih and in drede. 

For which thii marki i wrought in this maocre ; 
He came a^aight alone thcr a« fhe by 
With ftcrn face and with full trouble chcre. 
And faydc thus, GriCldc, (quod he) that da^ 
That I you toke out of your poure array. 
And put you in eAat of high nobtcffc, 
Ye han it not forgcticn, a* 1 gcflc ; 

I &y, GriClde, thii prcfent dignttee. 
In which that I have put you, as 1 trow^ 
Makcth you not forgetful for to be 
That I you toke in poure cftat ful low. 
For any wcle ye mote yourfclven know. 
Take hedc of every word that 1 ynu fiy, 
^hsx 1} nc wight that hcrcth \i btt; wc tway. 



Ye wotc yourfclf wel how that ye came I 

Into t hi a ho ut, it is not long ago ; 
And though to me ye be right lefs and dcre 
Unto my gcntiU ye be nothing fo : 
They fay ttj hem it ii grct fliamc and wo 
Ftir to be fwggetcs and ben in fervagc 
To thee, that borne art of a final linage. 

And namely Hn thy doughter waa ybor«^ i 
Thifc wordes hcti tlicy Ipokcn doutclcs ; 
But 1 dclire, a» 1 have done before, 
lb live my lif with hem in re A and pees : 
I may not in this cas be rechcles : 
I mote do with thy donghtcr for the beft, 
Kot as I wold, but as my geniiU left- 

And yet, Gfld wote, thi* is ful toatb to t 
But nathcles withoutcn your weting 
1 wdI nought do ; but thus wol I (quod he) 
That ye to me aifcnten in this thing j 
Shew now your patience in your wcrkJng 
That ye mc hight and fworc in your village i 
The day that maked waj our manage. 

Whaii Ihc had herd all this, (he not amev 
Ncythcr in word« in chcre, ne countcuaoce, 
(For as it femed, Ihe was not agrevcd) 
She faydc, Lord, all lith in your pleafaace |1 
My child and I with hertely obeifancc 
Ben youres alit and ye may fave or fpiU 
Ynur owcn thing : wcrketh after your wilL 

Thcr may no thing, fo God my foule fan' 
Like unto you that may difplcfca mc-% 
Nc 1 dcfirc nothing for to have, 
Ne drtdc for to Icfc, fauf only je : 
This will is in myo hcrte, and ay fliatl be« 
No length of time or dcth may thi* deface, 
Nc change my courage to an other place. 

Glad was this markis for hire anfwcrill^f 
But yet he fcijied aa he were not fo ; 
A) dxcry washif» cherc and hisloking^ 
Wh^n rhat he fhuld nut of the chamber ft« 
S+Juc after ihl.^, a furlong way or twO| 
He privcly hath told all his en tent 
Dnto a» man, and to his wif him fenti 

A mancr fcr^eant wai^ this prive man, 
The which he faithful oTten foundcn had 
In things gret, and eke fwiche folk wcl usk 
Don execution on things bad ; 
The lord knew wel that he him loved and < 
And whan this fergeant wifV hislordcs wiU, 
Into the chambre he fUlkcd him ful (lilL 

Madame, he fayd, ye mote foryevc it me. 
Though I do thing to which 1 am conftreiue 
Yc ben fo wife, that right wcl knowcu yc 
That lordes hi^ftesnuy not hen yfcmcd; 
They may wel be bei^aikd and complained* 
But men mote nedcs to hir lull obey. 
And fo wol I ; ther n'is no more to fay. 

The child I am commanded for to take — ' ' 
And fpake uo more, but out the child he hent 
D^fpituuQy, and gan a chcre to make. 
As though he wold have flain it or he weott 
GrifUdis myil al fuffcr and al confcnt ; 
And as a lambe flie litteth mekc and (lill^ 
And k't this cruel Lrgcaut do hii wtll^ 



tkc diiTimc of this mafif 
^ fiM, fO^a hU word alio, 
the ttBW in «»hich he this began ; 
Wc doogliter, tlut fhc loved fo 
vnik he woJd ham flaica it right tho; 
LC&ele*lti£ norther wept ne Cited, 
rmlag hire to tKat the markii likccL 
m the I3Q to fpekcn (he began, 
Kjkriy file to th« fcr^ cant pri&id 
he ira> a ^'Ortt ' .ui) 

he miglst kiHc i < that it deid; 

hire baxmc iKj- m li ..uivl ftic kid; 
J face, and gan the child to MinV, 
it, and after gun it kifie. 
m flic feyd in hire bcoig^ne vois; 
my chil«i, 1 fhal the never fee, 
ha%>e thee marked with the crois, 
Hiirr ybleffcd mote thou be 
k truia of tree, 
I him betake, 
if^ajE dioti dien for iDy fake, 
to a nonce in this cza 

tliu roothc for to fee ; 
modcr than han cried AI»l& f 
to fad flcdfail Will fhe, 
mdurcd all adverfiEec. 
%c fergeant mckely (he faydc^ 
n yocr lit el yongc mayde, 
(quod Oil) and doth my lordca heft : 
wold t pray you of your gracr« 
d forbade ycu it the left, 
lite J body in fom place 
tse no briddes it to-race. 
^.r\ ►" *'vir purpoiwold fey, 

i \i^eixt upAti hit way. 
unto his lofd ajj^iu, 
GnUidci wordo and hire there 
tm point for point , in fbort and pl^Tin, 
preieDted vith hisdoughttr drrc* 
Ihii lord hath routhe m hit> mancre, 
purpc* held he ttill, 
whan they wol have hir will; 
U fcrgeant th^t he privcly 
Id ful fofte '»Tind aiid Wrappe, 
umibmccs tendrely, 
k in a cofre Or ii^ a Uppe ; 
peine his h<-d of for to Iwappc 
tall flivlde know of hit en tent, 
he came tie whider that he went ; 
ignc, unto hj» fufber dere, 
of Pa vie was Countc CTe, 
and (hew hire thlt m&terc, 
c to don hire beGncjTe, 
foAren in aJlgentiUctre ; 
Ichild that it wai^he bade hire hide 
tght, for cujht that may betide* 
if goth^and hath fullilde thisthtR^. 
arqminow retomc we; 
goth he ful fafl, imagining 
wirct f^rrc he mightc fee, 

Tccive, that (he 
never could hire finde 
on > i^kr iid *nd kindc. 
tm humble, ai hc£r in fervicc 



TKI 6LERKES TALE. if 

And ckc in love, u (he wai wtmt^hif 

Wm fhc to him in every manner Wifc j 

Ne of hire dougliter not a word fpake Ihe t 

N'jn accident for non advcrfitee 

Waft feen in hire, ne tiever hire doughtcrs nim^ 

Nc ncTcZied fhc fur erncft ne for game* 



Ifcri;' 



t htS 1 



llhii 



I time < 
(rake i 



Parj fvafia. 

In thif eftat thcr pa (Ted beo foure yere 
Er (he with childe was, but a^ God woJd, 
A knlvc childe (ha hare by thii Walcerc 
Ful gracious, and fair for to behold ; 
And whan that folk it to hi* fader told* 
Not only he but all his contrce raery 
Was for this chtlde, and Cod they thonk and heff^ 

Whan it was two ycre old, and from the brcIL 
Departed of his norice, on a day 
This markis caughte yet another left 
To tempte his wif yet oftcr, if he may, 

! DcdeleA was ftic tempted in aifay : 
But wedded men ne connen no mefure 
Whan that ihcy finde a patient creature, 

Wif, qurd this markj»^ye han herd or thii 
My pcple Akely bercn oar martage. 
And namely fin my fonc yborcn i*. 
Now ts it wcrfc than ever in al our age ; 
The murmur fletJi myo herte and my corage^ 
For to myn ercs cometh the vois fo fmcrte. 
That it wcl nie dellroyed hath myu herte. 

Now fay they thus ; Whan Wiilier is agon, 
T^ian (hall the btood of Janicle fuccede. 
And ben our lord, for other hin wc non. 
Swiche wordes fayn my peplc, it is no drcdej 
Wei onght J of fwichc murmur taken hcdc. 
For certainly 1 drcdc al fwiche fen te nee. 
Though they not plainen to myn audience. 

I worde live in pec* if that 1 might ; 
Wherefore I am difpofed utterly. 
As 1 his fuflter fcrvcd cr by night. 
Right fo thinkc I to fcrvc him prively, 

1 his warne 1 you, that ye not fodcnly 
Out of yourfclf for no wo (huld outmie j 
Bt th patient^ and therof I you praie. 

I have, quod Ihe, fayd thiis» and ever (haT, 
1 wol no thing, re r/iJJ uc thing certain. 
But a« you h^ : not grcTcth me at al 
l*hough that my doughtcr and my fone he fiaia 
At your commandement : th;it ts to fain, 
I have not had no p«rt of children twcin 
But fir ft fikencffc and after wo and peine. 

Yc ben my lord, doth with your owa» thing 
Right as you lift ; aiketk no rede of me ; 
For as I lei^ at home al my clothmg 
Whan t came firft to you, right fo (quod fhe) 
Left 1 my will and all my libcrtee, 
And toke your clothing ; wherefore I yon prey 
Doth your plefance, ! wol yourc luft obey. 

And certcs, if I hadde prcfetnce 
Your will to know er yc your lull me told, 
I wold it do with out en negligence : 
But now 1 wotc your lull, and what ye wold. 
All your plefance fcrmc and flable I hold; 
For wilt 1 that my dcth might do yon efc 
Right gladciy wold I dicn you coplcfe. 



tHE CtiERICES t ALB. 



I 



That nothcr Irv hire w©rdf« nc hire face, 
Bcfom die fotk, nc ckc in hir ablcncc, 
Nc fiicvtd (he that htrc wa* doo offence^ 
Nc of hire high cftat no rcmcmbrAiice 
Nc haddc fhc as by hine contcnance, 

»No wonder i», for in hire grct cOat 
Hire jrofl was ever in picmc htinii litest 
No tcndrc mouthy no hcrtr dtHcat, 
fto pompc, no fcmblant of rcaltcc, 
Bnt ful ' ■ *—' V.ni^iitcc, 
Dift'Tcii ^s, iiy honourable*, 

And t'i I : rd ever mckc and ftablc. 

Mill Iptrkc of' Job, and moft for hi* humblcffcj 
Anckrkce whaa hem lift can wrl endite, 
Nantcly of men, btit as in frythfaftnclTc, 
Thotiph derkrs prtif^n women but a lite^ 
Thcr can no man in humbkff.' him acquitc 
A» w*iman can, nc can he half fo trcwe 
Ai wcmcn ben, but it be failc of newc. 

Fro Bolojgnc is thh Earl of Pavic comc^ 
Of which the fame up fpracg to more and Icflc : 
And to the pcpies crc« »ll and fomc 
Wa* couth ekr that a Dcwe markifcfle 
He with him brought in fwich^ pomp and richeflc^ 
That never was thcr fccn with mannes eye 
So nnbk array la al Weft Lumbardle. 

The markis, which that (hope and knew all this, 
Er thas thU erl wa» come fcnt hi» meifagc 
I'ur thifkc pourc fcly Grifiidij, 
And the with humble hertc and ^iad vifagc, 
Not with no fwoUcn tho tight in hire corage. 
Came kt kit heft, and on hire kncei hirr fettc. 
And reveretitly and wifely fiic him grettc, 

Qrifilde, (quod he) my will is utterly 
This maiden that (hal wedded be to me 
Received be to-morwe as really 
Ai it potftblc h in myn hous to be; 
And ckc that every wig^ht in his degree 
Have hi* eftat in fittiDg and fcrvice, 
AdH high plcfancc, as I can bell dcvife, 

I have no woman fuffiCant cc^ain 
The chambres for to array in ordinance 
Aft4-r my luffc^ and thcrfore wolde I fain 
That thin were all fwichc manerc jjovcmancc ; 
Thou knowcft tke of old Al my plLfancc: : 
Though thin arniy be bad, and evil bcfcy, 
Do thou thy devoir at the IciVe Wf5% 

Not oiiiy, Lord* tliiit I am glad (quoth fhc) 
To don your lull, but I dcfirt: ^Ifo 
Vou U'T to ftTTc and pkfc in my d:grcc 
Wlihuuten fidnung, und Ihal evcmio ; 
Nc never for no wck nc for no wo 
Nc flial the goft wiLhin myn hcrtc ftente 
To love you Heft witJi all my tre-tvc entente. 

And with that word ftic gan the hous to dight. 
And tables for to rette» and bcddtf m -kc, 
And peined her to dum alt thit i 
Praying fhc chambcffrc^ for : 
Tohaftcnhcr. ' , 

And Ihc. the i 



I 



I 



I 



I 



Hath 



every eLi.at»un, JH.1 



Aboutcn undem gan this erl alight 
That WTth him brought thife noble children 1 
For which the peplc ran to fee the fight 
Of hir array, fo rrchely befcy ; 
ATid that at erft amongc* hem they fey 
That Wiltc-r wa* no fool,thmigb th«t him Jdl 
To change hi» wif, for it wa* fur tlic befl. 

For ftie is fairer, as they dtmcn all, 
TIiDU his Grlfltdc, and more tendrc of asre» 
And fairer fruit bctwenc hrm fhul<!r fj.1!. 
And more plcfant, for hire high lin/-c? , 
Hire brother ckc fo fairc waa of vifi^e 
That hem to fcm the peplc hath caught plcfi 
Commendincj now the markiigovernant'e. 

O ftormy peplc, unfjd and ever untrcw^ 
And undifcrcLc fund changing as a fine. 
Delighting trvcr in rombei that i$ ncwc. 
For like the mone waxen ye and wane : 
A ful oi clipping, df re ynoogh a jaAe, 
Yoiir dome i* fab, your conltance evil prcv 
Ay ful grel fool is he that on you Icvcth ! 

TliUH fiiidrn fade folk m that citee 
Whan that the pcple gafcd up and doon. 
For they were glad right for the iiovdt«e 
To hav< a new lady of hir toun, • 
No more of this make I now mentioun* 
But to Grifilde a^en [ wol me dreffr* 
And ;dl Lire coutlance and hire htC T 

Ful befy was Grtltlde in every t] 
That to iht fcfte was appertinent ; 
Right naught waji (he abaiil of hire clothing, J 
1 hough it W(.rc rude, and fomdc) <'V ' ^'^ 
B\it with glade chcre to the yatc i^ 
With other folk , to gr etc the marl: 
And after that doth forth hire btfinciFc, 

With fo glad chere his gcftes (he rccd» 
And connlngly everich in hi* degree. 
That no defaut no roan appercciveth> 
But ay they wondrtn what fhc mighte be 
That ID fo poure array wi* for to fer, 
And coude fwichc honour and rcvrrence. 
And worthily they preifcn hire prudence. 

In all this mtoc while (he nc ftcct 
This maide and ckc hire brother to cumntend 
With all hire hcrte in ful bcnignc ctiient, 
So wcl that no man enud hire preifc ameod i ' 
, But at the laft whan thai thife lordes wend 
t To Ctttn doun to meie, he began to call 
I Orifilde, asfticwasbefy in the halT, 

Grifildf , (quod he, a* st were in hi« pl*y) 
How bketh ihec my wif and hire bcajtcf ? 
^ Right wrl, my Lord, quod flie, for in good ^f 
A fairer faw I never non than the ; 
I pray to God yevc you profpcritcc. 
And fo I hope thai be wul to you fcnd 
PIcfance ynougli unto your live* eiiJ» 

O thing bcfccch t yoti %nd warneatfo, 
That ye nc prikkc with v^ mrmv-rtiog 
Thia tendrc maiden as ne. 

For ftic is foftred tn hir 
More tcndrcly, ainl »r ii i;^ 

She mighte not «t.| > i i .; 

A*^ coudc a pourc fwi-\. c ' ■ 



THE CLERKED TALI. 



tlib Walter &w hire patience, 
^berc, ukI no malice at all, 
tthcn hadde hire don often ce, 
iad^ and cuiiOaiit as a w^Jl, 
mg ever liirc ixtdocence over all, 
I7 cnarkis gan liia hcrte dnSc 
ttpon hire wiflf i^cdef^ilnifle. 
r^oti^h, GriQlfic mm, qucxl he, 
IP inojrc a^aik nc evi] apaid; 
^ UtiK xwl thy bcnigiiitcCt 
I ever «rom;ui wa^ aiTaidf 
ktt and poucrelich arniid : 
w 1, der^ wif, thf HedcfailnefTe; 
n Wiies toke, a£>tl g;ati to kcifc. 
IP lor iw^jadcr toke of it no kepc ; 
f Qoe wkst thing he to hire Ciid ; 
as flie iud ifccrt out of a llepe, 
■ of hire mafedncfre abr;iid. 
i|ocid he, by God that for Ui dcld^ 
I my vrtf ; m>n other 1 nc have 
r h^^ *& God my foulc fave, 
I iLf dougheer which thou hall fuppofcd 
iy wif ; th-ai other faithfully 

!vc»r, a* 1 Jiavc ay difpofcd j 

of thy body trcwelv ; 
J^vc I kept hrm prtvely : 
fij fof now maifl thou not f.iy 
li>rn non of thy children tway, 
other* ifc hau faid of me, 
^«rel that i have doo thli dcdc 
ae for no crucltce, 
J in thee thy womanhcdc, 
my children (God forlcdt:) 
hcxD prively and dill 
itkfKW and all thy will. 
•i% herd, afwounc doun fhe falleth 

and iJtvr hire fwoumng 
yon^e children to hire caJkth, 
j3TEiir«, pitouily wcpinjgf, 
brut, *jid tcndrcly kliling 
is%Budcr, with hire ialte terei 
bath hiririfagc and hir hcrck 
r 2 pit Otis thing it w«i to fte 
20g, and hire huRiblc vois to here* 
t f I>crd, God thiiiik it you (quod fhc) 
i £iycd nie my children dere t 
I ocTftrr to be dcd right here, 
ksd in jQUt Icve and in your grace, 
t «i d^li* oe whan my fpirl: pace. 
Nire, Vf dcre, o yong?, children mine! 

tnatlier wened ftedfiillly 
iej hottndes or fom fcul venuiue 
\ jou I bitt God of hii mercy 
BT hcai^Tt^ fader tcndrely 
1 you k<TC : and in that fame flound 
jy fhr fwapt adooo to ground. 
I) hire fmouj^h fo fadly holdcth fhc 
Irtrff" tvtfO^ whan fhe gan hem emhracCi 
^^R<t flcigbt and gret dilKcuUce 
^^( frtjni hire arm they gan arracc* 
r S fere oa many' a pitotri fnce 
9 of iKXn that fludeii hire be fide ; 
F aWtsfdi hire might they abide* 
r lifcrc £Udeth,a»d hire furwe flakcth \ 
h «p abided firo]Q l^xrc vcmcc^ 



And every wig^t hire joye and fefle maketh 
Tii (he hath caught agcn hire lontenance. 
Walter hire doth fo faithfully plcfancc, 
Ihat it was dcintee for to fccn the chcrc 
Betwixt hem two iin they ben met in fere. 

Thifc ladies, whan that they hir lime fey, 
Han taken hire, and into chambrc gon. 
And Uripenhirc out of hire rude arrcy. 
And Id a doth of gold that brighte {hone, 
With a coroune of many j\ riche l^one 
Upon hire hcd^ they into hdl hire broughte. 
And thcr fhe was honoured a« hire ought. 

Thus hath tills pitou* day a bliaful end. 
For every m^n and wontau doth his niight 
This* day in miith and rc%*ct to difpend. 
Til on the welkin fhonc the llcrre^ bright ; 
For mure folcmpnc in every mannev fight 
This fcrftc was, and greter tf coilagt, 
Thau was the revel of hire niariage. 

Ful ntuny a ycrc in high profperitec 
Liven thiic two in concord and in rcjt, \ 

And richcly hi* doughter marled he 
Unto a lord, on of the worthicll 
Of all Itaillc, and than in pees and red 
His wivei fader in his court he kepcth 
Til thit the loukoutof hi* body crepcth. 

Hii fonc fucccdeth in his heritage. 
In reft and pcc», after hi* fadres day. 
And fortunat wa* ckc in mariage, 
Al put he not his wif in grct afiay ; 
This world i* not fa fLrung, it U no nay. 
As it h:ith ben in oldc times yore, 
And hcrkncth what this audlour faith therforew 

This ilury \h faid, not for that wivc-i (buM 
Folwc Grifildc at in hum ill tec. 
For it were jmponahle tlio tlicy wold. 
But for diat every wight in hli degree 
Shuldc be conflant in adverfitcc 
Ai was Grifildc, ihcrforc Petrark writeth 
Thi» floric, ivhich with high flilc he ecditctl^ 

For fith a woman was fo puticnt 
Unto a mortal man, wel more vvc ought 
Rccciven all in grcc that God u* fent. 
For grct Ikill h he pri^vc that he wrought; 
But he ne tempttth no man that he bought, 
A* faith Sunt J^mc, if yc his pilkll rede? 
He prcvcth folk al day, ii is no drede ; 

And fuiTreih u*, as for our cicrcifc. 
With fharpe fcourge* of adverljtcc 
Ful often to be bctc in fondry wife, 
Not for to know our wilL for ccrtca he. 
Or we were bonur, knew all our frcclctcc^ 
And for our beft is all hia governance ; 
Let us than live in vertuoua fuffrancc 

But o word, Lordings, herlaicth or [ go : 
It were ful hard to linden now ad^yts 
In all a touo Grifildc^ three or two j 
For if that :hcy were puttofwichc affayca 
The gold ol hem hath now fo bad ahiycB 
With brai, that though the coine be fairc at eye 
!t woldc rather braft at wo than plic. 

For whivh here, for the Wives love of Bath^ 
Wha» lif and nl hire fcdc God malntenc 
I» high maiilric\ and idlu» x^erc it fcath^ 



u 



THE eLERKES TALE. 



I wol *itK hifty hfertc Iresfhe and greoe 
Say you a fon^ to gladen you I wene. 
And let U9 ftint of erneftful mattre. 
Herkneth my fong, that faith in this n^anere : 

Grifildc it dcd» and eke hire patience. 
And both «t ones buried in Itaille, 
For which I crie in open audience, 
No wedded man fo hardy be to affaiile 
Hi.8 wives patience, in trufl to find 
prifildes, for in certain he fhal faille. 

P ppble wives ! ful of high prudence, 
Let non humilitee your tonges naile, 
Ne let no clerk have caufe or diligence 
To write of you a ftorie of fwiche mcrvaiUe 
As of Grifddis, patient and kinde, 
Left Chichcvache yon fwalwe in hire entnille. 

Folweth Ecco, that holdeth no lilence. 
But ever anfwcreth at the countretaille ; 
Beth not bedaffcd for your innocence, 
But iharply takcth on you the governaille : 
j^preptetji we| this kJToD in yov miode 



For comun profit, fith it ma^ A^raiQt. 

Ye archcwives ! ftondeth ay at dcfieact. 
Sin ye be ftrong as is a gret camafllef 
Ne fuffreth not that men d» you «ffeocc. 
And fdendre wives, feble M ia bataills, 
Beth egrc as is a tigrc yood in Inde; 
Ay clappcth as a naUl I yoa eoaniaillc 

Ne drcde hem not, doth hem no remeRce| 
For though thin huibond armed be in maille. 
The arwes of thy crabbed eloquence 
3hal perce hi^ breft and eke his aveotaflle : 
In jaloufie I rede eke thou him binde,. 
And thou (halt make him couche as doth a ^(oul 

If thou be fairC) ther folk ben in prefenoe 
Shew thou thy vifage and thin aparaiUe ^ 
If thou be foule, be nee of thy difpence ; 
To get thee freiides ay do thy trxvaiUe : 
Be ay of chere as light as kfc on linde. 
And let him care, and wepe^ anil wnngC| i 
waillc. 




L 



THE MARCHANTES PROLOGUE. 



W9 fii^ wiiCng, care, vid other ibrwe, 
c fnongh CMi <vcn and on morwe, 
|lic Marchant, and fo have other mo 
wedded ben ; 1 tiowc that it be {o^ 
rd I wot it farcth fo by tivL 
E m wif «he wcHle that may be, 
iQOgh the fend CO hire y coupled were, 
rolde higip. overmatche, I dare wcl fwcfit 
ftoJde I ymi rchcHie in fpcclal 
hjjgb malice ^ flie ii a ihrcw at at 
er ift a long* and a Urge difiereoce 
^ iCrrilUdes grete patkncc 
if my wlk the pauing crudtee, 
f uaboacden^ all do mote I the, 
Ic ocvcr eft comen in the fiiarc, 
cdde|| Bota live in forw^ and care 2 



k 



Aflay it whofo w^\^^n6 he Ihal finde 
That I &y foth, by Seint Thoma* of |n4e. 
As for the more part, I fay not allc ; 
God fhildr that it Ihtilde fo bcLdlc. 

A, good Sire Hoftc, I have yweddcd he 
Thife moncthe^ two, and more not p^rde; 
And yet I Uowe that he that all histif 
Wific* hath hen, though that men ^olde hixfl rife 
into the h<:rtc, nc coude ki no manere 
TcUen fb much forwe as J you here 
Coud tclkn of my wiycs curfcdneffc- [hJclTe, 

Now, quod our Hoftci, Marchant, fo God yofl 
S\a ye fo mochci knowcn of that art» 
Fu[ hcrtcly I pray you tell y* part. 

GUdiy, <|uod he, but of mip owcn forcj 
For fory herte 1 tiUJmsi may qq fSioTt* 




THE MARCHANTES TALE 



\ dwelling In Lumbardi^ 
nkj knight, that born wa* at Pavie, 
mh he lived in gret profperitce ; 
bEty ycrc a wiBcs man was he, 
iilwed ay hl4 bodily dclit 
men ther a& was his appctit, 
D thi£e fooler that ben fccnlere. 
wfan that he wa» paifed fiity yere, 
it for holincifc or for dotage 
ot ialn^ but fwiche a gr^t corage 
t thim knight to ben a wedded mas, 
day and night ^c doth all that he caii 
pien whcr that he mtght wedded bc| 

or:-- I <irii to (rranrcti fJiti that hfi 



U n 



' fitanlcih fminf May* tnd for Iili Qtlt- 



And for to live under that holy bqnd 

With which God firllc man and woman boadi 

Hon other lif (faid he) is worth a bcuc ; 

For wcdlok i* fo cfy and fo clcnc 

That in this world it is a paradifc. 

Thy* faith this oldc knight that was fo wife. 

And certainly, as foth as God k king, 
To take a wif it is a glorious thing ; 
And namely whan a man is <^ld and horc. 
Than is a w if the fruit of his trcforc ; 
Than ihuld he take a yoog wif and a fairc, 
On which he mi^ht cngcndrcn him ao hcice^ 
And Icdc his Uf m joye and an folai, 
Whcras thife bachdcrs fingcii aloA ! 
Whan that they fiiidc any advcrfitee 
In love, which n'is but chiJdi/h vanitce. 
And trcwely it At wcl to he fo 
1 hat bachckr^ have often pdne suid wo | 



On brotel grownd they bildt% and broieint fie 

They fin den whan tlicy wcncn fiki-riicffc t 

They live but as a bird or as a bcftc, 

In Ubcrtcc and under non artllie, 

Thcr a^ a wciMcd man in hi* clHt 

liivelh a Hf bliiful and ordinal. 

Under the y^lcc of mariagc ybound; 

Wcl may hi* hcrtc in joyc and bhflc abound ; 

For who can be fo huxom a« a wi/^ 

Who i* Co trcwr; and eke To ententif 

To kcpc him, TiKl' and holt, as is his make ? 

For wde fir wo fhc nTjlI him not forfakc ; 

She n*is not wcry him to love and fcrvc, 

TJiaugh tJiut he lie bedrede til that he (Icrvc. 

And yet fom ihrkes fain it i» not fo. 
Of which he Thcojihrafl i* on of tho, 
Whiil fofce though Thc^phraft lift for to |ic I 

Nctak no *»if, quod he, for hofbondnr, 
As for To rparc in houfbold thy difpence : 
A trcwcfcrvant doth more drli^ncc 
Thy gobd to kcnc, than doth thin owen wif> 
For fh^ wf,d cbimen half part al liirc iif. 
And If that thou be fike, fo God mc.favc. 
Thy veray nrcndcs'ot a trcwe knave 
tVol kcpc thee bet th*n Ihc, that waiteth ay 
After thy good, and hath don many a day 
'* This jtntcnce, and an hundred thingci wcrfe, 
Writcth thi» tl»an, ther Qod his bones ciirfc. ' 
Bot take no kepc of aU fwichc vanitce ; 
DcficihlTtcophraft, and hcrkeneth mc. 

A wif i% Otrddea ycftu vcmify j 
All tithcr mancr ycftc* hardcly, 
A» londcs, rentes, pafture, or commune. 
Or meblci, all btrh yeftct of Fortune, 
trhat pafTcii at a ftiadow on the wall ; 
But df'edc thou not if plainly fpcke t (hal^ 
A wif wol Jaft and in thin hiius endure 
\lCcl Itn^cf than tbec iift p.a-aveDiure. 

M tf ia^c ii a ful grctc facramcnt j 
He which that hath no wif I hold himlhcnt; 
He llvf th hdpk* and all dcfolat : 
(I fprkc of folk in fecular eft at) 
And licrkncth why, I fay nut thl» for n^iught, 
That woman k for mav^f* hclpc yvvrougJic ; 
_*fhc hi^he God, whan he had Adam mukcd. 
And f;iw him al alone belly naked, 
God of hia g^ctc i^iodueiTc faiqe than, 
l^et us tiow make an hctpc unfo thU man 
l.ikeio himfdf, and th^m he mijic liim Eve. 

Here may yc fr, - ^ ' ' -y yc prcve. 
That a wif h mom omfort, 

H * f- -«'^'- ft^rref^:., ...J. ... .,..^^ri t ' 
S ! fo vcrtu'jui is (he, 

'I ■ n nMtfft livi \n unifce : 

<} flrlh they beir, and o flelh, as I gefTc, 
liath but"t*h herte in wck and in difkrcfle, 
' A wif ? a? $e:me Mark, itmJi.'U * 
Kc^ m'ight t man have iny adverfitc 
ThJt hath a wif ? ccitcs I c^.nuot fcye. 
The hliflc <hc which rhit is bttwiit hem twcyc 
Thcr nv-v -- tn-^ . o Ti> ,ir \\cnc thinke. 
If he I 'h him to fwinke; 

fihc k t < ^ \ ^ waOeth neviT a del; 

AJJ itui hue hiilboDd doih^ hire bkctb wcl : 



t 



She Ciith not ones, Nay, whan he fattH, Vc; 
Do this, faith he ; Ai rcdy. Sire, fjiih Alf, 

O blifsful ordre, o wcdlok prcciou*! 
1 hou art fo mery and eke fo vertuou% 
And fo commended and approved eke, 
That every min that holt htm worth i IdECi 
Upoii hii bare knees ought ali his lif ' 

Thankcn hit God that him hath fcnt a wif» 
Or cllc$ pray to God him for to fend 
A wif to lali unto hi* lives end; 
For than hi» Ijf it fet in flkcmeCTct 
He may not be deceived, ai I grfTc, 
Sn thac he werche after ht» wive* rede ; 
Than may he boldly bercn up hi* hcde. 
They ben fo trcwc, and thcrwtthal fo wifef 
For which I if thou wilt wcrchen as the wif^q 
Uo alway fo a^ women wol thcc rede. 

Lohow that Jacob, a&thife cletkc% rede. 
By good <;onfeil of hi» mothcT Rebeklu: 
Bcundc the kidde.sikiji about his nckke. 
For which his fadrcb bcnifon he wan, 

Lo ]ndith» at the ilorie eke tell can. 
By geod confcii ftie Goddcs peple kept. 
And How him Holofcmcs while he ilcpT. 

Lo Abigails by gooil confeU how fhe 
Saved hire hufbond N.tbat, whan that he 
Sfiuld hac be Jkin. And lokc, Heder alf(» ^ 
By good con fell delivered out of wo 
I'hc pcpk of God, and m^ide him Ma; 
Of Alfucrc t-nhanfed for to Inr, 

Thcr n'l* no thing in grce fuperUttf 
(Avf^ith Scnck) above an humble wif. 
Suffer thy wives tongc, as Caton bit; 
She (ha I command and thou (halt fuFrcn it» 
And yet fhc wol obr)^ of curtcfa*. 

A wif is kcpcT of thtn hufbandrie : ' 
Wei may the fikc man bewaile and wepe 
1 her as thcr if no wif the hous to kcpc. 

I warnr thcc, if wifely thou wilt vvcidi€« 
Love wcl thy wif, a$ Crift lovcth h» clketchc ^ , 

II thou bved thyfclfy llove thou thy wif^ 
No man hatcth his flefh| but in his lif 
He fodrcth 4t, and iberfofe bid I thcc 
ChcriOt tby wif, or thou^fhah never the, 
Hufljond jnd wif, what fo men jape or platyJ 
Of worldly folk holden the fiker way : 1 
They ben fo knit thcr may non harm bcttde,-] 
Ard namely upon the wives fide. 

For which this January, of whom t toU, 
Conlidcrcd hath with rn his dayes old 
The lufty lif, the vcrtuout qoietCi 
That i» in mariajjc honcy-fwcte, 
-^.ud for his frendea on a day he ftnt 
To tclkn hem ih* effcd of hif entenr. 

With face fiid hit tile he hath hem told ;] 
He fjyde, Frendcs, ! am horc and old. 
And aim oft (God wot) on my pittcs brink 
lipon my foulc fom what mofl I tlitcke, 
I have my body folily difpendcd, 
BkiTtd be God that it (ball ben amended I 
i^nr I iivol ben certain a wedded man, 
And that anon in til the had I can. 
Unto lorn maiden, fairc and tcndre of 9fg&^\ 
I pray yon (bap ctJi for laj manag* 

I 



^^^^y THE MARCHANTES TALS. * IS | 


^HpT^^ol riot aliidc; 


(AsalldayJailethakcrcatitVn . 1 


^Bf focide to dpicn on my fide 


Betwixenfirende»,and difpuiifon) ^H 


EoBi 1 may be wadded halVilr, 


Thcr fell a ftrif betwix Ut* brethren two, i^^H 


IT as TOotht M yc ben more than I, 


Of which that on wii« ckped PlacLbo, .^^^H 


ullm ntber fwichc a thinjjc cfpiea 


JufliquB fotlUy called wa« lltM other, '^^^H 


1, and wher mc bcftc wrre to alUcnl 


Placebo fayd^ O January ! brol^er, l^^H 


l^ilim^ wirn I jt^u, my frcndcs dcrc, 


Ful litel ncdc han yc, my lordfo Avt \ ^^^^1 


HK oldc wif han in no mantrrc ; 


C "n fc 1 1 t o aik <f fl f a n y tiiat i » here, ^^H 


Bmot pilTcii iwcnry yck' ctrtuin ; 


But that yc ben fo ful of fapiencre ^^^| 


lb and yonge iif fli wold I have fain. 


That ymi ne liketh for your lu^^h prudence ^^^^H 


(fjuud he; a pike thiiu a pikcrcl, 


To wcivcn fro the word of S«lonion { <^^^H 


>cc th^ui old beef u the tctujrc vccJ. 


The* word, fayd he, unto u» cverieh on, ^^^H 


Qo woman thirty ycre of a^c ; 


Wurkc alio thing by conlcil, thusfayd he, ^^^| 


mt bcocLlmw atid frr^t fonijj^. 


And ihuii nc.dmlr thou not repenicn thee. /^^^H 


i&e Uitfc oldc i^idcwc* (Ond it wcrtc) 


But though that 8<ilomon fpakc fwlcJic a woroj^^^^H 


K fo moch craft on Wadet bote. 


Min uwcn dere brtnhcr and my l<>id« J^^^H 


I ken liarm whan that hem Idl, 


So wifly God my fouk brii^c at rcil, ^j^^^| 


.i^,... .,.ui fhuld I never live in reft. 


I hold ynur owcn Cftnfcd i» the bcli, ^^^H 


Rliry fcolei raaken fubtil dcrkes ; 


For, hfothcT miii, tiJtc of me tlU^ motif, ^^^| 


■0 of many fcoica half a clerk is. 


1 have now bt n a courtHiian uU my lif, ^^^| 


trtaLnly i yorip tiling men may |;le, 


And God it wpt, ihou^n 1 uuworLhy be^, ^^^| 


1 15 men may waim wai with hande? plie ; 


1 have (londtn in ful ^ct dtgree i^^^f 


rforc 1 f*y yoti phiiily io a clxufc 


Aboutcn Idrdei of ful high ellac, ^^^H 


I otvn old wif han right for this caufc. 


Yet had I never with non of hem dcbat; ^^^| 


f if fo were I hadde fwlche mefchance, 


1 ncvtr han contniried trowcly. ^ ^B 


i 1 in hire ne coudc have no pkfancc. 


1 wot wcl that my lord tan mi»re than Ij , 1 


LAttld I Icdc my Lif in avoutrie. 


What that he fuith I holdc it ftrme and flable t 1 


^■iright to the devil whan I die. 


I I'ly the lame, or dlci thine fembhibU'. 1 
A ful grct fool is any coafcihour, ^^^M 


Pl^ta fiiulJ 1 non upun hire gcten ; 


«re nsL lever houndcv had mc etco 


that ferveth any lord of hig:h honaur, j^^H 


that min heritage ihnldc fall 


Thiit dare prcfumef. or ones thinkeii tl^ ^^^^H 
That hU confeil Ihitld pivlfc hii lprdc« wit : ^^H 


lua^ hoodes; and tJiis \ tell yoti alL 


'.nou ^ "^^^ t*»* «'a"fc why 


Nay, lordcK be no iooleA by my Uy. ^^^H 


fhuUcn wcdde ; juid f^nhtrmorc wot 1 


Yc han yourlv'lven fhewtd here to-day -«^^^| 


fpcketh many a man of manage 


So hi^^fh fcotcnce, foholily, and wcl, |^^^| 


,#oc no more of it than wot my page 


Th;it 1 confent, and confinnc every dtl .^^^H 


liiicfa caufcf a man fhujd take a wif. 


Your wc'i'de^ ull, and your cplnioun. ^^^^H 


lasy not liven chsft his tif. 


By GL>d thern'i« no man in all diis toutj^ ^^H 


lum a vvlf with grct devotion. 


Ni in Irarlk, coad Ixt hun ylayd : "^^H 


fc.of Jcrfui procreation 


Crifl belt him of this canfeil y^vi sppaiJ: 'J^^^H 


fl^rris, to the hotiour of God aboTC, 


Aud trevvcly it if an hi^h cor4gc i^^^h 


^ only f<^r paramoor or love, 


Of j»cy man that Hopen is in ag^c ^^^| 


ibr they Ihulden lecheric efchot* 


To take a young wif : by rr-y filler kin ^^^H 


pM hir dctte ^han that it i« due, 


¥i*ur hcrtehongethona joly pin. 'i^^^H 


■^bt echo of hem ihuld hclpen other 


Doth now in this mat* re right a» yau hd, .^^^m 


^H^, 34 a fuiler fb^l the brother, 


For fijially I hold it f*>r the \Mh 1 


PRln cbatlitcr ful holily. 


Jttfliuut,rhat ay llitle fat and henl, \r^^M 


t, Sirc!, (by your kvc) than am not I, 


Ri^hr in thi» wife he ta Plat l bo anfwc rd S J|^^| 


B^bc iiiaiikcd, I dare mike avuuitt. 


Mow, brother min, bis piitieut 1 pray^ xJ^^ 


^HptnuneB flarkand fuffiUnc 


bin ye ban faid, and htrkocih wh^t I fay. ^ p 


^^P^that m man Klonvcih f j : 


Senck, among bin other worde> w *kt |j^ 


^^Ktlveti b?& whut 1 m^y dri. 


Saiih ih»r a nwii ought him right wcl aviftf ';^ 


j^lflie hoort I fare as doth a tre 


To whom ha ycvcth hirf lond or hts catcl t .> 


^Mmeth cr the fruit ywoxen he ; 


And lith J ought aviftn me right wel :| 


lloijny t^ ^'^ neither dric ne ded : 


To wh tu 1 ycve my good away fro ro^ |^ 


Bic oo wher ho6r but on my bed t 


Wcl, more 1 ought aviien ifir« parde, j\ 


KTte 9(iA all my hmmcs ben txs grene 


To whom I ycve my body ; for n\\\Af ^ 


j^^ ^1. ,_ ,%, t^^ ycre hint to fc*jc. 


I waroe you wcl \l n no ^luldt * play t^* 


la t? brrd all mtn entcnt, 


To take a wM withoii : avilcnicnt. ^. 


: 4d 


Men mud enquerui filiia in mm affcnt) 


Whcacr Jbe be ^viTc and fcibr;; or dronkelew^ 


h - . "^' 


Or proud, or cllca othtr ivaic* a ijircw. 


|^^tw*i it, io ti pr*ulvd *£ certain « 


.^E^H 


je^tgj ib^rtly £&r tg iain. 





14 



VrfE MARCftANTES TALK. 



I 



I 



A chitltfter, or it ^rxflouf of thy good. 
Or riche or poure, or c)i«.t a men i» wood : 
Al be it (b thttt na man findcn 0i.il 
Non in this world that trotti-th hoi in a), 
Nc jnan|nc bcfte, fwichc as men can dcvife, 
But nathcle* it oug-ht ynoujjh ftiJficc 
With any wif, if fo were that the had 
Mo good rhcwe» than hire irices bad ; 
And all tKi» axeth Irifurc to cni|U<:rc} 
For G^ it wot t have \vc{>t many a ure 
Ful privcly fiir that t had i wif. 
Praifc who fo wo\ a wedded manner lif. 
Certain I find in it birr coft and tare, 
And obfcrtanccf of alle bhiTejt bare; 
And yct» God wot, my ncighcbours abottte. 
And namely of women many a route, 
Sain that I have the raolie (Icdefaft wif, 
And ckc ihc mckeft on, that bcrcth Kf : 
But 1 woi bcl^ ^h«r wnng^th mc my (ho. 
Yc may for me n|fht aft you Hkcth do. 
Avifeth you, y« ben a man of Ag^, 
I low that yc entr^n into mariage. 
And namely with a yong wif and a hint*^ 
By him that made water, firci erth, and aire, 
The yon^cfl man that ia in all this route 
U bcfy yh&^ to bringvn it aboutt 
T^ hkn h» wif ilome, rniftetft mc : 
Ye ftrnl not plefcn hrrc fully ycre» three 5 
This h to ikin, to don hire ful plefnncc : 
A wif ascth fill many an obfervance. 
* 1 pray you that ye be not c»il appaid. 

Wel» quod thi* January, and hift thou faidc f 
Straw for Scneh, ajid ftraw for thy provcrbe*; 
1 counte not a panier ful of herbea 
Of fcole tcrmts ! wifcr men than thou, 
A« thou hmfk htfrd, affe&^d htre right now 
T© my pnrpof. Placebo, what faye ye J 

I faye it i« a corfcd man, <)uod he. 
That leitcth mauunoitie fikcrly. 
And with that word they nfcn fodtritf^ 
And ben aflcntcd fully that he Iholdi 
Be wedded whao him lifl and w her he wohte. 

High fintafie and curious befinclTe 
Fro day to duy ^an in the foutc cmprvflb 
Of Jintiary about hii mariagc : 
•^ta&y a fairc fhap and many a fai re vi/agie 
Ther palFcth Ihitrgh his bertc night by nights 
As whd i^ ttfke a mirrour poliihed bright, 
And fct it in a comtme market place. 
Thai Oiatd he fee many a figure pace 
By has mirrour, and in the fame wife 
<}iiii Jvnuary in with his thou|^ht dcvife 
4)f nuidttii which that dwcken hint beGde ; 
He wifllc not whcr that he might abides 
fur if thM on have be&utee in hire {let^ 
Another ftdfit fo in ^k* peples grace, 
For hire fadncffe and hire bintgnrtee. 
That of tlic pcT>lc the ifr':tLfl vqia hath ihe t 
And fot n a btd Dame * 

JBot narr ! gamCi 

He «t the Ull appointed him on on. 
And let all other from his heftr gon, 
And chcci hire of his owcn audoriieet 
S9I love It blind aU A*f auid m^y not kc 



And whan that hr wax in hu bed ymv&fgm^ 
He purtrcied in his herte and in hi& thovgkf 
Hire frefhc bcautee and hire age teadre. 
Hire midd el fmaL, hire armes £ong and fckiidr<% 
Hire wife goremance, hir^ gentiUeJle, 
Hire womanly bering, and hire fadmcflic. 

And whan that he on hire was coodtfa 
Him thought his chois it might not bes mm 
For whan that he himfelf concluded had, 
Him thought cche other manncs wit fo batdi^ J 
That impolTjblc it were to replie 
Ag^in his ehoiij this was his fantiiicr 

His frendes lent he to, at his inlVancc, 
And praied hem to don him that pleikncc 
That haftily they wolden to Uti come ; 
He woldc abrcgge hir labour aU and foine v \ 
Neded no more to hem to go nc ride^ 
Ik Wis appointed ther he wolde abide* 

Placebo came, and eke his frendes fone^ 
And alderfirfl he bade hem all a boDe, 
That non of hem non argomcotc* make 
Again the purpos that he hath ytake ; 
Which purpos was plc-fani to Ood (fmid he) 
And verify ground of hia profpcriteeu 

He faid ther was a maiden in the tonn 
Uliich that of bcautee hadde-gretrenounf 
Al were it fo Ihc were of final degree ; 
5uf£ceth him hire youth and hire bcatiteit ; 
Which maid (he faid) he wold ban to htawi( 
Tfi Icdc in eH' and holineffc hts life ; 
And thanked God that he might han hire jj^ 
That no wight with his blifTe partea As»tt| 
And praied hem to labour in this nede. 
And (hapcn that he faille not to fpeik i 
For than, he fayd, his fpirit was at cf«| 
Than is (quod he) nothing mny me di^ " 
Save o thing prickcth in my confcience^ 
The which 1 wol reharfe in your prtStom^ 

t h»vc (quod he) herd faid foi yort if^ 1 
Ther may no man han parfitc bhlTcB fWA* ^ 
This is Co fay, in crthe and eke in heveii i 
For though ht kcpe him fro the finnc^ fr*9^. 
And ckc from every branch of thilke tfce, 
Yet is ther fo paffit feHcitee, 
And fo grete cfe and in ft, in mariage. 
That ever 1 am agaJl, now in min age. 
That I thai Icden ar^w fo mery a lif, 
So delist, withoufxrn wo or ffrif. 
That 1 flulhan min heren in rrthe here's 
For fm that veray hcvcti it bought fo dtre. 
With tribubdon and grec pmance, 
Huw (huld I than, livmg to fwiche pici&oc* 
As alle wedded men don with hir witei. 
Come to the blilTc ther Crifi etcme on liv«f j 
This is my drede, and yc, my brcthtCxi I 
Aflodcdi mtf this queftjon I preic. 

Juatnus, which that bated his foh>, 
Anfwcrd anon ngf t in hij jvpcrie, . 
And for he wold Kis long tAle aJut^ 
He woldc non iudoritee aUegC, 
But fayde, Sire, fe ther be n«n <^il«cle < 

Other than thii, God of his hie ntiraelti 
And of his mercy, may fo for you W€rrtt«» 
Thiit cr }'c hifo jwii rij^ti <Mf iMly iimtdm 



THE MARCH 

'T« tt£y TT^TA <d Wedded manors lif, 
li tirhich %c l^in tlirr i» no wo nc ftriif; 
JkmAtBcm God f> i^i *i" ^"^t ir he fent 
Sl WK^^md man ^ in ro repeat 

W^tiiu^mhct r|e man : 

itBdc3iccdbr£,^Mrr» tKe brli rcde chat I can, 
Ikd^pctre fou ooc,bbt ha vet b in aieniorie 
^te^mmafc Sk^ mmy be yotir Rurjfaioric ; 
Ske nakj he Go4dc* mcoe and Ooddeft irhippc, 
Hmh ft(kl your fouie up nnta bcven flcippc 
BwKut t^ A doth 2ii orow of a bow.. 
1 Wf< to God htTcsi£teT ye {ba.1 kaow 
t%a( ck^ it*i» Don ib grct felkiie4^ 
li wv^, oc acf^rmore fh^LI be^ 
TW fou ib&l ict of ro4ir iklratioii, 
' 9M ye tUe, » HciU ii and rdion, 
ewes of jow wif ittctnpfcly, 

tycpl^c hire nat to amorminf, 
t ^ lfc«^ 700 (^Iec from other fuine. 
r Taie t»doci» for ray wit is bat thince. 
I Bot a^aH fcricof, t^y brother dcre, 
t let xt^ wa<len our ckf diis mfttcrc. 
i»V of BMhc, if ye ban undcrfboml, 
e, vrliidti yc now haii tn bondi 
, hAtb fat wd iii litd fpace. 
v^nivw mclf G«d h;tve you io hia gfrace ! 
And with this word this Juftiuc and his brother 
t take hir kve, and cchc of hem of other. 

\ tlicy £lw that it muft nedct be« 
f vroQi^liileii f<L by flcighte and wife tretee 
(he llrta maiden, which tiiat Maiua highc, 
lluftity M ercr that fhe mrj^bi, 
1 wvddcd be unto thi^ Jarmary. 
■W4: were to looge you to tsiry, 
ff I fOH told ctf CTcry fcript and bond 
^ if miiiedx fhit Ihc wa* fcoiTcd in thi» loi&d^ 
^fer to ttikkcr. of hire rich array. 
iv^SnaUy^ ycomcsnis the day 
Xtal t9thr cturcbc,bolh bcu tbcy went 
f«i« recesve the holy i4crratnet)t. 
l«4<om«thlhe prcieil,wtth ftolcabeutbis ad^e« 
ikU^k Hrr be bke Sara and Rebekke 
r aad in trouthe of inariiige ; 
j Miigfd hi* orifons, as ii» ufiigti 
\Maromhcd hc]il,and bade God ihtild hem bldfei 
• all fiker ynow with bolinelTe. 
Tktta htn. they wedded with rQlcxnpmtec ; 
Aiijffthe ie£be fitteth he and fite, 
Wkh other worthy folk, upon the deis* 
Mhiei l^fc and bhlTe is the paleti, 
fsd isl ui inlkriixncatft, and of vitaille 
; deiiitaoai of all Itaille, 
I hem ftood fvridie inilru meats of fouit 
f ne nf Thebes Ampbioni 
I nevrr fwiche a mclodie : 
J cour» mcsme loud minftmlciet 
I ncTcr |nab trompcd for to herr, 
ik ke THcoddBiaft yet half fo dere 
M Tbieb«> wh^n the citee waa in dnate^ 
licdtM ebe tria htm Ikinketh ftll ahotite, 
iad Vanti laogheth upon every wiofht, 
(for JiMry wa» become hire knight, 
. Aid wxMe both aBaicn hit conge 
I U iikrtce wd eke io ttof iage) 



AMTl^S TALE. || 

And with hire iirebrobd in hire honil aboute 
Danceth before the bride and all the rotete. 
And certainly I dare ri^ht wel f^ dus^ 
Tmcncus, that g;od of Wedding ii. 
Saw nrvcr hit Uf io mery a wedded man* 

Hold thou thy pees, thou poet AfarciaB^ 
That writefl &s that tike wedding mery 
Of hire Phitologtc and him Mercuric, 
And of the fonges that the Mufcs fonge ; 
T«i fmal is both thy pen and eke thy tong^ 
Tor to dcfcriven of thi« mariage. 
Whan tcndrc Youth hath wedded floupiag Ag%| 
I'her tji fwiche mirth that it may not be wrkcn4| 
AITaieth it yourfdf, than itmy ye witen 
li that I lie or non in thii matere, 

Maius, that fit with fo beaigDc a dicre, 
Hire to behold it fenied EKrie. 
Qucnc Hcftcr loked never with fwlche u eye 
Oil Aflucrc, fo mcke a look liadi Ike. 
I may you not dcvife all hire hcautce ; 
But tJiis moch of hire beautce CcU I may. 
That fhe was like the brij^hte morwe of Mafi 
Fuimicd of all beautce and pkiance. 

This January is ravilhed in a trance 
At every time he loketh in hire face ; 
But in hi* heitc be gan hire to manaee 
That he that night In annea wold hire (treme 
H^acr than ever Paris did Haleine. 
But nathelcJi yet had he gret pitec 
That thilkc night o^enden hire muft hc| 
And thought, alas! o tcudrc creature ! 
Now woidc GM yc migbtcn wcl ciidun: 
All my coragc; it h fo (bir^pc and kenc 
I am agaft yc Ihal it cat fuftene ! 
But Cod forbedc that 1 did all my might ! 
Now wolde God that it were waxen night| 
And that the ni>;hi wold laften ever mo J 
I wold that all this peple were ago I 
And, finally, he doth all his labour, 
An he befit mightCf faving his honotir, 
To hcrtc him iro the mete in fubtil wife. 

The time came that refon was to rife, 
And after that men dance and drinken fad^ 
And fpicc» all about the how thqr call. 
And ful of joye and biilTe i^ every man, 
Ali but A fquier that hightc Damian, 
Which carf bcforn the knight ful many a day ; 
He was (o raviiht oh his Lady May, 
That for the veray peine he was n»c wood j 
AlmoU he fwdt, and fwouncd ther he flood ! 
So fore hath Venus hurt him with hire broa4 
As that (he bare it dancing in hire bond} 
And to his bed he went him haOily : 
No more of him as at this time fpche I, 
But ther 1 let him wepc ynow and plaine* 
TiJ frcfhc May wcl rewc^j on his peine. 

O perilous fire that in the btsdilraw brcdeth I 
O fiimulcr fo that his fervice bedcth I 
O fervant traitor^ falfe of holy he we, 
Like to the neddcr'in bofom fiic untrewe, 
God fhcldc usalle from your acquaintuicc ! 
O January ! dronken in pkfancc 
Of maria^i\ fee how thy Damian, 
Thin Qwcn tinier and thy horeu in»ti| 



fd THE ^fARCHAlj^TEs Valu. ^ 


With which whan tfinr him lift he it iinftctt^ ; 


Lo Argusj which that had — »—-!"« f^nf j 


And wbin that he vm\4 pay hin wive* derttc 


For all that ever he coude p 


In fomor ftffon thidtT*wold he j^, i 


Yci was he blent, and, Cod *< . , uo, ^^A 


And Miy hit wif» and no wi^Kt but they two; 


That wcoen wifly that it be not fo. ^H 


And thiol's which that were not don a-bedde 


P.tf!t over Is 10 cfc ; 1 fay ito more, ^H 


Hs in the gardin pwfonmied hem, and fpcdde. i 


Thin freftif May, of which ! fpake of yor^^H 


And in thi« wife many a mt* ry day 


In wunn wkx hath enp rented the cliket ^^| 


Lived this January and frcihe May : 


Th If Jjinuary bare of the fmal wiket* ^^H 


Bur worldly joyc nwty not alwiiy endure 


fiy which inrx) ha gardic oft he wetit, ^^| 


To January ne to no crcatur<r. 


And Druniiiii, that knew ill hire ciitczit, ^^1 


O f'xlcn hap, o thmi Fortune nnftable ! , 


The clikct contrefcted prrveJy : ^^M 


Like to the fcorpion fo dccciv;ihle. 


Thcr n'i* uo more to fay, but haftily ^^H 


That fiatrcft w»th thy htrd whan thou wolt fting ; 


Som wonder by this clikec Qial betide, ^^H 


The tayi it deth thurgh thin evrnioiing* 


Which ye ftiui her en if ye wol abide. ^^H 


O brmtl jeye ! o iWcte po^-fon iiueinic ! 


nohlc Ovide! foth Diyeft thou, (Sttd v"°^^| 


O mofiftrt ! that fo fotiliy canft pcinte 


What fleight bit, if Love be Jong axsd hotr,^^^^ 


Thy giftm under hewc of ft edl aft iieffe, 


That he trill find it out m fom man' r^ ? ^H 


That thou dcccivcit botih* more and Iclfe, 


By Pyramtti and Thilbc may men Irr^- ; ^^t 


Why bin thou Jaftujir^' thtiftdecdwd, 


Though they were kept ful !' : " ciag^^M 


That h^ddcil him for thy ful frcnd received ^ 


They ben accorded, rowiiiti ^4i^^^| 


And now tli6a hall befaft him both his eycn. 


IhernowigiitcoudehaiTfauri^^.^ .. .•rinH^^H 


For for^'c of which dcfiteth he tu dyea. 


But now to purpos. Er that daic* cijrhie ^^H 


Al^iii 1 ihi» nohlc January free, 


Were paCTcd of the month of Juit, betid ^H 


Amiddc hi* luft and hi^piiofpcritee. 


That January hath caught fo gret a wiU, ^H 


Is vnxtti Mind, »f*d that al fodenly. 


Thurgh egging of hiK wif, him for to play ^^M 


He wcpttJi and he waikth pitoufly, 


in hii gardin, and no wi|^t but they twajgl^H 


And thcrwithall the fire of jalouQc 


That in a morwe tinto thtu May faid he, *^^| 


(Left that hf* wif fhuld faJl in fom folk) 


Rife up. my wif, my love, my lady fret ! ^^M 


So brent hishertc th:it he wokie fain 


The turtles vois it herd, myn owen fwetc! ^^M 


That fom man had both him and hire yflain ; 


The winter is gon, with all hiirainca tr*««lr' ^^M 


For nother after his deth oc in his Iff 


Come forth now with thtn rycn colmnbinei^^l 


Nc wold he that Ihc were no love nt wif, 


Wcl fairer ben tbv ^^- ^*^ ^^>*n ony vrac ^^| 


3ut ever liTe a^ a widewc in clothes blake* 


l*hc gardin is en N'Wte ; ^^B 


Sole as the turik thiit h&th toft hire make. 


Come forth, my v n c, for oat ^^"^^^M 


But at the laft, after a moneth or tw»y. 


Thou haft me wounded m myn henc, owif^^^ 


Hi» forwc gan aJTwagcn, foth to fay ; 


No fpot in thee n'at never in all thy Itl ^^M 


Fur whan he wi(k it niig:ht non other be. 


Come f(mh, and let us taken our diteni ^H 
1 chefc thee for my wif and my ooaatgn* ^^M 


He patiently tokc hi* advcrfitce ; 


Save out of doutc he nc may nat forgoti 


5wichc oldc tewed wordea ufed be. ^^M 


That he a*M jalou* ever more in on ; 


On Damian a figoe made (he, ^H 


Which jalftufie it was fo outrageoui^ 


That he fhuld go before with hh cliktr. ^H 


'That neither in haUc, nc in Don other hous. 


This Damian hath opened the wikct. ^H 


Nc in noo other plicc never the mo. 


And in he ftcit, and that in fwiebe maotfTP ^B 


He n'olde fuffine hire for to ride or ga 


That no wight might him fee ncytlier yhei*? 1 


But if that he had hvndc on hire alway ;- 


And ftill he fit unacr a bulb. Anon ^J 


For which ful often wepeth freflic May^ 


This Jnnuary, ai blind a£ ii a fton, ^^B 


That lovctk Damian fo brenning^ly, 


With Majus in his htnd^ and no wi^t in«V^^| 


That fhe mofte cither dien foder^y 


Into this frcihe gardin tt afro, ^H 


OrcUes file moftc ban him a« Inre Mk ; 


And cllppct to thcwik^'t fodecly ^^H 


She wake 4 wham hire herte woM to-breH. 


How wif. quod he, here n'i» but thov^^^H 


Upon that other fide I^amian 


That art the ereaturt: that 1 befk tovef^^^^H 


Bc*.omcn i^ the (brwefulkft man 


For by tliat Lord that fit rn bcven ab^^^^^| 


Thit cvcl- was, for nehhf.- ntijht ce thy 


1 hadde lever dicn on a knif ^^^^H 


Wc might he fpekc a word to frcftw May, 


Than thee o^enden, dcre tvewe wif. ^^M 


As to hi-» purpot, of no twtchc ntattre. 


For Geddes fake thinke how I thee dk«e^ ^^M 


But if that JMHiary rauft it here, 


Not for no covetife doutekt, ^^M 


That had an hand upon hire evcrmo ; 


But only for the love 1 i»ad to thce^ ^^M 


But oathde* by writing to and fro, 


And though that I be old and tniy tict '^MI^^H 


And privec fij^tit », wift he what ihe ment^ 


Beth to me trcwc, and 1 wol tell yon *vh]rp^^^ 


Antl Ok knew eke the Rn of hit entent. 


Ccrces tl.rcc tKid^c* fhal ye win thcrfff | ^^| 


O Jaoaar^- ! what might it thee availe 


Firftlovcof Cr^'^ -^ - vonrfdf imiWW, i^B 


T*hough thou might feen aa fer as^ippcs&ile ? 


And all min hi r /nd tmir ; ^H 


For a» ^ood ai bUod to dccti ved be 


lyevc it you.m-i.^... .:.... :re4 as yo« kftt ^^t 


/u be deceived whan a m^a may Car* 


Thi» ti»l be doQ t<Mnor^o ct^^trntwH^ ^ 



THE MAACHANTES TALlC. 



9^. 



Win J to bliffip : 
JfMioa ifaiicovmaQt jc mckilTe. 
(ev^ that 1 be ptiou* wite me nonght ; 
i» dteoc etfprcfitcfl bi my ihonf ht, 
I dlst I confider yonr beaucce, 
" the uolilteiy eldc of me, 
tcrttMt thoo^ t fhulde die, 
CO bea out of ycrur compagnie 
•e; thas is vritbcut«n doute i 
V wif, aad l«t Q5 rome abotiic. 
frdhe Mmj, whan IhctbUc wordc4 herd, 
CO Jmsary iniWf rd« 
h1 ft i rwuil Ihe be^n to vepc : 
quod Ibe^ « f<mb for to kqie 
IT, and alfo mill honour, 
fny wif hoo^ thilkc tcndre flcar 
: I lltfipe oflitred in your hood, 
tiie preefl to you my body bond, 
re I wal uifwcnt ia this manerf , 
rve ^f you, myn ovrrn lurd fo dcre. 
to Ood that nev^r daw that day 
ftaffire, 3S foule lU wotnan may, 
B do Ufico my kin that (hamt| 
• 1 cmpcire To my name 

i*ic I and if t do that hikke, 
me and put mc tn a fakke, 
th« wvtMxe li^rcr do mc drcnchc : 
^mil woman and no wcnche. 
fcke ye thoi ? but men ben ever Diitre«ro, 
I luui repTcfe of yon ay ocwe. 
other daliaAcc, I Icve, 
^ to o* a« of otitmfl lod fcpre-rc, 

thai word the law wher Damian 
ib« avd cooghcn fhc bc^n ; 
nc finger a Ggoe made Ihc 
I flinlde eitTTib up on 2 tre 
_^ I «rte « ith fruit, slikI up he Went ( 
■i$ he ^ew all hire cntent, 
ry Sgne that flic coadc make, 
than January her own make^ 
i kttrr the had told him all 
Bfcre, how that he werken fhalL 
• I iitt him fittings in the pcry, 
■ary and M47 mmtng fal mery* 
kc was the day, and blew the firmament ; 
«f ^Id hit ftrcmes douu hath fent 

cwery flour with his warmntfle ; 
^thnt time in Geminis I gcfie, 
~ fro bii declination 
If, f 0«ra ctihation. 
t§tM ffrtlifct bright morwe ttde, 
ItKc 1 the frrrhcr fide, 

bat of Faerie, 

.a [jti. ■ " nie 

■ wif, P">*i 

il»ib«ri._ .->. > ., :-. ^thnti, 
Hie f-idred floares it^ the mede, 
D ye may the ftory rede, 
mlaire w bt»gril'cl^ carte hcfctte) 
Sffg of FacTie adoun htm fette 
!> Wndic of turvo rrcftie and grcne, 
|tit anon tbut faid he to his quene : 
Wit, <|iiod be, ther may no wight fay nay, 
^dkw fo prevcth it every dajr^ 



The trcfon which th«t womalj doth to mail : 

Ten hundred thouiand Utitna tcU t can 
Notable of your untrouth and broti.'ln«f(<9r 

O Sakmion ! richeil ol all richelTc, 
Falfillcd of fapicncc and «vordly giori<T» 
Ful worthy ben thy wordei to mcntorie 
To every wight that wit and refott can. 
Thus pniiCeth he the bouote^ y«t of nta«{ 
Among a thoxifiutd nicn yet lulid I (m« 
But of all women foiid I neVf r non* 
Thus f;uth this |jnc:,thaikncwc: your wikkcdnefTQ^ 
And Jefus,/i/i^/ Siratrh, as t geiie. 
He fpeketh of you but fi-Idvn r«?vereo<e- 
A wildc lire, a corrupt peftilencc, 
So (ill upon your bodies yet to-uight, 
Nc fee ye not this hotiourable knight ? 
Bccaufe, abs! that he is blind atid old 
His owen man fhal hiakc him cokewoldt 
Lo whcr he fit, the lechotif^ in the tree. 
Now wol 1 graantea of my majcllce 
Unto this olde bUndr worthy knight. 
That be (tiA have again hi» eycn light 
Whan tluit his wif wol don hjni viluiiief 
Thau fhal he knowen all hire barlotric, 
Both in reprefc of hire and other rao, 

Yc, Sire, qtiod Proferpinc, and wol yc fo f 
Now by my mod re Geres foulc I fwerc 
That 1 flial yeve hire fuflRfant anfwcre. 
And allc women after for hire fake. 
That though they ben in any gilt ytake* 
With face bold they Ihnj hemietve excuie. 
And here hem dotin that wolden hamacctdc f 
For lackc of anfwere non of u$ Ibul dien, 
Al hid yc fecn a diing tvith both your cyen^ 
Yet fhul wcfovifitgc it hardely, 
And wqre.and twere, and chidcn,r«btiUy, 
That ye (hui ben at lewed as ben gcee, 

What rtkkcth me of your audoriee«f ? 
1 wotc vre] that this JeWe, this Salomon, 
Fond of us women foolcs many on : 
But though that he nc fond no good woman,. 
Thcr hath yfonden many an other man 
Women ful gOod« and trewe and vcrtttoua, 
Witnefle on hem thit dweite in Criflo bew^ 
With martyrdom they prcved hir conftance. 
The Roman gcdei makcn remrmbranee 
Of many a vcray trcwc wif allb. 
But, Sire, ne be not wroth al be it foi. 
Though that ht {aid he fond no good woman ^ 
I pray you take the femence of the man : 
He ment thus, that in foveretn bountee 
bTis Don but Ood, ni», nonchrr he ne (ke, 

£y, for the veray Ood that n'ii bait on. 
What makcn y\: fo moche of Sntomon I 
What thotigrh he made a tchiple, Guddes houi ? 
What tl^iough he were richc and glorious * 
So made Ke eke a temple of falfc goddes; 
How might he don a thing that more fbrbode is P 
Pardc as fairc as yc his name emplaltrc. 
He was a lee hour and an idolaftrc, 
And in his eldc he veray God forfoke ; 
And if that God nchadde (as iaithe the boke) 
Spared him for his fathert f;ike, he fholdc 
Hio loiL his rcgne rather ihao he woldc. 



{>1 



THt MARCHANTES TALP. 



I fete nat of all the viUnt«^ 
That he of womtn wrote i boterflic 
I am a woman ; ncct» moflc I ipcke. 
Or fwcU unto that trmc min herte breke; 
Fof fin he fair! thiit wc ben jangl-ffcfTci^ 
Ascvrr mote 1 broukcn hole my ircJle*, 
1 ihal fiat fp^rcn for no curtcftc 
To fpckc him harm that fayth ns vilanie. 

D^ime, quod thi^ Pinto, be txn tengcr wroth, 
1 ycvc it up : but fin 1 fwcrc min oth. 
That I wold graunten him his fight agaiiL, 
My word Ibal fland, that warne [ you ccnuin J 
1 am a king, it fit me not to lie. 
And 1, quod fhc, am Qrcnc of Faerie. 
Hire anfwcrc fhc (hal ban I undertake j 
l>cr a» no more wordc* of it make. 
Forfoth, quod he, I wol you not contrary, 

Kow let u» turn again to January, 
That m the ^rdin with his taire May 
Stngcth wcl mericr than the popinjay ; 
You love I hcdt^ and ihal, and other non. 

So ]ong about the alieye» i» he gun. 
Til he wai comen ag:iiin to thilke pcry 
Wher as this Damian fitteth ful mcry 
On high, among the frt-fhe Icvc* grcuc, 

TPliifreflie May, that is fu bright and (hcne^ 
Can for to fikc» and fa id, Ala«, my fide I 
Now, Sire, quod (he, for ought that may betide, 
1 mofle have of the per«8 that 1 fee. 
Or 1 moftc die, fo fore tongcth mc 
To ct^n of the fmale pcrei grenc ; 
Krip for hire love that ti of hevcn qutnc« 
] tell you wel a woman in my pUt 
May have to fruit fo gret an appctic. 
That ibe may dicn but ihe of it have. 

Alas I qnod he, that I n'addr here a tuiiTc 
That coudc climbc : ala« ! ala»l rquod he) 
For I am btiridc. Yc, Sire, no force, quod flic ; 
But wold ye vouchcfauf, for Goddes fak^. 
The pery in with your armes for to take, 
(For wcl 1 wot that ye miftruftcn mc) 
Than wold I climbcn wel ynough, (quod (he) 
So I my fote might fetten on your back. 

Ccrte«, faid be, thcrin flial be no tack, 
Miglit I you helpeo with min hcrte hlood. 

He ftoupeth doun, and on his back Ihe Jdood, 
And caught hire by a twifl ; and up fhc goth, 
|[Ladit«, I pray you tha.t yt: be not wruth; 
I caiintt glofc ; 1 am a rude man :) 
Andfodenly anon this Damian 
Can pullen up the fmock, and in he throof* 

And whan that Pluto faw tliit grctc wrong, 
To January he yaf again hi« fight, 
And made him fee at wel at ever he might ; 
And whan he thus had caught hi» Hght again 
Ne was t her never man of thing fo faiit i 
^ut on his wif his thought was ever mo. 

Up to the tree he c^ hiscycn two. 



And faw how Damian hif wif^ hid drtlTfi 

In fwichc manerc it may not bea caprt^cd, 

But if I woldc fjpekc uncurtciily ; 

And up be yaf a roring and a cry, 

Ai doth the motiicr wlum the child IhaJ 

Out ! htlpe ! alas ! harow ! he gan to cry $ 

llrongc lady flore, what dodt ihau i 
And fhc anfwcred. Sire, what aileth you ?- 
Have patience and refon in your mindc, 

1 have you hiilp«rn on both your cyai blil 
Up pi!ril of my foale^ 1 fhal nat hen, 
A" me was taught to hclpcn with your 
Was nothing better for to make jou fc« 
*rhan ftroglc with a man upon a tree : 
God wot, I did it in ful good cntenu 

StrogU ! quod he ; ye, algate in it Wi 
Gnde ycve you both on Ihames dcth to 
Hu fwived thee, I faw it wirh min cycn^ 
And riles be 1 hoagcd by the hatfe. 

Than ia, quod (he, my medicine d 
For crrt*inly if that ye mijrhtcn fre, 
Yc wold not fay thifc worde* unio me. 
Ye have fom ghmfing, and no pariit figl 

I fL'L\ quod he, as wel as ever I might 
(Thanked be God) with both min eycn 
And by my ftith mc thought he did thee 

Ye mafc, yt mafcn, good Sire, quod 
This thank liave I for I have made yoo fee ; 
Alas ! quod flic, tliat ever 1 was fo kind. 

Now Dame, quod he, let at pafle out f 
Come doun, my lefe, and if I have ntilTai^ 
God helpr me fo as 1 am evil appaid t 
But by my fadrct luule I wende hikvc {em 
How that this Damian had by thee !eiii» 
And that thy fmock had Icin upon bit 

Yc, Sire, quod fhc, yrmayweneatt 
But, Sire, a man that wcketh of hia 
He may not fodenly wcl taken kcpe 
Upon a thing, nc fcen it parfitly. 
Til that he be adiwcd vcraily : 
Right fo a man that hrig hath blind 
He may not fi»denjy i'o wel yfee, 
Firfl whan hii fight is ncwe comen igafl^ 
As he that hath a day or two yfein. 
Til that your fight yfatcled be a white, 
Thcr may fid many a fighte you beglle* 
Bi ware, I pray you, for by hcvrn Kinjj 
Ful many a mm wcnctli to fee n 
And it U all aaoiher tXan it fern 
He which that mifconceivcth ott ntii". ;tici 

And with that word Oic Icp doun Cro 
This Jariucvry who is -* ^ I- * ' - ? 
He kilfcth hire und < ful oft. 

And on hire wombc L - ^i Jiirc Jul tk 

And to his paleis home he hath hire lad* 
Now, goode men, 1 pray you to be ^e' 

Thus endcth here my Talc of }• nuiric 
God blcfFc us, and hit mpicr Scintv NWi 



fi 



THE S<lpil«.E3 PROI-OGUK. 



n 



THE SQUIERES PROLOGUE. 



\ mcfcy, fayde ourje Hofie \ho^ 
|clic a wif I prric God ktpe me £ro, 
^ flci^hicft and fubnlxtcci 
^ bcQ 1 for ay 3»s bdy »» bcc* 
[us telf men for to deceive, 
ki a fbelte wol they ever wcivc : 
Mkrcliantes Talc it prcvcth wcl* 
ric», » trewc AH any ftcJc 
Uiff though tliat fkt poure be^ 
^ tODge a Ubbing (hrcwe i& Qie ; 
J tiath an hcpc of vkct mo. 
ke ; let all fwfkhc thingti go» 
phat ? in cnnfcil be ii fcyde, 
: I ajii unto hire tcydc ; 
dc rckcnc every vice 
i b»cfa, ywb I were to nice; 



And caufe wbyi it niuldprepf»rtcdl>^ 
And told to htrc of fom of this compagnieg 
(Of whom it nedcth not for to declare, 
h Sin wufticn connen utter fwiche cha/TareJ 
And eke my wit fwfRceth not therto 
To tcllcn all; wherforc my Tale m do. 

Squier, come ncr, if it youre wille he,- 
Aud fay fomwhat of love, for cerfcs yc 
Coimcn t heron as moche a* iny man. 
Nay, Sire, quod he, but fwiche thing ai I can 
With hcrtly wilk\ for 1 wol not rcbelle 
AgciQ your (uft, a Tide wol t telle. 
Have me cxcufcd if I fpcke ami« : 
My willc i» ^ood ; ^nd lo, my Talc ii ehii. 



THE SQITIERES TALE*. 



I, in the lond of Taitane, 
ielt a king that werrcied RufTie, 
^feich thrrdied mauy a doughty man, 
He kirjg was clcped Cambufcan, 
^ hsi liitic was of fo grct renoun, 
ir D'a9 DO whcr in no rcgioun 



pfiff ofXTate fendhli 1«i Cim barman K!n^ of Sir- 
- 1 • tmtn^i t>r rait qutiUc:^ iiui to hi« dJikuuN^' r 
' nfi % •»»*(&• iiy t*e "nir'.ijc where* ii ihc li^i* 
languace Oi Ji'l 'fiwles. Mutli m tiiti- 
' wr Ckfe never fiCilbid by OIi;iucct. 



So excellent a lorde in alle thing ; "* 

Him lacked nought that longcth to a kiog, 

Aiol the kiMe of which that he wasbortie^ 

He kept hi* lay to which he wa» yfworne. 

And therto he was hardyi-wift% and riche. 

And pi tons and juft, and alway ylichc, 

Trewe of his word, hcnignc and honourable^ 

Of his corage as any centre ftabk\ 

Yong, fjcfh, and Jtrong, in armcs de^OUl^ 

Aft any bachelcr of all his houi. 

A fa ire perfoD be was and fortnnate, 

And kept ahvay fo TvcUcal dUt, 



§A 

That ther n^aa no vrhcr fwkhe Another man, 

Thii noble king;, thii Tartrc Cimburcui, 
Hadde two foncs by Elf eta hii wif, 
or which the ddcft font hightc Algarfif, 
That other wa» ydcpcd CiuubaUo. 

A doughtcr had thi* worthy tiog alTo^ 
That yoDgcIl was* and hightc Canace : 
But for to tdlen you ^ hire bcautrc 
It Lith not JD my toogcneia my comniiijg ; 
I dare not undertake fo high a thing : 
^m £:igliih eke is infuflicient ; 
It muilc hen a rcthor excellent, 
That coude hi* colours longing for that art, 
l/hc fliuld hire dcfcrivcn pny pwi : 
] am nou fwiche ; I mote fpekc a» I can. 

And fo bcfcl that whan this Cambufcan 
Hdth twenty winter borne his diademc. 
As he was wont fro ycr« to ycrc I dcmc, 
He let the fc!k of hbnatiritec 
Dnii cricn thurj:;huut Sarra hi« citee 
The lafl idu4 of March after the ycre. 

P'lebufc the fonnc ful jolif wai and clcrc^ 
Fer he wa» nigh his cxaltadoti 
^ In Martes fivcc, and in hia maniloD 
In Aries, the colcrikc hotc figne : 
Tul lulty was the wether and benigne, 
For which the foules again the fgnnc (hene^ 
"WUm (or the feibn and the yongc grcnc 
Fid lotidc fotigcn hlr affcdioD^ ; 
Hem femed han gcttcn hem protctfirons 
Ajjain the fwerd of winter kene and cold, 

Tim Cambufcan, of which I have you told, 
In real vcftimc»t», fit on hii dci» 
With diademe, fid high in p«kis. 
And hott his fcfte fo fokmpEie and fo riche. 
That in thii world nc wai thcr non it lichc. 
Of which if I fliall tcllcn all the array. 
Than wold it occupte a fomcrf day; 
And eke it nedeth not for to devife 
At every coar» the order of hir fervicc : 
I wol not tellen of hir Grange fewei, 
Ke of hir fwannes nc hir hrronfewca ; 
Eke in that lond, ai tcllcn knightcs old, 
Thcr is fom mctc that i» ful dcintce hold, 
1 hat in his lond men rccchc of it ful fmal i 
Thcr n*i*no man that may rcporren al* 
I wol not tarien you, for it h prime, 
And for it is no fruit, but lofTc of time; 
Unto my purpos I wol have rccour*. 

And fo befelle, that alter the thridde couri, 
I While thm thi* king fit thu» in hit nobky, 
Hrrking hit miiuRrailcs hir thinget p]cy, 
Bcfornc him at hit bord dclitioufly. 
In at t>ic haile dorc al fodenly 
*Ther came a knight upoo a ftedc of braj. 
And in ht» hond a brod mit-rour of gUt ^ 
Ppon his thombe he hid of gold a r'lnj^f 
^nd by his lide a naked fwerd hanging ; 
And UD he rideth to the highc hord* 
, |n all the hallc nc wai thcr fpokc a word 
^0T mcmillc of liuA knight ; him to behold 
^ul bcHly they wai ten yong and oUI* 

Thi* ftrangc knight that come thij fodc&lyy 
fiS VTDcd favc hit hed ful j:ic}}el^| 



THE SQjniEtS TALE, 



Salucth king and qucnc, snd lordct tU^ 
By order as they fatcn in the hallc, 
With fo high rcv^crcncc and obferTan^Cf 
A% wei in ^cche at in hi* coincnancc, 
That Gawain with hif olde curtefie, 
Though he were come agCQ out of Faerie'^ 
Nc coude him not amende n with a word i 
And after thit hefom the highc bord 
He with a manly vois fayd nit mcflagc. 
After the forme ufcd in his langage, 
Withouten vice of fillabk or of letter : 
And for his talc ftiulde feme the better. 
Accordant to his wordei wa* hit there, 
A* tcchctb 9Jt pf fpcche hem that it Icre. 
Al be it that 1 cannot fpune hit ftik, 
Nc cannot cUmben over fo high a ftik. 
Yet lay 1 this, as to comim cntcnt, 
Thut much amount eth all that ever he RKfiV 
If it fo be that I have it in mind- 
He fayd, The King of Arahie and of lad^*' 
My licge Lord, on thit folcmpnc day, 
Salutth you as he bc(l can and may. 
And fcndcth you, in hoDour of your feftc. 
By me, th4t am al rcdy at your hdle. 
This ftcdc of bras, that cfily and wcl 
Can in the fpacc of a day narurct 
(This it to fayn, in four-and-twcnty hoopd) 
Whcr fo you lifl, in drought pr elks (hourci^ 
Bercn your body into every place 
To which your hcrte willeth for to pace, 
Withouten wcmmc of you thurgh fouk or fi^ 
Or if you lift to flecn at high in the aire 
As doth an cgk, whan him 11(1, 
This fame ftcdc Ihal here you eircnnarr, 
Withouten harmc, tHJ ye be thcr you kH, 
(Though that ye 0epen on his back or rdl) 
And tume again with writhing of a pin ; 
He that it wrought he coude many * g^i 
He waited many a conflcllatioD 
Or he had don this operation. 
And knew ful many a fck and many p 
This niirrour eke that 1 Iiavc tn mis 
Hath fwiche a might that men may ia it fe^ 
Whan thcr fhal faUe ony advciiitce 
Unto your rcgnc or to yourfelf *lfo. 
And openly who ii your friend or fo f 
And over al) this, if any lady bright 
Hath fct hire hertc on any mancr wight, 
If he be falfc, fhe (hall hit trcfon fee. 
Hit ncwc loifL , and all hi* ftibtiltec. 
So openly, that thcr flial nothing hide, 
Whcrforc again thit lufty fomcr tide 
This njirrour and this ring, that ye may fc, 
He hath fcnt to my J-ady Canace, 
Your cxccUcnte doughtcr that i$ here* 

The vertuc of tlii* ring, if yc wol here^ 
h thit, that if hire lifl it for to were 
Upon hire thombe, or in hire purfc it here, 
Ther it do fouk that fleeth luvkr hcven 
That flic ne fiial wcl undcrftood hit 0«v<«i^ 
And know hii men in g openly and piainc. 
And anfwere him in hi a langage |g>tn ; 
And every gra* that growrth upon rote 
She Ihil ckc know, and wbooi it irel do &g|f; 




THE SQjnERlS TALI. 



91 



i vrooiuies mwtr to def)c and wide. 
I nalced fwerd, that hangcth by my tide, 

DC ]Hlb» thtt whmt mao that it fmitt, 
I lucarmitfr it wol kcnre «nd biic, 
» thiicLc at i& a braupched okc ; 

i ib&t it svoundcd with the ftrok« 
' W hole, til that you \i(i of gnce 
I bixn with the pUttc m thiike pl&ce 
t - ch}« if M much ro fun 
! fwcrd again 

1 uiid it Wf>l doic, 
a viJIioutcn g;loft i 
it is in yovr hold. 

irli^ ...ight hath thua hi« tale toid 

I out <if hailCf and doiin ht light. 
iedr» wkich that ihone is fooiic Drighc^ 
J-in the c«purt aa ftillc at may (Ion. 
IkixSght b to hif chatubre hddc anoD* 
|k$ iin4J'ii»rd, and to the mctc yiette. 
\ prefects bcu fttl richclich yfctte, 
ifatn, the fwcrd and the mirrour^ 
: anon into the highc tour 
[ <kiE£cr> ordained tfacrforc ; 
I the ring it bure 
fg thct Ibe fat at the tablt« 
jr« withoutcfi any f^k, 
^€»f brmt, that may not be remticd, 
»it were to tht^ pnmnd yglircd : 
kaacf DO man out «f th« pUcc it drive 
^iec of windjii^ ur polivc ; 
p wHy» i^r they t:oit rot the craft, 

■ '- ■ lianit Uft 
be K ' iictn the maaere 

I fcui^» - . - lirrts * 

I tJat: prrr nicd to and fra 

Oil this I' rjdeth foj 

t f$ Ihi^K witavaad iu brod and loag, 
tioatd for to h: llrong, 
: were a ftcdc of Lumhardic, 
t fo horfly and fo qufck of eye 
'3 coorter were; 
pofl». 1 nnto bis ere 

! u^ V4. Ji' voud him not amend 
bAe yeC ), as iiU the pepk wcog}. 
trrcrmorc hirniotle wonder wm 
t that it coLide gon and wat of braa ; 
t-mi Faerie, a^ th: pqilc fcmcd i 
"»l|t <li*ctfcly ban demcd : 
. asmiiny witte»bcn. 

p doth n fwarme of becn^ 
|sfter hir funtalleH 
t poctricf, 
L fkjd it wai yiike the Pcgafec, 
f bors thur hndde win*-" »"r f*^ ^ce, 
m^ it wat the GrcL a, 

oghte Troyc to i 1, 

t m thrfe oldc gtitca rede, 
(qitod f»c) iji evermore in drcdc ; 
I fiii^ft of 31 intt ben thtfiin, 

t ihln citcc for to win ; 
■''''''' "IT were know. 

_M, MX. i.Li,., iui *■■ I- .*<i.. , Like 
|b|^paccsct jmadc by iiHT. c»gtk4^ 



As jogelourt plaieo at thiff fcfttsgtetf. 
Of fondry doatea thu» they jangle %nd trt$e. 
As Icwcd peple dcincn tomunlf 
I Of ihtnge* that ben made more fubtilly 
Than they con in hir Icwcdncffc comprchoiidfl | 
They dcmcfl gladly to the badder ende. 

And fom of hem wondred on the nurrout 
That bom was up in to the maifter tour, 
How men mighte in it fwicKc c hinges fc:e. 

Another anfwered and fayd, It might wd be ' 
NatureUy by compo&tiona 
Of angles and flic rcHcdiona; 
And faide that in Rome wa« fwiche on. 
They fpcke of Alh^ztn and Vjtclba» 
And Artflotle, that writen in hir livea 
Of qucintc mirrour* and of profpedtiv««, 
An knowcn they that ban hir booke* herd. 

And other folk ban wondred on tht: fwcrd 
That woldc perecn thiir^hnut every thing; 
And fell in fpcchc of Ttlephtw the king* 
And 0/ Achillei* for hj» qucinte fpcre, 
For he coude with it bothc hcle and dcre, 
Right in fwichc wife a* men may with the fwcr4 
Of which right now yc hiive yourfelvcn kerd> 
They fpckcn of fondry hardingof metall. 
And fpckrn of medicinet therwitball. 
And bow and whnn it flitilU yharded be. 
Which is iinknow alg^itea unto mc, 

Tho fpckcn they of Canacces rijJg, 
And faidcn all thit fwich** a wvuder thing 
Of craft of ringes herd tlicy ucver non, 
Save thnt be*Muifcs and Kinjt Salomon 
Hadden a name of conning in fwichc art, 
Tlius faln'ihe p<'ple, and drawcn h*rm aynjrX* 

But nutheU-:^ fom frudcn tlut it w»* 
M^ondf r to nxakcn of feme aHien gUs 
And yet h glas Donght like afhcn i/f fvme j 
But (m th«y han yknowen it fo feme, 
Thcrforc cefcth hir j^^nj^ling and hir wonder, j 

As fort wondreo foni on caufe oi tlvondoTj, 
On cbbc and floud, on goffomer and on miil» 
And nn all thing til that the caufc is wilt. 

Thus ianglcn tht7, and demcn and dcvifc. 
Til tliat the king gan fro his bord arife, 

Phehus hath left the angle meridiuiial^ 
And yet af^ending was the befte real, 
The g^ntiLLeon, with hi* Aldriani 
Whan that thi« Tartre krng^ this Cambufcai^ 
Rofc froi'. his herd, thcr ■» he fat fid hie : 
Jk'fome him goth the loude mlndralcic, 
Til he come lo his chambrc of pareoncnti, 
Thcr as thqr fottcdcn divers inftrunicnti. 
That it is like an hevcn for to here. 

Now dauncen lufly Venus children dercy 
Fur in tliL- Flfh hir kdy fat ful hie. 
And lokith on hem with a frcndly eye. 

Thh noble kiag is fct upon his trunc, 
This ftraunge knight ts fet to him ful fonc^: 
And c^n the dauncc he goth wjtJx Canaccn. \ 

Here is the revell and the jolitee 
That is not able a dull man to dcvife t 
He mufl han knowcu Love and hia f^TTif% 
And ben a ftftlJrh man, as freih aa May^ 
Thit ihtitdr jQu ds?il>n fwichc aiTsiy, 







THE SQtJrERES TALE. 



Who ceude ttWcn you tHe forme of d^uocct 
So uDcoutb^ and fo iVcfbt con ten aim ecu, 
Swichc fubtil kik'mg* and dilTimnlino^^ 
Per drcd of jalousminnts apptrrccivitsg*? • 
No man but Launalot, and he i» dcd ; 
Thcrforc I paflc over all thii laflyhcd; 
I fay no more, but in thh jniificlTc 
I Icic hem til men to the loapcr hrm drdTe. 

The (icward bJt ther fpia? for t^ hic^ 
And ckc the win, in all this n> 
The itfhrrs and the fqaicric h* ■ 
The fpici-iarid the win is coint ufm, : 
They cte and driiike, aitd whan thi» h:td an end 
Unto the tcmplcy ai rcfon Wii», ihcy wciid : 
The fcrvicc don^ they foupen all by day. 

What nedcth you reherfcn hir array? 
P.che man wot wel th:it at s kin}j;es fell 
h plcntcc to the moli and to the left, 
And dciistec^ mo than brii in my knowing. 

At after foupcr jroth ibis noble king 
To fccn th?i hfcr* of brii , with all a route 
Of lordc» and of ladies him aboitte. 
Swkhe wnndrinf^ wn* ther on thin hart of brav. 
That fin the grct afiVg^e or Troyc wat 
Ther a* men wotidred on an bori alfo, 
Ne was thrr fwiche a wondring; at wan tbctn, 
But, finUly, the king :i(keth the knight 
The Tcrtue of ihU courfcr and the might, 
And praicd him to tell hi» govcmKunce* 

This tior^anon g^n for to trip and daunce* 
Whan that the knight laid bond upon hi» rein. 
And fiidc. Sire, thtr o'ii co more to ftuti, 
But whan yoo litt to ritlcn any where 
Ye moten tnll a pin flant in lui ere. 
Which I ibal telicn you betwixt «» two, 
Yemotcc ncmpnc him to what place alio. 
Or to uhat con tree that you lift to ride. 

And whim ye come ihcr as yon lift abide. 
Bid him detcerad, sivd trill another pin, 
(For therin lieth the effect of all ihc gtn) 
And he wuli! ' " I ' vourwiU, 

And io tiwit \ ; 

Thijugh all iJi«. rtuiit^ uau u c Luiiif*«ry fwore. 
He lluil tmt thfTrmi be druwv ni.'be bore ; 
Ur if yott iift to bid him rhcun •. gon» 
Trill c this pin, aiid he wr 1 vuuJIh inon 
Out cf the llj^ht of every nianer wijrht, 
Andcnmc 3g:cn^ be it ly day or night, 
Whtin thit you lift to depen him A^iim 
In fwiche m g^uife S3 Z £!tu) to ytm fiiin 
Bf^twixcn you and mc, u:id that ful fane. 
Jl;dc whan yoti lift, ther ; * ; - to done. 

Enfm^rmcd wh^in thr the knight, 

y^fl,? jiirh I I .Hi ^ i<J. ,^ 111 ' f 

Tl things 

Vui ,., ^, V king 

Rtputrcihi tohu rcvrl «• hciome, 
•J'he bridel it in to the tovr yfcivrnc. 
And krpt among hit )ewel4 Icfi and dere : 
The hot* vmiiht, I n*oi in what m»ncrr» 
Out of !, ' rcof mc : 

But th^ c 

ThiAC*lJ*;.'u,.-.i n., 1.. iwr^ i-iUyillg 

Til ihat wcJ nigh the day bc^ ;« ipring. 



The noricr of digeftion, the flepf, 
Gan on hcM winkr, and bjid luin taken kep^l 
That niochtl drit»kc and labour wol have rdT 
Ard with ^ galpm^j mouth hem all he kcft. 
And faid, that It was time to lie adoun. 
For blood was in hi* domicitiouQ ; 
Chertilicth hloOd^ natures frt<nd, qvod he. 

Thty thanken liim galping, by two/ 
And every wight pit* dr a*a c him to bi» 
As Jlcpc h«m bade ; th.y (okc it for the 

Hir drtnus (hil not now be lold iur mc ; 
Ful were hir hedes of lumofitce, 
1 hat caiifcth dreme, of which ther it no 
Th*y flepcn till that it wat prime large. 
The moi>e part, but it were Canice ; 
Sl.e wan ful mi^furable, a* women be % 
For of hire farther had fhc take hire lcv8 
To goo to reft focc after it wat <ve ; 
H-^rc Ikllc not appalled for to be. 
Nor on tjic morwc unfcftliche for to fee, 
And fltpt hire firfte flcpe, and than awoke : 
For fwiche a joy flic in hire hcrte lokc 
Both of hire qucinte ring and of hire min 
That twenty time (he chaungcd hire colour. 
And in hire fl?pc right for the imprcfliua 
Of hire mirrour flic had a vifion ; 
Wherforc or that the fonne gan up glide 
She clcpt'th upon hire maiftreiTe hire b<didc« 
Aj]d faidc th^ hire luftc for to anfc. 

Thifc oldc women that ben gladly wife. 
Aft it hire maiftrefle, anfw^rd Lire anon. 
And faid, Madam, whider wol yt ginn 
Thtti erly i for the folk ben all in reft, 

I wol, quod lhc,arifcn (for me left 
No longer for toftcpe) and walken abouie. 

Hire miiftrcflc cicptth women a grcs 
And up they rifcn wcl a ten or twelve; 
Up rifeth fnfhc Conacc hircfclve, 
A* rody and bright a^ th '' nne 

'1 iiat in the R^m is fou 
No higher w»« he V* , i.^ wa*! 

Aj:d forth flic w.i pnt, 

Arr.ycd after rhx . ^ . luic 

Liglnely for to pbye, :ind walken on fate^ 
Nought but with five or fixe cf hire tneinic 
Ar*d in a trendu; forth in the park got h Ihr, 

The va|>cur which that fro the erthc glod)«l( 
Maketh the fonue to fcm«.- rody and btbck ; 
But nathelcs it wat fo fairt s f^ght 
That it made all hii hcrte? for to light, 
Wi'at for t].c fdfon and the morwenin;!^. 
And for the fouler that flic hcrde fin^. 
For right anon flu- wiflt what they ra- 
Right by hir fong, and knew al hir cot* 

The knottc why that every tale ti tol^r^ 
If it be taried til the Luft be eolde 
Of hem that ban it hcrkencd after yore. 
The favoin- paflcth ever Icnger the more 
For ftilfntnnefrc of the I ' 
And by that fame relou 
1 fl^nld unto the knottt ^.^ri,^^,^^^^^^ 
And icskcu pf h^rc walking fooe tp. 



THE SQUIERES TALE- 



91 



i a ti^ ior-^, u white u chaUc, 
At 6^nce «ras|ibTiDf ia hire walk, 
l¥cr £it a fkttcon oTcr turc b«d iul hie 
^«: with a pitoat Toii fo gaa to crie, 
tta 4II the wood rdbuDtd of hire try, 
Afid Wt£& bad hkpctcUi^ fitoufly 
Wiek bodb hire wioges til the rede blood 
^ * kKig the tree ther aa (he ftood i 

01 OD «lir3y flie cried And ihrighrp 
I hire bek hircfdvcn ihc So twi^ht, 
I tbcr o^a ugrc nc no cruel be ft 
Tbt 4wvt\cth othejT m wood or 10 foreft 
flat n'oklic h^o wept, if that he wcpen coudc, 
Iit6tfwr tyf hire, fhc fhnght adway fo loudc. 

Hr thcr wa* orvcr yet no man oq liircj 
Ilfeif he coode a faucao wel dcfcrtve, 
'crde ciiwichc aoothcr of fayrencfTe 
I of plumage ai of gentilcHe 

^ «if all that might yri^kcncd be : 
■inc fcmcd ftic 
J azul rver as fiie flood 
c4 DOW and now for Uek of blood* 
_ I tM Che fallcD fro th<£ tree, 
ifMre kicig&s doughtcr Caaaccj 
o hire fiagcr b^re the qucuit« ring, 
I whkh fie undcrftood wd crcry thing 
1 97 fouk may in his kdcn fain^ 

~ rcre him In his leden again, 
idcn what thi» faacoa fcyd, 
t fm^ tot the rcuthc almoft fhe deyd ; 
A^ to the tree flic goth ful hailily, 
i9J on thii faucon loketh pitouHy, 
iM l^ld hire Jap abrode, for wel Ihe wifk 
1^ bacon mtiAe fallen from the twill 
Vhtt chat Che fwQoned next, for fatite of blood, 
Al«fc while to waiten hire (he ftood« 
TiaihelaA ^lc fp^e in thi« manerc 
* c hauk, ai ye fhui after here : 
t k th£ cauTe^ if it be for to tcU, 
I kfi thU fuxial peine of heU ? 
e unto this hatik above ; 
Cbcwc of detb or loflc of love I 
tw«i Itrow thiie be the caufea two 
flmamitn tnot(l a gentil henc wo. 
I Ofukf harcie it nedeth not to fpekc, 
t |oarfclf upon yourfelf awreke, 
ipfcvcth wel that other ire or drede 
" n esuheibo of your cruel dede, 
I 1 le non other wight fou chacc. 
rVrre <4 God as doth yourfelvcu grace ; 
ftt may be yonr helpe f for well nc eft 
r I xiiCTct er now 00 brid ne heft 
fcrde with himiclf fo pitoudy* 
me with yoar forwe vcraiiy, 
t of you fig gret compafTiouD. 
' GodAm love come fro the tree adoun, 
I a« I ajn a hinges doughter trewe^ 
lat I veraily the eatifet kncwe 
i^ your dilefe, if it lay in my might 
1 w«ild aiiumi it or that it were nighe, 
At wifly Kelp me the grct God of kind ; 
A*4 hefbc» ibal I right ynoogh yfind 
To hclcn wi^hyonx hurtei hallily. 

Tho Ihright this faucoo yet more pitoufly 
TKiD ev'cr &« did, and fell to ground anon, 
^kad lith afwowc u fU4 M Uth a ilon. 
Vol. 1. 



h«iWi 



rU Canace hath In hire lappc hire take 
Unto that time (he gan of fwoune awake« 
And after that flic out of fwoune abraidc 
Right ill hire haukct Icden thus [he faydc t 

That pitcc renoctb fonc in gentil hertc 
(Fiftijig hi* (imilitudc in peine* fmcrte) 
Js proved allc day, at men may fee 
As wel by werke ai by au<^Dritce, 
For gentil hertc kithcth gentillcfle* 
I fee wel that ye have on my didrelTe 
CompaiFion, my fairc Canace, 
Of vcray womanljr bcnignitee 
That Nature in your principles hath fct* 
But for non hope for to fare the bet, 
But for to obey unto your hcrte free. 
And for to maken other ywarc by me. 
As by the w helpe chaflifed is the lecn. 
Right for that caufe and that eonclufian. 
While that 1 have a leifer and a fpacc, 
Min harme I wol confelTen cr 1 pace. 
And ever while that on hire forwe told 
I'hat other wept an (he to water wold, 
Til tJiat the fjucon bad hire to be llilJ, 
Aii'l with a (ike right thus (be faid hire tilt ; 

Ther I was bred (alas that ilkc day !) 
And foflfcd in a roc he of marble gray 
80 tendrely, that nothing ailed me i 
I nc wift not what was advcrfitce 
Til ! coud flee full high under the flde, 

Tho dwelled a tercclct me fafte by 
That fcnied wclle of alle gentillefTc, 
A I were he ful of trcfon and falfcneflc* 
It was fo wrapped under humble chere. 
And under hew of truuth in fwiche mancre. 
Under pklancc, and under befy peine, 
That no wight coud have wcml be coudc fcine, 
So depe in greyn he died hi« colourei. 
Right as a ferpcnt hideth him under flouret. 
Til he may fee hi* time for to bite. 
Right fo this god of Lovca hypocrite 
Doth fo his ceremonies and obcifancCn 
And kepeth in fembUunt allc hi» obfcrvancc 
That founeth unto gentillcfle of love* 
As on a tombc it all the fairc abovf, 
And under i^ the corpi, fwiche as ye wotc, 
Swichc wa4 thi» hypocrite both cold and hote. 
And in thi» wife he fcrved his cntcttt, 
That fave the fend non wiflc what he ment f 
Til he fo long h^d wcpcd and complained, 
Aivd many a ycre his fervicc to me iaincd. 
Til that min hertc, to pitoua and to nice, 
Al innocent of his crowned malice, 
For-fercd of his deth, as Uioughteroc, 
Upon his othes and his fcurctec 
Grauntcd him love on this conditioun^ 
That evermo tnin honour and rcnuun 
Were faved, both privee and apcrt ; 
This is to lay, that after hi> dcfert 
! yavc him all min hcrte and all my though U 
(God wotc and he that other wiyc« nought) 
And toke his hcrte in chaunge of min for ay. 
But foth is faid, gon (ilhcn is many a day 
A trcwe wight and a ihcef thinkcn not on. 

And whan he faw the thing fo fer ygon, 
That I had granted him fully my Iotc, 
*n fwiche a g^C »» 1 iw^ f*><l aboT«> 






And ycven Kim ut^^SHRffhtrtc sa free 
A» he fwore that he yaf his hcrte to me. 
All on thi> tigre, ful of doubLcti«(rc« 
FcU on hh kncc« with to grct humbic(l€f 
With fo high rcvcixncc, as by hit chcre, 
Su like a gcQtil lover of inancrr. 
So ravifhed, as it femed, for the pye. 
That never Jafon nc Parii of Troy<^ 
Jafont ccrtcs nc never other man 
Sin L»inech was, that atderfird began 
To lovcn two, as write n folk beforne, 
Nc never fitlicn the firfl man wa« borne* 
Ke coude man by twenty thoufand part 
Conircfctc the fophimes of hiii art, 
Ke were worthy to unbocic hi* galoc];ie« 
Ther doubJcnclTc of falning fttuld approehei 
Nl coude fo thanke a wight ai be did me. . 
Hit maner wa> an hcven for tu fee 
To any M^oman, were fhe never fo wife, 
So painted he and kempt at point dcvifc 
At wcl hit wordes a« hii contcnance : 
And t fo loved him for his obcifante, 
And for the trouthe 1 demed tn hi* hcrte, 
That if fo were thai any thing him fmcrtc, 
Al were it never fo lite, and I it wift, 
Mc thought I felt- dcth at myn hertc twift. 
And, (hortly, fo fcrforth this thing is went» 
I'hat my will was his wiiles inntrumcnci 
Thi« ii to fay, my will obcied hi« will 
In alle thing, m fer a* refon fill, 
Keplng the bounder of my worship ever : 
Nc never haH I thing fo kfc ne lever 
As him, God wot, nc never (hal no mo. 

Thi» lailetb lengcr than a yere or two. 
That I fuppofed of him nought but good s 
But, finally, thus at the Uft it noo<l» 
That Fortune wolde that he muftc twin 
Out of that place which that I wat in, 
Wber me was wo it it no queftlon ; 
1 cannot make of it dcfcription : 
For o thing dare 1 teUen boldcly, 
1 know what is the peine of deth ihcrby, 
Swichc harmc I felt, for he ne might bylcve* 

So on a day of me he toke h}« lcvi| 
So forwcful eke, iliat I wend veraily 
*rhat he had felt as mochcl harme a* l> 
Whim that I herd hiiti fpekc and f^w his hewc t 
Eut r -^-' '-' "-'- - -rewe, 

Atii! 'J in 

Witi : iim. 

And refon wohl l go 

For Kit honour, - i**> 

That 1 made venue ol occcBitec, 

And tokc it wel fin that it mu0c be. 

A% I beft might 1 hid fro him my forwf , 

And toke him by the hond,Seint John to borwe, 

And faid him thus^ Lo, I am yourc9 all, 

Beth fwicbc an 1 have ben to you and (ball. 

What he anfw' *^'' i^ ■ -L rh not reherfe; 
Who c*n fay b^ - ho can do wcrfe ? 

Whan he hatli han ?iath he done; 

Thrrfofc t fpone 

That ihal rrJ I fay, 

5<» at lb ; 

Whan for iam Icll. 

Whan it cwuc Mjn to i*iiri%>ilgr tg fcU^* u* >m 



trow that he had tbtlke Utt to mtnd. 
That alle thing repairing to his kind 
Gladeth himfdf; thus fain menaa IftSe 
Men lovcn of proprc kiod ncwcfangeJneffe, 
A» briddes don that mm in c^get fede ; 
For though thou night and day take of beiil 
And ftrew bir cai^c faire and fofi ai fiikc. 
And givt " ^ ' ' 

Yetrigh'^ 

He with i*.-. ictL ^^.■i i^uiu... '-.-■. ..i .A% cop, 
And to the wood he wol and worraef cu> 
So ncwcfangclben they ofhir mete, 
And lovcn noveltee* of proprc kind ; 
No gentilkflhc of blood ne may hem bind. 

So ferd thi« tercelct, ala? the day * 
Though he were gen til borne, and frdb, 
And goodly for tb fecn, and humble, and 
He faw upon a time a kite flee. 
And fodeiily he loved this kite To 
That all his love U clene from me a^rs. 
And hath his trouthe failed io this wif^* 
Thus hath the kite my love in hire fcrricfg 
And 1 am lorn withoutcn remedy. 

And with that wordthis faucon gm to 
And fwouneth eft in Canacees banaic. 
Gret wa» the forwe for that hauket harme 
That Canace and all hirv women made ; 
They n'ifteahow they might tlie futicpn 
But Canace home bereth hire in hire lap, 
And foftcly in pbiftres gan hire wrap 
Ther a^ Jhc with hir bek had hurt htrrrd' 

Now cannot Canace but hcrbes delve 
Out of the ground, and maken falves aewr 
Of hcrbcf prcdous and fine of hcwc 
To hclcn with this hauk : fro day to oij 
She doth hire befincffc and al] hire miL 
And by birebeddes bed Ibc made a mew^ 
And covered it with vdouettcsblevr. 
In figne of trouth that i» in woman fcne. 
And all without the mew it peinted grcne, 
In which were peinicd aH thife falfe fo^( 
As ben thife tidifev tcrcclcttcs, and t^wl 
And pies, on hem for to cry and chide. 
Right for dcfpit were pcintcd hem bc<id*r, 

I'hut letc 1 Canace hire bauk keping^ : 
I wol no more at now fpckc of hinc ring. 
Til it come eft to puq)04 for to fain. 
How that tbi» faucon gat hire lov^ tgail} 
Repentant, as the fti>rY t diet h u% ' 
By mediation of Camballus, 
The kiogea fotxe, of which dial I you 
But hennesforth I wol my proceffe K 
To fpeke of a ventures and Of Intsil) 
That yet was never herd fo grct mci 

Firil wol 1 tellea you of a Cambufciltt 
That in hi» time many a dtce wan 5 
And after wol 1 fpeke of Aigai^, 
How that he wuu Theodora to hit 
For whom ful oft 'm gret pf^r'i b*^ ™ 
Ne had he b<n holpen by ? ' 
And after wol 1 Ipekc of C 
That fought inliuci with the brcthmit 
For Canace, er that he might hire wiojic. 
And ther t left I wol again bcginoe. 



4 

J 

I 




THE rRANKELElWES ^ROiocOE 



THE FRANKELEINES PROLOGUE. 



,Si|ftt£r, tliott lad thre wt\ yqait. 






> here 



I fouthe 



f thy i 



4:n«)dc cfaaace, 
.i.ce, 
/ fpckiiig I K*vc ^rcL dtmtce. 
L C>Of * and by rhr Tnuitcc 
: me fc'rcr diiit und worth lond, 

_ \ It right no\\ m my hond, 

» dtyt yr Wn. Fie on pcfffcirion 

rik«r« my : fct (hal, 

r Kc f o . • to cnrcnd, 

«t dJLa ititi to dLfpeodf 
' he hath, i» hU iifa^c ; 
' ta^lkcn with a page 
ric with iny pcntil wight 
^ I k<=rcn ;, -^^ irtght, 

§of^jourgcr, ..1 irtir Koftc. 

f Frmnkclcifn, juj . . ^.. . , wel thou woll 
Thm ccKe of you mote tcllcn at the left 
XTiIe er t^iro, or brckcn hb behrft. 
TWWrtT I wcl, Sirr, nuthi the Fnakdcia : 
^F^fvo havctli me Dot in difdaie 



L! 



1W bx: 



^1 

cf 



Though I to chii fEun f^eke a W<«rd or rwo. 

Tell on rjiy Talc w " - 

Gla^ily, Sire HoR 
Unto your wiM ' , i ,vy : 

I wol you not 
Aifer 91ft that u^ ■ 
\ pray to God rhat tt may picitn you. 
Than wot I wcl that c* ijood ynow. 

Thifc oldc gcntii Breton* m hir dftyet 
Of divcrfc aviintarc* mtuitu laVc* 
Rimcycd in hu " " 
Which Uyt. w "T fongf, 

Of eUcft redden u; in Mji mi i^LiauL, 

And on of hcJti have I in rcnwmbrince, 
Which 1 (hall fayn with good wilic u I cin« 

But, Sirc^ bc-caufe I am a borcl mail. 
At my brginninf firft 1 you befcche 
Have me cicufcd of my rude fpechc : 
I lemed never rhctorike certain ; 
Thing that I fpeke if mote he bare and plain ; 
I flept never on the Mount of Pernalb, 
Ne Icmed Marcus TuUiiis Cicero, 
Cotourt ae know I nun, wtthoutcn drede^ 
But fwtchc colours aa growcn in the mede. 
Or riles fwiche aa men die with or peinte | 
Cotourt of rhctorike ben to me qceinte ; 
My fpirit felcth not of fwichc mate re : 
But if you luH, my Ta)e ihoi yc ben:. 



THE FRANKELEINES TALE* 



I ", 'TV*. 



^\€ 



r r .k^, fhat called is Brctaigne, 
L« J l.ni:eht that loved and did his peine 
m bta bcfte wife, 
uTj mjny a gret emprifc, 
... ...J wrought or (he were wonne, 

ifraa oft the hurcA under foune, 




And eke therto comco of fo hijj^h kinrede 

That wcl unncthes durft thiR knight for drede '^ 

Tell hire hi» wo, hi» peine, and hi« diikrcffe t 

But at the laft Ihe for hit worthiocfie. 

And namely for hi* mckc obeyfance. 

Hath fwichc a pitce caught of his penance, i 

That privcly Ihe fell of hii accord 

To take him for hire hufbond and hire lor4, 

(Of fwicbe lordihtp as men ban over hir wivci) 

And, for toledc the more in bUifc bir Uvei, 



lee 



THE FRANKELEIHES TALE. 



Of hts free wiU he fwftre hire at a knighc 

That never in all hij lif he day nc night 

Ne fliuUJc take upou him ijo maiilric 

Againi hire will, nw kihe hir ];iloufic. 

But hire obey, and folwe hire will tiial| 

Ai any lover to bit lady fhal, 

6a vr that the n»mc of foyeratRetee, 

Th<it wold he hiui for (hame of his degree* 

She chonkcd him, and with fut grcc humblciTe 

Ehc faidcf Sire, fin of your gentillefle 

Yc pfofrcti mc to have fo large a reitie, 

Ke woldc Gt»d aevcr bctwii v» iwcinc. 

At in my gilt, were either wcrre or ftrif i 

Sire, I wol be your humble trewc wif. 

Have here my trouth, till that myn heitc brcllc. 

Thus ben they both in quiete and in rcHtc. 

For o thing, Sires, faufiy dare I fcie. 
That frcndc»evcrich other mufl obeic. 
If they vfo\ long holdcn compagnic ; 
Love wol not be conftrcined by maiftrie : 
Whan maiAric comcth, the god of Love acoa 
Bcteth hit wiogct, and, farfwct, he is gon, 
Ix»vc i> a thing ai any fpiril free. 
Women of kind defiren libtfiee^ 
And not to be cotiflrcined aa a thr^l ; 
And fo don mcti, if fothly 1 fay fhaL 
hoh€f wbo that j» moft patient in lo-rc 
He if at hU avantage all above. 
Patience ii aa high vertue certain. 
For it venquifhctht at thife derkc* rain* 
Thingei that rigour never (huldc atttine. 
For every word men may not chide or pleioe. 
JLemeth to fufTrcn, or, fo mote 1 gon, 
Y< (htl It Icmc whether ye wol or non; 
For in ihu >svorId certain no wight ther ti 
That he ne doth or txph tttmumc amii. 
Ire» likncfTc, or conftellatioot 
WiOf wo« or changing of coinpletiofip 
Caiifcth ful oft 10 don amis or fpekco : 
On every wrong a man may not be wrckco. 
After the time mull be temperance 
To every wight tliat can of governance • 
And ihcrforc hath this worthy wife knight 
(To liven in eft-) fuffrancc hire behighi, 
And fhc to him ful wifly gan to fwerc 
•J'hat never Ihuld therbe dcfautc in here. 

Here may men fecn an humble wife accord ; 
Thu* hath flie take hire fervanl aod hire lord> 
Servant in love and lord in mariagr. 
Than was he both in lordlhip and frrragc ? 
8er^\igc ! nay, but in lordfliip al above. 
Sin he hath both hi* lady and hi) love ; 
Ht» lady cenc*. and hi» wif alfo, 
The which thai law of loiv« accor Jrth to. 
And whan he was in thl* prufjuTitec 
Home with his wif he goth to hii coniree, 
Not fcr fro Pcnmark, ther hii dwelling Wa«, 
Whcf ai he liveth m bhffc and m foUi. 

"Who eoudc telle, but he had wedded be, 
The joyc, the cfc, and the profpe ritce 
That if betwii an hufboud and hi' wif I 
A yere aiid more lafteth thi* bl >ful hf, 
Til that thi* knight» of whkh ! fpikc of thui, 
That of Cairrud iru cjcpcd Arrtragn*, 




Shope him to gon and dwellc » yere or 
In Englclond,that ckped wai eke Brcttignc, 
To fcke in armc* worfijip and honour, 
(For all hi« lu(l he fct in fwiche bboiir) 
And dwehe thcr two yere ; the book faith 

Now wol I ftint of thii Arviragut, 
And fpeke 1 woi of Dorigene hi* wif. 
That lovcth hire hulbond as hire hertc* UL 
For his abfcnce wepeth flie and &kcth, 
Aa don thlfc noble wives whan hem Uketh t 
She momcth, waketh, wailcth, fallcth, plcii 
DcfCr of his prefcnce hire fo difttaincth. 
That all this wide world fl»e fet at nought- 
Hire frendea, which that knew hire hevy 
Comforten hire in all that ever they may ; 
< hey prechen hire, they telle hire night 
That caufclcs Ihc fleth hirefclf, aUs! 
And every comfort pofliblc in this cai 
Thry don to hire with all hire befinefle, 
Al for to make hire Icve hire hevinefle. 

By proccfTc, as yc knowen everich oo. 
Men mowe fo longe gravco in a ftoa 
Til fom figure therin emprented be : 
So long ban they comfort e^l hire til ihe 
Received hath, by hope and by refoo^ 
The emprenting of hir confolailon, 
rhiir^^h which hire grete forwe gao ilToa^ 
She may not alway duren in fwiche rage. 
And eke Arvrragwn, in ait this care. 
Hath fcnt hh lettrcs home of his welfare* 
And that he wol come haflity again. 
Or elles had this forwe hire hertc flato. 

Hire frendcs faw hire forwe gan to fl^fcc^ 
And prciden hire on knees, for Goddct &kCf! 
To come and romen in hir compagnie. 
Away to driven hire darke fantaftc : 
And, finally, (he granted that requcll; 
For wel (he faw thitt it was for the be<l. 

Now flood hire cartel fafte by the tit^ 
And often with hire frende* walked 
Hire to difporten on the bank an hie, 
Wheraiihc many« fbipand barge {te 
Sailing hir court wher as hem lift to go 
But than was that a parcel of hire wo. 
For to hirefeJf ful oft, alas ! fa id flie, 
U ther no Jhip, of fo many as I fee, 
Wol br in gen home my lord ? than were tny hem 
Al war iihcd of his bitter petnes fmcrte. 

Another Ltine wold (he fit and thtflike. 
And cafl hire ey en dounward fro the brinLc ; 
But whan Jhe faw the grifly rockc* blake, 
I or veray fcrc fo wold hire bene quake 
I'hat un hire ftet ike might hire not fuHene ; 
Than wold Ibc fit adoun upon the grtfic. 
And pi toil fly into the fee behold, 
And fay ri^ht thu», with careful fikes coM ; 

Eterne God! that thurgh thy purvcancc 
Lcdcft this world by certain govcrnuice. 
In idcl, ab men fain, ye nothing make ; 
But, Lord! thife grifly feodly rockeabUke« 
I'hat (einen rather a foule confufion 
Of wcrk than any fmirt crcaiion 
Of fwiche a parfit wife God and fUbtt, 
Why ban yc wrought Uui wtrk BiirciiatfaUe I 



■ TH£ FRAHKE 

ircrk fiortli, (both, oc wcfi, ne eft, 
oOtrtd mac, ac brid, ac bctl : 
ot^ to my wit» but Anoycth. 
-^ ,- — ^ X-orUJ bow iniukind iC dcftroycth ? 
Sm hmadrtd thoul&ndl bodic* of mankind 
Va mckci ilaio» %1 be they not in mind, 
mtidl BMnkind it Ai f^rc part of thy wcrk« 
nmm Mftdc it bkc to thyn owcn mcrk. 
Uku^ fieoicxli it, ye hid a gret cKcrtce 
T^rard maiik jod i but hnw tK»n nuy it be 
tW ye fwtdic mcnct make it to deftroyen, 
• — . > -"Q no ^ocud, but cTcr anoycn ? 

rkca wol fain an hem lell» 

^il> irgumcTitf, th«t all ii for tbc bed, 
TW^ I »e can the caufct nought yknow ; 
V *htlkc God that tn»dc the wind to blow 
[< my lord ; this it my condu&on ; 
. :tkiC3t ietc I all diTputjfon : 
hx voldc God that aU chifc rockei bbke 
Wa« Siaakat iotohcUe for hit fake : 
rocket flee min hcrte for the fere. 
wcid flkcfay with many a pitous tere« 
hxadf* {aw that it wai no dilport 
by the fee, but difcomfort^ 
lieitt lor to platen fomwher cUet. 
I hire by riven and by wcllei, 
dk£ in «ichcr pUcc« delitable ; 
Tlcy daocea, and they play at chei and ublct. 
It «a a day, right in the morwe tide, 
~ a jg^ardio that wai ther bcfide, 

th^t they had made hxr ordinaace 
asci o£ other purvcance, 
and plaie hem all the ionge day; 
tbia wja on the {ixtc morwe of May, 
Vkadk May had peintcd with hii foftc Ihouret 
tbii|ardefi fui ot lcvc« and of 6ourc3 : 
itti midt of Dtamict hond fo curiouUy 
Jai^ bad Uiit gardm trewcly, 
tW ocier was thcr gardin of fwiche pii% 
laijl were the veray Faradit. 
l^aJaair of flour ef and the fre0ie ftght 
^Mli^ yaiaked any herte light 
*" iw^4 bom, but if to gret &kcDclEe 

forwc held it in diftrcflc, 
- ^ -1 wA* of beautee and plcfance. 

AfA likcr dinner gonnen they to dance 
4aifiiig BLHb^&tif JX>rigcne alone^ 
W^Ji tsxadle aiway hire complaint and hire moae, 
fw ^e oc faw him on the d^iace go 
rhat waa hire Lufbond and hire love alTo ; 
9k itadittcs ihc muft a time abide, 
Ami with good hope let hire forwe Hide* 
Upoo thia daore, amnngts other men, 
Haale^ a fq^icr before Dorigca 
l%mt frdbcr wat ^uui j^licr iif array. 



LBINES TALI. 



i^l 



Br Ibci^tdai 

TUr 


i r. rh, month of May. 
; 4ny man 

world began ; 

luld liimdiicriTr, 


On. 




1 on lire; 
.andrtciic, and wife. 






icM in grer prifc. 


- '■''*; 




ital, 



Thi* lufty fqtjier» fcrvant to Vcnui^ 
Which that ycleped was Aureliut, 
Had loved hire bed of any creature 
Two yerc and more» a» wa» his aventure. 
But never dorft he tell hire hi* grevancc t 
Without en cup he drankc aU his penance. 
He wa* difpcircd ; nothing dorft be fay, 
Sauf in his fongcifomrwhat wold he wray 
His wo, as in a general complaining; 
He faid he loved and was beloved nothing. 
Of fwiche matere made he many Uyes 
Songct, cuRiplaintes, roundeh, virclayetj 
How that he dodile not his forwe telle. 
But languiiheth aa doth a Purie in hcUc; 
And die he muft, be faid, a$ did £^co 
For Narcifl'us, that doril not tell hire wi», 

In ochtr manner than ye here me fay 
Ne dorll he nut to hire his wu bewray, 
Saufthat paraventurc fonititncat daoccfg 
Thcr yonge folk kepen hir obfcrTanccs, 
It may welbe he lokcd on hire face 
In fwiche a wife a* man that axeth grace ; 
But nothing wifte (he of hii en tent. 
Nathctcfft it happened or they thennes wcntg 
Bccaufe that he wai hire ncighebour. 
And was a man of worship and hoiiour. 
And had yknowcn him of time yore. 
They fell in fpcche, and forth ay more and more 
Unto hifl purpoa drew Aureliua, 
And when he faw liit time he faide thus : 
Madatne quod he, by d^ that thi^ world mdef « 
So that I wift lit might your bertc glade, 
I wold that day that your Arviragui 
Went over fee that I Atircliui 
Had went thcr i fhuld never come again. 
For we 1 1 wot my fcrvice i« in vain ; 
My guerdon n'i* but brcftiog of min herte. 
Madame, ructh upon my pcines (jncrte. 
For with a word ye may me flccn or favc. 
Here at your feet God wold that I were grave. 
1 nc have as now no Icifcr more to fey ; 
Have mercy, fwetc 1 or ye wol do me dcy. 

She gan to luke upon Aurelius: 
Ii this your will, (quod fhe) and fay yc thu* ? 
Never crft (quod fhe) nc wift ] what yc mcntf • 
Bnt now, Aurclie, 1 know your cntcnt. 
By thilke Gud that yaf me foulc and Iif 
Ne fltall never ben an untrew wif 
In word ne werk, c* fcr ai I have wit ; i 

1 wol ben his to whom that 1 am luiit : 
Take this for final mnfwer an of me. 
But after that in pby thui (aid fhe i 

Aurelie, (quod fhc) by high God abflftt 
Yet wol I grantcn you to ben your love, 
(Sin I you fee fo pitoufly compbine.) 
Loke, what day tliat endebng Bretaigne 
Yc rcmuc all die rockes fton by ftoo, f | 

That they nc Ictten ftiip nc bote to gon ; 
1 fay, whan he han made the coll fo clcnc 
Of rockcs that thcr n*i» no (Ion yfenc. 
Than wol 1 love you bcA of any man ; 
Have brrc my trouiii, in all that ever I can, 
For wcl 1 wotc that it Aial never betide. \ \ 

Lit fwichc fi'lic out of your herte glide : 
C ii] 



4o» 



THE FRAKKELETME5 TALE. 



What deintfe flmld » mm have in hU lif 

Jor to go love another maltncs Vvd 

That hath hire body whan that ever him liketh f 

Aurclius fu] often fore iikcth t 
|» ther noil other grace in you ? quod he. 

Not by that Lord, quod Ihc, thai ttiikcd me. 
Wo wai AuTclic whan ihat he thi» licrd, 
And with a fonvcful hcrte he thua anfwerd ; 

Madame, quod he, thi^ were inipoiTibte ; 
Than mofle I die of foden deth horrible. 
Aiid with that word the turned him anon. 

Tho come hire other frciidcs many on, 
At>d In the alley e^ romed up sind doun. 
And nothing wift of thi* conctutioun. 
But fodcnly begonnru revel newe. 
Til that the bnghte fonne had lofi hit hcwe, 
Vor the nrizont hjtd reft the fonnc his light, 
(Tl ift 41 a mucli to fayn a^it wa» night) 
And home thty gon in mirthe and in foUs^ 
Sail! only wrcccbe Aurcllus al»»! 
Ht to hii hdus 18 gon wtdi furweful herte ; 
He faith he may not from ht» dcth &():erte t 
Him femeth that he felr hi^ herte cold* 
Up to the hcven hi* hondcs gwi he hold, 
And oa rii knce» bare he fct him doun, 
Aud in his raving fj^id his orifoun. 
For veray wo out of hi» u^it he braide ; 
He nSflc what he ff ake, but thu» he iaiJe ; 
With pitou» hercc hi« ; bint hatli he bcgounc 
Unto the goddei^aTid Iifft unto ih*- Sonne, 
He fiiidi A{HiUo ! god tind goverttour 
Of every f'Unte, hrrbc, tree» and flour, 
That ycvcft after thy declination 
To eche of hem hi« time and hi« fefon, 
A« tlmt thin hcrbergh changeth low and hte, 
I«ord Phebu&t caft thy mcrcijblc cie 
On iftrccche Aurelie, which that am hut lornc : 
Lo, Lord ! my lady hath my dcth yfwomc 
WithoutengjU, but thy bcnignitce 
Upon tr^y dcdiy herte have fom pitee ; 
For wcl I wot Lord Phcbu*, if you left, 
Yc may me he I pen fauf my U^y bcft. 
Now vou^heti. fauf that I may you dcvifc 
How thit I m-ty be hoipe,and in what wife* 

Vour bU»>lui fui>'rr, Lucin^t the Ihene, 
That of the fee is chief goddelTe iud quene, * 
1 hough Nfptunufhavc dcitee in the fee, 
Yet cmpcrice abovcn him ii flic ! 
Ye knowc we!, I^rd, that right ai hire dcfire 
I» to be quicked and lighted of your Ere, 
For which flic folweth you fill bclily, 
Right fo the fee defireih naturclly 
To folwcn hire, aa (he that ii goddcfle 
Both in ibtf fee and rivers more ind lefle ! 
W>(^ . ^ ^ 1 Phcbui ! thi» ii my rcquolk, 
Do r , or do niin herte brefl. 

That av,. . . • .^ih^-- -^.-, 

Which in f' I r: Leon, 

Aspreyeth iuic ,o :^} ^> bring. 

That 6vf f^idome at the irii n ovcrfpr iiig 
The highell rut^k in Armonke Bretaigiie, 
And let thi» flood cndurcn yerci twaiac; 
Thin ccrtc* to my lady may I fey, 
Holdcth your hc0, the rocket b«& awsy* 



Lord Pbcbu» ! chi« miracle doth for me, 
Prey hire fhc go no fiQ-cr cours than ye i 
X fay ihit, preyeth your fuflter th^ {be go I 
No failcr count than yc thife ycre* two. 
Than (hal fljc bco even at ful aJway, 
And fpring-Eood Uileti bothe night and < 
And but Ihc voucbefauf to fwichc m»nere^ 
To grauntcn me my Ibvcraine lady deer, 
Proy hire to dnken every rock adoun 
Into hire owco dcrke regioun 
Under the ground, thcr Pluto dw«lleth i 
Or nevtrmo Jhal I my iat!y win. 

Thy temple in Dctpho« wol I bjtrefoot I 
Lord Plicbu» ! fee the teret on my nhekc* ^ 
And on my peine have fom compaflioun. 
And with th^t word in forwc he fell ad 
And loagc time he lay forth in a trance. 
His brother, which that knew of his pcnad 
Up caught him, and to bed he hath him t 
Difpcircd in this turmcnt and ihi* thoug 
Let I thi» woful creature lie, 
Cht-fe he for me whether he wol livtr or die, 

Arviragu» with hcle aod gret honotir 
(Ashe that watofchcvalhe the Hour) 
1b comen home, luid other worthy n)en s 
Of bhiful art thou now, thou Dongesi ? 
1 h^it haft tliy lufty hulbond in thin an 
The frclhe knight, the worthy man cfa 
That tovcth thcea& hii owen herte«il£. 
Nothing lift him to be imaginatif 
If uny Wight had fpokc while he wat o«t^l 
To hire of love; he had of eJiat no doubce \ 
He not entcndcth to no fwiche marcrt. 
But danccth, juftcth^ and mAeth mery < 
And tliu» iti joyc and bhlfe 1 let him dm 
And of the Qkc Auretiu^ wol [ tell* 

lu iaLagour and in tuntient furiout 
Two yere and more lay wrecchcd AttfcfiB 
£r any foot on crthe he m^ghte goxi ; 
Ne comiort in this time nr h«id he tioo 
Sauf of hi> brother, which that was 1 1 
He knew of all thii wo and all this woki] 
For to non other creature certain 
Of thi» materc he dorfte no wor«i 
Under hisbrt*tt he bare it more 1 
Than ever did Pamphiluf for G ^ 
Hif brcft waa hole withouten for 
But in his bene ly wat the arwt » ...^, 
And wcl yc knowc tha^t of a furfanurc 
In furgerie i* pcrilou* the cure. 
But mdn mi^ht touch the trwc or comt 1 

His brother wepeth and wailcth pTivtly]^ 
Til at the laft him fell in rcmcmbraAcc 
Th^t while he w a» at Orleaanee tn Irifict^ 
As ytuige clcrkc* that ben likeroa* 
Tu red en artci tliAt ben curiouji 
Sckcn in every ha Ike and every hcriK 
Puticuler fciences for to Icrnc, 
He him remembred that upon i day 
At Orleaunce inftadie a b<>ok lie £sy 
Of magike ntturel, whi. h hl*ifcUw 
That wa» that time i 
Al were he thcr lo k 
Had privcl J upon hia dcik yUlt ; 



THE FRAN 
bfilfpaic mochc of opcratioDi 



If ir_ 



l-rwcnty Diatifion* 
.and fwiche folic 
vonh a fiie ^ 
no our l>clcv€| 
Ai to grcvc. 
^ m Ktf rcmembrmncc 
-^ -1 dincc. 



icivurr'*^ i^'tihrn an hiilc large,. 
k come ID a w^tcr and a barege, 
lehiille rotvtn up and doun ; 
r bad fcmed com a grim tc<}Uti» 

llp/ fli.iirr"v inrinn^- 1% In i TTUcdC, 

brill iikctii voidcth it anpo ; 
rh it to circry maoncf fight. 
10 cotDclude 1 thiu ; If that 1 might 
ace fmti oldc fctaw find 
tfaifr txionci matiijoiii to mmd, 
Itt&kc future! above, 
juiiake my brother have hit love » 
HkarcDCf a clerk majr make, 
^bt, that all the rockc6 biake 
l^c were proidcdcverich on, 
k hj the brinke comcn and goo, 
K'Ibrtne ensure a day or two: 
^p brother warrfhed of his wo^ 
Be nedet holdcn hire behelt, 
asa.1 fh&mc hire at the led. 
id I make a Icnger Talc of this f 
yth^T% bed he comcn it, 
comfort he yaf him for to goa 
:c^ that be up ftert anon, 
rsj forth ward thaa is he fare» 
o ben liiTcd of his care. 
f vrcrc come dmoft to that cJtce, 
re a rwo furlong or thrc<*, 
rk- roniing by himfclf they mettc, 

IUatinc thnf ' ' ,, rcttc : 
h< f»yd :. ig ; 

ic, the Ciui- ... J r^. coming I 
^CT aay footc went 
I thit was in hir cntccc. 
oil clerk him aied of felawca 
hsc! ykrnwtij in oldcdawet, 
a they dcdc were, 
! cQ m:uiy a tcre. 
urciiusltgbt anon, 
llttagidcn it goti 

d made h«:m wcl at cfe : 
taillc that might hem plefc. 

34 thcT wai on 
favr never non. 
J or they went to foupere^ 
ful of wilde dcfe f 
;c» with hir homes hie, 
were rf ;r km with cic : 



KELIMtES TALC. KQ 

I He faw of hem an hundred flaio witli houndes 
And fom with arwei bledc of bitter woundet ; 
He faw I when voided were the wilde dcrcj 
Thifc fauconcr^ upon a faire rivcre 
That with hir h^tike^ ban the heron flaio« 
Tho faw he kil ' u ; 

And after thii ht c« 

That he him tbeutiL ^.^ lawj ^i. >» ^^i^utc, 
On which hlmfclvcn danced, as bird thought# 
And whan thi& mail^cr, ihat tlii* maglke wroughf| 
Saw it was time, he clapped hiiiiondei two. 
And fare we I, al the revel is ago ! 
And yet remucd they never out of the hous, 
While they faw all thifc fightet marvcUous^ 
But in hU fLudic, thcr his booket be. 
They fatcn fliU, and no wight but they three. 

I'o hjm thii niaiflcr called hit fquicr. 
And iayd him thus, May we go to fuuper t 
AlmoQ an hourc it is, I undertake. 
Sin 1 you bade our fouper for to make. 
Whan that thifc worthy men wcnten with mc 
Into my fludic ther mj bookes be. 

Sire, quod this fquier, whan it liketh you» 
it it al rcdy, though ye wol right now. 

Go we thafi fonpe, quod he, as for the bell ; 
Thifc ;i " ' Ltiine mofl hanrcA. 

A^ icjiniretec 

What iu..,*.iv i.L^,^ ._..., matAen guerdon be 
To rcmuc all the rocket of Brct^iigne, 
And ckc from Geroundc to the mouth of Sainc« 
He made it Grange, and fwore, lb God htm 
favc, 
Lc/Te than a thoufand pound he wold not have, 
Nc gbdly for that fumme he wol not gon. 

Aurelius with bliisful hertc anon 
Anfwcrcd thus; Fie on a thoufand pound! 
This wide world, which that men fayn is round, 
I wold it yevc, if I were lord of it. 
Thi« bargaine is ful drive, for we ben knit. 
Ye Ihul be paicd trcwely, by my troiuth ; 
But lokcth, for non negligence or flouth 
Ye taric us here no Icngcr than to morwc. 
Nay, quod this clerk, have here my faith to borwe* 
To bed ii gon Aureliu* whan him left, 
I And wcl nigh all that night he lud his reft, 
Vii'hM for his labour - ^ ' I , ,pc q| bliflc 
Hi« woful hcrtc oi A a liiTc, 

UpoD the morwi- — ... .:.at it was day 
To Brctaignc token they tlic rightc way, 
AurcIiCj, and this magicien him bcfidc^ 
And ben defccnded ther they wold abide : 
And this wa^ as the bookes me remember. 
The coldc frofty Ccfon of December. 

Phcbns waic old und hewed like Laton, 
That in hi» bote declination 
Shone as the burned gold with flrcmcs bright j 
But now in Capri cornc adoua he hghc, 
Wher as he (hunt: ful pale, T dare wel fain. 
The hitter frofte with the fleet snd rain 
Dcflroycd hath the grene in every yerd ; 
Janus fit by the fire with dotible herd. 
And drinketh of his bugle horn the wine; 
Beforn hi^ ilaot bntune of the tufkcd fwiae, 
G iiij 



f04 



THE FRAMRILllNM TALE 



And NcWel crietli ci^ry lufty man, 

AurcUui in *ll that ever he cao 
Doth to hii maifler cbere and reverence. 
And praieth hitn to don hi* diltgence 
To bringen him oot of hh peines fmerte, 
Or with a fwerd that be wold ilit hit heite* 

Thi» fotU clerk fwichc routh htith on thi» man, 
That nij^ht and day he fpedcth him that He can 
To wait a time of hit condufion ; 
Thi> II to fayn, to make illuiion. 
By fwiche An apparent e or joglcric, 
(I can no termci of aRrologie) 
That (be and every wight Ibwld wcne and fay 
That of Bretaignc the rocket were away. 
Or cllca they were fonkcn under ground. 
So at the U& he hath hit time yfound 
To make hit japes and hii wretchcdnefTe 
uOi fwiche a fuperditious curfcdncHc. 
Ijiii cables Toletanet forth he brought, 
Ijul wel corredcd, that ther lacked noughtf 
« Luther hii collet ne hu expani yerei, 
Kothcr hii rolea ne hi« other geret, 
As ben hii centrei and hi« argumentef| 
bAi)d hij proportionel conventcntei, 
ror hii equations in every thing : 
\ndby hit ejghtc fperes in his werking 
Ic knew fu] wcl how fer Ahiath was Siore 
iFro the bed of thiUte fix Arte 9 above 
iThat in thentnthe fpcre conGderedit; 
|7ul fotiUy he calculed all thii. 
IHtrhAn he had found hi» firlle manfion 
iHc knew the remenant by proportion, 
|And knew the rtfing of hii mone wc), 
liUid in whot face, and termc, and every del | 
I And knew ful wel the mone« maafion 
1 Accordant to hit operation ; 
And knew alfo hit other obfervancet, 
For fwichc illufions and fwiche mcfchancef 
A» Hethen folkc ufed in thilkc daicij 
I For which no lender maketh he dclaies, 
But thurgh his magike, for a day or tway, 
It feemed ali the rockes were away. 
Aureliuif which that defpcirtd it 
Whether he ihal han hit love or fare anuig 
Awaitech night and day on this miracle; 
And whan he knew that ther was non obdacle, 
► That voided were thjfc rockcs cvcrich on, 
f X>oun to hiu majftcres feet he fell anon, 
[ A«id fa yd, I, wofui wretch Aurelius, 
Thankc you» my lord, and bdy min Vcnui, 
That me han holpeo fro my cares cold 
And to the tcmpk hit way forth hath he hold^ 
Thera* he knew he Ihuld hi* hdy fee ; 
And whan he faw hi* time anon right he 
With dredful herte and with ful hamblc cherc 
r.^ocd hath hit foveraine bdy dcre. 
f My nghtfuj Lady, qood thii wofuI man, 
. Whom I mod dredc and love a* I bell can, 
A^dlothcft wrre of all thIi world difplefe, 
; Ke'rc it that 1 for you have fwiche difcfc 
That I mujl die here at your foot anon, 
" Hought wold I tell how mc is wo begoo i 
But Of nc* other muil t die or pbioe | 
Yeilc mc gilieka tot vcny feiae ; 



But of my deth though that ye Ktn'no rotitllj 
Avifeth you or that you breke your troutJi ; T 
Repcnteth you, for thilkc God ahove^ 
Or ye mc flc, becaufc that I you love : 
For, Madame, wel ye wote what ye have I 
Not that 1 chalcnge any thing of nght 
Of you my foveraine Lady, but of grace ; 
But in a garden yond, in fwiche a place, 
Ye wote right wtl what yc behightcn m^ 
And in mynhoud your trouthc |ilighteii ye ' 
To love me bell : Qod woic ye faicd fo, 
AUhoughthat I unworthy be therto. 
Madame, I fpekc it for the honour of yott^ 
More than to favc my bcrte* lif right aoWp 
I have don fo ai ye commanded me. 
And if ye vouchcfauf yc may z^ fee. 
Doth as you lifl, have your beheft in mlndn. 1 
For quick or ded right ther ye (hul me find 
In you litb all to do me live or dcy. 
But wcl I wote the rockcs ben awey. 

He taketh hifr leve, and fhc ailonicd Aood] 
In all hire face n'a» o drope of blond : 
8hc wened never han come in fwiche a tnip 
Alai \ quod ihc, that ever this fbouid haji 
Fur wend I never by poffibilitee 
That fwiche a mon^re or mcrvaillc might 1 
It i* again the proccflc of Nature. 
And homefbc goth a forweful creature | 
Fwr vcriy fere unncthes may fhe go. 
She wtpcth, u^eth, all a day or two. 
And fwouneih that it routhc wa* to Uc^ 
But why it wa* to no wight toldc ihc, 
For out of toun wai gon Arvingui j 
But to hircfeif Ihe fpake, and faicd thoi. 
With face pale, and with ful Tory chcre. 
In hire complaint, as ye fbul after here* 

Alas! quod ihe, 00 thee. Fortune, t ph 
That unaware haft me wnipped in thy d * 
Ff o which to efcapen wote 1 no ioccoiit 
Sauf only deth or clles diChonour : 
On of thtfe two behovcth me to chefe** 
But nathclc*, yet had 1 a lever lefc 
My lif than of my body have a flxame* 
Or know myfelven falfe, or Icfc my baiim 
And wirh my deth [ may be quit ym'n x 
Hath ther not many a noble wif or ihi». 
And many a maid, yflalne birefclf, ala* ! 
Rather than with hire body don trcfpas f 
Yc* ccrtes ; b, thife ilorles here wltneflc. 
Whan thirty tyrants ful of cnrfedneiTc 
Had flain Phidon in Athens at the fcft. 
They commanded his dooghtren for to i 
And bringen hem befome him defpit 
Al naked, to fulfil hire foulc deJit | 
And in hir fadrcs blood they made hem d&nct~ 
Upon the pavement, God ycvc hem mcfchancc 1 
For which thifc woful maidens, ful of dietUy 
Rather than they wold Icfc hir maidcnhedcJl 
They prively hen flcrt into a wcJlc, 
And dreint hemJetvcn, as the bookc* telle. 

They of Melfcne let enquerc and fckc 
Of Lacedomie fifty maidens eke 
On which the wolden don hit Iccheric ; 
But ihcr wa* Don of AllUxat ctunpinic 





I^^^V 


■ THE FRANKELETMES TAL«. loj | 


P^ni lUioe, and with a glad cntcnt 


No Icngcr woldc fee Utc iftcr his day, ^^M 


ttker for fto dicD than •JTeiit 


The fame of noble Portia tell I may i ^^H 


npyveflcdof turcouidenhede. 
M I than to dein ben in drcde ? 


Withoutcn Brutu» coude fhe not lire, ^^H 


To whom (he had all whole hire herte yerc ^^H 


ke the tyrmot Ariftociidei, 


The parfit wif hood of ArtemiOe ^^H 




Honoured is tharghoitt all Barbaric. ^^H 


Awt hire imth^e {bine wi» on a ni^fat. 


O Tetita qucnc ! thy wifly chaihtcc ^^H 


Iocs temple g oth ibe right, 


To aUc wive4 may a mirrottr be. ^^^| 


Ketbe ■cisge in hire handc» two^ 


Thus plained Dorigcnc a day or twey, ^^^| 


kli inage wold Ihc never go; 


Purpoling ever chat (he woldc dcy ; ^^^| 


bt Awrbandct (ixight it of it arrace 


But natheleit upon the chridde night ^^H 


wm fiainc right in the feUc pUce. 


Home came Arviragns, the worthy knight, ^^H 


'fia tliai mai^n»hadden fwiche defpit 


And aicd hire why that (he weep fo fore I ^^^M 


icfottkd with manner foule deUt» 


And Ihc gan wcpen ever lenger the more. ^^^| 


jlit a wif rather hirefclvco lie ' 


Alas, quod the, that ever 1 was ybonie ! ^^^| 


c delouled, kt it chinketh me. 


Thus have 1 faid, (quod fee) thus have I fwomci ^^H 


1 fhal I ^n of Hafdruhilc* wif, 


And told him ail» as ye have herd before : ^^H 


t Cartftgc beraft hitcicU hire lif ? 


It nedcth not rcherfc it you no more, ^^^| 


Ha Ibe faw tluit iLoniain»wan the toun. 


This hufeond with glad chcre, in frcndly wiXf^^^^f 


ektrc cbildrtn all, and ikiptadoiin 


Anfwerd and fayd ai 1 feal you dcvife ; ^^^| 


B fire, aJki chee* rather to die 


Is ihcr ought eUe», Dorigrne, but this ? ' ^^^| 


Hj fUxmaia did hire valanie. 


Nay, nay, quod (he, Ood^ hclpe me fo, ai wis ^^^B 


1 901 JLocrcce fflainc hircfclft alaa t 


This is to much» and it were Goddes will. ^^H, 


be, whan tiiat (he opprefled was 


Ye» wif, quod he, let flepen that is fkiU ; ^^| 


r^Biiic i for hire thought it wai a Oiame 


it may be wel paraventure^yet to-day. ' ^^^H 


a wbem Che bidde J oft hire namc« 


Ye feal your trouthe hoi den by my fay ; ^^^H 


feveb maidem of MileUe alfo 


For God fo wifly have mercy on me, * ^^H 


pine iKSiXielf, for vcray dredc and wo» 


I had wel lever Hiked for to be, ^^H 


thxa folk of Gaule hem ihnld opprtlTe. 


For veray love which that 1 to you have, ^^H 


kbaa a thoofand ftoricA, at 1 gefTe, 


But if ye feuld your trouthe kepc and (rrc : ^^H 


Ibow tell a4 touching thi* maicre. 


Trouth is the hiefl thing that man may kepc* .^^^| 


m Alira4dAte was H&in, hit wif fo dero 


But with that word he brafl anon to wepc, ^^^H 


Wtm fl»w» and let hire blood to glide 


And fayd ; I you forbede, on peine of deth, ^^H 


vdMs* vrouiide* dcpe and wide, 
fd. My body at the Icftc way 


That never while you Uftcth lif or breth ^^H 


To no wight tcfl ye this mifavcnturc ; ^^^| 


p| BO Wight defotileo if I may. 


j At I may heft 1 wol my wo endure r , ^^^| 


tlbokl 1 mo cniamplci hereof Jaia? 


Nc make no contenance of hevtnefTe, ^^^1| 


t §9 many haa hrntfetven flain. 


Thjic folk of you may demen harme or gelTe. ^^^| 


lief than they wold defoulcd be. 


And forth he cicped a fquier and a maid. '^^| 


HBftM* that it t« bet for me 


Goth forth idod with Dorigene, he faid, ^^H 


«Dyfelf than be defouled thus : 


1 And bringcth hire to fwiche a place anon. * ^^^| 


K trcwre unto ArriragaSf 


They take hir Icvc, and on hir way they gon ; ^^H 


l§e myfclt in (bme manere. 


But thev ne wiften why fee thidcr went ; ^^^H 


1 DenMKaoocs doughter dcre. 


She n'olde no wight teUen hire cntcnt. ^^^| 


r frr wolde not defouled be. 


This fquier which that highte Aurcliui, ^^^B 


iiaiin t it i* ful grct pi tee 


On Dorigene that was fo amorout, ^^^H 


m liow thy doughtren died, alas { 


Of a venture happed hire Co mete ^^H 


k«re hemfelvcn for fwiche mancr caj. 


Amid the toun, right in the quickcl! ftrcte, ^^H 


^ m pitec was it, or wel more. 


As fee was boun to go the way forthright ^^^^| 


lebao maideo that for Nichanare 


Toward the gardin, the r as file had hight ; ^^^H 


mm flow right for fwtche mener« wo. 


And he was to the gardinward alfo, ^^^H 


sr Thehan mayden did right fo, 


For wel he fpted whan fee woldc go ^^^| 


of Mac cdotnc had hire opprelTed ; 


Out of hire hous to any maner place : ^^^H 


di bire deth hire maideohed rcdrefTed. 


But thus they met of aventure or grace, ^^H 


R OmiI I fain of Kiceratcs wif, 


And he falueth hire with gbd cntent, ^^^H 


pr fwiche cia bereft hircfclf hire lif ? 


And ajceth of hire whiderward fee went. ^^^| 




And fee anfwcred half as fee were mad, ^^^H 


fC^ thif for to dicn rather thcet 


Unto the gardin, as myn hufbond bad| ^^^| 


^Ho folfn: his body onbtiried be ! 


My trouthe for to hold, atos ! alas ! ^^H 


^Jpcli J wif was Alccftc eke 1 (quod 0ic) 


Aurt^liui gan wondrcn on this cas, ^^^H 


H^i Homrre of good Penelope * 


And iu hit bene bad grct compafBon ^^H 


^ce kaoweth of hire chaftttee. 


Of hire, and of hire lamentationj ^^^H 


^^ i^odotnia is wrcttcn thus. 


And of Arviragus, the worthy knighf, ^^^| 


^H«l Troyt was fUin ProthciUaat 


That bad birc holden iiU that fee had highr, ^^M 



THE FRAMKBIiEINES TALB; 



So loth him wii hb wif ftiuld brckc hire Lronehe ; 

Aod in hjahertc he caught of it grct rouihc, 

CocGdcnng the bcft on every fide, 

That fro hi* luft yet were him lever »bidc 

Than do io high a cheriiih wretchedoclTe 

A^in« fratitirhife and alJe grntiUeflc 

For which in few w'ordea fayd he thus ; 

Madamr, fay to your L*ord Aiviragus 
That fin 1 fee the gncte gcmitleffe 
Of him, aiiJckc 1 fee wel your dtflrctfet 
That him were lever have iharoc (and that were 

routhe) 
Than yc to me fituld brekco thii» yourtrouthe, 
I hadde wcl lever ever to fuHf cu wo 
Than to depart the love bctwijt you two* 
1 jou retefc, Madame j into your hond 
Quit every feurenicnt and every bond 
I'hat yi- han made to me as hcrebcfome 
Sill thilke time that ye were ybonie. 
Have Jierc my trouthc, I fliai you never rcpfete 
Of no bchefl ; and here 1 take my Icve 
Af of the trewcfL and the beffcc wif 
That ever yet I knew in all my lif. 
But every wif beware of hire behefl ; 
On Dorigcne renncmbreth at the left. 
Thu> cai} a fquier don a gtntil dedc 
As wel as can a knight, withouten drede. 

She thanketh him upon hire knees bare. 
And home unto hire huibond it Qie fare, 
And told him all «4 yc han herd mc fayd ; 
And^ truAeth me, he wai fo wcl apayd 
That it were impcifhblt: mc to write. 

^liat fliald 1 lengcr of tht* catcoditc? 
Anriraguiaod Dorigcne his wif 
In foveraine bliile led en forth hir lif, 
Never eft nc was ther anger hem bctwcnc f 
He cherilhcd hire « though (he were a quene. 
And Jhc was to him irewc for evermore* 
Of thife two folk yc get of mc no more* 

Aurcliu*. that his cofl hath all forloroe, 
C&rfcth the time that ever he was borne. 
Alas ! quod he, alas that I be high t 
Of pored gold a tbeufand poiind of wight 
Unto this philoftjphrc ! bow Oial t do f 
t fee no more but that I am fordo. 
Milt heritage n I - fell, 

And ben a bcr ill «ot dwells 

And (hamea ^ii '•>; >. oiviicin thlsplace^ 
But I of him may gcten better grace : 
But nuthcles 1 wo! of him affay 
At certain daici ycre by ycrc to pay^ 
And thauke him of his grcte curtdie. 
My UDuthc wol 1 kepcy I woi not lie. . 



With herte fore hegoth un^ Ut caCre, 
Ajid broughtc gold mtto this philf9|»hrc« 
The value of five hundred poond t gcflcf 
And him bcfecheth of his geotilldTe 
To grauQt him d^ies of the rcoicfiaoot^ 
And fayde; Maiiler, I dare wel malK i 
I failled never of my troUtheAs yet; 
For [ikerly mydettc fhai be be <iuit 
Towardcs you, how fo tljat ever I fife 
To gon a btggirg in my kirtlc bare : 
But wold yc vouchen fauf upon fciirtoe 
Two ycre or three for to refpiteD me, 
I'han %erc I wel, for cUes mote I frU 
Min heritage •, ther is no more to tell. 

This phiJofophrc fobrdy atifwerd. 
And faicd thus, wlian ht thUe wofdc* I 
Have I not holdcn covenant to thcc ? 

Yes, ceftcj, wcl and trcwel), quod Hf* 
Haft thou not h^d thy lady ^-^ thr^ 'ikethl. 

No, no, quod he, atid I e fih 

What was the i:»ufc f tcii i 

Aurciius his tale anon began. 
And told htm all as ye han herd before ; 
It ncdcth not reberfe it aoy more. 
He tayd, Arviragus of gentiikfre 
Had lever die in forwc and in diftreiTe 
Than that his wif were of hire trovcfae i 
The forwc of Dorigcne he told him ali« 
Ho\y loih hire wa-^ to ben a wicked wif. 
And that (he lever had loft that liay hire I 
And that her trouth Cbe fwore thurgh in 
She never crft hadde herd fpeke of i 
That t]ud« me han of hire fogret pitee» 
And right a« freely at he fent hire to am 
As freely fent 1 hire to him again. 
This i* all and fom ; ther n*Ls no more till 

The philofophre anfwerd ; Leve bfod 
Evcrich of you did gciitilly to other ; 
Thuu art a fquier, and he is a knight. 
But God forbedc, for his blif&ful migfa^ < 
But if a clerk could don a gelitil dedt 
As wel as any of yon, it is no drcdc 

Sire, I retefc thee thy ihouJand pouad^ i 
A* thou right now were cro|>c out of the I 
Nc never cr now ne haddeH knowrji me ij 
For, Sire, I wol not take a petiy of ibec . 
For all my craft, nc nought for my tm 
Thou haft ypticd wcl for my vitaille. 
It it ynough, andfarewcl, have good dsy, ,] 
And toke his hofi, and forth he i?utb ht« i 

Lordings, this qucftion Wold < 
Which was the mofte free, as th 
Now tcUeth mc or that yc further uuidey • 
I can no more, my Tik ii %x a& csule^ 



^^^^^THE DOCTOtntflVlCOLOOO^^^^^^^far^^^H 


^ff DOCTOURES PROLOGUE. 1 


^^^n, qood cur Ho(te. at now. It fhsd be don, if that yc wol it hcfc« ^M 


^^^Wiyiikie, 1 prey you. Said this I>cidour,and huTalc bcg^n AXion. ^H 


^^■ffDOL hondl nuccrc Now, good men, <{uod he, hcrkcnctk cvcrich oo. ^| 


THE DOCTOURES TALE*. ^B 


^i» ullctli Titu» LWlm, 


So do 1 aU min other creatures, ^^^B 


Kb! cttftd wa* Vtrginiua, 


What coivur that they haa or whai (t^^res^ ^H 


■ boxi ' - r TtKincflc, 


Thus kmcth tne that Nature woldc fay, ^M 


K o( : of grct richdTc, 


This maid of age twelf ytic was and tway ^K 


^^^a^^-^-- ■ iaddc by hii^if; 


In which thai nature hadde fwicht: delit ; ^M 


^^Bd he tnii in %I1 hi» lif. 


For right bs (be can peint a Lily whit ^H 


HBSiaid in c£c client beau tec 


And red a rofc^ right with fwichc pcinturc ^M 


Btry wigbt tJuit man may fee. 


5hc jveintcd hath this noble creature ^B 


Khatit with fovcrajne diligence 


Er fhe was borne upon hire limmet fref , ^B 


Krc in Tu ^rct cxccUexice 


Whcra* by right iwichc colours fhulden bes ^B 


Whic wolde fayn, Lo, 1 Nattirc , 


And Phcbujb died hath hire crcilcs grcte ^B 


■ forn t a crcaturt, 


Like to the (trcmqs of hit bumed hclc. ^^^1 


K m*. ^n mc coutrcfctc? 


And if that cxcclletit were hire bcautec, ^^^B 


r» - ay forge and bete> 


A thouland fold more vertuoui was (he. ^^^^| 


[ Jarc wcl faio 


III hire nc lacked no conditiou ^^^^| 


BL^,;^, x. . ^ cTche in vain 


That ift to preire,aft by difcretion. "^^^1 


^^^^ pcmtc,or forge, or bete. 


As wel in goil a» body chaU wa& (he, ^B 


^^Bo »c to ruuntrcfcte : 


For which Hic floured in virgin itcc ^B 


Kb the fomicr |iniicipal 


With all humilitec and abHiacoce, ^B 


Pitdinc h is ¥1 cairt gc n crd 


With all attcmperuacc and patience, vB 


^^beintcti earthly creatures 


With mcalurc eke of Wring and amy. " 


^^H; and ccbc th^ng in my cure h 


Djrcrctc fhc wa» inanfwcring alway. 


^^K ' ^d wue; 


Though ihe were wife a» Pal a*, dare 1 fain. 


^^Kei wnl 


Hire facoundc ckc ful womanly and plain : 


HRk. X _-. Td; 


No cobiitrtfcted tcrn]» hadde (he 


Be to tlie worihjp ©f tay lord. 


To femcn wile, but ;ifter Iiirc degree 


V 


She f pake, and all hire wcrde» more and Icflc i 


Bi flifct^ l»ii only «1 Ui;lit?r r itht f t!ian fte 
Bttf ibilftdicrcwJudicAprttt*. ff. 


Soiuiin^ in vextuc and in geDtlUclTc* 

4 



ic9 



THI DOCTOTJ!tl§ TALI, 



Shunefaft fhe Wtti In fnaldens (hamefailQciTct 
Conilant in facrte out of idcl bdincfTe 
To drive hire out of idcl ilogirdie. 
Bacchus had of hire mouth right oo maiflrie^ 
For mitkc and youthe don Vcnut cncrcfc. 
At men in fire wol cadcn oile and grcfc. 
And of hire owen vertuc unconftrcined 
She hath hirefclf ful often fike yfcincd^ 
For that flie wotdc flccn the compagnie 
Whcr hkcly wa» totrctcn of folic, 
Afl it at (cUct, at re veil, a:nd at daacct 
That ben occaJionA of daltancet. 
Swiche thingcf mdun chiMren for to he 
To fonc ripe and bold, as men may fee, 
Which is ful pLTilous, and hath ben yore ; 
For a} to Tone msty fhe Icrncn Uirc 
€>r boidneflc whan (he woxen i\ a wif. 
And ye maLllre0cf in your olde Uf|, 
That lordef doughters han in govcrnaace, 
Ne takcth of my wordei difplcfancc ; 
Thinktth tha^t ye ben fet in govemingci 
Of tordet doughters only fur two thiagcii 
Other for ye haa kept your honeilcc. 
Or eJIet for yc hao fallen in freekee. 
And koowen wc\ ynough the olde dance. 
And han forfakcn fully fwichc mefchance 
Pot cvermo j therefore for Chrific* fake 
To ttche hem »ertue ioke th»t ye nc flake. 

A tkcef of venifon, that hath forlaft 
I£» Lkerouineite and all his olde crafty 
Can kepc a foreft befl of any man : 
Now kepcth hem wcl, for if ye wol ye can* 
l.okc wcl that unto no vice afTent, 
1^ ye be damned for yotu* wikkc entcttC, 
For who fo doth a tr^ytour is certain : • 
And takcth kcpe of that 1 Ihdl you fain ; 
CK alk trefon fovcraine pefkilcnce 
U wbao a Wight bctniyt th innocence. 
Yc father*, and ye mothcn eke alfo, 
Though ye han children, be it on or mo. 
Your ur the charge of all hrr furveaace. 
While that they ben under your governance : 
Beth wajT that by enlample of your living* 
Or by yoor negligence in chafliftDg, 
That they nc pcrilh, for 1 dare wel fiyc 
If that they don yc Ihul it derc abeye. 
Under a (hepherd foft and negligent 
The wolf hath many a fhepe and lamb to-rent, 

SuSiceth this cnfamplc now a^ here. 
For i mote tunte agcn to my matere. 

This maid, of which I tell my Tale eipreffe, 
She kept hircfclf^hire neded no maifkrc0e. 
For in hire living maidens mighten rede, 
Aj in a book, every good word and dcdc 
That longeth to a maiden vertuooi : 
She waft Jo prudent and fo bountcou*, 
For which the fame oat fprong on every ftde 
Both of hire beautce and hire bountce wid'j. 
That thurgh the lond they preifcd Hire cch one 
That loved venue, fauf Enne alone, 
lluit fury is of other manne* welc. 
And gbd t« of hi* forwc and hi» uiihele. 
The Dolour maketh thi* dcfcriptioun. 
Thift maiden on a day went m ibc toun 



Toward a temple, with hire mother derdt I 
Ai it of young maidens the manere. 

Now was ther than a jufUce in that \ 
That govemour was of that regioun ; 
And fo befell this juge hiieyen cafl 
Upon this maid, avifing hire ful fall 
A» Ihe came forth by ther this juge f 
Anon ht!i hit hcrtc changed and his i 
So was he caught with beautee of this i 
And to himfclf ful privcty he faid. 
This maiden (hal be min for any man 

Anon the fend into his hertc ran. 
And taught him fodenly that he by f 
This maiden to his purpos wtnnen i 
For ccrtesby no force ne by no mede " 
Him thought the was not able for to fp 
For ftic was ftrong of frendcs, end eke f 
Confermcd wasinfwiche fovcraine boil 
That wcl he wift he might hire never w^ 
As for to make hire with hire body finoel 
For which with grct dcLiberatioun 
He fent after a chcrl was in the toan. 
The which be knew for fotit and for 1 
This juge unto this cherl his talc hath toW 
In fccree wife, and made him to enfure 
He ihulde tell it to no creature. 
And if he did he fliuldc Icfc his hede. 
And whan affentcd was this curfcd rede. 
Glad was the juge, and makcd him grct i 
And yaf him ycftcs prccioua and dere 

Whan (hapcn waa all hir confpiracic 
Fro poitit to point, how that his Iccherie 
Parformed (huldc be ful lot illy. 
Ah ye (hul here it after openly. 
Home goth this cherl, that hightc CUtt 
This faife jngc, that htghte Appius^ 
(So was his name, for it is no fable. 
But knowen for an hil^tiat thing no 
The fcntence of ii fotb is out of douce) 
This falfe juge goth now fafl about« 
To haflco hi* dclit all that he may. 
And fo befell, fone after on a day 
This falfc juge, as telleth us the ftort^« 
As he was wont, fat in his conftllborie. 
And yaf his domes upon fondry cas. 
This falfc tbcrl came forth a ful grct paa. 
And faidc ; Lord, if that it be your wiU| 
As doth me right upon rhii pitous bill. 
Id which 1 plainc upon Virginias; 
And if that he wol fayn it is not thus, 
[ wol it preve, and linden good witnefTe 
That foth is that my biUe wol cuprelTe. 

The juge anfwcrd, Of this in his abfena 
I may not ycvediffinitif fentence. 
Let don him call, and I wol gladly here : ' 
Thou (bah have right and wron^ as now I 
Virgiiitus cumc to wetc the j«<^et wiM, 
Aim ripht anon was rod this cuifLd bill ij 
The fctitcncc of it was as vc fTiuT 1i. 

To you my Lord Sire !,rt 

Shewcih your pourc fcrv ^: ^ 

How that a knight called Va^iittu* 
Agein the bwe, age in ail equitce, 
Holdcthf espTc^Te agein the wiU of me^ 



t IS my tbral by right, 
D min hoQs wai ftoleo on » night 
Ac wzi ful yong ; 1 wol it prevc 
S, Lord, fo that it you not grc¥C : 
k dough tcr nought, what fo he fay; 
to yoo, my Lord the jugc, I pray; 
\f timl, if that it be your wUL 
M all the fentencc of hu bUL 
» gui upon the cherl behold ; 
cr he tui taU told, 
b^a prcved it at (huld » knight, 
y witQcfling of muiy a wight 
as falTc th^^t faid his advcHary, 
i jugc woldc nothing tary, 
word EDorc of Virginius, 
ki9|agetnent, and {aide thus ; 
uiQO tJnb cherl hi& fervant havr ; 
I DO IcDgcr in thin houA hire iavc ; 
ire forth, and put hire in our ward : 
jhml have bis ihral ; thus I award* 
lan this worthy knight VJrginiuii 
Btence of thi» juiUee Appiut, 
fcMve bit derc doughter ycvcn 
fOgCi, lu lecherie to liven, 
tuD home, and fct him in hit hall, 
loQ bift dcrc doughter call ; 
a face ded at aiben cold 
r bamble face he gan behold, 
■opitee ^king thurgh hiiherte, 
le GrooD h^ purpos not con vert e, 
tcr, quod he, Virginia by thy natne, 
two fraicj, other dcth or dtrnme, 
u naft fuBrc, alat that 1 wat bore { 
r ihou dclcrTcdcft i^hcrforc 
■rith a fwcrd or with a knif^ 
Mebter,ender of my lifl 
|K follred up with fwiche plefance 
^Bre never out of my remembrance ; 
jvi which that art my laftc wo, 
lyUf my lalle joyc alTo ; 
lof ebaftitee ! in patience 
(•thy dcth, for thit it mj Centencc ; 
ttd HOC for hate thou mud be dcdi 
01 bond muft fniiten of thin bed. 
K ercr Appiui thee fay 1 
th he falfeiy judged thee to-day. 
d bite all the cat, at ye before 
sd( it needeth not to teU it more. 
arcy, dere father ! (juod tbii maid. 
llLihat word (be both hire armet laid 
lil»eeeke,at {he was wont to do^ 
Ul of fa** cjreji two} 



And faid, O goodc father (bal f die ? 
It ther no graee f is thcr ho rcmedic ? 

No ccrtct, dere doughter min ! quod he. 
Than ycve nic Icifcr, father min quod fhe. 
My dcth for to complain c a litcl fpacc ; 
For parde Jepte yave his doughter grace 
For to compiaine or he hire flow, aJat! 
And God it wot nothing was hire trefp&v 
But for fhc ran hire father firft to fee. 
To welcome him with grct folcmpnitcc. 
And with that word ihe fell alwoun anon. 
And after, whan hire fwouning was agon. 
She rifcth up, and to hire father faid ; 
BleXTcd be God that I fhal die a tnaidi 
Ycve me my dcth or that I hare a {hame : 
Doth with your child your wiUc a Goddet nafsc 
And with that word Ibe praied him ful oft 
That with hit fwerd he wolde fn>ite hire foft ; 
And with that word afwoitne again (he fell. 
Hire father, with ful forweful herte and wiB, 
Hire bed of fmote, and by the top it hent« 
And to the jugc he gan it to prefect. 

At he fat yet in dome in con^orie. 

And wkm the jnge it faw, at faith the (kfie^ 

He bad to take him ax>d anhang him faft : 

But right anon a thoufand peple in thraft 

To fave the knight for routh and for pitec, 

For knowen wit the falfc iniqahce. 

The peple anon had fafpc<5k in thit things 

By cnaner of the cherlet dialenging. 

That it was by the a(rent of Appiut 

They wiftcn well that he wit kchcroui 2 

For which unto thit Appios they gon. 

And caftc him in a prifon right anon, 

Whereat he flow himfclf; and Claudiuj, 

That fcrvant was unto this Appiut, 

Wat denied for to hang upon a tree. 

But that Virginiut of his pjtee 

So prayed for him that be w:k3 exiled. 

And cllci certes had he ben beguiled ; 

The rcmcnant were anhanged, more and IcfTei 

That were confentant of thii curfcdneffe* 
Here men may fee how fln hath hit merite ; 

Beth were, for no man wot whom God wol fjltfl 

In no degree, ne in which maner wife 

The worrac of confciencc may agrifc 

Of wicked LLf, though it fo privce be 

That no man wotc therof fauf God and He; 

For be he lewed man or eUc» Icred ^ 

He n*ot how fonc that he Ibal ben afered S 

Therforc I rede you thit confcil take* 

Porfakcth tone er fiwic you foifakc* 



fit 



THE PAH.D0H1 



The toly wrk take I to my witncflc 
That luxuric ii in wine and dronketicfn:. 

Lo, how that dronkeo Loth utikiiidcly 
Lay by hit daughtert two unwetingly ; 
So drotikc he wvt he ti*Ulc what he wrought* 

H«rodc4, who Co wel the (lories fought, 
Whan he of wine rq>Iete wa» at hi* ftftcj 
Right at his owcn tabic he yavc hj\ hcfkc 
To flcen the Baptift John ful giltclcs, 

Seneca faith 3 good word doutiltfs; 
He faith he c^m no dilTcrcDce find 
Betwix a man that is out of his mind 
And a man whiche that is dronkclcw; 
But that woodndfe, y fallen in a (hrcw, 
Perfevcrcth lenger than doth drunkencfTe. 

O glotonie! fuil of curfcdJicffc^ 

caufc &Hb of our con fu Hon ! 
[ O original of our damnation ! 

Til Crid hid bought us with hi* blood again : 
I l^oktth how dcre, (hortly for to faiDi 
r Abo-ught wat thilke curfcd rilanie : 
^Corrupt was all thit world fur glutontc. 

Adaxti our father, a.nd hii wLf alfo, 
[ %to Paradis to labour and to wo 
[ Were driven for that vice, it is no drcde; 
' t^or while chat Adam faflcdf u I rede, 
[ lie wai in Paradts, and whan that he 

f,tc of the fruit defended on a tree, 
f Anon he was out call to wo and peine. 
\ glotonie ! on chec w^el ought us plaine, 
O ! wift a man how many^ maladia 

Volwen of csccfle and of glotonict, 
t He woldc hen the more mefurable 
^ Of his diete, fitting at hia tabic. 

Alat ! the ihorte throtc^ the tendre mouth» 

I4akcth that eft and weft, and north and fouth» 
' Id crthe» in iir, in water, men to fwlnke 

^o gctc a glotcn dcintcc mete and drinke. 
^ Cf 5iiA matere, O Poule ! wet ranft thou trcte : 
I Mete unto wombe, and wombe ckc unto mete, 

§h%{ God deftroien bothe, as Paulus faith. 

^ht ! 1 foule thing 11 it by my faith, 
f T"© fay thi» word, and fouler it the dcde, 

liHuu man fo drinkcth of the white and rede 

That of histhrotehe makcth htspriTce 

Thnrgh thiike curfcd fuperfluitec. 
The apoflle faith weping ful pitoufly, 

Thcr walkcn many of which you tolJ bAVC 1 ; 

1 lay it now weping with pitoui vois 
That they ben enemies of Criftes croii, 

Cf whiche the end is deth; womb b hir Co^ i 

O wombe, o belly! IlitTking «• thy cod, 

fulfilled of don g and tt in; 

, At cither end of thee I ■ • »J n , 

».9low gret Ubour and con i^ t ntc to find ! 

'Thife coktf how they {lamp, and (hrkie, and grind, 

And turncn fubtlance Into acdJeot, 

To fulfill all thy likerout talent ! 

Out of the hardy bonet knocken they 
I. -The mftiy, for tbry caffcen nonght iwiy 
\ >T*bat may go churgh the giiUet foft and (ott : 

Of fpicerir, of leef, of barke, and rote, 

8b»l brn hit faufc ymakedt hy del it 

To mitke htm jn 1 newer appciil : 



But certci he thit haunteth fwickc delket 
h dcd whOe that he Uvcth in iho vkcv 

A lecherous thing is wine, and d 
It ful of ftriring and of wrctchcdnefle* 
Q dronken man! ditEgured ii thy face. 
Sour is thy brcth, foul art thou to enbraf e« 
And thurgh thy drotiken nofe fcmcth the (am 
A» though thou laidclt ay Sampfount Sampi 
And J'et, God wot, Sampfbun dronk never aol 
Thou faleft as it were a ftikcd fwine 4 
Thy tongc is loft, and aU thin hooeik cat^ ^ 
For dronkeneflc is vcray feputture 
Of mannet wit and his difcrction. 
In whom that drinke hath dotnioatioa 
He can no confeil kepe, it is no drede, 
Huw kcpe you fro the white and fro the 1 
And namely fro the white wine of Lcpe, 
That is to fell in Ftlhftretc and in Chcpe, 
This wine of Spat^nc crepeth fubtilly 
In other wine* growing faftc by, 
Of which ther rifeth fpvtche fumofitet^ 
That whin a man hath dronken draoffhcci ^ 
And wencth that he be at home in Ch€p<p { 
He it in Spaigne, right at the toun of Lc] 
Not at the Roche U, nc at Burdeux toun. 
And thannc wol he fay Saoipfoun ! Sam 

But hcrketVeth, Lordmgs, o word, I 
That all the foveraine adet, dare I (aj, ' 
Of vidories in the Oldc Tcflament, 
Thurgh veray God that is omnipotent. 
Were dim in »b£linence and in praycre t 
Loketh the Bible, and there ye otiOW li I 

Loke, Attila the grcte conciuerour 
Died in his Ocpc with fhamc and diihon 
Bieding ay at his nofe in dronkcnelTc : 
A capttaxne (huide Live in fohreneile. 

And over all thi» avifcth you right wcl 
What was commanded unto Lamuel { 
Not Samuel, but Lamuel, fny L 
Rcfkth the Bible, and find it ex| 
Of wine yeving to hem thathavt 
No more of this, for it may wel fu|&cc* 

And nnw that I havejfpoke •/ ^ktonk^ 
How wolt you defendcn hafardric. 
Hafiird i» Tcray moder of lefingei.. 
And of dec cite and cur fled fcrfwerin^c, 
Blafpheming of C rid, nianilaughtcr, Ba4 W^ 1 
Of catel, and of time ; and forthcrmo 
It i- rcprcvc, and contrary of honour 
For to beb hold a commun kafarJour, 
And ever the higher he i« of cfbt 
The more he isholden defokt. 
If that a prince ufeth haiarderie, 
In alle governance and policic 
He is, aa is by commun opinion, 
Yhold the leflc in reputation, 

Stilboii, thAt was a wife cmbaflsMlottl^ 
W^Ai fent to Corinth with ful gret hoaouf 
Fro Calidone, to makcn hem alliance £ 
And whan he eame he happed him /«r ^Smu 
That all the grrtcft that were of that Innd 
Vplaying attc hazard he hem fond ; 
For which, as Cone as that U nughlc be. 
He ftak him hfitaa »gcio to hi» fieottce^ 



TrtE PARDONERES TaLe 



HI 



I wol DOC Itit my name^ 
^ €»kc «o ioe To grct drfame, 
|6 aUie aoeo doo £ftfiirdoun : 

f fJFQticlle i»r were It^cr di« 
to tiaiW<ioiu-i »ilk; 
§a ^anoitt in hoticurti 
illif ymm to boh har^u-diiun, 
«rwv Be. as by my trctee. 
;re thtti fafd he, 
tP iW ILing Dcmrmut 
hcs, af the book fiiyth Uf| 
of dii of gtitld in Uornc, 
hsi^^td tht:rhc(ornc, 
licid hU ^*f*rf uid his rcoouo 
or ropttuniouii* 
6n4«n otlhi^ mancr play 
_ to 4rtve the d»T *way. 
I i^kr cl otiici hUc and e;rete 
Ǥ o)4c bookci trtne. 

gkofl '^ '^ cHiii|£ abhommahle, 
I fva^tag U yet more rr prevililc* 
i M«ih«tr i but iji rpcct2j 
Ibytli tlic Itoly Jcreniie, 
fWcre fbcn «hm oth«»t and not lie, 
K ia 4titT ':c in rightwi£iiefl<B> 

UTvcraps ii^SUi> 

UMid fbc t»w£ ii( luc 6rllc uble 
b O^HliIrt btfflki lionouriblc 

■ ' -^ hfl> *'' '^1 ill i*ihi#, 

iri 
1^ liar^cd^t vcrmg 

or mwiy an orh<.r thing. 
%T ©wire t^Ti« if ftonrlrth, 

!•« that n»odeth 

Steond ! it ; 

T H j>l:it 

I Qoi hii houi 

hiiQtie^ 
n HaOcs, 
ink and treyc ; 

,, thtji hotr g«. 

. of the bicchel bonc^ twtf, 
fid^dle, and homiciJf . 
_ of Crift, that for ui didc, 
benhe gree ^d inulc. 




to qI bcm fBD CHUCQ LO low klUTCt 

I, ^nvi be, *ad aic rcdily ^ 

[nnpt a* lii^ ^4t piiUbch Ikeic forth bfi 

I, ^moA thiaboy^ it nedeth nevrr ^ddi 
i OM told or yc cami: bert two houPcts 

e •• old fdaw of yourci, 
iy h» -Via yflain to^ai^ht, 

ilitlii oa hii bench «f light; 



Thcr came a privec thccf moi cU|»^ Dcth, 
That in thi» contrtc zl\ the pcplc Oci^h, 
AncJ with his fpcrc he fmntc bii hcrtc atwo, 
And went his way witnoutm worded tt>o. 
He haih attiouf4ind Hain tlxis pcUikni^c; 
Andt maiilcr, or ye come in his pr' icf^c 
Mc tinakcth that it were (ul ncccIT^ric 
For ;o bcwarc'of fwiche an advcj l.inc ; 
B'.-ih T' '*•- ^'"^ "-' r- rn^tr. >i;.i-, r^.-r ..o|-e; 
Thi. More* 

The chiid iiiyth ibiii, nac he h^th iUin this ytit^ 

Hcn» over a mile* withui a gret vilbge, 

Burh m».n iind woman, child, and hync aod page^ 

I trowe his habitation be theic ; 

To ben united grct wildom rt were 

Or Ehitt t>e did a m^n a dilhonour. 

1« it i'wichc per I } 

1 fhul him fckc t , ..jcic, 

ImAkcavowb, mt«, 

Herkcncth, fd - n aUc oact j 

Let oche of Qs ; hond to other. 

And cchc of uk 1 ; hen brother* 

And we wol flcn tha iilic tniitoiij- Deth £ 
Hl- flul be ilaiiH he chat fo many flcth. 
By C'jddes dipjitce, or it be niglit. 

To^edcr hao tliife three hir uouthca plight 
To hvc and dicn euhc of hem for othtr, 
A* tlioughhe were bisowcn borcn brother. 
And yp thty ftert al droiikco in thisra^c, 
And forth they gon towards that viI!;iiL;;c 
Of wliich the tjivcrner had fpoke bcfurn, 
And many a frrifly oth than bat^e they fwojii, 
And Crif.es bkfTed body thry to-rt'nt, 
Dcth ihiil be ded, if thiit we may him bent. 
Whan they hjui gon not fully half a mile. 
Right as they wokl ban trodcn oTcr a AjIc, 
An oldc man and a pourc with hem mcttc ; 
Thiioidc man fid m ' ' ' - -^ -% 
And faydc thuj ; Nf van lee ! 

The praadcft of tJ , . .,,,.-., :lc 
Anfvvcidagtn; What? chcrl, with for y ^raw. 
Why art thuu ;J1 farwni|ipcd fave thy face i ' 
Why hveft thou to longe in fo grrt -Ajgc i 
1 his olde man gun bike in his yifage. 
And £aydc thus ; For 1 ire ca^nnot £ndc 
A maot though that I walkuxi into lnde« 
Neither in citce nc in no village, 
TtiAt wolde change hit yoiitke for ntin age) 
And Therefore mote I hjui nua nge Jiill 
A^ luHgo time ms it is Qoddo wilL 
Ne Deth, aiaa ! ne wU not ban «iy \i£ : 
Thus waikc I like a rdteles f lit \i^ 
And on ^hc ground, u'hixih is my modrosgitt| 
1 knudiLe wiih ray llif crbeh and bte, 
And fay to hire, Lcve mother, let me iii« 
La, how 1 vanifti, flefh« «id hbM»d, andikin* 
Ala^! whanfhulmy btmeaboAat re^f 
Muther, with yo^ woU i tbaag/tn mf obsfUf 
1 hai kn mj cbonbtt loop linebaib iio, 
Yc, ior aa faonm doMt «o iNawp iH mo. 
But yet to me die «p«d 04^ don that gia^. 
For ^obidi M ^ iiiii wclk44 ift mf iMi« 



Ii4 



THE PAftDONERES TALE. 



But, Sife«, to you It U do curtcHc 
To fjitlie unto an oldc iriEift vitajiir. 
But he trcfpafe in word or rlk^ in dcdc 
In holy writ ye moun yourlckcn ride 
' Ascitis aa oldc man hore upnnhishcdc 
[Yc SUiild arifc : therefore 1 ycvc you rede 
Kc Qotli irnto %Q oldc m;Ln non harm now. 
No more than that yc wold a. niiin did you 
In at»c, if thai yc may fo lonjj abide ; 
^\nd Clod be with you where you go or ride ; 
I moftc go thider »«!► I hurc to jfo, ' 

Nay, oldc fhcri, by God thou Ihateootfoy 
Saydc thi« other hufardour anon ; 
Thrtu partcft not fo lightly, by Scint John. 
Thou rpake fight uow of ihilWc traitour Dcth^ 
Tliat in thiscootrrc ail our frcndc* fleth; 
Have here my trouth, a§ thou art his efpic, 
Tdl whcr he i?, or thou (halt it abrc 
Uy God and by the holy facrcmtnt, 
For fothly thoti art on of hin alTent 
*1 o flcn us yonge folk, thou falfc ihcfr. 

Now, Sirci, quod he, if it be you fo lefc 
To finden Deth, tounie up this crokcd way« 
For hi th»t grove 1 left him by my fay 
^Under a tree, and ther he wol abide, 
He for your boft he wol him nnthiog; hidff. 

yc that okc ? rij;ht thcr ye (huiii him find* 
ao6 favc you t}»at bought agen mankind, 
^And you amccde ! Thoiiayd thisolde man. 

And cvcrich of tliifc riotourcs ran 
Til ihcy came to the trce^ and thcr they found 
or FlorcinB fine of gold y coined round 
Wei nigh and eightc bunicK, ai hem thought : 
~»Jo Icnger than after Dcthc they fought, 
But eche of hein fn glad wai of die fight, 
\T ' ■ c Florcin* ben fo fitirc and bright, 

^hry kttc hem by the prcciou« hord : 
i;l wt . u<L of htm he. fpake the firdc woni, 
BTtthrcr, fjufid he, tuke kepc what I {hal ftiy; 
, jMy tvit i»> '^T"t t1 oinh that 1 bourde and play. 
lii% ' ;nc unto ut yrren, 

mi J r lif to liven, 

And lightly a»itc«nicih fo wol we fprnd. 
£y, GoddCA prtcioui dignitec ! who wend 
j^o-cftny thiLt we fhuld hao fo f^trc a grace ? 
ut might thii gold be caried fro iht« place 
fome to myn hout, or " yourc*, , 

htir wd 1 woU that r.! > ourc«) 

tbvitie were we in hii^** .•...^.^.^; 
tttcwely by day it may not br, 
im golden fay that we were cheevei ftrong, 
And for our owen trefour don us hong. 
Thii trefour mu0 ycaried be by night 
t wifely :ind a« firighly as it might ; 
If her fore 1 rede that cut imong U4 aUe 
ITe drawe, and let fe>e wher the cut wol fallc | 
Knd he that hath the cut, with bene blith, 
rt to the toun, and that ful fwith, 
[y^i ,^ bred and win ful priTtlyi 

,., ;, ....^i Diftiai kr^-n inl.nll^^ 

ustrclourwd; iD i ot tarien, 

ban it t« mght wc v. ' ui caiiui 

%j orf affcnt whcr a$ ui think r ;^ 
'Tli«t mi vf hum Um cut biu^^ia o^ Ut {e&. 



And bad him drawe, and tokc whcf U wot^fil 
And it fell on the yongcfl of hem a Ik, 
And forth toward the toun he went tnoD ;J 
And al fo fone as that he vras'agon 
{'hat on of hem fpake thux unto that othcrl 
Thou wot eft wel thou art my fworen broil 
Thy prolitc wol 1 tell the right anon. 
Thou woft wcl that our ft- law if agoii. 
And here is gold, and that ful gret plea 
That fhal departed ben among us three j 
But nathdles, if I can fliapc it fo 
Thai it departed were among uj tw o. 
Had I not don a frende* turn to thee f 

That other anfwcrd, J n*ot how that mil 
He wotc wel that the gold is with ut tv 
Whiit fhuln wc don, what fhuln wc to hit 
Shal it be confcil ? fayde the firftc Oirewr, \ 
And I flial tcllcn thee in worde* fcwc 
What wc (hul don, ajid bring it wel abo 

I grantc, quod that other, out of doutrj 
That by my troitth I wol thcc not bewrcicj 

Now, quod the firft, thou woft^ wtl 
And tweic of ufifhal ftrcnger be than on, I 
Loke, whan that he is fet thou right anoill 
Arifc, as though thou woldeft with him [ ' 
And I fhal nvc him thurgh the fide* twray ' 
While that thou ftroglcft with him oaio j 
And with thy dagger lokc thou do the i 
And than flial this gold departed be. 
My dcrc frcnd ! betwixen thee and mc ; 
Than moun wc bo the our luftes al fulfiile, i 
Aud play at dis right at our owen wtUe. 
And thus accorded ben thifc ihrewes twcyd 
To flcn the thridde, 3« yc han hrrde ine f 

Till* yongcft, which that wente tothet 
Ful oft tn herte he rolteth up and 6ma 
The beaut cc of thifc Florctnt n«w a _ 

O Lord I qufjd he, if fo were that I flUgj^Tj 
HjTvc all thi»trefuur to mjfclf diOQei^ 
'I'hrr ti'is no man that liveth under the I 
Of God that fliulde live fo mery j» L 
And at the l.ifl the fend our enemy 
Purtr in hi» thought that he Ihuld poifiDil t 
With which he mightc flen his fclAvr» tn 
l^or why f the fend fond him in fwtehc t 
That he had levr to forwc him to bring ; 
For thiii wan outrely bis ful entente. 
To Hen hem both and never to rcpmtc* 
And forth he goth, no tcnger wold he I 
Into the toun imto a potctary. 
And praicd him that he wolde IcU 
Some poilon, that he might his rato«tii4 
And eke thcr was a potkat in hFs hawe 
That, as he fayd, his capons had yUawe t < 
And fayn he wolde him wrcken, li he i 
Vi vcnnino that dcftroied bent by tiifht.^ 

The pdtccary anfwcrd, Thou flialt bavei 
A thing, a« ififly God my foulefave. 
In all thii world thcr n*is no creature 
That etc *^r .!r.,nl. hith of this confeauri 
Not but 4 i c of a com I- of 

T hat he r ' it anon foflttc, 

Tc, Acrvc he fuaif and that tn lefi'e while { 
Tlum thou wok gan a pa* tu#i but a auk t\ 



THE PARDONERES TALE. 



^IS 



kICbci II To Aran{3^ and violent. ( 

I rurfed rzLUi hath ui hb hr>tid yhcDC 
mfotk in a box, and i'withe he nm 
|e orzte Hrctc unto a man, 
Iirwe4 of him lar^c botclict thrve» 
llbe rwo the pfjifrti pntjrrd he; 
indidc he ^ ii drmke, 

1 th« nigl f tu fwinkc 

1 nSMUilitji notour with lory grace 

l.v^ wT-^i xMii } *i .-rctc bottcilcs three 
i :h he. 

( o fcrmon more ? 
[ , htd cail his dcth before; 

f' .tzt him Ilain, aud that anon. 

rii L..i^t thi« was don, thui fpake that oo; 
tsA fit ^nd iiritike, and make m muj. 
" ' ' ^', bcry, 

m far tat 

<!rmkc alfo, 
/ ihc two. 

I luppoic tliat Aviccnnc 
in no canon ne in no fcnnc 
fignci of cmpfitfoninif 
tit wrrtrbr%rwo or hlr ending. 
1 cide* two, 
I :f alfo. 
cii? oi ail carjetlncfTe ; 
fiomicidc ! o widccdneffc ! 
liucitriei and hafardrie ! 
rphcmour of Crifl with vtlanie 
cr% <?rL te of ofagc and of pride ! 
: , how may it betide 
t L jtoor, which that thee wrought, 

mUu* prceiouA hcrte-blood thcc bought, 
■P^#&ir«f «nd h unkind ! alas ! 

^H ' rijd foryeve you yoor trcfpas, 

rr ^ Cnne of avaricf, 

f pariitn ni«y you all waricc, 

R^Arc noblca or ftarlingcs, 
rcr brochcf, fpon^s ringe*. 
yootr bed tinder thi- holy bulk, 
■p^ jc wjve«, ai]d oflicth of your wollc j 
p» f» 1 cTitrc here in my roll aiaon ; 
bltlTc of hevcn (hul yc gon : 
dEatle bf ram high powcre, 

wilti olTrc, a» clene and ckc ^ clerc 
IT borne, Lo, Sirct, thui I prechc; 
c^ QnUt tbat ii nur ftiulcs leche^ 
jmM hi* paidon to receive, 
• bdl^ 1 i»ol7«aiK>tdcceiTe. 



But, Sire*, o word fofgatel in my Tide; 
I have retikes and pardon in my male 
As faire as any tnan tn Engeltmd, 
Which were me yevcn by the Popes hond« 
If auyof youwol of dcvf>tion 
OfTrcrtf ^d ban my ibfolution, 
Cometh forth aiioa« and kiielcth here adouit| 
And mck-rly recciveth my parjoiin ; 
Dr tllen tiJtctli pardon as ji wciide, 
Al new and frcfliif at every toune* cnde. 
So that yc oflrcn alway newc and newe 
Noble* or pens which diiit ben good and CrcwCi 
It i) an booour to evcrich that is here 
That ye moun hare a funtfant PardoBcrc 
'Jo jilloHcn you in contrcc as yc rrdc 
For avcnturc* which that moun betide. 
Piravcnture thcr may fulir on or two 
Douo of his hors, and brcke hU tfceke atwo* 
Loke, which a feurtee ia it to yuu allc 
That I am in your JTehwfbip yfulk*, 
That may afToiIe you both more and lefT^, 
Wljan that the fwule Ihal fro the body ir.iiTc. 
I rede that our Hofle Oial begin ne^ 
For he is moil etivolup(3d in riui.e. 
Come forth, Sir« Hofte, and offre firft anon. 
And rhou (halt kiife thcrdikca cvcnch on, 
Ye for a grote ; unbokel anon thy purfe. 

Nay, nay, quod he ; than have V Cri/lei curlri 
Let be, qUod he ; it flial nm hi\ fo the tch. 
Thou woldeft make me kiffc rhin oldc brcch. 
And fwcre it were a reltkc of a ft-intf 
Though it were with thy foundemi^nt dqieint ; 
But by the crois which that Scint H.Icinc fond 
I wulde 1 had thin coilons ia min bond 
Inftedc of relikes or of feintuarie. 
Let cut hem of, T wo! thcc help hem caric : 
I'hey ibnl be Ihrincd in an hoggcs tord. 

This Pardoner anfwercd not a word ; 
So wroth lie wa* no worde oc wolde he fay. 

Now, quod our Hoile, I wol uo kngcr plajr 
With thce» ne with non other angry man* 

But right anon the worthy kniglit bcgsn, 
(Whan that he faw that all the pcplc lough) 
No more of this, for ii is right ynough. 
Sire Pardoner, be mcr)^ and ghd of cherc 
And yc, iiirc Hofte, that ben to me fo dcre, 
t pray } ou that yc kilTc the Pardoner ; , 

And, Pardfincr, J pray thee draw thee ner, 
And as we didcn let us laugh tnd play* 
Anon they kifled, and riden forth hij: way, 

H rj 



iii 



THE SHrPMANMES rROLOCUK. 



THE SHIPMANNES PROLOGUE. 



)uft Hofte trpon hi» Ctirropt (lode anon, 
^^nd faide, Good men, hcrlccmech cvcrUb cm, 
~Tii> was a thrtfty 'J'ale for the nonci. 
Sifc Pirifh Prccft, quod he, for Goddcnboijcft 
Tell oi a Talc, a* wa* thy forwaf d yore j 
1 fee wcl that ye Icrncd men iti lore 
Can mochcl good^ by Goddct dignftee. 
The Pcrfon him anfvvcrd, BenfdhtSt f 
What cilcth the man fo fiuluUy to fwcrc ? 

Our Hoftc anfw^rd, O Jankin ! be ye there f 
Now good men, quod our Hofte^ hcrluicLh to mc? 
1 fmcll a Lollcr In tlie wind, jiuod he ; 
Abide ih Tor Goddcs diji^jie pafUoQ^ 
Tor we fhol hiu a predtcaUdli ^ 



TKu LoUer Here woj prccbeti us Tomwlisf^ I 

Nay» by my fadicrs reule* that AiaI h« t 
Saydc the Shipman ; here ibal he n&t ^ 
He dial uo j^ofpcl glofcn here ne tcchc. 
We Icvcn ail vn tlie ^rct God, ijuod he : 
He woldc fowcn fom difficulteCt 
Or fpringen cockle in our clcne conjc ; 
And therefore Hoftc, 1 waroe tJiec I 
My Joly body fhai a Talc telle. 
And [ fhal ctinkcn you fo ntery a belle 
That 1 ftial waken all ihi» compAgnic \ 
But it ihal not ben of phtlofopiuc, 
Ne of phyfikc, nc teftne* queiote tA btv^^ 
Tber is but Utcl Latia ia my mjiwiu 



THE SHir^ANNES TALE. 



A Mafchaat whilom dwelled at Seint Dcnife 
That ritbc wo*, for which ni<ii lidd him wife : 
A wif he bad of cxcaiknc beautee. 
And compaj^nable Ind rcvelont wit (he, 
^^hich ia a thing that caufcih more dirpence 
tohan worth 16 all the cherc aad reverence 
h*hat men hem don at feflci and at dancea : 
Bwiche falutatiofi& and contcnancc» 
PafTen a* doth a fliadwc upon the wal \ 
But wo is him that pay en mote for alL 
The fcly hufbond algatc he mote pay, 
life mote us cloihe and he mote us array 
All for hi* owen worChip richcly. 
In which array we dancen jolily : 
And if that he may not paraventure« 
,6r clles luft not fwichc difpcncc cndufc, 

?ut thmkcth it i« waited ^JiA yloft, 
halt moec acotbei p&ycn for oitr coft. 



Or lenc a& gold, and that 1$ fcriloiM. 

Thif noble marchant hckl a v^ortbr 1 
For which he had all day fo grct rcpaire 
For hift largtlTc, and for hit wif uai fiireJj 
Thftl wOAdcr la. But hcrkencth tu my T4 

AiDOOfea all thife geftci gret and imate ' 
Ther was a monk, a faire man and a bo 
f trow a thritty wiutet he was old. 
That eTer In on was drawing to that pl&oe*l 
This yonge tnocik, that waj ia fiiirc of Uk 
Acquainted wa« fo with thn goodc man. 
Sit hen that hire firilc knowjegc begm. 
That iu his houi ai fvxiilicr waa he 
Aa it poffibic i» any frend to be. 
And for as mochcl us thii goode min 
And ekethlf monk of which that \ be§aa 
Were bothe two yborne in o ntlagCt 
The nurnk him claimcth i» for cdmj^ 



THK SHIPMANKES TALE. 



«f 



IM glad thtioi V fook of (by, 

/ knit with cticrnc *Uiaace, 
' hem gui odicr for to enWe 
~ irbilc that hir lif may durCr 
ll>afi Joim, Atui oamrly of difpencc, 
aod foJ of diligence 
r» vul alio gret coftage : 
*e '^r " leftc page 

r degree 
^ lord. ^»v j^^'ivii his mcmce, 
|1^ ^me, fom maticr hozied thing, 
' were as glnd of his coiiiiii;f 
ya wkia thit the focne up nfech* 

shb ai now, lor it fufHccth. 

> bcfdi thi» msr chant oo a day 
to fiiakfn re4y hU array 

Brugjc* for to f^irc, 
<>o of ware, 
; lie uj^u lit P^urii fcnt anoo 
Wm <fi<& prated hath Dun John 
' 1 come to Seine Denis, and pkle 
1 with hit w if a day or tweic, 
^_ I went, in aU -w-ife. 
I monk, ttf which 2 /ou deviTe, 

i Aib^oC U htm iifl lici:Qce» 

?%£ wa.4 a mao of high prudmcey 

an oAicer out for co ride 
i hir gnyif c« and hir berries wide} 
; penis he comcth anon. 
> lb wrkotnc as toy Lord Uan Joha, 
" ful of eurtcfic ? 
: brou|rht a juhbc of Xtatvefie, 
aoother fui of fine Vcmagc, 
bbtilr, «a ay was \na uCage. 

[ I let hcjn eu, and drinke, and pleyc» 
nt and this ruoolt, a day or twcye. 
ide day lhi« marchant up arlTcth, 
I pcdi>ea fadly him avifcth, 
I ^ia couuour hoU£i goth he. 
Hth himielven, wel may be, 
; how that it with him (tood, 
St he dlfpcndcd hsA hii good^ 
i he c&crefed were or non. 
_j sod hi* badges Biany on 
L befont him on hit counting^ord* 
^ was hi% trrfour and his hard, 
, hi\ faf^c hit countour dore he^ihct, 
: oroide no man (hold him kc 
tci for the mcne time ; 
itil it was palTcd prime. 
I riftiti in the morwe alfo, 

I hti tl tcifiy. 

a vjprively 

\ Ihcr he w-Akfiih foft, 
il«cth, u Ctic hath don oft : 
1 casic in'hire compagnie, 
I tuft (he may govcmc and gie, 
r the yet^^ was the nmdc. 
~ t min ! l>an John, (he faldcj 
i yott lb rathe for to arifc f 
I he, k (m^ht ]fQou£h fufEH^ 



Five hourei for to flcpe upon i night. 

But it were for an cldc appalled wight, 

Ai ben thife wedded men, that lie and darCj 

Af in a fourmc (jtteth a wcry hare 

Were al forHraught with houndcs mtaodfmal^ 

But, dtT* nece ! why be ye to pale f 

T Trowe ccrtcs that our goodc man 

H:ith you laboured fiih thi* night bcgao> 

That you were nedc to rcilcn hailily. 

And with that word he lough ful merily. 

And of hisowen thouehc he wcjce all red. 

This fairc wif gan wr to flialtc hire hti6. 
And faied thu^j Ye, God wote all, quod (Lc : 
Nay, cofm min, it ftant not fo with mc ; 
For by that God that yavc me foule and lif 
In ali the reanic of Frauncc is ther no wif 
That laiTe luft Uath to that ftry play, 
For I may fmg alas and wala wa 
That I was borne I but to co wight (quod flic) 
D.krc I not tdi how thai it flant with me ; 
Whcrforc I ihinkc out of thi* lond to wende, 
Or dies of myfclf to make an ende, 
Su ful am I of drcde and eke of care. 

This monk began upon tliis wif to f^ire. 
And fayd, Alas I ray nccx:, God forbcdc 
That yc for any forwc or auy drcdc 
Fordo yoiu^fclf : but telleth mc your grcfe« 
P^rarenturc I may in your itiifthcfe 
Confeilc or hclpc i and thcxforc tcllcth mc 
All your anno)\ for it fhal ben fceree ; 
For on my porto* here I niakc an oth 
That never in my lif, for kfc m* loch, 
Ne fhal 1 of no conic il you b<wray. 

The tunc agcn to you, quod ihc, I fay^ 
By God and by this porto* I yuu fwcrc. 
Though men mc woldui all in pieces tcre, 
Nc fiiajl I never, for to gon to hcUc, 
Bcwrcy o word of tixin^ that ye mc tcUj 
Nought for no cofinagc ne alliance. 
But vcraily for k>vc and affiance 
Thus be u they jwornc, and h(in:upon they kllt^ 
And cchc of hem tolJ ether what hem liflc, 

Cofm, quod flic, if that I had a fpace^ 
As I have ncn, ;ind namely in this place, 
Tlun wold I tell a Ic^Jid of my lif, 
WJiat I have fuffred fall I was a wif 
With min hufbond^al he he your cofln. ^^^^ 

Nay, quod this monk, by God andScint Martia 
He n*js no more colin unto mc 
Than is the Jcef that hangcth on the tree ; 
I clepe him fo, by Scint Denis of France, 
Tn han the more caufc of acquaintai^c 
Of you, which 1 have loved fpccially 
Above D alle women iikeriy ; 
This fwcrc fyou on my profrflioun. 
Telle til your grcXc, left tl\ttt he come adoun. 
And haftcth you, and goth away anon. 

My dcre love \ quod fhc, o my Dan John l- 
Ful Icfc were mc tliis confcil for to hide. 
But out it mole, I may oo Icnger abide. 

Myn hufbond i» to mc ilxe werftc man 
That ever was fiththat tlic world began j 
But fiih I am a wif, it fir i»ot me 
To telicn no wight of our privctCft 



THE SHIPMANNES TALI. 



NtJth^f in bed oe m non otlier place ; 

God Hnldc ! fholdc it tclien for \m gmcc : 

A wif ncfhal not hjn of hire hulbood 

But all honour, as 1 can undcrftond ; 

Sai?c unto you thus moch I tdkn flial : 

As hclpc mc God he is nought worth at all, 

In no degree the value of a flic. 

But yet mc^grcvcth moA hismgardle: 

And wcl ye wot that women naturally 

Dcilren tliing^c* fiic as well as I ; 

They wolffra that hjr hufbondrs fhuldcn be 

Hardy, and wifir, and richc, and thrrto free, 

And buxomc to his wif, and frefh a-bcddc. ' 

Biit iy tW tllcc Lord that for us blcddc. 

For hi* honour myfcivtn for to array, 

A Sondjy fit. it 1 mudc nedca pay 

An hutidrcu frank*, or cllcs am 1 lonur; 

Yet v.tTt- mc k-vcr that I were unbomc 

Than wer^ don a fclandrc or vilanic. 

And if min hufbond ckc might it efpic 

1 a 'err but loft ; and thcrforc T you prey 

X^tic nit" this fumrnc, or elles mote 1 dcy ; 

Dan Jrthi, 1 lay, Icnc mc this hundrrd trankc* j 

Pard'.' I Wol not faille you my thankes. 

If that you lif^todo rhai I you pray ; 

Fur jtt a certain Any I wol you pay, 

Aud do lb you wh.if pkfanct ! 

/rhaiT I may doii^ right a* ynu , 

And but r do God u\lc on nu 

As IfuiJ a» cvrr had Gcnclon ^ 

Thifgcnril inrinkanfwered i_: .. .-:_rc; 
N«w Uewcly* mm owcn lady dert \ 
1 have (t;ttod he) on ypu fo jfretc a rout he, 
Tluit I you fwcrt, and plij»htc you ray trouihr, 
*rhat whnn your hun>oiui h to Flandro fare 
1 wol dcfiver you out of this care, 
Fc^r I wol brinprn you an hundred franke«^ 
And with that word ht- ciuj;ht her by the f!aixkeS| 
And hirt embraced hard, and kiftt hire oft. 
Goth DOW yr'M VI .. n. .,,1 1.,^ i] jiijjc andfuftj 
And Itt un ^i ye may. 

For by ray k , i e of day : 

Goth nnw,«iid htrth cs trewc as \ Diid be. 
i^ Now clki Cod forbcdc, Sire* quod flic. 
And fonh dte jcotJi an joly a& a pie, 
And bad iht c*'\e% that fhey fhuUI hem hie» 
So ihilt I ■ ' aiioij. 

UjJ to I 

Aud ktro.. itriji ar i,Mj.iiL-ly. 

^ii if hf qnod i am I, 

Qr.^r- Wt, ♦, Mgewolyefaft? 

\\ I and caik 

\" > and your thingcs ? 

Th»- drvn lii»ve pin of all iwtehr rekcntngcil 
Ye h^'i )fT'>iiph psr'- of Ht-^^dfi fondc. 
C :«r*ltoudc 

J ri 

\\ ne dine* 

J divtjic 



fc. . 



Cootinuclly, laJling unto oure ajjjc. 
We moun wel makcn chcrc and %otA Yif»( 
And driven forth the world ju it may b«. 
And kcpcn oure cftat in pHvetee 
Til wc he dcd, or clle§ that we pUy 
A pdgrimage.or goo out of the way - 
And therforc have I grct necellJtcc 
Upon tliie cjutintr world to avifcn me ; 
For evermore mote wc llond in drede 
Of hap and fortune in our chapmiznhedr* 

To Flanders wol 1 go lo-morwe at day. 
And come ageio as foiie as ever I uxi^j^ 
For whidi, my dcrc wif ! \ thcc bcfcke 
As be to every wight buiani and mcke. 
And for to kcpc our (food be curtou», 
And hone (11 y govrrnc wcl our hou*. 
Thou hail ynough in every maner wife 
That to a ihrllty houHiold may fuffice. 
TKl'c lacketh non array nc no vitaille ; 
Of filver in tliy purfe (halt thou not faille. 
And with th.it word hit coontour dore he 1 
And doun he goth ; no Icngtr wold he Ictteg 
And ballily a msfTc wasther faide, 
Aitd fpedily the tables were yhtd-. 
And lo ihe dintr fAflftthcy t 
And ticliely thUmnnk the cr \t^ 

And afttr difjtr Dan John loijnjy 
This thapniun tokt apart, and pri^xly 
Ik fail] him thu6 ; Cofin, it (lundeth fo 
Thai wtl I fee to Brugges yc wol go » 
God and ^ciui Auilin fpcdc you ajidgldcl 
I pray you, cofin» wifely thet yc ride j 
tJovcrncth you aifo of your diete 
Aitemjirdyi and namely m this hetr, 
Bctwi^ Mh two ncdeth no (Irange fire : 
Farcwcl, cofm^ God ihilde you fro eaict 
If any thing ihcr be by day or night. 
If it lie in my power and my might. 
That ye me wol command in any wiCr, 
It Ihal be don right as ye wol deviie. 

But o thing or yc go, if it m*y bej 
1 woldc praycn you for to Itne nic 
An hundred frankcs for a wcke or Cwcyt, 
For Certain belles tliat I mufle beye» 
To llorcu with a place that \s ourea^ 
(God help me fo I wold that it were yotirci 
I (hal not fiTllc furcly of my day. 
Not for a tl»oufand fr*nkcs a mile way. 

But let thi* tiling be frrr • - - 

For yet to-night thifc 

Aod fare now wcl, mk; . ......■, .. . . ; 

Qr^nd mtnj of yunr caft and ol your chcre, 

Tltis noble marchiiit gcniilly anoci 
Aolwi fd And faid» O coSn miii, Dan John ! 
Now fikcHy this is i fmal nrqucflc ; 
My gold iiyuuiT^fwhan that it you leftf^ 
And nut only my gold but my thttiHirc t 
Take what you icff, God ftjcl^ ' fii; 

But o t'unjj: IB, ye know it w 
Ot chipmcn that hir money a^ ..,, j ► ,>;h : 
\\ niOL'n cfcancrii while wc ban a name,. 
But good Us h>r to ben tt i» no g»me» 
Pay it a^' n whun it lith in your cfv : 
Aucr my might lul f^yu ^xi\i I ^ou plcf^ 



tHE SHlPMANNtfl TAL«* 



tif 



frtDkcs fct he forth anoD* 
prfTc* heni to Daij John ; 

tight rtorld will of this biic 

1^ t}ii» n^^^^ui and D4n John aloac. 
I idncikr, Atid fpckc, and romi! a whik jind 
hn t^m John ridcih to bU abbcyc [}>!<:)£* 
he c&fnr,&nd forth thi* marchunt rjtlcih 
fr^rd ; his prentis wd hini gidcth 

!i»maicJi£nt fa^ite and bcfily 

"c, and bkth, and creauctlh ; 
ptaydh at the dis nc danceth, 
rJiaot, (hortly for to teli, 
tii ; and thcr I let him dwell. 
7 next titt marchant was ttgoQ 
J>c«U9 f comcn h Dan Jfiha, 

Ati : ' ' 'I frcm and ncwe yfhavc 
litfl a knave, 
it cil.- , .;... ..^ n'»4 ful fain 
mj l»cptd Dan John Wa» come agaiii. 
tty the point right for to gon, 
1 th with Dan John 
^d fraakcs he (huuld all night 
ui iu* Aftnci bolt upright : 
orii parfcrmcd wa» tti dcde, 
flight a bcfy lif they Icdc 
• dAy, that Daii Johti ycdc l«i way, 
the rocmic ferewcj,h;ivc gnod day ; 
ol heni, oc no wight in the tt.un, 

f ri-m }tihn riffht HOfl lili'pCi^tioim ; 

liome to hi« iibbcy, 
no more of hira t fey, 
iuuit, whan that ended was the hlrCf 
s hr gan for to repoire, 

maketh fcfte ind chene, 
chaffare: it fo dere 
wrfK nc make a chcvifance 
hutidi In a rccogaifancc 
q^ .^_ „*.. .> .., r.,., I n, 1 J. -.^nuj 

<»n 
-- - :.. Madde 
Mid franket^ and lorn with him he ladde. 
^bo that he wa.s come in to the coun» 
fse cliirrf ee and gret aflfe^lionn 
Das Ji:»l"ti be goih him firfl to piryc, 
m to -Lie *>r borwc of him nioiicyc, 
irio *» ttc and ftcu of hi* welfare, 
■r to tell- ■- *-" ■- ■ ■' ' ■' 'V 

10 fere, 
ry cLerCi 




dull 
■ tobn lii^^ ^. 
rptm toldc a 

lie hmA w^t vl 

4iax he r 






ufly 
hi« marcJiandti^rf 
nij«n ere wife 
-.> for hi* hc&c, 
I'm in foye atid rclle. 



a1 ye not inilTei 



Your wif, at home, the fame goid n^n 
Upun your bcitcJic ; (hr wotc it wclccrLain, 
By certair* tokened that 1 cst\ hire trll. 
Now by your leve 1 may uo Icngcr dwell ; 
Our abbot wol out of thiii touii aitan. 
And in hi» compagnie I muile gon* 
Grctc wclour damciniin owcn ncce fwctc ! 
And farcwcl. dcre ctifm ! til we mete. 

This marchafjt, which th^t wms ful ware and 
Crcaaced hath^iind paidc eke in P^ris [wi/e^ 

To certuin Lumbiirdet, redy in hir bond, 
the fumme of gold, and gate of hem hit bond. 
And hoa« he goth mery ai a popingay, 
For wcl he kntrw he ftood in fwichc array 
*rhat ncdei muftc he winnc in that viagc 
A thaufand frankcs above all his coflagc. 

Hii wif ful rcdy metxc him at the gate, 
A* flic was wont of old ufage algntc; 
And all that night in mirthe tbey hen fetie» 
F^r he was ricbe, and clerely out of dcttc. 
Whan it wat day, thi&marchant gan embraee 
Hi» wif all newe, and kifle hire in hire fact-. 
And up he goth« and maketh it ful tough. 
No more, quod fhc ; by God ye have yiiough ; 
And wantonly agen with him (he plaidc. 
Til at the lall this marchant to hire iaide : 

By Cod, quod he, I am a litcl wroihe 

With you my wif, althoti * ^ Inthe ; 

And wotc yc why ? by i I g«fl& 

That yc ban made a nwr;-. ...,^l:uc([c 
fietwixen me and my coIin Dan Joho. 
Ye fbuld have warned me or I had gtili 
That he you had an hundred fratikc» paide 
By rcdy token, and held him eviT :tp:jtdc 
For ihat 1 to him fpake of ch* \ 
[Me fcmed fo as by his contc*: 
Bi»' nathciesby God our hrvcn king 
I thoughlc not to axe of him no thing. 
I pray thee, wif, nc do thnu no morr fo : 
Tell mr ahvay, cf that V fro thee go. 
If any dettour hath tjj min abfcncc 
V|iaid thee, icfl thurgh thy nci^Iigencc 
I might liim axe a thing thut he huth piadc 

Thi} wif wa« not »fcrdc nc aifrarde. 
But boldcly Ihe Ikid, and that anon, 
Mary! 1 dcfic that fulfe monk Dan John ; 
1 kepe not of hi* lokcnc* never a del : 
He tokc me certain gohl, I wtitc it \\'c\. 
What ! evil thedome on hi« monkey fnoutci 
Fur Cod it wot I wend withoutcn doutc 
That he had ycvc it me becjufe of you* 
To don iherwith min honour and my prow 
Ff»r cofinage and eke for ^//r ebcre 
I'hiU he hath Kiid ful often timea hcff : 
But fith I fee I ftondc in fwichc di^oint 
t wol an (were you Ibortly to the point. 

Yc have mc Ibkkcdettoum than aro 1% 
For I wol pay you wel and redity 
Fro day to day ; and if fo bi 1 faUtc, 
I am your wif» fcore it upon my title. 
And I ihul pay a* font- as ever 1 may % 
For by my trouth I have on min array. 
And not in wnftc, bcftowed it every dclf 
And fvr 1 have bcflowtd tt fo wcl 




iza THE SHll'MAllKeS TAt^S. 

For your honour, for God4ei fake f fty 

As beth not wrothe, but let m laugh and pity : 

Ye flial my joly body han to wedde ; 

By God I n'ill not pay you but a-bedde : 

Foryeve it me, min owen fponfe dere ! 

'^ume hitherward, and maketh better chere. 

This marchant faw thcr was no remedy. 
And fpr to chide it o'cre but a foly^ 



Sith that the thing may li6t «neBdad W. 
Now wif, he faid, and I foryerc it thee s 
But by thy lif be Be no more to large ; 
Kepe bet my g6od; this ytrc I thee in eharge* 
Thus endeth now my Tale, and God ua (endo 
Talinr ynough vnto our (iTCf cnde. 



THE PRIORESSES FR0i«O&UE. 



THE PRIORESSES PROLOGUE. 



I Htl Cud» hff ntfmt Dfmim^ <}tiod our Hoftt ; 
I VhiloQgc tsote Uum f^co fay the coftc, 
iHMrcftta maillrr, gentil marincrt. 
**^Twe tbe moiikc a thoufa«d Uft quad ye re. 

I fekwcj ^ bctii wart of fwichc a iapc. 

Hookc put in the mannft hodc m ape* 
Eli bis wtfet eke, by Sctnt Aufhn. 

c^ DO tfioolnn more mto your in* 

^ftow pUIc oTer, aind let ui feck abopte 
r tcUen irft o£ lU this romf 



Another Tal< : ind with that w«rd he fald^ 
Aj curteiily ■• it had brca a maid ; 

My Lady Prlorcffc, by youi lerc^ 
So tl^at I wift I fhuW you not agrcve, 
1 wolde dcmcn that ye teUcn (hold 
A X=^* ^^^"^i *^ ^° ^^'^ *^t 1^ wold, 
Now wol ye vochefau/, may Lady dcrc ? 

Gladly « quod ihc} uid fakic as ye flid hero* 



THE PRIORESSES TALE*. 



Ltsfil o«r I-ord ? thy oime how menreillou* 
k b thit lai*^ world yfprad ! (quod (he) 
fv Ml al only thy laude preciotti 
H j l wmcd i& by fticn of dtgnitcc^ 
J^ ly die «n«ith of chUdreo thy bono tee 
Ftskiatskcd U, for on the brcfk fouking 
L fbewm they thin herying, 
ioce in IsikU-, ii i can beft aii4 naay, 
; &nd of the wKk« lily flour 
; diat thee bare, and h a niatdc alvv^^^y^ 
L m ftode I will do my labour; 
■t I may encrcrcn hire hioiour, 
r ilichcrCieiven i» honour and rott: 
riMyttacec,next hire fotie, and foule« bote* 

' maide I o maidc and mother fre 1 
* tmbrent f hrcnning in Moyfcs light, 
r:irifhcdcft doun fro tbe dr itcc, 
rb thin hambicfTe, the goA that in the alight 
boa Ycrtne, whaa he thm hertc light, 
cdTcd wai the lalhen &pi«nce, 
tlel|ic me to kU it in thy reverence. 

Lady t thy bountee , th^ mag;niliccaccj 
Thy vcrtue «nd thy gret hunilitec| 

„» * mktdit «r a diritltn child mvi^cred ^y the Jewi, j 




Tber may no tongue cjrpreflc in no ib' cncc ; 
For jonitin e, Lady \ or men pray to ihcc 
Thou goJI befom of thy bcnignitee 
And geteft us the light of thy praycre 
To gidcD Ufi uii^o thy fotic fo dcrc. 

My conning is fo wckc, o blisfut Qucne I 
I or to declare thy grc^c worthincflc. 
That T nc may the weigh tc not fuilcnc ; 
But a» a child of twdf moncth old or IciTe^ 
That can unnethci any word ciprfflc^ 
Right fb fare 1, and therefore I you pray 
Gidcih my fong thai I fhal of yoo fay. 

Thtr waa io Afic, in agrct citec, 
Amonges Crillen folk a jL'Wcne> 
Stiftencd by a lord of that contrcc. 
For foulc ufurc and lucre of vilanic 
Hateful to Crift and to his compagnie^ 
Andthurghthcflretcmcn mighten ride and wendei* 
For it wa» free, and Gpcn at cythcr code. 

A litd fcolc of Criflcn folk thcr Hood 
Doun at the ferther chd, in which ther were 
Children an hcpc comen of Cnfbsfi blood. 
That Icrncd in that fcolc ycrc by jcrc 
Swkhc mo&crc dodrijK as mea uifipd therci 



THE PRIORESSES TALE. 



I 



I 



This U to fay, to ftflgcn and to rcdc, 
As fmale children don in htr childhcde, 

AmoDg thifc children wasa widcwci foncj 
A Uicl clef gion* fcvcnc ycrc of ajr, 
That day by day to fcole wan hh wonc. 
And ckc alfo, whcras lie fq- the image 
Of Criftcs modcr, had he in ufage. 
An him was taught, to knclc aduuu, and fay 
Avt Marie as he goth by the way, 

Thu» hath thi» widcwe hire litcl fonc ytaught 
Our bli«ful Lady, Criilcs mother dere, 
To worlhip ay, and he forgate it naught. 
For fely childe wol away fone lore. 
But aye whan 1 rctnembrc on thit maccre 
Scint Nicholas ftam ever in my prcfcncc, 
For he fo yong to Crift did reverence, 

Thii lirel cluide his htcl book lemingg 
As he fit in the fcole at hi& primcrc, 
He Aima Rtikmptwis herdc fing, 
As children Icrcd hir antiphoDcre, 
And as he dorft he drow him ncrc and ncre, 
And hcrkencd ay the word* and the note. 
Til He the firftc vers coudc a! by rote. 

Niiught wifl he what this Latin wa« to fay. 
For he fo yongc and tendrc was of age ; 
But on a day hi» febw gan he pray 
To cxpoutiden him this fong in hu language, 
Or telle him why this Cong was in ufage ; 
This praydc he him to conflruc and declare 
Ful oft rime upon his knees bare. 

His fcluw, which that elder wa> than he, 
Aiifwered him thti* ; This fong t have herd iky. 
Was makcd of our blisful Laxly frc, 
Hire to i^uc, and ckr hire for to prey 
*1 o ben our help and focour whau we dcy< 
1 caa no more expound in thi« matere : 
1 len;e fong ; I can but fmal gr^mmerc. 

And is* thit fong makcd in reverence 
Of Crlllcs moder ? laid thi» innocent ; 
Kow certeA 1 wol don my diligence 
To tonne it all or Criftemaffe be went. 
Though that I for my primer flial be (beof| 
And ihal be beten thries in an houre. 
1 wol it conne ourLadic for to hououre. 

His fclaw taught him homeward prively 
Fro day to day til he coudc it by rote. 
And than he fong it wel and holdely 
Fro word to word according with the note : 
Twics a day it pafTcd thurgh his thmte. 
To fcolcward and homei^^ard whan he wcntc; 
On Criftc* modcr fct was his entente. 

As I have faid, thurghout the Jcwcric 
Thi» litel child, as he came to and fro, 
Ful mcrily than wold he fing and eric 
At ma Rt iff mpUf if ! ever tno. 
The fweicneflV haih hi* hcrte perfed Hu 
Of Criftes niodcr, that tu hire to prxy 
He cannot (lint of finding by the way. 

Our firftc fo, the Icrpcnt Sathanas, 
Thiit hath in Jcwcs hcrte hi* w^tfpc^ nrft. 
Up fwale atid faid, O Ebraikc pcplc, aku ! 
In thii to you a thing that is honeft. 
That fwiehc a hoy Su\ watken as him lefte 
In your dcfpit, and fin ^ of fwtchc frtitcoce. 



From thenncsforth the Jcwti hjg confptf ei 
Thiit innocent out of tht» world to chacc ; 
And homicide thereto han they hired. 
That in an aJeyc had a privce place. 
And as the child gan forthby for to pace 
This curfcd Jew him hent and held him 1 
And cut hi« throte, and in a pit hJm caft. 

1 fay that In a wardrobe they him tlircwftl 
When as thifc Jcwe* purgcn hir cniraiUc, 
O curfcd folk ! of Hcrodts allc-ncwc. 
Wfiat may your evil entente yon a 
Mordrc wol out, certein it wol dot 
And namely »hcr the honour of Got! Ili^i faj 
The blood out crieth on your curfed dcdc 

O martyr foudcd in virginitcc ? 
Now maill thou finge and fotwcn ever ia i 
The white Lamb cele flial. quod (he. 
Of which the gret evangcUft Seint John 
In Pathmos wrote, which fayth that ihcy thi^ 
Beforn this Lamb, and fing a fong al nevrc. 
That never fleflily woman they ne knewe. 

Thispoure widewe awaiteth al that nigliti 
After hire litel childe, and he came n'>ught« 
For which as fonc a* it was dnycs li 
With face pale of drcde and bcfy \ ! 
She hath at fcole and dies wher him icugnr^j 
Til fmally (He gan fo fer afpic 
That he bft fccn wms ip the Jcwcne. 

With modres pitec in hire brefl euclofed 
She goth, as (he were half out of hinc ] 
To every place wher flie hath fjppofed 
By likelihcd hire Htcl child to finde ; 
And ever on Criilcs modcr mcke and kinde 
She cried, and at the laXle tlius Ihc wrought. 
Among the curfcd Jewcs flic him foughe. 

She frcyueth and (he pnucth pitouf y 
To every Jew that dwelled in thilke place 
To ttlle hire of hire child went ought fidftfc I 
They faydcn Nay ; but Jcfu of his grace 
Yave in hire thought, within a httle ffpact. 
That in that place after hire fttnc Ihc aite 
Thcr he was caiten in a pit bcftde. 

O grcte God, that parfomicft tiiy Lallde 
By mouth of innocentes, lo here thy oijglit 
This gem of chaftitec, thi«emcraude, 
And rkc of'martirdwmc the rubie bright^ 
Ther he with throic ycoi^cn lay upright 
He Atma ^r- — " •■ -'" "> fingc 
So Ioude,tli . n to rifigc 

ThcCrilt . ^h the ftrrrc we« 

In coraen for to 'wiwndrc upon this rl 
And haflifiy ihey for the provofl iV: 
He came anon withoutcn t»rying. 
And hcrkth Cni>, that is of hcvai kinjf. 
And ckc his moicr, honour of mankind. 
And urtcr that the Jewei let he bindc 

Thii child with pilous lamentatioa 
Waj* t:ikcn up» Tinging his fong alway, 
And with honour and gret procelhon 
They carien him unto the next abbey 5 
His modcr fwouning by the here lay ; 
Unncthiri might the peplc that was therm 
This newe Rachel bringcn fro hisbcre* 

With turment and with fiiamcful deth ediCd 
This provoH doth thifc Jcwes ht to flavc 



THE PRIORESSES TALE. 



X13 



of this moder wifte, and that anon : 
i*olde no fwiche curfedndTe obferve : 
fiui he hare that evil wol defcrve ; 
•for -with wild hc.^ he did hem drawe, 
afcer that he heng hem by the lawe. 
poo his here ay lith this innocent 
m the auter while the mafle lad, 
after that the abbot with his covent 
fpedde hem for to bene him ful faft : 
whan they holy water on him call 
pake thischild, whan fpreint was theholy water, 
Cingy Alma Redemptwris Mater I 
his abbot, which that was an holy man, 
Mokies ben, or elles ought to be, 
lyoDge child to conjure he began, 
Ihid ; O dere child ! I haflc thee, 
Btue of the holy trinitce, 
me what is thy caufe for to fing, 
dut thy throte is cut to my fcming. 
y throte is cut unto my nekke bon, 
: thiA child, and as by way of kinde 
Id have deyd, ye longe time agon, 
[cfu Crift, as ye in b^kes finde, 
that this glory laft and be in minde, 
for the worihip of his moder dere. 
nay I iing Alma loude and dere. 
kis wclle of mcrcic, Criftes moder fwctc, 
•A alway, as after my conning ; 
whan that I my lif ihulde forlcte 
ic ihe came, and bad me for to iing 
aDtcxn Tcraily in my dying, 



As yc han herde ; and whan that I had fonge 
Mc thought (he laid a grain ujvon my tonge. 

Whcrforc I fing, and fing I mote certain. 
In honour of that blisful maiden free, 
Til fro my tonge of taken is the grain. 
And after that thus iaide {he to me ; 
My litcl child, than wol I fetchen thee. 
Whan that the grain is fro thy tongue ytake : 
Be not agafte, I wol thee not forfakc. 

This holy monk, this abbot him mcne I, 
His tonge out caught, and toke away the grain^ 
And he yave up the goft ful foftely. 
And whan this abbot had this wonder fein 
His faltc teres trilled adoun as reyne, 
And groff he fell al plattc upon the ground. 
And ftill he lay as he had ben ybound. 

The covent lay eke upon the pavement 
Weping and herying Criftes moder dere ; 
And after that they rifen, and forth ben went. 
And toke away this martir fro his here, 
And in a tombe of marble ftones dere 
Enclofen they his litel body fwete : 
Ther he is now God lenc us for to mete. 

O young Hew of Lincoln ! flain alio 
With curfed Jewes, as it is notable. 
For it n*is but a litel while ago. 
Pray eke for us, we finful folk unftable. 
That of his mercie God fo merciable 
On us his grete merdc multiplie. 
For reverence of his moder Marie* 



^^H^^^^* PROLOGUE TO 


SIRE THOI>A& ^^^^1 


^^P PROLOGUE TO 


SIRE THOPAS. ■ 


^^^W^HAJI iud wi» thi* minde rvefy man 


He femeth elviQi by hi^ eome aance« ^^| 


Ai fober wa» thai woodcr wai bu t»e. 


Fnr tiDto no wight doth he daltaoce^ ^^^ 


I'll that ou. Hofte to ppca |j£ bog^n. 


1 Say DOW fomwhat. fm other folk haa £«i4«^H 


And than at €rft hf lokcd upon mc. 


Tell uft a TaU of mirtltc, and that anon. ^H 


An4 fudc tlui9{ What man «rt ^nu f ^wd he t 


Hofte, quod I, ne be not evil opAide« ^H 


ThoQ bkcft u ih&K woldrfl fivd ^ iuu^c. 


For other Talc certet can I non ^H 


For cTcr opoa tbc grwiiid 1 fee tli«e ftitc 


But of a rime I lerned yore agon* ^^| 


M Approche ncrr, swd Iftkc «p rrttrtlf ♦ 

P Kow ware ytm, SLrc», ind kt thii mstn have pUcc; 


Ye, that is good, iiuod he ; we jhullen httt ^H 


Som deintee tiling oie tixiiikcth by thy chcr«k ^H 


He in the waftc b fliapcs •■ *cl as C* 


'^^^ 


This were a popet ioL^a^mims to «iibr»ce i 


^^^ 


■ For any woman, fh)«| and lurt «f bee. 


1 


^^B THE RIME OF 


SIRE THOPAS*. ^H 


LT»TENtTH,LordIngc»,ln good emeot» 


He eoude hunt at the wtldc dcre, ^^^^^| 


And I wol tcl you x*trammnt 


And hde on hauking for the rtvere ^ ^^^^^H 


Of mirthc and of folas, 


With grey golhauk on honde ; ^^^^H 


Al of a knight W3U faire and gent 


Thcrto he was a good archere : ^^^^H 


In bataillc and in turnamcnt, 


Of wraftling wa^i tber non bis pcre ^^H 


Hi! name was Sire Thopai. 


Ther ony ram Ihuld ilonde. ^^| 


Yborne he wai in fcr con tree. 


Ful many a maide bright in boor ^^^k 


In Flandres, al beyondc the fee. 


They mourned for him /ar «#i««r ^^| 


At Popering in the place : 


TMian hem were bet to flepc ; ^^| 


Hii lather wa* a man ful free. 


But he was chafle and no lechour, ^^| 


And lord he was of that cootreo^ 


And fwete as is the bramble flour ^^| 


A» it was Goddr» grace. 


That hcreth the red hepe. ^^| 


Sire Thopai wm a doughty fwain. 


And fo it fell upon a day, ^^H 


White wa» hit l*cc at paindcmaine, 


Forfothy as 1 you tellen may, ^^| 


His lippci red as rofc : i 


Sire Thopas wold out ride i ^^| 


- Hi*niddc » like fcarkt in grain. 


He worth upon his (Icdr gray^ ^^| 


Afld 1 you tell in good certain 


And in his bond a launcegay, ^H 


■ He had a fcmely nofc. 
B Hif here, hii berde, was like fafroitil. 
That to his girdle raught adoun; 


A long fwerd by his Gde, ^^| 


He priketh thurgh a fatre iattSt. ^^H 
Thertn is many a wilde beil, ^^^^^ 


Hii ihoon of Qordewane ; 


Yc both buck and hare ^^^^| 


■ Of Brngges were his hofen broun ; 


And ai he pricked north and ejl, ^^^^1 


■ His robe wa^ of chekrhtoun. 


f telle it you, him had ahneilc ^^H 


1 That coftc many a Jane. 


Betiddc a Tory care* ^^| 


■• •A fionh«rn Tik of an otit1«Pi1t<h Icn^cM, pttrpor^tT 


^^H 


W sttered hy Chaocer \n a r»*et *n4 Hfte ilJtfcrlnR firom the 
fw/i, MM tbmif^h he h»fnf4 M ^cf e n^t tbe author tnit ooly 


_^^^| 


Uitrcp^^nff Qf f -it; v't/icr Tiim* Vrrjf. 


^^^^^^^^^H 



tHE ftlME OF 


SlRl TH0PA5. 


t!^ 


«r fpainf ^ ^' > '^ ^me £ini finak| 


Sire ThopoA drew aUk ftilM f 


1 


UoorU ar. Ur, 


Thii gtaant at him iioaci caft 
Out of a fcl (la0c Him: : 


■ 


■B&ir a c^ tc, 


^^^M 


Botemtigc to put m ak» 


But fa 3 re efcap«d child Thofifli^ 


^^^M 


Cto- it be lAoift or lUle, 


And all it wa* ihurgh Ooildet f^neiv 


^^^^H 


tftaUlniacofrr, 


And thttrgh his f^ro barings 


^^^H 


le tniddn fio^n, if ii fio twf , 


Yet Mcneth, Lordiugi^p •» mtf Tali, 


^^H 


*^luxik iDd ihc |J«T»in^ay, 


Mcfier than the ai^lniii^t. 


^^^H 


1 }«y« it wai t* h«re, 


For ntjw I w©l yo« rmittt 


^^^H 


tbKkftel CDk made tke Kib !if, 


How Sire Thopas with fidci fcmle, 


^^^H 


vodc do^ iip<^n the fpray 


Priking over hiJl end dale, 


^^^^ 


kng fol Icnuk &&d clere. 


Is eomcn agcin to touQC. 


,^^^H 


re Tbo|»s fell io Kjvc-!ongmg 


Hi4 tncry men commandcth he 


^^^H 


ins he herd the throflel ^g, 


To makcn him hothe game and gle, 


^^^^1 


^ked u he were wood ; 


For nedcs muH he Jighlc 


^^^H 


kire ilcdc in his pr Iking 


With a gcautit with hcdes three 


^^^1 


btse cbit men might ium wrioj^, 


For paramour, and jolitec 


^^^1 


ides were al blood. 


Of on that (hone ful brightc. 


^^^M 


le Thopsu eke fo wcry wai 


Do come, he fayd, my mincftralei 


^^^M 


prtkiAs oo tht fofte gras, ^ 


And gcfloun for to tclicn talcs 


^^^M 


sri WW hj» corag?. 


Anon in min arming. 


^^^H 


doufk he Uid him in that pi»cc 


Of romaunces that b<?n rcalci. 


^^^H 


nkeo his dcdc fom foUcc, 


Of pope* and of cardinalct, 


^^^H 


yafliisi gwjd forage. 


And eke of love-longing. 


^^^H 


.Seiotc Mary, htntSdtt f 


They £ct him firft the fwctc wi% 


^^^H 


t ttilcth this I,o?c at mc 


And mcdc ckc ia a mafclin 


^^^H 


IbAc mc fo fore ? 


And real fpiccrie» 


^^^1 


Ircmcd »11 thji night parde 


Of ginger-bred that was ful fin^ 


^^^H 


If queue ftial my Icmman be, 


And licoris and ckc comin, 


^^^H 


flefe under my gore, 

1 elf quesjc wol 1 love ywk, 


U'iih f jgar that is trie. 


^^^1 


He diddc next liis white Icrc 


^^^H 


CI thii world no woman ii 


Of doth of lake fin and dcrc 


^^^H 




A brcchc and eke a Ihcrtc, 


^^^H 


itiir Women [ forfakc, 


And next hii flicrt an hake ton j 


^^^H 


to so elf qaese I mc tike 


And over that an habo-geoa 


^^^H 


Ale and eke by doiio. 


For ptTcing of his hertc ; 


^^^H 


to hM fxdcl he dombe anon. 


And over tJut a fin hauberk 


^^^H 


prikrd over llilc andflon 


Wai all ywrcught of Jewcs wcrit, 


'l^^^l 


• for CO cfpie. 


FuJ ftrong it was of plitc» 


,^^^_ 


: had ride n and gone 


And over that his cotcKirmourc, 


^^^H 


Ejae ■• "vi in ti privet wone 


As white as is the lily flourc, 


^^^H 


■^tr.r <A F^trie. 


1 lu whid^ he wold debate. 


^^^H 


fciij he loughtc north and fcuth^ 


His flicld wjis all of gold fo red, 


' ^^^1 


eft he fpicd with his mouth 


And thcrin was a bores bed, 


^^^H 


nay a fureit wildc. 


A charbouclc befadc ; 


^^^H 


ill dut contrcc n'u thcr non 


And ther he fwore on ale and bre<l 


^^^1 


t to hitn doHt ride or g<)D, 


How that the gcaunt QiuJd be dcd, 


^^^H 


rhcr wtfnc childc. 


Betide what fo betide. 


^^^H 


\\ that thrr camr a ^et gcatint. 


His jambuix were of cttirbottJy, 


^^^1 


1 '"•■^ j-.aum, 


Hisfwerdes Iheth of ivory, 


^^^H 


r 


Hishclmc of btoun bright. 
Hit fad el Mrat of rcwel bone, 


^^^H 


! 'i, L»v i cniiaeaiinl 


^^^^H 


tt tkc out oi nun haunt 


His bride 1 as the fonnc flionc. 


^^^1 




Or as the mone light. 


^^^H 


fc « the Qucnc of Faerie, 


Hi» fperc was of fin cyprei^ 


^^^H 


th harpc, ai)d pipc^ and lini phonic. 


That bodcth wcrrc and nothing pee-. 


^^^1 


elli07 in this place* 

rhe child fayd. Al fo mote 1 the 


The bed ful fharpe yground : 


^^^^ 


His ftcdc wa» all dapple gray. 


^^H 


voorwc wol I meten thee, 


It goth an aumbk in the way 


^^^1 


BUI 1 hiTC tnin arrootirc. 


Ful foficly and round tn londe 


^^^1 


l^tt Ihope^r-^t/jy 


JLo, Lordr«4] a ^t> 


^^^M 


IriiM} Ai«k with tiit^ hwecnty 


ffyew^iorv 


^^^1 


Iftj^T ' • • Uiytt«wc 


Tal«rieitvv 


^^^1 


11 1 V *r. 


Ho^ hoi hp^wr iUrket 


^^^H 


iibc... , :c<i#Aed«y, 


•Btthc kajghi , ir#, 


^^^H 


r tot ihga dull b? ftnpre. 


d 


M 



ft6 



THE RIME OF SIRE 1*H0PA5. 



And hcrkcneth to my fpcU ; 
Of bataille and of chevalrie, 
Of ladies love and druerie, 
Anon I wol you tell. 

Men fpeken of romaunces of pris, 
Of Hornchild and of Ipotis, 
Of Bevis and Sire Guy, 
Of Sire 1/ibcui and Plcindamour, 
But Sire Thopas he bcrcth the flour 
Of real chevalrie. 

His goode ftede he al bcftrode. 
And forth upon his way he glode 



As fparcle out of bronde ; 
Upon hi's creft he bare a tour. 
And therin (liked a lily flour; 
God fliilde his corps fro flionde ! 

And for he was a knight auntroitf 
He n*oIde flepen in non hous, 
But liggen in his hood ; 
His bright helm was his wanger. 
And by him baited his doflrer 
Of herbes fln and good. 

. Himfclf drank water of the well. 
As did the knight Sire Pcrcivel 
So worthy under wede. 
Til on a day > ■ 



PROLOGUE TO MELIBEUS. 



HKraBpft^f ^^^ t^^"*^ makrit mc 
ptr^of thy vrray IcwcdncfTc, 
■ ml fo wiXly God my foule blcfTc 

rcres a.kcn of thy draJty fpcch<^. 

^ fwichc a rime the devil I bctcchc ; 

\mmj iK^el htt rime d<igcr£l, qaod He 

^y lb f quod 1 ; why wolt thou UctCO me 

tof my Tate than an other man^ 
It it i> the beftc rime I can ? 
f God, quod he, for plainly at o word 
drmfty liming is not worth i tord : 
U duft Doug^ht elks but dirpcndcQ time. 
^at. o word thou fhaJt noknger rune. 
ire 'vrher thou canll tcllen ought in gcftc, 
Ikllrsi in profc fomwhat at the Icflc 
fbich ther be Tom mirthc or fom dodLrine. 
lidty, quod 1 1 by Godde»fwete piuc 
i yorti telt a Utct thing in profe 
I ooghtc likcD you, as I fuppofe, 
3k» cnte? ye he to dangcroui, 
« moHLl Tdc vcrttioui, 
k it told fomtmic in fondry wife 
la^nr folk; ai I ij^al you dcvif^* 



A* thu*; ye wot that every evangelist 
That tctlcth uA the peine of Jcfu Crift 
Ne fatth not uUc thing a^ hit felaw doth ; 
But oithcks hir fcntcnce it al loth. 
And allc accordcn as in hir fenccnce, 
Albe ther in hir tclUng difference ; 
For fom of hem fjiy more and fom fay Icflc 
Whan they hii pitoua pafTion expreflc . 
1 mcnc of Mark and Mathcw, Luke and Johli, 
But douttrles hir fcutcnce i» all on. 
I'hcrforc, Lordinj^eii all, 1 you hefeche^ 
If I hat ye tbinkc I vjury in my fpcchc, 
An thu», though that I telle fom del more 
Of proverbes than ye han hcrdc before 
Comprehended in thi* litel trctife here. 
To cnforten with the cflcd of my matcrcj 
And though 1 not the Cmic wordc* fay 
A* ye han hcrdc, yet to yoo allc I pray 
Blamcth me not, for as in my fenttoce 
Shul ye nowher finden uo difference 
Fro the fcntcnce of tiulke tretifc Jitc 
After the which this nicry Talc I write ; 
And tlicrforc hcrkeneth what I flial fay^ 
And kt mc tcUcti idl my Talc I pray. 




TALE OF MELIBEUS*. 



A yoHCE iiun called Mcltbcus, mighty and 
richc, hcgiU upoii hi» wif that c^cd ww Pru- 
dence a doughctr which that called was Sophie. 

Upoo a day befell that he for hi* difport « went 
into the fcldfr* him to pbvc. Hn wif and eke hw 
dou^htcr hath ht I^'ft within hi* fi<ju«, of which the 
dorc* wcrcfl hf\ j^hcttc. Fourc of hb otdc fooi htn 
it efpicd, .uid fettcn Uddcn to the waJJci of h Js hous, 
and by thr windowei ben entned, imd bcten hii 
wif, And wounded his dought^r with Brc mortal 
wooudcs in ^vc fondry places ; this h to fay, in 
hire feet, in hire honde*, in hire crea, in hire nofe, 
and in hire mouth, and Icftcn hire for dede, and 
went en away. 

Whan Melihcuft reiorncd was into hU hmif,t(id 
fey al r' " -v '^ ' rf, hflikc a madman rending his 
clothe^ ind crie, 

PmUc,,. : . . .1, as fcr forth at Ihc dnrfte, bc- 
foDji^ht him of hit wepinj^ for to ftint : but nut 
fortby he g^i to eric and wepcn ever Icn^r the 
more. 

This noble wif Prudence rcmcmbrcd birf upon 
the fentcpcc of Ovide, in hi$ book that clcpcd is 
The Rcmcdic of Love, ^heraj^ he faith, Jic Ii a 
fool thaf ' " ' th the modcr to wepe in the 
dcth ol til fhc have wept hire fille, a» 

for accruin lun. ; and than fh a) a tn an don his di- 
ligence with amiable wordct hire to reconfortc, 
and prcyc hire of hire wcping fcr to ftintc. For 
which refon this noble wif Prudence fuffrcd hire 
hulbond for to wcjie and crte a» for a certain fpace, 
ind whan flic faw hire time flic fayde to him in 
thi» wife : AU» ! my Lord, quod flie, why make 
ye yourfelf for to be like a fool ? forf^jthc it appcr- 
teineth not to a wife man to maken fwi.'hc a forwc, 
Voure doughter with the grac< of Gcd flial warilh 
and cff 4pe* And a] were it fo that the right now 
were dede, ye nc ought not at for hire dcth yourc- 
fcjf to dcftroye. Senek faith. The wife man flial 
not lake to grct difcomfort for tlie dcth of hi» chii- 
•Ircn, b«t certci he Ihuldc Ibifren it in patience, as 
ivcl AJi he abidcth the deth of hiiowen proprc per* 
fone. 



htr 






LMCi.- 43»;aiyni- 




Thi» Melibeu^ anfwercd 
man (quod he) (huldc of hii wepxa 
hath fo grct a caufc for to wepe f J« 
Lord himfclf wepcc for tt\e d<th 
hii frcnd. Prudence Htfwcfd i Ccfta 
attemprc weptnf^ iaoothii^ d<i£All4cil 
forwefui is aaong fot^ ia f^tWKm Nl 
gtaunted liiiu to wcpe. The •f#ftl4 
the Romaaneiwriteth, Man fliat ia)#f 
that makeit joye, and wcpen with im 
wcpcn. But thoagh attesjprr ivrpin»^ 
outrageous wej^ting cw 
weping flfcutdc be ci>i 
techtth Ui 8cQck<. Wh.in tint tty J 
(quod he) let not thin ey en to mot£c 
DC to muchc drie i although iltc Mfi 
thiu eyen Jet hon not fallc. And m^ 
forgon thy lrcs:id do diligence cofataj 
frcad I and thii is mnr'.' wifdocn that 
for thy Crcsde which that ihpu km 
»hcrin is no bole. And therforc If 
.you by fapicncc, put away forw« m 
hertc. Remembretb you that Jcfa&Si^ 
man that it joyous and glad in bcr^ 
ferveth floriflung hi kui age ; but UtA 
ful hcrtc makoiK hia boQca drie. H 
thus, that furwe in hcrtc rfeeth ful n 
Salomon fayth, that right ai mouthes \ 
Seek anoicn to the clothes, and the fiae 
to the tree, right fo anoieth forwc to 
man ; whcrforc us ought as wcl in 
cure chiltirrn a» in the lofle of our go 
rel have patience. 

Rcmembre you upon the patient 
he hadde loft hi* children and hit te 
flauncc, and in hii body endured and i 
many a grevous tribulation, yet f«y( 
Oure Lord hath yavc it to me, our 
bcralt it me ; ripht as ourc Lord hath 
fo it is don ; yblcflcd be the name of 
To thife forefaide thingct anfwcrvd Mi 
his wif Prudence : All thy wordes (qi 
irewt, and thcrto profitable, 4iut tr 
hcrte is troubled witii this forwe fo gr« 
I n'ot what to don. Let callc (quod 
hy trcwc freodc* alle, and thy Una 
that ben wife, and tellcth to hem ^01 
hetkcneih what they fayc in cocilctUaj 



THE TALS or MELIBEUS. 



»• 



r«f»tcncc. Salomon faith, 
i by cotifciil and thou ihalt never 

f hit vrif Prudence thin Meti* 

I ©0fir-- ■' - ■ if folk, ;ib fur- 
r fcit , antl ftmi ol 

, jL^ . , luT iVmblant) 

tod to hU |;r.ict ; HJiil ijarwrhai iKcr 
t «wf hi* Rogliclmure* that Men hint 

»for drrdc ihun for luvc, ua ic hAp- 
comrrt -ilfo ft*l many iubtii thttcr- 
«MlTOv M the Uwc* 

ia thtk T aiV(*mhie(I wcren^ 

HO fcr i:htiLU»^ 

Hitorc ih4t in 



en, by licence anid 
, up rofe, md unto 

Iir) >i4 to It* f<»r|^ti» nppcrtcitieth 

bcftc thttt we can, 

1 vDci to our patten I 

elam;agt^^ vMicrr'irc it happt'^tli many 

tlkit wh*,ti twcy men h-ui cvcrich 

ic fur;gicti hcktli iicm l>uth, 

it h not pertinent tn noricc 

pportc : but ccTtc%ii% to the 

dnughteri mI be it fo tlittt peri- 

ndcK V e rtiuln do io entcnt i[ 

^ , thsit 1^'ith the gnicc of 

] Idiiml at fone a*i^ »« pofli- 

li/ht jnf[(ciainv wife il 

that thfy liidiii i 

Rtahdic^ * w> (111 

iftl mnn w \ His 

cnvic^ his [ ....dt$ that 

i&d hii llattTtn, niadtn Icin- 
;, *ud cmpcircd and 4gre^gcd mu* 
in prcyfmg grtily McUbec of 
', trf fichc-flc, and t»f frcndeag dcf- 
T of hi» iidverrori^Si ^nd fjidcrt 
anon iKuld<; wrckcn him on liii 
icn wcrre. 

in an ^dvocit that wa* wife, by 

rl of other th^t were wife, and 

» the ncdc? fur ihr which wc 

i!.i« pliice it a fxil havit fhinjj, 

aiiV of the wrottg and 

tiMh be dut), and eke by 

:v'» that in imie coming 

ihA fame ciiufc, and eke 

t rjchcfft and power of the 

11^ IV hie h rcfons it wcrf a fiil 

til-' ■ - - ', ' :r,Mc\l' 

te you, 

• p- " * ...... do thy 

of thy pruprc ptrfone in 

il*c want lion cfpienc w4tche 

«Dd aftei thit wc €onf«;iUi: 

fottc fuftifj^ut gamifon, fo 

i'l cliy body asthy hmn de- 

t« Qiccvcru tvcirc, uc fodcnly 



H^ 



fi>f to do rcni^eatmce, we moufl not demc in fo 
litej tiuic rh;At it were proficAhlc ; whrrcfoftf UC 
asten lt:ikr ajid fp^ce to h:iVr ti iiithi* 

cas tu dfoit; fi^r the rnniur* ^khthut 

H '* ■ ' ^ - " ajid ckrt 

r ic nndcr* 

i.' -,...,. " ^1 ht! i« 

|o liiui ;J tiifyinj; bt . r tQ 

r.|-r. v.- In w v^ > .:.r , ._ ■ ^ ijce 

ittt and rciririitldc i Aud 
i' . J Tu CriP. by cufample ; for 

w Liii iu4L iLw wwa;ui; liiAt W*L5 tak> n iti adYiHitria 
was hroujrht in his pri'fencr, to knovven what 
fliulJ \ , ' ' : bL- it thai h« 

nc yj''. , .!»>... I i^.. ■ ' " *•- V m!(1^ 

have I . and in i! ot^ 

tvvic* : . , .ifc taufe* V. lun* 

Uiil wc Ihnhi tinm by the yn^ace oi Uod cgnletlli 
the thing that Aiul be piolltiiblc* 

TTp fttTtc thftn the yottj^c lolk »t ftntd^ and th« 
nmft partic of that compagnic h^rt fconu^d tJu» 
olde vv;r« man^ and bcgoniicn to tnukc noife and 
r;iidcni Right fA a% while thcLt i/en i» hot meit 
Itiul !(.* fmitf, right fo men ihn^n do wrti^cn hir 
wrcjng« while thwt thty brn frethe an J newc I 
aiiul wtih lowdc V* v.. 1 1 '.. .1 .1 w.-t. ' "-rrel 
Up rcff tho on of •< rid 

made countenanc Ule 

and yevr him audicace, l.ordtngc*, (quod he) 
ther if ful many a man thet cricth Weirc \ wcrrc 1 
that vkot<r fuUitel what wrrr*; imtoimteih. Wcrre 
at hi* bf-nimini^ h*th fo trrrt t/n\ cntrhig and fo 

vhnnhimhketh^ 
vviiar end that 
iii.il i.t, j.i'. iT I ''. -."uw; f*jr fothJy^ 

ivhan that wcrrc j ;me tJtcri: is ful many 

;, rl.it.i . r.lwjnjc « - 'er that (biil ftcrve 

:c of thilkt' rtrcrrc, otLrr eJlri, live iii 
t ; dicn in wretchedncfic ; anJ tl trforfi 

or that any wcrpe be btgoime n>cn mni> ftj,vc 
j^rct confcil aiid grct dchhiTatiun* And ivhAa 
thiA rvlde miiii wrmtc to cnforcen his talc by rclons, 
wel nlc alle at oncii bc^ojinc they to rife iar t4> 
hrekcn ht« talc| and bid ' ' i rift hii ward^x 

for to uUrr^gc; for i' j priichcth 10 

hem th^t liilen not hti\n nr v,"iuf-$f hi« lermoti 
Item anoieth ; for Jrfus Sirak f^yth that niullkc in 
weptng is a nc-it.ki^ f'l * r ' th;a i» to fnyn, M 
mu^hcr avaiUcth \- -n folk to whieii hi» 

fpcche anoicth atr nc him that wcpcili. 

And wlwii (his wik ui«u faw that hira Wiinted 
audience al fliamcfwft he fettc him doun u^dn ; 
for Salomon laith, Thcr as liiou ne ni.nyft have 
non audivifce miforcc thee not to fpeke. J fee wcl 
(quod this wift man) that llie comunc provcrbc 
h futh| tliat good confcil tivantcth wh&n it Jimoft 
nede. 

Yd had this Mi libcti* in hit confeil many folk 
that privvly in Ijis crecoiifcdk*. hijn certain thing-, 
and confc'ilkd htm the contrary in general audi- 
ence, AVhtm Mchbcus had herd that ihe greteft 
party of his eordVil werr accorded that lie iKuldtf 
tn;ikc wcrrcj anon he conlcntcd to hire confcilliog^ 
1 



t^& THE TALE O 

iVid fully JtfffTmc4 Kir fentcocc. Than Dame Pro* 
dcricc, ^^hm thit fhc Lw how thit hire huHiondc 
hope him fcrt«4wrcWc him on hisfoniit ami to be- 
finnc Hcrrc, fhc in ful humble wife, whan (he faw 
iircHnie,<4yrfr him thefc wordcs: MyLord,»(tjuoci 
I yoii hrfcchc, a^ benly a* 1 tiarc and can» 
(Ic yi/ii not to faftc, and for allc gucrdonds 
■1 ytvr mc audience;. for Pierft Alphonff * fayth^ 
M''ho fo that doth to thcc outher good or hinhc 
huftc thcc not to quite tt, for in thi* wife thy 
>rnd wol abide, and^hiu tnemic fhal the Icngcr 
live in drcde. Ihc pro^crbt fayth. He haftcth 
wcl Uiat wiXcly cina^de; and in wikkcd haft is 

Thi* McKhec anfwcrcd unto hi% wif Prudtncc ; 

I pisrpofc not (qiic^d he) lo wcfkcti by thy con* 

Lfeil for many cauiet and i*eff»n», for certcs every 

Kriji^br wolffr hold me than a foci; this it to fayn, 

' if 1 fcr thy conftiirmg woldo changi* thingc* that 

bed ordaiued and aflirmcd by fo many wife men, 

Secondly I 1 fay that a 11^ women ben wicke, and 

^.tion froud of hrm all; for of a thoufitnd men^ faith 

lilaionion, I foitnd o good man ; btic cercef of a lie 

nen good found I nevr r. And alfo, ccrtei if 

^overncd rae by thy conicil it Ibuldc fcnic that 

I Fad yct»e tHcc over mc the maiftrie ; and God 

orbcdt thw it fo were ; for Jcfu» Sirak fayth, that 

f the vif have the maiftrie fhc is contrariotit to 

lliir'; htifboud; and Salomon fayth, Kcvrr in thy 

I |if to thy wif, nc to thy child, nc to thy freiid, 

[iHe ynrc nr^^prwer over thyfelf j for better it were 

hilt diy children axe of thcc thinjcs that hem 

Fliedeth, th:i3 ihmi fee thyftlf in thv* handcs of thy 

hitdrcn. And alfu if I wol ^trc!ic by thy con- 

ieilling^, certpiitnuffl be fonitime fccrec^til it were 

Jmc ihftt it be knowm, and thii nc may not 

be if I fbrilde be confeUtcd by thcc [For it is 

^'ritcn f The jsnglcrie of v^men nc can no thing 

hide fave that which they wctc ant ? after the phi- 

Kifnphre Ccyth, Tn wikkcd confcil women vrn- 

. " n : and fur thilc rcfoni 1 nc owe uot 

tied by thee.] 

— P ^ -^ ^ r,,i 4 * f^r^alrly, and with 
jrrct ; : hulbonde liked 

fiT :n 1-,, v^_ - . -in licence for to 

fjitki-, and faydc tn :hii wife : My lord, (quod 
ihe) xi to yt>ur fiffl reicn it may lightly ben an- 
fwi r J, for T fay that it ri no folic to ehaungc con- 
Uii wiiiuj the thing i* chmn^rtd, or cUci whan the 
ibingfemcth othcrwifc than it jcmcd afore. And 
morvover, I (ay, though (hat yc iuvc fworac htud 

• He cuff* T4r«frjl< P<"fn A'fim^fi 1> h^n T>iikrat r'ftr»-J 



-firv ro the 



« «««uKi*je D« lUita ^'iht 



t MELIBECS. 
bchight to pcrforme your cmprife, afl 
lc» ye weive to pcrforme thslkc f^inc 
juft caufe, men ihuld not fuy thcrtor 
Iyer ne forfwoni; fortbe b6«jk fayiK li 
man maketh DO Icfmg whan he tometJ 
tiiT the better. And al be it that yoor 
cftablJfticd and ordeined by gret mollil 
yet thar yon not accomptiib ihitke or( 
you likethr for the troutbc of thinmi 
fit ben rather fotindcn in fewe iulk tk 
and fw I of refon, than by gret multtti 
ihtT every mm crycth and clatterctk 
liketh ; fothly fwkhe multitude i«n»t 
to the fecond refoo, wheras yc fay th^ 
ben wickc; favc your grace, ocrte* y^ 
women in this wife, and he that aU i 
fiith the book, all dcfplefeth. And \ 
that who fo wol have fapWncc fhall I 
prei fc, but hcHial gladly uchc the fei« 
tin without prcfumption or pride» 
thingei as he nought can He (hal not b 
to Icrc hem, and to eoqicrc of leffllf foU 
frlf. And» Sire, that ther hath ben 
good woman may lightly be prrrcd $ 
Sire, ou^ Lord Jtfu Criit n'oldc nrt^ 
cendcd to be borne of a womafl^ if all 
be wicked; and after that, f«ir the i 
that it in women, our Lord Jcfu Cril 
wa» nkn from deth to lif, appeared I 
woman than tohifapoillcs. And thm 
lonion fayde he fminde never no good 
fidweth mt thcrforc that ill women j 
for though that he nc found an gfl 
certci many another man bath foiri 
woman ful good and trcwe : or cllOip| 
the eotcnt of Salomon was thi«, tball 
bountee he found no woman ; thi* Im 
ther if no wight that hath foveratel 
Gnd alone, an he hinifdf recorddhMj 
lies; for tl>er i» no crrature fo S^iil 
wiiitcth fomwhii of the perfedioi^l 
i*^ hit maker. Yourc thriddr rcfon tij 
that if that yc govcrric you by « 
Ihulde feme that ye had ycvc roc tHcl 
the brdOiip of your peribn. Sire»rs«i 
it i» nijt fo; for if fo were that no mil 
ronicilled hot only of hem that ban I 
maiflric of hi«perfon, men n*oldenoe | 
fo often ; for fothly thilkc man ih*l 
fell of a purpos yet hath he free dj 
he wol werkc after that con&tl or t» 
to your fourth rcfon, ther as yc fain t| 
Ittie of women an hide thioget t^ 
not, a* who fo faiyth thai a woman €i 
that Qic wottf ; Sire, thife worde^bcoij 
of women that ben jangkrcffet 9Bm 
whidi wotfcn men fain that three tf " 
a man out of his hou&,that i% to f»yt 
ping of raiiTC, and wicked wivis; 
^vomen Salomon fayth, that a on 
dwell indef^rt than withaironiiafi 
and, hire, by your Icve, »>at mh not 
ful often affaied my gret ^Itnct and I 
tkncci Uid ckc how wd thftt I cm b| 




TrtE TALE OF MKLIBEU6. 



I fccrrtly to iildcn. And 

ioJi*. ^her^i ye by th^t 

" -d tncn^ God 

J ftcde ; for 

■ ,. ., ^ . ,^.-, . ...wi for to do 

utd ;:f jc ivcJ wcrkcn wickednciTc, j{ 

wiiu&mntiU Thilkc wickvilpurpoft,and j 

:b fou by rcfou and by g^od coafcU, 

If T;f cfsjht mtKcr to be prdfed than to 

Adc yc uDdcrilonde the philo* 

ill wicked coiifc II women vcu- 

,:b<<idcv And thcr lu you bUmeo 

' hir Ttfoas, I fliii Jbewc you by 

iln thai ft ion y womtn have ben fuj 

i>c:3, and hIr conJeil holefome and 

(om mcD hjLD luyd th^t the confeil 

icr to dcrc or ellcs to liicl ol iris : 

that ful QiAHy iL woman be La J, and 

SbI rile lad nought worth, ytt hao men 

fjil nti'^y 1 good woman* and dii-rrctc 

Lo Jacob, ihurgb the 

r Rebeck c, wan the bc- 

iiia the lordibij^ over ill hia 

y hire jijocud coufcil dclivired 

c, ID which fbe dwelt, out of 

ro, that had it bdeg;fd, and 

,e; Abigail delivered N:ib^ 

i >^vid the kjngt ths^t woldc han 

' -d the ire ol* the king b/ hire 

id confcilling; Hcftcr by hire 

,;rctly the peplc of God in the 

].c king; and the f^nic bountcc 

'.f many a good woman moUn 

And further more» xrhtn that 

>rcd Adkm ottrc forme^ UtbcT 

I. ...k; It IS not good ro be a man 
We to him an hcipe ftmblable to 
I maun yc fee that if thui women 
d^Mtd hir confelt good and pro£ca* 
God of hcTcn woldc neither han 
bt okihd hem he I tic of man* but 
m of nun. And thcr f^yd a clerk 
ircr*, What i» better tbm gold^ 
Jk»ti> better thin jafprc ? wifdum j and 
than wifdom ? woman ; and what 
4 good womoLn f nothing. And, 
othf r rt fons moiin yc Iccn that 
ind hir confcil good and 
^Ui • , Siic, if JC woj trofkc 

Bletl, i IhaJi rvltore you yowr doughtcr 
^nnod, and 1 wol don to ywu fo nnuchc 
min ': . . r Ln thise^ij. 

Ur ' rd the wordci ot his wlf 

jheUva ! ! thiit the word of 

• lbth,for t worde» that bcB 

Bcred- *■ - ...^v ben hQajccombcs, 

rtcr . to liic foulc *nd hoi- 

to ' :ind, wif, becaufc of thy 

cue for I have preved and nU 
ncc and thy grcte trouthc^ t 
hy confcil in alle thing* 
1 Dame Prudence) and fn 
ivernedbymy coiifeil, I 
-A yc Ihulo grjVLTnc yo:ir- 



in allc your Mfftrkes mckciy beiechca to the heij^-h 
God that he wol be your conUiilour, and fhapetJt 
you to fwicJic entente that he yeve you confetl 
and eomforttt aj taught Tobic hit fonc ; At a.Ue 
timet thou Ihalt blctTc God, and prcic him tu 
drcffe thy wayes; and tokc that allc thy confeibi 
ben in him for evermore, Scint Jjimiu ckc fayth^ 
If any of you have acde of fapiencei axe it of Ood^ 
And aftcrwarde than fhuUcn yc take cnnfcil in 
yourfclt, and ciiaminc wel your oweo thoughtci 
of fwiche thingei aA you thinketh that bcu belt 
for your projit ; and than fhuln yc drive frq your 
hcrte three thin get that ben conirariotis t4> j^od 
confcil, that U to Iliyn, ire, covci tile, i ' ' ' iTc* 

Firfl, he that axeth coulcil of hjn he 

muft be withoutcn ire for niany c^l.. ,. . .,^ itrA 
•4 this; he that hath gret ire and wrath iu him-* 
felf, he weneth alway that he may do thing that 
he may not do. And, fecoridlyi he that i» irout 
and wroth he may not wcl demc ; and he thai ms/ 
not wd dcmc may not wcl confeille. The thridde 
lA this I he that is iroUf and wroth» a» fay tJi Scnek* 
ne may not fpekt but bluneful thingc*, and witU 
hia vicious worded he ftiircih other folk to jmge^ 
and to ire. And eke^ Sire, yc muft drive covcitife 
out ofyour hertc ; for tiie apolllc fayih, that co- 
vcitifc is the rote of ail barmcs : and troilcth wcl 
that a, covcitous man nc can noi dcmc, nc thinJtc, 
but only to fulfille the end of his covcitife, and 
certc^ iJat nc may never ben accompUfed; for 
ever the more huboundance that he hath o£ 
richcfTe, the more he dcfircth. Attd, Sire, ye 
mull alfo drive ohi of youre iiertc haftint Ifg ; fo^ 
ccrtcs yc nc moun not demc for the bcilc a fodca 
thought that falicth iu yuuf hertc, but yc mult 
avife you on it ful ofte ; for, ai yc Kavc herde 
herebeforn, the commune proveiba is tkii, H< 
that font dtmcth fouc repcnicth* 

Sire, yc nc be not alw*y in like dlTpofttioti, foif 
ccrtci fom thing that fomtimc f.ireth to you th-£ 
it is good for to doi aikjthcr time it fcmeth to you 
the contrarie. 

And whan ye haft taken confcil in yourfdf^ 
and haft denied by grxjd deliberation fwichc thing 
Hf you fenicth bcftc, th.tn rcdc I you ihatyc kepe 
it fecree* Bcwrcyc not your confeil to no perfone, 
but if fo be that ye wcficn ftkerly that thurgh. 
yourc bcwrcying youre conditi&n 0ial hen to you 
more profitable ; for Jcfu. Sink faith. Neither ut 
thy fo6 DC to thy freud difcover not thy fccrce, ne 
thy folic; for they wolri ycvc you audience and 
loking, and iupportition^ in your prefcncc, acd 
fcome you in youre abfence. Another dcrkiayth, 
that fcartly Ihalt thou finden any pcrfonc that may 
kcpc thy confeil fccrdy. The book faith^ Whild 
that thou kcp^ft thy confcil in thin bene thou 
kcpcft it in thy prifort, aiid whan thou bcwrcyelt 
thy corifcilto any wight, he hoMeth tbcc In hit 
fnare ; swid tlicrforc you is better lo hide youf 
confetl In your hcrU' than to prcy« htm to whom 
ye han bcwrcycd youre confeil that he wol fcepc 
it clcfc ar.d ftillc ; f<jr Seneca i;tyth, tf fo be tbac 
tliou nc mayft not thin owcn Lonttlk hide, how 
dardl thou prcycii auy other wight thy confeil 
k:Tili (Q ie^c I But ii«tlick>, if i^^m wune tkst^ 



*ji 



THE TALE OF MELIBBU 



If that tliy bc^Tcying of thy confcil to a pcrfone 
w^ maktf thy condition to ftondcn in the better 
plight, than ihalt thou telle him thy ccrafiril in 
this wife* Ftrft, thou ihalt make no fcmbUiit 
\yhcthcr thcc were kvcr fcc\ or wcrrc, or this 
€r that, ne ftiewe him not thy will nc thin en- 
tente *, for troflc vvcl (hat comtntinjy thcfe co%~ 
feillouri hen flttcrcr*, namely the eofifctUciiirs «f 
ffrete lordes, for they cnft>rcen hem ahv:iy i;irlier 
tt> fncken |'!tfani worde% cnclming to the lordev 
lailf than w'ordes that ben trewc or profiuhle, atid 
therforr men f^yn that the riche man hath lelde 
^od conferl bnt if be halrc »t of h'tmfelf. And 
after that thou fhah conHder thy frmdc^ and 
thin enemies. And z\ trmchiJif^ Lhy frcndc?, thou 
fhtilt confidcr v^^- -^ * ' - ^ - v fcithfwland 
ntoft \TtlCi 3n1 ci\j ift ttm- 

feillinjf, and cl ,,, ;, ,.._,. :,^ .. — iliy confcU at 
the cas rctjuireth. 
1 1 far,thitt firft yc fhuln ckpc to yourc confeil 
yourefrendt* that ben trcw^j ((*t Salomtin fiiifh, 
that rij^ht as the hcrtc of a ffijin delitetb in favour 
that is rjyotc, right fothe conftil of rrcwe frtndes 
]i*evctb fwetencfrc in the foutc ; hc fayth alfn, 
Ther may nothing be likened to ihe trc"we frcnd, 
for certes j^nld ne Ulvrr hen ndt fo rttiicb \torth a* 
the good wiU ot a ircwc fr ' ' ■ " ' ^- ' '' ' h, 
that a ttrwc frcnd i* > li 

that it findtftb, certcs h<: ^ ^ i- 

yhzn (huln ye tke eonfidtf if that your rrrwc 
frcndci ben difcret; and wife; fur the bunk fiiith^ 
Axe alway thy cortfeit of hem that ben ^ifc^ 
And by this fame rcfun fhutn yc o^fpon to yourc 
confeil yoore frcndcs that ben cKc l* 

han feyn and ben expert in j. % and 

ben apprc vcd in c c n f ' 1 1 > > k la y th > 

In oldc m-^n is al t1i longe tinjc 

the ^'-"'^^''r : AnU. ;....,., ■, .,..., •''•■*' --'■■■' 
th}i ■■:) not ay aixomplllcd 

flc ! ; die ©f body, hut by gc; 

*u<^OTit^c of perfrtnei, alid by fcicncc ; the which 
three ihmgc* nc ben not fehk by lige, but ccr- 
tcs they cmr^rcen and cncrcfen d^y by tUiy* And 
than fhulti ye kepe thU fnr a ^fr-nenil reuk; firi>, 
yc r * if your 

hi . M kny 

Hiec on to be ' 

fhoo firll ne t:'... ..... 

maycd aftcrwardt tell it ^ 

But kike atw.if t^ml thy c 

rhrcc conditiou* that I have Uyd btlw c j tiiat i» 
trt Uf^ that they be trevt, vvifc^ and of olJe cx- 
pflricnce. And werkc not alw^^y in every ncdc 
fpy on confeillotir allonc, for fomiime bchoveth tt 
to be confcjllcd by many ; lor S^iloinoa fjirth, 
KaWatiori of thiagc» is wher a» thcr ben matiy 

> It I have told yon of which folk ye 

fhi - lUed, now wol I tcchc ycm wliicli 

eri:i iit to efchuc, FIrft, yc Pauln cfchiic 

t^r J «if fooles;(or SJoiiion faythgTukc 

no cuiif^il i>i 4 fool^ for he r.c cinnot coufeillc but 
•ftcr his owen lull and ht» a.Tcaion : the Ixwk 
iSr//A, i*he propCTtcr of a fool i% thif, he ttowetb 
lightly liMUic of every Aiiiu, and lightly trowciH 



tnaaui 
ythS 



r tcllel 



all bountee in himfcli, Thoo (baf! 
the confcilHng of all flatercr*, fwnche atj 
hem rather to prciicn jaurt pctfasuef 
rie, than iot to tell yoo the fof"" 

thinge*. 

Whcrfnre TulHn* f^ytb, j^lmong 
1,^^,.-,, th ,t k,-n in frcndl'^^ '^^ i 
ar Li it more r 

dr : i> than any . . IL 

faith, rhou fhalt rrtber drcde and ike jl 
fwete wot Jc» of flntrfing pncifert th*ii £n 
cprt: wordc* of thy fyoid that faith th ~** 
Salomon faith, that the wordcs of t " 
fnare to caccbea innoccntc* : he U] 
that fpckcch to his frend wopdn ©f (vmi 

and of pUfmncc, h -- -i t- ' --- %{ 

to cacclicui him : n im 

dine not thin em u *. 
of wordei i>f llatenic : 
thcc wcl, and efchiic %v 
plefauDce. And eke thi/u iJiait cfchwl 
feilling of thin cldc enemies that ben i 
The bdok fayih, that no wight reionr 
into the ^rarc of hii oldc encmic: 
friyth, >' ' 'to which 

foratJT^i ' » ne t 

thy C01-. 
may n- r 

time cii -^ ... . . I 

of iVarmneUc ; aiid ihctforc J»tth 
chin oldc foo troll thou never i for fiJkc 
thiTi cnemiebc reconciled, and maketJi 1 
of humlliree, ynd totitcth to thee ' 
n. , for certc^ he ; 

f >rv for hi* pn 

love fiT Tiiy yLMonr, b' ' ^* 
have viAorie over ihy ; 

■■'-■- ■'. '-• -rhich v.^,.... .. 

And 
, p with 

if thou do hem btiuntcc they wo 
CO wiekcdnL'lVr. And rkc thou i 
confeilUng tf hem that ben thy 
bercn th^*r ^c\ reverence, for parivr 
feinit ni 
Itiith a 



more luve of tlic 

alfo efchuj the 

dronkcUvic, for they nc t^ti 

5*tomon fay'h/rhcr n*?«i nf* 

neth dr 

the cvi. 

t1 

!•. 



thing openly, niid wer'i 

Thou ihalt alio have lu 

wicked folk, ff»r t 

And D«vfd fiyl?;, 

not fftltvcd T ' 

alfo efchiie tl 

conreitting ii nbl tipc» as ^^lonicn liirii 



Pttcr i 
thia oil 





THE TALE OF MELrSEUS. 



BUM I 



i dtoQ 



k^fimlkB tjtitr youre confcil, and of which 
uc the confeil, now wul T 
la cxumlne your confeil iifcer 
iliut. fn trxuuhung th;ui of 
iIiuId CO oO fire miry ihingc*. I 
, W«^ u»ju Uiak con&dre thait in ihilkc thing 
ptirpoiieil, and upon wh.it thin^ thut 
t bvc confcil, thai vcray trouthc he r^id 
red; this it to fay, telle trcwcly diy 
I Ufth fklfc may not wcl be con- 
I diat ui of which he IktK, And AkcT 
I ilk rouBdrc the thirds that accordcn 
Bpurpofeft for to do by thy confdlJour% 
! therto, and ckc if thy mt^t may 
nOf and if the more part and tlie bet- 
f tKin c»nirillours accorden therto or 
u ,\...... . >nfidrc what thing fhul 

, u hate, pecit wrrre, 

nd many other thin^csj 

(halt thcfe the bcile, 

gcs. Than ihalt tbou 

u rt^iic *» engcfidfcd the materc 

and what fruit it may couctfire 

Thoit AaU eke cuafidre ilk 

*h<nnt» tliey ben fiirongen, 

hzfi examined thy confeil, ai 

I Ldf lod wkkh partie is the bcttiT and 

**d haft apprcved it by many 

, than fluJ'. thou cotilidrc 

rni'? h and maken of it a 

ji wolnoi that any man 

ii if he mightc performc 

. no wight ihuldc take upon 

. t that he mi^ht not bcrco it, 

i3« uyth, He that to mochc em- 

ilitci; and Citou laith, AfDiy 

-c be- 

, _ ; ,^; ; ,,. ;, ' ivnrc*. 

>u be in doute v. j 

ng or oon, cluj ru 

b gijjoe. And Peter Alpiionfc 

llt!^Al luit might t*> don a thiiig cf whivK 

"* icntc, it i* better nay than yaj thi» 

t thtc h bertrf to hc^ldc thy toris^c 

hofpcke. T' ■ 

;cr rtfou^ 

ire ih-O hcgiiiuc. 

;.... cvff/ wigbt to 

Itch he it in dotitc i^Tuthcr 

[ or noil, Atid after wfian yc 

•^ ^vut confeil ai I have fjud befornC| 

^f! that yc ma^n pfrforfiie your 

: than fadly td it he at aB cnde> 

time that I fhcwc you whan 

luuiJ^e your con- 

> : man mjay diangc 

' . , ,, <.. . . r...rh, or 

M,that 

I ncwc 

led IS comen 

thy confal* 

/c ihy t^ualcil, if fo be 

..(jurarby <rJLcs Qwkf 



harme or damage may bettdc : alTo if thy eonfcil 
be diihonefte, other elle» come of diflioneOecaufc^ 
chaungc thy coofciJ ; for the lawc* fain |.hat all 
bcheucs that ben diHiODcAc ben of no value ; and 
eke if fo be that it be impoHiblei or may nut 
goodly be performed or kept* 

And take thti for a general rcule, that evcrj 
can fed that is afLrmed fo flrongly thut it may not 
be ehaunged for no conditiun that m^y betide, I 
fay that ihilke confeil u wicked, 

ThU MrUbcu»| whiin he had herd the dcM^lrine 
of his wif Dame Prudence^ anfwered in tJiin 
wife : Dame, quod he» a a yet unto this ttmc yc 
h^n wel and covctubjy taught me, a« in general, 
how 1 (hal governc me in the cheling and in the 
wi'hhylduit; tti my confcillour^ \ but now wold | 
fain that you wold coodciccnd in efpccial, and 
uUe me how likcth you or what fcmeth you by 
ourc connfciliour* tliat wc han chofcn in cure prtr^ 
fcnt ncdc. , 

&fy Lord, qtiod (hr, I bcTechc jmu ia^Ue htim* 
blcile that ye wol not w ilfully replic agein my 
rcfon*, ne dilUmprc your bertc, though 1 fpekc 
thing that you difplefc, for God wote thai as in 
mm entente L fpeke it for yottr bcfle, for youre 
honour and for yourc profit eke, and fothly I hope 
that yourc bcnignitec wol taken it in patience. 
And troftcth me wel, quod Ihc, that yourc con- 
feil as in this ca^i ne Ihulde not (a^ to fpekc propic^ 
ly) be ciiUtd a eonfeiilirg, but a motion er a* 
nieving of folle, in which confial ye has erred ia 
many a fnndry wife, 

Flrft iind forward, ye hati erred in the alTem- 
bling of youre couivilluttni, for yc fliokle firli liau 
cli"pi'd a fc we folk to youre confeil, and after yc 
mightc han fliewcd ii to iwo folk if it hadde btt 
ncde; but certcn yc hiiii fodcinly cicped to your 
corfcfl a grct mukiLiidc of pcplc, fu! chargcaut^ 
and fuJ anoyous for to here. Alfo ye ban erred, 
for ther a^ yc fhuldc ban only depcd to yourc cotw 
fcile youre tjcwc frcL'dcs «lclc and wife, ye haii 
clepcd iii-aunge folk, yonge folk, falfe flatcrer*, 
uftd encmicj rccoo^ik-d, and folk that don you re« 
vercncc withoutco love. And eke yc htin erred, 
for ye ban brought with you to yourc confeil ire, 
1;/, and hafliCncflc', the which three thinjfci 
M'arJ' to every confeil honeft and profitable, 
:.- . ..^li three thingc* yc ne han not anicutiffcd 
or drftriytd neither in yourcfilf ne in yourc con- 
lei llours AS yuu ought. Yc han erred alfo, for yc 
han Ihewud to yourc tiicfcilluurt youre taicnt and 
yourc a^eeUonsto make werrc mtion,,aud for ta 
do vcngeauncc, and they han efpied by youro 
wordea to what thing ye ben enclined, and thcr- ' 
fore h;.n they coiifcillcd you rather to youro ta^ 
lent than to yourc profile. Ye han erred alfo, for 
it femcth that you fufficcth to han ben confcilkd 
by tiiifc confcilloufs only, and with litcl avj*, 
whcrii in fo high and fo gret a nede it had bcti 
riCcclTaric mo coukillours and more deliberjilioa 
to pcrformc yourc emiirife. Yc han erred alfo, 
for yc han not examined your confeil in the 
forc^'d inaocre. ne in due mancre as the caa 
rcquireth. Yc htin erred aUb, for ye ban makcd 
UQ diviilon bciwlx vourc cuafcIllQari ; thii h t% 



4 



I 



I 



fayn, betwlx jcmrt trcwc frendc* and youre 
femed confcillour*; nc yc han tint koowe the 
^iUt of yourt! trc^ve frcndcs f^Ide and wife, 
but ye Had caft allc hir wordct in on hochcpot, 
and cncHned yowr hcrtc to the more part and 
to the gTttcr nombrr, and thcr be yc con- 
dcfcrDdctT: and Oth yc wot wcl that men JliuJn 
fthray findc a prct'-r nonibre of foolcs than 
of wfc men, and thcrforc the cnnftillings that 
ben at congregation g and multitude^ of folk, cher 
umcn takf more regard to the nombrc than to 
thcfaplcncc gf pcrfonesyc fcen wcl that in fwiche 
confeiUinp foolcs han the maidrlc. Mdilreus 
anfwercd acd faid agein ; I p-Jtintc wcl thut I 
have erred, but ther as thou Juft told mc hcrebe- 
fome that he n'i* not to hlamc that chaungcth 
hia confcil in certain ca*, and for certain and jud 
ciufeSf I am al ready to chaungc my confcil right 
l» thou wolt devifc. The proverbc fayili, For to 
don finr.e is mannifh, but certes for to pcrfcTprc 
In finnc i* werltc of the devil. 

To this fentcncc anfwercd anon Dame Pni- 
denee, and faidc; Examineth (quod flic) wcl your 
confeii, and let us fee the which of hem nan fpukcn 
mod rcibnably, and targht you belt confcil : and 
for 15 muche an the examination in nirccfTirir, let 
til bcginnc at the ftirgicr% and at the phyficicns 
that firft fpakcn in tlii< mater. 1 fay that phyficrcns 
gnd furgien* han fayde yoii in yourc confcil dil'- 
cretJy as hem oughte, and in hir fpcchc i'aidcn ful 
wifely that to the ofRcc of hem apperteincth to 
don to every wight honour and profitf*, and no 
wight to anoyc, and after hir cr.tft to don gret 
diligence unto the cure of hem which tlnat they 
hfto in hir govtrnaunce. And, Sire, right as they 
ban «nfwercd wifely and difcrctly, right fo rede 
1 that they be highly and fovcralnly gutrdoned 
for hir noble fpcche, and eke for they fhuldcn do 
the more cntentif bcfincffe in the ciiration of thy 
dere donghter : for al be it fo that they ben youre 
frendes, thcrfore fhullen yc not fuffren that they 
ferve you for nought, but yc oughtc the rather 
cuerdcnc hem, and fhewc hem youre largefTe* 
And as touching the propoCtion ^hich the phy- 
ilcien» entretcden in this ca^ this i* to fain, 
tliat in maladicft thiit a contrarie is wurifhcd by 
unother contrarie, 1 wold fain knowe how yc un- 
flerftondc thilke text, and what h your fcntence, 
Certc«, quod Melibcitx, I undcrflond it in this 
wife, that right ai they han don me a contrarie, 
fighte fo ihulde I don hem another ; for right as 
thvy han vcnj^ed htm upon me and don me 
wrong, right fo ibal 1 vcnge me upon hem and 
' don hem wrong, and iJian have I cured a contra^ 
rie hy arother. 

I^, lo! quod Dime Prudence, how lightly i* 
fr»»rv TT1 IT- f-nrlined to hi* owen defirc and hi* 
c" ! Ccrtcs (qxted Ac) the wordct of 

fli^ ' ncfljuldrn nothaobcnunGerftondcn 

in thiit wife, for certe* vrickednefTe ii not contn- 
tie to wirkrdnctfe, ne vcngearmce to vrnreauncr, 
me wrong to wrong, belt they t>cn femM:\bIe» and 
Vi^ rhcrforc a vcngra'tncc it not wariHicd Ivr- ano- 
ther vtznge-unce, ne a wrong by anntlier wrong, 
hot clench of hem cncrrfcUi and ag^reg'/eth o- 



fo forth 



ther* But certes the wo 
(huidcn ben undcrflondc in ' 
and wickcdnclTe htn two contrari 
werre, vengcauncc and fiifTn 
cord, and many otlicr thinf 
cdncfle fhal be wariflicd by 
accord, wcrre by pees^aud fo f 
And hereto actordcth Sciut Pou 
many place" ; he layth, Nc ye!di 
harmc, ne wicked f|»cchc for wi< 
do xvcl to him tltat doth to thee h 
him that faith to thcc harme : in 
pbcc^ he araoneRcth pce» and ac< 
wol I fpcke to yciu of l>ic confeiJ 
ycven to you by the men of Uw 
folk and old foike, tJiat fayden »Iii 
ye han [icrd bcfomc, that over 
fliuln do yotfr diligence to kepc yi 
to waroeftore your houfe ; and fai 
ihi* cas yoti nughtc for to werchc; 
with grct deliberation. And, Sir 
point, that tourhcth the kcping o1 
ye fliuln undcrf^ond thst he that 
ever more devoutly and mekel| 
alle thingc* that Jcfu Crifl of hi* 
him in his protcdion, 3^,1! 1„ n Ki< 
i:ig at hi» ncdc ; for C' 
no wight that may be cf * 
withoute the kcping of ourc l^on 
tliif fcntence accordeth tlic proph 
faytli. If God nc kepc the citcc ia 
that kcpeth it. Now, Sire, than fli 
the kcping of youre pejfonc toyofU 
th*-it ben upprcvcd and yknowc, ■ 
ye a sen helpc yourc pcrfonc fw ti 
ton faith, If thou Iiavc ncdc of Hcl 
frende*, for ther n*is nn'^ ^'> ^r.ri. 
thy trcwc frcnd, AnC. 
kepc you fro alle flraur^ 
have alway in fufpcA hir i 
Alphonfe fa)ih,Ne take no < 
of a ftraungc man, but if 
knowcn him of Icnger time I 
fa tie into thy compaignic [ 
tliin affent, enqucrc than a* i 
of Jii? convcrfation, and of 
fetnc thy way, fiying thou wolt | 
wolt not go ; and if he here a fp< 
the rij;ht tide, and if he here & fw 
hi* U-ft fide. And afte'- thii i 
you wifely from all fwidi^ 
have fayed before, and hem 1 
And after this than fliula ye 
manercthat fcranyprcfumption oi 
that ye ne dcfpifc not i 
of your adverljry fu lit 

youre perfone for your pr. j-iiu 

man dredeth his enemic : *nd 
Welful tf^he tliat of zllc h^'.h Jrcx 
that timrgh the 1:: 
rhchardincfreofh ; 
him fhal evil betide. Than Puuin 1 
trewaltc eml>oyflemcrt« and aJJc^ 
nek Ujthy that the wife ma 
eiehucth harmci^ nc he uk \ 



:c^ fw 

y^5 



THE TALE Of M£LIBEUS, 



nj 



Aiidilbe tt To that it feme that 

N ci ihalt thou alway do 

thy pcrfouc ; this is lo 

rbctii., .,-^;,L,..-L to k<pc thin pcrfonc 

f&9thfgrcicl> cBciiiy biut ^Uo fro thy 

fettmv, S'.uik fayth, A man that i* wtl 

' icrdc encmic; Ovidc fayth, 

'*l flee the grct boU and the 

'k fayih, A liul ihornc 

^ 1. ;ci ajid alitd Jiaitndwol 

^^■i^L b'Tc. But nathclcs I fay not thtm 

( k cwif.j tJiat tliou doBtc whcr i& is no 

Lik bftuk JAidi thai • Ibm rocn [haii taught 

Idrcetfojir, ior they has to much drcdcd] 

i^j; ,i Vr-T ihait thou drcdc to be «ni- 

rc ihAt thou] ki:pc thcc t>w 

oruLTs; far tlw book fayth, 

1 nc tuakt no compa^ie, but flee bir 

I Tcnjjne. 

i* tii the fccond point, wheras yoarc wife 
wicoiifcillcd you towamcftorcyour houj 
f datigtDcef I woidc fain knowc how tlLit 
thilke wordc^ and what i& your 

tnfcrercd and fai Jt ; Ctrrtci I andcr- 

thii wife, that 1 flial wamcftorc min 

:K TGurti,fwichc ashao cailcllciand othtT 

«4L6cc3i^ and armurc, and artcbrici, by 

tktR^cs J m^y my pcrfone and myn hoiii 

m tbd dcfcndcn that min eaeniics IhuJn 

^Me ©in houj fnr to approchc 

iJbi icatescc anfwcred anon Prudence j 

rg (quod ihe) of hcighc tourcs aod 

e^Cf\ ii wxjth grctc coll-ij^c* and with 

"'^Ik, III 4 whan that the)' bcu acconn- 

bcn tlicy not worth *l fire, but if tftty 

* ly trcvse fr tndes that bcrn oldc and 

And under ft undr wcl ihjt the grcitAe 

Hlr ; -itfou that a richi; rran raay 

1 hi* pcrfonc a« his goodtj, i», 

V ith hj5 fub^cts and with his 

i; for thus fhyth Tulliui, thac iher 

laroeron that uo m^n nuy vcn^jiufh 

and thit i« a lord to be beloved of 

A»d uf hi J pcplc. 

,Vi. > . I T, - r' Jc poiiil.whcra* youre 

•. (aydcn that you uc 

i-,flily piroccdcn in thi^ 

luc purvcytin and «pp*rci4cn 

grctdJIigJtfiicc aud ^tn^t deli- 

J-Htiy I irawc that tbcy fay den right 

f*i;rH» forh ; for Tuillu* fjyth. In every 

it afiporcile thee with grct 

1 tiiat in vcnjTaiipic takm^ in 

V'uLl* 



that longc apparciling to£ore the bataiUe mAkrth 
ftiort vidoric ; and CaJCodorus fayih. The garne* 
fon i» llrongcr whan it is long^e time avifcd. 

But now let us fpcken of the confcil that wm 
accorded by yourc nci^hcHourc* fwichc as doa 
you j-cvcrencc withouten lovc» youxc oldc ene- 
mies rceoxicilcd,youi iatcrereis that confeiUcd you 
certain thinges prlvcly, and openly confeiUcd you 
thjc contraric, the ynnge folk alfo, that confcillcd 
you to vcnge you and to make wcrrc anon. Cer* 
tci, Sire, as I have faydc bcfomc, ye ban g^etly 
eired to han clcped fwicht mauer folk to yourc 
eonfcil, which confeillourt hen ynouj^h reproved 
by the refona aforcfaid ; but nnthdet, let u» now 
dcfcende to the fpcciaL Ye ihvJ ftril projrcdcn af* 
ter the d«i(*irine of Tulllm, Ccrtcs the trouthe 
of this materc or of this conCiil ncdcth not diJU 
gently to enquire, for it is wd wift whith they 
hen that ban don to you thi& tretpas and vilanie, 
and how many trefpifoun, :ind in what man ere, 
they han don to you all this wrv^jj; and ;iU tliii 
viliusic And after thi?. than {huinye acamine the 
fccond condition which that the fame Tulliui ad- 
deth in Uiis materc ; for TuUiua puttcth a thing 
which that he clcpeth Conftating; tJii* to fayn, 
who ben ihcy,and w htch ben tliey^ and bow many, 
that confcntcn to iJiy confcd in thy wilfuliie/Tt. to 
don haftif vengeaunce. And let us eoulidrc alio 
who ben they, and how many bcu they, and which 
ben they, that confentcden to yourc adveriaricv 
A* to the firft poictjit ia wcl knowcn which folk 
they be that confciitcdcn to yourc wilfuLntlTc, 
for trewely ill tho that c^nfcileden you to makcn 
fodtin werre nc bcu not youre frcndta. Let Ui 
now conCdre which ben they thcit yc hol>len fft 
grttiy youre freudcs as to youre pcrfone, for;il be 
it fo that ye be mighty and riclitf, c^rtc* ye nc ben 
but aUone j for certes yc nc han no child but a 
dougbter, ue yc nc han no brctlircn, ne colini 
grrmains, nc non other nigh kiurede, whcrfor c 
that your enemies for drcdc fliuldc ilintr to plcdc 
with you or to dcftroyt yoiire pcrfonc. Yc know* 
en aJfo that your richcff,;* moten ben difpcndcd 
in divcrfc parties, and whan that every wi^^ht 
hath hiii part they nc wolkn taken hot litcl regard 
lo vf^r^e youre dcth. But thiu encmiei ben three, <• 
and ihcy h^n m-my brethren, children, cofini, and 
other nigh kinredc; and though fo \verc that 
thou haJd^fl (lain of hem two or three, yet dwtU 
lee tbcr ynow to wrckcn hir dcth, and to flee thy 
pcrfonc. And though fo be tkjt youre Id rede be 
more ftcddiift atd fikcr than the kin of your ad- 
virCiricvyct uathchi youre kiarcde is but a fer 
kicredc ; they btn Ut Jttcl fibbc to you, and the 
kin t»r youic enciiiit4 hen nigh iibbe to hem ; and 
euric^ aA in that hir con dh ion i* better thnn 
yourcfr. Than let us ccnfidcrc alfo of die Gonfiil^ 
ling of hc:n that coofelUvrd you to t<ikc fodcin 
veuj^ciuitce;, whtthcr it accotde to rcfon ; fmd 
ccxtei yc Lnuwc wcl nay ; for 05 by right and rc- 
fon thcr may no nun i^kcn vengeaunce on no 
wiglit but the jujcc that hath the jurifdidton t>f 
it, wi. m it is ygraunted him t(» take thilk«? wn- 
gr^mct; haftU. afnttcmptcly aithcldwcrciiuk*isiv 
I itlj 




I 
i 



And moiTOvrr of th tike word t hit I uUtciftckpcth 
Coftfemini^ rtiDU (\: '- , - ' ^ y might and 

fhy 1 owiT rtuiy ro tci thy wtt- 

fi>].,, n^ ^r,,i fo thy cj ,,...., tciie4kthi>u 

fit; ' tlmt Nay; for fikcrly, as for to 

iijL ^ V, wc moun do noihit t Imt i.nl],* 

iwkhe tbing^ aa wc moun don rij, 
«ertic« nglitfuily yc ric raowt lAc nn ^ 
a< of ynur proprc Audoritc. Th^in mowi. yc Uii 
thit your power nc conTcntcth nut nc acr-nrdrfh 
n&t In yourwiKulncfle, JSow !■! t us 
thndde point, th.it Tullmt clepeth ^ 
Thou fluh umk-rftondc th.st the TCti^^t.. jn.i in.it 
thoti ykiirpofcJl for to tiikc h the cnnictiHciit, ainl 
t*tcroffolwfihAisolhcrvc«i;jtAUncr,pcnl.and\vcnc, 
and other dama^t withriit tiortibrL*, wf which we 
ben not wurc ^s ut thbtititc. And a* tuuchiiig the 
ftiunht point, fhnt TuUiu^ cirpt-tli Enpiidtrtng, 
thoij flialt coufider (h»t lUi5 wrong whkh that it 
<k»« to thcc ij cngntdrcd of the hate oi thhi cnt-- 
miei^ end of the vcnfeinuncc tAino: ^ipon that 
wr* " ■ ' ' jiuchtl 

{<r rc, 

Caukf, which thut is the 1:^11 point, ihm fhuh tin- 
<ferltr<ndc thi^t t)ie wrong that thou haft received 
hath ccriaiiic cnuff* wbtch that ckrkes clepeti 
•rw«# ^1^4 ffdenft and /j^/Ti hajrhfwg, aiid f4«j/& 
^nptntfyaj thin ift to Ityn, the fer c^^ufe and the 
High csnlc. The fcr caiifc it almighty God, tJut 
ii caaf^ of aUc thiitgrs; the ner CAufc is thin three 
cnemlc;^; tlic c;iurc ;4ccidcnljl wus hMc; tlie caufc 
ixi:tirrbl ben the five woundti of thy doughtcr ; 
the cauiV fortnLkl in the miner "f hir wrrkittg^ that 
broughten ladder* ainf ilomben in ac thy v>'in- 
dowct; the caufe Himl was fur m fltx thy dough- 
fr; it ktted not in a* muchc ai in hem \vat. 
But far to fychc of the fcr cuuir, At ti» what crrjr 
they ilutld come, o( what fhal 5nally hctide rjf 
bcniln thifr ciis, necan I not drme hut by conjt'^- 
ing and fujrpofiijg j for wc lhu!n fuppcfe that they 
Jhuhi come to ii wirkcd cnde, bccaitft thut the 
book of Uecrees f:iythi Seldcn or with ^^ct pcruc 
bcB caufes ybroBght to ^ good cndt whao they 
ben badly bcgonne. 

- >:.,« , r , " ' -^ ^^■.^\A -*-. fi me why th:ii Cod 
iv' ic, certc* 1 on not 

«ru lit; for the apot*lc 

frtyth that tiik' idarccs and the juK^'nicnts of oure 
Lord God Almighty hen M dcfe ; thi-r miy no 
man comprehend r :- 

lhete», hv (frtatn j I 

hcf,' ' ^ ■ , ■ \ '.vhi.h tiK.t 1^ hiL ill jiJ- 

tJ- hatji fuffc red thii betide 

I -Ijhcf « tki» h to f^yn^ a man 

|h.-l 'r*,im li^O .IrniiLr' fu mLuhf 

hotiy pl t 1 

bottourt ' d 

half forgettcn jtia Ciilt ti>y c/catour t iliu\i lac 
h^ nut t'tTfj fft htm Inirii-- ♦tr trtn!?' itr-H fwerencc 

a* thee I • ^rpc to 

the Hun honey 

«f i1 veil line that 

Ikf IT tlioii hall 



fQitndeti hony, etc of St ibw fufSeeth: 

etc nf it out of miifure thou fh * 
ncdy and ponre. And pcu.. 
ihtc in dclpit^ and V 
lace and his cres i 
fulTrcd that tliou 1 . 
thai thou haft ytrclpaied, i hou haft 
afjam oiirc Lord Crift* for erne:* the ti 
mics of mankind, that i> to fayn, the 
fend, and the world, ihoti haft fuifred I 
into thin hcrtc wdhiUy by the windoiflf 
body, and huft not defended thyfdf | 
ajjcin hir afl^autrs and hir tcmptatitil 
they han Wfiindtd thy fouJc in dvc {lUoi 
to favn, the dedly ficne* that ben a 
ihyn htrtc by thy five wittea : aud in 
manure our Lord Cfili hath wold M 
that thy three encmic* ben entrcd int» \ 
by tl\e windowed, and han ywovndcd d 
tcr in the forrfayd mancre, 

Certes, quod McHbec, I fee wd ihit^ 
you muchcl by wordcftoovtr^ 
manrre that 1 ihA not vcn^c 
llirwing mc the pt-riU and the ...+, 
fallc of thii vcngcauncc ; but who 
drc in all vcngeaunecs the pcriji 
mijihrcn fue of ven^caunce tiiking a nii 
%'cr take vcngeaunec, and that were hai 
the Tengeauncc taking ben the wicked 
vcred fro the goode men, and they ihj 
to do wickcdncfle rettreinen hir wic' 
whan they len the punifhing and the 
• of the trefpafouri. [To thii anfwi 
Prudence : Ccnes, c^uod £he, I graunt 
of \engea«nce taking comcth m 
muche good; but vcngeaunce taku 
nut to cvcrkh on, but only to jui 
that ban the jurifdic^ion over the 
And yrt fay t morr, thiiT ri;»^ht '<» a 
i" nc finneih in tak 
rjjfht fo nnncth th 
hem that it han dukrvni ; lor 
Thut matler (he fayth) ii 
Ihrewes ; andCalEodurt ' '\ \ 
do <jutra*:cswli*«hcwt 
picfcth to the juge* and i ... i,..ii^m 
fayth, The juge tljJt drtdtih to du rij 
mpn fhrewes ; :ind Seim PnuJe the ay 
in hi^cpiflli:, whiin he writcth unto the 
that fbc jugea beren not the fp rr 
caufe, but they beren it to i 
and niifdorr*, and for tn d'*r > 
H ye wihithan tak 
ye fhfdn retotmu 



i^dihing. I bcthiiik me npw aud taie 



♦ The fWITovtlnf niflJi-e^ 






THE TALE OF MELIBEUS* 



\ IimK nounfted mc from my child- 

e, Mvd Ik^tk liolpca me in pafTe many a (Irorij^e 

oow^ol f mfTifen hire, trowing with Goddes 

that llie Ihal hdpc me my Oiamu for to 



Cettts, «|tiod Prudence^ if yc wot wcrkc by my 
•OBfihl fcfhuln not affayr Fortune hy no way, ne 
jt B« fil^ihi iK)t lenc or howe unto hire, after the 
lof S«nck ; for thingt* th»t ben folily doB» 
tbo thai btn doo m hope of i-'ortunf, ftiuin 
ccmc to gm>d mde. And as the fame Senek 
fftytii, t he more clcr«i and the mere Ihininj; that 
fcrrwnc i«» the more broicl and the foner broke (he 
isL TruUcUi not iti hire, for £hc Xi'h not {Itdcfaft 
•c ft^abtr, for whan thou trowtf * "^ fikcr 

9d frurc tii hire hetpe, ihc wol ceive 

ihec And whcra* ye fuyn tl:^ 4.. harh 

iMrtihccI yuti fro yourc childhcHJc, I fay cjra^t in fo 
»:^cl yc thuln the ItlTe tniftc In hire ;*nd iit hire 
• i , fcir Senek faith, What m^n that i» noriihcd 
Fr-rttjuc: fhc maketh him a gret fnol. Now 
j\ II- yc dcGre and aie ven^c«uiiec;, snd the 
>j:_L rice that i* drvo stftcr the JnMe and before 
»« ^ «. nc Itketh younot^flLiid the vcnvcaunce 
♦ Jrtfi in hope of Fortune \% perilom and un- 
tkan ha^e ye non other rcnicdit' but for 
■ J9iir fccoura unto the favcraiiic jugc that 
alle vilantcs and vvrniir^«, ^nd he {hai 
jtt ; afttr that himfclf v.rttJclTeth when* 
ii, i«cT<th tlie vcDgc.au tue 10 ine, and 1 (hal 

i4r!i!>r-tT< ttnfwefcd. If I ne ven|re mc of the 
han don to me, 1 fnmp nr v>f warne 
fi frt me vilanie, uml uUe other, to 
>F •' ; f«*f it if written, If thou 

Calk; f f all oldc vilany, ihoti fomp- 

mA tl.#.) 1 i-*.ruiiLr 10 do thee a tjewc vihinie : 
Midi jdlci ft>r my fuffraunce meit wolclcn do me 

t Bffi -Kr' V 1 .ni, tli,f i might r* :tU r !,, r. jf J^e 

' "r J l bell ft ' i over 

^, 1 tin. In mij ' ■ ■ ' ^ Z ^^^ 

Sf txiin^cs Uiie unto tkcc M^hich thottJbalt not 

nee, r gratinfe you wcl thttt 
is not good, hnt yet nc foK- 

* 1! Ti. L fh :'. \\\x\ cvtiv I" if^tric to whom 

I d«n vil^nic iliulii vk': nt Is v,-aj^caunce, for 

7 --' r ' M " th iili ot)ly to the ju- 

c Tihutiei and injuries \ 

\\it^% that ye han fayd 

Jen in iKc jugcs, for 

Tichcl the wrooge» and 

to be don withoutcn piiniftijng, tlicy 

r i^ert 1 min r^U only for to do newe wrf*nge«, 

flri lit; ai fo asa wife man fayth, 

ircd'th not the (inner com- 

' jn do linne t and the 

n inhirlond io muche 

T ... .1. . *) „ n,uid 

'.nof 

, .: purtc 

: invcratne* Irotn hir places, 

M him Icfc hir lordJhippes. 

dot r#</^ ict «* futtcthat yc have levcto vcngc 

I ; I fay yc be aot cf i3\ight and power ai ngw 



to vcnge yow ; for tfyc wol hiaken eotn^tarifon on- 
to the tnighc (if youre adverfaries, ye Ibidn hadt 
in many tbinget thai t havt Ibewcd you er tkii 
that htr cociditioa is better than yourca, and dicf^ 
fore fay J that it i» good a& now that yc fuflrc and 
be pJticiJt. 

Forthcrmore, yc knowcu wcl that after tho 
commune fkiw it is a woodnede a maa to (Irims 
with ;i l^rt>np;rr or a more mighty man than he ia 
hinik-K ; and for to Arivc witfi a man of even 
(Vrengthr, that ii to lay, wiiJi aa Rrong a man at 
he is, it if peril ; and for to flrive with a wekcr 
man it is foUc ; and therfore (hulde a maa fle« 
ftriving at muckel aA he niighte; for SaJooioii 
fayth, h i» a '^ct worlhip to a man to kepe hint 
fro tioife and ifrif And if it fo happi: that a man 
of gretrr mighte and ftrcngthe than thou art da 
thee ^evaunce, Audie and beftc thee ratlicr to 
ihlJr fhf fame grL*vauncc than for to vcnge thee; 
ff>r Senck Uyth,'rjhat he putterfihim in a gretc pe* 
ril that llriveth with a greter raao than he is him^ 
felf; and Caton Liytli, If a man of higher elf at or 
degreei or moi'e niighty than thou, do thee anoyc 
or greiimcr, fuifre him; for he that ocica b^ith gre- 
vcd thee may another time rcleve thee and kdpc 
thee. Yet fette 1 cbi ye have bothc might and li- 
cence for to vt nge you ; I f^y that ther ben ful many 
chingej^ that thuln rcUreine you of vengeaKiicc 
taking, and make yon for to encline to fuflrcftBd 
for to han patience in the wrongei that ban ben 
don to you. Firil and forward, if ye wol confi- 
dre the defautcit th / ben in youre owen petfone, 
for which defautc'4 iJi)*X hath fulFrcd you have thi* 
tj-ibuiationfas t have fayd to you herebefornet for 
the poctc fayth, that wc oughten patiently tak^a 
the tribulntion^ that comcn to ua, whsn that we 
thinken and conlideren that wc han defer vcd t<k 
ban hem ; VkXvS Stint Gregoric iiiyth, that whan a 
man confiiitreth wel the nombre of his def:.utei 
and oi \\i% finne)!, the pcinrs and the tribulatioRt 
that he rufTcieih fcmen the lelTe unto Kim ; and 
in a» murhe a»him tbinketh Uia ffOAcs morchevy 
and grevoiia, in fo muthe fenteth fvi» peine the 
bghttr and the cfier unto him. AUo yc owcn to 
enclinc and bowc you re hrrte to take the patience 
ofourc Lordjtfu Cria.ii^fkiyth Sclnt Pctir io hit 
EpiUki. JefuCrift (he fayth) hath fufff^d for us, 
and yevtn enfample to every man to twJwc and 
fue him, for he did never linne, nc never came 
thcr a viiains word out of hi* mouth. Whan men 
curfcd him he curfed hem nought, and %*lian men 
bcteu him he manaced hem nought. Alfo the grct 
patience which fcintes that ben in Paradis han had 
in rribidatJon«i that tliey han fufired withoutcn hir 
defcrt or gilt, oughtc Biuehcl ftlrrc you to pa- 
tience, Forlhermore, ye Oiulde enforce you to 
have patience, confidering that the tribubtiouB of 
ihin world but litel while endure, and fonc pafTcd 
ben and gon, and the joye that a man fcktth to 
han by paiience in tribulations i* perdunhlc ; af- 
ter that the apoftic fayth in hit epiftle, The joye 
of God, he fayth, is perdurable, that h to fayn, 
evcrUfting. Alfo troweih and belcvctb flcdfalUy 
that he n*i«*not wcl y noriihcd nc wcl y taught 
that counot lave paticiicci or woltioi receive pa^ 



THE TALE or MELIBEUS. 



i 



bence ; for Salomon Ciyth, thit the dod^rine ind 
wjt of a nun is linowcn by patience ; and in an- 
other place he fayth, that he that h patient go-> 
*cmcth him by grct prudence : and the fame Sa- 
lomon fayth, The an^ic and wrathful man mak- 
cth nojfcs, and the patient man attempteth and 
ftiUeth hem : he faitb alio. It is more worth to be 
paiiecit than to be right ftrong^; and he that may 
lave the lordfhtpc of hU owen bcrtc h more to 
prcife thiui he that by hi» force or (Ircngtiic tak- 
eth gret citcc* : and therforc iayth Seint Jame* in 
his epiille, that patience is a grct vcrtuc of pcrfcc- 
tioo. 

Ccrtes, quod Mclibce, i frranntc you. Dune 
Pmdcncc, that patience is a grct vcrtuc of perfec- 
tion, but every man may not have the pcffc(^lion 
chat jc fekcn ; ne I am not of the nombre of the 
right parfit men, for min hcrte may never be m 
f>ccs unto the time it be vengcd And al be it fo 
chat it was ffret peril to mm cDcmiet to do tiic a 
viiiioic in taking vcngeaunce upon roc, yet token 
they non hcde of tht peril, but fulfiUeden hir 
wicked will and hir corage; and thcitorc me 
ihiokcth men oughten not repreve me though I 
pot roc in a litel peril for to venge me^ and though 
t do a gret exccflle, that is to (kyrif that I vetigc on 
otitnige by another. 

A ! quod I>ame Pnsdencc^ye fayn your wiil and 
BM you tiketh; but in no cas of the world a mail 
/haldc not doti otitrage ne ^xceflTc for to veiigen 
Mm ; for CafTiodore (ayth, that as cvit doth he 
that veogcth him by oucrag^; as he that doth the 
cucngc ; and thcrfore yc fiiuln vcugt you afttr 
the ordre of right, thati^ to T^yn, by the lawe, and 
not by eEcelfc nc by outrage. And olfo if ye wol 
vengc yott of the outrage of youre advcrfartes in 
ether manere than right commaondctb yefinncn; 
and therfore fayth Senek, that a man Ihal never 
vcngc (brcwednefie by {hrcwedneJTe. And if yc 
lay that right ajceth a man to defcnde vioktice 
l»y violence, and fighting by (ighting, ccrlci ye fay 
ibtb, whui the defence is don withouten inter- 
vallc, or witboQIjen tarying or deby, for to dc- 
laidchim, and not for to vcnjs^c z and it bchovith 
chat a mac putte fwkhc aiicmperaunce in liisde- 
itnoe that men hiivc no caufc tie mator to rcprcvc 
him tlut defcfidcth him of outrage and cxccITc, 
for cilts were it Againe refon. P^rde yc knowen 
«vel that ye itukcn no defence ai now for to de- 
feode you, but ior to venge you, and fo fheweth 
ic that ye l\«m no will to do your dcde attempre- 
{y ; and thcrfore me thitikcth that patience it 
irood ; for ' Ki^-th, that he that ii not pa- 

ttmt flial I -iimc 

C r- . :---,• -'- -r- *-".' ■-^■'.Tl 



fhfi, tawc 

laiili , ' nicd- 
Jrtii with iwtd.c thing a* ap^crteirKiUi tiot onto 

fira; and Salomon faiiJi^ liat hr tSat eritreoK:!- 

fth of Thenoife or ftrif of amni iiWto 

\ tm that tiJcuU a Orange h<iur. ; fm 

at h< ihat taketh a ( > the 

I ttotli^ whik kit en .. '*t in 



the fame wife it ii refon that Ke have hsmit 
that by his impatience mcdleth hiia of the Qoife 
of another man, whcras it appcrtcincth itot ionm 
him. But ye knowc wcl tliat thii dcde, that i« 
to fayn, my grecf and my difefe, touvhcth me 
right aigh ; and therforc though I be w roth and 
impaticju it h no mervaik: and (ia\jiig youf 
grace) I cannot ice that it might grctiy lurmt nt 
though I took vcngcauncc, for 1 am ndicr aa| 
more mighty than min cneitiicf bca ; and wd 
knowe ye that by money and by havi|i^ (rcfi^ 
pofTcOicins bcii allc thinge^k of tlii^ world gvvciiM 
cd ; and Salomon iayth that allc thingct mfc Bt 
money. 

Whan Pnidencc had herd Ivirc hufbnnd 3«i<^fi{« 
him of his richeiTc and of hit mon- ' -■* 

the power of hi* adverfaries, (he fpai _ u 

this wife: Ccrtes, derc Sire ! Igrauutc } u --: 
yc ben riche and mighty, and that richcuL » l.^ 
good to hem that lian wel ygcten hem, aj)d ik& 
wcl connc uXcn hem ; for right at the body oC t- 
man may not liven withouten fou 1, no mti t 
liven withoutea tcmporel goode^, and by 
may a man gete him gretc frcndcj ; and 
fayth Pamphilus, If a ncchcrdcs dou^ 
fayth) be riche^ (he may chcfc of a thuui 
which file wol take to hire hufbond; t 
thou^d men on wol not forfaken hire u-. 
hire. And this Pamphilus faith alfo, Ij 
right happy, that ii to fatyn, if thou f 
ricbc, thou thalt findc a grct nombie ct 
and frcndes; and if thy fortune chaiui 
thou wcic pourc, farewd (readdiif 
ihipe, for thou fhak be al allone v j 

compaigne, but if it be the compai;- 
folk. Aud yet fayth tbit Pamphi^ 
that they that ben bond and thr^j ^^ 

fhuhi be made worthy and tiob4c by nchc^ci^ 
And right £b as by richcJea ther 



I 



goodcs, right fo by pover^ come dKT tttBT 

harmci and evile&, for grct poverte 4nfi#reWt« 

a man to do many cvLlea ; 'jlqA the:' ^^ 

Calliodorc poverte the modcrof rui \% 

fayn , the modcr of overthrowing or r j 

amd ihcd'orc' fayth Piert Alfonfe, Ot ■ i« _. 

eft advtrfilccs of tins world ii wh. - ^l 

by kindc, or of birthc, i» conilrexni 

to ctcn the almcfl'c of hi* cncmie. -*: 

fayih Innocent in on of hit bookcs : I 

tliat forwcfui and mtihappy i» the cotidi! 

poure bigger, for if he aac not \u% mctc h- . . j. 

for Lunger, and if he axe he dietb f«r i..^^nc , 

and algatci ncccfTitce cotlArcinrth iiim to ajre t 

and iherfirc fayth Salomon, that belter it Ii 

to die than for to have fwiche j-t -- * 

as tlie fame S4tomc}n faytli, Bettct 

bitter dcth tlati far to liven in f*vi4.1_ .- 

VaUki refon-i that I liave Uid unto you« 

many other refon» that 1 cc^udc Ciye, I 

you tliat rtchtlTc* ben good tu hem that v. 

h«m, and to hem that wci uftn tbo ikWt 

titer ft^rc wcl I ItHwc yvu huw yc IhAla Ifciia^ 

you iu giiderti])^ of your richsCcs, ao4 Ib m^ 

twj^ti^ *^c (buhl ultft Lou. 



THE TAI.E OF MELIBEUS. 



tit' 



kulti ipclrn tern withoutcn grct dc- 
eifer» fokingl)% and not over ha(!ifly, 
i» ro dcfiring to get richciTci aban- 
firftc tn thcftc and to alle other 
Kcrforc fiyth Salomon^ He that haft- 
pfily to wcite richc he Gial be non in- 
lnyth alfo, that the rccKcnc that ha- 
to a man fonc and lightly gocth and 
k triati, bat that richcfTc that com«th 
t'wrciceth alw.iy and multtplicth. And, 
I gctc richefl'es by yourc wilt and by 
c, unto youre profite, and that with- 
Dg or hjumc doin^ to any other pcr- 
' Ihe lavrc fayth, Thcr makcth no man 
E^c if he do harme to another wii^ht; 
Wfff tbj«t Nature defcndcth and forbcdcth 
Vmt no man make himfclf rkhc unto 
e of another pcrfonc. AndTulliu* fayth^ 
ibrwe, nc no dredc of dcih, nc nothing 
BdU nnto a man, is fo muchcl tigeins 
^^lan to encrcfe his owcn profitc to 
^jiothcr man- And thotrs^h the g^rctc 
the mighty men gctcn rtchcfle* more 
ham thou, yet fbalt rhou not ben tdcl nc 
^Khy profit*;, for then rtialt in altc wife 
Hr; for S:ilomon fayth, that idlcneflc 
V man to <io mary e-nles : and the fame 
ftyth* that he that travaiUeth and heli- 
to tillrn his lend ihal etc hred, but he 
lely and calleth him to no bcirnc^e ne 
Ml, fhal fallc into povertr, and die for 
Jind he that is idd and flow can never 

Pe t^c for to Jo htjprofite ; for ther 
' f*yth, ibat the idrl man citajfcth 
ir bccanfr of the grete cold, und in 
by enchcfon of the he tc. For thife 
Caton* Walccth, and cnrlincth you 
mvdicl to flcpe, for over muchel rede 
n»d caufeth many vicr%; end thcrfore 
^nrrome, Dccth fom good t!rdet, th^t 
^Hiich is ourc enemic nc finde you not 
H[for the devil he rakerh not lightly 
^Hting fwicKc ai he findcth occnficd 

ibo* if) gcting rlchelTci 7-6 muRcn flee 
lye ihuln ufcu the richcfTcj 
yourc wit and by yottrc 
h&ncrc than men holde yon 
ircc nc to Iparing, nc fool-large, that i^ 
rrr larg< a fpcndcr; for right a» men 
n avriridous man bccaufc of his fcardtcc 
iigric^n the fame wife is he to blame that 
br^h ; and thcrfore faith Caton, 
t) tht^ ncheffc^that thcuhafl ygetcn 
jirre that men have no matcrc nc 
: thee nothcr wrctchc nc chince, for 
ne to a man to have a ponrc hertc 
purfc: he fayth alfo, Tbe^o^c^ that 
I nfe hem by mefnrc, that h to 
brably, for t)icy ilat foUly wa- 
I the goode* that they han vi ban 
itntc ^prcprc nf hir owen that they 
[to rake Htc goodes of another man, 
j^ ihala flecjvincc, irPjig yourc 



ncbcHcs in fwiche monere tliat men fayn not that 
yourc richeflcsbcn ybcried, but that ye have hen 
in yourc might and in yourc welding ; for a wifJ 
man rcprcvcth the avaricious man, 'and fiytH 
thu^ in two vers, Wherto and why bcricth a mail 
his goodcs by his grct avarice, and knnweth we' 
that nedes mufl he die, for di^th ii the end 
every man as in this prefcnt lif ? and for wf' 
caufc or cnchefon joineth he him, or knittcth 
him fo fad unto his griodea, that allc hi« witte 
mown not diflcvcrcn him or dcparten him fron 
his goode*, and knowcth wcl, or oughte to know^ 
that whan he is dcd he Ami nothing be re with 
him out of this world ? and thcrfore fayth Srini 
Aoguflicn, that the avaridouj man is likened unt<J 
hcllc, that the more it fwalwetli the more dcCir i 
hath to fwalwc and dcvoure. And as wcl as yd 
woldc cfchue to he called an avaridous man i 
chicchc, as wcl fliuldc ye kepc you and govern^ 
you in fwiche a wife that men callc you not fix>U 
large • thcrfore faith I'ulhut, The goodea of thin 
houft ne fliulde not ben bid nc kept fo clofe bul^ 
that th<^ might ben opened by pitce and deboi^l 
nairctee, that :s to fayn, to ycvc hem part thnrf 
han grct ncdc ; nc thy j^oodts fhuldcn not ben foSl 
open 10 be cvrry manncsgocdcs. Afterward, irfj 
getting of yourc richcfTca, and in cfingof hem,yq 
fbuln olway have three thinge* in yourc hcrt^' 
that is tofay, oiircLord Godj, confdcncc, and go 
name. Fitifl, yc fhuln have God in yourc hcrtfi 
and for no richcflc yc fljuln do nothing whicn 
may in any mancrc difplefeOod that it yourc crw 
tour and maker ; for, after the word of Salomon^ 
It is better to have a litel good, with love of God/i 
than to have muchet good and Icfc the love of h 
Lord Cod : and the propbctc fuytli, that bcttc 
it 15 to ben a good m,-in and have litcI good an4 
rrcfor than to be holden a (hrcwc and have greti 
richeffci. And yet ! fay forthcnnore, that 
Ihulden alway do yourc bcfineffc to gcte you ric 
ffTcs, fo that yc gctc hem with good confdcnce^l 
And the apoftle fayth, that there n*is thing in tJiUF] 
world of which wc Oiuldcn have fo grct joyc ; 
whan ourc confciencc bcreth us good witnefTc^l 
and the wife man fn}th, The fubftauncc of a man 
is ful good whan finne is not in manner confcicncef^ 
-Afterward, in getiog of youre richeflcs and ii| 
iifing of hem, yc muft have grct bcfmcffc aodgrel 
diligence that yourc good name be* alway kept an#J 
confcrved; for Salomon fayth, that bcter it i 
and more it availeth a man to have a good na 
than for to have gretc rlcheifcs; and thcrfore 1 
fayth in another place. Do grct diligence (faityi 
Salomon) in kcping of thy frcndes and of thy 
good name, for it fhal Icnger abide with the 
tlian any trcfor, be it never fo precious ; and crr^cl 
tcs he Ihulde not be called a Gcntilman ihit aftc 
God and good confciencc allc tliingts left ncdo 
his diltj^nce and befinefle to kcpen his good nimc^ 
and Caflicdore fayth, that it is a figoc of a gcntil.l 
hcrtc whan a man loveth and dciircth to have lil 
good name ; and therefore fayth Seint AugnlHm;!.] 
that thcr ben two t hinges that arn right nccenart3| 
and ncdcfuly lad that ii gcod coold^oce Aiid^ood 



I*? 



THE TALE OF MELIBEUS. 



I 



Wi that h It to tAfti, good conrciencc to thia 
Qwvn perfnnc inwaxd, and good Ioa for ihy ncighc* 
bcNir outwai-d. Acid he tJiac trotleili him Co 
mudiel m hh good ctmrcicticc that he defpiCcth 
and fcttcth at nought hU good name or I0&, and 
f]^ckcth not though he kcpe not hia good iiame^ 
li^U hut ii cruel dicrl* 

. Sirc» now have 1 (hewed you how yc ihukko 
do in gciini; ruhriTci, and how ye ihukn ui^n 
bcni i Olid 1 kt w<\ that for the truH ihst ye han 

ryourc richcffcs, yc vtilo mcvcwcrrc andhataille, 
confiillt; you thit yc beginnc^ no hatadlc nc 
weiTc in trull of yourc richtffci, fur tlity nc fuf* 
firm not wcrrt^ to nijuntcine ; and t her fore fayUi 
» philofophrc, Tlunt man that delhetK .uid woi 
algutn hari wcJTc flfld never have faim^tiiice, for 
the richer thit he h the gretcr difpcnccj rauft he 
makit if iw will have worfiiip and vitjloric ; and 
$alomuii ilitth,thdt the grcicr richcffcs th-tt a man 
bath |he mo difpendours he hath. And, derc 
Sirt i al he it fo that for youre richeHcA ye moun 
bavc muchcl folk, yvit behovcth it not nc k is not 
f;ood to beginuc werre, whcrasi you mouii in 
other manerc have pees unto youre worlhip and 
pro&te t for the vii^orie of bataillc*^ ilu-t ben in 
thii world iith not in grtt nombrc or multitude 
«£ peple, nc in the vcrtuc of man, but it Iith in 
the will and in the houd of ourc Lord Cod Al- 
Bilghr}' ; and therefore Judits Ma^hi^beui, which 
wa» Goddei knight, wh^n he fliuldc fightc again 
hii adverfaric that liadde a grcter non^brc and a 
grctcr multitude of ^olk, and flrcngcr than wa* 
the peple of thii Macbabce, yet he rccomfortcd 
hi% llicl compaigDi*.', and faydc right in thia wife ; 
AJ fo Ughtly (Uydc be) may our Lord God Al- 
mighty ycvc MIOTIC to a fcwc folk a* to many 
fulk, for the vicloiie of a batiillc cumcth not by 
the grct nombrc of peple, but it com4:th froni 
ourt" Lord God of htvcn. And, d^-rc Sire! for 
«i muchcl as thcr iftjuo nun certainc if it be 
'worthy that God ycve him vidwric or not, after 
that Salomon fayth, Thcrforc every man Ihuklc 
grclly drcdc wcrrci to beginne ; and becaufe that 
in batailk« CalUu many pcriU, and it happcth 
4}thcr whik th;it as Tone i& the grct man Ham a« 
the litcl man ; and, a» it i« ywrittcn in the fetond 
boot of Kiogcii, I'iic dcdcs vf bat^Lillci ben avcn- 
turouf^ and nothing certain, for as Lightly is on 
burt with a fpcrc as anoth<:r ; and for ther is gret 
peril in wcrrc, thcrforc Ihulde a man flee and 
cfchac wcrrc in as muchcl a* a man may goo*^ily ; 
Cor Salomon fcyth. He that lovcth peril ihal faljc 
in peril. 

After that Dame Pcudencc had fpolcen in this 
nujsfre, Mciibee aniwerd and faiJc : I fee wel, 
Pamc Prudence, tliat by yuurc fjiLre wordcA and 
by yourc rcf^ns that yc han (hewed nie that ihr 
vrcrrc likeih you nothitjg; hut I have not yet 
herd your cunh d how I Ihxl do in thib ncde. 

Certcs, quod ibc, I cuufi^iile you tlut ye ac- 
corde with yourc adverfaries, and that yc have 
^» vrith hem; for Seiut]amc» fayth iu hisepilUe 
thiit by cont:ufdc »nd neci the fmalu ricbcffei 
WCSen gretc, and by debat and dtfcordc grcte 
rkhdTc* kllzn douo : ftnd ye kocwcn wcl that on 



of tlic greted and moflc foTcraine (^*<o| 

thi« world is unttee and peci ; and 1 ' 
ourc Lord Jclu Crifl to bis apoflles tn i 
Wcl happy and blcffcd hen they that 
purchalen peef, for they hen called the chifi 
of God* A ! quod Melibee, now fee 1 wclj 
yc loven not min honour ne my worlhip 
knowcn wcl that min advcrfaries haa 
this debat and brige by hir outra^, 1 
wcl that they ne rcquercn nc prayen 1 
pecs, nc ihcy axen not to be re<onci**ei! 
than that 1 go and meke me and obcye mc toi 
and eric hem mercic f forfuth that wccc i 
worOiipc ; for ri^ht as men fi&yn ihjU 
homJinelle engecdrctli difpreifiDg, fo 6iftll|l 
to grct hunilliccc or mekc iicITc* 

Than began Dame Prudence to fiialu , 
hlaunt of writKcf and fsiydc^CerteSt Sire, (£ 
grace) I love yourc honour and yourc [ 
I do mine owen, and ever have doo, ye 
othtT fcyn never the contrury ; and if t h«d^ 
that yc fbuld han purchafcd t^ 
coociliatiou^ I nc haddcnotri> 
fayde amis; for the wife niaii *.iy . 
tion heginncth by aoother man, and th« f e 
ing biginncth by thyfelf : and the prophrtf i 
FJcc 0irewedn die and do goodne^e : fcbe j 
and folwc it, in a^ muchcl » in thee it. Y« 
1 nut that yc fliuln rather purfuc to yotiiej 
farics for pec* than they fiiuln to youg fori J 
wel that ye ben fo hard-hcrtcd that 
nothing forme; and Salomon fayth, ! 
over hard an hcrtc attc fade he dial j 
milVidu*. 

Whan McUbee had herd D^— 
fcmblaunt of wrath he fayd' 
I pray you that yc he not du^ 
1 fay, for I knowc wcl that I am angry 1 

Aud that is DO wonder, and they that 1 

wotcn not wcl what ih^y dm} nc what tbsfi 
thcrforc the prophttcfayih, that troubled* 
no clcrc tightc^ But fayth and confciJf 
you likcih, for 1 am rcdy to do rigkt 
defifc ; and if yc reprcvc mc of 
I am the itiorc holdcn to luve ygn 
pretieycu; for S-t.^rr^-.M rnirt, t^.-- »^e,H 
pre vet h him thac 
grace thsin he tl, 
wordci. 

Than faydc Dame Prudcncc» 1 mtrlcc uu ] 
blaunt of wrath nc of anger but i- 
prolitc ; for Salomon f^th, He i 
that reprcvcth or diideth a fo. ' 
tng him fcmblaunt of wruthi 1 
eth him and prcileth h: 
laugheth at hi^ folic ; aj. 
afterward, tliat by thi. 
til at iito fayn, by die I 
of a man, the fool corrc 
fclf. 

Than faid Metihec, 1 fhal not cosae 1 
unto fo many fairc rcfoni as yc puttcn to 1 
Ihewen : fayth Shortly yourc will and 
confciJ^ and 1 am al rcdy to pcrfmtDc ni 1 
fUIeit. 



THE TALE OF MELIBBITS. 



Ut 



ftah Dime PnifteTuct tlifcovcrcd a!l hire will 
tiin, ifid fiiJc, I conic Hie ymt, quod Ak*, 
r«Uc tbVrgr* that yc make pecubetwenc Ood 
iiird be rtftoniikd unto him md to his 
I frtr ma I kar? faplc yon hcrcbefftrcn, G«d 
~ Hired foo to hav<; thli triljulation and 
( far T«:'iivi "" ' w: do as I fay y*«j, 

oi urm! . unti yfni, imd 

ih^m fsijSv -. • ^^ '^■^ ^^^ ycuix 

vill iiMi pmre coi iumon 

fcftll. Whin the con ' , ;it and 

Htir . 1, he chaungcih the hcrtcsof the 

9e^-i vrieti, and conftrcineth bim to bt> 

d^n liim oi pees and of gr^ce. And I pruy 
jm le« m*^ f»>eltcwhh yotir a^-erfhries in prcvcc 
|k-, . (huln not knowc that it be of 

arc aflcnt, and than whan I knowc 
^,n *nj ciir entcote 1 may confeiilc yoa the 
r fcUTthf, 
nc, <|uod Mclibeus doth vooix wiU and 
i hkiag, fcT I piittc oic wholly in youre dif- 
Sen aod ordinance. 

6sn I>2ine Prwdcnce, whan (ht fey the good 
[ oi hsn tiufbond, dclihcrcd unto hirr, and 
t «tftf in hircfclf, thinking how Ihc might bring 
> Df^e M-nto gaodc endc ; and whii* {he fey hire 
I r ' Tor ihtfc adverCiriei to come onto 
|i: :c place, and Ihcwed wifrly unto 

I til : jjf L c goodcfr that comcnof pcei, and the 
Karmr^ and periU that ben in wcrre j and 
iv^ *n h-t->. iri n trncxSiv injintTe how that hem 
Kjh T,ce of the injurit;^ aud 

11 don to Meiibcui hire 
, and unto hire and to hire doughter. 

i whan they hcrdcti the goodly wordes of 

t PrDdmcc they wcren fo furpifed aod ra- 

and hidden fo gtct joyc of hire, that 

vaa to telle A Lady t quod they, yc 

tfcd unto ii» the blefltng of fwctcncQV, 

.•k_ , ..;-., „* David the prophet; for 

N we be not worthy to have 

.,<' ought en rcqucrm it with 

humiliice, ye of your grete 

ritcd xmio us. Now fee we 

iitc and comiirg of Salomon ijiful 

ijith^ that fwctc wordc» muUrplicn 

-^clVu frcndf*, acd makcn fiirewcs to be 

and tntike. 

' ' .we putten ourc dcde and ^1 
j hoUy in yovrc goofl will, 
■J) iv . ye unto the fpechc and com- 
cnt oi mjr Lord Melibcu^j and thcr- 
_ dm Ahd bcnignc Lad) 1 wc pr^ye you and 
mekely as we connc and moun, 
lo your grcte goodne/fc to fulfilk 
viodly wordcs ; for wc confidcrcn 
Ik -n that wc ban olfendcd and grcv- 

Iftiy Lord MclibeuJ out of mcfure, fo fcr forth 
that ve ben not of power to makcn him 
isicikdc% and therfore v/e oblige and binde u» and 
mat fretido for to do all hia will and hh com* 
jii,,!."^ '- ' »- ; 'vr pcraventurc he hath fwichc 
lie*. wrath to lis ward, bectiufc 

. he ¥t9\ cnjoyntD us fwiche 



.WTxr^ 



a peine a^ we mfjon not bere ne fufleint ; and theiv 
fore, noble Ladie ! we befechc you re woman lytd 
pittec to take fwiche a ▼ifcmcnt in this ncde that 
we nc ourc frcndes ben not difheritcd and de* 
ftroled thurgh ourc folic. 

Cencs, quod Prudence, it is an hard thing aod 
right perilous tliat a man puttc hirn all *nitrcly lA 
the arbitmtion and JTJgement and in the might 
and power of hii cnemie ; for S»lomcm faytli^ 
Levcth me and yevcth credence to that ihait 
fhall fay ; To thy fone, to thy wif, to thy freiid, 
lie to thy brother, tic ycve thou never might nfc 
maillrie over thy body while thou liveft. Now 
lith he dcfctideth that a man (hulde not ycvc u^ 
hit brother nc to hi* frcud tht might of his body, 
by a ftrcn ger rcfon he defcndeth and forbedew 
a man to ycTC htmfclf to his enemy. And nathe- 
le?i I eonfcillc you that yc mtflrttlie not my kfxl, 
for 1 wot wtl and know Tcraily that he t< de- 
bonair e and mcke, I^rge, curteis and nothing dt*- 
0rous nc covcitous of good nc richcflTe, for ther 
is nothing in thJv wtirid that hcdcfirrth fave otdT 
worfbipc and honour. Forthermorc, I know w« 
and am right fure that he Ihal ncithin^ do in this 
nedic withouten my confeil, and 1 fhal fo wcrkell 
in thif cas that by the grace of our Lord Ood yft 
fhuln be reconciled unto us* 

Than fkuden they with o voi«, Worflliipful Lady t 
we put ten us and our goodc6 al fully in ytmre 
will and difpofition, and ben redy to come what 
day that it like unto yourc noblelTe to limiic ftf or 
alTignc us fur to make ourc obligation and boti9 
as ftrong as it Itketh unto you re gofld^teffe, that 
wc moun fulfiUe the wiJl of you and of my Lor4 
KIcHbee, 

Whan Dame Prudence had herd the anfwer of 
thife men, (he had hem go tigein privtly, and|flic 
rctourned to hire Lord Melibcir, and told him 
how (he found his adverfjirics ful repentant 
knowlcching ful lowly hir finned and trcfpa^ **i 
how they wcren rcdy to fuffren all peine, rc^ 
quering and preying him of mercy and pitee. 

Than faidc Mciibec, He h wcl worthy to liaire 
pardon and forjcvcncfTc of Ms fmnc that excuTcth 
not his finnc, but kuowlechcth and rcpentclh 
him, axing indulgence; for Scuck faith, Ther m 
the remidinn and furycvcntffc whrr « the ton^ 
ft Hion is, for coofcflion i» neighcbour to inn ores ctt 
and therefore I afTcntt? and confermc me to haTc 
pees : but it h good that we do nought withoutcD 
the aflcnt and will of cure frendes. 

Than was Prudence right glad and joycful, and 
Aiidc^ Ccrtcs, Sire, yc han wel and goodly m* 
fwered; for right as by the confeil, alTcntp and 
hclpe, of your frende* ye han be ftired to vcnge 
you and make wcrre, right fo withouten hir con* 
i*cd IHul yc not accord you ne have pect with 
youre advcrfurics; fortlic bwc faith, Ther is no* 
thing fo good by way of kinde aa a thing to be 
unbounde by him that it was ybounde. 

And than D.ime Prudence, withouten delay or 
tiirying, fcnt anon hire mcffageres for hir kin and 
for hir oldc frende* which that were trcwc aad 
wife, and told hem hj ordre in the prefeocc of M^U- 



14^ 



THE TALE OF M£LIBEU8. 



I 



I 



bcc^U the iREtere as It is above exprcifcd and dc- 
diLrcd, and prcicd hcni thu they wold yevc hir 
avis and cunfcil what were bcH: to do iuthiji ncdc. 
Aiid whan Mclibeus frendes haddco taken }iir 
avis and deliberation of the [orclkid mati^rcr, aod 
hftddeo examined it by grct berinefTi: and grct 
diligence, they yavcn fill confcil for to have pect 
End re0e, and that MclJbee Ihuldc receive with 
good hcrte his advcriaries to foryevcneiTc and 
mercy. 

And whan Dame Prudence had herd the affent 
«f hire Lord Melibcc^ and the confcil of hh 
ircodcs accord with hire will «-ind hire entcntionj 
fhe was wonder glad in hire hcrtc, and faydc, 
Thcr 11 an old proverbc, quod fhc, hyth^ that the 
f oodncfTe that thou mailt do this day do it, and 
abide not nc delay it not till to morwc : and thcre- 
Ibrc t coufdlk that ye fcndc yourc mcflagercs^ 
fwicbc as ben difcrct and wife, unto yourc advcr- 
faricit» telling hem on youre bchalfi that if tiicy 
wol trctc of pee* and of accord, that they fhapc 
licm witliouten dday or tarying to come unto U5. 
Which thing parfourmed was indcde. And whan 
ihife trcfpafours and repenting folk of hir foiled, 
that ii to fayn, the advcrfartes of Mclibce, had- 
^cn herd what thife mcfl'agcrcs faydcn unto hem 
they wcrcn right gl^o and joycfuJ, and unfwcrden 
ful mckcly and benignely, yeldtng graces and 
thankinget to hir Lord Mclibce and to aU his 
comp-jgnic, and Ihopcn hem withoutcn delay to 
go with the mcOagcrcs, and obcyc to the com- 
xnandt-menc of hir Loid Mclibce. 

Ar^d right anon they token hir way to the court 
mS ^IcUbec, and token with hem fom of hir tiewc 
frcndei to make fcith for hem ^nd for to ben 
liir borwes. And whan they were comcn to the 
prcfence of Mclibce he faide htm thife wordc*. 
it flint thustjuod Mcliber, and futh it is that ye 
cauTdes and with ou ten fkill aad refon han don 
grctc injuries and wronges to me and to my wif 
i^rudetice, and to my dotighter alTo, for ye han 
9ntcrcd into myn hous by violence, and have don 
fwiche outrage that alle men knowen wel chat ye 
lian dcfcrved the deth ; and therefore wol I know 
cmd wete of you whether ye wol put the puni(h- 
|ng and chafliftng^ and the vengcncc, of this 
•utrage in the wul of me tod ol my wif, or ye 
irol not. 

Than the wifefl of hem tJirce anfwcrcd f or hem 
alle, snd faide ; Sire, quod he, we knowcn vvtl 
that we ben unworthy to come to the court of 
lb grct a lord and fo worthy as ye ben, for we 
hiii fo grctly midakcQ uf, and han offended and 
•gike in fwiche wife agcin your high lordihipe, 
that trewcly we hao dcfcrved the deth ; but yet 
fcr the grete goodnefle and dobonairetcc that aU 
the world witnclfeth of yourc perfone we fufe^ 
suLCen Mi to the eiccUcncc and benignitcc of yourc 
^iT.cioUi lordfhipc, and ben redy to obcyc lio alle 
youre comandcmeoLs befeching you that of youre 
merciabk pitce ye wol conlidrrc onrc grctc rc- 
jpc:itance and lowe fubmii&on^ aud grauntc us for^ 
jevrneiTc of uur ouingious trcfpas and cfTtnte; 
lor wel we knowci: tliat youre liberal grace and 
mfTcig /2rcCtiteA bvAi forthrr iiuo goodncfTe than 



don ourc outragtoux gUtes and tttl 

cdncfle, al be it tliat curfedly and dampnably wc 

han agike again youre highc lordihipe* 

1'hen Mclibce toke hem up fro the grattod M 
benignely, and rcckivcd hir obligations jnd Idr 
bondes by hir othe« upon hir plcggc» and borwe^ 
and aJligned hem a certain diy to rctoume mnto 
his court far to receive and accept fentcocc and 
jugemcnt that Mclibce wolde coRunandc to bo 
don on hem by the caufes aforciaid; mhkk 
thiogct ordetned every mau rctuumed b» hii 
hous. 

And whan thai Dame Prudence Taw hire tiiB* 
fhc freincd» and axed hire Lord Metibee whii 
vcngancc he thoughts to taken of his advcr* 
faric^ ? 

To which Melibee anfwerd and faide; CettO^ 
quod he, I think and purpofe mc fuUy to di0&ierj||f 
hem of all that ever they han, and for to pvOI^ 
hem in exile for ever. 

Certes, qaod Dame Prudence, this were a eroct 

fentence, irtd muchel age in rtfon, for ye ben ridid 

ynough, and han no ncdc of other mcnoes gocdf 

and yc might lightly in this wife gcie yam i 

covcitous name, which Is a vicious tbingf taA 

oiighte to be efchcwed of every gt>od nyo, fotf 

after the fawe of i!ie apoflle, coveitife U TOte tt 

alle harmes ; and therefore it were better for yoa 

to lefc muchel good of your owcn,than for to es^ 

of hir good in this manere : for better it b to lefe 

good with worfliip tlian to winne good with 

vilanieaiid (lianie! and every man ought to do ^1 

diligence and hl^ befinefTc to get him agood nAme| 

and yet Ihal he not only befic him in keepiog^bii 

good name, but he fhal alfo enforce!) him Biwwf 

to do foni thing hy which he may renO'Vfile ki* 

good name ; for it is written that the oUie f*od 

lot or good name of a man is fooe gun aod pdhA 

whan it is not ncwed. And as touchlrg t^t y« 

layn, that ye wol civile your advafxriev ^^i*^ 

thinketh me muchel agcin refon and out oC me* 

fure, considered the power that they ha fcMtm 

you upon hcmTelf; and it is written, that lie b 

worthy to Itfc his privilege that ttiifitfeth the 

might and the power that is yevco hina. Ao4 

I fctte cas yc might enjoLoe hem that peine bf 

right and by lawc, (which I trowe yc mowe oel 

do) I fay yc might not putte it to execution pcr« 

aventurc, and tlian it were like to rctoumc to M 

wcrrc as it was bcforn : and therefore if yoa wd 

that men do you obcifancc yc mufl dcme iiit:f« 

corteifly, that is to fayn, yc muil yerc more cfiff 

fentcaces and jugenumts; for it is vrrtttca, hi 

that moil curtcLjUy comniandeth to him men moll 

I obcycn. And therefore 1 pray you thit us thii 

necclEtec and in this ncdc yc callc you to oiref^ 

{ come your herte ; for Senek fayth, that he tlat 

I overcomcth his hene ovcrcomcth iwics ; a«| 

I TuUius fait|i, Thcr is nothing fa comimenilime M 

I a gi-et lord as whan he Is dcbonatre Aisd mcke, t^L 

I appcfeth him lightly. And i pray you thic ye «A 

I now forbere to do vengeauncc in fwjcJte a tsuoam 

: that your good nimc may be km and cwiknrcd^ 

and that men mown have caole and n«tefe wm 

j prcife ygu of phcc and of rncrcf , 9Md tMu 



TUB TALE OF MELIBEUSw 



143 



Wfe BO casle t« rqientc you of rhlng that yc don; 
Jbr Seneke faieth, He over com cth in an evil 
mastcre ihxi nrpcnt^th of hii viftorie. Whcrfore 
I fncf yo« let mercy be in your hcrte, to the 
dhoA aad cateot that God Almighty have nicrcy 

I yota in bis Ud jogcmeot; for Scint James 
bi Im epiftle, Jugcment withouic incrqr 

be do to him that hath no mercy of an- 

I MtfUbce had herd the grett fkillcs and 
I of Dame Pmdcncc, and hire wife infonna- 
19S» aoxd techinge4, his herte gan encline to the 
vnll 9I Ilia wif, coofiderJDg hire trewe entente^ 
mimecd luta anoin, and alTenced fully to werkcn 
lis hire confeil, and th;]Lnk?d God, of whom 
■Kssdctli all goodneCTc and all vcrtuc, that hini 
Ik a vrlf of To g;rct difcrction. And whan the 
that hi* idvcrfaries fhiilde apperc in his 
e, he fpakc to hem ful goodly, and iaide 



in this wife : Al he it fo that of ymire pride aod 
high prefumption and folic, and of youre ne- 
gligence and unconning, yc have mifborne you 
and trcfpafcd unto mc» yet for aa muchcl as I fee 
and behold your gretc htimilitec. and that yc ben 
fory and repentant of youre gilics, it condrcincth 
me 10 do you gra«e and mcrc^ ; wherfor 1 receive 
you into my grace, and foryevc you ouircly allc 
the offences, tnjuriei, and wronger, that yet have 
don agein me and mine, tothi« cffc^ and to thit 
ende, that God of his cndelcs mercie wol at the 
time of OLire dying foryevc a« ourc giltea that we 
han trefpaJ'ed to htm in thij wretched world ; for 
douteles if we be Tory and repentant of the 
(inncsaDd giltea which we han trefpafcd in the Oght 
of oure Lord God, he is fo free and fo mcrciablc 
that he wot foryevc n u» oure gilteSf and bringCQ o^ 
to the bliflc that never hath cade. 



THE MONKES PROLOGUE. 



Whan tn^4 ww the Tale of Meiibce 
And of Prudence and hire bcnipnitcc 
Our HoUc Hiidc, As I am f^itthfui man^ 
And by i he precious rory^w* Mattrian, 
I haddc lever than a barcU of ale 
That gnndc Icftf my wif had hcrdc thi^ Tak, 
For fhc Ti\% no thing of fwichc patience 
A* was this McHbfU^ wif PrudeiKc. 

By Goddc*.bonc> wJian 1 bctc my Itnavo 
She brincth mc the grctc clobb<rd lUvc*, 
And crycth, Slcc the doggc* cvcrich on, 
And broke hem bothe bak and every bun. 

And if that any nrlghcboiir of mine 
W«>1 not in chirchc to my wtf cncUnc, 
Or be fo hardy to hire to trefpacc, 
Wlwn fhc comcth home fhe rampeth in my face, 
Acd crycth, Falfc coward 1 wrckc thy wijr; 
By e»rfyuf Doahi I woi have thy knif. 
And thou ihalt have my difUf and go fpinnc. 
Fro day tij night rij^ht thus (lie wol bcgiunc, 

AIas ! fhc faith, that ever I was yfhape 
To vrcd a milkfop oi a coward ape, 
That wol ben overladitc with every wt^ht : 
Thou darfl not flonden hy the wives right- 

This is my lif but if thar 1 wol fight. 
And out at dnre anon I mote me dight. 
Or elles 1 »m lo(l, but if that I 
Be like a wilde icon fool-h^rdy* 

I wotc wcl fhc wol do me flee fom day 
Som neigh cbour, and thannc go my way. 
For I am in perilous with knif in honde 
Al be it that I dare Rot hire withdonde, 
For fhe ts bigge in armes by my faith, 
That (haJ he finde that hire mifdoth or faith. 
But let u» pa'Tc away fro thiji matcrc 

My Lord the Mtink, quod he, be mcry of chcrc 
For yc fhul rcUc a Talc trcwciy. 
L/o i RouchcOer fi^ondcth here fa tic by ; 
lUde forth, min owen Lord, brekc not our game* 
But by fny trouthc I can no telle y^ure name ; 
"Whether flial I call you my Lord Dan Juliu. 
Or Dan Thomaft, or ellu Dan Alhon f 
Of what hous be yc by your fader kin i 
I vow to God thou hafb a fut fair-f Hcin* 
It it a gti^til paflure ther thou g^oH ; 
Thou art fiot like a pcnatmt or a j;nf^. 
Upon tny f;ii«h thou art fom offitcr, 
ten worthy fcxtcin, or Ic^ni c.lrr.T, 



For by my fadrc* foule, as to mydomt^ 

Thou art ,i maiflcr whan thou art home * 
Nu pi>tirc cloiilcrer* ne cou novice. 
But a g^ovcrnour bothe ware and wife, 
And therwiihai of braann and of boiicf 
A rijrht wcl faring pcrfonc fur the iioact* 
I pr^y to God ycvc him confufion 
That fidl thee brought into religion. 
Thou woldefl han ben a tredc-foul a fight 
Haddcft thou ai grcte Icve as thou ha*l mar' 
To parfournic all thy luCt , in tRgendriiit 
Thiju hadddl bcgeten many a creature. 
Alas i why wcrcft thou (o wide a cope ? 
God ycve me forwe but and I were pofie 

Not only thou but every mii:?" - 

Though he Were flinrc fid h 

Shuld have a wif» fural this \ . _ . . m. 

Religion hath take up all the com 

Of trcding^ and we borcl men bco (hrimptt^ 

Of fcble tree* ihcr comcn wretched impob 

This maketh that mir heires ben fa rdcodrt 

Afid feblc that they monn not wcj asfemhr; 

This maketh that our wives wol ailaye 

Rehgioo* folk, for they moun bcttet ^jt 

Of Venus payemcntsthan mowcn we; 

God wotc no Lufheburgcc» paycn yc- 

But be not wroth, my Lord, though that T pj 

(Pul oft in game a fothe have I herd fay. 

This worthy Monke tokc aD in p^ie0c«| 
Aiid Qiidr^ I wol don ail my diligence. 
As fcr a» f-juneth into honeftec, 
j To tcUen you a TaJe, or two or threr ; 
And if you Uik to her ken bidcrward 
I wol you fayn fhc lif of Seiot Edward, 
Or cllcs tragedies firll [ wol telle, 
Of which I hsEve an hundred in my ccik. 

Tragedic is to faju s certain florie, 
As oUe bookri makcn ui manor ie. 
Of htm that (loodingret profperitce. 
And is y fail en out of hich degree 
Into mifcric, and cndew wntchcdty ; 
And they ben vcrfified communty 
Of ixx feet, which men cicpcn Enmctroo i 
In profe eke ben en Jitcd many on. 
And ekf in metre tn many a fondry wife. 
La thisdcclif ""T . i. >>,# .r.,...„>i fufficc. 

Ntjw herl; ii fur to bcrr* 

But liift 1 yo uterc. 



P riic m wjiLi'-ir limits 

h«9& loin bcfart and fbtn bchiade, 



¥he monkbs prologue. 



^S 



As Jt now Cometh lAiiiy remembrinef| 
Hjvc me cxcufed of mm igooraiQce. 




THE MONKES TALE*. 



J to tnanfff of trajjctlic 
of hcin that llodt in bi^h dcgrcei 
U» dbat thcT n^a» ao ix medic 

tlCSCi out of hir adverfitee ; 

ti whan th^t Fomi&c lift to flee 
no rtian of hire the court wlthholde ; 

,n truft on blinde profpcritcc ; 

; hj xhi£c cnfAmplcs trcwe and olde. 

riirr, tltougb he ao angel wer« 
'' him 1 wol beginiie; 
may non angci dere^ 
I tj.-,^i'... yet fcllc he for hi> finnd 
b^tle, whcn.5 he yet ia ionc. 
! bnghtcfl of angctsalkj 
hoa Sa.ih^ii4», that ni.LiU not twione 

Bi in which that thou art f^Jlc, 
us the feld of Damafcrjie 
MeJ owcti finger wrought wai he, 
kmetca of nunne' fpcrnvc iwidcxie^ 
IaII 1*5.^1*115 favin^ o tree, 

nance 

' . . '^^^^ 
^ «ad to bcUc, and to mefchancc 

Sam/fin, 

mtpiutif which that was annunclat 
\%tl long or hi» . 
toGcKiAlmtg' 

t la oohkiTe whu. ^iu nu-litc fet : 
EV fwiclic another as wai he, 
oT Rreogth an*j iherto hardlnel^ ; 
li#iTc» ;oIdc he hrAfccree, 
which he llww hmiftl/ foi wrctchedncflc. 



tfleildMbinirre of oimny wlin bave fitlen flDm 



Sampfun, this nohle and mighty champiolii 
Wlthouten wcpcn lave his haudet tmcy 
He 0OW and all tD-rciite the Icon, 
Toward hli wedding walking hy the wey. 
Hi-t falfc wif coude him fo plc/e and pray 
Til fhc hisconrcil knewc, and (he untrci^a 
Unto his fooft his consul gan l^wray, 
And him forfokcj, afid toke another newe« 

Three hundred foxc4 toke Sanipfou for irej, 
And all hir t;»yle« he togedcr bond. 
And fet the foicci taylcs all on fire, 
For he m cvzij tayl had knit a brond* 
And they brent alJ the comes in that lond, 
And ail hir olivcre»and vine* eke, 
A thoufand men he flow ek^ with hit hond, 
And had no wcpcn but an afle* chcke. 

Whan th^y Were flaib (6 thurfted him th:ii he 
Was wtl nic lornc, for whLh he jran to preye 
That Ood wold on his i ' ' i m pitce. 
And fcod him drinkc, f i- he dcyci 

^\nd of thisafles eheke i ...i hv ,^ i^i drtrye 
Out of a wuig torh fprang anon a wclle, 
Of which he drank ynough, fliorfly to I'ye, 
Thus halp him Ood, a* JwiTHum cafl tcUc. 

By vcray force at Gafa on 4 night, 
Maugre the PhiKftin,'* of thnr citcc. 
The gate* of the toun he hath Up pUg^^t, 
And on lii$ bak y carried hem hath he 
Higli on an hill, wher as men might bcm fe, 
O noble mighty Sampfon^ Icfe and dcre ! 
Haddtll thmi not told to women thy fccrec, 
In all this world nc had ther ben thy perc. 

rhIsSjmpfon nevrr fidtrdranke nc wInC| 
Nc on his hed came rafour non he flicrct 
By precept of the meflaj^er divine^ 
Fof all hi« ftrengthea in his hcres were i 
And fully twenty winter yere by yerc 
He haddc of rfracl the governance j 
But fonc fhal he wepen many a tere, 
For women IhaLn him brin^o to mefcbaticea 



^ 



TflE MONKfiS TAtn. 



Unto Ills lemman t)sn^& he told 
That in his h<;rc» all hi^ flrengtlic Jay, 
And faUclj to his fomcn (he him fold ; 
And flcplDg in Kire barmc tjpon a dif 
She made to dtp or Airrc his here a^af. 
And made hU fomcn al hi* craft cfpien ; 
And whan that thc)|him for.«4 in thii array 
Thry bon'd hiro faft, and puttcii out hii cycn. 

But or his here was dipped or yihave, 
rThcr wa» no bond with which men might him 
But now is he in prifon in a cave, [bind^ 

Vhcras they madi. him at the qucrne grindc. 
O noble Sompfon, ftrr iigefl of mankind^, 

whilom jof^c in glory and riehcfle ! 

Now mayeA thou wepen with thin eyen blind 
&ith thou fro welc art falle in w retch tdncfFc, 

The cnde of thii caiti*' wuas I fhal feyc : 
Hi» fomcn made a fefie upon a day, 
And made him a» hir fool before hem pLcye, 
And ihif w ai in a temple of grtt array ; 
But ac the Ufl he made a fcrglc aFrsy, 
For he two pillert fhokc and made hem fkHe, 
And dotin fell temple ard all» and thcr it lay;^ 
And flow himfelf^ and eke hia foraen alte. 

This is lo fayn, the princes evcrich on, 
^And eke three ihotr^nd liodit$, were ther flam 
7lih falling of the gfet temple of ft on 
Of Sampfon now wol 1 no more fain : 
Beth 1^ Mirc by thi* enfimple old and plain 
That no men tell hir confeil to hir wives 
Of fwiche thing fts th(-y wold ban fccrce fkiB, 
If thii( it touch hir hmmci or hirlivcs* 

Of Hefctilef the fo^erainc eonqucrftur 

Singen hti wcrkcs l^tidif, aDtl high rtnonn, 
, Wot in hu time of ftrength he wat the Hour. 
|He flow and raft the fkinne of the Icon % 
I tie of Ceouaret hid the boft adoun ; 

He Harpie« flow, the cruel briddca fdle ; 

He golden applet raft fro the dragon ; 

He drow out Cerberos, the hound of helle. 
He (low the crtid lirant Bufirus, 

And made hi« hor» to frrt him fleih and boa ; 

He flow the firy ferpcnt virnemous; 

Cf Achdous two hornca brake he on ; 
L Aiid he flow Caciift in a cave of fton ; 

He flow the geatint Anieot the f^rong ; 

He flow the grifely bore^ and that anon ; 

And bare the heirene on his nckke long 

Wa» never wight (ith that the world begalk 

That flow fo many mooflret ba did he ; 

Thiirgho t the wide world hi4 name ran, 

What for his flrcngth and for hit high boumcc ; 

And every rename went he for to fee. 

He was lo flrong that no man niight htm let ; 

At bothc the worldes cndci, faith 1 rophcc, 

1 Inftcde of bonodethc a pillcr fct. 

A Umman had thii noble champion 
That htghte Deianirc, as frcfh a» Maya 
And* aathtfe clerke« maken mention, 
ffcc kath hm IcBt a fhcnc frdb and g^y ; 



Alai ! this fliertr, alas and W3dk#%l 
£nvenimed wai fotiUy withaltf » 
That or that he had were4 it hall a isf 
It madf hi» flefh alUrtim hi* bone* UUe«r 

But nathdcs fom clerk c* hire eacuCen 
By on that highte NcfTuif that it maked ; 
Be at may be, 1 wol hire not accttfin $ 
But on hit bak thit fherte he wercd al 1 
Til ihit Kii flefh wat for the vcnim bla 
And vvhan he faw non other remedie 
In hott cokt he hath himfdvcn raked, ] 
For with no venime deigned him tc 

Thuf ftarf this t^ orthy mighty HcrcttlSip^ 
Lo ! who may truft on Fortune any throw 
For him that folweth all thit world «f ] 
Or he be ware ii oft ylaid ful lowc : 
Ful wife i$ he that can himfelven koow^* 
Bith ware, for whan that Fort use Ufl tiO|^ 
1 han waiteth Ihe hire man to overthrowe 
By fwichc a way as he wold kit TuppoiE, 

The mighty tron«> the predoni trefcnv 

The gloni^u* fctptre, and r ' ' ,. 

1 hat hadde the King Nabu 

With tongc tinncthci may U^.^...^^ wv ; 

He twici wan Jcrufalem the cttec. 

The vtfl"eU of the temple he with him 1 

At Babilojne wat hi% fovcraine fee. 

In which hi I glorie and hit delit he haddc. 

The fayrciV children of the blood real 
Of tfrae) he did do gctde anon. 
And maked eche of hem to bcD Lii ikral. 
Amongei other Daniel wai on. 
That wa§ the wifeft child of evcriet tm^ 
For he the drcmc* of the king cxpotiQ«dl, 
Whcr ai in Caldce ckrk ne wa* thtf ttO« 
That wifte to what fin hitdrcmct (JBOOfd. 

This prnudc king let make a fti wi r of |«1A 
Siic'y cubitc!!^ long and fevcn in brede. 
To which image both yongt: aiid^ild 
Commaii Jed he to loutc and have In drtdcr 
Or in a fourncit ful of flamei rede 
He Ihukl be brent that wolde not eb<yc ; 
But never wold aflenteo to that dcdc^ 
Daniel, ne hit yonge felawet tweye, 

Thit king of kinge^s prood was and ( 
He wend that God that Ct in majeflee 
Nc niight him nat brrevc of his citat ; 
But fudmly he k>A hitdignitee. 
And like a heft hSm fenaed for to bc» 
And ete heye at an oxe, aitd by thcroot I J 
In rain With wilde belles walked h« 
Til certain time wai ycome about. 

And like an egWs fethcr* wcx hii here*, 
Hifc ncylet like a briddct clawe* wcrc^ 
Til God relcfcd him at certain y^Tct, 
And yaf him wit, and than with many a i 
He thanked God, and ever lut lif in Urt 
Was he to don amis, or more trcfpicc t 
And til that time he laid wa« on kit bcf« - 
He knew that God waiful 9f ought wd ( 



TrtE MONKES TALI. 



B^thafttm 






fuBy, wlijclt that highi^r Baltkafkr^ 
Md tlbe rcgon mfter ht$ fadret <laf, 
r lua foxier coulde not bcwirc, 
^adr he w^t of herte and of amji 
r aii ydohft-ff wsis he jiy. 

i bim iu pride • 
t !^ doiin (»ftd tfacr he l»y) 

f'liirnij- fij* ffgnegan dnridc. 
lelke be made unto Kii lordei alle 
a tozte, and made hem blithe be, 

hi* ofiieert gan he cilk ; 
biiageth fortke tbe vcfTcb, qaod \\e^ 
tfut my hidtr in his profpcritee 
the temple nf Jcrtifaleni beraft, 
our highc gofsddet thAnkc we 
, that ouf eldrcf with ui kft. 
iri|« hb lordctf and hit contubiQCSt 
Dokca, while bir appctitci Uft, 
tfaifc oabic vrfTel* fondry winei. 
I m w^l tJiif king bii eyen caft, 
^ g^ M V iri'i rt^tlo that wrote JFnl faft, 
en «^tiokc and fikcd fore i 

)Mk\S r !t.ilkr fo lore agafi, 

Miame i*dfti Phat^i and no more. 
ifj^at !ond magjcicti was non 

what this lettre nieiit» 
I it atioti, 

-d, t > K ng : God to thy fader lent 
aa4 hooouT, regoc, trefour and rent, 
s wai proti4 and nothing God nr draddc, 
fcerforc God grct v^Tcchc upon him fcnCj 
ber»ff ^^^f r MXTii- thai he hadde. 
I ooc n C9 compagnte* 

■Ha was r ^M^-m^ 

hey oA a beil in wcte and drie, 
ke knew by graee and by refon 
God of hcvea hath domination 
regne and every crc»ture, 
IimI God of him compafIion« 
rell^red hi* regne and hit figure. 
TO that art hit fone art proud alfo 

eft ail thde thinges verally, 
r«bel to Gt>d and art his fo ; 
^T^iJkc eke of hU veiTcLi boldely^ 
.c and thy wcnchci fin fully 
ibe feme vcflek fondry wine*, 
" id£e goddet cnHedly, 
to thee yihapcn ful grct pine is. 
KaiKl wa^ fcnt ^ro God that on the wall 
Mmjm $t*iftl Ptarfff triilleth mc. 

doD I thou wayed nought at all ; 
ia thy regne, and it fhal be 
and to I'erl'e* ycircn, quod he* 
fame night thii king wa4 Hawe, 
itif occupied his degree, 
^ lie therto had neither right ne lawe* 
hiiiij^ctv enfample hereby moun ye take 
that tff Wdfhip i* no fikernclTc, 
rl^i; «4 a man forf^ke 

And hiA richcflV, 
Kj» ir-rt ocs rKHtM: more and Icfle ; 

ut hath freiiilct thurgh Fortune 
wol nuke hem enemies 1 gcfTe, 

ti ful A»Ui| aLd/olc commune. 




ZmOk. 



^nobia, of Palmerie the qoene, 
(As writen Perfieni of hire nobicffe) 
So worthy waa in Anneii and To kene, 
Titat no wight paflcd hire in hardinctfei, 
Ne tn Lincge, nc in other gentilleii'e. 
Of kinges blood of Perfe i* (he dt^fccnded ; 
1 fay not that (he haddc moft faireneffe, 
But of hire (hapc ftie might not ben amendedl 

From hire^childhodc 1 finde that fhe ficddo 
Ofhcc of woman f and to wode fhe went, 
And many a wiide hartc* blood fhe fhedde 
With arwes hrode that Ihc to hem fent; 
She was fo fwift that file anon hem hcnt : 
And whan that (he wat elder fhe wotde kilte 
Leons) tepard, and beres al to-rent« 
And in hire armcs weld hem at hire willc. 

She dorft the wilde belles dcnnef frke, 
And rennen in the mountaignetall the nighty 
And Depe under the buHi ; and fhe coudr eke 
Wraftlen by vcray force and vcray might 
With any yong man, were he never fo wight | 
Thcr mtghte nothing in hire armei ftonde : 
(ihc kept hire maideiihode from every wight; 
To no man deigned hire for to be bonde. 

But at the lafl hire frendct ban hire maried 
To Odenat, a prince of that contree, 
Al were it fo that fltc hem longe tarted. 
And ye Hiul andcrQonden how that he 
Htidde fwlchc fantafics aa haddc (he ; 
But nathcles whan they were knit in fere 
They lived in joyc and in fclicitce, 
For cchc of hem had other lefe and derc % 

Save o thing, that fhe n*olde never afTente 
By no way that he Ihulde by hire He 
But ones, for it was hire plaiiie entente 
To have a childe the world to multiplie ; 
And al fo fone as that fhe might efpie 
That Ihe wai not with childe with that dcde^ 
Than wold (he fuffer him don hiii fantafie 
Eftfone, and not but ones out of drede. 

And if Ihe were with child at thilkc calfc 
No more fhuld he playcn thilkc game 
Till fuilcn fourty day* wercn pall. 
Than wold ftie onc» fuffre him do the fanrie» 
Al were tlii* Odenutc wild or lame 
He gate no more of hirc^ for thus flic fayde| 
It waf to wive» lecheric *n^ (hame 
In other cat if that men with hem playde* 

Two fonca by this Odcnate had fhct 
The which flu kept fn veriuc and Icttrure, 
But now unto our Talc turnc we. 
I fay fo worihtpful a creature. 
And wife thcrwith, and large with mefuref 
So penible in the wcrre,and curteit eke, 
Nc more labour might in wcrre endure, 
Wd5 non« though all this world men (huldesfck^ 

Hire ridhe amy ne mtghte not be toldj, 
A J wel in vefletl aain hire clothing j 
She was all clad in pierric and in gold; 
And eke fhe kfte not for con hunting- 



THE MONKES TALK, 



To have of fondrf tong«s ful knowing, 
Whan that Ihe leifcr had, and for to cntcnd 
To lerncn bookci ^as all hire Ukmg, 
How (he in vcrtue might hire lif ddpcnd* 

And fhortly of this ftorie for to trctc. 
So doughty wsshirc huibond| and rke flic. 
That they conquered many regnci grclc 
In the orient, with many a fiirc cittrc 
^ Apptrrtcnaunt unto the majeftec 
^^vOf RriiK, and with flrong band held hem ful fall, 
^^^pic never nvght hir fonien don htm Uce 
^^BAy while that Odenates daycs lud. 
^^B Hire bataiUe*, who Co till hem for to rcdCf 
^^B Aptnc Sapor the king, and other mo, 
r And how that ail this proccflic fell in dede, 
I Why flic conquered, and what title iherto, 
I And after of hire mifchcfe and htrc wo, 
P How that (he was befegcd and ytake» 
I Let hiro unto my matAcr Pctrark go, 

I *ll\it writeth ynoug^h of tins I undertake, 

I W^an Odcnatc was ded ihc mijrhtily 

I The regTici held, and with hire proprc hond 

^^^-^Agaitis hir foo& £hc fought fo cruelly 
I^^Hprhat ther n*a4 king nc prince in all that lotid 
^^KThat he n*a» glad if he that^gr«ee fend 
^^^^^RThat (he ne wolde opon hii lond wcrreye; 
'^^PWith hire they tnadcu atUaunce by bond 
^ To ben in pcci aad let hire ride and plcye* 
1 he Emperour of Rome Claudjui| 
Ne him bcforn the Rpmain Galtco, 
Ne dorfle never be fo coraj^cous, 
Nc DGD Ermin tic non £giptkii» 
Ne Surricn ne non Arabicn, 
Within the feld ne dorilc with hire fighe, 
Left that ihc wold hem with hire hnnJct den. 
Or with hire mcioic putten hem t: flight. 
In kifiges habite wentc hire fones two 
A» heirc* of hir fadrcs rcgnei mile. 
And HcrcmanDo and Timolao 
Hir names were, as Perfieni hem caUe. 
But ay Fof tune hath in hire bony grilli : 
This tnighty queue may no while i r.iu^L ; 
Fortune out of htrt; rcgne made hire laik 
To wretchedneUe and to mifiivcnture. 
Aurelian, whan that the govcmaiKC 
Of Rome came into hi* hondcf twcy. 
He (hope upon thiiqucne lo do vengeance. 
And with hi* legioni he toke hi* way 
Toward Zenobic ; and, fhort]/ for to fay, 
~"c made hire flee, and attc laft hire hetit, 
d fettred hire and eke hire children iway, 
d wao the load, and home to Rome lie went. 
Amongei other thingea that he wan 
"■' t^ ^'', that wan with gold wrought and picrriCi 
Remain, tliis AurtUan, 
riim lad for that men fhuld ic fee* 
hit trittoiphe walketh (he» 
fikc chainet on hire necke hdcging, 
ned fhc was, a« after hire degree, 
A ful of pierrie charged hire clothing. 
AIm, Fortune ! Che that whilom waa 
f)redcful ta kiogef and toenipcrf^urcf, 
.J«!ow ganreth all the pcplc on hire,aU% t 
' &t that helmtd was ia Aarkc jlourci. 



And wan by force tounes flronge and to 
Shml on hire hcd now were a vitrciiiitc, 
And fhc that bare the fccptrc ful of fluurt* 
Shal here a dIJM, liirc cod for to ^oite* 

Alihoogh that Nero were as Yiciotmi 

A& any feud that lieth ful low adotui» 
Yet he, as tcHeth us Suetonius, 
Thifwidc world had in fubjeAioun, 
Both eft and wc(V, fouth and fcptcntriowi. 
Of rubitis, faphires, and of perlcs whjte» 
Were a I his clothes brouded up and douti^ 
For he in gcmmcs gretJy gan dclite* 

More delicat, more pompous of array. 
More proude, was never cmperour than he, 
1 hat like doth that he had wercd o day 
After that tin^c he n*olde rt never fee : 
Kettes of gold thrcde had he gret plentec 
To fifl] in Tiber whan him lift to play i 
His luftcs were as Uw in his degree^ 
For Fortune as his frcnd wold him obay. 

He RjQme brente for his delicacie ; 
The Senatours he flow upon a day 
To hercn how that men wold wepc and cnf| 
And flow his brother, and by his fuflcr laf* 
His moder msidc he in pitous array. 
For he hire wombc let ilittcii,to behold 
Whcr he conceived was^fo wala wa I 
I'hat he fo litel of bis moder told. 

No tcre out of his eycn for that fi^t 
Ne came, but fayd a faire woman waa (he* 
Gret wonder U how that be coud or might 
Be domefman of hire dcdc beautee. 
The wine to bringen him commaaded Ke^ 
And dranke anon ; no other wo he 
Whan might is joined unto crucltee, 
Alas ! to'depc wol the vcnimc wade* 

In you the a maiflcr had this em[ 
To techen him lettrurc and curtcGe ; 
For of moralitce he was the flour. 
As in his time, but if bookrs lie ; 
And while this maiAer had of him malAm 
He makcd him fo conning and fo fouplc 
That lunge time it was or tynumic 
Or any vice dorffc in him uncouple. 

This Sencka, of which that I derife» 
Bccaufc Nero had of him fwirhe drede. 
For he fro vices wold him ay chafliifc 
Difcrctly, as by word and not by dcdc ; 
Si re I he wold fay, an cmperour mote neda 
Be vertQOQs, and haten tyrannic ; 
For which he made him in a bathe to hUdSj 
On bothe his amies till he mull die. 

This Nero had eke of a cuftimiatuice 
tn youth age*ms his maifler for to rife. 
Which afterward him thought a grrt 
Thcrfore he made him dien in this wife* 
But nathelcs this Scneka the wife 
Checsi in a bathe to die in thismanene 
Rather than han mother turmentifc: 
And thus hath Nero fiaia hia maiAer dere. 



I 

1 



THE MONKES TALE. 



n^ 



New fell 11 fo th»t Fortune lift no ieaget 
I kigbc pride of Hero to chcrice, 
r tho^^ tfait he were ftrong yet waaflic ftreng- 
&c thoaghte tJiua : bj God I am to nice [vr. 

""» let a naa that is fulfilled of vice 
t high degree, tmd Emperour him c^llc : 
f G«d out o€hn fete I wot htm rricc ; 
' ITkin he ieft wcneth foBcft (bal he falle. 
The peplc rofc npcm him on a night 
' lis dcfiiifte, ind whan he tt cfptcd 
1 9i hh dnm anoo he hath htm dight 
lOf.aad ther he wend han had bcti .ilUcd 
^ knocked fail, and ajr the more he cried 
r teller flict ten they hlr 1 
WWUk he wei he had hin I, 

Iwent his way; o* len>;vi .jn..., .^^ calle. 
The pcplc cried und rombl 'd up and doun, 
J with his crc« hefdhe how they f^ydc, 
rr h thi» fijfc tyrant » thi» Ncroun f 
fkrc ahnoil out of hit wit he bnydc, 
! to^i goddej pitoully he prcide 
r fioeoar, but it tnig^htc oot betide J 
r drcd^ of this him thoughtc that he deide, 
dl nn imo a fprdtn him to hidc» 
And iti th^s gaxdin fooii he chcrlei tweyc 
That Citcn hfj a fire grct and red, 
A£ji to thife chcrlc&two he gaji to prtye 
To iLea lum, and to girden of his hed, 
[That CO Ills body whan that he were ded 
^ Bodefpit ydon for hit defame. 
" f lie iIow» he coad no better rede, 
f wlitcJi Fortune lough and haddc a game* 



Jl^UfttMfJ^ 



Wu I 






I neftr c^pltsune under a Icing 
* put in fubje>(!^ic>unt 
: w&t in fc id of alie thing 
I Ctme,r oc gr.'J'T >->f' rr^i .-nun, 
Vt acre pompotis in n^Hioun, 

. TW Matofeme, whi. .une ay kiil 

I ltlkroci0]r. «nd lad ium up and doun, 
} ll^fiis hod was of or chat he wifl* 
Ihmdj that this world had him in awe 
^kiiig of nchrfTe and Itbcrtec, 
As far lude every man rencte hi» Uwc 
dor wai God, £iyd he ; 

' ,AA.^ ' nnoured be. 

'J wight tr^rpace 
jtec, 

s of that place, 
Ai of Hololcrse : 
i h*« kud he (kookca Lay a Dight 
I iTiiiia lu« tcnce^ l->rge «• U « berne ; 
■ JedTCt foraL^t httpo:^ I hi« might 

l^^tk, a woman, ai li it 

*" " fi liii* hcd of Ihiuri. , j.:iu inj> hti tente 
flie flalc from every wight, 
I wttli hit hed unto hire toun Ihc wcnte. 

Whai nedeth it of King Anttochut 
^To teJi hit High and real majeftce, 
* rtti piide, and hti wcrkca venimous ? 
iniihc kocthci WM ihcr ma i» he : . 



Redcth what that he wai in Machahc, 
And redeth the proud wordo that he feid^ 
And why he fell from hif profpentce, 
And in an hill how wretchedly he dcid, 

Fonanehim hadenhaunfcd fo in pride 
That veraily he wend he might attaint 
Unto the flerret upon every fide* 
And in a balaunce weyen cche mountainep 
And all the floodci of the fee rellfetne : 
And Goddet peplc had he moft in hate, 
Hem wold he fleen in timncnt and to peine, 
Weniii)(; that God ne might his pride abate* 

And fnr that Nichanor and Timothec 
Wi/hjewci were vcDquifbed inight.ily. 
Unto the Jewe* fwcichc an hate had he 
'I'hut he bad greithe his char ful haflilyi 
And fwore and f;iydc ful defpitoufly 
Unto Jtrufalcm he wold cftfone. 
To wrtkc his ire on il fot ttlielly; 
But of hi« purpos was he let fijl fonc. 

Cod for his manace him fo fore fmote 
With invifiblc wound, ay incurable. 
That in hi« guttes carfe it fo and bote 
Thjtte his peine* wtren importable j 
And certainly the wrcchc wai rcfonableg 
Fur many a manner guttes did be peine; 
But friim hit purp?« curled and damnabiff 
For all bis fnicrtc,hc n*olde him not reflreiAei 

Btit bade anon apparailen his hoft. 
And fodcnly, or he wa* of it ware, 
Cod daunted ail hit pride and all hi» bofl ; 
For he fo fore fell out of hisehaec 
That it his limnics and hi^ fktnnc to-tarc. 
So that he neithcrn.l - ride. 

But in a chaiere mci bare, 

Alle forbrufcd both*- u.«^ ^imj iiJe, 

The wrcchc of God him fmote fo cruelly 
That thurgh hii body wicked worme* crept, 
And thervk'ithal he Hankc fo horribly 
That non of all hi& metnic that him kept. 
Whether fo that he woke or el lew flept, 
Nc migbtc not of him the ftinke endure. 
{q thi)i milchicfe he wailed and rke wept, 
And knew (iod lord of every creature. 

To alt ht« hotl and to himfclf alio 
Ful wlatfom wai the (linkc of hii careine j 
No man ne mightc him bercn tone fro; 
And in this fttnkc and this horrible peine 
He ftarf ful wrctdiedly in a tnountiine. 
Thu» hath thi& robbnur and thi* homlciJef 
That many a man msuic to wcpc and picjnc, 
Swichc gucrdoQ a« betongeth tmco pride. 

Alexander, 

The ft one of Alexandre ii fo eommnne 
That every wight ih:it hath difcrctiouo' 
Hath herd fomwhat or all of hi» fortune. 
This wide world, a* in conclufioun. 
He wan by ilrength, or tor his hif^h renouft 
They wet en glad for pees unto him fcnde. 
Tltc pride of man and boll he byd adouii, 
Whcr fo he caniCt tinto the worldes ende. 
K iij 




'i* 



THE M0MKE8 TALC. 



I 



Comp^triron migbt neTcr yet be miJud 
BctwH him and another conqucrotir^ 
For al this world for drcdc of him hath i^uakcd ; 
He was of knighihodc and of frcdomc flour ; 
Fortune him makcd the heir of hire honour. 
Save wine and women nothing mi^ht aiTwage 
Hii high entente in arme^ and iabouri 
^ was he fid of leunin conig«. 

What pri»wcre ic to hiai though I you told 

f Danu^ and an hundred thoufand mo 
Of kinj^C!-, priocc*, dukc?^ rrlci bold. 
Which he conqutTcd, and brought hem into wo I 
I Cay as for a* nian may ride or go 
The world was hi* ; what fhuld I more deviTe I 
For though f wrote or told you ever mo 
Of hii knigbthode it mightc not fufHce. 

Twclf ycrc he rcgiied, as faith Machabc ; 
Philippus fonc of Macedoine h« was, 
Tliat iirll was king in Greece the cootrcc 
O worthy gcntil Alexandre ! alas 
That cviT fliuld thee tollcn fwichc a cap ! 
Enpo Honed of ihyn owen folkc thou were ; 
a Thy fis Fortune l^atb turned into an aa, 

■ And yet ior tlice nc wept ihc never a tcfc, 

■ Whci (bal me yeven cere* to complainc 
H The dcth of gcntilitfle and of fnninchife, 
H 9'hat all tiiifr world welded in his dcniaine, 

■ And yet him thought it mightc not iufilicc } 
H So ful wa^i, his eorage of high cmprifc, 

■ Ala« ! wlko ih;tl me hclpcn to eodite 

■ Folfe Fortune, jind poifon to dd'pUe t 
I The which two otf aU this wo [ wite. 

I 



ydSui C^ar, 



By wifdomci maahode, and by grtl laboitr, 

'r^m humhithcde to resil msjeftee 
Up rofchc Juhun the conqucrour» 
That W4J1 idl the Occident by Jond and fcQ 
By lircngthe of ho*^d« or elle* by ireicc^ 
AJid ujifo Rome made hem tributirie. 
And fiLh of Rome the Erqperour waa be 
TiJ f halt Fortune wenc his advcrfarie, 

O mi i fv (% iV ! that in Thcflalie 
Agcin fatlxer thin in lawe, 

That <' t had all the chiralric 

A» fcr as til at tiic day btginneth dawe^ 
Thou thurgh thy knighthodc haft hem take and 
Save few jolk that with PompciuB fiedde» [flawc, 
Thur^h which thou put ail the orient in awe, 
Thanitc Foxtunc th»t fo wcJ thee fpedde^ 

But now a litel while I wol bcwatle 
This Fotupeiut^, thi* noble govern our 
Of Rome, whidi that Bed ai thi« b^iaille* 
I fay on of hW meo, a fatfc traitour» 
Hi* hcd of (mote, to winoen btm favour 
Of Jttliut^and htm the hex! he brougbt : 
All*. Pompcic I of the onfnt conqu*.r*ttr, 
TliAt For time imto > wtcbe a fin thee broogbt. 

To RtHiie again rcpaireiK Jubtia 
With bit iriiimphc iaureat fdi hic^ 
But on a time Srucu^ and Cailm», 
^ hat ever had of his high dUt cDvie. 



Ful pri vely had made con/piraeic 
Agtin* this Juliu»in fotil wife. 
And caR the place in which he Jbcdde die 
Witli bodckin», at I ihal you dcvije. 

This Julius to the Capatolic weole 
Upon a day^ as he wa« wont to gon^ 
And in the Capitolte anon htm hcsto 
1 hi«i falfc Brutus and hi« other foon^ 
And fLikcd him with bodekiiis sctm 
With many % woundi ind thus they let him Se •" 
But never grout he at no firokc but on^ 
Or elles at two» but if hit ftorie lie. 

So manly wwt this Juhui of herte. 
And fo wci loved cftatiy honeftee, 
I'hiit though hit dedly wi^undet fore fin 
Hi» mantel over hit hippet cade he. 
For no man fhulde fecn his privetee; 
And at he lay of dyijig tn a trance, 
.\nd wiAc veraily that dcd wa« he. 
Of hone (lee yet bad he remembrance 

Lucan, to thee thif floric I rccoitimeiide. 
And to Sucton and Valeric alfo. 
That of thit ftoric writcn word and code^ 
How that to ihifc gret con^uerours twft 
Fortune was firft a frend and iltb m 5>» 
No man ne trull upon hire fnvour loo^^ 
But have hire in await for cvcnno, 
WitnciTc on all chife coaqaerourea itro^* 

Crtfiu» 

The riche Crefus, whilom King of Liie^ 
Of whiche Crcfu* Cin^* '^ -- "^ dr4dde. 
Yet wa« he caught »mi p^'idr. 

And to be brent men t' iim ladde. 

But fwichc- a ram doun from tiie wdkieii 
That flow the fire, and made to him efcapf | 
But to beware no grace yet he hadnk 
I'il Fortune on the galwet mi4le faanga^* 

Whan be efcaped wa* he can m*t ftiot 
For to begin nc a ncwc wcrrc again t 
He wcQcd wcl for thiit Fortune him Urnt 
Swiche hap that he efcaped thurgh the niv 
Tliat of hi» foos he mightc not be ilaio ; 
And eke a fwevcn upon a night he mette 
Of which he was fo proud and eke fo faiii. 
That in vengeance he all hit heite ^Btlc. 

Upon a tree he wat, as that him thai^1U^*j 
Ther Jupiter him wctflie both bak and ijde» 
And Phcbus eke a f aire Cowailhim brought 
To dric him with, and therfore wcx hit 
And to his dougbter that flood him hcftt 
Which that he knew in high fcicnce 
He bad hire tell him whit it fignified. 
And fhe hit drcme began right thiu etpowid*' 

The tree (qood (he) tiic gal wet it to nua^ 
And Jopifer bctokflacth Ihow and rain. 
And Fhebus with hit to wail clcrc and clevc^ 
Tho ben the fonnei flremet, foth to (\m ; 
Thoo (half anhanged bc» fadr 
Rain £hal thee waih^ and fon ^itm 

Thut warned him ful plot anu cue tuj pl^uo 
Hit dough;er| whkh Oul cadted wm PhatLk» 



H^^^P^ht liim not iviiUc ; 

PBttoSBOLhcar OiAner things 

I itt fiiiK^uij; cnrn ne bewaije, 

r A J? *^^ - ' 3 U d jy wol affailk 

tn^ ^ ]£ xcgsM that Wn fkr^ade ; 

lum I ,11 hire chtn wot fhe foiilct 

|«cr litre brigbt face with a doudc 

Peter %f Sfwme, 

Mtf o wiwihf » Ptrtro, ^lorie of Spftiae ! 
\ f^nuott held, fo hif^k m m^jf IW, 
jhicn men ihy pitovts dcth compjaiac : 
ifay ioo^ thy brother made thee flce^ 
t. a le^ bf (otiUce 
bctmed and lad unto his tent, 
ht «ith hii owem hood How ihe«, 
g in thy rtgne and in thy rent 
fcKl ol Coo.*, with th' cglc oi bljJt tH«rin# 
with the limerod, colouxcd u the ^ledr, 
wed this cvrfedneire and all ihu fiume ; 
eked f)«^iilK w%s wcrker of thcs dedci 
1' hat Loke ay hedc 

;r, but of AfTQoriLe 
Qii y f^i » i. • ■! 1 upC for mcde^ 
itte this wttffthy king in £wichc a bfilu* 



THE MONKEd TALE. 






JF*«#rci JC/ff^ <5^ Cyprt, 



noirthf Fttro ! King of Cypre alio, 

fklcxAadrie wan by high iualBltic, 

ury »a He then wroughted thou ful wo, 

pdi thin oweo liegc& had covie^ 

ir BoOiiiig but for thy cbivah ic 

ia dijr bed haa ilatn ihce by the morwe* 

can Fortune hixe whele goYcmie and gi<;, 

IK oi joyc bnngen men to forwc. 

Ufihme gme Eimabo Vifcoum, 
[ddit« and fcourge of I^umbarcUf, 
^old I not thin infonune account^ 
ItA^t thott clombcn were To high t 
ioUicri fune, that was thy double allie, 
I thy nn^w was and fooc in Uwc, 
I %m prifoQ made he thee to diei 
1^ QC bow o*ot 1 that thon were flawc* 

lie Erl Hu^^lin of Fife the Ungotir 
bftf iu> songc tcllea for pitee. 
)A «iM of PK^i: '^t ^ (our, 
ikhfi ttour ia prifoo ypue wa* be^ 



And with him ben hia lltcl children thre€, 
The clJeft Icarfely five ycte wai of age : 
Ala» ! Forttinc, it was grct crtocltcc 
Swiche bndden for to put in fwiche t cage. 

Dampncd was he t6 die in that prifon. 
For Ro^r which that Biihop wa» of I*i£c 
Had on him mude a fallc fuggeflion, 
Thurgh which the pcple gan upon him rife, 
Af*d put him in a prifon in fwiche m wife 
At ye han herd ; ^d mete and drinke he ha& 
39 Xntalc, that wci unsctbc it ou^ fufiife, 
And thcrwithal it was ful poixrt and bad. 

And on a day befei! that in that houre 
WJi "^ ' > mete wont wa^tobe brought 
Th Lie the dores of x\^^ tourc ; 

hL i, . ^. ,. ^. vi, but he fpake right nougbt s 
And in hu hcrte anon thcf fell a thought 
'I hat they ftpr hunger wolden do him dicn t 
All* ! quod he, alas that 1 wa» wroughjll 
The r with the teres feUcn fro Vaa eyen. 

His yongc foDc, that three y<fe waa o| ikgc* 
Unto hjta faid^ Fiider, why do ye wepc \ 
Wh;)n will the gaUcr briogca our poragc I 
h ther no morfei Wed that yc dn kcpc \ 
I am fo hung:rj that t may not Hrpe. 
Now w(»id Qod that { mtght flc^xji ev0, 
Than fliuld not hunger id my wambe crepe; 
Thcr n'ii no thing fauf bred ih** mc were Ict 

Thus day by d^iy this chdde began to eric. 
Til in.hi« £adrc5 barmc adoun it l<y» 
And faidet Farewcl, fader, I mote die; 
And kid hift fader, and didc the Ikmc day* 
And whan the woful fader did it fey 
Fur wo hi^ acmes two he gan to bite, 
And faidr, Ala« 1 Fortune, aud wak Wft \ 
Thy falfc whck my wo all may I witcw 

\i\r> cluUlrcu %y(.ndcn that^r hunger it-Mi 
Thrit he hi* arme& gnowe, and not for wo. 
And fisydcn. Fader, do not fo, alail 
But rather c(e the ttclh upan ua two t 
Our 6cni thou yaf ua, take our flefh ua b-o. 
And etc ynough. R^^ht thus they to him £tide^ 
And after that, within a day or two, 
They bide hem in his lappe adoun ioddcidc^ 

Himfelf difpdrrd ckc for httnger flarf. 
Thus ended t» thi* mighty EtI of Pife : 
From high cftat Fortune away him caif. 
Of thit. tragedie it ought yoongh fufbccj 
Who fo wol hcje it in a longer wife 
Redctli the grete poete of ItatUe 
That hightc Dante, for he can it devlfe 
frp pc*iJi( tp Poiot ; not o wprd woi he flU|& 
Jtiiij 



f3# 



THE NQNNES PREESTES PROLOCUr 



THE NONNES PREESTES PROLOGUE. 



TliitV ^-f. '-■' -r- »,. v,.„....K ^^\i^ 

Am] vSe 

1 fay for mc ri i* m grv t dilriir 

Whcras fnrti hfiv<» !^fr Ir j^trt x^-rnlth am! cf« 

V JVnd ibe t- 

And tlidiheth t : unat, 

[ fiwi. keth m€, 

I And ' . r: for tn rrllc, 

Y^; qwrtd our Holtc» hy 

^ Ifi" fiy right (cMh . thl* Moi i >ud«; 

He fpukt bow Fortiifie covt^reti with ^ tluudc 
1 wore not what, nn J itU of a fravAlic 

; Ki^\tX now ye i^ ,0 remeiiie 

i Iti* for to bcv,\i 
I'^hit ihat ivdoti, aim utie, 

A* yc h:in iaid, to he ife. 

l*or I licf iji if thcr no o uir ; 

Therlofc Sure Mork, I -y ymir namf, 

* Wfft ^kiuly n'erc of your hclk^ 



That on yoitr bridcl liiD^c on evny fidc^ J 

By heveh kiiTjr, that for u» allc didc, 

i fliuld cr this have rtllem dt^un for Orpc, 

AUhough the Hough had ben ncvr r P- Jl| 

Than haddf your Tale all Hen t« 

For ccrtntrt!r, a,** ^>iat t^ifr d-rV 

UK 

N.I 

AUii wi 1 I \vr.r.C Tt'c I ii ':■ 1 tnrrcc 1«- ill n>c 

If any tKtnj* fliai wd reported be, 
Sifc^by foniwhat of hunting 1 you prar, 

Wif, quod this Monk» t have not luS t# | 
Now Irttc afiothtT telle a* I have mid 

Than fpakcourHoffcwith rude fpechei 
And f.»Vd un»o the Nonn« It*rcdl ftnon\ 
Cnr Prceft,comchithcr,thftii4 

Tt ! 1 thing a* may our bcrici i 

Be bliihL although thou ride upon mj 
What thntigh thifl horfc be both fo* 
If he wo! fervc thee rcckc ihcc oot a f 
Lokc that thyn hcrte be tncry cy^rmo. 

Yfs, Hofle,qtMitf he,f6ir..»' i r-v n^ j 
But I be mcry )t^u 1 woi 
And right *nan hh TaJc I -ncJi 

Ard ihuihcfjiid unro ui 
Thi9 fwcic Prteft, this gr> 



THE NOMNES PREESTES TALE*. 



cotagc 

hi* wiclrwe, which 1 irU eu of my Tide, 
iB'm (hilkc day th^! Hit tri< lift a wi£ 

[ill pan it rice ltd .' ! 'ifj 

1 For litd wai hh hire rentf ; 
By hulbondry of Iwicrie ^$ God Lire (cnte 

• '"f toMk -i»d A H.fl J Ut wrftl whrrcc'i J* to cm- 
kfsfe mtt irlcacU, atid to beware ai ttattcrctA. (f^/^fpr* 



She found hirefdf and eke hire don^htreii i 

Three large lowc* has! (He, and no itif», 

Tliree kinc^ ?rd fke albert. iIsjt > rhtf- 

fill footy was hire howtt .' 

In which fljecte macy a Ji 

Of poinant fjince ne kne« the 0£t«f t d^l 

No ddntcc morfcl pafffd thur^h Wrr tl 

rtire djtte wan Jccorn' 

R:plcnon ne made \ 

Attcin|»[c diac wai >&i^ uhc jj^iukc 



TKE KONKES FRERSTES TALE, 



m 



hcitcs fuffiTancc i 
nothing for to daoce^ 
not hir^ bed ; 
tnudcc (he nyther whiter nc redf^ 
^1 fervrd mo(l with white and bbck» 
0d broun bred I tn which ibc fond bo lack, 
bacon* asd fomtimean eyt or twey, 
Ihc w»s a> it were a mancr dcf * 
. yrrd flu hxd eDctofed all about 

n, xtid it dric dichc without, 
I r iht hsd 1 cok highte Ch;iuDt«clere, 

I ill the laud of crowing n' as his pcrc : 
voii ir^t mertcr than the mery or^^on 
f)o m^c daiest''^ ' '^ ^^ - ^ n : 
WdiikcTcrwa 

Tkaa it Jickdt wi -..; - ^ ;. ^, . 

Bf fiatttre tic kncwc echt afccntictan 
€.' t! -^ cquioodHsI in thiike rouni, 

k| cr uf fiitoie were afoetided 
^ he that it nhgbc not hen tmeadad, 
.«^4{abe mm rodder than the dn corall, 
u it were a caftel wall; 
S4 black, and %a the jet it Jhone^ 
were his k'gges andhi» tone, 
whiter than the illy flour, 
like the burned gold w^ii his colour. 
Thh gv-ntil cok had in his gnvemance 
bcjinca for to doo bU hi) plcXance, 
kkk were hit fuflcrf ind hi4 paramourcsi 
Ler like eo him as of eoburei, 
the ^rcft, hewed in the throte, 
at cjepcdi falre Dan: rdotc. 

C!«rtm Qie waA, difc^ 'onaire, 

Jlod compcoftblc, and b^rc mrclclf fo Uire, 
WAm the 4ay that flie was fevcnr.ight old, 
*l%m irewttlich ihe hath the herte in hold 
Of GknuiUclcrc, lokcn in every Uth ; 
tk tov^ hire fo that we) was him therwith : 
iafwjchc a joye it was lo here hern fittj;, 
ISWi that tlie brtfrhte fonne gun to fpring, 
lifirrte accord. My Icfe i» farr in lond, 
t» thilke tvinc, as 1 have uodcr^mid, 
Mb and briddct candcn f^'tkc and iing. 
Ai»d ft> befell that in a dawcning 
JJliGhatjnt^''-"' "'long hii wiw«i iille 
OQ hi .3t was in the hillc, 

nemt 'i fatce Pcndotc, 

*nk£« CHii ui j^onacn in his throte 

Ajflsanit rcmc t>t drctchcd fore; 

Ami whaa ih^i l\f tclotc tha« herd him rorc 
Bht! w** a«r»<^t Bnd iiidc^ Herte dtrc ! 
Wl.. outo gronc in fhi» mantTc ? 

Ye ': ficpcrr, ly for Oiiimc ! 

Alia nc Antwcred and faydc thus; Madame, 
I pray f Ott that ye take it ri*t agrcfc ; 
f^-^ Ood me mete f was in fwiche n^ifdiefe 

Ut now, tltat yc min bcrte is lore ainght. 
j^ ,'4 Ood (ifuod he) my fwcvcn recchc aright, 
jLod kcpe my body out of foulc pnfoun; 
My mvte how that 1 romed tip and doua 
• le, whcr aa 1 faw a bcilc 
nd, and wold hin made urdXc 
L pn my r>nny, aod ban tad me dcd : 
|lis Kklojor ynM bctwii yelwc and red,. 




And tipped was hi* ttil and both hi« fm 
With bbckj, unlike the renjcnant of bit here*: 
His (iiout was 1^' ' .' ^^ : lowing e)'cn twc| i 
Yet for his !ok t,.i>; I de) ; 

This caufcd mt ; ., ^ ..,.., ijjj doutele*. 

Away, quod Ihr; fy on yon htn'Ic%! 
Ala*! quod flie, for by that Ood above 
Now ban ye loft myn bene and all my lofc ; 
I cannot kve a coward by my faith ; 
For ccrtc», what ih any woman faith. 
We al ddiren, if it mightr be, 
To have an huibofid hardy, wife, and free. 
And fccrei:, and non niggard ne no fool, 
Nc him that ii a^aft of t-vcry ttxjl, 
Nc non avantoki*- by that God abtwc. 
How doHlcn ye for fhame fay to your love 
That any thing might maken you ifcrde ? 
Han yc no mannca herte and ban a berdc ? 
Ala* ! and con ye ben igaft of fwcvcn i* f 
Nothing but vanitec, God wotc, in fwcvcn tc 

Swevcne* engendrm of repletions 
And oft of fume, and of complexions, 
Whan humours ben to habuttdant in a wight« 
Cv!rtL-i thi* drtmc which yc- ban mtt to-mgh^ 
Cometh of the grct fuperfluicce 
Of yoore rede itttr* parde. 
Which caufeth folk to dredcn in htrdremes 
Of arwe*, and of fire with irdc lemc<. 
Of rede beftes that they wol hem bite. 
Of conteke, and of wafpes gret and Htf, 
Riji^ht as the humour of mekncolie 
Ciufcth ful many a man in Jlt-pc to crlc 
For fere of holies and of beres hiakr. 
Or elJes that blake devils wol hem t:ikc. 

Of other humours coud I telle alfo, 
Thjt wtiken many a man in flfpe aad wo ; 
But [ wol pafle an lightly as I ran. 

Lo Caton, which that was fo wife a man. 
Said he aot thus f Ne do no fnrce of drernc^ 

Now, Sire^ quod fhe, whan we Jlec frothc bemcs 
For Guddc^ love as ti^kc fom laxatif ; 
Vp peril of my foul srid of my bf 
I cotifeii you the bell, 1 wol not lie, 
That both of colcr and of melancolic 
Yc purge you*, and for ye fhul not time, 
Thc'tjph in this toun b-c non apotecarie, 
I flial myfelf two herbcs techen you 
That fhai be for yonr hele and for your prow. 
And in our yerde the herbcu fhul I findf. 
The which ban of hir proprctec by kindc 
To purgen you bcncthc and eke above. 
Sire, forgctc not this for Goddes love ; 
Ye ben ful colerike of complexion ; 
Ware that the fonne in hi* afcention 
Nc findc you not replete of himiouri bote ; 
And if it do 1 dare wcl lay a grote 
That yc fiiul ban a fever tertiane^ 
Or elies an ague, that may be your bane. 
A day or two yc Ibul ban degeftive* 
Of wormes or yc take your laxatives. 
Of laureole, centaurie, and fumetere. 
Or tiles of cllebor that growcth there. 
Of tatapucc or of gaitre berics. 
Or crbc ivc f^roffiaf^ m our ycrd that mcry Sif 





Picke hem right && ihty prow, and ttc hero in. 
B^ ih mery, huAjond; for yowr findcr kin 
Dr dcth DO drcmc: I can fay ycu no more. 

Madame, quod he, granii mercy of your lore I 
But nathdei w touching Diui Cat on, 
Tliit hath of wifdomc fwichc a gret renoan« 
Though that be bade no drcmct for to drcde. 
By God men moun in oldc boukes rod<; 
Of many a man raorc of audoritcc 
Than ever Caton wa*, fi> mote J the. 
That all the revcr* fayn of his Icfitcncc, 
And ban wcl found n hy cxpertcii«« 
That drenies ben iignihcatiou* 
At wcl of joyr as tribulations 
That folk enduirn in this lif prefect : 
Th r ucdeik make of thi* non ari^ument i 
The veray prevc ihcweth it imledc* 

On of the greteft audtpuis thai n^n rcde 
Fa'tth tiiui, that whilom twcy fetawe* wente 
On pilgrimage in a ful good entente, 
Ard hipped fo they came into a toun 
WhLf tier was fwiche a congt^gatiouo 
Of peple, and ckc fo ftrcit of hcrbcrgagCi 
That they ne founde as mochc as a cota^e 
In which thty buthc might ylogged be, 
Vf'licifore they muflen of neceffiteef 
A« for that night, dcparten compagnle. 
And cche of bem goth to hit hoflelrie. 
And tokt his Logging u it wolde fallc« 

That on of heni wa» logged in « ffcalle^ 
Ft in a yard, with oicn of the plough. 
That other oian wat logged wcl y no ugh, 
A% waa hU aventurc or ht» fortune. 
That Uf gorerncth all, a« in commune* 

And fo bcfcU that long or it were daf 
Thift man met in his bed diet a* be lay 
How that hiA fclaw gan upon him calle. 
Aid faid, Ala»! for in an oxes flallc 
Thi* night Ihal 1 be mordrcd thcr J lici 
Now help me, dcrc brother! or t die ; 
In aUe hafle come to me, he faidc. 

l*his man out of hit ilepe for fere abraide^ 
But whan that he wai waked of his Ilepe 
\ic turned him, and toke of tht» nokepc; 
Him thought hii drome wa» but a vanitec. 
Thus twie» in hi* flcplng dremed he. 

And at the thridde time yet his felaw 
Cam«, as him thought, and laid, 1 now am flaw^ 
Behold my blodv woundc« depc and wide : 
A^%it up crly in the morwe-tide, 
AD<f at the weft gate of the toun (quoil he) 
A carte ful of doogc ther ihalt thou fee, 
In which my body if kid pnvelyi 
Do thiikc carte arrcAcn boldcly. 
fJij gold eaulcd my oinrdrt, foth to faiti ; 
And told him every point how he waa (laia 
>Viih a ful picoui face, pale of he we; 
And tniilcth wcl hii drcme he found ful crewcs 
i^or on the roorwc fone at it wai day 
To hif fckwct inne he toke hia way. 
And whan that he came to thi»ote6 ilallt 
After hib f4;Uw he tKrgan fo calk. 

The hoilclei anfwercd him anon, 
^lidi«tfC| Sire, y<»ur f<kw 14 a|OR} 



A» fone a9 day he went oat of tlie laus* •■ 

Tbi« man gan fallen in fufpeciooo. 
Rem em bring on hi* drenaea that be 
And forth ht goth, no lenger wold 
Unto the wed gate of the toun, and foi 
A dong carte a^ it went for to dang U>od« 
That was amied in the fame wife 
As ye han hcrdc the dede man deviXe, 
Ax\6 with an barde herte he gan to crio 
Vengeance and jufticc of this felooic; 
My felaw mordrcd i»thi» fame night, 
And in thii carte he Uth gaping upj ' 
1 cnc out on the minifleri, quod he. 
That fhuldcn kcpe andrculcn thiacitcet 
Hiirow ! aias! here lith my fclaw flain. 

What fhuld I more unto this tale Cainf 
The pcplc out ftert, and caft the cart to 
And in the middel of the dong they foviid 
The dcde man that mordrcd was all orwe. 

blisful Gdd! that art fo good and 
Lo, how that thou bcwreycft raordre oliva^ 
Mordrc wol out, that fee wc day, by days 
Mordrc it fo wlatfom and ahhcuninabls 
To God, tliat ifl fo ju(l and refonable. 
That he ne wol not fuflFrc it hylled be : 
Though it abide a yere, or two or thf ee, 
Mordrc wol out; this is my condttfioiui. 

And right anon the miniilnrs of the toUft 
Han hcnt the carur, and fo fopc him * 
And eke the holder fo fore cngiflcd;, 
That they btknewe hir wickedne^ 
And were anhangcd by the neckc boo. 

Here mouo ye fee that drevicalMii %» 
And certei in the fame book I rede, 
Higbt in the next chapitre after this, 
( I gabbe not, fo have 1 joye and blsa) 
Two men that wold ban pai&d ovcrUic ft^ 
For certain caufe, in to a fcx contrec. 
If that the winde ne hadde ben contraries 
That made hem in a citce for to tarie 
Thiit Hood ful mery upon a haTeo fide: 
But on a day, agein the even tide. 
The wind gan change, and blewrigfe-t 
Jolif and glad they wen ten to hir reft. 
And cailen hem ful crly for to failc| 
But to that o man fel a gret memiJe* 

That on of hem in 0c{»tDg at he laf 
He mettc a wonder drcme ig«jn the 4af v 
Him thought a mail ftood by hi» bc^Ue* 
And him commanded that he (huld afeiJc, 
And faid him thus; If thou to^morwe wcodc 
Thou flialt be dreint; my talc is at an cade. 

He woke, and told his felaw what b« 
And praied him his Tiage for to let; 
As for that day he prayd him for to abid 

His felaw, that lay by his beddea fid*, 
Gan for to laugh, and fcoraed him ful 
No dreme, quod he, may fo my hcnc 
That I wol leten for to do my 
I fcttc not a 0raw by thy dremiogti^ 
For fwevens bco but vaniteea and japcif 
Men dreme al day of oulea and of apoi^ 
And eke of many a male thcrwitbai; 
Men dreiQc of tlung thai ncfcr wia %% flii^ 



A 



■ THE NONNES PREESTI3 T^LE- tjf J 


^|^U& 1 fee iJbat ihou wol there ftbitlc^ 


of thing God huh fcnt me large gnec, ^m 


^^^BMum Ibf^i^uthcA wilfully thj tide, 


For whan 1 fee the beautcc of your face, ^H 


KBBTfroc it rvwoh met utd hAve good diy t 


Yc ben fo fcarlet red about your eycn, ^H 


1 Aftd tlm» he toc4 1^» Uvr, and went his way. 


It raakcth all my dredc for to dien ; ^H 


^L^Bat or thai he bsd half hb cour% yfaikd* 


For al fo Gkcr as /• prhiipw « ^H 


^BToc I oat why ne whtt mcfchancc it ailed. 


Afuihr ff UmUu tw/^Jip, t^H 


Bpst caToelly the (Uippe* boctom rente. 


f Madame, the feotence of dm I^atine it^ ^^H 


F Aad fliip a.Qij mui under the water wtnte 


Woman i» maniiei joye and manoet blis;) •^H 


kJ^I^ (»( other fcipncither bclide 
■■■with him ikiled tt the fame tide. 


For whan 1 fclc a-oight your foite {idc» ^H 


Al be It that I may not on you ride ^H 


^^■■d thet'lorc, hire Pertejotc fo drrc. 


For that our pcrchc h made fo narwc, ala»Y ^^H 


^^mnriche enlamplei aide m&id thou Icre 


I am fo fill of joye and of folas ' ^H 


^KhM DO mu) (kiAde be to rcecheki 


That 1 dcffiii bothc fwcvcn and drcmc. ^H 


^■f aremes for I ^^7 tbce doutclca 


And with that word he flew doun fro the bcm^lri 


^BWi oi«ny A drcipe ful fore is far to drede. 


For it was day, and eke his licnnei alje, 


^■jLotin the Uf ^'f ^'-"^ Kmclnic I rede, 


And with a chuk he gan Ecm for to caile, 


^■te WflhS Kimi' the Dublc King 


For he had found a corn lay in the ycnL 


^■VMcjcciirikc, Im metcc si thing. 


Real he was, he wa* no more aferd ; ^^j 


^RA liul 1^ he were inordred on 2 da^ 


He fcthcrcd Pertclote twenty time, ^H 


^p|li» mortlre in hit mviBdo he fay; 


And trade hire eke ai oft, er it wa;& prime \ *^H 


P^ R» ooricc him ciipouticd every del 


He lokcth as it were a grim leoun, ' ^^| 


1 H-^ twerctj, And bade hun for to kepe him wcl 


And on his tooa be rometh up and doun ; ^^^1 


1 ?r-rrcfo'^.' '3* but ievcn ycf c did. 


Him deigned not to fet hi<i feet to ground t ^^H 


1 A" i lL: r II hath he t^ild 


He chukkeih, whan he hath a corn yfound, ^H 


■^fag^ : " ' hit herte. 


And to him rcnacn than his wivct allc. ^^H 


^^^Kv mj {bene 


Thu5 real as a prince ii in ki»halb '^H 


^^^^^^^.,_ . . .^,.: J u have I. 


Lcvc \ this Chauntcclerc in hii pafturc, * ^^ 


^^^^^■^Krtelule* lay you trewely, 


And after wol I till hii avcnturc. 


^^^■■B^ ihAf avifir^n 


Whan that the month in which the world b<^»^ 


^^^^^Kf ' 


That hightc March, whan God firft makcd raan^ 


^^^k' ^t they ben 


Was complete, and ypafTtd were alio 


^^^^hili^ ' ' !i j>i :ucu lifter feet}. 


Sitlien Kfarch ended thriity daycs and two, j 


^^^Bi fc rr { pr^y y«u lokcfh Wcl 


Btfell tliat Channicclere in all his pride, J 


^^^B ' of DatijcI, 


His fcvcn wivci walking him bcfide, ^^m 


^^^B 'i 


Caft up his cycn to the brightc fonne, •^^H 


^^^B^ " Uher fhuin ye fee 


That in the fignc of Taurus haddc yronnc ^^M 


^^^Hr Uf not allc) 


Twenty degrees and on, and fomwhat more f ^^H 


^^^B itln ikiicr fullc. 


He knew by kind, and by non other lore, j^H 


^^^■^k , D^Q Pharao, 


That it was prime, and crew with bli&ful ilereil^^B 


^^■^ 


The fonne, he faid, is dombcn up on hevcn ^^B 




Twenty degrees and on, and more ywis; ^^| 


^^^B ^c« of foudry remc& 


Madame Pertclote, my worldes blia, -^^^ 


^^^K yaw utider thing. 


Herkenetli thifc blisful briddes how thcyfing^ ^^ 
AxxA fee the frclbe flourcs how they fpring; J 


^^^^t* i^c vv;i»of J^yrjic ktn^, 


^^^krr 


Ful is niin bcrte of revel and of fola», ^^J 


^^^■h itg T d br. 


But fodentyhim fdla forwefui cas, ^^| 


^^Hhirc 


For ever the btter cnde of joye is wo ; ^^^ 


^H^T 


God wote that worldly joye is fone ago$ ^^^ 


^^^^Hprcui c > ' 


Af'J if a rethor coude faire cndite ^^| 


^^^K^jbt ii»c Ul of Heaor^lhuld be ionic 


He in a chronicle might it faufly write ^^H 


^^^■ikc d«y he weot into bataille ; 


Ai for a foveraine notabiHtee* ^^^ 


^^^^Lrar&cd htm, but it might not afVislle; 


Now every wiie man let hiro herken tnc f \ 


^^^^bcfit fortli for to fivhtca Dathdca, 


This ftory is al fo trcwe, I undertake, J 


^■k vns \ V 1 oi Achilles. 


As ia the book of Launcclot do Lake, ^^H 


^m But thi i to long to telle. 


Th^t women holdc in ful gret reverence. ^^| 


^VAod eke u i. ..<^.. w^y, I may not dwclLe, 


Now wol I turnc sgcn to my fentencc. ^^B 


^V^ortly I U}\ a« lor eonclulion, 


A col fojf, fui of licigh ini^uitcc, |^| 


^■^fttt 1 fhal lunof thit avifioa 


That in the grove had wonned ycres three, ^^! 


^^^Mrfttee ; ackd 1 fay fortheriEiOire, 


By high imagination forccafl. 


^^^Bt 1 B« ^<Ji «f boativci DO ilorc. 


The lame night thurghout the hegges brail ^J 


^Pf^^fy ben vcnimous, I wot it wcl ; 


fntu the yerd ther Chauntcclerc the fairc j^| 


^K ) hezB deffief t love heni never a dd* 


Wo* W0(nt,and eke hi« wives, to repuire, ^^| 


^B Biit let ttt ffeke of tiurtlie, and iUntc aH thit. 


And in a beddc of wortes fUtk he lay ^^| 




TUi it waafaflcd Ufl^^rn of the day, ^H 



IJ6 



THE NOKNES PREESTES TAL^, 



Waitiinrhi* time on Chauntcclcrc tofallc, 
,A>g:bdly don thifc hoinictdc» allc 
That in iw^t liggcn to mordrc men, 

O falfe mordcrour! lucking in thy deo^ 
O ncwc Scariot, ncwc Gcndon! 

fiUTe diHimulour, o Greek Stnon! 

at bruughteil Troyc al utterly to torwe, 

Chatotcclet«! accurfcd be the morwc 
That thou into thy ycrd flew fro the hemes; 
Thou were fol wcl ^-warned hy thy dttmct 
That thilkc day wa$ pcritoiu tQ thcc; 

But what that God forcwote moft acdc« be, 

After the opinion of certain derkc*, 

WitneiTe on him that any parJic clerk is. 

That in fcolc it gret aitereation 

In ihh matere and gret difpatifon, 

And hath ben of an hundred thoufand tntn : 

But 1 ne cannot bcult it to the bren. 

As can the holy Dolour Ao^uftinf 

Or Bocce,or the biihop firadwnrdiD^ 

Whether that Goddci worthy foreweting 

Ctreineth me nedcly for to don a thin|^, 

{Neddy depe 1 fimple neccflitcc) 

Or ell^s if free choi* be granted me 

To do that fame thing or do it nought. 

Though God foi-cwot it or that it waa wroughc^ 

Or if hit wcting ftreincth never a del 

Bat hy neceffitce coudidoncL 

J wol not han to don of fwicHc matcre; 

My Talc ij of a cok, at yc tnay here, 

*rhat took hisconfeii of his wif with forwe 

To wi^lkcn in the yerd upon the morwe 

That he luid met the drcmc, ax t you told. 

Womennci confcilcihcn ful often cold; 

Womcnnc* confeil brought ui^&rft towo. 

And made Adam fro Paraditk to go^ 

Ther a» he waa ful mery and wel at cfe : 

But for 1 nVt to *hom I might difplcfc 

If X confeil of women woldc btamr, 

PafTe over, for I faid it in my game. 

^ede au^our^ where they trctc of fwiche matcrc. 

And what ihty fa)-n of women ye mown here 

Thifc ben the Cokkes wordes and not mine ; 

1 can non harme of no woman dcTinc, 

Fairc in the fond^ to bath hire merily, 
L>\ih Pertelote, and all hire fut^cri by, 
Agcin the Tonne, and Chauiitcdcre fo free 
iSang mcrf ier than the mermaid in the Icci 
For Ph>fiolog«3 faytli (ikcrly 
How that tlicy iing«n wel and merijy. 

And fo hcfdl that aa tie cafk hss c)'c 
Amc^ng the worlCf on a botcrflie 
He wa< wAfc iti ihis fox that lay ful low : 
Nothing nc lill him thaune for to crow, 
Biit eric J anon Cok, cok, and up he flertc 
Ai man thiit wan aiTraied in his hertc ; 
For naturally a be eft dcfireih flee 
Fro hi* cootraric if he naay it fee, 
Though he never erft had fceo it with hi« eye. 

Thik Chauntcclere, whao he gan him cfpie, 
T: ' 'la fled, but that the fox anon 

^ I Sire, alas! what wol yc don? 

liv yc aiii^idof me that am your frcnd^ 
Now ccrtet I were lycrfc Una any fcad 



If i to you wold harme or vilanie. 
I n*am not come your confcil to efpie^ 
But trewely the caufe of my coming 
Wii only for tohcrken how ye fin^. 
For trewely ye ban as mery a (lerett 
A« any aogel hath that it in hevett* 
Thcrwith yc ban of mulikc more feliftg 
Thau had Boece, or any that can Cng, 
My Lord, your fader (God hit fouir WclTe] 
And eke your m<>der of hire gent if ' 
Han in nvyn hoD§ yben, to my gr 
And ccrtca. Sire, ful fain wold I yi.m juc;?. 
But for men fpcke of Ungcn, I wol fey. 
So mote 1 brouken wcl mrn eyen twcy. 
Save you nc herd I never man fo fing 
As did your fader in thcmorwening ; 
Ccrtcs it was of hertc all that he fong : 
And for to make his nois the more (Iroilfg 
He wold fo peine him, that with both hat 
He muilc winke, fo loude he wtlde crieo. 
And don den on hi& tip toon thcrwitbaJ, 
And jlretchcn forth his nccke long mod 
And ck£ be was of fwiche difcretion, 
That ther ii^a* no man in no region 
That him in fong or wifdom miglue 
I have wel red in Dan Bamcl the af 
Among his vers* how that ther wit a cok 
That for a pre eft e« fone yave him a knok 
Upon hit leg, while he was yongc anU nic* 
He made him for to Icjic hit bencfiec ; 
But certain ther i»ao comparifon 
Betwix the wifdom and difcrctloo 
Of youi fader and hisfubtilitLC. 
Now fingcth, Sire, for Scmt Charhrc j 
Let fef, can ye your fader coUDterfcte? 

'I'his Chauntedcrc hitwingc* gan to 
Ai man that coud not hit trefon efpi^^ 
So wai he nviJhed with hit fiatcrie. 

Ala^ ! ye lordct, many a falfe fiat 
Is in your court, and many a lofengei 
That plefeth you wel more, by my fall 
Than he that fothfailncfTe unto you fkit^ 
Redcth Ecclefiail of flateric : 
Beth ware, yc Iorde», of hire trvchcrie* 

Thift Chauntcclcrc ftuod high upoa I 
Strcching liia necke, and held hiteycn 
And gan to crowen loude for the norte 
And Dan RuOcI the fox flcrt up 
And by the gargat hentc Chauru 
And on hit back toward the woi^4 liun b< 
For yet nc w^at ther no man that him fued*j 

O deflinee ! that maift not ben elchucd, 
AU» that Chauntcclcrc flew fro the bcmef 
Atas, his wif nc raughte not of dremci ! 
And on a Friday fcl all thii mefArhtticv. 

O Vcnub ! that art gC'ddefle of PleTajiee, 
Sin that thy fervant wat thi% ChauntecIcfV, 
And in thy fervice did all hit powere, 
More for delit than world to multtplic. 
Why wolt thou fuAr him on thv day to 

O Gaufride,dcre maiflcr ^ 
That whan thy worthy Ki. vrat 1 

With fhot complaincdcft hi<j vi< ir, *kj lut^^ 
Why DC had I ufiw thy fcicac^ and thf Ion. 



i 



THE NONNES PREESTES TALE." 



W 



]iAmj for to chidco as did yc f 
a Friday fotikly flaiQ was he) 
&|il I (Kcw you how that t coud plaioe 

eckrt* dred« and for hii paiue. 
Es IWiche cry nc Umc'ntatjr.o 
rcr t>f lidic* madtr wham I lion 

, and Pimw with ftrciu fwerd, 

had hca King Pri;im by the Wrd 
in kim, (li laith ui Emidotj 
lea aO the keacrt in the cloot 
iiey had fcco c»f Chauntcclcrc the fight; 

inly Dame Periciotc (hright 
icr than did HafdruhaUc& la it* 
hat hire boibond hadde yloft hit I if, 
kt the Romaincs haddm brent Cartage ; 
I fp fit! of turmciit and of rage 
rilf%Hly into thi: fire ihc ftertc, 

t hire ftlven with a ftcdfaft herte, 
iftt! ' ' ;:ht fo criden yc 

t^ :nte the citce 

cj+^.^ uiv .'^.ustourci wives 
It Kir huibonds loftcn allc hir llvci, 
(iJt ihii Nero bath hem ilain* 
* wol 1 tnme unto my Tale again. 
If widkrwe and hire dough tren two 
I cbcfe henne» crie and niakcn wo, 

at thedoreft Acrten tJieyanon, 

the (ai toward the wode ia> gon^ 

: upon his back the cok a^^y : 
ricdea otit Harow and wala wa ! 
fea. I and after him they ran, 
te with ftaYct many an otlicr man ; 
uUe our dogge, and 7'albot and Gcrlond, 
falkiti, with hire diflaf in hire hund ; 

and calf i and ckc the vcray hogges 
d were for barking of the doggei, 
tg of ihc men and women eke, 
fo hem thought hir hcrtc« hreke ; 
M fcndci don in hellc ; 

s dicden ai men wold hem qucUc: 

far fere flcwcn over the trcet, 
iil£ hive came ihc fwarmc of bed, 

H|i, .. - r :\ ■ ri nf fc , a bextdiiiU / 

J V and his mcinie 

utos half fo ihrille, 
|»t ihey t^ulden any Fleming kille, 
e iliy wa» made npon the fox. 
tb«y broughten beemei and of box» 
, and bone, in which they blew and panped, 
tfhal they (hrikcd and they houped j 
mm that tlie heven Ihulde frill e. 

luen, 1 pray yon hcikcneth ille : 
nirntth fodcniy 
sod pride eke of hire enemy t 
E^ ikm. Ii| upon the foxes bake, 
kii drede unto the foa he fpake, 
kyde ; Sire, if that 1 were ai ye 
»14 I Ui0| (af wiily Gpd help me) 



Turneth agein, yc pronde cberlcs allf, 
A very peililence upon you fa lie ; 
Now 1 am come unto the wode^ fide, 
Maugrc your hed the cok flial here abide; 
1 wol hinci cte in faith, and that anon. 

The fox anfwcred, in faith it fhal be don ; 
And u he fpake the word ai fodenly 
The cok brake from his mouth dcliverly, 
And high upon a tree he 6ew anon. 

And whan the fox faw that the cok wa« goa^ 
A\iA ! quod he, o Chaunteciere, ab^ ! 
I have (quod he) ydoD to you ttcfpai^ 
In a« moche as [ maked you aftrrd 
Whan I you hcntc and brought out of your yerJ 
But, Sire, I did it in no wikkc entente ; 
Come doun» and I flial tell you what 1 mrntc : 
] fhal fay fothe to yon, God helpe me fo. 

Nay than quod he, I flircwe us bothc tWQ ; 
Aod drfl I fkrcwe myCdf bothc blood and boi)c» 
If thou begilc me oftcner than onei : 
Thou ibali no more thurgh thy fiatcrie 
Do me to tiog and winkcn with mine c/e. 
For he that winkcth whan h.€ ibulde fee, 
AI wilfully, God let him never the- 

Nay, quod the fox, but God ycve him ncichance 
That is fo indifcrete of governance 
That jangjeth whan that he fhuld hold hit pecs. 

Lo, which it it for to be recchelca 
And negligent, and trud on flaterie. 
But yc diat holdcn thii Tale a folic, 
Aa of a fox, or of a cok or hen, 
Takcth the moralitec thcrof, good men; 
For Seint Poulc fayth, that all that writcn Is 
To oiir dodrine it it ywritcu ywiii. 
Taketh the fruit, and let the chaf be flille. 

Now, goodc Ciod, if that it be thy wille. 
As fayth my Lord, fo make ut all good mea. 
And bring us to thy high blifTc. Amtm 

Sire Nonoes Prccil, our Hofle fayd anoo, 
YblciTcd be thy bredic and every flon ; 
Thii was a mery Tale of Chauntedere : 
But by my trouthc if thou were fccutere 
Thou wolded ben a tr<;dcfoLdc a right, 
For if thou have coragc as thou hall might 
Thee were nede of hemiUt %» I wenc. 
Ye mo than fcvcn times (evcntene* 
Se whidie brauncs hath thisgentU Prceft^ 
So grct a neck, and fwichc a large breed 
He lokcth as a fparhauk with hit cyen : 
Him nt-dcth not hi* colour for to dico 
With Brafil nc with grain of Portingalc, 

But, Sire, f aire falle you for your Talc, 
And after that he with ful mery chcrc 
Sayd to acuther ai yc (hulcn here. 



The second nonnes tale* 



r»i mintftrc tn<l the nonce tinto vicei, 
^'hich that men cUf c in Englifli IdcIndnTei 
That porter it the |^tc i»bf Detkes, 
To cfchuen, and by hire contrary hire opprefle,* 
Thut U to fain, by Icfui bc&nefle. 
Wcl oughttf wc to don al our entente. 
Left that ihc fend thargh idclneffe tis hente. 

For he that ivith hi» thoufand cordci flic 
Continticlly us waitcth to be dappCy 
Whan he may man in idelneffc efpie, 
He can fo lig^htly cacche htm in his trappci 
Til that a man be hent right by the lappc 
He n'ii not w«re the fend hath him in hond i 
1^cl ought 01 werche and idelnefTc withftond. 

And though men draddco never for to die. 
Yet fee men wel by rcfon donttlc* 
That idebcflc i« rote of flogardie, 
Of whirh thcr never cometh no good encreef. 
And kc that flouth holdeth hem in a Icea, 
Only to flcpc and for to cte and drinke. 
And to derouren all that other fwinke. 

And for to pat ui from fwicbc Idelncirey 
That caufc u of gret confufionf 
1 have here don my feithftil befmeflc. 
After the legende, in tranflatioD 
Right of thy glorious lif and paflion. 
Thou with thy gcrlond wrought of rofe ind liUcp 
Thee menc !, maid and mirtir, »eintc Cecilic, 

And thou, that arte fluure of YirgincsiU, 
Of whom that Bernard lift fo wel to write. 
To thee at my begiimiog firft 1 cull, 
Thou comfort of us wictchei, do me cnditc 
Thy maiden* deth, that win thurgh hire merite 
The eternal lif, and over the fend vi^loric, 
Af man may after redcn in hire ftorie. 

Thou maide and mother, doughter of thy foli» 
Thou wel of mercy, finftil foolc* cure, 
lo whom that Ood of bountee cheet to won; 
*!fhou humble and high over every creature. 
Thou nobledeft fo fer forth our nature, 
That DO difdaiiJC the maker had of kinde 
His fou it) blood and flcfli to clothe and winde« 

Witiiin the cloyftrc hlisful ol: thy fidci 
Tokc maJi89t fliapc the eternal Lovt and PceS| 

; • The Ufc and dcitli of SftLot Cecily. Sp, 



That of the trine eompii Lord an4 guide i 
Whom enhc, and fee, and heven, cot off 
Ay hcricn ; ami thou virgine wemmeles 
Bare of thy body (and dwcltcft majdca pen 
The Crcatour of every creature, 

AfTerobted in thee magnificence 
With mercy goodneffc, and with fwicKe piti 
That thon that art the fonne of exctUcncc^ 
Hot only helpcft hem that praien thec^ 
But oftenttmc of thy bctiiffnitec 
Ful freely, or that men thin hclpc befedief 
Thou gocft befome axid art hi r live" leehc. 

Now htlpe, thou mcke and bli»fiil fairet 
Me fl:imcd wretch, in this dtfert of ^ lie ; 
Thinke on the woman Canacce, that fmiAt 
That whelpes eten fom of the eromet aJSe 
That from hir lordr» table been yfajl^ ; 
And though that I, unworthy fonc of Etr, 
Be finful, yet acccpteth my belcve. 

And for that ftith is ded withotttea i 
So for to werken ye re me wit atjd fp«ce 
That 1 be t^uit from thennes that mo|l dtffcel 
O tliou 1 that art fo faire and fnl of grace. 
Be thou mro tdvocat m that high (>Uee, 
T her as withputen endc is fonge oifanar. 
Thou Criftcs mother, doiighicT drrc of AnQ£4 

And tif thy light my fouie in prifaQ Vi^^ ' 
Th;4t troubled is by the conta;, lon 
Of my body» and alfo by the wight 
Of crtbly loft and falfe afedion : 
O haven of refute ! o falvation 
Of hem that ben in forwe and in diftreflcl 
Kuw help, for to my Werk 1 wol me drrfirJ 

Yet pray I you that redcn that I wricc 
Foryeve me that I do no diligeircc 
7 hii like ftorie fubtilly to tndite ; 
For both hale 1 the worde* and fcntcnce 
Of him that at the feintrs rtvcrmce 
The ftorie wrote, ajid folowed hire leg^nd^ 
And pray you that ye wol my werk imendiei^ 

Firft wol I you the name fjf St intc Ceolk 
Expoune, as men may in bin: fione fe? j 
It is to fayn in Englifh, Hevcns lilk. 
For pure chifttjcffc of virginitee. 
Or fur ftie whitncife had of hondleCf 
An J grcne «f confcience,aiid of good tev 
The fwgu laroiir, iiUc waa hire I 



THE SSCON0 NONNES TALE. 



Ctfcile h to fayn, Ttte way to L \lnde, 
c en&inple wubf pMtd tcchzng, 

>ed hj a tnaner conjoining 
vco *nd Z.M,«nl here in figttrin^ 
Hfrrn is (ei for thought of hoUncHe, 

for hire Uding befincflc. 
idlie mAif eke be imfd in this maDcrr, 
ttog of bliBdnrfe, ^ hire grcte light 
BC^ ant' i'"«- hir-* thr-tt^r- . i l.-ft ; 

iDtilSi 

Hand / : by right 

in«ght hire wd the i*evcn ot pcpk calU, 
Uple of g'jMxl and wile wcrkei idle, 
r l^mi pcplc in EngliQi it to tzf i 
<rigbt 1* men mny in the heven fee 
Ebnoc ^md mont:, ;unl Hezrc^ every way, 
t Cb men goQl)", in thU maiden free 
I of fikirh the mkLgnanimitee, 
'he the clereneff^ hote of fapience, 
r^Dcirf wcrkei bright of excellence. 
d rigitt fo IB tblfe pholofophres write, 
bcmi IS fwift and roondf and eke brctming, 
It (o was bire Cectlie the white 
Wift and bclf in every good werking, 
nrafid an i hole in good perftvering, 
l>remiiii|p ever in charitice fuJ bright. 
' ' ' ! what ihe hight* 

r ' lie, as hire life faith, 

ks .^ . ' M 1 ^ • u u ^ ^i)d nable k i nd , 

il : cradle foflred in the faith 

;,,,_, : bare hU gofpel in hire oiiod ; 

Upperocfiedj as I writen find, 
he prayere, and God to love and drede^ 
LhiDg Kim to kepe hire nmidenhcde. 
kiwhaii this maiden fliuM until a man 
dded be that wa» ful yqnge of age, 
tk that ydq^ed was VJeriaD, 
dw w%a comcn of hire marriage, 
Uorvotit and humble in hire corage, 
kr hire robr of gold, that fat Fiil fatre 
tiext hire flefh yclad hire in an haire. 
Ill while that the organs maden nnelodic 
M alcioe thtu in hire hert fong file % 
Brd I vnj foulc and eke my bodic gie 
icmmed, left that I confounded be, 
for hb loTe that died upon the tree 
ry fccond of thriddc day (he faft, 
bidding in hire orifon« ful faft. 
^e night came, and to bed mull fhe god 
Il hire hnlbondt ai it ii the mancre, 
I privcly fhe faid to him anon ; 
^cte and wel beloved fpoufc dere ! 
^ is a confcilt and ye wol it here, 
ish that right fayn I wold unto you faiCi 
h^t je fwerc ye wol it not bewraie, 
Taloian gao faft unto hire fvere 
It for no cat dc thing that mightebe 
fhulde nexcr to noD bewraien here ; 
i tha^ at efh thua to him fiide Ihe ; 
rrc an angf 1 which that loveth me, 
^ with gret iOTc whcr fo J wake or Qcpe 

pLrtv iv fiiT hnrnr (tirto kcpe I 

Ijn out of drede 
;.. : ^ . . vcinvilaaici 



He right anon wol fleen you with the dede, 
Atid in your you the that ye iholdcn di« ; 
And il that ye in dene lovcnse gie. 
He wol you loTC a? me for your clcDencffe, 
Aiul fliew to you hii joyc and hit brightncflc* 

Thi» Valerian, corroded a* God wold, 
Anfwered again ; If I ihal truften thee 
Let me that angel fccn and him behold. 
And if that it a vcray angel be. 
Than wol I don as thou haJl prayed Tne ; 
And if thou love another man, forfothe 
Right with this fwerd then wol 1 flee you bothc^ 

Cefile anfwerd anon right in thia wi/e : 
If that you lifl the angel (hut you fee, 
So that ye trowc on Crift, and you baptile : 
Go forth to Via Apia, (quod Ihc) 
That fro thit roun ne ftant but mile? three^ 
And to the pourc folkc6 that ther dwclkn 
Say hem right thut as that I fhal you ti'llen* 

Tell hem that I Cecilc you to hem fctii 
To Ihewct) you the good Urban the old. 
For fccrec nede* and for good en tent ; 
And whan that ye Scint Urban )^ bcHold, 
Tell him the wordes wliche I to you told t 
And whan that he hath purged you fro fmne 
Than (hal ye fecn that angel ere yc twiune. 

Valerian ie to the place gon. 
And right a» he was taught by hire lerning 
He fond thi» holy old Urban anon 
Among the fcintes buricls loming; 
And he anon withoutcn tarying 
Did hismeflfage, and whan that he it folde 
Urban for joyc his hondvi gan trphofdc* 

The tere* from hi* cyen let he fallc ; 
Almighty Lofd,o Jcfu Ctift * quod he. 
Sower of chaft confcil, hicrde of us alle. 
The fruit of thilk fcede of chafljtee 
That thou haft fow in Cecilc take to thee? 
Lo, like a befy bee withouten gite 
Thee fervcth ay thin owcn thrsd Cecilc. 

For thiJk fpoufc that Che tokcbut new^ 
Ful like a fieri Icon, flic fcndti^h here 
At meke as ever wai any liunb or ewe. 
And 'Aith that word anon ther gan apere 
An old man clad in white clothes dere^ 
I'ltat had a book with letters of gold in hond, 
And gan bcfomc Valerian to ftond. 

Valerian as ded fell doun for dtede 
Whan he him faw, and he up bent him th?. 
And on hii book right thus he gan to rutict 
On Lord, on faith, on God withouten mo. 
On Criftendom, and fader of alt &Ub 
Abovcn all^ and over all every whcr. 
Thifc wordciall with gold y writen were* 

Whan this wa« red, than laid thia olde man, 
Levcft thou this thing or no ? fay ye or nay, 
1 Icve all this thing, quoU Valerian, 
For fother thing than this I dare wcl fay 
Under the heven tio wight thinken may. 
Tho vanifhtd the f>lde man hi^ n'iftc whcr, 
And pope Urban him criftcned right ther. 

Valerian goth home, and fint Cedlie 
Within hit chamhre with an angel ftonde : 
Thii angel had of rufcs and of lilie 
Coroncii two^ tic whidi he bare in hondcj 
Aod £rft to Ccciie, u I ^^ad^i^qn^C) 



He jftf than oo* and afttr ^n he cake 
That other la Vjtlcmu hire make, 

\^^th body cltrtjc Antl with unwemmcd thought 
Kepeth ay vrcl thifc coroncs two, quod he, 
From Parodis to viiu I hive Ucm brought, 
Nc never mo qc Ihul they ror^n he, 
Ne left- hir fwctc Tavrtur, trufteth me, 
Kc never wight Jhal fccn hem with hii eye, 
But he he chiillc And hate Viliinic. 

And thou. Valerian, tor thou fu fonc 
AfTcntcdclV to j^ood confeili alfo 
iSay what thcc lift and thou Ihah han thy bonr« 
f have a brother, quod Valcriiui tho, 
That in this world 1 iovc no man fo, 
I pray you that my brother may have prace 
To know the trouth, ai I do in this place. 

The angcl fiiyd, Gml liketh thy rcqucft, 
Andbothe with the pulmeof marrirdomc 
Ye fliuilcn conic untti this hlifsful rull ; 
And with that word liburce hi» brother cotnc. 
And whaun that he the favour uitdenu»mc, 
Which th^t the rofc* and the Hiiei* C4ft, 
Within hU hcrtc he gatj to wonder fill. 

And laid ; I wonder thi» linic of the ycrc 
WheDc* that fwctc favour eoraeih fo 
Of rofes and Ulici that t fmelk here. 
For tliough I had hem min hondcs two 
The favour might in mc no dcpcr go ; 
The fwcte fin el that in min hertc I iind 
H^th chiin^cd mc all in another kind* 

Valerinn faid, Two coropcs han we 
Snow-white and rofc-rcd, that {hineu clerc, 
W^hich that thin cycn ban no might to fee. 
And as thou /mclleft hem thurgh my praierci 
So ihali thou fcen hem, Icvc hrothcr dcrt, 
If it fobe thou wolt withoutcn fluuche 
Belcvc arijjht, and know the vcray trouth^. 

Tihurce anfwcrcd ; Saicfl thou thi& to me 
In foihneflc, or in drcmc hcrken I thi* ? 
tn dremrsj quod Valerian, ban we be 
Unto thii time, brother min, y wii ; 
But now at erft in trout he our dwellinfr ii. 
How wod thou thiji, quod Tihurce, in what wife I 
Quod Valerian, That Ihal I thee dcvifr. 

I'hc angel of God hath me the trouth y taught. 
Which thou flialt fccn, if that thou wilt rcocy 
The idole*, and be c\cnc^ and clle* naught. 
And of the inirack of thife corones twcy 
Seiiir Ambrofc in hii preface Uft to fey ; 
Solcmpncly this noble doAour derc 
Cominendeth it, and faith in this manere : 

'I'hc palmc of martirdome for to receive 
Seint CecIUe, fulfilled of Goddei^ycft, 
The world and eke liirc charobre gaii (he WcivCi 
WttnejTe Tiburcci and Cecikt fhrift, 
To which God of hu bountee woldc fhife 
Curottesi two, of flounei wel fmclltng. 
And tnadc Jii* angel hew the corooe« bring. 

The maid hath brought ihifc men to bliffc 
above ; 
TliC world hi:h wtft what it ii worth certain. 
Devotion of ch^ftitee to love. 
l*huU);h flicwcd him Cecilc all opes snd plain 
TImii ill idelet ii*ia but a thing in vaiOt 




For they hen doinbe, and th^rtti they &efi 4cf 
And charg^ed him hii idoiei for to lr«e« 

Who fo that truweth not this, a heft lie i 
fj^uod this Tihurce, if that I (hal oot He, 
Ar.d fhc gan kifle his breil whan fhe herd 1 
And Mf^ ful glad he coude trouthe eC|«Mj 
Thi^ day 1 take thee for min allic, 
Saidc thi» bIifisfuUair«! maiden dcre; 
A"d after that fhe laid ju ye may here i 

Lo, ri);ht fo at the love of CriA (quod I 
IVf ide mc thy hr(»tliers wif, right in that wn£c 
Anon for min alhc here take I thee, 
Sithen that tliou wolt thin idoles defpifn 
Coth with thy brother now and thee baptji 
And mnkc- thcc cleiif, fo that thou mttft I 
The .ingcls face of which thy bruthcr iM^, 

Tiburcc anfwercd, and faidc, Brotbei 
Firil tell mc whitiitri fhal, and to wh 
To whom, r"" ' '^"- C'^rr,, \.,r ». jtb j 
I wnl thcc i 

To Urban t ', 

Qijnd tho 1 iburce, wiit thnu mc ihrdrr le>dc f 
Mc ihinketh that it were a wundcr dcdt- 

Nc mencft tliou not Urban (quod he th»X 
That i^ fo often damned to he dtd, 
And woncth in halkes alway to and frOt 
And dare not onei putten forth Kif hed^ 
Men fho!d him brcnneu in a fire fo rrd 
If he were found, or that men mrn[ht him ifi 
Andwcalfo, to here him compaj^nic. 

And while we fckcn thiike divinitec 
That \h yhid in hevcn prively, 
Atgtttc yhrcnt in thii world Ihuld wc he. 
To whom Cccilc aniwcrcd boldcl> ; 
Men mij^hten dreden wel and flcilfoUy 
This Lif to Icfc, min owcn dcrc brothrr J 
If this were living; only and non other. 

But thcT is better lif in other place 
That never Hial b< loft, r- ^- ' •' -- 
Which Goddes fone u* 
That fackci fonc which 
And all that wrought ii witi i i ^1 1 

The goftihat from the fader .c 

Hath fouled hem withouten aiiy drcik. 

By word and by miracle he Goddet fomc^ 
Whaa he VTAt in tlii« world, declared here 
1 iiat iher h other lif ther men may wooc 
To whom anfv^erd Tiburcc ; O fuAcr derc I ] 
Ne fatdefl thou ri^rht now in tbi» manerr, 
Ther n* if but o God Lord in fbthfafltiefle^ 
And now of three how maytt thou here i 

Thatlhal 1 ttU, quod fhc, or that I go^ 
Right a* a UJir* hath fapicuces tliree^ 
Memorie, engine, and infctilcd alfo» 
So in o beings of divinitee 
Three perfonc^ mow en ther rig:ht« wel hib 
Tho g\n fhc biro ful hefily to preche 
Of Crt(lc& fonde, and of his peine* teehry 

And many |kmdCcb of hi* pafhon. 
How Goddci ionc in thit woi Id wa» wid 
To don mankiode plcin' f- n ifr,..n. 
That wa*ybound ill Ct: colik 

AH this thing (he unto i .i'l« 



^burce in good en tent 
to Pope Urban he went. 

Cod, and vrith glad heite and 



ted G 



aod made him in that place 
(f Icming, and Goddes knight : 
lid Tiburcc gat fwichc gmcc 
liay he faw tn time and fpacc 
f Ood and e»cf7 maner bone 
3 axed it wa» fp<fd ful fone. 
il hard hf ordre for to fain 
wonden Jefuf for hem wrought : 
ily to (<.■!]€ n fbort and plain, 
Bts of thc*toua of Rome hem fought, 
"^ r Aim ache the Prcfcd brought, 

^ofcd, and knew all hir entcnt, 
of Jupiter hem fcnt. 

ifho fo wol nought do facrifice 
thi» it my fentcnce here. 
9MrtjTt that ] jou dcTifc 
■y that wii an officere 
:<l%cs, and hii Qornlculcre 

twhan he furth the fciJitei bd 
t for pitee that he had* 
ittf had herd the feiotes lore 
tht turmcntourcs leve, 
hsthoui withotttcn more; 
r prrching cw that it were cvc 
D fro the turmcntourtto revc, 
xinic, and fro his folk eche on, 
rtb, to trovve in God alontf. 
nej whan it waa waxen night, 
m that hem criflened all yfcrc ; 
f>d whan daj waft waxen light 
faid wnh a ful fledfaft cherc, 
m owcc knightcs Icvc aod dcrc, 
Kthe wtrrkcf of dcrkcncflc, 
^k In armcsof brightndTc. 
Ryth ydoD a g^rct bataille ; 
i «loo ; jour faith hath y^u conferved ; 
aptiDc of lif that may no: faille t 
^■^, which that y? han fzrvcd, 
■po, a$ ye han it deferred, 
hU thing wai CalS as I devi& 
iCBi forth to don the facriiice. 

wcren to the place ybf ought, 
f the concluAoun, 

? »c facrtficc right rotighc, 
I they fctten hem adoun, 
teand fad devotiotm, 
Wth hir hed^s in the pWe : « 
reatcti to the King of grac«« 
imoa, that faw th 14 thing be tide, 
I urcM told it anon right 
B|a kti faw to hevcn glide 
Mai of ctcrcncile and of light, 
n word cod verted cnany a wight, 
i]iiwchiu» did him to^etc 
\ Ird til he his lif gao letc, 
Dkc and baricd bun an to 
I Valerian foftcly, 
jiDg place, under the fton ; 
lAlmschiui hazily 

f ei fetchcn openly 



Cecilc, fo that flic might m hli prcfcncc 
Don facrificc, and Jupiter cocetife. 

But thty» converted at hire wife lore, 
Wcpten ful fore, and yaven ful credence 
Unto hire word, and cricdcn more and more 
CrUl,, Goddcs fonc, wichou ten difference, 
U vcray God, thi^ it all our fentcnce. 
That hath fo good a fcrvant him to fcrvc t 
Thu» whh o rois we trowcn though wc ftrnre. 

Almachiui, that herd of thii doing, 
Bad fctchen Cecilc, that hv might hire fee : 
And aldcrfirft, lo, this was hi» aaing j 
Whit maner woirjun art thou I quod he. 
I am a gentilwontan borne, quod fhc 
I axe thfc, quod hc^ though h thee grevc. 
Of thy religion and of thy btlcte* 

Why than began yoor queflion foOIy, 
Quod fhc, thatwolded twoanfwcr* conclude 
!n o demand ? Yc a-ccn lewcdly, 
Almachc anfwcred to that fimilitude. 
Of whcnnca cometh thin anfwcring fo rude * 
Of whcnncs? (quod (h'-% whan that (he wa* friened) 
Of confciencc, and of good faith unfeined. 

Almachius fdd ; ^^e takeft thou non hcde 
Of my power ? And fhe him anfwtird thii j 
Your might (quod flic) ful lilcl is to dredc. 
For every mortal m;mncs powrr 11 'i^ 
But like a bladder lul of wind Ywlt^ 
For with a ncdlcs point whan it is blow 
May all the hqfl of it be laid ful bw. 

Ful wrongfully bcgonncft thou, (quod he) 
And yet in wrong is all thy pcrftvcrajicq ; 
Woft thou not how our mighty princej free 
HiiTC thus commanJ'^d and made ordinance 
That every Criftcn wight thai han penance 
But if that he his Crillcndomc withfcye^ 
And gon al quite if he wol it rcncyc ? 

Your princes errcn, ai your nobley doth, 
QuoH tho Cecile, and with a wo<id fcateticc 
Yc make u» gihy, and it i* not fcth ; 
For ye, that knowen wcl our innocence, 
For as mochc at wc don ay reverence 
To Crift, and for wc here a Criflcn r^'ne^ 
Ye put on us a crime and eke a blame. 

But we, that knowen iluike name fo 
For vcrtuoua, wc may it not withlJcyc. 
Almache pifwercd; Chcfe on of thife ii«:o, 
Do facrificc, or Criflcndoin rcneyc, 
That thou mow now cfcapcn by that wey. 
At which lliis holy blisful fayrc maid 
G^n for to laughe^ and to tltcjugc (aid; 

Ojugc! confufe in thy nicetec, 
Woldeft thou that I rcncyc innocence f 
To makcn mc a wickod wight (quod (he) 
1,0, he diihmulclh here in audience, 
He flareth and wodcth in his advcrtcficci 
To whom Almachluft faid, U u fc I y wretch T^ 
Nc wofl thou not how far my might may ilrctch I 

Han not our mighty princet to me yevca 
Y-t bothc power and ckcaudorltee 
To makco folk to dcin or to liven f 
Why fpekcffc rhou fo proudly thari to me ? 
I nc fpcke ngught but flcdf^IUj', quod flif. 



} 



THE SECOND KONKES TALK. 



Not proude!y, for 1 fay, a» for ray fide 
Wc hatcn dcdly thilkc vjcc of pride. 

Aad if thou drcdc not a foth for to here 
Than wol 1 Ibtwc al openly by right 
That thou hail made a ful grtt UCmg here. 
Thou faifl ihypriticcs hau thee ycvcn might 
Both for to flee and for to qukkto a wight. 
Thou that nc maift but only lif bcrcvc 
Thou hafl non other power ne no Icve. 

But thou maiilfayn thy prince* han thct makcd 
Mini {I re of Deth, for if chou fpcke of mo 
Thou lie ft, for diy power is ful naked. 
Do wty thy boldticHe) faid Almachius tho, 
And facrifice to our goddes cr thou go, 
I recite not what wrong thut thou me proffre^ 
For I can fuflrc it as a philofophrc. 

But thilkc wroogcs may I not c&durc 
Tbut tliou fpcli(;£k of our godde^i here, cj^uod he. 
Cccilc aiifn^ erd \ O nice cn-uturc ! 
Th'>u faideft no word fin thou fpake to mc 
'J'hat I ne knew thcrwith thy nicciee, 
Ard that tliou w*erc in every maner wife 
A k\^ cd oflicer, 3 vain jufliee. 

Ther hckcth nothing to thin utter eycn 
That thou n'art blind j for thing that wc fecn alk, 
That is a fton» that men may we I cfpien, 
That like fton a god thou wolt it calle ; 
1 rede ihec let thin bond upon it fiUc, 
And uH it welt and ilon thou ihalt it find, 
Sin that thoti Iccil rot with thin t yen blind. 

It is A fhame that the peple ftial 
So fcorncn thcCj and laugh at thy folic. 
For comunly men wot it wcl o%'cr al 
That mighty Cod i* in hi* hcvrn* hie; 
And thi!e images, wel muii thou efpie. 
To thee nc la nemlclf may not prufite. 
For in cflcd they be not worth a mite. 

Thife and ivs khc other wordc* did flie. 
And he wcx wrctb^ uud bade men [bnldc hire kde 
J 



.teKaqfl 

chafl«H 

aoct ^B 



Home til hire houi, and in hire Hom | 
Brcnnc hire right in a bath with 6amcs rcdc- 
And as he bade right fo was doo the dcde. 
For in a bathe they gnnDe hire fa(U fbettca* 
And night and day gret £re they nndo' bettiSB, 

The longc night, and ck« a day aHb, 
For all the §re, and eke the bathes helc, 
She fate al cold, and felt of it no wo ; 
It made hire not a drope for to fweie ; 
But in that bath hire lif (he muflc Ictje, 
For he Almachc with a ful wicke cntesit 
To flcen hire In the bath hit fonde fent. 

Three AroVes in the nrlkf be fmote 1 
The tuTmcntour, but for no mantr ch 
He mighte not {mixe all hire nckke »rwo ^ 
And for ther was that time an ordinance 
That no man flbulde don man fwiche i 
The fourthe Aroke to fmitcn foft or tore, 
Thi» turmentour nc dorfle do no more ; . 

But half ded, with hire nckkc ycoprcii did 
He left hire lie, and on hii way i% went : j 
The Crimen folk which that about hise Wi 
With Ihcte^ han the blood ful faire yheoti 
Three daycs lived fhe in thtt turment^ 
And never ccfcd hem the faith to tc ' 
That fhc had foftred hero ftic gan t^ 

And hem fhe yaf hire meb&s a]s| 
And to the Pope Urban betoke hem t 
And faid| I aaed this of hcven King 
To have rcfpit three daye^andno bm^ 
To rccommtuid to you or that I go 
Thifc fouks, lo, and that I mi;-^ • ^- -- 
Here of min houfe perpetucll 

Scjtit Urban with hit dckect , j 

1 he body fctte, and huricd it by nighl 
Among hii other feinte« honcflly, 
Hire hoiw The Chcrchc of Sc 
Siint Urban haJowcd ii as he v. 
In which ucto this day in noble wIl 
Men don to Cfiik and to bh jfintc krtil 



■ T«E CHANONES YEMANNES PROLOGUZ. lif 1 


L c„.»». v»»«». „o.oo„. J 


^Mriif VIS the liTof S^3;xic cccur. 


And ye him knew al fo wcl as do I ^^^^B 


^^^B^follf ^'^t: mile. 


Yc woldcrn wondrc how wcl and craftily ^H 


^HRiilrr-BIee m ^ti atalu: 


He coudc werkc, and thae in fondry wif^ i ^| 


clothe il win in cbthf* hUkc, 


Kc hath take on him many a ^ct emprifc, ^| 


nhe he vncred a white Jarplii. 
^ whith th«t wai al pomdce gri*, 


Which were ful harde for any that 14 bcr« ^^^^H 


To liring about but they of him it l^^rc. '^H^H 


n tt weodcr wa* to ice; 


At homely as he ridcth amou^iu you ^^^^^| 


It badprikcd mile* three. 


If yc him knew it wold bo fot your prow 1 ^^^^B 


« ifc.« UU Yenun rode upon 


Ye woldtn not forgon hiitccjUAintancc ^H 


nan ^u he goo : 


FormochJgoodf Idjr * il4ntc ^^^^H 


ffrel omchilliic; 


All that I have b my .^^^^^ 


>r-- ., «, ipic. 


He is a man of hijfh d.... -.. ^^^^H 


• cropcrliy. 


1 warne you wcl he Ij a p^fling min. ^^M 


t i litcl array; 


Wcl, quod our Hoilc, 1 pray thee tell mc than ^U 


ibmnicr rode ihi* worthy min* 


Is he a ckrk or non ? Tell what tu is, ^H 


fftc wondren I begun 


Nay, he is g^reter than a clerk ywis, ^| 


! w*i, til thai I tmdcrilodc 


S;iide this Yemin, and in wordcs fcwc, ^M 


doke was Toxvcd to hia hodf, 


Hofle, of hi^ craft fomwbat 1 wol you flicwc. ^M 


kivi 1 hid lon^ avil^d me 


J fay my lord can fwiche afultikeei ^H 


fomc chaooD for to be. 


(But all hi« craft yc ni^oun not wrtc of me^ ^H 


at hi* back doun by a b;, 


1 Artd fomwhat help I yet to hii wcrkin^) ^H 


Men more O1.111 troi or pa* ; 


That all the ground on which we hen riding, ^H 


iked like as he were wode. 


Til that we come to Canterbury tuun, ^^^H 


he had laid under his hode 


He coud al dene turner up fo doun, ^^^^^| 


id for to kep? his he J fro hct : : 


And pave it all of (liver and of gold. ^^^^^| 


re for to fccn him fwctc j 


And whan this Ycman had thi* tak ytolJo ^H 


iroppcd as a ftili«oric 


ITnto OUT Hoftc, he faid BmeJf^'irt ^H 


|»l»otainc cr <if paritorie. 


Thi% thing i& wonder mervaillotis to me, ^^| 


lat he was come he gsui to crle» 


Stn that thy lord is of fo ht^h prudence, ^^| 


g>d he) thi» joly compaj^'it' ! 


Bccanfe of which men ftiuldc him reverence, ^^| 


rikcd (quod he) for your lake^ 


That of his worlhip rckkctli he fo lite ; ^^| 


1 w"^'i^^"'' ^*'ke. 


His overcil iloppe it i» not worth a mite, ^^| 


ihit ! g«ic* 


A» in effbct, to him, fo mote I pf\ ^^^ 


w- : curiefir, 


It ta all baudy and to-torc ^Ifo. ^^^^^ 


jrcf, now III the inorwc lide 


Why IS thy lord fo fluttiHi I thee p rcye, ^^^^^ 


boftelrte I hw you ride, 


And la of power better cloth to he ye, rVI^^I 


rwd litre ray lord and fuverain, 


If that Ills dedc acorded with thy fpechc l ^^^H 


hit tu ridco with you ii ful f^u 


Telle mc that, and that I thee befcrhe, ^| 


ijliaiicc. 


Why ? quod this Ycman, whcrto axe yc mc ? ^H 


ycvc tlic good ch»ace. 


God helpe me fo, for hc^lhal never the i ^^H 


,i.ain it woldefemc 


( But I wol not avowcn that 1 fay, .,^^^^1 


d To I nay wcl dcmc ; 


And therforc kepe it fecrec I you pray) J^^^^l 


J trc I Icyc J 


II: 15 to wife in laith, a» I helevc : ^^^^^| 


i 1 d nier/ talc or tweie. 


Thin^ th:it is ovcrdou it vtciI oot preve ^^^^^| 


r'adcn may this compagnic ? 


Aright, ub clcrkc& fain ; it ii a '^ice ; ^^^^^| 


rd ? Ve^Sire, withouten lie, 


Whcrforc in that I held him Icwed snd nkc } ^H 


iud eke uf joUtec ,^ 


For whan a man hath over^rtt a wit ^H 


imqu^h ; aifo, Sire| Ifnftcth rac 


Ful ojt him happcth to mifuijn it : l^^^^l 



1^4 THE CHANONES YEMAKNES PROLOGUE. ^J 


9 doth my lord, and that mc grevtih fore : 


Which this Yeman fpakc, for fufpcaon ^H 


Gt'd it jmcndc j I can fay oow no more 


Of mennes fpeche ever had tbii chanoo ; ^H 


Thcrof DO force, good Venian^ qyod our Hoft ; 


For Caton fayth, that he that gihy ia ^^ 


8!n of iht couning ot thy lord thou wo ft 


Demeth all thing be fpokcn of him ywi* : 


TcUe how he doth, 1 pray thcc licrtily, 


1 hat wai the caufc he gan fo nigh him drawe 


S>i that h€ i* fo crafty and To fly. 


To his Ycman, to herkcn all his f^wc ; 


Whcr dwcllcn yc, if it to tellcn be ? 


And thus he faide unto his Ycmaio tbo : 


In the fuh»rb€t of a toun, qyod he, 


Hold thou thy pees, and fp<kc do wordc» mo^ 


Lurking in hemes and in Unc» hljndc, 


For if thou do thou fhalt it dcre abi« : 


"U' iiL'ras thife robboun and thife iheves by kinde 


Thou ftlaufidrcft me here in this compagnie. 


Holdcn hir privec fercful rofidence, 


And eke difcovcreft that thou fbuldcii hide. 


Ah thry flxat dare no: fticwcn hir prefcnce ) 


Ye, quod our Hoffce, tcH on, what fo be tide ; 


St* lATcn w:, if I fhal fay tlic fothc. 


Of all his thrctening rccke not a mite. 


y«t, quod our Hoftc, let me talken to tKe ; 


tn faith, quod he, no more I do but Uu, ' 


Why art thou fa dxfcolourcd of thy face ? 


And whan this chanon faw it wold not be ^H 


Peter, quod he, God ye^e it harde grace j 


But his Yeman wold tell his privetee, ^H 


1 am fo ufed the bote fire to Mow 


He fled away for vcray forwe and ibame. ^H 


*rbat it hath changed iny colour 1 trow i 


A ! quod the Yeman, here Ihal rife a gaixie^H 


1 n*am not wont in no mirrour to pric. 


All that 1 can anon 1 wol you telle, ^H 


But fwinke fort, and krnc to muhiplie. 


Sin be is gon : the fouk fend him quelle, ^H 
Frr never hcftafter wol 1 with Kim m«tc ^H 


Wt hluJidrc'n ever aiid poren in the fire. 


Aud for all that wc faille of our deHrc; 


For pcny nc for pound, 1 you bchctc* ^^M 


For ever wc lacken our cotjclujion. 


H: that me bnoughte firft uoto that game, ^H 


To mochel folk wo don illufion, 


£r chat he fiie forwc have he and OlAme, ^H 


And borwe gold be it a pound or two, 


For it is cruel^ to me by my faith i ^H 


Or ten or twelve, or many fomme* mo. 


That fele i wel, what that any man faitb; ^^M 


And make hem wcnen at the lefic wcy 


And yet for all my Imert and all my rricC, ^^M 
¥r,r al 1 my forwe, labou r, an d tnckbic^ ^^1 


Th^t of a pound we connen maken twcy ^ 


Yet it it faUe ; and ay wc bac good hope 


I roudc never leve it in no wife. ^^H 


It for to don, and after it wc grope : . 
But that fciencc in lo fer uj bc£c»rne, • 


Now wolde God my wit mighte fufic« ^^M 


To tcUrn all thar loti^'c^Th to that art ; ^^M 


Wc mo wen not, althoug^h we bad it fwome, 


But iiathclci yet w*»i 1 ttlltn part t ^^B 


It ovcrtiikc, it nit away fo fill ; 


Sin that my lord U gon 1 wol net fparf s 1 


It wol u» maken bcgger* at the I»ft. 


Swichc tliiug as th^t J know I wol 4cdare. ^J 


While thi» Ycman wa» thua in his talking i 


^^P 


THi» cb^non dro«r him ucre and herd all thing 


4 


L„: 


fEMANNES TALE*. ■ 


W't« ibi» cbanon I dwelt have fcve^ ycrc, 


And of my fwinke yet bfered is min ey« ; ^^M 


And of b»i fcienct am I never the ncrc ; 


Lo which avantagc is to muhiplie ! ^^M 


A|lthut 1 hadt have yloA thcrby. 


That Hiding fcrence hath mc mide fo bare ^^H 


And God wot fo bi»n many mo than t 


That 1 have no good wher that ever t ftrt; '^H 


Tbcr I wai wont to be right frcfli And giy 


And yet 1 am cndcttcd fo i her by, ^^M 


Of clothing, and of other goc»i array, 


Of gold that I have borwed trewely, ^^M 


Now may I were an hofc upon min hed ; 


That while 1 live t flial i( quilen firvcr i ^^M 


And wher nay colour wat both frefh and red 


L<^t every man beware by me fpr ever* ^^M 


Now it it wan and of a ledcn hcwc; 


What man^^man that cafteth him tKer1% ^^M 


(Who fo it ufcth fo ibal he it rcwc) 


tf he continue, t hold his thrift ydo ; ^^M 




So hclp^; me God, thcrby (hal he nat winae^^^H 


• A |»r»ei firt4»B^a«. »*«« "*vft ot ita^ wMfc, W *f* 
env«t br a ehaswn itofcttng the ail t»f fich, .n|e, ffttj^* 


Put empte hispuffc, and make hit wit tea tkii^H 


__! 



THB CHAKONES 


YEMAKMES TALE- i6j j 


un he thnrgh hi» madnciTc and folic. 


Uaflckkcd lime, chalk, and glcire of an cy, ^^M 


fi hisowen good thurgh jupu-tie^ 


Poudrci divert, aflics, dung, pilfc, and clcy, ^^H 


c cKciteth other folk thcjto. 


Sered poketteft, fat peter, and vitriok, ^^^| 


hir good M he himfelf haUi do. 


, And diveri fire* made of wode und cole, ^^| 


D ikrcwcs joye It U and cfe 


, Sal tartre, alcaly, and fait prtrp^irat, ^^H 


; hir febwes in peine and difcfc* 


And combuH materc* and coagulat, ^ 


*U I one* kmcd of a clerk. 


Cky made with hors and niannci here, and oik 1 




Of tartre, alum, gki, berme, wort, and argoik, 1 


re be ther aa we ftiiiln exercifc 


RofiUgar, and other materes enbibing, J 


ifll craft we femen wonder wife. 


And ck« of our nutcres encorporing, '^^M 


tnes ben fo clcrgial and cjucintc. 


And of our lilver cltrtiiation, ^^^| 


he fire tU that myn herte fcintc. 


Our cementing and fermentation, ^^H 


m\d 1 tellcn eche proportion 


Our mgottev, leQes, and m^ny thinges mof "^^1 


•c» whicbe that u : wcrchcn upon, 


t wgI you tell a» was mc taught alfo *^^| 


ve or fa uncet, may wcl be, 


The fourc fpirjte* md the bodiei fevene *^^M 


V or fom other quaotitee f 


By ofdri:, as oft I herd my lord hem ocvene* J^^m 


k me to teikn you the Damet, 


The ^the fpirit Qnickftlvcr ckpcd ii, '^^^l 


naif, brent bonci, yren ffjuame*, 


I 1 he fecond Orpiment, the thriddc ywii ^^t 


o poudrc grotinden ben (ul fmal ? 


Sni Armoniak, and the Caurth Brim (Ion* ^^M 


tn enhcn pot how put it ai. 


The bodies fevcnc ckc. lo hem here anon : ^^M 


ypot iti and lifo pepcre, 
hiic poudrcf ihat I ipeke of here. 


Sol gold i», and Luna (ilvcr we threpe, ^^M 


Mars ircu, Mercuric quickfilvcr we ckpe, • ^^| 


1 y rovered with a Lmipe of glai I 


S&turnus led, and Jupittr it tin, ^^M 


Rodic other thing which that thcrwai? 


And Venus coper, by my fader kin. ^^M 


be pottet and gl^c» cngluting, 


Thii curfed craift who fo wot exercife \ ^^H 


ihc aire might paffen out no thing t 


He Ihalno good have that him may fudice, ^^M 


be cfy fire, and fniert alfo, 


For ail the good he Ipcndcth theraboote ^^M 


lat was made ? and of the care and wo 


He kfen fhal, therof have I no doutc* ^^| 


hmd in our materu fubUming, 


Who fo that hileth uttrcn hij folic ^H 


BDalgaming and cakening 


Let him come forth and kmcn multiplic ; ^^M 


llt¥«r« jekped Mercuric crude f 


And every man that hath ought in his cofre • ^^U 


tir Hdf^htei we can not conclude* 


Let him appcre and wcx o philofophre, ^^m 


■iCDC uid fublimed mercurie, 


Alcaunce that craft i» fo light to kre. ^^M 
U^Yf nay, God wot al be he monk or Crere, ^^| 


tiftden litarge eke on the porphurie, 


af thifc of unccs a certain 


Prcell or chanon, or any other wi^^t^ ^^B 


ictb u» ; our Ubour ii ia vain. 


Though be lit at his book both f.hy and night ^^| 


ber our tplrites afcentioun. 


In krning of chti elvifh nice lore ^^M 


nateres that hen &1 fix adoun. 


AH is in vain, and pardc mochel more . ^^M 


1 tfur wcrking nothing us araiUci 


To lerne a lewed man thif fubtiltec . ^^^H 


b an our labour and travaiUe, 


Fie J rpcke not therof , for it wol not be : ^^H 


the eoH a twenty devil way 


And conne he Ictterure, or conne he noxt ^^| 


b which we upon it lay. 


As in eflea he (hul findc it all on, ^H 


is alTo ful many another thing 


For bothe by two my falvatiun ^^M 


tato our craft apperteining, 


Concludcn in multiplication ^^M 


1 by ordre hem nat rcherfcn can. 


Ylike wcl whan they have al ydo ; ^^M 


chat liunh Lewed man, 


This is tofajn, they failk-ii botlie two* ^^^| 


1 telle hero a« they come to mindc, 


Yet for gate 1 to maken reherfaile ^^| 


I oe cannot fct hem in hir kinde, 


Of waters corofif and of tiin^k, ^^| 


iroDoniak, verdegrcfe, bonui. 


And of bodies moHhcatioo, ^^H 




And alTo of hir induration, ^^M 


iski, Uid our dcfcenforics, 


Oiic«, iibluiiona, metal fufjbk? ^^H 


illette* and fublimatoric*, i 


To tellcn ili wold fuiXko any Bible * ^^M 


ea and alembikea eke, 


That wher is ; whcrforc as for the beft ^^H 


rr fwiche ger, dere ynough a leke, 


Of all thifc names now wol I me reit j ^^M 


deth it for to reherfe hem alle f 


For as 1 trow 1 have you told ynow ^H 


mbifying, and boUe« galfe, 


To reife a fetid, aJ lokc he never fo row. ^^M 


£al annoniak, and brimHon, 


A ! nay, kt be ; the philofophres lion, ^^M 


bet ooude t tell eke cnany on, 


EliKcr cleped, we kkeo fail cchc on, ^^H 


rioine, valerian, and lunarie, 


For had we him tlian were we fikcr ynow; ^^H 


er fwiche, if that mc lift to tarie, 


But unto God of heven I tnake avow, ^H 


pe» brcnning bothe nighi and day, 


For ail our craft, whan wc han uU ydo, ^^H 


r about our craft if that wc may. 


And aU our fleight, he wol not come us to : ^H 


neb eke of CAlcination, 


^^H 


mcrctalbifi cation, 


H 



THE CHANONES YEMANNES TALE. 



He liath ymadc us fpcndeu mochcl good, 

For Corwc of which ;ilmoil we wait en wood, 

But that good hojiiC cr>.'pctli m our hcrte, 

Suppoiing ever, though wc foic fmcrtc, 

To ben rclcvcd of l»ini iftcrward ; 

fiwidic fuppotiug and Uopi h Ihirp and hard ; 

J wanic fou wcl it j* to kkcn ever ; 

That future /*jB^/bath made men dlfTcver 

III tiiifttbcrof from <ill that ever they had. 

Yet of that art they conne not w^xen lady 

Tcr unto hem it is a bitter fwete t 

So fr.'nflh it, for nc had they but a {hete 

Which that they might wrappenhem in a-nlgbt. 

And a bratt to v^-alkcn in by day-llghr, 

They woid hem fell, and fpend it on this craft : 

They connc not llinten til nothing be Uft ; 

And evermore, wherever that theygooi 

Men may hem kennen by fmdl of briniflon t 

For all ihc world they flinkcn Ba a gotc j 

Hir favour ia fo rainmi/h and fo bote 

That though a man a mile from hem be 

I'Jie lavocr wol cnfcd him, truflcth mc» 

Ln, thns by fmclUng and thrcd-barc array 
U that men lirt thi* folk they kuowcnmay ; 
And if a man wo^l axe hem privcly 
Why they be clothed fo unthriftily. 
They right wion wol rounen in his ere. 
And faicn. if that they efpicd were 
Men woldc hem He bccatift of hir fciencc* 
Lo, thus thifc folk bctraien innocence. 

Fiffe over thh ; t go m jr Tile unto* 
Er that the pot be on th^ fire ydo. 
Of mclalswhh a certain q^uantitcc 
My lord hem trmpcreth, and no man but hCf 
(Now he U gon 1 d«Lre fay boldely) 
Eor a» men fain he can don craftily, 
Algatc 1 wote wel he hath fwichc a uamej 
And yet ful oft h« renncth in a blame ; 
And wctc ye how ? ful oft it falltth fo 
The pot to-brckcth, and farewel 1 all is go* 
lliifc nietiiles ben of fo grct violence 
Our walici may not make hem refiHenee, 
But if thry wcrcn wrought of lime and Iloo j 
They pcrcen fo thit thurgh the wall they gon, 
And fom of hem linke doun into the grotindi 
(Thus have wc left by times many a potmd). 
And Com arc fcatercd all the flore aboutc, 
Som tepefi into the roof withoutcn t!oute. 
Though that theyfcrd not in our fight him flicwe 
t trow that he be with u», thilkc (brewe 
In belle, wher that he i& lord and llrv, 
Ne ii thcr no mere, rancour, nc trc. 
MTian that otir pcTt i« broke, as 1 have fayde, 
E^cry man chit, and holt him evil apayde ; 
Som hyd ie waa long on the Hrt:-making, 
Som laytl nay, it was lonjj on the bJowing ; 
(Than wat I ferd, for that was toin office) 
Straw ! quod the tKridde, yc ben lewi:d and nice; 
It wai not tcmpred aa it oughtc to be ; 
Kay, quud the fourthe, (lintc and herken me ; 
Kccaufc our Bru wat not made of bcche 
That it the caufc, and other non, fo the ichc 
I can not tell whcron it wa« iJong^ 
But wei t wot grc: fkr'd h ut amoag. 



What? quod my lord, ihcfr n'l* no inorc to < 
Oi thife peril* 1 wol bewai c eftfoDC j 
I am right liker that the pot wa< crafcd. 
Be a be may be ye no thing amafed ; 
A* ufage is let fwepc tlic fiorc as fwithe ; 
Pluckc up your hcnes, and be glad and blitl 

The muUck on an hef*e yfweped waa. 
And on the Acre ycail a cujevaa. 
And all this mullok in a five ythrowc. 
And fi/tcd, and ypicked many a throwe. 

Pardc, quod on, fomwbat of our tnrtaO 
Yet it ther here, though that we have not alli 
And though this thing roijhapcd hath as &o«r 
Anotiicr time it may be wel ynow. 
Wc moften put our good in avcntnrc ; 
A marchant parde may not ay endure. 
Truftcth me wcl, in his profperitec ; 
Somtime his good is dricnchcd in the fee, 
And fomtime cometh it fauf unto the Jond, 

Pce«, quod my lord, the neat time 1 wol I 
To bring our cr^t all in another phte, 
And but I do^ Sires, let me have the witc : 
Ther was defaute in fomcwhat wcl I wote. 

Anodirrfayd the firt! was over bote : 
But be it bote or cold I dare fay thia^ 
That we concluden evermore amis ; 
Wc faille alway of that which we wold him 
And b our madnefTc evermore we rave^ 
And whan we be together cverichoa 
Every man femcth a Salomon, 
But all thing which that {hincth as the gold 
Nc is no gold, as 1 have herd it told, 
Ne every apple that i* f^iire at eye 
Ne is not good, wh*it fo men dip or exic 
Right fo, lo, farcth it amongcs u» ; 
He that fcmeth the wikft, by Jefus 
U moft fool whan it cometh to the pr«lc« 
And he that fcmeth trurilis a thtfc : 
That ftialye know or that I from you wctdi 
By that I of my Tale have made *n ttuhm 

Ther was a chaooci of rcli ;: ' 
Amonges us wold cnkt^ all ^ 
Though it as grct were as w-it i^*.ii^., 
Rome, Alifaundrc, Troie, or other ihrtf . 
Hi* fleightcs and his infinite falfcncfl'c 
*rhcr coudc no man writen, a* I gefTc, 
Though that he migbtc live it Lhuufind ytre ] 
In all this world of fslfeac0c n*is I. 
For in his termcs he wcl him fo wsi , 
And fpckc his woide* info Oic a Idt* Ic, 
Whan he comuncn ihai wifh aiiy wi^ht, 
Tb^t he wol make ' - ' ^ t^ anonnght 
But it a fend be, - (s. 

Ful many a man h^;.. .._ .,^Jcder»h'« 
And wol, if ihit he may hve any v 
And yet men gon and ridcn man> a ' 
Him for to feke, and havchi* ?^ \::.. .ie-li 
Not knowingof hisfalfegovcrw wi.*. , 
And if you kft to yeve me audience 
] wol it tcUen hcie in your ptefcncc 

But, worfliipful fhaii ' '*. 

Nc demeth not that I f « 1 hous^ 

Although that my Talc i.» - v..^i..fa be ; 
Of every order fom flircw is pardc 



THE CHANOKES YEMANNES TALE. 



cde tian ill » compagnle 
inguler mannei folic. 
3u it DO thing mtn enteot, 

Etbat it mit I mtm. 
I only told for yaa 
mo : yc wot wcl how 
}rifloi apoQelci twelve 
itotir but Jtidas himfcWe; 
m1 the rcmenani hive blame, 
^ c ? By you I fay the fatnc ; 
-If yc vrcJ hcrken mc, 
your covent be 

iraei 1 you redc» 

may c^ufeo any drcdc ; 

difplcfed I you pray* 

L^rkcncth what t fay. 

1 prccil, an annucUere *, 
Ucd haddc many i ycre, 
lefant and fo fcrvifablc 
thcr as he wa* at tabic, 
i fuScr him no thing to pay 
idling, went he never fo gay ; 
Ircr had he right ynow ; 
; t wol proceed ai now, 
h my Talc of the chinon 
tlii& prcefl to confuXion. 

ion came upon a day 
ie% chambre thcr he lay, 
to lene him a certain 
£ wold quite it htm again. 
rkC| quod he, but daye* three, 
1 wol it quiten thee ; 
that thou finde me falfe 
kng mc up by the halfe. 
^m tokc a markc, and that as fwith, 
IO him thanked often Cth, 
pvei and wcnte forth his wcy ; 
idde day brought hii money, 
icft be toke hit gold again, 
irecft was wonder glad and faio, 
A he, nothing anoietli me 
a noble, or two, or ihrce| 
Ig were in my pofTcflion, 

It of condition 
ie he brcken wol hi* day ; 

I can never fay nay. 
kl this chanon, fhuld I be untrcwe ? 
PC thing fallen al of the ocwc t 
bg tliat I wol ever kcpc 
in whid) that I (hal crepe 
Ip andcllcs Godforbcdti 1 
M fiker at your crcdc, 

-jd time be it fayde, 
yet evil apayde 
i,...: ic to mc lent, 
min hertt 1 ment. 
he) now of my prlvetce, 
have ben unrn rnc, 
fo ^et gtntilUiTi, 
itcn with your kijiflrncffc 
e, and if yu liift to krc 
picinly the mancrc 

.. __ ......_. _,„. F..._ .i-.^^rTfce'V' 

I mi ir»««n 
»i>ri4vcf- 



ii 



Hovf 1 can wcrken in philofophtc ; 
Takcth good heed, y« (hub welfcn at tjc 
That I wol do a maiilrie or I go, 

Yc, quod the precft; ye. Sire, and wol yc i 
Mary, thcrof 1 pray you hcrtJly. 

At your commandement. Sir c, trrwcty. 
Quod the chanon, aodellct God forbede. 
Lo, how this tlieiie coude hi» fcrvicc bedc 

Fd foth it is that fwiche profered fervicc 
Stinkcih, as witncITen thife olde wife, 
And that ful fotie I wol it verifie 
In this chanon, rote of all trecheric, 
That evermore delight hath and gladnelTe 
(Swichc fcndly thoughtcs in hi* herieernprelTc) 
How Criftcs pcple he may to mcfchicf bring : 
Gnd kcpc us from hit falfc didiniuling ! 
Nought wiftc this precft with whoui that he dclt, 
Ne of hj» harme coming nothing he felt* 

O fely prcefl ! o fcly innocent ! 

With covetlfe anon thou fhalt be blent ; 
O gracelea ! ful blind it thy conceite. 
For nothing art ihou ware of the difceice 
Which that this foa yfliapcn hath to thee ; 
Hit wily wenches thou nc mayfl not flee • 
Whcrfore to go to the conclufion. 
That rcfcrrcth to thy confufion^ 
Unhappy man ! anon I wol me hie 
To tcllcn thin unwit and thy folic. 
And eke the falfcncffc of that other wretch. 
As fcrforth as that my conning will ilretch. 

This chanon was my lord, yc woldcn went } 
Sire Hofie, in faith, and by the heven quene, 
tt was another chanon, and not he 
That can an hundred part more fubtiltec : 
He hath betraied folkes many a time ; 
Of hi* falfenefTe it dulkth roe to rime ; 
Ever whan that 1 fpcke of hij falihcdr 
For {hame of him my cheket waacn rede« 
Algate* they beginncn for to gltm*c» 
For rcdcneifc have t non, right wcl [ knowe» 
Jn my vifiige, for fumes diverfc 
Of metals which ye have herd me ncherfc 
Confumcd han and waHcd my redncflc. 
Now take hede of this ehanoni curfednene. 

Sire, quod the chanon, let your ycxnan goa 
For quikfilver, that we it had anon, 
And let him bringcn unccs twrt or three. 
And whan he com^thaii failc fhut ye fee 
A wonder thing, which yc fiw never cr tlill. 
Sire, quod the preeft, it flwl be don ywit. 
He bad his fcrvant fetchen him this thing* 
And he al rcdy waj at his biddiug, 
And went him forth, and came anon again 
With this quikfilver, fliortly for to farn, 
And take thifc unccs three to the chanoun. 
And he hem laide wet and faire adoun. 
And had the fcrvant coles for to bring, 
That he anon might go to hit werkiOg. 

The coles right anon wet en yfct. 
And ihit chanon toke out a croflclet 
, Of his bt?fomc, and fhewed it to the pr eefl, 
Thii inflrument, quod he, which that thoo fecft 
Take in thyn bond, and put thyfclf Uicrin 
Of thii quikfilver an unce, at-d h-.n. !>rcia 
In the name of Crift to wcj i 

^ Thcr be tut fcwe which that i ^ ./fC 



i<S 



tllE CHANONES VEMA^Ji^ES TALE 



m 



K 



To flicwcn hem thui muchc of my fcicnce ; 
For here Ihul yc fee by ciperieocc 
Thit thiiqtiikfilver I wo] morttfic 
KigKt in your fight anon withoutrn lie, 
And ni^e tt at good filvcr ui4 sia fine 
Ai ther U »ny in your purfe or mine 
Or cUci whtT, and make it malUable, 
And dkn hoUcth mc uUc and iinftble 
Amon^i folk for ever to appcrc. 

t have a prouder here, that cofc mc dere, 
Shsl nuke alt good, for it ii caufe of all 
My conning v hich that 1 you llicwcn {halt. 
Voidrth yoiir man, and let him be thcrout, 
And fhct J he dorc, whilt we ben abuut 
Our privitec, that no man us efpic 
'\^''hilc tiiat we werkc in this philofophie, 

All aft he bade fuiiilled was in dcdc : 
Thi» ijkc fcrvant anon right out ycdc, 
And hi« frtaiA<r fbette the dorc &aoo« 
And to fur bbnur fpcdily they gon» 

Thi» precft at this curfcd ghanotii bidding 
Upon the fire anon he fet thii thing. 
And llcw the fire, »nd befied him fuJ fafl ; 
And thli cUanon Into the croiTelct caft 
A poudcr, n*ot I never wherof it was 
If made, other of «halk, other of ghii, 
Or fomwhat ellrs was not worth « Eic» 
To blinden with thij prccfl, and bade him hie 
The colet for to couchcn all above 
The croffclct, for in tckcuing 1 thcc love 
(Quod thitchanon) thine owcnhondci two 
"bhal wtrkcn all thin^ which that here ia do. 

Gwemii mtttjt quod the prccfb, aadwaj>lul gUd, 
And couched the coIck ai the chanoo bad i 
And while he bcfy wa« thi* fcndly wretch, 
Thif falfc chanon, (the foule feud him ftuh) 
Out of hiibofom tokc a hcchcn cole, 
lu wljch ful fubtiUy was made tut hole* 
And therinput wa» of filvcr limaiJe 
An uncc^ and flopped wa* withoutcn failc 
The hole with wax to keep the timailc in. 

And undcrilandcth that thif falJ'c gin 
Wa» not made ihrr, bur it wa* made before; 
And other thinge* i ihall tell you more 
llercafttrward which that he with him brought; 
Er he came thcr him to bcgile he thought^ 
Andfo he did or that they went atwin; 
i'il he had torned hitn coud he not blio. 
k dulleih mc whan that I of him fpckc ; 
f )n hi» f4Lihede fain wohi I me awreke 
If I will how; but he j« here and thcr : 
I le ii fo wiaunt he abit no whcr. 

Bur taketh hcde. Sires, now, for Ooddei iovc. 
He loke hit cole, of wJiich I Ip^ikc abuvCi 
And in hi« bond he bare it pr»?ely, 
And whilct the preeft couched belli y 
The cole*, a» I tolde you cr thia, 
Tlus Chanon fayde ; Freud, ye don ami* i 
Thii if not couched at it ought to be. 
But fooe 1 ft>*i amenden it, quod he. 
Now let me meddle therwith but a whUCi 
For of yog have 1 pitce by Scint Gilc. 
Ye ben right hot j I fee wel how yc fwctc | 
IUtc here a cloth and wipe away the weie, 
vli»J whilei that the precft wiped hi» face 
7»i# chmooa tokc bit cole with fory gncc. 



I 



And laied it above on the mid ward 

Of the croifclet^and blew wcl afterward, 

l*il that the colei goonen fail lo bren. 

Now ycve ub drinke, %uod Ihia chanon, tKeii4 
As fwithe all fhall be wet I undertakie : 
Sitte we doun» and let u> mery make* 
And whannc that this chanonci bcchen cole 
Wci brent all the hmaile out of the hole 
Intu the crofielct anon fell adoun ; 
And fo it niullc ncdc$ by refoun, 
Sin it above fo even couched was. 
But thercif will the prcefl nothing, ilisl 
He denied all tlie coles ylike good. 
For of the Oeight he nothing uiidcrftood, 

And whan this alkymiHrc faw htAtlme, 
Rifcth up, Sire Precft, quod he, and ftoodeth byai 
And fur 1 wotc wcl ingot have ye non, 
Goth, walketh forth, and bringcth a chalk ft^ 
For t wol make it of the fdme (hap ^M 

Th.it is an ingot, if 1 may have hap ; ^M 

Bring eke with you a brJ)e or elles a panne 
Fut of water, and ye fiiul wcl fee tiiannc 
How that our bcfinclTc fhal thrive and prrrr : 
And yct» for yc ihul have no mifbeicre 
Ne wrong conceit of mc in your ahfeooe^ 
1 nc wc^l not ben out of your prefence^ 
But go witli yoUf and come with you again. 

The diambrc door, fhortly for to fain, 
They opened and Ihci, and went hir wcy. 
And forth with hem tht-y caricd the key. 
And camcn again withouten any delay. 
What fhuld I tarien aU the longc d4y f 
He toke the chalk, and (hope it in the wife 
Of an ingot, a»l ihal you dcvifc; 
I fay he toke out of his owen Oeve 
A tciiic of iilvcr (yvcl mote he chcve) 
Which that ne was but a juft unec of weigkt * 
And taketh heed now of hit curfcd Height ; 
He ^op hii ingot in length and in farede 
Ofthilke teine, witltoutcn any drcdc^ 
St» flily that the preeft it not eipidc* 
And in hit ft eve again he gan it hide* 
And from the fire he toke up his matcre. 
And an the ingot it put with mery cherc. 
And in the water-vefTcl he it call 
Whan that him lift, and bad the preeft as i 
Loke wh^t thcr it ; put in thin hood and | 
*rhou ftialt ther fin den filver, as t hope. 
What, djvci of hcUc! ftjuld it cllcs bcf 
Shaving of filver, filvcr is parde. 

He put his hond in and toke up a tein 
Of (Uvcr fine, and glad in every veme 
Was thi» prctft wh*u he faw that it viraafia» 
Goddcs bleHlng, arul hi) mother 'k alfo. 
And alle Halwes, have ye, Sire ChanuO 1 
Sayde this preeft, and 1 hir malifoti, 
But and ye vouchefauf to techen me 
Thit noble craft and this fubulitee 
1 wol be your in allc that ever I may. 

Quod the chaoon. Yet wot 1 make i^f 
Thefecond time, that yc mo^ taken hcdcg 
And ben expert of thit, and in your i 
Another day aftay in min abfence 
This difcipline and this crafty fcicnoc 
Let take another unce, quod he tho» 
Of quiklUvcr, without en wordci md, 



I 



THE CHANONES YEMANNES TALK. 



i«» 



StenrifK asje haTc don cr thii 
: irthcr which ihui now filvcr ii. 
ceil fatra bdteth all that ever be t2a 
I thU chanod, diU curftd maUt 
kth him, and failc blewc the fcrc 
tie to the cfll'd of hU dcHrc ; 
chancn ri^t in tht inene white 
raa dut pnrcH eft to bcgjic, 
countensDcc in hu bond hare 
> Aiklc, (take kepe and beware) 
ie of which an ance and Dbmor< 
naile pot wai, as bdbrc 
role, -and flopped with wax wcl 
t in hi« limailc every del ; 
thill preeft waa in hi» bcUDcfTe 
^oQ witli bit Rikke gan him dreiTe 
I, aod hU poud^ call in 
(the devil out of his flcin 
to Cod, for hii falfticde, 
faUe In thought and dedc) 
above the crolTclet, 
liocd with that falXc get, 
the coIe« til relentcn gan 
ihe fire, as every man 
be wote wel it mote ne^lei 
the ilikke was out yede, 
:clct hailily it fell, 
c Sires, what wol ye bet than wcl ? 
ihi* prccil waft thui begilcd again, 
rught but trouthe, foth to fain, 
lad l\\Al I can not cipreirc 
c hi» mirth and his gbdneffe, 
chanon he pfufercd eftfone 
imkL Yc, quod thochaoon, fooc, 
e I he, crafty thou fhalt me 6ndc ; 
wel ycl I9 chcr mor bchinde^ 
ly coper here within ? fayd he f 
lod the prceft«I trow thcrbc, 
bcie ua fom, and that aj fwithe. 
; Sire, go forth thy way and h « thf . 
liiA way, and with the coper he came 
kanofi it in hit hondca name, 
coper wcycd out an uncc, 
> my tonge to pronounce, 
nf my wit, the doublcneffe 
rote of all curfedncfle : 
^tndly to hem that knew him nought, 
lendly both in werk and thuught* 
; to tell of hii fatfcnefle, 
yet woj I it clprcflTc, 
H men may beware thcrby, 
other caufc trewely« 
bia coper into the croflelet, 
Src WA fwithc he hath itfct, 
l^roder, and made the preell to hloW| 
irerking for to Ooupen low 
ril, and all n*aa but a jape ; 
lift the prccft he made hii ape ; 
' in the tngot he it cad, 
loe put it at the kft 
id in he put hit owcn bond : 

ye bcforen hond 
die, he bad » filvcr teine ; 
it otzt, thi* curfed hfioc!. 



(Unwcting thit prccft of hi* falfc cr^ft) 
And in the pannen bottom he it laft, 
And in the water rombleth to and fro. 
And wonder prively tokc up alfo 
The coper teine» (nr>t knowing thilke prcell) 
And hid it, and him hcnte by the brc(^, 
And to him fpake, and thus faid in hii game ; 
Stoupeth adouo; by God ye be to blame; 
Hclpeth me no^, ai I did you whilerc ; 
Put in your hond^and loketh ^hat ia there* 

This prccft tokc up thit (iItct celne anon 
And thanne faid the chanonf Let ui gon 
Wjtli thtfe three teine* which that we han wrottghl 
To fum goldfmith, and wete if they ben ought. 
For by my faith ! n'olde for my hood 
But if they wereo filver fine and good, 
And that as fwithc wel prcvcd (hai it be. 

Unto the goldfmith with thifc teine* three 
They went anon, and put hem tn a flay 
To fire and hammer : might no man fay nay 
But that they wcrcn a* hem cHight to be, 

Thi« fotcd p«eft, who was gladder than he * 
Wai never brid gbdder agains the day, 
Ne nightingale in the fefon of May 
Wa* never non that lift belter to fing^ 
Ke Udy lufticr in cvolHng, 
Or for to fpeke of fove and womanhede, 
Nc knight in armc« don a hardy dcde 
To ftonden in grace of hii bdy dere. 
Than haddc thi« prccft thii iraft for to lerc 
And to the chanon thus he fpakc and fcid ; 
Fur the lovt of God that for us alle ddd. 
And 44 1 may defervt it unco yon. 
What IhaJ thi* rcceit ooft f tcllcth me now. 

By onr Lady, quod thi% chanon, it if dere. 
I warnc you wel that fave 1 and a frere 
In Englelond thcr can no man it make. 

No force, quod he : now, Sire, for Ooddei fjike 
What Oiall 1 pay ? tellcth mc I you pray. 

Ywis, qnod he, it is fvi dere I fay» 
Sire, at o word, if that you hSi tt have 
Ye (hal pay forty pound, fo God me fave; 
And n*en; the frendftiip that ye did er thia 
To mc ye fliuldcn paycn more ywis. 

Thit prccft the ium of fourty pound anoQ 
Of nobles fet, and coke hem evcnch on 
To this chanon for this iike reccit. 
All bit wcrking n*a8 but fraud and deceit. 

Stre Preeft, he faid, I kepe for to have no loot 
Of my craft, for I wold it w^re kept cloot, 
And ai ye love mc kepeth it fccree. 
For if men knew en all my lubtittcc. 
By God they woldeti have fo gret en vie 
To mc, bccaufc of my pi tlofoj hie, 
I ihuld be dcd, that were non oturr way. 

Qod it forbede, quo<l the preeft, what yc fay ; 
Yet had T lever fpcndcn A\ the good 
Which that I have (and tlics were I wood) 
Than that yc fiiuld fallen in fwiche mifchefe. 

For your good will, Sirc,have ye right good preic. 
Quod the chanon \ and farcwcl,^ffW mrrty. 
Be went hit way, and never the prccft him f»ry 
After that day. And whan that thit prccft ftiold 
Maken ufliy, at fwiche time at he wold, 



I 



ffd 



THE CHANONES YEMANNES TALE. 



Of thUrcceit,rarcwcl! ic n'old not be. 
I,o» thui bcjaped and begiled wa* he ; 
Thu» miikcth he his introdu^on 
To brmgcn folk to hir dcftrudiou. 

Cotifidcrcth, Sires, how that in echc cftat 
Betwixen men and gold thcr ii debate 
60 fcrforth that unncthcs i» thcr non. 
This multiplying fo blint many on 
That in good faith f trowe that it be 
Xhe caul'e grcteft of Twichc fcarfitcc- 
Thifc philofophret fpckc fo miftily 
In thi» craft that men cannot come therby 
For any wit that men have now adaycs * 
Tbcy mow wel chatcrcn as don thifc jayci, 
And in hir tcrmcs fct hir I Ltd and peine « 
But to hir purpo* fhul they never attcine. 
A man may lightly Icrne, if he have ought. 
To multiplic and brln^ his good to nought. 
L.O, fwichc a lucre i» in this lufty game 
A mannes minh it wol tnrac al to grame, 
And cmptien alfo grct and hcvy purfca, 
And maken folk C»r to purchafen curfes 
Of hem that han therto hir good ylcnt. 
O, fy for fhamc! they that han be breot^ 
Alas! can they not flee the fire» hctc f 
Yc that it ufe 1 rede that yc it Ictc, 
X»cft yc lefe all; for bet than never i» late : 
Kcver to thriven were to long a date : 
Though ye proll ay yc fliul it never find ; 
Ye ben as bold as h Bayard the blind. 
That blondereth forth, and peril caffccth non ; 
He is as bold to renne agains a floa 
As for to go bcfidcs in the way ; 
So farcn yc that multiplien I fay. 
If that your eyen cannot fccn aright 
Lokcth that youre mind tackc not his fight. 
For though ye loke never fo brode, and iizrc, 
Yc fhuln not win a mite on that chafikre, 
But wa{lcn all that yc may rape and renne. 
Withdraw the fire left it to fafte brcnne ; 
Medlcth no more with that art 1 mene. 
For if ye doo your thrift h gon fal dene : 
And tight as (withe I wol you telten here 
What phUolophr«s fain in this matcrc 

Lo,thus fAith Amoldc of the ncwc toun. 
At his RuLrie maketh mentioun i 
He faith right thui, withouten any liCp 
Thcr may no man Mercuric mortiCe 
But it be with his brothers knowlething. 

lx>, how th4t he whiJi firftc faid thij thlig 



Of philofophrc^ father wa*» Henticf | 
He faith how that the dragon doutelci 
Ne dicth not but if that he be (lain 
With his brother ; and this is for to &in 
By the dragon Mercury and non other 
He anderdood, and Brlmllone by hU bn 
That out of Sole and I^una were ydrawc. 

And thcrfor, faid he, Take heed to my tttrtl 
Let no man befie him this art to fechc 
But if that he the ententionand fpeche 
Of philofophrcs underflotiden can. 
And if he do he is a Icwcd man ; 
For thisfcience and this conning (quod hi) 
U of the fccrec of fccrccs parde. 

Alfo thcr was a difciplc of Plato 
That on a time faid his maifter to, 
Ai hi* book Senior wol here witncfle. 
And this was his demand in fothfailncfrc, 
Telle me the name of thilke privee (Ion* 

And Plato anfwerd unto him anon i 
Take the flon that Titanos men naznv. 
Which is that ? quod he, Magnctia is the i 
Saide Plato* Ye, Sire, and is it thus ? 
This ts i^ottim ptr ignotitu^ 
M''hat is magnctia, good Sire, T pray ? 

]r is a water tliat is made, I fay. 
Of the clcmcntesfoure, quod Plito. 
1>II me the rote, good Sire, quod he tho. 
Of that water, if that ic be your wilt 

Nay, nay, quod Plato, certain that f n'lU I * 
The philofophrcs were fwomc evcrich on 
That they ne (huld difcover tt unto non, 
Nc in no book it write in no mancrt, 
For unto God it is fo lefe and dere 
That he wol not that it difcovered be 
But wher it Liketh to his deitee 
Man for to enrpirc, and eke for lo dcfci 
Whom that him liketh ; lo, this is the ende« 

Than thut conclude \ \ fin that God 1 
Nc wol not that the philofophrcs nevcn ^ 
Hqw that a man ihalcome unto this 000 ' 
I rede as fur the beH to let it gon ; 
For who fo maketh Cod his advcrfary, 
As for to wcrkcn any thing in contrary 
Of his wiU,ccttcs never fhal he thrive. 
Though that he multiply terme of his Uve. 
And thcr a point, for ended is my TaJe. 
Cod fend cvzr>' g^ood raai: bote of Hi bale • 




THE MANCIPLES PROLOGUE. 



fc not whcr ftondcth i litcl toun 
that ycleped it Bob-up-and-doun, 
tli« Blee in Canterbury way I 
■a our hoftc to j»pc and to pUj, 
fdc ; Sirctk, what ? Dun is in the cure ; 
ao cnaa for praicrc ne for hire 
ol awaken our fcUw behind ? 
lum might fut Lightly rob and bind : 
r he nappcth, fee, for cockes bones, 
voM mien from his hori atonct. 
a coke of London, with mefchancc ? 
I ceme fomli, he knowcth hi* penance, 
(ttzi teU a Tale by my fey, 
^ it be not worth a hotel hcy» 

okCf quod he ; God ycvc the forwc, 
■Tt to flcpen by the morwe I 
vau ii^u lleeo al night , or an thou dronke f 
||i!lM>ii with fom qucne al night yfwonke 
tkou mnyik not hot den up thin hcd f 
coke, that was ful pale and nothing red, 
I *i«u Hoflc ; So God my foulc blcHc, 
im iallc on me fwiche hevincfle, 
tat nthy, that n^e were lever lo flepc 
iic bc(fc gallon wine that it in Chcpe. 
qttod the Manciple, if it may don efe 
r^ Sire Coke, kod to no wight difplcle 
that hire ridtth in thii compagnie, 
i.t our Hoilc wol of hii curte&c ; 
i flow CY€ufe thee of thy Tale, 
grood faith thy vif^gc is ful pale : 
red dafcn, fothly as me thinkcth, 
' I wot thy brcth ful foure ftinkcth, 
wel thou art not wcl difpoft J : 
thou ftialt not ben yglofed, 
th, lo, this dronkeo v^ * - 
Id u» fwalow anon ri 
fnouth» man, by thy f^ilii^i kus , 
he lie fet his foot thcrin, 
brcth rnfefien wol ui alle ; 
lluDg fwtnc ? fy. foul mote thee bafailc 1 
tfiMh hced,Sircvof thii iufly man. 
fmeU Sire I wot ye juft at the fao I 
I JBC tbinketh yc be wcl ylhapc : 
' tikat yc have drotikco win of ape, 
i^whan men playcn with a ilraw. 

rpecbe ihc coke waxed all wraw, 
"iple he g^in not fikfl 
J and douu hii hori him cail, 




Wher u be ky tU that metv him up toke f 
Thijt was a faire chivachee of a cuke : 
Alai that he nc had hold him by his ladel I 
And er that he agen were in the f;4dcl 
I'hcr was grct flioviog bothe to and fro 
To tift him up, and mochel care and wa^ 
So unwddy was this fely palled go A { 
And to the Manciple then fpakc our HolL 
fircaufe that drinke hath domination 
Upon this man, by my falvation 
t trowe he lewedly wol tell his Tale ; 
for wer ft win or old or moilJy ale 
That he hath dronke he fpeketh in hii nofe. 
And fncfcth faft, and eke he hath the pofe ; 
He alfu hath to don more than ynough 
To keep him on his cape) out of the flough 
And if he felle frnm of hii capel tftfone 
Than lliul wc allc have ynough to done 
In lifting up hi* hcvy dronken cors. 
Tell on thy Talc, of him make I no force. 

But yet, M^incjple, in faith thou art to nice 
Thu4 openly to rcprcvc him of his vice ; 
Another day he wol para¥cnturc 
Rccleimen thee, and bring thee to the lure i 
I mene he fpeken wol of fmale thingci, 
Aa for to pinchcn at thy rekenlnge&. 
That were not honcfl if it came to prefc. 

Quod the Manciple, that were agrctraefcbcfcs 
So might he lightly bring me in the Chare j 
Yet had I lever paycn for the mare 
Wliich he writ on than he ihuld with me (bive : 
I wol not wrathcn bim, fo mote 1 thrive : 
That that I fpake I fayd it iii my bourd 
And wetc yc what ? I have here in my gourd 
A draught of win, ye of a ripe grape, 
And right anon yc fhul fcen a good jape ; 
This coke Ibai drinke therof if that I may | 
Up peine of my lif he wol not fiy nay. 

And certainly, to tellcn a« it wai^ 
Of this vefTeli the coke dranke fall, (alas ! 
What oedrth it ? he dranke ynough beforne) 
And whan he hadde poupcd lO his home 
To the Manciple he toke the gourd again ; 
And of that drinke the coke was wonder fajo. 
And thonked him in fwiche wife as he coude. 

Than g.-in our Hofte to taughen wonder loude 
And fayd; I fee wel it is nccc/fary 
Whcr that wc gon good driukc witli us to cary. 




"ly» THE MANCIPLES PROLOGUE. 

For that wol turncn rancour aad difcfc j Worfhip uid thonkt b* to thy deitee. 

To accord and love, and many a wrong apcfc f Of that matcrc yc gtt no more of mc, 

O Bacchut, Bacchus 1 btcflld be thy name, Talc on thy Talc, Manciple, I thee pray. 

That fo caaft tumtn cmcil into game ; I Wcl, Sire^ quod he, now hcrkencth what I J 



THE MANCIPLES TALE*. 



Wmak Phebui dwelled here in erth ^ocm, 

As olde bookeimakcn mcDtloun, 

He wai the moftc I ally bachcler 

Of all thii world, and eke the be A trchcr : 

He Uqw Phiton the ferpcnC as he by 

Sleping agalnA the funne upon a day, 

And many another noble worthy de dc 

He with hU bow wrought, a» men mowen rede. 

Playcn be coude on every minftraicic, 
And Cngen chat it was a melodic 
To hcren of his dcrc toi* the foun ! 
Ccrtcs the King of Thebes AmphiouQp 
That with hii Snging walled the citce, 
Coud never fiDEcn half fc wcl a« hc« 
Thcrto he was the femelicHe man 
That i& or was fithen the world began. 
What nedeth it his fcturt to dcfchvc f 
Tot io this world u'is non fo fairc on live ; 
He was iherwith fulfilled of gtntilkflc, 
Of honour^ and of parfite wortliioeffe. 

Thi» Phebus, d^t was floure of bachelerie. 
As wtl in fredom as in cbivalrie. 
For his difport, m lignc eke of vidorie 
Of Phiton, (o at tellcth us the ftoric, 
Was wont to beren in his bond a bowc. 
Now had this Phebus in hts hous a crowe* 
Which in a cage he foflred many a day, 
And uught it fpckcc, as men techc a jay, 
Whit was this crowe, as is a fnow-whil Cwao, 
And contrtfctc the fpeche of every man 
He coude whan he fliulde tell a taJe : 
Thcrwith in alt this world no nightingale 
Ne coude by an hundred choufaod d^l 
Stngen fo wonder mcrily and weL 

Now had this Phebus in hi* hous a wif 
Which that he loved more than his Uf, 
And night and day did ever his diligence 
Hire for to pkfs and don hire reverence ; 
Save only, if that I the foth jhal fain, 
Jdous be wu^ and world have kept hire fain, 

• l»t»c*but kevtth a white crow whkh can fpesk tt i jsy. 
The crow iccufcih hb ¥»*»e» o« whiim h< wm tociiealuure, 
tu luve piMycii lalfc in W» ibfence i hereupon wlthsa 
arrow he ftiyCT>«>t« v»ite bui a»Tcr rcpentlnit uf ItU r»Oi- 
ecft he isa^ui revenge of the (;row. £Vr/, 



For him were loth yjaped for to be. 
And fo is every wight in fwiche degree J 
But all for nought^ for it availeth nought. 
A good wif, that is dene of werk and thoog 
Shutd not be kept in oon await certain ; 
And trewety the labour is in vain 
To kcpe a (Hrcwc, for it wol not be- 
Thii hold I for a vcray nicetcc 
Tofpillcn labour for to kcpcn wives; 
Thus writcn olde clerkcs in hir livesi. 

But now to purpo* as 1 firft bcgatu 
This worthy Phebus doth all that he cm 
To plefen hire, wrning thurgh fwiche pill 
And for his manhood and hit governance. 
That no man fhitlde put him from hire gra«e^ 
But God it wote iher may no man embnce 
As todeflreine a thing which that Nature 
Hath nature II y fct in a creature. 

Take any brid and put it in a cage. 
And do all tJiin entente and thy corage 
To foUer it tcndrely with mete and djiaJB 
Of alle deintees that thou canfl 1 
And kepe it al To ctencly as thou may. 
Although the cage of gold be never fogif^ 
Yet had this brid by twenty thoufand fold 
L^ver in a forett that is wilde and cold 
God eten wormes and fwiche wrctchedadb t * 
For ever this brid will don his belin«€c 
To efcape out of his cage whan that he suj : 
His libcrtce the brid defireth ay. 

Let take a cat, and fofler hire with mtlke 
And Ccndre fleOi, and make hire couche of I 
And let hire fee a mous go by the wall. 
Anon fhe weiveth milke and flcfh and all, 
And every deintee that is in thiit hous, 
Swiche appetit hath (be to etc the mows. 
Lo, here hath kind hire dominauon. 
And appetit flcmeth difcretion. 

A (he-wolf hath alio a vilains kind i 
Tlie lewedefle wotf that ihe may find. 
Or left of reputation, wol Jhc take 
In time whan hire loft to have a make* 

All thife enfamplcs fpcke 1 by thije tmen 
That ben untrewe, and nothing by i 



THE MANCIPLES TALI. 



t73 



'. ewet a lilLeroui ftppetit 
'c^thing to pLrforme hir ddit 
m hir wiYes, be they never fo faire, 
rcr Co trewCf ne (o dcbonaire. 
1 fo newc^glc, with mcfchance, 
re ne coo in nothing have plcfaoce 
raneth unto vertue any while, 
i PhebtUy which that thought upon ao gile, 
red wu ior all his jolitce, 
ider him another haddc Ihc, 
L of litel repuution^ 
i^t worth t6 PKcbnt in comparifon ; 
ore harme is : it happeth often fo> 
lieh tjier cometh mocfacl h^rmc and wo. 
I £» befcU whan Phebus wia abfenc 
if anoo hath fur hire temman Tent. 
rmmao ? ccrtei that ii a knaviCh fpeche ;. 
re It me, and that I you befeehe ; 

wife Pbto fayth, a» ye mow rede, 
ord mod ncdc accordcn wtt the dcde t 

Ibiii tel]cti prop rely a thing 
Md mull coHn be to the werking. 
hmQutKu man, right thus fay I ; 
» no difference trcwtly 
t a w if that b of high degree 
lire Wdy difhonefl (he be) 
sj potire wencbe, other than thia, 
b be they werkcn both amis) 
' the gcDtii it in edat abo^ 
il be deped hii Lady and bi» Love, 
r lli4t other ii a poure woman 
at be ctepcd Kit Wenche and hit LemtEun ; 
iod it wote^ mine owen dere brother \ 
If aa lf>w that on ax lith that other. 
fit fo bctwiit atitlclet tiraunt 
D oatLawe,or elJesa thefe erraunCi 
mc t lay; ther is aodifcrcnce, 
Jexajider told was thit fentenee) 
' ihc tyrant ii of gretcr might 
:e of mcine for to fie doun right, 
rcofien houi and horn, and make all plain, 
rriorc it he clepcd a Capltain ; 
W theootlawe hath but fmale meine, 
Lsj not do fo gret an harnie at he, 
Dg^ a contree to fo gret mefchiefe. 
rlepen him an Outkwe or a Tliefe. 
for t am a man not textuel 
lot tellof tcxtei never a del ; 
go f o my Tale at 1 began. 
IB Fhcbu9 wif had fcnt for hire leifUEian 
chc7 wroughteo all hir lull voUge. 
rhitc crowe» that hcng ay in the cage, 
1 hir werke, aod fayde never a word ; 
rban thit home wai come Phebui the lord 
r<>we fong Ctickow, cuckow, cuckow ! 
tl brid^quod Phebut, what fong Ungeflthou 
3T thou wont fo merily to ilog, [now i 
lo my hcrte it was a rejoyfing 
re thy wou ^ Alas ! whst fong it thii f 
Qiod, qood he, I finge not amis. 
la, (quod he) for all thy worthinelTe^ 
1 thy bcautee and all thy gentillcflc, 
I thy fong and all thy minftralcie, 
I thy watting, blcrtd U thin eye 



With on of Utel reputation, 

Not worth to thee at in comparifon 

The mountancc of a gnat, fo mote 1 thnYe, 

For on thy bcddc thy wif 1 faw him fwive. 

What wot you more f the crowe anon him tott 
By fade tokenet and by wordct bold. 
How that hit wif had don hire Iccherie 
Him to gret ibanie and to gret vi^ie. 
And told him ofk he fa we it witlHii^ cyen. 

Thii Phcbuigan awayward^for to wrien : 
Htm thought hit woful hcrte braifc atwo ; 
His bo we he bent, and fet thcrin a flo. 
And in his ire he hath hit wif yflain ! 
This it the cfiedl, ther it no more to fain ; 
For forwe of which he brake hit minftralcie. 
Both harpe and lute, gitcrne and fautrie, 
And eke he brake his arwct and hit bowe. 
And after that thut fpake he to the crowe r 

Traitour, quod he, with tonge of fcorpion 
I'hou hafk me brought to my confufion : 
Alai that 1 was wrought * why n*ere I dcde ! 

O dcrc wif, o gcmmc of iuflyhede ! , 

That were to mc fo fade and ckc fo trewe, 
Now lied thon dcd, with face pale of hewc. 
Fill gittelet, that durft I fwcrc ywii. 

O rakcl bond I \o do fo foule amit ; 
troubled wit, o irc recchclet ! 
That unadvifcd fmitcfl gliteles : 

wautriifL ! ful of falfe fufpecion^ 
Wher wai thy wit and! thy difcrctjon ? 

O ! every man beware of rakcbitiTe, 
Nc trowc DO thing without en ilrong witocfTc i 
Smite not to fonc cr that ye weicn why, 
And bcth itvifed wcl and Hktrly 
Or ye do any execution 
Upon your ire for fufpeclon, 
Alat ! a thonfand folk hath raVcl ire 
FuUy fordoo, and brought hem in the mire. 
Alat ? for forwe I wol myfclven flc. 

And to the crowe, O falfc thefe ! faid he, 

1 wol thee quite anon il»y falfc tulc ; 
Thou fong whilom like any nightingale. 
Now Ihalt thou, falfc thefe, thy fong forgon, 
And ckc thy white fethert cverich on, 

Nc never tn all thy lif ne (halt thou fpele ; 
Thu£ (hul men on a trattour ben awreke. 
Thou and thin oiftpring ever fhui be btake, 
Nc never fwete noifc fhul ye make, 
But ever eric agcina tempeft and rain. 
In token that thurgh thee my wif it flat n> 

And to the crowe he ftcrt, and that anon. 
And pulled hit white fclhers evcrii:h on, 
And made him blak, and raft him all bit long 
And eke hit fpeche, and out at dorc him flong 
Unto the devil, which f him betake; 
And for thit caufe ben alle crowei blakc. 

Lordingt, by this enfample I you pray 
Beth ware, and taketh kepc what that ye fay, 
Nc tcUcih never man in all your lif 
How that another man hath dight hit wif; 
He wol you haten monally certain. 
DiO Salomon, aa wife clerkct lain, 
Tccheth a man to kepc hit tonge wcl; 
But, ai t fayd, I am no tcitncJ; 



?74 



^THE MANCIPLES TAX& 



But nathcles thus taughte me my dame ; 
My fone, thlnke on the crowe a Goddcs name : 
My fone, kepe wel thy tonge, and kepe thy frend ; 
A wicked tonge is worfe than a fena : 
My fone, from a fende men may hem bkile.; 
' My fone, God of his ende^es goodnefle 
Walled a tonge with teeth, and llppes eke. 
For man fhuld him avifen \^hat he fpckc : . 
My fone, fill pften for to mochel fpeche 
Hat^ many a man ben fpilt, as derkes teche. 
But for a litcl fpeche avifedly 
Is no man flient, to fpeken generally : 
My fone, thy tonge fhuldefl thou refireine 
At alle time, but whan thou doft thy peine 
To fpekc of God in honour and prayere : 
The firftevertue, fone, if thou wolt lefe. 
Is to reilraine and kepen wcl thy tonge ; 
Thus leren children whan that theybeyonge : 
My fone, of mochel fpeking evil avifed, 
Ther leffe fpeking had ynough fuffifed^ 
Cometh mochel harme : thus was me tisld and 
In mochel fpeche Cnne wanteth naught, [taught, 
Woil thou wherof a rakel tonge ferveth ? 
jRight as 9> fwcrd forcutteth and forkeryetli 



An arme atwo, my dere font ! pght ft 
A tonge cutteth frendihjp all atwo : 
A jangler is to God abhominable; 
Rede Salomon, fo wiie and bononraUey 
Rede Pavid in his Pialmet, rede Senek. 
My fone, (jpcke not but with thyn hed thoo bed 
Diifimule as thou were defe if that thou bene 
Ajanglour fpeke of perilous matere. 
The Flemmg fay th, and leme if that thee kfl^ 
That litel jangling caufeth mochel relL 
My fone, if thou no wicked word baft iaid 
Thee thar not dreden for to be bewraid ; 
3ut he that hath miifayd, I dare wcl faio, 
He may by no way depe his word again. 
Thing that it fayd is fayd, and forth it goth; 
Though him repent, or be him never tq kth, 
He is his thral to whom that he hath fayd 
A tale of which he is now evil apaid. 
My fone, beware, and be non andour uem 
Of tidings whether they ben fsHe or trcwc : 
Wher fa thou come, amonges high or bmc, 
Kepe wel thy tonge, and thinkr upon iht Off^ 



THS PERSOMES PROLOGU|^ 



THE PERSONES PROLOGUE. 



Bt tku th« Maadple Kad Kit ule ended 
The fonnir (lo the fouth line wis. defceodcd 
Solowc, tkit it ac wai not to my fight 
|>r^recft ninc-aud-rvircniy at of hjght. 
Fwtfc oC tlic dolt it w*» tho, n I gcfTe^ 
Tor enleven foot, ^ Htd more or lelTc, 
My IhAdow W3» zi thilke lime lu there^ 
' Of fwiche fctt u my Irng^the parted were 
to fim feet equal oi proportion ; 
Thenvkh the mono exaltation ^ 
' 1 BKoe Libra^ a.lw%y gin »fccitdc 
I Ai we were cctring at the thorpei cnde ; 
r which our Hoftc^ as he wa* wont to gic 
in thii csw our jolly compagnJe, 
Im thi» wife; Lordingi ercrich on, 
' tackcth us no Tolci mo than on : 
icd 11 tny fentcncc and my decree ; 
f trowe that we han herd ot cchc degree : 
Alsnod fulfilled in myn ordinance ; 
J pray to God £b yevc him right good chance 
TThai f^Ucth us ihi» Talc luftilj. 

Sire Prccft» quod be, art thou a vlcary, 
Or art thou a Perfon ? fay foth by thy fay. 
^-Jfe what thou be oebrcke thou not our pUy» 
I^BFor e^ery man faTt thou hath told his T<ile. 
^HJobtikcl and (hew ms ^ hat is ip thy male i 
^B«r trcwely me thinkcth by thy chcrc 
^piioa ihuldcj) knittc up wel a gret matcrc. 
■ Tdl u% a fable anon, for cocket bones* 
This Pcribn him aofwerd al at ones ; 
Thou gctcfl fable non ytold for mc. 
For Poulc, that writcth unto Timothc, 
Re^cYeth hem that wciven fothfaftncfle^ 
Am telUo &blet and fwiche ¥rretchcdaefle« 
^ Wbx fhuld I fowcn draf out of my fift 
|BlinK3fi 1 may fowrn whcte if that me Kfl f 
B ^or which E fay, if that you lift to here 
' Idvnlitcc and vcrtuoui inatcrC| 



And than that ye wnt ye^e me sudience* 

I wold ful fain at Criftcs reverence 

Don you plcfancc leful, as I can ; 

But trufteth wel 1 am a fothcmc man ; 

I cannot gefte^rom, ram, ruf, by my letter. 

And, God wotc, rime hold I but titcl better : 

And therfore if you lift, ] wol not gloTe, 

1 wol you tell a litel Talc in profe 

To knitte up aU thiifefte and make an cndc; 

And Jefu for hi* grace wit mc feadc 

To ftiewen you the way in thit viagc 

Of thilke parfit glorioni pilgrimage 

That hight Jerufalem eeleftial ; 

And if ye Youchefauf anon 1 fbal 

Bcginne upon my Talc, for which I jttuf 

Tell your ari» t I can no better &y« 

But nathelet this mcditatioo. 
I put it ay under corre^on 
Of clcrkcijfor 1 am not teatuel i 
I take but the fcntcncc, trufteth me wd; 
Therfore 1 make a protcftatlon 
That I wol ftanden to corredion* 

Upon this word we ban aflTented fonc; 
For 11 u« femed it was for to done. 
To cndcn in fom vcrtuoui fentcncc. 
And for to yeve him fpaee and audience* 
And bade our Hofte he ihulde to him fay 
That »lle we to tell his I'ale him pray. 

Our Hofte had the wordei for us allc : 
Sire Preeft, quod he, now fairc you hefalle ; 
Say what you lift, and we fliul gladly here. 
And with that word he faid in this man ere ; 
Telleih, quod he, your meditation, 
Btit haftcth you, the fonne wol adoun t 
Beth fruduou», and that in titel fpace^ 
Aod to do wd God fpode you hit grace^^ 



THE PER80NES TALE^ 



THE PERSONES TALE*. 



Oct fwetc Lord God of hevcn, that no man wol 
p«rifh, but wol thai wc comcn all to the know* 
leching of him, sind to the: bljsi^ul lil that i^ par- 
^Inrable, zmoneflicth ut by th« prophet Jcremic, 
that fayth In thii wife, StooUeth upon the wE^e&, 
and fecth, and aieth oi ihc oWe pathcs, that it to 
iky, o{ oldc rentences, which i» the good wuf, and 
Wilkcth in that way,aiui yc (hul finde rcfrdhing 
for year foulct. Many bco the wayci fpiritucl that 
Icden folk to our Lord Jcfu Crifl, and cothctci^c 
of glory; o£ which mzyc^ thcr ii a f ul poblc way, 
uid wel covcn»ble, which may not failk to man, 
ne to woman that thUrgh fmnc hath mifgon fro 
the right way of Jrrufalem cclcilia.1, and thU way 
itdeped Penance^of which man ChiUd gladly her- 
ken and en^uercn with all hu hcrte, to wetc whit 
it penance, and wbeitnct it ii depcd penance, and 
Kow many maDcresben of a^ioni or werkingi of 
pcnmncr, and how many fpices the*" ben of pc* 
nance, mlid which thingei apperteinen ami beho- 
ircn to penance, and which thinges diilroubkn 
penance. 

Seint Ambrofc fayth,thae penance ii the plain* 
iDg of man for the giit that he hath doa, and no 
more to do any thing for which him ought to 
y>lainc; and fom dodtour fajnh, Pcni^nce it the 
waymenting of man that forweih for hit finnc^ 
and pcineth himfclf for he hath mifdon. Penance 
with certain circuraftancet i» vcray repentance of 
man^that holdeth himfclf in forwc and other peine 
for hifi giltcs; and for he fhal be vcray penitent he 
fhal fir& bcwailcn the fin net that he hath don, and 
Itedfaflly purpofen in hit hcrte to have (hrift of 
jrouth,aiid to doo fatiAfa^iuo, and never to don 
thing for which him ought more to bewayle or 
complaint, and to continue in go^d yrerket, or 
ellca hit repentance may not availe : for, at Seint 
iiidor fayth, He it a japer and a gabber, and not 
veray repentant, that eftfonet doth thing for 
which him oweth to repent. Weping, and not for 
to flint to do finne, may not availe. But nathclet 
men fhuld hope that at every time that man fal* 
Jeth, he it never fo oft, that he may arife thurgh 
penance, if he have grace ; but certain it it gret 
doute ; fciTi at faith Seint Gregorie, Unnethct »- 

• ftrtm, ti. t •• State fiuper via*, rt vM^-Tie^ et Nrerrn- 
** ftle Uc /CfViifif afi^.tqiik, qiite tit t1« Ikhu, et smbu-^ 
** Ute iA ea : ctliiveujcU»fclil|(Cfiu[Q arttuubui vctt^u**' 



rlfeth he out of Anne that i« charged wtth Ae« 
charge of evilufagc : and thcrforc repentant foOk^ 
that Hriat for to jinne, and forlece dnne or that 
finnc forlcte hem» holy chlrchc holdeth hero ukaf 
of hir falvation : and he that fmncth and vcraily 
repcntcth him in hit laA day, holy chirche yet hiv 
peth hit falvation, by the gretc mercy of our Lotd 
Jcfu CrlA, for hit repentance : hut take ye tki 
Oktrr and certain way. 

And now, Gth I have declared yo«i what thi^ 
if penance; now ye fiiul underftond that thcr bfo 
three aAiont of penance. The firCk it« that a maa 
be baptifed after that he hath finned. Sctnt A»> 
gudtne fayth. But he be penitent for hit old finM 
Bf, he may not bcginne the newe clene lif ; for 
certcf, if be be baptifed without penitence of bii 
old gilt, he rcceiveth the marke of b^tifhie. bat 
not the grace, dc the remiffion of hit uxioe«« til W 
have very repentance. Another defaut la, thai ma 
doo dedlyfintie after that they have received bi^ 
tifme. The thridde defaute it, that men fallm w> 
niaJ finnet after hir baptiimc fro day to day : 
therof fayth Seint Auguilin, that penance of good 
and huniblc folk ii the penance of every dsy^ 

The fpicct of penance ben three, TkK oftlC 
hem It folcmpQc, another it commune^ wai te 
thridde privee. Thilke penance that ia Hfr?'^ 
it in two manercs, at to be put out of holy chtrtke 
in Icotoa, for llaughter of children, and fvidle 
mancr thing : another it, whan a man hath fin- 
ned openly, of which finne the fame is opefiJy 
rpoken in the contrec, and than holy chix^ ^ 
jugcment di^reyncth him for to do open pcoaacct 
commun penance ia that preefbe« enjoineo mca la 
certain cat^ at for to go para venture naked on pal* 
grimage or bare foot : ptivce penance ia tJiUkt 
that men don all day fo? privce finoea, of whadl 
we ihrive u! privcly^aDd receive pnvee pmaocib 

Now (halt thou underfloud what u P eAo tdbi 
and necefTary to every par^t penance ; and tida 
dont on three thinget, contrition of hcrte« oooiEC^ 
fion of mouth, and fati^fadion ; for which favJi 
Seint John Chrtfoftome, Penance diftr. 
man to accept benignely every peine thai 
enjoined with contrition of hcrte, and flui£t u£ 
mouth, with fati»fa4%ion, and wet king td all auMV 
humilitee. And thit it fruitful penance ayenft tJut 
three thinget in which we wrathen our Lord Jefa 
Crill I thii is to fay, by dclit in ;hiiiktiig, Vy s^sh^ 





cVtnj;, iiiJ^y wicked finful wcrking : 
wicked gtltca U peaancc, thit 
ned unto i tree. 
: iluitrt« tt contritlofi, Ihat hideth 
; lirrtc of hun th*t t* veray repentant, 
tilc rote of the tree htdrth him in the 

H tiuii rote of contricioD fp-* '^ t flaike 

'rtli Iknnchn and kves i , and 

ftriaflAlon ; of which t: : i m hb I 

Docli ye digue fruit of pentt^ncef for by 

^wnofw men vnderftondi' and knowe this 

by the rote thai it hid in the herte 

I by the br»nche*» ne the teve« of con- 

•fore our Lord Jcfu Crill fj.iih 

of hem fhal ye knowe hem. 

fprinjrcih a feed of ^race, which 

iikerticlTe, and thii fced ia ej:^er 

ace of thi* feed fpringeth of God, 

rcCTiembrAncc on the day of dome and on 

I €>f hcWe, Of ihii materc feyth Salo- 

i the drede of God man forlctleth his 

^Itestc of this ftdc is the Jove o( God, 

of the joye perdurable. This 

* herte of man to God, and doth 

Ine; for foihly ther i^ nothing 

fbtc to a child a* the niiike of 

*o him more abhomtna* 

t it tncdled with other 

I msti chat loveth hi« 

I that It is tu him mod fwete of 

i that time that he loveth f^ly 

Itanddefircth the lifpcrdur^blc, 

^iKMKiiifr more abhominahle; for 

of God i» the love of God : for 

c prophet faytb, I have loved thy 

- ' -•' ff? : he that loveth God 

rd, Thifttrcc faw the 

^ upon tlic vifmn nf N»- 

r, whan he confeilled him to do pi> 

nee ii the tree of lif to hem that it 

ndhe that hoMcth himin vcray penance 

iiljrr the frmtcncc of Salomon. 

iuon, man ihal unrter- 

to fay, what i* contri* 

itiic ^aufesthat moven a man 

he Ihuld be contrite, and 

fh tn tlsr- fotikv 1 han i* it 

Torwc thflt a man 

it-f, with fad pur- 

t hftn^^nd tit do penance, and never 

ilDne. And this forwe fhal be in 

fayth Seint Bernard; it fhal ben 

evout, and ful fharp aod poinant in 

fj^ iin hath agiltcd hts J^rd unJ 

re fharpc and poinant, for he 

*-.iher celcftia!, and ytt more 

Rt,for he hath wrarhcd and agilt- 

hic him, that with hi» precious 

rdelivered Dt fro the bondes of ftnne, 

t c/ucitce of the devil, and &o the peines 

i that oaght to mevc a man to coo> 

I file. FiriK i tnzn (hsi\ rcmembrc hitn 

; but loke that that remembrance nc 

> dclit by no way, but grt^tc fliamc and 

his llnac»; Cor Job faytb. Sinful men 



NES TALI, X?? 

don wiirkcs worthy of confefllon; ar.d thcrcfoi 
fiyth E/rchici, I wol remembre me all the yi 
of my lif in the bittemeflc of my herte : and G< 
fayth is the Apocalipfe, Remembre you fro whei 
that ye ben fall» for before the time that ye finf*^ 
yc wercn children of God, and limmcH of tl 
regne of Ood ; but for your finne ye ben wa» 
thntl, and foulc membrcs of the fende^ hate 
angel*, fclnunder of holychirchc, and fodcof tl 
falfe ferpcnt^perpetuclmiifcre of the fire ofhdl 
and yet more foule and abhomimihtc for ye tr* 
pafft n fo oft time* as doth the hound that torric 
a^n to etc hi* own fpewiiijir, and yet toulor f 
your lung continuing in finne, and yciit ftnful 
fage, for which ye be rftten in your fame* &% 
hscii In hU dong^e. Swichc maiierc though! 
make a man to have Ihame of his finne ;tnd 
dtlit, ju Cod fayth by the prophet EauchJcl, 
fbul remembre you of your wayc*, and they (hi 
difplcfe yoti. Sothly &i nef bco the walca tl 
lede folk to hclh 

The fecond caufc that ought to make « mun 
have difdcgnc of finne i» fhi*» that, a& faith Si 
Peter, Who fo doth finne it tbral to fiane, ai 
fmr 'a man in g^ret thrsldom, tind th( 

for prophet Excchict, 1 wci.t iorwefi 

and .- .V ,..L... dunc of . * IriC Cene* wcl otighi 
man have ditdcignc of fini>C| »nd witbds-aw h] 
fro that thrnldom and vtlany. Aiid lo, whiit faj 
Senckc in thi» matter ? He faitl* tliu», Thougl 
will that neitlicr God nc m^n fhuld never kn* 
it, yet wold 1 have difdeigne for to do finl 
And the fame Senekc alfo faytb, 1 am borne 
gjTter thingcs than to he thral to my body, or 
to m;ikc of my body a thr»L Nc a fouler tfc 
may no man nc woman mak^^ of hi§ body than 
to ycve hij^ body to finne: alwere it the foul elk 
chnrle or the foulrSl woman that livcih, and left 
of vnlue, yet is he than more foulo and more ia 
fervitudc. Ever fro the higbrr degree that maji 
fuilcth, the more ift he thrul, and more to God 
and to the world vile and abhominable. O good 
God ! wel ought a man have difdcignc of linne, 
lith that thurgh linnc ther he was free he is mad«; 
bond: and rh - ' '- '^ — > - 'line. If 
thou haft difi !-'nd or 

llnne, have tht „ , .... — — -,,— -- — »- - Uiy f< 
Ihuldell: do finne. lake reward of their O' 
value that thoti ne be to foulc to thyfelf, 
h%\ wcl nughtcn they thui have difdeigne 




be fcrvanti and thrallcs to liiinr, and fore to 
a.f1iamtd of hcmfclf, that God of hi«endlctgi 
nclTe hath Lite in hij.;h cft«t, or ycve hem wii 
IhcRjjth of body, hele, bcatttee, or profpeflti 
and bought hem fro the doth with his herte 
blood, ihat they fo unkmdly ajsfains hrs gcatij 
lefi'e qui ten him fo vi lain fly » to fiaughter of *" 
owcn foules, O good God 5 yc women that 
of gret bcautee, rtmcmbreth you on the pro* 
vcrbe of Salomon, tj^at likcneth a faire woroiA 
that ii a fool of hire body, to i rmg of gold l\ai 
h wornc in the ^roinc of a fowc ; for right 
fowe wrotctli ' , To wroteth Cbc 

bcautee in fll' ;inr. 

The thilddv ^-.u^. l,... .-u^J,c tomeve «rman 
contrition, is dtcdc oi tUc da^ ol 4<itt\t ^^tx^ ^il ^^ 



mui 

I 



JiorriUe pcmeiof hcrik; for,asSeint Jerome faytb^ 
At every time tlut mc rtmcmliretli ft^ the clay of 
(Itjjnc 1 quitke; fur wh&ti 1 itc or ilnnkc, or do 
whaC So I dO| ever fQineih rn<; thiit 1)1 1: tronipc 
XbiMieUi m min €ri:i»» RiRtb ye up th;it ben dcd, 
.^d cuflucch to the jugcmenc. O good God J 
mcMilic QQgh*. a nmn to drudc fwiche a ju^cBicnt, 
thc:r fta ^e JbtiJ Ir- alle, ai 3eint Poule foyih, U* 
Core tlir ftrcU jugcment of uure irurd jcAi CrilV, 
wWras he fh»l msike a genera] congT<egatioti» 
ivbcra.e do m:m may be abfcnt j for ccrtc*, tUtT 
av.-vikih non efloinc, oe non exvufation ; »nd not 
onlv rn ,P .„>r .:. r.vt,-^ iv,,.f 1, :..«, .i i>ut ckc Uut 
»K 11. AntI, a* 

^'j , , luting av:ulf*t 

.lie tio iki^bt ; we thai jfitc rckcmng of tvcrich 
idle tt^nrd : ther ifaal wc Kftve a jugc that may 
■'um be tkccivcd, nc corrupt : and why ? for ccrtca 
all our thoLiglittftbcniUrcovcrcd as to him : nefor 
prayrr, nc for mcdc he ^vl] net be con apt; ajid 
.therfoTc faith K.il»n;t»nt The \rtu\h of Cod ne wol 
f^y r ,> „, .. : .t,. f.p ^— ..,.„ ..,- f .. ,.,f^j „|^^j 

tl*« ^ipc to 

zT. .■ . ..... : _. , , Vu] 

' folk havt I 
^ • vroih ju; 

P«i« diiJ uuuiJtr itiiu ihc JU'triblc plti^ of hiik 
b» Ld 1! 'I'foyf hifn thut woWf not h< kftOWcil 

ly be flicwed 
re I and 011 

for 

«#f ? ..,. ;.,.. ... ,,.. 

hiv forth (hA be ihc 

vi" n*jii the wrctch- 

uiy not hide 

; fur cert «,as 

ro\i: of it, JLJUS 

I'ul cf thon- 



»^y tlfe_ 



ihall brcooe AiaU torue hem all to peine tkit he 
in hclle, for It fliewcth hem the horrible divtk 
that htm lonoeizUin covered wjth the dcrkcfiejie 
of dcth; that it to fay, thai he th^t It sn hclk 
flial have defuoce of the fight 0/ c ^€M 

the fight of God H the lif p^srdnrahi U 

ncile of dcUi bcJH the finiict t}\Ai tlw w^rci«ix4 
man hath don, lihichthat diilrooblcji htm to i«c 
the face of God, right as a derke doud ketweor 
as and tke fonnc : it h londe ckf nufefc, h^cmffi 
that ther ben '' 'cfattte* *yflafi tlvtl 

thiuge^ thai ' hao in tbia §Olf^t 

hf, that I* to i .; . ^,.., ^elite^ and HolidUl. 

Aydnd honour Jave they in hetlc 0iamr nd «0i^ 
fufjon, for wtl yc wrtie that men ckpea ko> 
aour the icvcrince thit man doch to man, k«l 
in helk* i<i uvn honour^ iie reverenec, for e<ntt 
no more reverence Oul be don ther to a kittf 
than 10 a knave; for which God Ciith 
prophet Jcrcmic, The folk that 
Hial he in dclpite. Htiflour 1$ %h 
lordcihip i tJ*cT (\m\ 00 w»jjhtrerifirti . 
harmc and turment Honour i* alfo i 
JItTnirLi iinil lui lincfTc; but in bclte ihft 

rtU : a» God faytiv '"ke I 
li *r>d c<ittie« fcpoo the J 
iUir^tucd Mk i Mid thj«^ ill for aa mc«he ti fi^ 
higher that they verc in thi« prrf^n? lif !hcf 
ftiul they be abated and a 
the richcfTe af thi» worl- 



hntc to trcfojtr v' 

fleping of dclh, kir 

hir hf>tide4 of all hir trclwnr. 

miftfe of he! If fhdl he m d 

drink; for G 

be toflrd v.r 



vaik.ajid hflwepe or 1 j;o widiowt rc- 
^ the dtrkc loud ytuvuvd wjth ilic 

.^leriQCttdre of deth to tiie h^nd «t tiufeiw and of 
iJerVmffn?^ v/K<r#*t« the fiirtfl-5%^ c^fd^ th, wj^^^'ra? 

%\. 

€^ < 
Cot 



winch they I 

ihul thty Ic > 

tliit u thi' chiEJiJing *jf tlifc ii^uic. V, 

iJie^siV robes^tbc foft fb^'tcx, ^M t| 

jt fayth tioii of ] 

> .t tinditr hem On. 



ipt*y to God lu yt \ 



r wiJi dcdi) hj^ir. i he fennet Hii 

jliTtl reV*-! Ay f nit fafher and msrflM^i 



I I ih:it whilom , evtrich of ban 

. , ^./ .-.,'.,■■ ,, , : ,. :..ulif?i«- 

^^idgp^c cAtan ijuti come oi^t ct tkn itreikat crcr ^ truftc v:ci iur Acfii ly 1« ve iva> dedly Jktcc ; 



THE PERSON5S TALE, 



IHtM, Who fo that lovrth wtA- 
ateth his awcn fouk, and w^ho fo h.i- 
own foulc ccftcs he may love non other 
' rhcfrcforc in hclk h 
but tnrcr ihc more 
^iu.i.j^:. L, *, .... the more curling, th':: 

chiding, :i r: dcdly hare, thcr i* 

imofig hem. A r oyer, thcr they {hul 

^ta»f dc€iiifc of all inancr de]ttC9, for cfrrcid.*litr* 
I :fter fh-:? :ippct:tr's r'f tht five tnrtcs, aifightt 

;?, But ia 
iTe and of 



nnglhalbe 

_ ._ : ^ bodyfhall 

rirc that never ftiai qucochc, and 

it aevcr fhal die, as God fayth by 

iV, And fora» raochc a* they fhul 

it!y mow dien for peine, and by 

ic, that mow ihey unrtcfrftonde in 

. that faythT, Th^rr ii the fbntlow 

' ti 1 ihadowc hath hkenefr*? of the thing 

]» Ihadowed, but fhadowc U ndt t^ic 

^■ v^Xich it Ii fhadovred i right fo 

r>f hcUe ; it i» like detb for the 

. J ; and why? for it pcineth hem 

rrer** iriough they fhnld die anonj but ccrtes 

diry ftiui nr^^ dtm; for, as fayth Scint Gregory, 

T« wr€tc!T rill be deth wifhoutcn deth, 

xaAcitde V ie, and defaute wichoutcn 

ft^ r 'bal never 

It. I 

&». ^, :-.-.,:-:- 

Cr\a hLm, And ckc Job iaith, that in heik in nop 
«4ir of ruk^ And a I be it to that God h«*Ji 
iar*f^ ad thing in right ordre, and nothing with* 
mta orftre, but all thlngcs ben ordred and nom- 
M, !ej they that hen dampLfd ben 

mtiiai . , nc hold non ordre ; for the erth 

L^ll^rc -:-j:i no fruit:: ' '^ - ' "^ Da 

^^ Cftycth, God (hal d vrth | 

^SCrfi hem) nc vf^trr liure, 

K the Auc no no light: 

(br, a.^ Ti 'b " . iig of the 

Ire o in belle to herri 

1^ L *Dd the clerc- 

^p gj^] he jcvc ill hcvcn to lis children, right 
n the ^ood man y^veth flclh to his thildr^n 
%si \ * ' ' And for they ihul 

^£ , ..;, th Job at laflf that 

likr iIHj ii«.-iii Hi *i 1-. ;;i.; drede dwcllcn wlth- 
mLcSk emk. Horrour i» alway drrdc of harme 
A'j> .. r., I n ^ i*!.u t!iis drcde Ihul alway dwelin 
ben dimpa^d ; and thcr- 
Mr hope for feven fjufc* : 
^c, Ihnl be withouten 
iV not pltfc him ne 
* -for 
• to 

ntTrt^P: lIKf nv-/ run ulc ii> |lii»v, Tt^ * rn. _. r^aVC 

tti {oojf^^flc m heni th«t th^y mAy Hiew to ddi' 



vcr hem *fro peine ; and therfore fayth Salomofl 
The wickrd man dieth, and whan hs b ded 
fhal have non hope to cfcape fro peine. Who 
thanwoMwc! i ' '' 'theft pcirs * * 

rhiuke him wl h dcfijrye 3 •§ I 

for hii finucs, c; ^ - .. . x..uldc have u.... ,...-,itJ 
to fighcn and to w^pc than for to Imge and p]ayc| J 
for, a& fayth SaliL-mon, Who fo that had the fcicpe 
TO know the pfincs that ben efta1>hlhed an J oi^ 
detncd for firm, lie wotd for fikc tinnc : Thlt fcj 
ence, fayth Sciut Aufliii, mak^th a man to waii 
tnentcn in his hertc. 

'^ " "rrthe point t' * . make a man hav 

IS the for vv ranee of the goo 

1^. .L.^ L.iAt be hath Itli. .^i w^^ here in erthc, ;ifi| 
alfo the good thut he hathlome. Sothly the goo 
werkes that he hath Icfte, cither they be the goo 
wcrkcs that he wrought er he fell into dcdtl 
finne, or elles the good werkes that he wroug" 
while he lay in finne, Sothly the eood werkd, 
that he did before that he fcU in dedly fmne heill 
all mortified, aftoned, and dulled, by the eft fin 
ning J the other werkes that he wrought while I 
lay in fmDC they ben utterly dcd as to the llf peri 
durable in hcven. Than thilkc good werkf s th;| 
ben mortified by eft finning, which he did whih 
he was in charitce, moun never quicken ayd 
without vcfa)r penitence : and therof fayth 
by the mouth of Exechiel, If the rightful ma; 
retorne aj^aln fro hi* rightwifneffc and do wick 
cdueflr fnal he liven \ nay ; for all the go 
workci that he hiih wrought (hul never be in ret 
membrance, for he ih^ die in his finne* An4 
upon thUke ch^pitrc fayth Seint Gregrtrie thu 
that we fhal underflondc this principally, thsil 
when we don dcdly finne it is for nought than td 
remr»bre or drawe into mcmorie the goo" 
werkes ih:it we have wrought befom, for ccrta 
in tlic werking of dedly firnie thcr i^ no tru(i id 
no good wcrk tl\at we have don befons ; that iJ 
to fay, as for Vi have thcrby the lif perdurable 
in hcven. But nathcles the good werkes fjuicke* 
again and cnmcn again, and hclpe and availe i 
have the \\{ pcrdurnble in hcven, whan we hav 
contrition \ but fothly the good werkes that mc 
don while they ben in dcdly fiune, for as mochd 
as they were don In dedly (\nw^\ they may nc' 
vtT quicken; for ccrtes ti lug that never hid Hf,mi|i 
never quicken j and oathrlc^ al be it fo that tliej^ 
jtvailen not to have the Ml perdurable, yet :lvitla ' 
they to abreggen the peine of heUc, or elles I 
get temporal richrflVs, or elles that God wol th 
rather cnlumlne or light the hertc of the ilnfui 
ma^ to have repentance ; and eke they availen fa 
to ufcn a man to do good werkes that the fendd 
have the IcfTr power of his foule And tlius th^ 
ccrteis Lord Ji.fu Crifi ne WdH that no good wcrlj 
that men don be loftc, for in forawhat it flial : 
vaile» But for as mothc as the good werkes tlu 
men don wliilc ihey ben In good lif Ltn all imor 
tifod by finnc fdowing, and eke filhall the goo' 
wcrkcs that men don while they ben in ' 
hen utterly dcd, as for to have the lif 
wcl may that naan that no good fvu.. ^^ 
M \\ 



iHo 



tHE PERSOHES TAL't 



I 
I 



I 

I 

I 
I 



£Rg thtlkc newe^renJhe fong, J' ^y uut/tadu mstt 
ttmft tt mm ia£§yr; for ccrtc* fiunc bcrcvcth a 
min both goodncfTc of nature and eke tlic gooil* 
ncflc of grace ; for fochly the gr^ici! of the Holy 
Goft furcth like fire that may not ben ldlc» for fire 
fiiilcth anon a«Ji forlcttctli^hjswcrking.and right To 
grace f^lcth anon a« \t forktt,cthhUwcf king. Fhan 
lefcth the finful man the goodiienc of gloric, that 
only is hight to good men that labourcn arid wcr- 
ken weL Wcl may he be fory than that owcth all 
kis Uf to God as long as he hach lived, and alfo at 
long ;is he fhal live, that no goodnciTc ne hath to 
DiiiQ with hifi dcttc to God, to whom he owcth all 
lii»tif; for tniil wel he fhal ycve accompte^ a^ 
fayth Seint Bernard, of all the goodes that han 
ben ycven him in this prcfcnt lifp and how he 
l>ath htm difpcndcd, in fo mochc that thcr fliikl 
not peri file an here of hi$ hed, ne a momrnt of 
an hourc ne fhal not pcrifiic of hi^ time tlutt bo 
he Ihal ycvc therof a rvlten irg. 

The fifthe thing that ought to mcve a man to 
contrition is remembrance of the padion that our 
Lord Jtfu CnH fuffercd for our fmncs; for, aa 
f&yth Scint Seruard, While that 1 live 1 1hat have 
remembrance of the iravailc* that our Ixjrd Jcfu 
CriJll fuffercd in prcching, his wcrincffe in travel- 
ings his temptations whan he filled* liislongwak- 
ingc* whan lie prayed^ Uh tere& whan he wept for 
pi tee of good pcplc, the wo, and tJie {hanie, and 
the filthe, that men fay den to him^ of the foulc 
fpitting tliat met fpittcn In hi& face, of the buf- 
Icttes that men yavc him, of the foulc mouthea 
and of the foulc repreve& that men faiden to htm« 
of the nayles with which he w^ nailed to the 
crofle^ and of all the rtmcnant of his paffion that 
he fulffcd for mannes finnc, and nothing for hi$ 
riltc. And here ye^iulundcrfland that in manner 
uiuie i» every mancr order or ordinance toumed 
up fo (joun ; i'or it i« foth that God and tcfon, and 
fenfualitee, and the body vf man, ben ordained 
that CTcrich of thifc foure thingfs (huld have 
lordfhip over that other, Hi tlim ; God iliuld have 
lordfhip over rcfon, and refon over fcnfualitcc, 
^nd f^nfuulitec over the body of man* But foth- 
iy wh&n man GnncLh al this ordrc or ordinance ii 
turned up fo doun; and therforc than, for a« 
moche as rcfofi of man ne wol not be fubgct ne 
obeifant to God, that i* hi* Lord, by right thcr- 
fore lefcth it the lordfhip that - <^" -^ ' vc over 
fcnfualitcc, and ckc over the 1 : and 

why? for fcnfualltce rcbelleih ^ ^ refon, 

«nd by th*t way Icfeth rcfon the lordihip over 
fenfualitrc and over the tody ; for right af refon 
ictebcl to God, right fo it fenfualitcc rebei lo re- 
fon and the body alfo ^Vnd ccrte» thi<^ dlfordi- 
ttance and tKi* rebellion our Lord Jcfu Crtft a- 
bought upon his prc<.itjus body ful dcrc : and 
bcrkcneth in whicbc wife ; for as moche ai refon 
b rebel to God, cherfore is man worthj to have 
forwe, and tf» be ded : tlii» fuffrcd our Lord Jcfu 
Crift for man aftcrthaihc had be betraicdof hib>dif- 
fciplc, and diflffcined and boimdc, fo that hl« blood 
hfftft out at every nail of hi^hondes, a» faith Seint 
And fcrtJicrzncic, for at mo die as rc- 



fon of man wol not daunt feufamlitec 

may, thcrfore U man worthy to have fliame ; i 

thl* fuffred our Lord Jcfu C; ill for 

they (pitten in his vifage^ And ferthcrpvff. 

a» mo^he as the caitlf body of mao i^ rcWl 

to refon aad to fenfualitcc, therforc tt i* worthy 

tlic deth ; and ihi» fuilrrd our Lurd Jcfu Cnu 

upon die croiTc, whcra« thcr was no pan of hit 

body free witijout gretc peine and bitter paSioai 

and all this fuffrcd ciur Ijord Jcfu Crift that never 

forfaited : and thus layd he ; To mochcl ate I 

pcincd ffir thinge* that 1 iicver defervcd, and to 

mochc dcfoulcd for fbendlbip tliat man t\ wQrih| 

to have : and therforc may the Unful rain wel 

fay, as fayth Stint Bernard, Accurfcd be t^r Vit- 

tcrncflc of njy finne^ for whiche iKcr '■ 

fuficrcd fo moche bittcrneflc : for certes 

divert difcorduiee of cur v'" 

p;i(Iioo of Jcfu Crifl Ofdcined 

ihui; ccrtcsfinful mannes fou; 

divcl by covcitife of tempct 

fcorncd by difccltc whan he cb' 

and yet it i& turioentcd by impatience •>; 

fitee, and befpct by fervage and fubj. ^ 

fmnc, and at the Ufl it is flain finally. Fmc j 
difcordance of fijuful man was Jcfu Grid irftj 
traied, and after that was he boundc lK*t 
for lo unbjiidc U6 »f linoe and of peine ; (Kaa j 
he bcfcorncd that only Hiuld havebco ha 
allc thingcsand of alle thingci ; than 
fagCy that ought to be dcflred to he 
mankind (in which vlfagc tngeU ddiren to^ 
vilainHy befpct ; than was he fcourg 
thing had trcfp^JTcd ; and, finally, 
crucified and flain : than were ^cc«^mpS 
wordcs of Efaic, He was wou: 
dcdcs, and dcfoukd for our 1 
that Jcfu Crifl tokc on }-■-■' 
our wickedncCTr*, mocht 
and to bcwailc that for i... .. .. > 

hcvcn fhuld all tliis peine endure. 

The fiitc thing tbat {huld move a mjn fu i 
tritiob is the hope of three thtnge^ ; 4 

forycvcncfTc of finnc, uid the ycft o cf 

do wel, and the gloric of hcven, wiiL ^hji 
God Ihal guc;rdon man for bis gr*od dcde^: 
for as moche as Jcfu Crifl yevcth u» 
of his brgcneffe and of \m fovcraiit< 
therforc is he clepcd yr/u, '^ m^artnu^ Rri ^ 
erttm, Jcfusift for to fay Saviour or Satvatto«t,J 
whom men Jbul hopcn to have forv veq " 
finnes, which that i» pruprtlN 
and therforc fayd the angtl it- 
cltpc his uahic JefuA tJut fh;d f^v^ 
hir finncs. And hereof faith S^Int Pcto^, ' 
is non other name under hcvcn, that U vcvo 
any raan» by whicli a man may be favcd but i 
Jcfus. NaiarenU5 is as r -i- *- 
rifhing, in which a man 
ycvcth him remiOTiofi of L . 
grace wcl for to do; for in the i' 
in time coming, ^nd in forycvi : 
of grace wcl to do, T was ai lUc dufc ol 
hiHc, ftyth Jvfus, ind dcpcth fut ta cut«r;1 





'^f\h to mc fhal ha^c forycvcneiTc of his 
od I woJ enter ioto him by my gr;4cc, :uid 

ith him by the good werkc* that he flial 
ucb wcrkc* ben tJic food of God, and he 
^Wtth me by the grct joyc that I fh^l 
KThus (Kal main hope that for his wcrke« 
ftt God jhal ycve him his regrie^ as he be- 
^ in the Gofpcl 

1 man nndcf flandc in which mancr thai 
tioru I fay that it fllal be univerfal 
^this is to fay J a man fhal be veray re-* 
Tor an hii (inn en that he hath doo in dclite 
houghe« for delitc is pcriloui : lor ther 

mirier of confcntiogeji; that on of hem 
I CoaTcottng of AfTcdiony whan a man 
1 to do ilnne, and than dditcih htm longc 
ioke on that Cnne, and hi% refon apper- 
h w^l thai it is finnc ayenft the bwe of 
d yet his rcfon rcfraincth not his foule 
' talent though he fee wcl apcrtly that it h 
he reverence of God ; although his rtfon 
DOt to do that iinne ind^de, yet fayn fom 
> tliat fwichc dclitc that dwcllcth ionge it 
ooa, aJ be it never Co lite ; and alfo a man 
rrow, namely for all that ever lit hath dc<> 
ndk the lawc of God, with parfitc con- 
oi his rcfoiT, for thcrof is no duute that 
Ij (iniic in coufcnting ; for cencs ther is 

finne byt that it Is fir^ in manncs thought, 
r that in his delite, and fo forth into con* 
lod into dedc ; whcrfote 1 fay that tnany 

rcfpcnt hem never of fwichc tboughtes 
tes, nc never Ihrivcn hem of it, but only 
lede of gret finnes outward ; whcrforc I 

fwtche wicked dclitcs ben fubtil begilcri 

that fliiil be daxnpned. Moreover, man 
forwcn for hi^* %vicked Wiirdcs as wcl as 
nrickcd dcdcs, for ccrtes repentance of a 

fmnr, and not repentant of all his other 

El repenting him of all his^tber fmnes 
fuiguler fmnc, may not nvailc ; for 
Llmighty is all good, and therforc 
cveth ail, or cllcs right nought j and 
£ayth Semt Auguflm, I wotc certainly 
[ ii enemy to every finncr : and how than ? 
D>bienreth on finnc Iha! he hav<i forycvc- 
^B rcmenant of his other CnnL^5 ? nay. 
^herovcr, contrition (huld be wonder 
^■id angoilhous, and therforc ycveth 
^Binly his mcrcie ; and dierfor: whan 
^^M angnilhoua, and forwcful within 
« had I remembrance of God th^t my 
ight come to him, Ftirthcruver, contri- 
l\c be cantintiel, and that man have fted- 
•ofe to fhrive him and to amend him of his 
fuihly while contrition laftc'th man may 
►e to have foryevenefTe : and of this com- 
of fianc, that dcftroycth fmnc hot he in 
and eke in other folk at his power; for 
tfth David, They that love God hale 
eflc I for to love God is for to love that 
tk| and hate that he hatcth. 
^ thing that men ihull nnderfland in 
I thbf wbcTof availcttt cootritioa. I 



fay that contrition fomtime <l^^^^^Hfe ^fo 

Qnne; of which David fakh, IwlH^^B^vid) 
I purpofcd fermcly to flirivc me, and thoti Lord 
rclcfcdcft my £nne. And right fo as contrition 
availcth not without fad purpos of (hrift and fa- 
tisfa*flion, right folitcl worth is ihrift or fatl^fac- 
tion withoutcn contrition. And moreover, con- 
trition dcftfoycth the prifon of hcUc, and makcth 
wcke and fcbic a!l the f^rengthcs of the devils, and 
reftorcth the ycftes of the Holy Goft and of alt 
good vertuei, and it clenfeth the foule of ftnnc, 
and delivereth it fro the peine of helle, and fro 
the compagnie of the devil, and fro the fcrvage 
of finnc, and reftorcth it to all goodcs fpiritucL 
and to the comp^gnte and communion of holj< 
chirche* And furtherover, it maketh him thfti 
whilora was fonc of ire to be the fonc of grace a 
and all tl^efc thingcs ben prevcd by holy writ | 
xnd therforc he that wold fet his cntent to thifS 
thinges he were ful vrifc ; for fothly he ne Ihul^ 
have than in all his lif coragc to finne, but yevtf 
his bcrte and body to the fcrvicc of Jcfu CriftJ 
and therof do him lipmagc; for ccrtes our Lori 
Jcfu Crift hath fparcd us fo bcnigncly in our fo- 
llet, that if he had ne pitcc on manneaCoulc a fory' 
fong might wc alle Gnge. 

MxfflLit prima pars ffnitaUi^f et iMfipit pan ficumd^t 

The fccond part of penitence ii confcflion, and 
that is fignc of contrition. Now Ihol yc imdcr- 
flonde what is confcOion, and whether it ought 
ncdes to be don or non, and which thingea bcft 
convcnablc to veray confcHion, 

Firft fhak thou underltande that confcfTicin \% 
veray Shewing of finncs to the pr*?cft ; this Is tu 
faie veray, for he muft confcfrc him of all the 
conditions that bclongen to hU finnc ai f»:rforth 
as he can : all mull be fayd, and nothing cxcufcd, 
ne hid, ne forwrapped, and not avaunt him of bin 
good werkcs r alfo it is neccfTaric to underftande 
whenncs that fmnes fpringcn, and how they cn- 
crcfcn, and which they ben. 

Of fpringing of finncs faith Scint Poulc in thiM 
wife ; that right as by on man finne entrcd firfl 
into this world, and thurgh fmne dcth, right fj 
dcth cntrcth into alle men rhat finncn ; and thi«| 
mart was Ad;im, by whom finnc cntrcd into ( 
world whan he brake the commandcmcnt of Godd 
and therforc he that firft was fo mighty that he n^ 
fliuld have died, became fwichc on that he mufl 
nedcs die whether he wold or no ; and all his pro 
genie in thi^ th^t in thilkc cnancr finnen diciia 
Loke that in the cflntc of innocence, whan Adan 
and Eve wcrcn naked in Paradife, and no thin^l 
tic haJden Hiamc of hir nakedneflcj how that thflj 
ferpcnt, that was moft wily of all other bedcs thatf 
God had made, fuyd to the woman, WTiy coni^'J 
manded God you that yc fhuld not etc of cverf^ 
tree in Paradife ? I'hc woman anfwcrcd, Of th^ 
fruit, fayd Che, of the trees of Paradife wc fcdcn 
us, but of the fruit of the tree that is in the mid-' 
del of Paradife, God forbodc u* for to cten, nfl 
to touche it, left wc flxuld die. The ferpcnt fayd 
to the woman, Nay, nay, ye fhul cot dicti of derfj 
M iij 



jU 



THS P£aSDN£^ TALS. 



for foth God ^otc that what day that yc cte ihcr- 
of your cycn fhul upcu, and ye ftiul Lc a« ^i^odiks^ 
l^oowing good and hamie. Thr woman faw that 

fctTCC vvafcgood to fcding, and f^iirc lo the cycn, 
dekdable to the fightj {he tokc of ihe fruit of 
Ihe tree and did ete, and yaire to hire huH^ond, and 
he ece; and anon the cycn of hem both optucd ; 
and whan they kncwc that they were naked, they 
fowed of a fig-tree Icvet in mancr of bicchc* to 
bidcn hir member*. Here mow ye fecn that 
dedly finne hath Grft fuggtftion of the ftnde, as 
ftcweth here by the adder, and afterward the dc- 
Ut of the flefh, as flvcwcih here by Eve, and after 
ihit the confcntingof rcron,aa fhcvicth by Adam; 
for truft wel though fp it were that the fende 
tempted Eve, that is to fay, the fie jh, and the ficfli 
had dcllt in the bcautec of the fruit defended, yet 
ccrte^ til thai refon, that is to fay Adaru, confer led 
to the ctJng c»f the fruit, yet ftode he in tfic flatc oi 
ionoccucc. Of thiikc Adam toke we thilke finne 
crijfiiuil i from him flelhly defccndcd be we all, 
and eiigcndred of vLlc .ind corrupt mater; and 
lit hail the foule i» put in our bcdie», right anon is 
contraii^ original unne, and that that wa& erft but 
only peine, of eoocupifccnce is afterward both 
peine and finne j and therfore we ben all ybome 
ibnesofwnith and of dampilation perdurable, if ne 
were baptifme that wc receive, which bcrimeth 
111 the etilpc : but forfoth the peine dwclli^th with 
lit an to tcrnptation, which peine htght ccncupiT- 
cenee. This concupifccntc, whan it ifi wrorgiuJIy 
difptifcd or ordeined in man* it makcib liim co- 
vcjt, by ceveitifc of 0c(h, fiejhiy Cnnc by fight of 
hh ejci3| as to erthjy thinge&, and alio covcitiTe of 
tughne0c by pride of hcrte. 

Now, at to Jpeke of the {nfk coveilifc, thftt Is^ 
coficupi fence, after the lawc of om uiembrcs that 
were lawfully ymaked, and by right fitl jugement 
<»f God„ I fay^ for aa mrocbe ai a man i» not obei- 
Ciat to Gc*d that is his Lord, therfore is his hertc 
to him difobcifarit thurgh concupifccnctr, which is 
called notirifbing of hnnc, and occafion of finne ; 
therfore all the while that a man haih within him 
the peine of conctpiftncc it is inipofTble lut he 
be templed fomtime, and moved in his Heih to 
llnne. And this thing may not faile as tong as he 
iJTcth; It may wd waxe fcHc by vertuc of bap* 
tiline, and by the grace of Cod thurgh peiiitcnce, 
Imt fully DC fhal it never <)uenche« that he oe ihal 
fomtimc be mcvcd in hiir.felfc but if he were re- 
frctncd by fikcncfl'e.rr malcfice of forcerie,crcolJ 
drinkts. For lo, what fuyth Seini Poule ? The 
ficfb cuveitrth aytnfl the fpirit, and the fpirit 
ayenH the flc(h ; they b<n fo contraiie and lo Un* 
Ten that a mau may not a (way do as he wold, 
Tlic fame Scint Poule, after hij gret pcttnnce in 
water and in lond ; in water by pight and by <ky 
in jfTrt peril and in grct peine, in \vrA in gretc 
famine and thruA, cold and cloililrf, and ones 
Honed alm^d to dcth, yet fayd he, Ak* ! 1 cait;f 

ff^ .. ...I... n. J J.,i;._-j.^jj,^ fro, V- . -:--... -,.-,,,,,--:_ 

Ill t Jcionr, . 

hjd ^.:-.:- , -^ .-,icii, whcra.^ L. , , _ „^ . .,.^. ^^ 
tut but Qi wildc bejl<»« whcra^ lie had no mctc 



butherbcs, and w"' 

the naked trth, v, ' 

Ethiopian for hciL^-..^j *.^- ^^ 

£ityd he that the brenring of 1 

hii body : whcrforc I wot w 

be deceived that fay they be not t^o^iptcd 

bodies ; witneiH; Scint Jame^ th;M faid tliat < 

wight is templed in his owcR confcicocc ; 

to fay, that oche of tit hMh mater and occ^iig 

be tcmpttrd of the nourifirTtg of iioQc 

hi* body; and therfore fayth Scint John 1 

pdifl. If wc fay that wc ben without Cnn 

ccivc ourfcir, ^ind trntli is not in us, 

Nuw (hul ye undcrflonde in what roanrr 1 
wcxcLh and cncrclcth tn man. The firfl thiq 
that iiourifliing of finne of which I fpake bcl 
that id, conciipifcfmcc ; and after that cooicdi I 
geflimi of th« devil, (hi| is to fay, the diirclil 
lous, wiih wliick he bloweth in ruun the fin 
concupiicencc ; and after that a niun bethia 
him xyhether he \\v\ do or no that thing ( 
he i* tempted ; and ibfUi if a man with 
weivc the firll cntifmg of bis Uefli and of 
than it is no Unne i aud if fo be he do not, i 
feleth he anon a fjaineof delit^and than it ii I 
to beware and kcpe him wel, or elles he wti|] 
anon to confcntmg of finne, and than wol hw 
it if he may have time and place. And of < 
mater farth Moyfeb by the dtvil in thlt mac 
The ft " " ' , I vrol cliace and furfuc i 
\s ickv . and I wul hent him by mq 

and fui xu- X', tj.jic, and I wol depart m 
my prey by deliberation, and my hill fl 
rmpliicd in dtiit ; I wol draw my fw< 
fen ting ; (for ccrtcs right as a fwerd dc 
thing in two ptrccs, right fo confcnting < 
God fro man) and than wol I fle him 
bond in dcde tjf fmcc. Thus tiyth the fo 
certes than it a niaif al ded in foule ; ^dA 
finne aecoirfUied by temptation^ by deliti^i 
confenting, and than is the finne a^ucl, 

horfoth finne is in t^o macet^; tidier it i^ 
nial or df.|ly llnne, Sothly whan a man Ifl 
any creature more than Jtfu Criil our 
than it iitdedly finne; and venial &nne it i*j 
man lovr Jcfu Crift leffe than him ougkti 
fcth the didc of this venial finne is ful _ 

for it atuenufeth the love that man (hitld have I 
Cod mere and more ; and tlicrforc if a i 
hrmfclfwiih many fwiehe menial finne s,cc 
li fo b; that he fomtime difcharge him of I 
ih J ifu Ihcy niay wel lightly amcnufe in him a 
Il>vc tiiJt he hatli to jcfu Crift, And in this wiie' 
ikippeth vecial tiiuc into dcdiy fviv- : fm 
the more that a man chargeth hi^ 
riaJ fiuncs, the more he h encUue*! t 
ly finne ; and therfotr let us not be nvgii^c^ 
dlfcharp^e us cf venial lirin?** % for the i 
I ' :my fniil n ' 

] L : a g/el • 
h fo gret a ^ ..imuii^. 
d the fame ham^e do feu 

,„ o. ,,,i of Wiiter that tnicrcn iUuw\^ ^^ 

crcvtf in the thitxroky and in the boitoBLtf ttf ' 




THE PERSONES TALE.. 



neo htn fo negligent that they difchar^c 

by time ; anJ tht rforc although thcr be 
c bctwii thifc two c^ufci of drctichingil' 
c (hip ii drcint. Right fo Urcth it fom- 
icdly finiic and of anoioutt venial fiDuci, 
pUt in man fo gretly that (hilke 
that he laveth^ thurgli which he 
rciually, » 4j grct in his hcrtc as the love 
or more ; and thcrfcre the love of every 
»t 15 not heftt in God» nc don priiKipdly 
let Cikc, although that a nun love it Icffc 
d« yet it U veiual ficnc ; and df dly iinoe: 

the love of any thing wcighcth in the 
' man as moche a» the love of God, or 
Dcdiy {Lnne» as fayth Seine Au^fline, it 
man totimeth lii« hcrtc fro Gc>d, which c 
fcray fovcraine bouatce, that may not 
, and ycvcth hi* Kcrte to thing that may 
aad Bitte ;; and ccrtei that is every thing 
d cf heven : for foth u that if a man ycvc 

which that he oweth to God with iill hi« 
pto a creature* ccrtes a-i mochc of hi* love 

cth to the fame creature, fo mochc he be- 

md thcrforc doth he linne ; for 

jf to God nc yeldcth not to God 

kite, that it to layn, all the love of lut 

Cth man ondcrdondeth generally which 
finne, than ii it conveniible to ttl] fpcci- 
Ittici whiche that many a man pcravcn- 
Hth bem no Cones and fhrivtth him nu 
mc, and yet natkcUs they be Onucs foih!y, 
derkcs writen i this i» to fay, at every 
It man cteth ai^d drinkcth mure than fuf* 
the fufteoaoce of hh body, in certain he 
le I eke whan he fpekeih more than it 
he doth (Innc; eke whan he hcrkcnetb 
gocly the corophiint of the p&urc : ckc 
: ii in hcle of body « and wol nut fall whan 
k^ft, without caufe icf^^tiaivJc ; ckc whan 
h more tJian ncdcth, or whan be comcth 
rncbcfon to late to ehirchc, or to other 
»f cbaritce; eke whan he u£cth hit wif 
KQ (bveraine deHre of engendrurt| to the 
»f Cod^or for the cntcnt to ycld his wif 
of hi» body ; eke whan he wul not viOtc 
pr the prifoncr if he may ; ckc if he love 
!d1d, or other worldly thinj:, mere than 
{uircth ; ckc tf Ke fiater or hiacdifc more 
I ought e for any nc c '^ ' if he amc- 

irithdrawe the ahr. . uure; ckc 

tin,!,, ^.ii iT,> f, rirr thin IlCdc 

ckc if he 
t sfcrvicCj 
^ be a takr oi jui= wuruc^ of folic or vi- 
rluflul yeld accomptt;^ of it at the day 
; eke whan he bchigktcth or afTurcih to 
(ges tltat he inay not pcrfourrjc ; eke 
Ibt t * ' - of fnty snJllMtth t.r 

hi whin he luih ony 

W^ ■'-'— ' - ■ 



man may efchcwe al Tcnial fion^i, yet may he re- 
frcinc him by the brcnning U»vc that he h-iih to 
our Lord Jcfu Criit, and by prayer and ctMitcf- 
fion, and other good vvcrkcs, fo that it ftiAl but li- 
tcl grieve : for, as fayih Scint Augtiftinc, Tf a 
man love God in fwiche maoer that all that ever 
he doth i» in the love of Gad, or for the love of 
God vcraily, for he brcnscih in the love of God, 
loke how mochc that o drofc of water which fal- 
leth into a fourneia fiil of fire aooicth or grevcth 
the brcnnirjg of the fire, iu like maner anoieth or 
grevcth a venial (muc unto that man wbichc is 
ikdfaft and parfitc in the love of our Saviour Jc- 
fu Crill, Furthermore, men may aho rcfrcir.c and 
put away venial dnuc by receiving worthily the 
precious body of Jcfu CrUl, by receiving eke of 
haly watcr^by almcs dcde,by gcueraLconfcnion of 
c^H^ieor at mairc,and at prime, and at complin, and 
by blcfllng of bifboppcs atid prcedcj, and by other 
good "wcrkcs* 

I>e SepUm FttMlh Mwiatihu. 

Now it is bcbovdy to tdlcn whiche ben dcd!y 
finnes, that i& to fay, cliicfeLiines of finnes, for ai 
mochc a& all they rcn in o Ices, but in divers ma* 
Dcrs. Now ben they clcpcd chicfetaioe^ for at 
mochc a« they be chicfc, and of hem fpringrn all 
other dnncs. The rote of thife (iiuics than U 
pride, the general rote of all harmcs, for of ihii 
rote fprlngen certain braunches, as ire, envic, ac« 
cidc or fluuihc, avarifc or covcitifc, (to commnti 
underloading) glotoair, and lechcric; and cchc 
of thife chi%:f iljinc^ hatii bis braunches and hi« 
twigges, as ihal be declared iu hir cliapiues fol* 
lowing. 

And though fo be that no man knowcth u£eci> 

[y th^ nombre of the tw iggcs and of the harmet 

tha^comcn of pride, yet wol I jhcw a partie of 

hem 24 ye ibul under, o^id, 'I'hcr l& inobcdicncci 

avaunting, ipocrifie, dei[ni,arrogjnce, impudences 

fwelling of hertc, infulencc, cbtiou, impatience, 

ilrif, contuinacic, prcfmnptian, irreverence, pcrii^ 

naciCt rainc glorie, and ataoy other twi|C^es tlia^ 

1 cantiot dccbrc, Inobedicnt is be that dUobcyeth 

for dcfpit to die commandemtiitt of God, and 

to his fovcralncs, and to his goilly fader ; avaun* 

tour i^ he iliat bofLtth af th< harmc or of tfic bounr* 

tee that He hath don ; ipocrite u be that hidcth to 

ibcw liim fwiclic a» he is, and flicwctb him ta feme 

\ fwiche as he is not \ dcfpitoiis is he that hath dif- 

, daiu of his ncigbeboiu", that is to fayn, of his even 

I Criilen, or hatli dclpit to do that him ought to dti; 

I arrogsnt is he that tbinkcth that he hath tholc 

I bctmtec^ in him that he hath not, or wencth tla^ 

I he Ihuldc huvc bctit by hii dcfcrving, or cllcstliat 

I d^nictli that he be i;iiat he h nut ; impudent ia be 

] ih^t fur hii priJe h^lh no thoim; cf his fiunc^; 



&I hi« Taiuf » «t ius coiuvng, oi hii ipckinjE, wd «t 
Mii.j 




I 



I 



I 



I 
I 



Ills bcj ing ; elation h whan he nc may neither fuf- 
frc to have n>iiflrc ue fclawe ; impatient is he tliat 
Wol not lie tauglit nc undcrnomc of hi* vice, and 
liy ftrlf wcrrii'th iryih wctingly, and dcfcndeth 
liisfoly ; ^t/niwrn^x hhe that thurgh hbindi^natibn 
is ay t nit cvet7 uudcaitoc or power of hem that 
ben his fover&ines ; prefuniptioD is whan a man 
Ti»jdcrt4kcth an ciiiprilc thai him oughi not lo do, 
€jf clle» that he may not do, and thit is called fur^ 
<}uidric \ irreverence is whan maji doth not honour 
ihcr a^ him ought to do, and waittrth to be revc- 
Tcnccd ; pertinatie is whan man defendeth h»fo- 
Jy, and trufteth to moche in his owcn wit ; vaine- 
^lorie is for to have pompe and dcUt in his tempo- 
re! highncffe,and gloryc him in hi& worldly cflate j 
Jangling is whan man fpeketh to morhe btTore 
lolkp and clappeth u a mille, ind taketh no kepc 
what he faytL 

And yet ther is a privce fpicc of pride that 
waitcth firft to be faJewed or he wol falew, all 
be he Icffe worthy than that other is ; and eke he 
i^aiteth to fit or to go above him in the way, or 
kiffe the pax, or ben encenfcd or gon to offering 
before hia neighbour, andrwiehercmblable thingcs, 
ayenft his deutec peravcnture, but that he hath 
hiihcrte and his entente infwithca proudc de&rc 
to be magnified and honoured bcForn the pcple. 

Now ben thcr two maner of prides ; that on of 
licm 15 within the hertc of a man, and that other 
i^ without ; of whiche fothJy ihife forefayd thingt*s, 
uad mo than I ha^e fayd, appcrtcinen to pride 
that ih within the hertc of man ; and thcr be other, 
fpite* of pride that ben withoutcnj but nathclefs 
that on of thifc fptces of pride isfigne of that other, 
right as they g;ay Levcrcllat the taveme is figne of 
the win that is in the cellcr. And thi& is in many 
thingcs as in fpechc and contcnance, and out- 
Tagious array of clothing ; for ccrtes if there had 
ben no fiunc iu clothing Crift wold not fo fone 
have nottd r^nd fpoken of the clothing of tl^ilke 
rich man in the Golpel ; and, as StJiiit Gregory 
layth, that prcciocs clothing is culpable for the 
dcrth of it, and for his fofineffc, and for his 
itrangenelTe and difguifing, and for the fuper- 
flaitee or for the inordinate fcantueflc of it. Alas ! 
may not a man fee as in our dates the (inneftil 
toltlcwe array of elotlting, and namely in to moche 
j'liperflultee, orejlcsm todifordinatc ftantnctTc. 

An to the firft finne, in fuperfluitee, of clothing, 
whiche that makcth it fo dcrcjto the harm of I he 
peple« not only the code of the eobrouding, the ' 
. <lifgii{ing, endcnting or barring, ounding, paling, | 
wintiing, or bendiog, and femblaMc wall of eloth ' 
In vanitee but ther is atlb the coillcwe furring in 
htr gounes, fo tnuche pounfoning of chefcl to 
makcn holes, fo moche dagging of ftiercs, with , 
the fiiperfluitce in length of the forcfaide gouncs, i 
trailing in the dong and in the myre, on horsand 
vkc on foot, at %cl of man aiiof woman, that all ' 
thilke trailing is veraijy (as in cflcd) wilUd, ' 
cifiilumeUfthxedbare, and rotten with dong, rather 
than it i» ycvcn lo the pmre, to get damagr of the 
foicfayd poure folk, an*: that in fondry wtfc ; th;f 
itti> fayn, the more that cloth i» wdlcdtne more 



muft it eoft the pour p" ' 
and funhcrovtr, if fo I 
fwichc pounfoncd and u^ila; 
pouic pcplc it is nor^con lenient to 
eftatc» nc fuffifaut to bote bit neceflitee, 
henifrothc dillemperancc o( theftrmtmea 
that other fide, to fpekc of the horhble ( 
fcantnelTc of clothing, ai ben thife cvtu 
or hanfelines, that thurgb hie ittortni 
not the fhameful members of man U 
entente: alast fom of hem flicw«a»thcl 

the fhapc of the horrible fwo!I - ^ 

femcn like to the maladie of M h 

picgof hir hofen, and ckc the __ ^„ j 
behinde, that faren as it were the hmck 
a Ihc ape in the ful of the mone. Ai 
over, the wretched fwolten memben f 
fliew thurgh difgutfmg, m departing of I 
in white and rede, fetncth char hall hiri 
privee mcmbres were flame; and iS Sa 
they departe hir hofen in of' ' i 

white and blcwr, or white < < 

and rede, and Ibforth^ than ftr,.. .,. .., ^ 
ancc of colour, that the half pan of h 
members ben corrupt by tlie fire of Seint i 
or by cancrCf or other fwiche mifchancc^ 
hinder part of hir buitokket it is ful hoi 
to fee, for ccrtes in that panic of hir I 
as they purgcn hir ftinkaig ordure^ ti 
partic ftitwc they to thepeplc proudely i 
of honcltec, whiche honeilcc Vt\;it Jtiu ( 
his frcndcs obfcrved to flicwe in hir lif, 
to the outragious array of womciif God 1 
though the vifagcsof fume of hem i emeu I 
and dcbonaire, yet notifien they in fur. 
attire likeroufncfTc and pride. J fay 
honeftcc in clothing of man or woman 
vcnable, but ccrtes the fuperfluhee or d 
fcarcitcc of clothing is reprt vablc* AlTolf 
of ornament or of apparaile is to thing«i 
perteine to riding, as in to many delicit 
ben holdenfordelit, that ben fafatre,fa£t^ 
lewc ; and ajfo in many a viciouskna vc thai 
cd becaufe of hem ; in curious hcmeis^aa 
cropers, peitrcN, and bridles, covered wttl 
eloth and rich, bnrred and pUted ofgohU 
for which God fayth by Zaeharic tbe 
f wol confound e the riders of fwiche ktm 
folke taken lite! regard to the nding d 
fone of hevcn, and of hi& harneit^ whal 
upon the aiTct and had none other Kamd 
poure clothes of his difciplcs, ne we rtd« 
ever he rode on ony other bcftc. 1 fpckl 
the finne of fupcrfluitee, and not for 
whan rcafon it recjuireth. And mofo^ 
pride it grctly notified in holding of M 
whan they ben of lit el profit e or of i 
prufitr, and namdy ^han that meinie ii 
and damage out to the pcple by bardmc^ 
tordcfhip, or by way of office ; for ccfW 
lordes Icli than hir lordcfliip to tK(t dcTl 
whan th y fufteinc the wiekcdnefTrof hil 
or c vt hail thifc folk of low de^^rec, 
ihtt b^ldcD hoflelriciy luilcioca 




THE PERSONES TALE 



tttn nun; miintr ot (leccitcs; 
I ijaoffolkhen the fliet that folowcn 

J j iritually 

f . -,..,.... .,«r ,,*... D.ivid the 

K-j r 1 drth mot come unto cblJke 

f-^- -mJ ycvc that ihcy mot defcend 

iii doun, for in hir houfet ii tniquttce 

r vudneflc, and not God of hcvcn: and 

Uut k{ they don amcndemt^nt, right as God 

hii bcnifon to hahan by the fcrvicc of Jacub^ 

i,^»3 to Phanw by the fervke of JofcpH, right fo 

Gtid wol ycve his maJifon to fwichc lortljilhipe^s 

m fuilcine the wickedncfffc of hir fervant^, but 

tkcy cooie to amcndemcnt. Pride of the tabk 

tffertth ckc ful oft, for certearichc men be dcp- 

t& to (cCicu and poure folk he put away and 

fluked; and aifo m excefTc of dtvcn tnctet and 

4hnkcs and namely fwichc mancr bake inctc* 

ird dJhc Tncic^ brcnning of wQde fire, and pcint- 

r£ itiii r4 Oct led with paper, and fcmblablc wall:, 

fcthat it 1^ abufton to thinke; and eke in to grct 

cwiiTj'cfTc or Tcifen, and curiofitcc of minftraU 

by wh(* h a man h fiirrcd more to the dtlitcs nf 

;iifi«, tf f o be that he fctte hii hcrtc the Icfft 

oitre Lord Jefti Criil., it i& a done; and 

ily the ^elite» might ben fo grct In this cas 

a mall might lightly fall by hem into dcdly \ 

:t. The fpicei that foardcn of pride, fothly I 

I ourden of malice imagined, arifcd, ! 

c, or elk K of ufagc, ben dediy £inne4 i 

BO doute ; and uhao they fourden by frccltec 

fbdenlyi and fodenly withdrawn again, 

Ihry grevuu* finnes 1 gc0c that they he not 

iiow might men jflcc whcrof that pride 

'faerdeth ajid fpringcth * I fay that fomtimc it 

^isgftb of the goodes of nature, fomtimc of the 

fiodea of forttinc, and fomtimc of the goodcs of 

ptcc. Certc* the goodcA of nature ilondcn only 

■ the goc»dc» of the body or of the foul ; ccrtet the 

■isde* of the body ben hcle of body, flrcngtb, 

tiiremeCre» bcautee, gentn'e, franchifc ; the 

gfcjri of natvire of the foufc ben good wit, (harpe 

MAerilooding, fubtil engine, vertue naturcl, good 

feoneric : go^ides of fortune ben riches, high de- 

^cc of lorUlhipcji* and preifinges of the peple; 

foode* of j^r jcc ben fcience, power to fuffrc fpi- 

titDcltravaik, benignitce,vcnuou4 contemplation, 

»t»h^r,nt! mj; eft en iptition, and fcmblablc thingcf J 

! goodn certea it is a grct folic 

min onyof hemilL Nowasforto 

ip<ie-iigc">tic^ at nature, God wot that fomtimc we 

ufc hcxn in nature asmoche to our damage as to 

•wiir^*'*'- ^ " ^'^^ to fpckc of hclc of body, trcwcly 

itpftlfc itly, and alfo it i% ful ofte en- 

. of the foule, for God wote the 

a £Tct enemy to the foulc^ and therforc 

c that the body it hole the more be we in 



1 to f^Uc; eke for to pridcn him in his Arcngth 
[ body it ifl a grcte folic, for ccrtet the ficlh 
'lie fpiritc, and ever the more 
ill is ihc foritr may the foute be ; 
l;^vti 4 1, >'-i ftrength of body and worldly 
lAidmcik oufcth fiU of 16 many man peril and 



mifchanct ; aifo tohavcpridc ofgentric ii right grct 
folic, for oft time the gcntric of the body bcnim* 
ethihegentric of the foulc : and alfo wc ben all of o 
fadcrrandof o modcr,andallwcbcn of o nature, rot« 
ten and corrnpt, bothe richc and pourc. Forfotho 
m^ncr gcntrieii fortopreifc,that appareiUcth man- 
ner CO rage with vcrtues and moratitcci^, and makcth 
htm Criues child, for UuDeth wel that over what 
man that finne hath maiflrie he is a vcray cherl 
to fmne. 

Now ben thcr general Ggnes of gentilnefle, as 
cfchcwing of vice and ribaudrie^ and fervagc of 
finne in word, and in werk and contenancc, and 
uQng vertue, ^h courtefic and cIcncnciTc, and to be 
liberal, that it to fay, large by mcafurc, for thilke 
that paffcth mefure ift folic and fiunc ; another 
i* to remember him of bountce that he of other 
folk hath received ; another ii to be bcnignc to 
hi» fubgettci; wherfor faith Senek<f» Thcr t» 
nothing more covcnabic to a man of high cilate 
than dobonairtee and pitce; and therforc thifc 
iic* that men clcpen Bee*, whan they make hir 
king thcv chcfen on that hath no pHckc whcrwith 
he may fUng. Another is, man to have a noble 
hcrtc and a diligent, to attcme to high vcrtuous 
thinges : now, ccrtes a man to pridcn him in the 
goodts of grace h eke an outrageous folic, for 
thilke yeftcs of grace that fliuld have toumed him 
to goodnelTe and to medicine tourncth him to 
vcnimc and confufion, a.^ fnyth Scint Gregorie. 
Certci alfo, who fo prldcth him in the goodnclTc 
of Fortune he h a grct fool, for fomtimc is a man 
a grct lord by the morwc that i* a cattife and a 
wretch or it be mghi: and fomctimethcrichncnc 
of a man is caufc of his dcth^ and fomtimc the 
dclitcs of a man ben caufc of grevoua maladJe 
thurgh which he dieth, Ccrtcs the (^ommcnda- 
fion of the pcpk i*ful Lalfc and brotcl for to truft ; 
thi» day they prcifc, to-morwc they blame. God 
wotc dc&rc to have commendation of the pcple 
hath caufcd dcth to many a bcly man. 

Memeiium Suptrti^. 

Now fith that fo it is that yc have nndcrflond 
what ti pride, and which be the fpi cc& of it^ and 
how mcnnc* pride fourdeth and fpringcth, now 
ye (hul uudernond which is the rcmcdlc aycnft 
it, Humihtce or mckcntlTc is the remedy ayen{t 
pride ; that is a vcrtuc thurgh which a man hath 
vcray knowledge of himfclf, and holdcth of him- 
felf no deintcc nc no pris, as in regard of hi«t 
dcfcrtcs, confidcring tvcr his frccltec. Now ben 
thcr thiec maner of humilitcc.i, a* humilitcc in 
hertc, and another in the mouth, and the thriddc 
in wcrkca. The humilitcc in hcrtc is in fourc 
manercs j that on is whan a man holdeth himfcif 
as nought worth before God of hcvcn ; the fccond 
is whan he dcfpifcth non other man ; the thrrddc 
is whan he ne reckcth nat though men holdehim 
nought worth ; and the fourth is whan he is not 
fory of hlft humilitatiun, Alfo the humilitcc of 
mouth is in four thmgrs; in atumperatc fpcchc; 
112 humiiitce of fpcchc^ and whan he confdTcth 



^ 



*HE PER80NH& TALE. 



» 



I 



with hh owen mouth 'th^ he is fwicKe as he thiak- 
eih that he b mhcttc ; another h whaft he prcif- 
cctk the bouncee of another man, and nottiiag 
llkerof amenu&th. HumUjtee eke in wcrkt*« ii 
Jsj foufc maners : the firft in whan he put tech 
other men before him ; the (ccond is to chcfc the 
EuweiV pbcc of all ; the thridde m gladly to aflcnt 
lo good coafcil; the foarth U tw ftond gbdly 
to fh'? .^ward of hU fovcrcignc, or of hem that is 
iligtier m ditgree -, certain thi» is a gret wcrk of 
l^umUuee. 

De Invidiam 

After pride wol 1 fpckc of the foule fin tic ol 
m^ie, which that is, after the word of the philo- 
iopher, forwc of other meiinc* profpcritcc ; and 
-atRer the word of Seint Augudine it is forwe of 
«thcr mennes welc^ and joy of other mcnn<« 
Barnie* ThU foule finne is pTatly aycn(l the 
Haly Gq%. : al he it fo that every ikinc is ayt;n£t 
cfcc HoTf God, yet narhele» for as mochc at 
fcomiree appcrteineth properly to the Holy Goft, 
ausd efivie eometh properly of mattce, tberfore it 
ii properly aycnft the bountee of the Holy Gofl, 
J7ow hath malice two fpices that i» to fay, hardi^ 
ceCTe of hertc in wickedocfle, or cHet the flelh of 
itiAn li fo blind that he con0dereth not that he is 
in finne, or recketh not that he is in £nne, which 
-B the h^dineCTe of the divcl, That other fpicc of 
onric W whan that a man wcrricth troutli whan 
Itc wot that it \% trouth, and alfo whan he wer- 
rJcth the grace of God that God hath ycvc to 
hit neighbour ; imd all this i« by cavic) 
ccitei than s* cnvic the werfl finne that is, for 
fochly all other Gnaei he fometime only ayenfl on 
fpccial vertue^ but certci cnvic if ayenil al mantr 
verttte5 and alle goodncflV, for it is fory of atl 
Iiouotce of his neighbour : and in this mancr it is 
divers from mil other finne?, for wel uonethc ti 
ther any finne that it ne hath fom delit in him- 
iJelf favc only cnvie that ever hath in himfctf 
angnifh and forwc. The fptces of cnvic 
ben thefe ; ther is firfl forwe of other raeiui cs 
S^odncffc and of hir profpcritec, and profperitcc 
oaght to be kindly mater of joye; than is cnvic 
a ttnae ay en (I kinde. The feconde fpice of cuvie 
is joye of other menncs harmc» and that is properly 
like to thedivel, that cYcrrejoyfethhitnof matines 
harme. Of thiic two fpectcs, cometh backbiting ; 
and this fmne of backbiting or dctraditig h^ch 
certain fpiccSy as thus i fom man prcilcth his 
neighbour by a wicked entente, fur he m:iketh 
ztway ■ wicked knottc at the lafle cnde ; alway he 
maketb a Aw/ at the lafl endct that is dignc of more 
Ulamc than is 'v^orth all the preiCng : the fecond 
fpice Is, th4t if a man he good, or doth or iayth 
a thing good entente, the b:ickbitcr wol tiimc all 
that gootfr^"!"' "•; »'•..■<.... -^ 1... v;. fKf>^-J.-^ "^^'catc ; 
thcthrid' icieb- 

Ikmr : tht , ^ , that 

U men (peke goodneOc of i^man than wol the 
tiackbiter fay, Parfay fwichc a &ian is yet better 
"^ 1^ ia dif|>rajiP^ of him that men prcifc ; 



the 5fth ff ice is thi&, for to conf^Dt ^^V 
ken the harmc that men fpekc of other f< 
finne is ful gret, and ay encrufeth after t%n 
entcnt of the backbiter : after backbiting 
grutching or murmoranec, and fom< 
fpringeth of impatience ayeuH G<td, and 
ayenu man : ayenft God it i* whan 
grutcheth ayenft the peine of lirllc, o( 
povertc> or lolTc of catd, or ay en ft rain 
peft, or cllcs grutchtth that fhrcwc* ha 
iperitee, or cll«« that g«>od men haTt a4f 
and all thife thingcs fhuld men fuifrc | 
for they comen by die ri^htfol jugim 
crdinatice of God, Somtime eomctb grul 
avarice, as Judas grutched aycnll the Mi| 
whan (he anointed the hcd of our Lord 
with hire precinos oynemem : this 
muring Is fwjche as whan man | 
goodncfle that hlmfclf dolh or that 
don of hir owen catcL Samtiaic com* 
mur of pride, as whan Simon the 
grutched ayenft the Magdeleinc whan 
proched to Jcfu CriA and wept at his €ecli 
finne* : and fomtimc it fourdcth a ' 
whan men difcover a maimcs hamie i 
privcej or bereth him on bond thing 
Murmur alfo is oft amoog fervmnts^ 1 
whan hir fovctaincs bidden hem ' 
and for af moche a* they dare s 
the conimaun dement of hir f 
they fay hurme and grutchc and murmure pi 
for veray dcfpit, which wnrdes they oJ 
divcls Fulcr fujftr^ though fo bc that t!ie <" " 
never P^er nojltr^ but that lewcd fofk 
fwichc a name- Somtime it cometh 
privce hatff, that norifhcth rancour in 
at afterward I ihal deelarc, Th-in eta 
bittcrntiTc of hertc, thurgh whith 
very good dede of his nelghboor fcJ 
bitter and unf^vor)'. Than con 
that unbindcth aU maner of frc 
cometh fcorning of his neighbour, al dft^ 
fo wcl : than coni'^th accufing^ as whan 1 
keth occafion to annoyen his neighbovrJ 
is like the craft of the divcl, tliat wa' 
day and night to accufcn ui all : ihan^ 
mali^itcei thurgh which a man ana 
neighbour prively if he may, and if he 
algate hi^ wicked wtll Hial not let as for t^ 
hi* hous pri^ el , or cnpoifea him, or f ^ '~ 
and fembkh c hiigos. 

Jt pttJimm Invidlr, 

Now wol I (J>ekc of the feme 
fouie fiiioe of cnvic. Firflc is the I 
principally^ and loving of his nci^^J 
klf> for lothly th*t ou nc may ootj 
that other; and rni<l wci thai int' 
neighbour thoa ih4.It tsndirfluuk 
thy brother, lor terics all we lwv« < 
ty and on modcr, i\\ix ts to &y, Adim ^ 
and alfo on fndcr fr»ir)tael, thai b to iay^ 
hevcj]. Th| ceighlottc an thou "^ 



THE PERSONES TALB. 



187 



I wili him all goodncfTt*, ^' ^ ♦'■ 'fore 
I, Love thy neighbour a^ ' i-. n 

» falvalioo both of lit a jiid 

. thou (halt Tovc him in word, and in 
tmuncAing znd diaflifing, aiul comrort 
♦ uiojct, jio<i pniyc For liim with all iHy 
i4 in dcUc thou ih^dc )ovc fiini in Twjchc 
thoM fh^t do to him in chariicc u« tbou 
lat it Mfcrc don to thie owcn pcrlon, and 
hgm IK Sh^lt do him nn dam^A^t: in wick 
Hkhairme in h'u bod)', nc in hi-* catcl, 
Hg|r r V rriuung of wttKcd calample ; 
K>t vvif, nt noti of his tbingcs. 

K ^ the nimt of Nti^hbour \ 

hcDtkd luv rJictoy; ccrtcswiiu (hd lov* 
' for the cumm^ndc'infiit of God, 4ud 
' frifnd tbuu fhalt love in God ; I fay 
if fiudt th£(U tovc for Godd<rsfiik:c by his 
\cmK^tf for 1/ it were rc£bn that nijin 
^e hU cQ^tny forfoth God n'oldc not tc- 
9 ki« loTc tlj4t be«i hU cDcrmci* A'ycnft 
icr of wrongcf thAt hi* ttxemy doih to 
>I do three thiom, u thui j ayenll bate 
lur of bene he mal love bini in turrtc; 
kdiog 3.nd wicked ivordci he fhikl^ray 
:mf ; ;iyciiil: the wicked drdc of his cno 
it do him boutitce ; for Crifi fayih, Lore 
mica, and prayeth for hem that fpekc 
«, aind for htiu that ch^^n znd purfucn 
do boUAtec to hem th;kt hatcn yuu Lti, 
DAndctli ui our Lord Jcfu Criil to do Co 
ic«b Forfoth nature drivt^ih u» to love 
e% and pnrf^y our cziemict have more 
|rtw (bail our fresidc», and they th^ic more 
i ccnet to hem (bal men do goodncile ; 
I in thilkc dcde have we rer:ienibr2acc 
99 <if Jcfu Crifl tb*t died for hi» cne- 
i in a* moche sm thiike love i« more 
K> pctSormCj fo moche is more grci the 
Eld therforc the lovitig of our enemy 
fottodcd the vcoime of the divel; for 
the direl is confounded by humilitce, 
I he wounded to the dv-rh by love of our 
ccrtes than i» love ibc medicine tlut 
ki the venimc of cnvie fro munca bcrte. 

Iwol 1 declare of the fliitie of Ire, 
So baih envy upon hi» neighbour 
iflHtnly wol finde him mater of wnith in 
ill dedc ayenft him to whom he hath en* 
am wel cometh ire of pride u of envii, 
f he that tft proude or eavioui i» lightly 

one of tre» &ftrr the diicriving of Sdot 
I it wicked wili to be avenged by word 
ki ire, after the pHilofophrc* \a the fcr- 

k' ' . ihufgh 

■ th; lor 
C 'It 

tlMit iffc la » Vmo ittJficri| th^ un of 



Di Ira. 



hem i« good, and that other it wicked. The good 
ire 11 by jalouCe of goodncflc, thurgh the which 
man h wroth with wickednefle, and again wick- 
cdnclTct aiul tbtrfore faith the wife tnan thac irc 
i» ticttcr limn play. This irc is with deboniirta^ 
and u h wrotbc without bittei neflc; not %vrothc 
ayenll the man, but wrothc with the mifdtde of 
the man ; a& faith the prophet David^ irufdminf^ 
H imUtt ^tti rr. Now underilofid that wicked irc 
is in two maners, that it to fay, fodtin irc or hafly 
ire, without avdVmirnt and coii/cuting of refon; 
t>«: meaning and the fen ft of th;* ii, that the re- 
fun of a man nr confentcth not to that fodcri ire, and 
than tt lit veoial. Another iie is that isful wick- 
ed, that cometh of felonic of hertc, arifcd and 
call before, with Wrickcd will to do vengeance, 
and ihcrto his refon confcnteth ; and iothly this 
is dedly Unne. This irc is fo difptefant to God 
that it trcmbleth his hou*, and chafcth the Holy 
Goft init of manner foulc, and waftcth and dc- 
ftroycth the likenclTc of God, that is to fay, the 
vcrtuc that is in manncs foiitc^ and putteth in him 
the UkenciTc of the devil, and beninieththe man 
fro God that is hii rightful Lord^ This ire is a 
ful grcc plcfance to the devil, for it is the devUs 
fomcis that he enchaufctb with the fire of hclle ; 
for ccrtes right fo as fire it more mighty to dc- 
flroic erthiy thinges than any other element, ri^^ 
fo ire ia mighty to dcftrorc all fpirituel thingCA. 
Lokc how that Urc of fmal gkdc«, thai ben almoft 
dcd under aihcn, wol quicken ayca whan th<y 
ben touched with brimftone; right fo irc wol 
evermore quicken ayen whan it is touched with 
pride that is covered in maunes herte ; for ccrtes 
fire zve may not come out of nothing, but if it 
were firfl in the fame thing naturclly, a* fire is 
drawn out of Bintes with Jlcle ; and right fo aa 
pride is many times mater of ire, right fo is ran- 
cour noricc and keper of irc. Ther 11 a tnaner 
tree, as fayth Seint I^dore, that whan men make 
a fire of the faidc tree, and cover the coles of it 
with alhcn, fothiy the fire thcrof wol laA all a 
yere or more ; and right fo farcth it of rancour 
whan it is ones conceived in the hcrte of fom 
men ; certct it wol laflcn pcraventurc from oq 
Cailcmc day until another Eafternc day, or more ; 
but certes the fame man is ful £er from the mcr- 
cie of God all thilkc while. 

In this forcfaid devih forneis ther forgen three 
fhrewcj^ Pride, that ay blowcth and encrcfeth the 
fire by chiding and wicked wordcs ; than Uondetli 
En vie, and holdcth the hot yrcn upon the herte 
of man with a piiir of longc tonges of longer 
rancour ; and than iWdcth the finnc of contu- 
mdic, or ftrif and chcile, and battereth and forg- 
ctb by vibiim rcprcvingcs. Ccrtes this cnrfcd finne 
annoyeth botii to the man htmfclf and eke hi» 
neighbour, for fothiy almofl all the harme or da- 
*• ' 'th to his neighbour cometh 

itmgcous wrathc doth, all 
r ».,. v.^, I . ^^^v^ i'iaic willctli cr conmiandcth 
him ; for he nc fpatcth ncythcr for our Lord Jc- 
fu Criil nc hii fwctc modcr; and in hts outrage- 
au» anger &i;d ifc, Aks \ ala4 1 fid Biaay on at that 



n% 



THE PERSONES TALE. 






time fdcth m KIiTic?!cIun?itkcdIy both of Crift 
and alfo of all hit ^halwes. Is not this a carlcd 
▼ice? yci, ccrtcf. Alas! it bcnimmcth fro man 
_ii»iprittc and hii rcfon, and all his dcbonairc [if 
IpiritQcl, that fhuld kepc hi» foulc : ccrtc& it be- 
ntrmncth alfo Goddc* due lordlhip (a.nd that is 
tiunnci foule) and the love of his neighbours j 
it flriTcth alfo all d-iy aycnll trouth ; it revtth 
liim the quiet of hU hcnc, tnd fubvcrteth his 
luulc. 

Of ire comta thJfc ftinking cngendrurcs ; fidl 
ic, that h olde wrath i difcord, thurgh v^hich 
man forfiiketh his olde frcnd diat he hath loved 
1 bug ; and than corocth wcrrc, and every m*- 
r of wrong that a man doth to hia neighbour m 
i«dy or in catcl. Of this curfed Onnc of ire 
.eth ck^ manCavghter. And underflondeth 
•cl that horaidde (that it maiiflaughtcr) is in di- 
n wife. Som raancr of homicide is fpirituet, 
,d Pom i» botiily. Sptritucl manflaughtcr is in 
'f\t thrngca. Firft, by hate, as fayth Seint Jnhn, 
He that hateth his brother is an homicide. Ho* 
micldc is alfo by backbiting, of which backbi- 
tours fayth Salomon, that they have two fwcrdcs 
with which they fiay hir neighbours; for fothly 
aA wicked it is to benime of him his good name 
» his lif. Homicide is alfo in yeving of wicked 
confcll by fraude, as for to ycve confeil to arcife 
wrongful cuftomes and takges, of which fayth 
Salomon, A lion roriiJg, and a bare hungric, bea 
liVc to cruel lordes in withholding or a brcgging 
of the hire or of the wages of fcivaotes, or cUct 
in ufurie, or in withdrawing of the almcffc of 
poure folk ; for which the wife man fayth, Fcdeth 
him that almoft dieth for hongcr, for fothly but 
if thou fcde him thou flceft him : and all thifc 
hen dedly finncs. Bodily manflaughter is whan 
ihou flccft him with thy tonge in other maiier, as 
whan thou commax)deft to flc a man, or elles 
yevcft confeil to He a man« Manflaughtcr in dcdc 
It in fourc maucn. That on is by hwc» right as 
a jiifllcc dampncth him that is culpable to the 
dcth ; but let tlic juilicc beware that he do it 
rightfully, and that he do it not for dclit to^Q)itl 
blood, but for kcping of rightwUcnenc, Another 
homicide is don for ncccflitcc, as whan a man 
ilctth another in his defence, and that he ne may 
rion other wife cfcaptn fro his owcn deth; but 
certain and he may efcapc withoutcn flaoghter of 
hi* advcrfaric he doth fuine, and he flial here pe- 
nance as for dedly finnc. Alfo if a man by cas 
avtnturc fhcte an arowe or caft a ftont with 
'hich he lleeth a man, he is an homicide. And 
a womjin by negligence overly ctb hire child 
In hire (Icpc, it is homicidr and dedly finne, Al- 
fo whan a man diflurbleth conception of a childe, 
and maketh a woman barein by drinkes of 
vcnimous herbcs thurgh which ihe may not con- 
ceive, or tleeth hire child by drinkcs, or clle« put- 
feth certain material thing in hire fecret place to 
flee hire child, or ellct doth unkinde Tmnc, by 
which man or woman fhedeth his nature in yUcc 
thcf as a childe m*y not be conceived ; or cUes if 
ji w^maa haih coocdvcd and huneth hlrefclf^ 



I 



and by that milhappe the childe if 

homicide. What fay wc eke of w 

murdercn hir children for dredc of worloiy la-imcf 

ccrtes it is an horrible homicide. Eke if j 

approche to a woman by defir of lechcn*- t^ 

which the childe is pcrUhed, or die* 

woman wctlngly, thurgh which (he I 

child, all thife ben homicides, and honible 

finncA. Yet comen thcr ire many mo linnev 

wcl in worde as in thought and tu dede ; «i 

that arret tcth upon Cod, or blameth Ood of 

thing of which he is hitnfelf gilty, or defpiCcth 

and aU his halwcs, at don th'ifc curfed haCsr<* 

in divers contreeiL This curfed Unnc don 

whan they felen in hir hcrte ful wickedly of 

and of his halwes : alfo whan they trrtcll 

vercntly tlic facranicnt of the auter, thifke 

is lo grct that unncth it may be reldfed, bat 

the mercy of God pafTeth all his werke«^ s£ 

gref, and he fo benigne* Than comcth alfo 

attry anger, whan a man is iharpcly mtn 

his Ihrift to leve his finnc ; than wol he be 

and anfwcrc hokcrly and angc-rly, lo ''' 

cacufen hts (Inne by un/kedfaftDeife ot 

or ellcs he did it for to hold compi^r, 

felawes ; or dies he fayeth the ft 

or dies he did it for his youthe ; • 

plexion b fo coragcous that he may nut turbcf« J 

or dies it i« bis dcftinee, he fayth, unto * «r^>&l 

age ; or dies he fayth it cometh hira of 

of his aunceHres, and fcmblable thingck 

mancf of folkc fo wrapper hem in 

that they ne wol not ddiver hcnifclf^ 

no wight that exrufcih himfelf v i 

finnc may not be delivered of his 

mckdy beknoweth his Gnne. 

comcth fwering, that is oiprdtc 

mandement of God; and that h 

anger and of ire : God fayth, I 

iSkc the name of thy Lord God n 

I^rd Jcfu Cri/l fayth by the word ot 

thew, Ne fhal ye not fwcfc in all ni 

ther by hevcn, for it is Ooddrs trui 

erthe, for it ib the bcnchc of his feet, rc 

rufalcm, for it is the ciiec of a grct king, 

thin hed, for thou oe mayfl not make 

white ne black; but he fayth, Be your w< 

ye, nay, nay ; and what that^ij more it ts 

Thus fayth Crifl, for Criftcs fake fwer* 

finncfully, in difmcmbrinjfr of Cri0, by 

herte, bones, and body ; for ccrtes it fcsrn 

ye thinken that the curfid Jewes difmensi 

not ynough. but ye difmembrc him ini 

if fo be that the lawc compel I you to f 

reulcth you after the lawt of God in 

ing, as fayth Jcremic, Thou (halt kept 

ditions; thou (halt fwere in trouth, in • , - i 

in rightwifcndFe i this is to fay, thou l>i . 

foth, for every Icfmg is ayenfl Crill, f 

veray trputh ; and thinke wd this, i 

grei fwcrcr, not compclkd UwfuUy to 

plage ftial not depart fro hi* hnus wh ! 

unleful (wtr'wg* Thou Oialt fwcrc alio m u^.. /, 

wiian thou art conllrcincd by the domcfiiuo t« 



THE PERS0NE8 TALE. 



•«» 



{ AMb tliou (hak not Twcre for 

I h^tmr n^ u.r nn -Ic, buc only 
wl£cii€Kc, And f l: of troutlitf 

Qoyr iDii^'-rl^ I, and to the 

. en Criften : and 
a Ooddc» name in 
'_h wr.h hii mouths or cHca 
amc of Citll, to be called a 
'^ lend Criftc^ living nnd 
Godd«:j name in idcL 
I J Frtcr, ftut$m iv, jV«mi 
':.. ; Tiler is uon other 
: .S : und«r hevcn ycven to 

fai wiiiih they msiy be lavcd^ that !» to fay, 
^fht rtzme of Jcfu Criil. Tjkke kepc ckc 
p rs the aaame of Jdu Criilj ii& f»yth 

b' PLilipcnftrt ii, //i na/nim ^tjtiy \lfi. ; 

jii t'lc rj^mc of JdTu cv£ry knee of hcvcnly 
Tc, or crthly, or of holle, fhuld bowcn ; 
-d wnr/hipful that the curfcd 
rcmble for to here it named. 
< : men th^t iVcre fo horribly 
Ea blctled aiime, that they dcfpife it mor« 
r than did the cm fed Jeweiy orcUes the 
~ h whan he hcrcth his name. 

af fworing (but if it be Uw- 
" fended, mochc work i» 
aJ f.L n(:<de]et, 

•hit drelitcn hem in 
or manly d^dc to 

_ i htm that of veiay 

I ne ce fc not to t were grct othes al be the caufe 
Ilrawc ? ccrte* thii is horrible Unnc : 
Ij without avtfcnioit itilfo a grct 
t u* go DOW to that horrible fwc- 
djurauon and conjuriition, as don thife 
Dur& a&d nigromanccrs in bafins 
er« Of JD 4 bright fvirvrdc, in a Circle, 
I a fire, or in a fh older bone ul a ihtpc : t 
\ fay D but that they da curf^dly and dam- 
ftTctifk Crjfl, aii^ ^ t^M i*ith of hoiy 

: iay twc of hem that bekvcn on diviualcs 
liLigiiC or by noife cf briddr» or of bciles, or 
ol geoniancie, by drcme>, by chirking 
or crackinjc; of houfca, by gnawing of 

1 fto'i ' - ' :;;cfirc ? C«:rte« 

A and holy 
rifclMLii LMwjf uvji -.C-. utiuvi, Liil thcy'comc 
emciit, that on Iwuhc fihh ftt hix be- 
I for woticdes <^ i^^ maladiti of 
^4it oi bcilc*, if they take any cffc^ it may be 
turc that Gad luftcth it for folk ihuld 
: the more feith and reverence to hh name, 
vol I ipckc of k linger, which generally ii 
Bce at word, in cntetit to dccciTe his 
Some Iditig u of which ihcr com- 
TaTsfitage to no wight ; and fom Icfiog 
i ta die pro£te and cfc of a man, siud to j 
other nijm \ Aut-i^'mr 1. f'uM. i^ , 
or hr. ca" 
^i t IJ , in \vj 

pg I 't it witii ■iiikiri.umiiuii- j 

^ .^1 the uk. ii f^fc i fomc ! 



leGng Cometh for he wtA fuilein hi» word; and 
iom leling comctli of recchclefnelFc withouum 
avifement, and fcmblable thingr*. 

Let ua now touche the vice of flaterie, which ne 
comcth not gladly, but for drcde or for cpvctife* 
FUterie is generally wrongful prd^ng : flatcrcrt 
btn the devili nouriccs, that nouriih his chiidren 
with milke of loiengoric. Forfuth Salomon faylh 
that ilatcric i» wcrfc than dctrai5tion» for fonitime 
detra<^ion makcth an hautfin nran be the more 
htimbk, for he drcdcth dcimt^inn luii ct rtcs fla- 
tciic maketh a man to ctihauu' and hit 

contenance. FJaterera ben the u iutour»» 

for they mjakeu a man to weueo iiunlelf Ik like 
that he i« not like ; they be like to Judius that be* 
trayed God ) iiad thtfe flatcrcrs bctraycn man ii» 
fellc him to hi* tncmy, tliai U tl»c devil, Flitc- 
rers ben the t; ' ' ' ' ^ ~ '' a 

PiaccU, 1 ra k 

time if a ma^i L.^ ,,.,.., ....,.-.,...., ^ ,. . he 

ilater fom wight ta fudcuu: him in hia q^uar- 
rcL 

Spcke we »ow of fwiche ctirCog ai comcth of 
iroui herte, ^lahfon geaejnUly may br faifl t very 
mancr power of harmc : fwiche cui f ih 

man the rcgnc of God, as Xayth S^ir id 

oft time f\v7chc curEngwi ' ' ,ia 

to him that curfcth, as , to 

his owcn ncft : and ovr.i ..^ i mi.j at 

cfchcw to ciirfc hir children, and i he 

devil hir Cni^r-tnlrun-^ jw ft-r KirtSi :> i 

ccrtc» it is a v , 

Let Dfi tit. g^ 

which ben fuigrt-ic wuuiivlvt i i^r 

they u&fow tjkc feamc* of Ji ^ 

hertr ; for certca uncicthc, nuy 
accofdcd with him that be ). 
rcprcvcd, and difclaund: ' 
fifinc, as Ciift fayth in t 
kepc now^ that he that r^^ < 
either he rtprcvcth him by . ne 

that he luith upon \n5- bodic, :i r- 

lot, or by fom ftnnc that he doth ; 
prevc hmi by harm<f of p^-ine, than i 
prcvc to Jcfu Criil i fijr j 
wife .oodc of God, and ' 
felric, or maimc, or niiiUdic ; ,j:iI \\ i, 
him uncharitably of ltunc» a% thou boh 
dronkticwc harlot, and fo forth, iJ"" > i- 

Lth that to the ftjujcinj^ of tliG dcvi .c-X 

hath juyc that men don tinne. And v. , _ . iug 
may not come but out of a vil.iin* hertc* lor aftc^ 
the haboutidance of the hertt fpckcth tiic moutli 
ful nft. And ye fhul undciHotid that lukc by ^Jay 
way whan ony man chaf^ifef h another thai he b«* 
ware fro chiding or y but h4 

be ware he may fu S r j of an-, 

gcr and of wrath, vv jiicn nc in 
aveuture flcth hun that he r 
hi lijui.jtee ; for, a^ r.vtU s,i ,^^^ 

;^ the tree * ri- 

^i d fothly a irpB 

vf tutu that reprevctli, ajid ai ia 

rcprtvcd. Lo» v hit fuyth Sui ic^ 



I 



I 

1 



f90 



THE PCRSOlffES TALE. 



ja nothing To Irke the devils chilj a« he which oft 
chidcth ; a feriram oF God behovcth no: to chide ; 
and though that chiding ht a rilaini thing; betwix 
all mancr folVt yet it ts cartes moft uiirovenabic 
bctwctic a man and hi> wif, for thcr is never reft; 
and therforc fayth Silomon, An houi that h »jneo- 
vered in rayn and dropp'tnj^ and a t hi ding wit ben 
like ; a man wbteh i%^ in a dropping hf>us in many 

J- t I j^p cfchcw the dropping^ in o pine 
It . I him in another place; fo fareth ; 

h) - . ,. ,. ^ *vif, if fhe chide him not in o plac*. 
Ihc wol chide him in another ; and therfore letter 
is a morfcl of bred whh joyc than an boa? filled 
fill of d dices with chiding, fayth Salcrmon : and 
Scint Poult fayth* O ye women 1 bcth yc fiVjrrtte* 
to yonr hufbcmds a^ you behoveth in God ; and 
yc men lovetli your wires. 

Afterward fpcke we of fcnr. ' ' ".H i» a 

Tricked (innc» vind namely wh leth a 



man for I 
ner» far 
dure rn 

it t'. 

Wi' 
far 

tii.v 

vj. 
etf- 
Wi 

the 

tei 
he 

ftv 



lov 

he-: 

Unltcc ; the if u re b •: 

Ihat eVe'r is about to 

W 1: 



a. nt ' I ^ 

the (laniAgc : v* 
folic, for he t: 
than he i> 
Mel wor ! 



, for tt^i 1.^ ir>..^iic fcor 
*'>de, tiittt Thay not en- 

■•oui (.if in ' vifiit* whan 
folttw^ 

;v dcTtl 

; iivcy btti adver- 
!* that He loreth, 

-nfttl, for he that 



And men inn I under- 

'-hr »tiv r-^rtfcH of falfc 

k.nroTfoIk 

% Ttc of to 

TTtmiiy in confcilin^ of 



ley to 
, i r God 
: r.ojj «^e* Jfolk thiD 
that he yavf for 
nrd to the dcTil, 
r-d, 
I i_ .. fwJchc 

nd, or 

- - ". -ylpakc 

in game and play, and 



t.-, that iij ia open 
he thtcteth more 



rekenmg of htm before Go^. Now i 
ling, that may not come withoutco i 
fayth Salomon, ft >• a figne of ap 
therfore a phitufophre fayd, vrliati i 
how that he (hutd pide the pq>le«< 
Do many good werke*, md fpfeke Cdl ^^ 
Alter Kii» cemcth tJic Gnoe of j*p<SJl 
' the devils apt^, for they make folk t* U^ 
, a» fotk don at the gaud«t «( I 
\pn dcfndetli Scim Pmilc. 
...-V ...tuou« wordet and holy 
that travail leo in the fcrvjc* of Crill» 
forten the vibin!. word« an4 the I 
pcres hrtn that rra-vaiUen tn the fervkr < 
yil. Thife ben the finrte* of the longc, I 
of iro, tnd other 'finn^ many mo, 

Jfemf£mM /jr*. 

*fu., ,^^ .A ,,,..,n :... , _ ,..^ 
M 

lb r : ^ :.^.„ :'. 

raunce. 

Dchowiirtcc withdrarwctK Mid rtfrviaedl 
flirrtng^ aitd mevings of fhannei eora|e i^ 
herte in fw^T^h maner thttt xhtj nc (kip ftot oi 
J«iger ftr ifv^ fuflhminee fnifereth fn-ctdy iH 
annoyance and the Iwtoce: that is fiim \u 
"■-'^•^-"1 Setm Jcr '-■'■"' '■ '' 4 dihca 
it dofh nri. y^x npfil 

, l,4r,r,,. tl ^ r.. r^fl 

a ' , , by nature deixmairr* and pel 

to ; but whan debonairtcc i* 4 

of giacc, diiu it is the more worth. 

Patience t^ another reni«fy ayenft WfA 
r e i tut tl. " 

nefle, an 

'^'^ *""" i,»yiii txiat 1 

■hoTrnkly al i 
sckedword*,' 

maketh m min like to God, and 
Of>ilt!e^ rrwcn fhitdc, a^ fayth Grid i 
dJ! n enemies J an4 therfoFPl 

w;! i riu wok vanquilh thJn^ 

thou bi: f uicnt. And thou fliak i ^ 
a man fnffereth foure mancr df ^ 
ward ihinge^, aycnft the which fourel 
foure maner of patiences. 



Tn<- 



hi:. 

Other gi 
eatel; th 



is of wicked i 
lu CriiV, without 
■ ') the Jcwei de 
f ul oft I ftiffer thou' 
wife man fiith^ If th« 
' the foole he wroth* < 
fhn\i (halt have iro 




TH-E PERSO 

lat fntk that make hir Tervams to tm- 

mtiy^ tvr out of tiinr, a» in ho!y dayes, 

fja gret fmnc : htTcayciift faffcrcd 

, ^tnl ti' -^'t US patience, whan 
' Urs the croffe upon 
t- drfh Fl^rr may 

lur 

I tIi:"U I- j'.r.JurjLilCf but 
Iff . iliar ntvcr were chrlf- 

PMiu«.,r«^uvi* -tuid ufeden the vcrtuc of 

)»T>fMi'!>ric Hpon 3 time that wold have l>e- 
r hit gret tr<;rpa», for which he 
., ifid brought a ycrdc to bctc the 
Hi J ttiiiii this child fawc the ytrdc hf fa yd 
aidfT, UT^at thlnk;^ yc to do ? I wol bctc 
■ ' iflcr, for thy corrctStion, "For- i 

1 Ic, yc ought 6rfl: corrc A your- j 
'' ur patience for the oLcncc I 
>i the malftcr, all wrping, i 
thou the ycrdcj my dcrc ( 
for min impatience. Of 
nee, thurgh which a man 
it:» and to all hem to which he i 
' tif in Cril^. And undcrfland | 
rfite whan thai a man doth 
I good hcrte entirely, all 
iij^»tciiencc ^reneiTillv, ii^ to ptr- 
loiSfrine of God and of lus fovc- 
^ him ought to be obcifaat iii all 



NES TALR 

thinges is accidie encmie and contrary, for h« 
lovcch no bcfincflc at all. Now certis thi« fmUe 
finne of accidie ii dte a ful gret cjiemfc to the bYa» 
lode of the body, for it Dc hath no putveanntc 
aycnil tcmporel ncorfiitcc, for it forficutheth, for- 
flu^gcth, and deilroittfa all gtiodcs icrnporcl by 
rccchcltlbdffc- 

l^he fourth thing le that accidie ii like hem that 
V ' I'dne of hcllc beaiufc of Itlr^uuthcanA 

icffc; for they that be damned hen fo 
Ik >.., . ..ac they may nt-ythcr do wel nr think 
wel. Of accidie comcth firft that a man u auttoi- 
ed and aciiombred to do any goctdncfTe. and th^ 
maktich that God hath abhomitialio&of fwichei 
cidle, ai faych Sciut John. 

N6w cometh ilciUihc, that tvoI not fuffirc no 
hardnclTe nc no pt nonce ; for fothly flouthe ii fo 
teudrc and fo delicat, aii feytli Salomon » that he 
wol fufffc non hardn efTc ne p«nancc,aiid rhcrfon? 
he Jhmdcth all tV ■ ' ' 'h. Ayetill this rotca 
Cnnc of acddii ■■: (huld men excrcifc 

hemfelf, and uf< do good werkcs and 

wianly and vttti rn corage wel to do, 

thinking that our u Crift quitcth tifcry , 

good deed, ht It ucvuf W i'tc- fJfagc of labour is 
a grct thing* for it m^erti, a^ fayrh Setnt Ber- 
nard, the Ubcjurer W I - and hartl 
lincwe^, and Houthe r, iid tcndrc- 



mfk. 



Di jiuiMd. 



the (Snivc of wrath now wo] I (pcke nf the 

aceidir or nadth ; fnr envtc blindcth the 

i man, and ac- 

1, and wnwc. 

f. nuuc i:i hcrte, which 

iccfdic, and bcnimcth him 

J than is accidie the an- 

c : aud Stint Auguftine 

^ ^ goodjicirc and annoyc of 

^blCi tlu» ie» a damnabk Hnne, im it 

Kto Jcfu Cnft, in aa moche as it bcni-- 

iwrVicc that men Ihulde dy to Crift with 

met, a* iayih Silomcn ; but accidie doth 

" "' ■ with an- 

I cxcufa- 

M . -i.u I.U....L , MN wluch tht 

Ted be he tljat doth the fcrvicc 

ly. Than is accidit enemy to 

u ; for certci the ellate of man 

Cither It i& the cflate of itinD* 

hitc of Adam before that he fell 

h cftite he was huld'.'n to werk, 

•foring of God. Another fflatc 

(111 men, m v^hich ctlate men 

:a lo Ubotir in. praying to God for 

liftt of hir CnniBj and that he wold 



grcTous and lb ci Ififc 

not undertake tu I. ^ i lyth 

\ Seiat Gregoric. , 

Now Cometh wilnhoj>e,'thar It dd'jfb^lr of the 

' mercy of Go4, that comcth fomtime of to mofhe 
outrageous forwc» and Tomtinic of to mofhc 
drcde, im:ir -- ^^ ^ ' * ' ' ' '^r 

that it wgI 

,pcnt himuL„ ., ... ,^ ....^ .._ 

or dredc he abandoneth all his hcrte to every ma^ 
ncr finne, as Cayth Seint Auguftin'C; which damp- 
nabie iinne,if it continue ucio his end, it h clep^d 
the finne of the Holy Coft, This horrible fmnc is 
fo periIoa» that he that \i ddpcired thcr n*ia no 
fclonic, ne no finne that he douteth for to do, as 
Ihcwcd wcl by Judas. Ccrs ' lU finncs 

than i» thi* fmnc mod dif; ; mofl ad- 

vcrfarie to Crift. Sothly he .ii..i ^.^.i^u irethliiin 
is like to the coward champion retrcant that 
flteth withoutcn ncdc. Ala^i ! ahu ^ n IlIl:> U 
he recreant and neddei dcfpcircd, ( 
mercy of God is ever rcdy to the pc- 
fon, flnd is abnvc all his wcrkcs. Maa ! t.»n- 
not a man bediinke him on the G^pcJ of Seiflt 
Luke, chap» XV,; wUeras Crifl fayrh, tbat as weJ 
ihal ther be joyc in hevcn, upon a {Inful man thit 
<i ' ; >i upon nIr-> ' ' ^ ' 

n*j ptniicii 





not remcmbre hem alfo (a> fayth Scint l^ukc, ch. 
x«iH.) how that the tltcfc that vm honged bc^de 
Jcfii Criil fayd. Lord, rcmembre on rac whan 
thou comcft in thy regne ? Forfoth, faid Crift, I 
fay to thcc to-day (hak thou b<: with me in Pard- 
dis. Ccrteit tlicr is non fo horrible finne of man 
that nc mny in his I if be dcftroycd by penitence 
thtirgh virtue of the palTion and of the dcth of 
Crift* Alas! wh^it ticdcth man than to be def* 
pcircd, lith that his mercy h fo rcdy and large ? 
Axe and have, TJian comcth fompnolcnce^ that 
i», fiuggy ilumbring, which miiktth a man hevy 
and dull in budy and in foulc, and this fimic co- 
mcth of flouthc ; and certcs the time that by way 
o( rcfon man fhuld not fltpe is by the morwe.but 
if ther were caufe refonablc ; for fothly in the 
niorwc tide is raoft coveitahlc tq a man to fay 
his prayeri, and for to think on God, a4id to ho- 
nour Godf and to ycvc almclTc to the pourc that 
comcn firil in the name of Tcfu Crift. Lo* what 
fayth Sak>mon? Who fo wol by the tnorxvc aw alec 
to itke mc he fhal find juc. Than comcth ocgli- 
gencc Qr rccchclcfut-'fic, that rcckrth cf nothing; 
And though that ignoiancebc npoihcr of all harmes 
ccrtt* negligcnct: is the porkc ; negligence ne 
doth DO force whan he (hal do a thin^ whether 
jic do it \vr' -- l':""y» 

The ft I ic two finncs i«, as fayth the 

wife mar» i it dfcdclh Cod fparcth not 

to do that him ought to do ; and he that lovtth 
"Cod he wol do diligence to plcfc God by hi* 
wcrkcs, and ab^uidon himfclf with all his might 
wcl for to do; Than cometh iddnclTc, that is the 
yaic of «dl harmc«. An tdcl man is like to a place 
that hath oo w«Hc4, thcra* dcviles may enter on 
every fide, or fhoot at him at difcovcrte by tcmp- 
tstion on every lide : this tdclntfTe inthe thurrok 
f%f ZiU vvirktdand vilalni thoughtca, and of all jan- 
4, and all ordure : cencs hcven is ycvcn 
It will labour, and not to idcl folk: alfo 
Davtd f.iyth, They nc be not in the labour of men, 
ijc they (hul not ken whipped with men, that »* to 
fay, hi PurgatoHe : cvrtci than fcmcth it they (hul 
lien tormented'^itli the devil in hcUc but if they 
do penance. 

Than cotncth thcCnne that men clepea TarJilau 
iLA whan a man i» late red or taryed or he wol 
tourne to God ; and ccrtes tliat ji a grct folic : he 
is like him th;it fallcth in the dichc and wol not 
arife. And this vice comcth of falfc hope, that 
fhinketh that lie (hal live long ; but that hope 
Eulleth fiil oft. 

Than cometh LachclTe, that i» he that whin he 

Kcjjitiueth jny good wcrk, anon he wol for) etc it 

arm (lint, .\% don thty that have any Wight to go- 

vcrnc> and " • ^ - ' ^' — ^ - ^-"rc kcfc, anon as 

ihey find loy, Thife ben 

ihc ncwc ii , r Qiepc wttingly 

« rennc tojhc - volf that is in thcbrcresi and do no 

force of htr owen governance. Of this cometh 

J f deflnn^ ion both uf fpirituel and tcm- 

-• t : than comcih a mancr coldncflc that 

' rte of man ; than cometh imdevo- 

Mch » nun is To blont, a« fayth 



lUC wv 

[eiujl 



v4| 



Scint Bernard, and hath fwi^ 
fouk% that he may neytKcr 
chirche, ne here nc thinke of J 
vailc with his honde* in no j^ 
tu him unfavory and all appaUe 
nuggiHi and flombry, and fonc \ 
and (one is he inclined to hate i 
cometh the finnc of worldly I 
clcped Tnjiita^ that flcth a 
Poule; for ccrten fwichc forwc v 
dcth of the fouU- and body alfo, foi 
that a man is annoird of hit owct 
fwichc forwc fliortcth the lif of n 
chat his timt i» come by way of kiJ 

Rtmtiium AcciSm 

Ayenfl this horrible finne of ai 
braunchcs of he fame, ther i* a vc 
led Itrtitudo or Strength, that ii 
thurgh which a man dcfpLfeth ii 
This vertuc i» fo mighty and fo vi 
dare withdond mightily, and ^r* 
aflautei of the devil, and wifely k< 
periled that ben wicked, for tt cnlu 
forceth the fowlc, right as accidi 
maketh it fcble; for tliis yai- 
wttli long fuffcraace the travai 
nablc. 

This vcrtue hath matny fpices r tf 
Magnanimitee, that is to fay^ g\ 
certcs ther bchovcth grct corage 
lefl that it fwalowc the foule by the 
or deilroy it with wanhope. Ca 
maketh folk to undertake haird 
thingea by hit owcn will wifely 
And for ai moche at the dcril ; 
man more by queinteJfe and fl< 
ftrcngth, thcrforcihal a man withih 
by rcfon» and by difcrction. Thai 
vcrtues of feith, and hope in God m 
to acbcven and accomplice the goo 
which he purpofcth fermely to co 
comcth fcurctcc or fikemefTc^ and 
man ne douteth no travaik in timt 
good werkes that he hath bcgon&6 
magnificence, that U to fay, wh^n a 
pcrformcth grct werkcs of goodncl 
begonnc, and that is the end why 
do good wcrkes, for in the accomp 
werke^Hctli the grct guerdon : iiw 
dance, that ii ftablcncfTc of corage, 
be in hertc by ftcdfaft feith, and in 
bening, in cherc and in dcdc, ^ 
fpccial remedies aycnfi accidie,^ 
and in confidcration of the pein 
the joyci of heven,aiid in trudi 
Holy Goft* that will yrvc f 
his good cntcnt. 

After accidie wo! 1 fpeke of i 
life ; of which Cnac Scini Pduk f 



THE PEtlSONES TALK. 



"-'"-' frjf fothljr whan the 
( mta A 1 M irfclf and troublc<l, 

tdtefodik :,- :iie comfort of God, 

btfi he II) i<kl fol^ii of worldly thingc». 
rke^ ifT:f rh#f dtfcnptioii of Sciiil Auglif- 
» rn htrtc to have crthly 

^ Ufa ihftt arajicc i* for ta 
i Buaj ctjijly thinges, 3ud nothing to 
hem tin: han ncdc. And undcrftond wd 
^ti '■ - ' " ;^ot only in land ne cAtc!, 
ind ID gloric, and in cvc- 
,-j,^u^. iliing, 19 avaf ice : and the 
wctic araricc and covcttifc i« thit ; 
for to CuVcU fwichc thingc* aft thou 
ii tVirice i» to withhold e and kcpc 
)K^*)««thou haft without rightful ncde« 
inrice Itn (innc thiit i« ful d.tmpnablc, 
'^rit cuffctti It, and fpckcth aycnft it, 
*frong to Jrfu Crifk, for it bcrcvcth 
fediit men tohimowen, and tonrncth 
layenft all rcfon, and m*kctb that the 
h*D hath more hope in his catcl than 
It.aad doth moreobrervancc in kcping 
"f ihio h^ doth in the fcrvicc of Jcfu 
Ihcrfore fiyth Seint Poulc, that an a- 
ii the thraldome of idolatne. 

ti ther betwiE an idol&ilrc and 
!• min, hut that an idobftre pcravcn- 
' Qot but o inaumct or two, and ilic a- 
*i hath mtny f for ccrtci every flurcin 
>ft hut maumet : and ccrtes the finnc 
c it the lirft that Ood defended in the 
tiinfutv ** bcreth witneffc, £*«?. ch. 
**il£ haire no falfc g^oddc* before mc, 
^tt niakc to thee no graven thing. Thu» 
"**>ii» Biaii that loveth his trcfour before 
And thurgh this curfed ilnne 
COTeitife conneth thife hard lord* 
mm ben diflrctned by talla- 
caruges, mnre than hir dutce 
eke take they of Kir bondmen 
lich might more refotiably be 
han amercementc*; of which 
> or ranromitig of bondmen, fom 
4n fiy that it is rightful; for ai 
cherl hath no tcmporcl thing that tt 
' \ ai they fay. But certes thifc lord- 
wrong, that bercven bir bondmen 
they nevrr yavc hem. A*igmfli)mt ii 
ithwn >x. Soth i5 that the condition of 
the firft caufe of thraldom was for 

r ye fee that the gilt defervcd thral* 
nature ; wh erf ore thifc lorden ne 
mochc glortfic hem in hir lordlhiprs, 
/ by njtuftl condition ben not iordei 
», but that thraldom csuwe firft by the 
nDe% And furthcrover, thcr a* the 
lat tern pore I goodefi of bond folk brn 
Ivf hir lord, yc, that is for t* under- 
let the emperoiir, to defend hem 
"^"^ to fobbc hem nc to reve 

^ Sen<^-a, f hr nrn.l, fif fliuIJ 

rncl) with the thral, the peft 

If* hctk Godd«^ft pcpie \ im 1 1 ; .. ben 



Cn.Lc* frendLo; tliey ben contuhcmiil with the 
Lord thy king, 

Thinke alfo that of fwidjc feed at cherlet 
fpringen, of fwiche feed fprlngvn lorde* j ai wcl j 
may the cherl be favcd ;iii tin: lord* 'Ilie fame 1 
dcth that taketh the ch«rri fwiche dctli tnkcth th« , 
lord ; whcrfnre I rede do fight fo with thy cherl ^ 
as thou woldcA that thy lord did with thee if thott 
were m hra plight. Every fijiful man \% a chcrl to , 
ftnue, I rede thre, thou V-^^A^ ibat thou reule ihce 
in fwichc Wifr th.it thy ehcrkii rather love tiiee^ 
than drcdc thee, [ wote wel that thcr is dcgrea ] 
above degree, 34 rrfbn is, and (kill in, that men 
do htr devoir thcr a« it ii due ; but ccrtv* exior* j 
tion and defpit of your undcrlingc* t j damptialde* j 
Atid iurthermorr, utiden>ond wcl that rhifc con* 1 
qucroure* or lyrantci midf-n ful oft ihrjlc* i>f J 
hem thiit ben borne of a* royal blood as ben tTiejf f 
tbat Kern conquercn. This name of Titr.iKlon» I 
wat never crft coutbe til that Noc fayd dial hip J 
fone Cham ihuld be thrall to hia brethren for hif | 
finne. What fay wl- than of htm that pilk and i 
don extonions to holy chlrche ? Ccrtci the fwcrtl j 
that men ycvcn firll to a knight whan he is ncw6 i 
dubbed fignifieth that he Ihuld defend holy chirchc, 1 
and not rohbe it ne pille it; and who fo doth iil 
traitonr to Grift : as faith Scinr Augufline, Th^ 
ben the dcvili wolves that llrangekn the (hcpc o% 
Jcfu Criil, and don worfc than wolves ; for foUilf I 
whan the wolf hath fuU hit wombc he (b'ntct&l 
to ftrangic fhcpc, but fothly the plllour^ and dc-1 
ftroicn of holy'chirchcs goodes tic do nnt fo, fof ' 
they nc Hint never to pille. Now, ^^ I have fxyd, 
fith fo is that Cnne w:i« firft catij'e of thraldom, 
than is it thus, that at the time th;it all this world 
was in finnc, than was all tlus world in thraldom 
and in fubjc(9:i*n : but ccrtei fith the time of 
grace came, God ordcincd that fom folk fhuld be 
more high in cftate and in degree, and fom folk 
more lowe, and that evcrich fbuJd he fcrvcd 
in his eiUte and his degree : an*^ thtrforc in fo.n 
contrce* tiicr as they ben ihrallcs whan tbcy have 
tourned hem tn the feitJi they mukc hir thrallei 
free out of thraldom; and iherforc certes the lord 
I oweth to his man that the man owcth to the lord. 
I I he Pope clcpcth himfelf Servant oi the icrvami 
I of God ; but for as moche a* the cftate of holy 
I chjrchc nc might not have ben, ne the commun 
I profite might not have be kept, nc pees nc rcll 
, in crthe, but if God had ordr incd that fom men 
\ have higher degree and fom men lower, therfore 
was fovcraintcc ordeincd to kcpc and maintcine, 
and defend, hire undcrling^es or hire fubjccics in 
rcfon, a« frrforth as it lieth m hire power, and 
not to d. (troy hem nc cun found; wherfore 1 fay 
that thilkc lordes tliat ben like wolves, that de- 
▼oure the poffeHions or the rate I of pourc folk 
^ wrongfully, wiihoutcn mrrwy or mtfure, they fhul 
I receive by the fame mcfure that ihcy have mc- 
] fured to poure folk the mercy of Jelu Crid, but 
they it amende. N w Cometh deceit betwixt 
marchant nnd marchiint. And thou fhalt under- 
ftond rhiit marchaiklifc is in two miners, that 
on iff bodily, ;ind that other i* goftly ; that on it 
honell and idul, and th.it other is diihoncft 3ij(< 



iff 

ttnlcfui TTic TioJitf nnrchandifc, that is k-ful 
tfid buncCb, ii thix, thm thcrr as G^ni bith ordcm- 
f d tli-it a rcgrte or a lontrce b (u^fant to hiiiifdf, 
Uian it ii laouril and li fii) fhoi of the habouiiJincc 
«rilu5 <oiiu\« luffl hc\[yc inothrr contrcc that i« 
»C(iy ; and thctfttrc Uwf mnfl be merchant* to 
brittle ho OQ contrc to auotiitr hlr marchaadife* 
ll)at other xn^n ft udAic that tncn haunuii with 
fraudri itfltl fff thcric, axiJ d< ccit, with kHuges 
and ffiliV oihii-s, i« tight curfcd and dampna^lc. 
SpiritutL marchattdlfe h proprcly ilmomir,^ that is, 
cotcntU defttc to buy tbiiig fplritUf 1^ i}fi,t i», thin^ 
wliich apportciiKLh (o the fcintti^ine of Goil, and 
to the cure of iHl foule. This defirc, if Co be that 
a man di> Im diligence to perform c it, al be it thut 
ki« dtffirc ne t.ik<: not] cfFLif^, yet it Is to him a 
dtdiy finnc^ and if he be ordered he is irregular. 
CVrtci limouic is doped of Simon Magu*, that 
wold have bought for tcmporcl Citel the ycfic 
thar Gi?d had yevcn by the Holy Gcll to iiiint 
Peter and to the apoftlcs; and thtrforc undcr- 
ftond ye, that both he that ielkih aivd he that by- 
Ctli thiri^ea fpintuel bcii called Simoniackcji, be it 
by carcl» be it by procuring, or by ficihiy praicr 
^f hiv freodt:*, flclbly freude* or fplritocl freii^-ks 
firfbly in two iruuier*, as by ktnrcdc or other 
(rciidc!! ; frtthty if ihoy pray far him that l^ not 
wrtlif nfcitd able it is Dmome,if he take the bene- 
6c c, and d he be worthy and nJbhe ther i& nuu* 
'rh4t other mjiUcr is whun maa or woman pray- 
etb for folk to advr»neen hem only f^r wicked 
iltfLIy a/fi-4iLion, which they hare uuto the per- 
fdUfti and th.it is foulc ilmone ; but ccrte^ in fer* 
ticc, for whiciv nurn ycveti thlnget fpirjtuel unto 
Iiir fervantJt it muft be nnderflondc that the il:r- 
▼ice mufl be huncli or eUc* not, und alfo that it 
he wiihour b^r^;uning, and tl^at the perfon be 
able; far (as fujih Scmi Damafcca; All the On- 
Uea of the worlij^ at regard of this finne, ben a» 
thing lit n< II' I ' Nir it i* the giettcfl fmne that 
tiiay be . cf Lucifer and of Anticr ift ; 

fur by t\: : furlefcth the ehlrdie and tl>c 

(titdTf which he oou^ht witli his precious blood, by 
liciii thttf yr'VfTj rhir hc*tr> hem thatbcanot di^nc. 



TffE PERSONES TAL«- 



ttv 
fWi 

lb.- : 
ijroif, wi 
they nc\ 

is, in t'tiL . s. Q, 

Vith hi itc-v 

Vrhit'h cijnurli tir tctt, f;.! 
aTl r^Kinjf, bJaf^hcminfr, 
hut "- - - - 
rf I 

it v.; 

and 
br 



j Lhcfoiihs of Jcfu 
riTc* Bv fwiche 
' luhirc 



111 p and til r re hire 
paflureof Itmbc 

New lOUltt 
U< t<«h;c* ;r 



ihall 

that 



IB word and in dedc ; In word, 
neighbours go^id name by th) 
bercYC hitn his ca^ or his heiiUg 
witntfliujf, whan thou fc*r ire, or ItM 
cnvic, bereft f jJCc witctfle^ or atcii£ 
cufelt ihyfcU fyllcly. Ware, ye qucfln 
notaries ! certcb for falXe wttntfling wruS 
ful gree focwc and purine, and many i 
The finne of theft it alio cxpre& aye 
heft, and that in two tnanert, temp 
citueh The tcmporel theft u as for t^m 
neighbours catel ayenii hii wiLU be it by 
by llctghtf be It in mctitig or ntcime, 1 
by falfc enditements upon him, and ia 
of diy neighbours catel in enicnt never 1 
ayen« and fei»b!able iiiii}gc». Spirituci^ 
latnkgc, that i* to fay, h-rtiog of holy I 
cr of t hinges facrcd to Crlft, in iwo i 
rcfou of the holy plaL-e, as chirdiei 
hawcb; (for cvcty vilains (ior« that i 
iVichc places may be called ftenlejje, 
vicikrncc in fennblable pjacr») alfo they i' 
drawe f.dfely tl-^ rentes ^nd rigktesclMli 
Jioly chirchc; aud phlnly and generaUfpi 
U m rcve holy thing fro holy place, i 
ehiiig out of holy plucc^ or holy thing i 
holy place. 

Nnw (hul ye undfrftond iTiii t-Xt? 
rice it mlTerieorde and p- 
men might ax« why th 
are rclcving of r^v i^» ihc 

man ihcwcth tio p i^^rdc t*i 

ful mau, far he dt i^ the J 

trciuur, and not in ..ag 

Ills even Crifken : ^t.^i tncTiorc * 
niifcricorde^ Than it miicrtCODle i 
philofophre} n vt m .* ^^v v. h, h tVu. 
is ftirred by l' 
pc»n which n^i 
min^and ful: 
helping and < 

certcs this mevctii ;v ju-a i^s aii 
Crifl, that he )8Vt hiniiclf for 
fuffred M ' 

riginal i 

,S 1,,. !1 



^ordc hcu fur to kuc, ati 
ttj fnr.T%t: 5nd rc!cfr, ,:, 



iic h^ih, U%e KivAj thai iniiHii he 
in gQod w«tL;«. 



¥Hi PERSONES TALt; 



t9i 



ilKoclLe at torn folk ben uomefurablc, 
1 for to avoid and cfchuc fooUlirgclTf , 
' en depeti Wiftr. CrrteA he tliat is 
ycvrth not tii» c;iul, bui he Icf- th his 
^ywhue thing that he ye¥tihfor?amc 
ItfiHrals, and to folk that here his re* 
f, .md ruiti 
icfckcih 
..■V, I.',. i«c I he Is 

lickcih nit ] dtoYy or 

for to J ... r of the 

iuJ for as moclu: a» tliTy ytrvtu ther 
M flat ycvcn, to hem »pj>crrajocth 
ilifon that Ciift Jhal ycvc iit ihc cl*y of 
icm tLa.1 ihul be daiU|>D(ui. 

nx\c% ccmeth glolooki which h cxpTcfTc 

' ' "-• ^ndcmcnt i*f God. Glotonie xs 

it to etc or to Jriakc:^ or eUtra 

the uiuncruiMhk iippcthe and 

fc to etc or dfinke. Tlu^i Hnnc 

r world, as i» Wil fhcWed in ihu 

Uj.ni iiid of £vc» Loke atfo i^hat fayth 

ilc uf ghiionie : M^Lsy (fayth he) gf»u,, 

' ' he faid to you, and now I Uy 

y bcii die tricmies of the trnfTc 

" "iii Ji the irtl i» dcth, nBd of wliirjjj 

k i*htr God aj<d hir gloric, in cViiiiulicin 

'uf r* E rvcn trthly thinge*. He that 

is finivc of glotonk» he nc may 

111, he inuft be in fcir-age of aU 

it i» Uj€ devila horde ther he hidcth him 

bv This CtiDC hath m:iny fpicct: tlu: 

nncflV, that U the horrible fcpulturc 

tfon, u\d thcrforc whan a man n 

ith InH: hU rcfon ; and thU Is dedly 

khly wh:\n thit a man U not woju 

filke»| and jicravctiturc ne knoweih 

bg(h of the diihkt, or h>>Lh khlt- 

hcdf or tiath traVaillcd, tUurgh 

nkrth the more^ al be ho fod* nly 

drjrJce, k t» no dcdely fiiiiic 

[The fccocid fpicc ef glotonie \s that 

[ft nia« wcJtttli ddl tfOublc fur djunk- 

rcvcth a man the difcrciion nf hk>> 

hitddc ff'ke uf'glotonic U wlian a 

his mete, aud hath not ti^^htful 

ting. The fourthc 15, ^han thurgh 

; of hi&nvcre the humours in lits 

red. Ihe fifthc is foiy tful- 

Idiinking^, ftjf whicli fomctimca 

\ tiy iht morwc wluii hedidoM'cr eve. 

tier ben dilljnd the fpifit* of gloi- 

liiu Giftgorie. The litll \i for toele 

I the fecoud If whan a niaj^i gctetli 

Ite mete or drinke; the thriddc U 

^kro to mofihe over mefurc ; (he 

fitc^ — *^ — * - ntcnt to maken 

is for to cic 

, ij of the di;viU 

i he drawciii toik w ihc iittst«. 



Ji/mk^itm Gu!tt* 



Ayenfl glntomc the remtdie lit ibfltneoce, ftf 
fayth Oalicn ; but that t holdc not mftitorie* tf 
he do ft only for the htle f}f his bodf. Seine 
AuguAinc wrl that ;ibAjticnce be don for 
\crtui»^ and wiiii patience. AbHIncnce (fayth 
Fk) i» litcl worth but if a man have good will 
thciio, and hut i^ be enforced by patience and 
churjtce, And that men don it for Goddci fakc^ 
and in hope in have tbc bliffc in hcvcn. 

The fclavvct of abftinence ben attcmperaoceg 
that hildcth the mctic in alle thingcs; iiUo (hamc, 
that efchewcth all diihoncflcc; futTtfiincc, that 
fckcth no richc mctc»ne drlnkt>, nc doth no force 
of Don outrageous appareilllng of mete ; mcfure 
alfo, that fertrcinttti by re^fon tJi* mim. ' ' ' : 
appctit of eting ; fLiberncITe :iIfo, that r 
tlie oiitrtgc of drinke ; fparin^ aifo, iI^ul . wi . .--* 
cth the dclicat eft to Qt King at mctc» whcrfcrd^ 
fotn folk tl^ndcn of hIr owen will wIiah they ett^ I 
bccsttfc they wol etc at k0c kiftir. 

After glotonie cotneth Ictheric, for thir»s 
ilnne« ben fo nigh cofm* that oft time thry wol 
not depart. God wotc this finne h ftil difplrUnC; i 
to God, for he faid hlmfelf. Do no Itchcrie ; an<l 
therfore ht puttcth jrr. ^ rr.n, aycnll this f:tlQt # 
for ill the old lawc if ii II were taktn ill 

thi^finnCjilicfhnldbc! ^ j%ci torbc dcth. ' 

aodif fhewcrc agcntiiwoniauibcihuldhenain with 
flon^?*, and if flic were a bi(hn]>pca dought'jr (htf I 
ill u Id be brent by God I'Llcmcnt. More* 

over, for the finnc of : J dreint aU the ^ 

world, and ^ftcr that n. [n^ui five citie* lvit2i« 
thondef ai]diighinii»g,ajidfankchcnidouniniohclW J 

Kuw Itt u»*pcke than of the frtid ftinking Unnc I 
of lecheric. that men cKptn Avontrie, that h of J 
wedded UAkf that ii to fay, if that on of hem ha 1 
wedded or dies both* Scint John fayth» thac^ 
avoutcrer^ (hul ben io helle in a (lacke brcnnin^ i 
of fire Mudof brimHooc; Id fire forhcrlccbmc.ia f 
brimAr»nc for t!ie Jlcnchc of hir ordure. Certet 4 
the brckiag of this facranient h an hurrible thini; 9 I 
it was made of d^d himfelf In Pamdls, and ^ 
confirmed by Jtfu Crift, as witncCfetli Seine Ma- 
thew in the Gfifj^M:! ; A man (hal let fader auj j 
moder^ and take him to hijs wif, and they fhal h($\ 
twain on ileih* Thii (jicrament betokrncth th«| 
knitting tugctiicr of CjUL and holy chirchc Aa4 1 
not ordy that God forbade avoutrI« in dede, btii \ 
aUo he commanded that thon ihuldeft net coveic i 
thy neighbours wif In this hufte (fayth ScInt * 
Au^uftiuc) i» forhodcn all titaner covcitife to dm ] 
Iccherie. Lo, \rhae f^rytlTSLiat M^ihcw ift th« 1 
Gofptl, that who fo toeth a woman to coveitjfe j 
of hii lull, he hath don lecheric with hire in iiif \ 
htrtf. Here may ye fee that not only the d-idc I 
of thl» ^uac ti forbouen, but ckc the detiie to don ( 
that Umiev This curfed fione^ iiuio/€tk|^revoviiy I 



ip^ 



THE PARSONfiS TALfe* 



hem that It hiunt t and (ird to ihc foulr, for he 
obligeth it to fmnc aod to pcme ol dcth, which 
h pcrdumbic ; aiid to the body annoycth it 
grcvoufly al^o, for it dricth him and waUcth and 
incnt him, aod of his blood be makcth facrificc to 
the fiend of hdlc : it wallcth <kc hU catcj and 
hi* ftibft^ncc ; aod ccrtei if it be a fuidc thing 
a man lo wallc his catcl on women, yet ii it a 
fouler thing whan that for fwichc ordure wonicn 
difpendtn upon men hlr caid ajid hir fubftan«, 
Thii fujnc, as faytl^ the prophtt, btfcvcth man 
i^nd womun hir good faiue and all hir honour, 
and it i» fui plcfant to I he devil, for thcrhy wm- 
hf th he rhe mode partic of thU wretched world : 
and right as a marchant dcliteth him mod in that 
chajfarc which he hath bioH avanta^^c and pro^ 
lite of, right to delitedi the fend in thii ordure 

Thia is that other bond of the devil, with fivr 
lingers^ to ca:clic the pcplc to hi* vilinjL-. The 
firft fin^rc h thr foole loking of the foolc woman 
... 1 .' .1^^ f^^i^, ,yi;in^ that fleth right as the 
ikth folk by vcnlmc of hifc fight, for the 
1 the cycn faloweth the covciiifc of the 
hcrie. The fcCond fingrc is ihe tilains touching 
in wicked maner; and tiierforc fayth Salomon, 
th4t whofo toucheth and haf dlcth a wonnan he 
fareth a^ the man that handltth the fcorpion. 
Which (lingeth and fodcnly flcth thurgh h'n cn> 
Tt-nhning, or ai who fo iJiiit toucheth warmc 
jiirch it iiicndcth his fingcri. The thridd«j is fouk 
wordcs» whichc farrth like fire, which right 
ancti brcnncth the hcrtc. The fourth finger ii 
Itininp^, and trcwt ly he wert a grct fook that 
wold kifle the roooithc of a brtnning oven or of 
31 fourncii; aod more foole* ben they that kilTcn 
in vilainic, for that mouth i» the moUth of hdkj 
knd namely thifc oldc doiardc* holoure«, vrlilch 
wol kiflV and flickr^, and bcfie hcrafclf though 
they may nought do: ccrtc$ they beJi hk^; to 
liounde^ for an hound whan he comctli by the 
ttofer or by other buflio, though fo be that 
he may not piHe, yet wol he hcvc up hia leg 
aid make a contcnance to pifTe. And for that 
many men weneth that he may not fixiac for 
ho liVeroufncfTc thst be doth with hi» wif, trcwe- 
ly that opinion if f^lfe; God wot a man may 
ficc htmfclf wirh ht* own knifnttd mske him* 
fclf dronken <^i He it 

tiif, be it chil 4l he 

loveth before t>j, it i ' 

»n idobftrr. A mun On 
crcr-- r:.\.^.u. _.! -,,. . 

as 1 1 

the-: . . ^ •_ ,, 

Trewciy the five fingcm of glotonic the icnd 
teitttcth In the Wombc of a man, and with his 
«ve finger* rj lecherie he ^iperh htm b^ the 
I'cincs for to ehrowc bun into ihr foumcii of helle, 
ther 19 they fhul have th 
) that ever ihul laflen, and 

^.,d f^-— y-'- — --^ '^ 

dtv. 



ben not maricd, and is <^f-^^*r <^""-, 

nature* All that li cm 

nature ii ay end naturf, P^^ , 

eke telieth him wrl that it i» dcdy 1 

moche as Ood forbad lecherie; and 

yeveth hem the rcguc thit n"i» devte to 

but to hem thit don d«:dcly ftnne. Aisol 

of lecherie i<, to bcre»en a maid of hi 

for he that ff» doth, rcftcs he 

out of t! * » ' L , 

liT, and 

the boo !vv -^ -. -. . ., 

fay it non other wife in Enj;lilh» hut in 

higbt Cenfe/imkt jfrnS^t, Ccrtc» h ' ^*» -t 

the eaufe of many damages an J 

any man can rcken i right a* 1; 

of all damage* i-hat belle ■ du m the 

brckcth the hedg^c of the clofure, thorgh 

dtftroyci! not be rcft< 

no more ; hcd be rcflorcd 

that \% lii.iL ij L[M ihc body nuy 

and wext : fTie ni4y have mercy, 

if that fhe h^v^v wll! \c, .To r nuf, 

flial It be but r 

fo that I havi 

good to Ihe we the prrtk* ih^i lungen ta 

ft>r to cfchewe thst f^nj' finti^, A^ 

Latinc, i) for to far' 

nca bcdde^ thurgh \s V 

on ilcfbe abondonr rur d .ji- 

Of thii fmne, a^ fayth the wife marti 

harmcs : fidtr ^' - "■• -r ' '^»« - - 

ii the key of t. 

broken and k i ^ 

llont Vainc and without fruit. 

theft, for theft genet ally is to 

thingcs ayenfl hi* will. Certe* th . * 

theft that may Ke whan rhit a w.-m^i 

body from hefhufbond, and yc\ 

to drfoulc it, and fttleth hire ' 

y^.^. .f. .. .1 1 [ : thi^ i» afouur rn*:tiet 

to ind dele away t]|< | 

fo' t».l-.M> ,■ --^ 

fp. 

t!i. . 

ftroy jjfiii, » iayth Scint Pnwic. S 

theft doiit 'd frttlv Jofcph, whan il, 

wJi . , nh*n h, 

ttiy hath tike 



yloundc \ J ti 
which They hrcL 
foule the auter tU i 
certe» info mochr a^ 



.foil 



> ff^H 



and thcr' 



:i 



THE PERSONES TALB. 



m 



I of the rtgne cf hcvcn, that is heritage to good f 
Of tbti brckiUg Cometh ckc oft time that i" 
QQW^re wcddc or finnc with hir owca 
irok ; an J &;micly thiic harlot tc$th at h^untcn 
»of thifi; foul women that may hcUkcacd \ 

nuac gong whtnraa men purge hir ordure 
ay wt alfo of piitours, that live hj the 
He iiniic of putcnt, and tonftrcin women 
I jdJc h^m X cert am rent of her bodHy putric, 
^ibmutnc his owcn wil or his childt, as don 
bftuckif Ccncs thJe ben curf-cd iiuofs. 
(|fln.^ |i;^ thiit avoujric is fct in ilic ten com- 
nc tht'ft and manflaughtcr, for 
eft that tiiay bc» lor it i* theft of 
r Vld«^i louic 1 mnd it !!» like to homicide, fnr it 
latv^oand brckdh atwo hem that firil 
dc on flcflj ; and thcrforc by the old lawc 
[they ihuld be flaine, but nathekffe by the 
t Jtfu Criil, thit u the hwe of piuc, whiui 
(j^vd io the woman tliac was found Iti avoutric, 
\hA)fe be flain with llont*, after the will 
( wa4 hir Uwc, Go, faid Jefii Crill, 
more wIU to do finne, Suthly the 
ncc of avoutrie is awarded to the peine of 
, bo( if To be that it be difcombered by 
Bce, Yet ben ther mo fpiccii of thih curfed 
s* wh:&n that on of hem it religious, or 
I of folk that b<.n entered into ordcrc, 
\ dekcn, or prccil, or bofpitalcr^; 
T ir.c higher that he i» in ordrc the gretcr 
; flunc. The thinge» that grttcly agrege hir 
IB .he brcking uf hir avow of chalUtcc 
I they rtccired the ordrc. And moreover, 
i& xh;M holy ordrc h chcfc of all the trcforie 
[Ck»d, and is a fpect^i Hgnc and marke of 
lilcc, to fhew that they ben joined to 
txtce, which it the moflc precious tlf that ii, 
1 ihiXc ordered folk ben fpeciaUy titled to God, 
t «f tiic fpccial mcinie of God, for which whan 
,doti dcdly tane they ben the fpeeial trai- 
T Cod ftud of his pcplci for tfity live by 
i<t to praye for Hic pcplc, and whiles thty 
cKc traitottrs hir pniyerca availc not to the 
Pnrefte* bcii as angels as by the myilcrie 
.dbgnitec; but forloth Seint Poule faith 
lli&nAo transfourmcth him in an angel of 
_ Sothly the precH th»t h^mnteth dediy 
i he may be hkencd to an angel of drrkneffe 
ilourmcd into an angel of Isght ; he femcth 
lingel of light, bnt for foth he is ftn angel of 
rksi£0e. Swichc precftes be the fonei of Hely, 
litfhrH'^cd in the Book of Kingcs that, they 
the fotmcs of Belial, that is the divcL 
T f* t., fiy wjtliotJten juge, and fo farcn they j 
rh that ihcy be free, ind have no jugc« 
sn hath a free boll, that taketh which 
r I hat him likcth inthcioon- So farenthcyby 
a, for right a« on free boll is ynough for 
I a toun, right fo is a wicked precfl corruptioa 
ugh for all a partfh orfor all a countrec. Thlfc 
*itc3, fti iiyih the book, nc cannot minillcr the 
|Q:eri£ of prccflhood to the pcplc, ncthcy knowe 
' " hold htm not apiicd, as faith 
n flcih that was lo hem ofl'rcd, 
-j lurcc th( fl^^ tbdt U ra\Y« Ccrtt^ 



right fothifcJhrewci ne hold hem not apaiedofrof)- 
cddeOi'.uid (oddcnwithwhiLh the pcplc fcdcnhcm 
in ^;ret revcrcncej but they" wal have raw flcQi, 
a* folkcu wives and hir doughtcr*. And ccrtca 
thifc women that confcntcn to hir harlotric don 
gret wrong to Crilt and to holy chircbc, and to 
all halowes and to all foulcf, for they bercvcn all 
thifc hem that ihuld worfliip.Crtft and holy^ 
chirchc, and pray for Criltcn Toulc»; and tht:rforc 
han fwichc prcefl«» and hir knmians uUb thut 
confcmci) to hir Lchcric, tlic uiolifon of tl^ court 
Criftcn til th<ry come to amcndcnicnt* The 
thridde fpice of iivoutric is fomtiiuc betwixt A ««aii 
and hi* wif, and ih;it is whan tJicy take oo regard 
in liir affcmbitng but only to hir flclhly dclit, a* 
fftith Scint Jerome, and nc rcekcn of nothing byt 
that they bcu affembled becaufe ihcy ben marled: 
all is good ynough, as thinkcth to hem. But in 
fwiche folk hath the divcl -power, as faid tlic angil 
Raphael to Tobie, for in hir affcmbling they 
puttcn Jefu Critl out of hir hcrtc, andyevcn 
thcmfcU to all ordure. The fourth fpice h of hem 
that ailemblc with hir kindredc, or with hem 
that ben of an ailinitee, or clk% with hem with 
which hir father* or hir kinrcd have deled in the 
ftnne of kcheric : tbii fume raakcth hem like ta 
houndc^ that taken no kcpe of kindredc. And 
ceric* parcntclc is in two maner*, cythcr goflly 
or ficftily ; goflly is for to delcn witii hir guc'- 
fibbcs; for right fo as he that cngcndr eth a chid 
h hi* flclhly father, right fo ii his godfather \ u 
father fpirituel, for which a woman may hi no 
IcIIc fiunc afi^emblc wnth hire godfib than wUh 
hire owen flclhly brodcr. The ftfthc fpicc is that 
abhominablc finnc of which abhontinabk Cone 
no man uniictb ought to fpekc nc writ^^ 
natiiclc* it i« openly rchcrfed in holy writ. 
1 hi» curfcdneffc don men and women in 
divcrfe cntcnt and Siivcrfc mancr: but though, 
that holy writ fpekc of horrible fmne, ctu tcs holy 
writ may not be dcfouled, no more than the 
fonnc that Ihineth on the myxcnc. Anotlier flnne 
apptrteiueth to lechcnu daai comcth lu fleping, 
iiod this iinne coinetI\ often to hem that bai 
maidens, and eke to hem that ben corrupt and 
this finnc men call Pollution, that conicth of 
four maners : fomtimc it conicth of languilhitig^ 
of the body, for the humours ben to nmkc and 
haboundant in the body of man ; fomtime of in- 
firmittc, for fcblencflc of the virtue rctentif, ;s 
phifike makcth mention ; fomtimc of furfct of 
met and drinke ; and fomtime of vilaina thoughtcs 
that ben cnclolcd ia manncs mlnde whao he 
goth to flcpe, wliifh may not be withoutco Cmnc^ 
for whichc men muft kt^pc hcra wifely, or tUci* 
may they finfic ful grcvouily. 

Now Cometh the rcnicdy aycnfl lechcrk, and 
that ii generally chaflttee and continence; that" 
rellraincth all diTordinatc mcving* that comcn of 
flcfldy ulents, and ever the grctcr merite fhal he 
have that mwft rcilraineth thy wicked <nchaufing 



M 



TWE PERSOtlES TALB. 



• 



I 



I 



or ftrJqre of tluf Citine; an<1 tltii U m u^o nuncn* | 
that is to iift ch.illiit'c 114 mari4jfc ami chjillitt c I 
in wiJc^hood. Now Quit thou utid'jrnopdc that 
timtrimon}' U kfiil dflTcmblln}; uf man iind '*ott 
thai rcccivcQ by vcriuc ol diis ficrrincnr t 
bfinde ihurgb whicht- the)' mj>y Dot l»c dcparttu m 
|iU hir lif, thai is t^ fu)^, whijc tJiat they live 
lif^tLe, This a* fi^ith tJie boiik, i-i ,i (ul gret f*- 
crenjcnt ; Qod tuAdc tt (a* ! have fiiid) in Para- 
di», and wold hiinfclf he borne in nurLigc ; an4 
for to halowc niartagc he wa* at a wedding wher- 
as he tocrncd wjter into wiitr , whichc was the 
firfl miracle that he wrou^h^ ju the crihc bcforv 
fljj difciplcs. The trcwc if^fl of iiiuf iage ck-nf- 
ctVi '^ ' ifi, and rcplcnilhtih lioly chirchc oi 

g \ for that ji the cr.de of mar lag--, and 

di,. ., ., .. u.dly fin nc into venial Imnp' bctwenc 
Kem tJ»at ben wcd^-d, aul m Jtcth ih«; hcrtc* all 
<pfi of hem that hen ywfMci :<i ns wcl at the bodic«. 
ThJ» U ver-iy mariajjc that «%w eftiblifhed by Cfcsti 
€T that finnc bcgjji^ whau rnturd lawe wa^ in 
hh fight point In Paradis; and it wa* ordtincd 
ihiit o ntati fhuld havc^but o wocuan, and o W€»^ 
man hut o man, i« fayth Seint Augulliiic, by 
many reforif. 

FiriT» f*M inarlige ii fibred betwix Crift and 
lioly c?iirdir ; aud anotJicr ii, for a nun i^ hed of 
the woman. (ilgTitt. by ordinance it Ihuld be fo) 
for jf a wc^m^n had mo mru than on th&n Oiuld 
Ihc halve mo hcd«A.than oo, and that were an ho- 
Tiblc tlinj^ htfarc God I aiulalfo a wontin mirhtr 
Tirt pkfe many folk at cnw ; 4nd alfo thcr fbidd 
never be ptt^t ric reft aniiTn{j hcm» for cvcrich of 
hem wold ate h}« nwcn right. And furihcrmort, 
no man fhuUe knowc hii owcn rngtindrurc, re 
%hf( fliuld have hi* her It j^;* , jlJ the Woniin fliuld 
he the JlCTc bcluvid lor the tirac that Ihc were 
conjundl to many mcrn. 

Now Cometh b^^w thof a man (huld here hiro 
with hi* wif, aod namely in two thin^i^, that is 
to f«y, in fufTrancc gnd in rcvercncr» and thij 
ffvcwcd Ciill whan he ftd made woman ; tor he 
ne mide hire of the lied c»f Adim, fcr (he fbuld 
not ebtmetogret Ijrdfhtppc, for thcr as ihe wo* 
man hath the m:\illrie /lie D*^<keih to mochc dif* 
af ' " ' " ' , the ei- 

1 yncugh 

iu.:.:. . ..,.. .u.^v.- v'.T. ..V M. ...1,. J,,.., vvujnan cf 
ific foot of Adam, fer Jhc fhuld net Ire holdcn to 
lowf. for Hii iMCrt raiit.tlv fnfler ; lut God 
^' -, for woman 

*^' 1 uld here him 

to hii vtjI 111 t^iiit,^ ill tftiULh, and in love, a* 
fa^ih S'-int I*oulc, that a man fhuld kvc hif wj/ 
05 ' ' J holy chirche, that loved it fo wcl 
t> ^ r if ! fo fhuld A man for hii wif, if 

ir 

hat 1 woman Ihidd he foh^et to hire 



firft in ott 
A wo« 




Lnitcflce, and hen attcmfr^ of hirf sfrsy. T w^ 
wci tliat they fbuld ft 
htifltnndi, but not by qit 



f k?.th prccioutar 

be honoured tlic m. 

Mie a wamao to have a fair 

hirrn.'lf to ht foulc inward, 

mcfurablc in loking, in herjn^^, aj^d la 1 

and difcrctc in ^llhlr*- word^^ sind hii 

and above ull worl 

bwlbocdewith al! i 

o/ hire bt^dy ; fo fHui i rvci y r.u.r.-i 

to his wil ; for fitJi thjt alt the body ijj 

bonde> lu (htild hir- ' - ^- t' v 

bet wil hem two, 

Than fhiil m<:n ir 

u man and hiii wif! 

for the cut cot of > 

fcrvicc of God, tiii >i^.tu> iUiii i* ' 

"f mairimonJc ; another canfe it t 

hrm toother the dvtto of III! 

of hem hith power of h 

thnddc is for to cH "^ - ' ^ - .... 

fourth is fpr fof! ♦ A 

it is mf riloric ; tlu . - . u ' " 

drcree, Site hnth mente of i 

to hire hufbond the dctte of h 

it he ayenll hire lJkin|t and ih<: Ui\ vi ha« ! 

Thi! thriddc maoer i» vcntnl ftnt^?. "* 

fcari^cly may any of ihifc be \ 

fur (he i.orruption ixid for the 

fourth miliar i* for to under 1- 

iijdy ft^T aniourous Love aud 

iajd caufcs, tut for to accon j m.u .m^ 

dtUt, they reckc cot how oft, fochly 

fmnc; and ytt with fonvc fom folk' 

hcitj mt^rc to do thiui to hir ftppc * 

Tlie fcccpd mautr of chaftitec %• Ut ^ 
ckne widcw, and rfditi* the embracing oft ««§, 
and dc/Lre the embracing of Jcfu CfiO. Tlali 
bcJi tho that have ben wive*, uud have forgos lif 
huibondcs and ckc women ih*t have ifipn IrAi I 



IM^V J. Ut«- MiJiJt J'.' ('n,i W'V J'. 

oLc^r^u that he agilttd, it 

vii-^ilitee, mtjft be den: 
arid la though r. .^td ^ 
contenaoce, 

the UjJiie ol fhv 
kth holv chirchc 



here w 

:^4t is hire 



f £ fct by rcioti : Cut (huidc aUo f^rvc ium iti lol i k^^ikii* 



THE PZRSONES TALI, 



Aoptt^icr retnedic agniift lechcrk h (pc^My to 
■"^ * »w< fwichc thingc* a» ycvcn occafiou to 
ir*t]«mei ZM cfc, ctmg, and dnrking; for cer- 
he pot botleth ftrongly the bcft rcnsedic 
Irawc the fire. Slewing long ia grct 
^- .. .r -,*u a grcc couricc to Icchcnc. 

Aaotiitrr rctt'.«rdic aj'cDft Icchcric is, that a, man 

m J vv jnrii 'f. hcwc the conij:t4gnic q( lictn by 

.H to b<? templed; for ftll be it Co 

Uc wUhftoodetij yet ii thcr grct 

., Sixthly a white wAi, although it ce 

fnlTy with ftickicg of a canJIc, yci i* 

Ltk: f liw Icyte. Ful oft time I rcdc 

ItiaT Ai'ni hi« owcn pA-fc^ltQo liut he 

'^^ "pfoa, or ifculier thaa David, 

■ n. 

vc declared yon at I can of 

'4, &nd foin of hir braunches 

It thly if J cottdc I wold tcil 

tbe tea cconniiLudciiientf ; but to hi^b doc- 

c t !ctc to divincj : nathclcf I hope to God 

tiicbcd in thU trctUe cvcrtch of hcmallc. 

r as moch^' aj the feccmd part of fcni- 

QiK in coofcQrnn of mouth, as l btgdci in 

cha^kref I f-ty Scint Augiiftinc i.v.ih^ 

: it every word arid every dede, and all thjt 

I covcteiii, ayeufl the bw of JeXu Criii ; and 

U ft\r to fume to hcrte. In muuth« and w 

Kf hy the five wittcj, which ben %ht, her- 

X"> tiftirg or favouring, 2ud icling. 

: to undcr&ond tlic ctraimftanccs 

uchc cVt-ry ftrtne. Thou ihalt coB- 

dwaart ' j iljinc, whether 

£BM>le or fcm. r olde, gcntU or 

or fike, wedded cr 

d| wife or fociie, clerk 

IK. ,. rrr-d bodily or goftly 

any of thy kj i . vt- jjiincd yiiih lure 

a.r.J r\iir,y mo Ui!; - :., 

umftaacc is this, wheliier it be don 
-- in advo«tric or no, in maner of 
^Moucia^: ar i^oo, a horrible ^et fmne or fma], 
i^iiow \qx\% thou haft continued in fuinc. The 
Arid^c cirf-ciiinilanct is the place tbcr thou hail 
Jrs r.nri* r:;], tji r in other racancs hnufc» or 
'^, in cltijrcht% or in d'tirdi- 
dkatc or noji J for if tlic 
and m;m or woman fpillc 
r phcc, by fray of fjnnc or 
n,ihc chirchc were cnterdi- 
r prrrr reconciled hy the bilhop ; and if 
^fTr-(V *hM HII fwrrKe vilajric,thc tcrme 
n ' '^1^ ux^iffe; and if 

{ every lime tliat 
j,Tiii;-.\ Ih. ' iimtlance is 

\ mrdiatom v =** -, ^^ ^^r en* 

;- ' * ' *'- " M. le conip.ijjnic 

§^ 'chL' fr^r t*i bctt" 

h-Wxi J ^'Jcrfci-'i: 
fifuic bc^ 
.it|iijn!lf'n of 



■ ^ %i iuiU !J:,*i, [wi iic Lliai uiw uUiUi 




in finne he defplfetb the mercy of Gad» uid 
crefeth his flnac, and is unkind to Crxft, aod 
waxeth the more feblc to witliltand finoe, 
Unncth the mare lightly, and the later aril 
aod it more Qow to ftirivc him, and namely 
him that hath bco his confir/Four; for whtth tJiat' 
folk, whan they fall a^en to bir old folje^» other 
they forlctcn hir old confcffour al utterly, or eUfci 
tJveydcpartcn hir ihrift in diven place*; but fnthly 
fwiche departed ihrift dcfervah no merde of Gojl 
for hir fmnes^ 7'he futte eircoinftancc it, why 
that a man llnneth, as by what temp tat irtn, ^nA 
if himfclf procure th»l)te temp ta! ion, or by ejecting 
of other folk, or if he iinne with a woai;in by 
force or by hire owea alTcnt, or if the wuri.Jii 
miiigre hire bed have ben enforced or noii ; thia 
fhal flic tt% and wbcder it were for covcitifc of 
povcrtc, uid if it were by hire procuring or non^ 
and fwiche other thinge*, The icvcnih cirtum- 
ftance i», in what auncr lie hath don his lintic, oc 
how that file hath fnffcrcd that folk ha¥c Aon to 
hire : and the fame fljal the mati tell plainly, with 
all the circum/lanccs, and wheder he hath tinned 
with commun bordel women or non, or dun hit 
fiunc in holy ttmts or con, in failing times or non, 
tJT before hi* fhrift, or after his later ftuift, and 
hith pcravcnture broken dierby hi» penance en* 
joined, by whos hclpc or whoa confcil, by forccri^ 
orcrufie; &U mti£l be told. All thifc thiiiges 
after that they ben grct or fmalc, eng;reggcn th« 
conTcicocc of man or woman. And ckc the 
precfl that is thy jugc may the better be avifcd 
of his jijgcmcnt iu ycving of penance, and th^it 
ihal be after thy contrition : for imdcrftond wcl 
that after the time that a m.in hjth dcfoiikd hit 
baptiiineby finne, if he wol come to fjlvation, ther 
Is r.on other way but by pcnaiue, and ibriftc,and 
l^ilt*fadHoji ; and namely by tho two, if ther be a 
confelTonr to whom he may flirive him, and that 
he firil be vcray contrite and repentant, ai}4 Ui« 
ihriddc if be have lift© pcrfornic it, 

Tlian fhal a man lokc and confidcr that if he 
wol niake a trewe and a pro&tablc corLfcTjion tlier 
mull be fmirc condition*. Firll, it mtill he in 
forowful bittcmclTc of hcrtc, as fayth the Rin^ 
Eacchiel to God» I wol remember all the ycrcs of 
my llf in the bitteruedc of my hcrte. This con- 
dition of Ii ir. in ,;r* hath flvc (J^tic* ; thc fjrll is 
that cupl lie ihamefjil;, not for to co- 

vcrn nc i L.but for he hath a^JUcd 

God and Uiiouled his foule : and hereof fa* 
Stint Augiifttn, Thc hrrte ttavailrth for fliamr _ 
hi* flnnc, and for he hath grct fhajiicfartncfle he If 
dij^ue tu have jjrct mcrcjn^ of Cod. Swirhe wai 



CO- 



thc coJifcflloun of the PuM 
up hi* eyf u to hevcn, fos 
hcvco, fur which fli- - ' 
mercy of iJod; an . 
tine, ihatfsvicHc Ih • 
Rc\U and mercy, 
confcrinn, fd whici'' 



V, tild noi lieTC 

ntkd Gr^d of 

nv \i%k\ jnori the 
f.iith S'-int Aujjul^ 
heti next fiTycve- 
le in humilitrr in 
If Pclcr-Humbl'rH 



you under the tui^ht t-i tioUj ihe hond of GoUit 

mighty to conlclbnc, ff*r thcrby God f^ryi'veih 

}^\^c \hj Hqucii isi}^ he alone hstU thc ^tiwct, AJid 

N iiij 



ooo 



THE PERSONES TALE. 



thit hoiTiUitee fHat %t in berte and id ft^e out- 
i^arde; for nj^ht a» be hath huirjihtrc to Gu6 in 
his h«tr, right f" f1\uM he humblr his hody t>ut- 
VTATii to the precii that fuielh in Godde* place ; 
t i^ which in no mancr, GthtJiatCrilt it foveraine, 
^IU)d the prc/ft mencand n> Jiatour betwixt Crill 
and ilic: fiiincr, and the finnLT is laJl by w^f «)f 
refofT, ihnn (UuU not tbr finncr fittc ai high as 
Tiis confcfTour, hot knric htfore bim or at liisfcet, 
bin if mabdic dtflrooMc it; for he Ihal not take 
Itie|Te M ho fitte^h ther,liat in w hos place he lltteth. 
A mail that hath trcfjufled to a lord, aiid comcth 
for to BXe mcrcic and miikcti hit accordt:^, and fct- 
tcth hiiy doun anon by the Inrd, men woMc holdc 
Mm outraj:einij^ and not worthy to fonc for to 
kavc rcminion nr mercy. The thriddc fignc ii, 
that the ihrift fhuld bcful of ten a, if men moweo 
Wcpe, and if they mowe rot wepe witli hir bodily 
eycn, than let hem wept in hir hertc : fwichc was 
the confelTion of Seint Peter, for after ihot be 
had forfake Jcfu Crift he went out and wept ful 
bitterly. The founh figne is that he nc lete not 
for Ihamc to thrive him and Ihcwc his toofeflion ; 
fwich« was the confcfiion of Magdclcinc, that uc 
fpartd for no fhnme of hem that wcren at thir 
feftc to go to our Lord Jcfu Crift, and beknowe 
to him hire fmnei. The fifihe fignc h, that a 
man or a woman be obeifant to receive the penance 
that hem it enjoined, for ccrtcs Jcfu Crift for the 
gilt of man wa3 obedient to the dcth 

The fecond condition of vcray coiifcfTion is, that 
it be haRily don ; for certei if a man haddc a dcdly 
\i70undt ever the lengcr that he tnried to Wiinfhe 
Kimfclf the mf>re wold it corrupt and ballc him 
to his deth, and alfo iht wound wrA be the werfc 
for to hcle. And right fo farcth fiunc that long 
time i» in a man nnihcwed : cencs a man ought 
hai^ily to (hewc his fintic fur many caufc%; as for 
drede of d«:tb, that comcth oft fodcnly, und i* in no 
certain whar time it (hal be, ne in what place ; and 
eke the drenching of o linne drawcth in another ; 
and ilfo the lengcr that he tarieth, ihc ftithtr is he 
ho Crift ; and if he abide to hi» latt day fcarrcly 
way he ftirire him, or rcraembre hiTi of hi) fin res. 
Of repent him for the grevoua maladic of his 
df th. And for a» tnocht at he nc hath in hit lif 
herkerjpd Tef« Crift whiin he hath fpoken unto 
him, he ftal cr> unto our Lord at his laft day, 
and fcarccly wol he hcrken t im. And undcr- 
Aonde that thr- condition mnfle have fotire 
thingcsi firft that the JKrift be purveyid afore, 
aodavifed, for v»icJtrd haft drth not profile ; and 
that a man con (hrive him of hif (InneSf be it of 
|iride, or en vie, and fu forrh, with the Ipicen and 
circtimftanccs and that he have comprehended in 
hii minde ihc nombrc and tlvc' grctncflc of hn 
lmne«, and how longc he haih lien in Cnnc^ and 
tkc that he be contrite for his fmne*, and be in 
ftedfaft purpofe (by the grace of God) nevtr efic 
to fail ioto fume \ and nlfo that he dredc and 
count rewaite him felt that be fiec the occafions of 
lione to which he is inclined ; alfo rhou fhalt ftirive 
iJi^ of all iby ftnne* tn o man, and not parcclmcJc 
Co o man and parcclmek to another j that ii to 



undcrftonde, in entent to dcpirt thy confdEo 
Jhamt or drede, for ft is but ftrangling of ] 
foule ; for ccrtcs Jefu Crift is cntierly all 
in him it non imperfe<flion» and thtrf-- ■ -"i 
foryevcth all parfitly or clle» never 
that if thou be afligned to tliy pctii' 
tain fmnc that tl^oy art boundc to fljcwc hm 
the remenant of thy Qnnes of wluche thjiMi 1 
ben Chrivcn of thy curat but if it like tbcc of if 
humdttce 5 tin* n no departing of Ihrift : 
not.ther asl (pckc of divifion of confcffioo,tl( 
thou have licence to ftirivc thee to a difcrettj 
Rn honeft prce(^, and whcr thcc ttketh, 1 
licence of thy curat, that thou ne mayefti 
dice to him of all thy finncs : but Icte i^ 
behind ; let no Cnne be untolde as fer 1 
remtfinbrance. And whan thou Ihalt 1 
of thy curat tell liim eke all the Gnnes thitl 
haJl don lith thou were laftc flirivcn ! 
wicked entente of divifion of flirlft. 

Alfo the vcray fhrift aicth ccrtatn < 
FirO, that thou fhrivc thcc by tl 
conftrcined.ne for ftiame of folk 
or fwiche other thinge^for it if rtivn » 
trcfpaft"L'th by hi^ free will, that by hisf 
confcffc his trefpas^ and that Don otlu 
his finne but himfclf ; ne he (Hal not 
deny hii finnc, ne wrath hina aycnft the pre^ 
amonefting him to lete his fmne. The f 
condition is, that thy Ihrift be lawful, that Is C 
that thou that (hriveft thee, and eke the prcd 
hercfh thy conf<(Don» be vcr^lly in the feith i 
ly chirchc, nrd that a man ne be not difpeil 
the metcic of Jtfu Crift^ a* Cain and Judaa' 
And eke a man mufte accufc himfclf of hk j 
titfpas, arid not another; but he fhal 1 
witc liimfclfe of hi>i owcn malice and of hii J 
and non other : but nathclcs if that a no 
he cnchtftin or enticer of hi» finne, or the « 
the perfun be fwiche by which hi& hnne i$i 
grd, or clIcB that he may not plainly 
but he tcH the perfon with ^hichc hc% 
than may he tell, fo that his eotcnt , 
backbite the perfon, but onljr to dec 
fcflion, ' 

Thou nc (hall not alfo mal^'- "^ t.y;.. 
confeflion for humihtee, pt 
thou baft committed and ti 
which that thou ne were never jrilty j for 
AiigiifUne fayth* If that thou, becaulc of thi 
militec, makcft a Itfing or thyftti, ihougM 
were not in fmne before %*«t artt rhun that* i 
thtirgh thy leGng. The 
by thy proprc mouth, I 

by DO letter ; tor thou thoM 

flialt have the fb;iire 0' (lta]| 

not ckc peint thy coixl...:. _, .uht^ 

wordc , to cover the more thy finne, for than l^ 
gileft tliou thyfclf and not the prrrft * thoo \ 
telle it plainly, be it never fo foale ne fo hci 
Thou fljalt fke Ihrivc thee to a pret-ft that j 
Crete to confeillc thcc ; and ekt 
fljrivc th( c for vaine glorie, ne for r fol 

no caufc^ but ooi/ for the douu »t juu wot mi 



;« .v^, 



for ^1 

th«| 

(lta]| 
thati ho' 

^00 ail 



THE PERSONES TALE, 



aoi 



; hele of thy foale. Thou (hair not eke renne to / 
: prceil il fodcnly to tell him lightly thy finne, I 
> who tclJcih i iipe or a talc, but avifcdly and | 
good devotion ; and jft^nc rally (hriTc thcc 
lllte : ii t^ou o tc hH^ oftc arife by confelBon. And 
|l)Me^ itou thrive thcc ofter iIaq ones of (innc i 
l^itch thotj hall be ihrivcn of it is more raeritc ; ' 
B^ iS Ckfth Scint Augu {line, Thou (halt have f he | 
I rt J'phf ly irlcfe and grtiicc of God both of finnc 
L . Ard certc* cnca a ycre at the left ay 
to be houfelcd, for lothcly onc% a ycre 
f^'^ crthc renovclcD* 

fan pmiitntixt etjifttitur tcrila pat #. 

How 1i2ve 1 told you of verty ronfeflion, that is 

' \ ftouadc part yi penitence ^thc thridde part i» I 

■CiSioiit md that Aont luoll generally in al- \ 

Jc dedc And in bodily peine. Now ben ther 

[ifcftc wancr of almcffc ; c -ntriiion of hcrtc, whci 

n offrcth humfclf ^o G^d ; another ii tu h;ivc 

of th< dcfaute of his neighbour; and the 

* I i* in ytving of good confcil godly and 

} wiier as men have nedc, and namely in fuf- 

\ of gnanue* food> And take kepe that a 

Bth fjcde of thifc thingc* gentrally; he hath 

\ food« »f clothing, and of terberow, he hath 

ritable corifcilling at\d vifiting in prifon 

die, and fcpulturc of his dcd body. And 

iir;i vifitc the «cdcful in prifon in 

hem with thy melTage and thy 

^-li generally the alincflcs *ird wcrkcs 

rit^f of hem hat have temporcl richcffcs or 

EioQ in crnfciUing. Of thlfc livcrkcs fhalt 

I hcrtn at the day of dome, 

Thi* ilmtifc fliuldeft thoo do of thy proprc 

'd haflily and privcly, if thou nnaycfl j 

* if thou maycft not do it prively thoti 

. rbcrctodo almcfle though men fee It, 

not don for thankc of the world, but 

^ -, '-mkc o^ Jtfu Griil ; fttr, ^i wjtnef- 

W yvt^chap. V, A fitce may mt be 

lilsi™. .- .. ^.w *.n a mcun*aine,ncmcn lij^ht not a 

DC TopucittindexabufhLlitbutfeUcn it upoo 

I ODdlrflickc, to Lighten the men in the ho«s : 

bl^ fo fhal your light lighten before men, that 

ll'dey mo we fee your good wcrkcs, and gtorifie 

Vpaa fader thjt is in heven. 

New a» for to fpckc of bodily pcmf , it ftont in 
fai.r*, in v^akii g, in faOing, and in vertuous 
erhtijg* Of orifon* yc fhul undcrflond, thai ori- 

lieflif^ T*; to fay a pitou* wiU uf hcrie,that 

llctt' ' , acdciprefletit it by word outward 

c*, and to have tfiinges fplritutl 
[xfid : and fomtimc temporcl thingcs; 

[•fvii' % ccrtta in the orifon of the Pjtir 

[ ■jf' ' Crift cnclofed moft thmges ; ccrrct 

I it is [ r three thingea in hit dignitcc, for 

1 •hichc It 1-. incic digne tJian any other prayer, 
f for that Jefu Crifl himfclf made it ; and it is fiiort, 
I ist ic Qkvid be covide the more h'ghrly, and to hold 
I it the more eCe m bene, and hclpe himfdf the 
frfief with ihiionfooi and for a man (buM be the 
Idk wcry co £iy it, and for a man may not excuse 



him to Icrnc i% it ij fo flirirtc and fo ^c^ and for £ ^ 
comprchcxidcih in himfclf all good prayers. Th 
expofiiion of this holy prayer, that is fo cxccUcii 
and fo digne, I betake to themaiftcrsof theologic 
favc thu» mochc wol I fay, thar whan thou prayed 
that God ihuld forycvc thee thy gilt£:> as thou for^ 
ycvcft htm that have agihcd thee, be wcl wan 
that thou be not out of charitte. This holy orifmi 
amenufeth ek.- venial finne, and thcrforc tt appcn 
tcineth fpcciaily to penitence. 

This prayer muH be trcwcly fayd,and in perfc^ 
feith, and that men praycn to Goddrdinatcty,dil 
crctely, and devoutly : and alway a man Di;*l pu 
his will to be fubgettc to the will of God. Th 
orifuD muft eke be fayd with grct humbleflc, ; 
ful pure and honeftly, and not to the annoyance ( 
any man or woman : u muil ckc be continued wit! 
wcrkcs of charitce : it availcth ckc ay end the viJ 
cts. of the ftmlc ; fo^, as fayth Scint Jerome, By ' 
failing ben favcd the vicc« of the flclli, and by 
prayer the vices of the foulc. 

After thii thou ihalt underftonde that bodil^ 
peine ftont in waking; for Jcfu Crift fayth, Wak 
yc andpray ycthat ycnc ciktcr into wicked temp 
tation. Yc Jhul undcrflond aifo that faftin 
ftont' in tlirec thingcs, in forbcring of bodily mcft 
and driikc, in forbcring of worldly joHtcc, aai 
in forbermg of dcdiy firne; this is to fay, thati 
man fliall kcpc him fro dcdly finuc with all [ '* 
might, 

. tnd thou OiaU undcrftond alfo that God 
daincd falling, and to fafliug appcrtaincrh fou 
thingcs ; largcncffe to pourc folk, gladncflc 
hertc fpiritucl, not to be angry nc ajinoicd, nel 
gmtch for he faftetb, and alfo refonablc hourc 
lor to etc by mcfurc, that is to fay, a man fhol 
not etc in untime, nc fit the longer at the tabic 
for be fallcth. 

Than Ihalt thou undcrftondc that bodUf 
peine ftont in difciptine, or tcching by word or 
by writing, or by cnlample, alfo in wtring of here 
or of (lanun, or uf habergeon*, on hir naked flcfh 
for Grilles fake. But ware thee wcl that fwiche 
tnancr penance- nc make not thin hertc bitter or 
angry, nc annoicd of thyfcif, for better is to caft 
away thin here, than to call away the fwctncITe of 
J our Lord Jcfu Cnll; and therfore fayth Seine 
Poult, Clotl^c you as they that bcnchofcn of God in 
hertc, of mifcricordc, dcbonairtcc, fuflrance, and 
fwiche mancr of clothing, of which Tcfii Crift is 
more plcfed than with the hcrcs or habergeoni, 
I Than is difcipHnc ckc in knocking of thy brcft, 
in fcourging with ycrdcs, in knellng, in tiibaja- 
lion, in fuffring patiently wrongei that ben doa 
to thet,and ckc inpatient fuffring of maladies, or 
lefing of worldly cat tic J or wif, or child, or other 
fricndet. 
I Than ihalt thou undcrftond which thiagci 
. diftourben penance, and this is in foure mancrs, 
; that is, dredc, ftianie, hope, and wanhope, that is^ 
dcfpcration* And for to fpckc fir ft of dredc; 
for which he wcneth that he may fuflVr no pen- 
ance, ther aycnft it rcmcdic for to thinkc that 
bodily paiancc is but ihoHi and litcl at regard of 



«#% 



THE FERSONES TALE. 



the peine of helky tliat t« To cniel and fo long, tliat 
it Uftflli withouten cndc. 

Now aycud the fiiamc that a tnaui hath to thrive 
him, and oomc^ly thirc ipocrltc^, that wold he 
holtlcu fu p^iiTfit that they hrivc nn ncdc to fhrivc 
hcaiy ayenft t>at fhamt: (hulJ a oijlh thinkc^ thjt 
by waj* of rcfon htr that hath not ben afhamcd to 
do fotilc thlngi^s, ccrcci htm ought not he ^ftiiimed 
lo do fiirc tlunj^t^5,:ind that ts coafefliou^ Amau 
Ihtitd nTfo th<nk Uut Gad fccth and koowcth al 
hi'i ' , '^»d al hiH wtikrjLf aad Co lilm may 

*»(> J nc covered. Men fhidd ckc rc<- 

fnemb].. tcu\ of the Ik^mie that i)»to eome at the 
da)' of dome to hem that ben notpcnctcnc in this 
,|>rcfcal lif; for all the creature* in hcvcn and In 
#rthe, aud in hellc, fltul fee apcrtly all that tlicy 
liidep tJi thi« world. 

Now for to fpcke of the hope of hem that ben 
fo neglijjcut aad flowc to fhrive hem, thAt (lond- 
<di lu twQ manrrs; th%t on i^ that he hopeth 
for to live loiig^, and for to purchafe mochc rich- 
tSc tor hir dcHt, and than he wol (hrivc lum»and, 
M he fayth, he may, aa hini fcmtth, than timely 
ynongh come to fiirifi; another ii the furqucdrie 
that he hath in Criftei incrcic, Ayenll the fird 
^ice he (Ual thinke that our lif is in no fikcrneiTc, 
and eke that all the richeJTe in thU iy«irld hen in 
avcntujre, and paCTcn as a ibadowe on a wall ; and 
msfaythScmt Crcgorie, that it appcrtamcth to 
the gfct rightwifncffc of Gcd that never ftial 
th: peine (liatc of hem that never wold wit IwJra we 
hem from Gnne, hir thaukc&, but ever continue in 
{inne. For tbilke perpetual will to don liiuie 
ib^ilt they have perpetual peine, 
» Wanhope is in two maners ; the firfl waohope 
is in the mercic of God ; that other i& that tlicy 
think that they ne might not long pfrfcvcre in 
goodneffe. 1 he firft wanhope comcth of that, he 
dem- tK tf. :* he kaih fiuncd fo i:;rctly and f*> oft, 
anl in finue, that he ih,il not be favcd, 

C' r that eurfcd wanhope (hulde he 

thifikc tiiat the paflion of Jcfu Crill is more 
Hfongc fur to imhtnde than iiunc it fUon^ for to 
binde. Aycnft the fccotid wanhope he Jh;d 
fhinki? iStJit a^ often as 1m: falleth he may arifen 
' " fi he n^vcr Iblongc 

of Crid i? alway 



re 

ir, :, -. 
the devil jo«y 

him; .ir*1 1\< 
cf 1 



♦ ■■ fir, Ajenfl that 
J (J* u i d n o 1 1 ong j'C rfc ver 
t, th;it the fchlcucflc of 
I but it men wol fulTre 
• ftrcngtb of the bclpc 
hirdic, %od of the 

i- the frtut of 
If J Criil it h 



trariofitcc of wo n< ^T^uee; ther lU VantM^ 
benps-fTcdof thit prcieiU Uf : thtr as 1% QktrmSt 
from the peincs of helle ; thcr at it the bHifjsl 
cotnpgnic tliat rcjoycen hv'm ever ino ev ' ' 
otlvcrsjoyc i thcr u the hndj of man, thj.i: 
wa»foulc and ierke, is more clcrc than iL'. . .,.« 
ther as the body that whdoni wa» like aod httsk^ 
ft-ble and mortal, i» immortal, aud fo Hron/ ^rd^ 
hole, that thcr ne may nothing apf < 
is neither hunger, ne thurflc, nc cc«i 
foulc repkniih^fdiAiith the E^gia of ih 
ing of God. Thi* bliaftd re^ne m 
chafe by povcrte fpirituel, an.! 
iineflf, the plrutec of joyc by 
and the reilc by travaik, and uu m :•>)- i 
mortJ5«:ation of fiiinc : lo which life he 
that bought tis with hi* precious blo"'^ ' 

Now pre ye I to hem alle that h- 
trctiCL' or redcn it, thit if ther be - 
that likcth hem that thcrof they 
Lord Jcfu Cf ifU of whom proccd^ 
and all g^odeocffc ; ^iid if ther be inj iluitg \ 
difplefeth hem, I prcye hem alio that ihcy i 
it to the dcfaut;; of niyn uiik 
my wiU^« that wold fayn h>i^ 
hxddc hid koning ; for oun: bo^l. k^j^i., 
i» written it written for oure d*Jiflrinc« And 1 
j* myn entente ; whcrforc I befckc vi 
for the mercic of God, that ye pr< 
Criil have mercic of me and fr: 
gilies, [and namely of nijTi TranQ 
ditingcftuf worldly vanttce«, the v 
in my retraxSlion*; a* The Ikikeoi 
Boke alfo of l*ame, The B*»k^* of i 
twenty Ladies The Boke of 7" 
Boke of Seint VaJentinci Day 
Eriddes, The Talc'i of Cantt.,. , 
founea unto finoc^ The Poke of ti 
many an other |loke«. if th v u 
uicmbratince, luid many i* 

ruu* L4y» Crift of hi«i v ^^m 

the finne ! but of The trai^iiutiua c^i ^<m ^ 
Corifttlatnin, and tnhrr BoVr* of l^^^f*^ wi 
Sjintt, uud t]f Qin 
tion, tliat tbante I 
biifsFaJ : ^ , ,u u<:> czi^ 

fcLing ^'h unto 

and to Qodieu to the L\ y Cba 

graimtc nte j^raec, uf v ^ ^ ue^ co 
aud fifcti^faf^ion to don in ti^jt prefcnt lif, th 
the benigijr p^tc rf him that it Kin^ of k 
and Fr 'i^t bought ei ^ 

the ptL ic, fa mat 1 I 

ben on ui bv-ni itu i]ic Uitc day of Aome 
lliulten be f-ived; iJU* (mm I>fv/^:/ea Sf*r%tmJ^^ 



THE COKE'S TALE OP OAMEiyjl, 



THE COKE'S TALE OF GAMELYN. 



W Itihm anil Itftmith, aod 
* *i 50U ariglit, 
bIIii) bcj-i me tell 
oughti knight. 
I of Boundis dcpad vai 
Q«];ht'i» name; 
he ' ae. 

^•ir""^ ^ ' -.' fc*4£ had, and with 

|o£ he them wan ; 

llddl wa» a motile llircv, 

loDe he bcgan^ 

^^oihcrin lov*d thir /3dir« 

Kftun ^cre a^A ; 

Hp dcfcrv*d \m fadir't cnrf^^i 

|9it at theki^. 

t godi knight his fadir did 

'"'-■- T^dyore, 

lomen him unto, 
I — ..... ...;n full fore. 

r^ttde knight ycaiidmodi, 
kc iher a,<i he Jay, 
thae his chillier in {huldd 
aftfr hii day. 
S n wide where, \mi 

[ he was I 
u iijnjc which th« he had 
Tcray purchaft; 
*"" '^ *"- ' ' that it were 

---^ . ;.. .ji hftd hi& part 
|ii|rhu befJI, 
lirot he into the contr^ 
fife knightis, 
jpcQ dele hr» londis, and 
them to rightiA. 
cBt them word by lettertt 
Uf fliulde hji blyve 
Ihef wqI fpckcn with him 

i on live* 

Qightis herdca ho^ 

» jiianitir teft 
lor day 

i^n ooto hiiQt 

eforto 



Thus then faidin the god^ knight^ 
Sck ther as he lay, 
Lordis, I warnc you foffothe, 
Wjthotitin any niy, 

J may not Icng^ir Irven hcr3 
In this forrowful ftound. 
For thorough Godd'is will fiiprcnw 
Dethe drawiih me to ground. 

Thcr ne was no one ©f them allc, 
That herdin him aright. 
That thei ne hadde mochU rotttU 
Upon that ilkc knight j 

And fcide. Sir, for Oodd*tsloTfl 
Nc difniayen you noug^ht, 
God may don bote oJ hmli 
Which tliat it now ywrought. 

Then anfwcrid them the gode knight. 
Sikc there as he lay, 
Bote of bale God may fcjid» 
1 wote it IS 00 nay. 

But I hcfekc you knighUi, 
A! for the love of me, 
Grtith and drefljth my londii 
Among my fonis thre. 

Aiid, frcndif, /or the love of Ood 
Ddith them nat amys, 
Atid forgcttith not Gtmi^jn^ 
My yongd fon that is. * 

Takjth hcdc unto that Ofi« 
As wel 19 to that other ; 
Scldome ycfeinc any heif 
That helpc woU his brother. 

The Icttin they the knighte UgF^ 
Which that waa not in hcle, 
And in thei wcniio to couoikilo 
His londii for to dele ; 

For to delin thcmal too on 
That vras ther only thought. 
And for that Gam^lyn yongill Wf 
yic Ihaldf havin nought. 

A I the lond^ which that thcp wij 
They dclten it in two, 
And lete GamHyn the yoirgv 
Withoutcn londr go. 

And evc^rich of them fdd«Cl 
Til othir fulie londe, 
His brdffterU3 mowe pve him load* 
Whan that h-^godiikyudc. 



^^5 TH£ COKE'S TALE OF GAMELY n/ ^^^^^H 


^^ Whio ihey had dclid the londi* 


Gamelyn (lode upon a dsf ^^^H 


^H After their owne wtll. 


In hi» brother*!! yet^e, ^^^| 


^H Tho camin they unto the knight 


And he began ivuh bit bondd ^^^H 


^m Ther as he by rull Oill, 


To handilin his bcrdc. ^^^M 


^^m Aittl toMin unto him anoo 


He thoughtin upun hit loadiV ^^^| 


^H M<»w that th«y hj^clil ywMHigkt, 


That Uyin l^agc uufawe, ^^^H 


^M And the knight there as he Jicke Ut 


iVnd aUo of hib hue cki»« ^^^| 


^1 Viikidit - 


That doune were ydrawe* ^^^H 


^H Then \i ^^ht angrily^ 


His parkis ^-erin al hrokin, ^t 


^^B Ifwarcby c^.iui M.trlyn 


And al hi^ dcir rcvcd ; ^^^| 


^H Fur ail tt^t w^^c]\^ y« h»V6 jdotie 


Oi alic hiA gode ileu.i noon ^^H 


^B Yet U tit lonie luyii^ i 


\^^ii there with him betcvcd ; ^^H 


^H For Godd*ii love» my ocighboarii^ 


Hii houfi* werein unhelid V 


^H Sundcith ye ^11^ ftiU, 


And iMH cvilly dight i B 


^H And I woU dcUn my kmdft 


Tho tlioughi thii yong>; Gamclyn 1 


^^1 After niyn oWnc wili. 


It wcnic not iri^hu ^^B 


^H Joh;m my 11 cklifl lose Ihlll 


After came bis brnthir in ^^H 


^^B Thave plowiii Hve, 


Ywalk^-ng flatelich thare^ ^^^| 


^B Thiit n ai my fadir*f UeriiJ^^ 


And feidc mut> ^^H 


^H While thai he was on live j 


What ^^^1 


^H And miiidiUill imi fhaU 


Tho Cam J, ' hym^ ^^B 


^^K Five plowik luvc of Utid 


And fviort b) u '•. 1 4tc, B 


^H That t holpc Cor to geitm 


Thou Dialt y ^o L.kc, iuLc» tiiy felf; B 


^H With myn cwn right c hood; 


I wol not be thy coke. B 


^H And alJ myn pthir purdidl» 


How, brotliir Gamclyn^ quod be, B 


^K Of Undi» and of kdes. 


Thus anTwcrtft mc thou f B 


J^ That I hcquct^ Cam*ly% 


'lliou fpakiH nevir fochc a word B 


B And alle my godc ficdc^ 1 


Yet as thuu doi(^ now. B 


Atid t hefcke you, godc tiicsi» 


By my fairh, /cid. Gamelyo, B 


ThAt U\vi*con of U>nd, 


Now me it thJnkith nede ; ^^^1 


Jor Ga^yn'is love th« 


Of all the hartnii tliat I lt«V«. ^^H 


^_ Thu» my bcqucft may ftond. 


I ccvir yit coke hcdt. ^^^m 


^B Thiu df lid hath tht godc kaight^ 


My parkis ben y brokiit, and ^^^H 
My dcir ben yreved ; ^^^H 


^m His lonJd he his dal. 


^H Hight upon hts dcth^lA bcddj, 


Of myn hami and my flcdii ^^^| 


^B ^oi'c^ ^^^^ ther a<$ he lay ; 


Noght iBtiiere me belc?cd. *^^^| 


P And fone aftirwei4i&he 


Al that my fadir me bcqvcthe ^^^| 


1 l*a7 as a ftonL- ftil!. 


Al goith now tu thame, ^^| 


^H And dyid y^isin rbc iyi;pe cudc. 


And therefore liave thou Godd*ift ^^>k^^^| 


^H A»it wiu» Crifi'ii wilL 


Brothir John by thy name. ^^^M 


^H Anon aftir thai hj» was dcde, 


Than thus bdpakin hU brotblr, ^^B 
That rape was df vcel, ^^B 


^^1 And lindir graf^ ygr;xvc« 


^H Tho Ton: the cUir brudiii- 


Stondith ^> ' - '-''nng, ^^B 


^H Begylld the ynngi? kriave. 


Andhrl ^^B 


^H He tokin into hi& houdU 


Thou 1 -n to hate ^^^H 


^H His londis and hi^ lede* 


Thy roctd and thy wcdc. B 


^V And aJfo Gmayn hixnfclf 


What fpekift thou, thou gadiling, fli 


f To dothin and to fedc 


Of lond othir of Lcdc f .^^H 


L He clothid lim md fcdd^ him 


Then feide to him Gam^lyn^ ^^H 


^K ZtiI and eke wroth. 


The childc that was ytnge, ^^^B 


^H And Utin hi« lotidt^for fare» 


Chrtil'is eurfe mote he havia a^^B 


^^ And al^ hi* houfii both ; 


rhit clcpith mc Cadlyng. ^^B 


1 Hi-t parkis t)^, tnd hu wodi», 


1 am no won gadlying thu thf , B 


An.i.^' '.!■•- r..,.*i.„..„ wtl. 


Pardc nc no wort weight, i^^H 


Aji.1 ight^ 


But bom I wai of a Ivly^ J^^|' 


On f' . . ,,.:. 


And gotttn of a knyght. ^^^| 


So bage tyme xvu Camdyn 


Nc durll he not to Gamilyn ^^^| 


1 In hi* brother*! Hall, 


Not oo fote ferthir go, ^^^^ 


^^ For the ftrcngifl otrgpdi wiU 


But depid to him hi» nicinf , ^^^1 


^f They duutidm him sit. 


And feid^' to thrm tho ; ^^^^^| 


^^ There ne wi» hdii« wighi io that pUce, 


Goith and betiih \vcle thUlKiy, ^^H 


Kothir yonge nc oldc. 


And ravith him hts wit, ^^^| 


ThAt woldc wrathin Gamelya " 


1 And let him lerc another time ^^^| 


WcxchcocTif foboid. 


1 To mfwcring me bctu ^^B 



THE COKEYS TALE OF GAM£I,YN. 



tol 



r^.rn fcld the chyld^ yon;? Gim lyn^ 



I curf mote tj^ou havjn 
ttirothcr tn thou myu* 
[ !f thai J Qx%\ kigati* 
, be anon, 
rctiT^ mote ihoti havia 
t thou be that one 
right Lu«n his brothir did, 
I gret hctc, 
t mcin Cett flans, 
I to bete. 

ch df them had a fhiT 
. nomin, 
I wa* twar: thif, 
1 comin. 
^ < agh them comin 

F wu wart of a pcftil 
'1 imdir the wall. 

I Oam lyn wit fuUy h'ght» 
i thidir gan he lepc, 
IdrofTe all hii brothtr'»inrn 
I fofic on an hepc. 
"lid like a wild lion, 
1 on gode wonc ; 
k . ''^'-■fhir fey' thaf 

fJC- 

,, . 'iUaloft^ 
t the dor fdCt : 

lyn with hiipedd 
- them aU agift 



jdc GajnHynt bnjchir, 

contck 

' rothir tho 

L^t holokjd out 
,■, e. 
i"? Gam lyn. 



tyii 

•"^hi- he ' 



Tide 
no »er%,. 
s*ty|| tiifikln the pcce, 

ho, 

!• lyn, 

•lifl make thy men 



e bwi 1 liaddin inryn and might, 
kjn ewnt twey annc*, 
Ihare y pulhm th^m ho mt 

f vovldhive d«fic iqc iiannut 



Id 



To Gamelyn tho fcidin hi* 
Brothir; Be tl-iounot *'n.*fK\ 
For to fcin the haviti hiiuic 
Me wcriii rigl^te lothe, 

I nc did jt not. my brothir, 
But right /or a iohdin^, 
Tor to lakln if thon wirre fkrong^ 
And an fo very yirJg. 

CckHiL' iidoun then to trte^ q^uod lie^ 
And graunt !■ mc my bcflc. 
Of DO thing 1 wol dkin ihtf , 
Atid we fhul CiLi^t^ font, 

Adoun then camin hi»brotJiir, 
Thatfikill wa»ajid fell," 
And WIS fwitliv right lore a^hafl 
Of that like pcflil. 

Hcfcid^j BrnthirGam^lyf!; 
Aflct mc now th| boDe, 
And loke that you mc Ulame^ but 
I graunt it full lone* 

Thoferdcn }onge Oaftitlyni 
Brothir myn , I wifi 
Arid if wc (hutlc ben a* m 
Thou inuftmcgraunt 
Al that my 6idir m<. 
While that he wajtm live. 
Thcu miift^ df) mc it to hj^Ve, 
If that wc Ihul not ftme. 

That thou fhalt hzv^ Gami^I^Q, 
I fwcrc by Crlll/is'ort . 
M tlvat thy fadir 
Thnugh iJiou woi 

Thy lond^, that now lyuh Uc^ 
Full wcU it (hall be fowe, 
And thync houfis yraI5d wp 
That now hen layd fulllowe. 



ih 

But*: 

And '■ 
As hi 

Tl. 
But Ganr iyn on 
And went and ki: 
And then they wtfi at *H>n. 

A la t fri r y n n p I Ga nit lyii ? 



hf to Gamdyn, 

n on trtifon, 

fiir. 



Holil, ,. .,,..^ 

Ani ungc talking 

Of (- , ^ ^^,. 

There happtd to be there beCdc 
Trjid a tvTaflUiog, 
And therefore there wis ^itia 
A rani and ah a ring. 

And Gamely a wat im will 
To wcnde thereunto^ 
For to previn hi* mightc^ 4t)d fe 
What that he cduthc do. 

Now brothir mync, <|Uod Gantej yn 
By holit Scliit Richtrc * 

Thou ipuftc ncdis k-nc to night 
Mc a litll courfere, 



^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^F 


^H 


^^H THE' dOKt'S rAtt OF gAMKL ^| 


^^^^^ut h frcflic tn tho Ij^oril, 


And hclpc my man Jlo to Iccj c ^ ^^H 


Upon hira for to ride j 


My cloth ii and my ilcdr, fl 


I tnuflin on an errand go 


And 1 wolt into the place gikO ^^^ 


A litil here bciidc. 


And loke how I may fpcdc. ^^^H 


Be God, fcidL' Jiisbrothir tho, ' 


By God. kidi the fnukclyft, ^^H 


Of ftcdis in my ftall 


It Jhall right fo be don, , ^^H 


Goith and choCth the tlic bcft» 


1 woll my ijifin be ihy man ^^H 


> And fparith none of allc. 


To draw in of thy ihone, V 


Of ftediior of coarferl*. 


And wcndi.' you into tbc plAOC* ■ 


That ftondith 'hem befidc, 


Swcte Jcf» Crill the fpcdc, ■ 


And tclHth rae, my ^odc brotlitr. 


And drtdc not of tJiy dctbiA fl 


Whithur thou wilti ride. 


Nor of thy god^ 0cdc, ■ 


Heft bcfidis, brothir, is 


Barefote anil ungcrt Gamclyo H 


Y cry id a wmftling^. 


Into the ringe came, ^^^M 


And therefore fliafftf titD y fctr 


Allf that wcrin in the place ^^^H 


Antmiinduh a rin|;, - 


Hcdin of him the name, ^^^H 


Mochc woHhip it Were foihly, 


How he durfktn aTcntore hint ^^^^| 


Brrtthir, unto us 41 


On him to don his might ^^^| 


Might I the am ind aU the rlnj 


I'hat tvas To donghti a ckampioB ^^^| 


Bringln home to th^ Hall. 


In wmflling and in fight, *^^| 


f A ftcd^ there wa\ raditlcT, 


UpHcrtt^ tho the chatnpsoo ^^^| 


Smarth was it and eke Arte ; 


Ful rapcly right anon, ^^^H 


Game lyn diddin a pcirc of 


Towardis yongc Gani^lyn ^^^H 


Sporin fa ft on his fete. 


He tho began to gon, ^^^H 


1 He Ut hi« foi4 in the ilirTOp, 


Ai]d fddjf Who J* thy ^dlff ^^^^ 


' The ftcdii he beftrode, 


And who is eke thj 0re f ^^^H 


1 And towardii the wfaftilling 


Forfothc thou art ^ grtt fole ^^^| 


1 The yongc childe fodc. 


For that thou cam id hire* ^^^| 


1 Tho Gam^lyfi tftc y-ong^ wat 


Anon Gamclyn anfwtrid ^^^| 


\ Riddin out at the gate. 


The ilout champion tho, ^^H 


The falfe knight hii own brolhir 


Thou knewifl fitll wetc my fadif ^^H 


Lokkid it aftir thatc. 


While that he couthc go ; ^^^| 


1 And he befou^tiri Jcfu Crift» 


Whilis tliat he w^a« on Hre^ ' ^^^| 


I That i* of hcvin king, 


I fwere by Seint Martyn, ^^^1 


lliat he might e hrckin hlBfldb 


Sir John of Boundi» w»]iii uaoiCf ^M 
And T am Gami lyn. '^^H 


Id that ilk wrjiftiliiig. 


( Aflbnc as GamcTyn cam there 


Fclawc^ feide the daampton^ ^^H 


j The wraftljng pbcc wa* 


So evir mote t thrive^ ^^^| 


He Hghtid down of the (Ecdc 


t knew right wcle thy fadir V 


Attd tludin on the gn*. 


While that he was on live ; 1 


And thcr he herd a Irankefyil 


And thy fclfin, yoiige Ganiclyo, M 
1 will that thou it here, H 


WeJo^vay for to fmg. 


And bcgjinin all hittirlf 


Whiles thou wcrt 9 yongc- bo| ^^^^ 


His handis for to wring. ' 


A mochc Ihrcw thou were. ^^H 


1 God^man, fcidir GanKMyn, ^ ' 


'I'hcn fcid: yongi Gam£lyn« ^^H 


! Why makift thou thii f^re f 


And fwore bi CrifF'is ore, ^^H 


1 U thcr no raau that may you help 


Now am I oldii woa thou fluk ^^H 


\ Out of this nlc^ care ? 


Y find in me a more« ^^^| 


Alas ! feidc thi» fraiik^yn, 




1 That evir I wa» bore I 


Welcome mote thou be i ^^^M 


For iwclc Hal wort hv^ fonit 


Come thou onys la myhoadc ^^^M 


* 1 wenc I h:ivc forlorc. 


Shalt in thou ncvir tfie, ^^^B 


' Achi^rnpioii ifh\ the place 


It wa« weU wiihin the oight« 1 


1 That hab ' " row, ' 


And bright the mone fhone^ H 


For be h U>nh 


Wli&jt Gam ^ 1 yn and tho chuM^ko ; fl 


1 JBntif tk.L ..'-.- ..,....- ...,itMW* 


Togidjr^^ - '^ ^^^1 


I woldO givin ten ponndU, 


rhe K \ii tomif ^^^H 


\ Be Jtfu Cnlt, and mr>re> 


To Gaui .t) pfcfl^ ^^^H 


With the ntiiiii 1 fond a man 


And Gameiyu ^odm ftiUw^ ^^M 


To b«idilin him fore. 


And bad him doo his beft. ^^^H 


Godt niaii* feidd Gam IftJ, 


Then fciden yoagc 0«uii Iy9 ^^^| 


Wilt thou thi* vvclc dotic f 


Unto thp champion, ^^^| 


Kold: my hor* while ih^t my matt 


N^w ttvit t have fuUy provid ^^^| 


I Vdr^wilh yf my Iht ne. 


, Many corni» ui Uune^ ^^^1 



THE COKE'S TALE OF GAMELVN* 


W 1 


nolU&» feldr Gim lyn, 


1 hrt fcidc to him th< fraoL^lyn, 


1 


%rja or two of myn* 


That wa» in tiit>chUl care. 


1 


t^ro to the chiuupiuo 


FcILw^ he f^iidi:, whi lakkiil 


^^H 


nacrtilj aikHi, 


Thou fo modic ul hii ware f 


I^H 


L. .._„:. ihitije cou(Jc 


Be Scint Jamc, that in Calf 41^ 


j^^H 


: utoQc ; 


Thac many man ha* Jmight, 


^^^M 


un ih£ Uftl M,6 


Yet it ii modic tt^godt chepc 


,^^^1 


lie libbis to bmk. 


Thuttbou haden ybou^ht. 


^^1 


crcuflto his left ami'). 


Thp that the warJioi* werin 


^^^H 


»f a grcttc crak* 


Of that ilk wi ijliliug 


^^^H 


A fcid. yonge Ginadyo 


Ciiinin forth, and brought GaoniljA 


^^H 


p to him won* 


The ram and als the ring. 


^^H 


be holdln for a caLlly . 


Add thuawann yonge Gam^Iyii 


^^1 


go for none ? 


The ram ;md eke the ring» 


^^H 


•<^« fridc the chimpios^ 


1 And wcntd forth with mochil joy 


^^H 


-■•...'■.. it br. 


Homeward id the morning. 


^^H 


ith iDthrn hand 


tiii broihir fe w here th^t lie cotot 


^^^M 


•-hr. 


With aD the grettc rout, 


^^^M 


fiankayn, that 


And bad the porter fliutc the fat<^ 


^^^H 


' hid lore, 


And holdiO him without^ 


^^^1 


fbc tiiua, yoDg! GamclyD^ 


The porter of hi& Jord'ii word 


i^H 


rcf thou were bore • 


Was {if right fore agaft. 


^^H 


DOW unto the champion 


\nd ftert ajion unto the gate 


^^H 


i^t I foi to fcic. 


.\ad lokkiditfullfaft. 


^^H 


Gointljn 


Now iithinirh and lefUnub 


^^^t 


t: pkie. 


Bothc yongc and old. 


^^H 


♦ u,- HminpioQ^ 


And yc fhuilin hcr^' gamiu 


^^^1 


il, 


Of Gam.lyn the bold. 


^^^1 


1 r^ 3iid 


G;imclyn cometh thcrunto 


^^K 


u; i* right i* it. 


For tv have comen in; 




n that 1 vrriftilia firit 


B«t all in vaine; the dorc then wa» 




on full yore» 


Y ftiitt fait with a pyn. 




ras^neirir ui my life 


1 ban fcide yonge Gatntlyn, 




d fo before. 


Porter, undo the yate. 




^ Otmelyti fiode in the |ilace 


Fcr many a godc mami'ij 




wrYthottten fcrk, 


Sonne flondlth tbcreai. 




idCf, H there be any mo 


Then anfwtTiJ him the porter^ 




HI c9mi to wf rlL 


And fworc by Godd'ij berde. 




:luunpion whtch that pamii 


Thou nc ftiah, frendc Gan»dlyn» 




weirkio fo for«rt 


Comin into this yerde. 




b by his eoiiniiiiAtiiioe 


Thou lyift, fcidc Gamilyn, 




rwillr Qo more. 


So broukin I my chyi^e : 




Uyn in the pUci dode 


He fraotc tlic wikii with hi» fote* 




1 any doae 


And brak away the pyn. 

The porter {Ireightwcy faugb^ ih^ 




ihidin «rriftiltng^> 




re ycomjth none. 


h might no bcttir be. 




e ne wu none yivlth Gam^lfO 


He feitc fote on erthcS and 




olde wreftie more. 


Fall he began to flc. 




bandUId the chanipiao 


Bi my faith, feidc Oamnyn^ 




derouHy fore. 


That travail c if ylorc. 




geittiLnteii)^ that owned the place 


For 1 am on fote as light ai 




BGamelyn, God ge^c ihcm £i4ccl 


rhow, though thow had yfwore, 




d^ to him, Have done m 


Gamclyn ovirtokc the porter. 




viboo^i 


And hi i tecne ywrak. 




me all 


And gert htm full upon the lie k. 




K-: i: H yd«|ie. 


That he the hon to brak ; 




fcid: to them Gamcfy^i 


And toke hin by that oon iroi^,^ 


^ 


: I iPPcB yfare. 


And threw him in a well ; 




loe yet halvindck 


Seven hundriJ fadom it wa* dtfC^ 




■U my vare. 


Aa I have herd*: telle. 




feide the champion fo ^jok^ 


Whan Gani-lyn the yonge thu& 




wck (mnt 


Hid yplaicd his pby. 




|kthat therof bieth^ 


aUc that in the ycrdi west 




^P it t9 dcxc* 







^«o^^^ THE COKEYS TALE OF CAMELVH. ^^^^^B 


^_ That drcdin him full foH for 


Now liihinlth and Uilinithf ^^^H 


^HA*he wfcke tU^t he wrought. 


*And holdith you your tonge, ^^^^| 


^H^j^nd for the fayir cumpan^ 


And ye fbuUin htT- gamin ^^^H 


^HThat he hjul thtther broughr. 


Of Gam !yn the yongr. ^M 


^^P Yoijg GamJlyji yidc to rhc gate 


Hcrkinith, Lordilingii, snd ^^^B 


' And ict: it up widr, 


LfHintth you anght^' ^^^H 


He Ictin in a IK the rout 


Whan all the geili» wcrtn gon ^^^| 


■^Tbat gon wold in or ride; 


How Gam lyn w?» dlght. ^^^| 


^H^ And fcid'}, Yc ben y welcome 


All the while that G^melyn ^^H 


^^■WitJi^>utiii any grrve, 


Hid hold hit mangcric ^^H 


^Hf or we wcl ben maiilcns here, 


His brothir thought on him bcwreke ^1 


^BAnd a(kt no man tere. 


With hia falfe trccherie ; ^t 


^K [t n'l^s but yeAerd^ I Ufc, 


Tho whan that Gam^'lyn^ia geftcs ^H 


^H Saidc yoiig* Gam^lyn, 


Y ridin were and gon ^^^H 


In my brother* U felerii 


Gam lyn (lode anon alone, J^^^l 


Five toun of right godc wyne. 


Frend. tho had he none. ^^^M 


1 willc not this cumpany 


Tho aftir thi» full fonc it fcU, ^^H 


Partyn with mf on twyn. 


Within a littil Hound, ^^^^ 


' And i( yc wiJl don aftir mc. 


That Game lyn waji takin, and 


Whil any fope ii inn : 


Full hardly was he bound. 


And if my brothir gmtchith u^ 


Than forth comith the falfc knighf 


Or makith it foult^ chcre, 


Out of the foler:}. 


Oihir for fpencc of mete and drink 


And to Gam lyn hit brothir 


That wc Ihull fpcndin here, • 


H: goith full- nerc; 


1 am the ovircaterir. 


And feiden unto Ganaclyii| 


And bcrc our alt hi r purfe. 


Who mede the fo bold 


1 He fhsdlc have for his grutcbtn^ 


For to deftroyin and wafte 


■^^4/fii A\{<Jriat curfc. 


The ftore of my koofliold f 


^^f My brothir is but a nigon. 


Brothir, anfwcred Gam lyUt 


^Bi fwrrt by CriftMs ore. 


Now wrathc the right noght. 


HULnd we wo I! Ipend • largily 


For it i» many* day agon 


^"^hrti he harh fparid yore. 


Sithins it was ybought ; 


And whofo that makith gmtching 


For, brothir, thou hallin hadd^. 


Thut wc do here yd well, 


I fwere by Scint Richerc, 


He 111 all go unto the porter i 


Of fiftcne plowis of londe jj^^l 


Into the draw^ well. 


This full fjxteh^ yere; ^^^1 


Sevin J:iyi» and fcvin nightet 


And of all the brili» which ^^^1 


Gamely n he id hi» fcft, 


Thou hall- forth ybredd, ^^^B 


Wirh mochc folace that there wa«| 


That my fadir to me bequcthe ^^^H 


{ Afid ckc no mannir hefte. 


Upon ht« dcth'ili bedd : ^^^^| 


Allin a htil torrithii 


or all thii full fixtcne yerc ^^^| 


! Brothir byde yftcic, 


1 gcvr' the the prow, ^^^H 


And faugh him waflin hit godtf. 


For tlic met: ars^ f^^'- 'irlntc^ ^^^H 


But durft . not to fpcke. 


Thatwehavol, ^^^| 


^xyht . ri, In a morrowftlng, 


Than thus ft* knight, ^^^H 


Upon ; l.-jy, 
L Tht ^ L - '» Gamtlyn, 


(Full cvtl mote he the; ^^^^ 


Hrrkinitb,hrolhif Gamelyn. ^^H 


■HAnd Widd ' gon thir way. 
^ Lordi«, tho fcidc G&m lyn. 


What I woll gcvin the •, ^^H 
For of my body, hrothir, htit M 


r And wollin yc fo hh ? 


Y gcttin have 1 none*; ^M 


L All the wyn i* not yet dronk» 


I woll makin the my heir, ^M 


^^8o broukin 1 mttie eyt. 


I fwer by Scint John. ■ 


^H^ Yongc Gam lyti in hisheiti 
^^rW^i forovwfuU and wo 


Parnnfay^ieid- Camclyn, ^M 


Andifthat'it fo b«, H 


^■Whan that hi* gcfUs tokc their Icve 
^^And fro him '^»^"i'' ""^ 


And thou thinkefl aa thoo feyUt, ^1 
May God yeldin it the ! ^H 


[ He wold haddwclli4 


Nothing wilt; yong Gamclyn ^M 


t-rn-TSr, aii.l Nay, 


Of bin brothcr'is gile, . ^^^B 


r i& Cod, 


And therefore he him bcgiUd ^^^| 


•Jc dai. 


In vcrry littil while. I^^^| 


Ihui mad: G.,ii, lyn hi< felke, 


Gam lyn, fcidcn he, o thing ^^^H 


And brought it well to end, 
' And aftirward hii geftij tokc 


1 nedii muil eke tctl, ^M 
Tho whan thou threw; my ^ftfT _^^^H 


U?c Uicif w»y tQ weed. 


Into the draw<i welV ^^H 



tHB COKE'S TALE OF OAMELYN. 


P^ 1 


rmW, sod 


And if I lhoId«^ Ictin you 


1 


lOtC, 


To ^n out of hi* bourc 


J 


ybondi be 


He wo 1 din afttrwirdis feyc 


I^H 


X futc J 


j That I were a tra)tour. 


^^H 


befedu^ the. 


Adam» anfweryd Gamdlyn, 


^^H 


lyn. 


So broukiri I myii hali. 


i^^^l 


me he forfworn, 


Thou Ihaite findin my brothir 


^^^1 


1 mtnc ; 


At the laltng:ht faU; 


^^H 


^indin the 


And therefore, brothir Adam, oifl 


^^H 


L« fotC, 


Lofd out of my bonds, 


'-^^H 


nync «voogh| 


And 1 wolk dcpartiii with 


*'^^H 


»te. 


The of myn own frc londs. 


^^H 


e Gun^lyii» 


Upon fo gode a foreward^ 
Saidin Adani, I wis 


,^| 


Q ferfworiii 

1, 


1 woUe doin thereunto 
Alle that in me is. 


^1 


this GamHfii 


Adam, tho fcid^ Gamc!yn, 


^^1 


jioi fland, 


A» fo mowin 1 the. 


^^H 


[Kindm hud 


I woll hold^ the cov^naunt, 


^^H 


ijiad. 


Au thou tQowoUe mc. 


i^^l 


hbliroihiroC 


Anon as Adam hisiord^ 


^^H 


\, 


To facdde was ygowc, 


*^^^H 


»rii 


Adam tokc the kaic^ aLud lat 


^^H 


t 


Gamilyn out anon. 


^^H 


lldingii 


He unlokid yongc Gamelyn 


^^1 


ftodc, 


Both hondti and ckc fete, 


^^H 


u comin in 


On hope of the avaunc^mcnt 


^^^1 


kwodc. 


Which that he him bchetc. 


^^^^ 


a poft 


Then feidd yongd Gamclyn, 


^^H 


tn. 


Thankid be Godd'i* fonde. 


^^^^ 


foomui in 


For now that I am yjofid 


^^^1 


L 


Both fotc and alfo hond 1 


^^H 


Gun^lyn 

> 


Had 1 but ctiii a litil. 
And thereto dronk aright, 


H 


t ne had he none 


There is tioa in thishouIS thit 


^^H 


ni^ht. 


Shuld bind.^ mc this night. 


^^^1 


^ CamcljTi, 


Tho Adam toke Oamdyn, 


^^^1 


J hall 


As ftill a* any ftoQc, 


^^^1 


Efpyld that 


And bad din lilm into the fpencc 


^^H 


Is, 


Right rapily anon; 


j^^^ 


that trdba 


And fcttin him to his fouperc 


^^H 


^food 


Right in a privic (Icde, 


,^^^1 


mfirokii 


And badin hym do gladily. 


•^^H 


Qd, 


And Gamclyn fo dcdc. 


i^^H 


ivtlicmdiii 


Anon aflonc ai Gomel yti 


^^H 


^. 


Had rtin wcl and fine, 


^^^1 


,00 Aighcb, 


And thereunto had ydrankin 


^^1 


30BC, 


Well of the rcdc wyne, 


^^^1 


^ thift G«m^l)n^ 


Adam, fcidc yong^ Gam&Iyn, 


^^H 


ftrong, 


Tell what is now thy rede ; 


^^^1 


thiukith chat 


For mc to go to my brothir, 
And gcrdin of his hedc ? 


^1 


% je Dirpcticeri 


No, Gamelyn, feidin Adim^ 
It fhaUe not be To, 


^1 


with which 


Bot I can tcllf the a rede 
That is yworth the too. 


S 


Ktheluief^ 


1 wotc wcle foffoth: that 
(And this it is uonay) 


B 


departin 


W^c fhulUn have a mangcrie 


^^^1 


. lond. 


Rightc upon Sonday ; 


^^^1 


rnd thif Adam. 


1 Of abbotii and priouri* 


^^H 


ffi^ccr, 


Ful! many here Qial be, 

And oihir men of holiti cherchj 


^1 


■ ^ A 


A» I CJU) K^t the : 


^^^^ 


LJ 


ft 


J 



^ THE COKES TALE OF GAMELYR ^B 


^^^TTiou fhahc ftond up Vy the poft. 


It nc h not wetc ylervidt |^^| 


As thou were honde f^ft. 


Be Gud that alle made, ^^H 


And 1 fhall ihem Icve unlok, that 


That 1 Ihoid filtin here failing ^^^ 


Away thou may them calt : 


And othir men make ghdc^ 1 


^^ And whan that they have y ctin; 


The falft knighir hii bi othifi ^^J 


^H And walhin have their hondes, 


Tkcrcas that he yftode, ^^| 


^r Tho thou fhali hefpekm them ill 


Toldin to all^ hii getlii ^^^ 


To bring the out of boiidcs ; 


That Gamelyn wal wodc. fl 


And if that they wili borrow the 


And Gamilyn there &o6i lUU, M 


^L That wefin ■ godc game. 


And anfwcrid right noght, M 


^m Than we no thou out of prifon 


But of Adtm*is wordis he M 


^^ And I all out of blame ; 


Hcld<J rViU in his thought. M 


But if that evcrich of them 


Tho Gamelyn began to fpckc, m 


Sayc unto us Nay, 


Right doulcfully witlialJ, ^^M 


1 fhullc don anothir thing. 


Unto the grctte lordii tbac ^^H 


I fwcrc by this day. 


Y fatyn lu the Hall : ^H 


Thou fhttU; have agodc ftaffe. 


My Lordings tho fcidcD be* ^^H 


And I vvoll h«YC mother. 


For Crifk*i9 paflion ^^^| 


Aiid Cnft*ii curfc have that ooo 


Hrlpm to bringe Gamelyn ^^^| 


That faiU ftiall that othir. 


Out of thilk^ prifon. ^^H 


Yct for God, feidc Gamely o» 


Than feide to him an abbot, ^^H 


1 fay ii right for mc 


* (Sorow upon hii cheke !) ^^| 


^H If that i fatHn on my fide 


He Ihallin have Crilfc*i& cuifc ^^H 


^K "i hao evil mot« 1 the. 


And Scint^ Maries eke, 1 


^H ff that vrc (hoUJn slgacts 


That Ihall the out of this ptiS^a M 


^B Afloilc them of thirc f) iinc ; 


Beggin owthir borow, M 


^r M^arnith mc. my brothir Adam, 


But cvir worthe hyra full wclc ,^^B 


Whan that we (hall bcgymi. 


That doth the mykil forow. ^^H 


Now Gamelyn, feidcu AjAmn, 


And anon afiir that abbot ^^H 


Ey Scim^ Char it ^ 


Than fpakiu anothir, ^^H 


] woll: warn.' the bcforti 


1 woldi^ that thyn hcde were of ^^H 


Wiian that the time (hall he. 


Though thou were my brothir. ^^^| 


Whan that I twinkin upon tlvc 


AU^ that the (hall borrowin ^^H 


J.okffor to be gon. 


Mot<^ them foiiltf faU ; ^H 


And caft away the fettcrii. 


And thus yfeiden alH they ^^^| 


^_ And come to mc anon* 


7 hat werin in the Hall* ^^H 


^H Adam, feid^ yong (iam lyii. 


Than fcid} to him a priour, i^^l 
Evil mowin he thrive i ^^^| 


■ YbUifid be thy bones! 


^m That is a rightc godc counfaile 


It is grctt^ forow and care, ^^^| 


^f y gcvin for the nones. 


Boy, that thou art on live. ^^H 


1^ Ifthat thcyfhullin wcrnc me 


On, on, fcjd^ yongt Gamelyn^ V 


To bring the otiiolhendcs 


So brouktn I my bone, m 


1 wollc fettin godc ftrokis 


Now that 1 ha"? in cfpjrid 1 


TuU right upon their Icndes. 


That frcudis have I none. H 


Tho the Sondy wa» ycomio. 


A curftd mot he worthe br^ ^^H 


And thcfc folk to the fcflc ; 


Bothd geOid and blrtdc, ^^1 


^_ Faire they wcrcin ywftromtd 


That evir doth to priottrii 4^^^| 


^m Bothe thclrUe and mzHc, 


Or abbote» any godc. ^^^| 


^m jVnd cYit as they At the H»Xk 


Anon Adam the Difpeoccr ^^H 


^M Hori were comin in 


Takin up hath the cloth, S 


^V Tlu.y evench caflin an cie 


And lukid unto Gamilyn, fl 


^M Onyong. Gani^lyn. 


And faugh that he was wr«th* ■ 


^H The Cdfc knight hit owtibfothu. 


Adam of the pintrie at thilk M 


^^ So full of trcchcric, i 


Time litil he thought. ^^^^ 


Al!c tht gcilct that there wcrc 


And too godi^ flavis unt6 ^^H 


At that ilk mangeric 


The Hall^ do re he brought, ^^H 


Of Gamelyn hi« own bt^othir 


Adam lokld on Gamelyn, ^^H 


He toldin them with mouth 


And ho wai war anon, ^^^^H 


Alii the hanmi and the tfanme 


And cafl awaie the fetterit| ^^H 


That c'ere he telle couth. 


And began for to gon« ^^^| 
Tho he camin unto Adltn, ^^H 


Tho they wercin yfcnrid flreit 


Of mefli* too or thrc ; 


He tokc to the one llaff^ ^^H 


Than fcid' j^ngl Oimltyn^ 


And beginning to werk^ wek^ ^^H 


How do ye icrirc mc i 


And godc ftrokii he galT. ^^H 



H tHE COKE'S TALE 


OF OAMELYN, 


F1 

ill 


!9^ ctmc toco the Kall^ 


While* Gam !yn made ordcrii 




lun Spencer both. 


Of monkis and of frcrc 




Lid them all alioutifi 


Evlr Rod- hi* brothir ftilU, 




Kadd;; ben wroth. 


And mad fool chere. 




flfn fprcnitli holi witit 


Tho Gamrlyn up with his flaff, 




h an okin fpirc. 


That he ful wcl kiicw, 




rtle of them that ftodc upright 


And grcttifi him upon the nek, 




ito the fine. 


Th;*t Ike him ovcrthrewc, 




e wat DO manair lewde mam 


A litU above the girdil* 




thrHalJ'ftodc 


The riggin bone to hnH, 




otd doin Gim-ljn 


And fctt him in the fctterif 




Ojf . hut godc. 


There m he fat tin arft* 




hei ftod<- bc6dia, uid 


Sittith thou thtrc, my brothir John, 




em bothr werch. 


Tho fgid- Gam:- lyn, 




DC hadd: oo rcmth^ 


For to coUn thy hottc bodie, 




of holi cherch. 


Am I did col- myn. 




ibot or of prior, or 


And fwithc as I hey yhaddc wclc 




I or of canon, 


Wrokcn them on their fonc, 




lOiclTn hath ofcrtoke, 


They aflcid for the wattr,and 




ej yedin doua. 


They wiihin them anon. 




: nc wai nanc of them alld 


What fomc of them foa their lov?. 




th his ftuflTymette 


And fomi- for their awe. 




oitde thrm oTcrthrowe, 


Allr the fervaunti* fervid 




flic them his dette. 


Them of the bcftc Jaw. 




3amclyn, fetd^ Adun, 


The (hereff was thennis away ' 




t> Charice 


But about a five myle, 




I pray* S^^ Hw^ray, 
the Itnrc of me ; 


And ^l wastolflin unto him 




Within a Uttlc whylc. 




wolU kepiu the dorc j 


How Garoclyn and Adam had 




lerc t maffc 


Ydon a forry res. 




hey hen afToilf id 


Boundin and woundin many men 




XU nooo yrpalTe. 


Agcn iheiLing'iipece. 




the tioght,foide Gam^ljn, 


Eftfonis tho begannin Tone 




lat we ben in fere ; 


Striffc forte awake. 


- ^^^M 


i ihoti wcic the dorc 


And the ^ircgercve abotit did 


^^^M 


'oH wtrkinherc; 


Ca/lGamlyn to take. 


' ^^^M 


Tith the, gode Adam, and 


Now U thin ith aud leilioitb, 


^^^t 


h none yflc, 


So God geve you godc fine. 


^^H 


ftiall tcUc Urgtly 


And ye Ihuil hcrin a godc game 


^^^1 


iny here there be. 


Of yong^ Gam lyn. 


^^H 


irnrlfn feidcn Adam, 


Now fouf-ajid-twcnty yonge men, 


^^^t 


rm all but £ixle, i 
KJM men otholi cherch ; 
IPtliem Dr» blode ; 


Tliat holdin them full bolde. 


f^^l 


Comin unto the fliircgercvc, 


^^^t 


And feid:' that they wold 


^^H 


right wcJc the coronne. 


Both Gamvljrn and ckc Adait 


^^M 


h them no harmcs. 


Y fette be the way; 


^^H 


ith bothe their leggif. 


The Ihiregcrevc gafft them lerc 


^^H 


in here thir armei. 


'II10 foth as I you fay. 


^^H 


Gam Ijrn and Adam hath 


Thes ycng^ mcin - hi den them 


^^H 


htia rightc faft. 


Fall, wold they not lynnc 


^^H 


dio with the monkiet tho, 


Tyll that they comiii to the gate 


^^^1 


B them agaft. 


There Gam-lyn was inne. 


^^H 


^idir tWy come riding 


Thy knokidin upon the gtt#. 


^^H 


f With fwaincs. 


1 he porter tho wa» nye. 


^^H 


e tgen they werin leddc 


Andlokid forth out at an hole, 


^^H 


sod in watne&. 


Aa man that wa* full flye 


^^^1 


1 ihcy haddin aH y done 


The portci had beholdiii them 


^^H 


fin a gray frerc. 


But for a litil while. 


^^^1 


t ! my Lord Abh<^T, 


He lovid weL Gamelyn, 


^^H 


I4i we now here ? 


AiidwaA adrad ofgilc, 


^^^1 


^ we hither did ycome 


And forthi let : tlic wikee 


^^H 


ciolde rcdei 


Yftondin full fliU, 


^^^1 


fcr better bio at homf 


And aflcid them that ftant withou'. 


^^^H 


Biraodwithbrcde. 


What ywai their will ? 


^^1 




#•4 


m 



1 Aft THE COK£*S tXtE (TV GAMELrN; ^^| 


' Foralltf thegret cumpany 


- Kai, nai ! by God, fdd^ they A*^ ^ 


1 Than fpakc hot one alDtit, 


Thy drink t* nothing godc, ^ 


Undo the gatU, porter, ailtt 


It wold(i makin mann'i* brmyne ^^^| 


Latd us in ygune. 


To lyin in hii hode. ^^^H 


Then feidi to ihcm the porter. 


Yong Gamelyn tko ftodi ftill, ^^M 


So broukin 1 my chynnf 


And lokid him about. ^M 


Ye ihull fay in your errand 


And faide.Tkc Ihiregcrcve comkU .^^M 


1 Cr that ye comin innc. 


M'ith a full gretta root. ^^^H 


Say to Gamclyn and Adam, 


Adam Spenc^, Jbd Gamelyn, ]^^H 


IT that thcr wtlk it he, i 


My rede it is now thit, ^^^1 


Wc wolL fpckin here with theti» 


Abidtn we not lengir here ^^^| 


Two wordis oihir thrc. 


Left we fario amyi* ^^^| 


1 FdUw, fewk the porter tho^ 


I rede that we to wode XS^iu» '^^l 


Stondith thou thcr yftill. 


Er that we be y found; ^^^^| 


And I woll wend ro G^mcljii 


Betir is there lofe fof to goiui ^^^^| 


\ To wetin of his wilk. 


Than tn the touae ybound. ^^^| 


' And in wcntc the porter iko' 


Adam ihcm toke by the bond '^^^| 


• To Gamelyn anon, 


Thin yonge Garni* lyn. ^^^^| 


And fcide,5ire, 1 wameyou' 


And cche of them to the otbir ^^^^ 


That here be come your fonc ; 


Drankin a draft of wyne ^l^^| 


For lo ! the fliiregercv'ii mca 


And afttrwardt»tokc thciFcourfe,, ^^H 


' Now ben all at the gate 


And wcnt^ fh-eight their way ; ^H 


J^or to ytckiti you botH^ ; 


Tho fond the IhircgcrcTc the nefk« ^H 


Shall^ yc not efcapc. 


But in it wai none ay. ^M 


Porter, iho fcidc Camclyfl, 


The fbircgcreve lij^brid adoune^ ^M 


Eo mote I wcU the, 


And went into the Hall, 9 


1 woH allowe the thy wonJc* * 


And fond the lord yfcttcrid ^ 


Whan I my tim^i fc. 


Full faftc thercwithati. S 


Go agcyn, port or, to the gatCr 


The ftiircvc tho unfcitcrii^ ^M 


And dwell with them a wbilc. 


Him right fonc anon, W 


Awaitin, and thou (haltc £ifr 


And fcntin aftir a godc l^he ^ 


Right fone, porter, a gile. 


To hck hi J rigg^ ben. 9 


Adanif tho fdd^ Gamelyn, 


Lct^ we now this faHe knight. fl 


l.okc the to be gon, 


I Ac m his mochitl care, ^^^M 


Wc have foomcn at rhe gatci 


And telle wc of GajTrdyo, "^^^1 


And frcndi$ ncvir one. 


And lokc how he fare. ^^^H 


It ben the (bircgercv'W men 


Gamely □ into the wild wode ^^^1 


That hithir ben comin, 


Yftalkid is fuU {lillc, ^^M 


1 *l'hey ben yfworc togidcris, 


And Adam Ic Difpenccr i» ^^^| 


•I'hat wc (hull be nomin. 


Yhkid but right ille. ^^^| 


1 To Gionclyn fcid^ Adam, 


llio Adam fworc to Gamelyn « ^^^H 


Hi^ the righte bclyvc. 


And that be Scint Richcre, ^^^H 


Andiflfaild thctlrisday 


Nnw 1 fay that it i« nicry ^^^H 


1 Than evil mote 1 thryvc. 


To ben a difpenccr ^^^| 


Andwefliullin (b welcome 


That mac he lev ire me werin ^^^H 


i The fliircgercv'i* men, 


The kayis for to bcre, ^^^| 


" That f omc of them 1 trow (hall tnaks 


Than waUtin in this wiide wodi |^^H 


Their beddi» in the fen. 


My clothi& all to terc. ^^^| 


Then thorough the poftcme gate 


Adam, fcide yong Gamelyn^ ^^^| 


Yong Gamelyn out wcnt» 


Difmaye the right noght, ^^^H 


jVnd a gode flurdie cane VuSc 


For many a gode manH^is child ^^^^B 


. In hii hondc he hcnt. 


In car^ i« ybrought. ^^^| 


1 Aud Adam Spencer Kcqt^ fonc 




Anothir grcttc ilafl' 


Tulkingboth in fere, ^^^H 


For to hdpe young Gamt'lyn, 


Adam hcrde Ulkmg of meii^ ^^^H 


1 And godc fVrokii he gaffe 


And aigh them thought they were. ^^^H 


Adam yfelUdhaLh hi»twcya^ 


Tho Gamelyn undirthc wild ^^^| 


And Gamctyn felled thre. 


Wod<! lokid alight, ^^H 


, The lothir fett^ on ertti» 
And fail began to flc* 


Full fcvtn fcore of yong^ men i^^^l 


He faugh right wcJ ydight ; ^^^H 


1 IMiat i fcidin Adam SpcDCer thoy 


Allc were fatt^ at th«tr me^ ; ^^^B 


; 8o erir hire I raaflc 

I have fight gode rcddc wjoe. 


In a compa« about ^^^H 


Adam, tho fcid^ Gamelyn. ^^^H 


Fray drinkith Cf yc paffe^ 

1 * 


Now havin yc oo doutc» ^^^| 



^^TilE <:OKE'S TALE OF CAMELYN. -^a | 


Bl»ai^ comith botr. 


And if that he hcfld^, md | 


[ll Godd'is grcie might ; 


Coniin of gentU blode, 


lith of Kictc and of drink 


He woll gtrvc u9 both mete and drink. 


BTID I flgbt. 


And doin u* forae goodc^ 


Je Difpcnccr bkid , 


By SeintJ Jamcfeide Adam iho^ 


lir wodc bowc, 


Whit harnic fo that I grcte 


to that he the mete fau^b 


I will AdTcnturc me to the 


wu gbii inowc; 


DoT^ that 1 had mete. 


Mr he hopid uqco God 


Tho Gamclyn and Adana both 


kTin Kbdele, 


y wenti forth in fcrc, 


pra» fill fore abagid 


And ihtfy both grcl^ the maifti r 


fodt melc. 


m*hich that they fond^ there. 


M he fcidc tlut word 


Than feid^ to them the malflir, [ 


the mALflir ^utlawe 


That King was of Outlawc*. 


iamel]rn and Adsou both 


What do ye fckc, ye joo^ mcn^ 


ht wod^ Ihaw, 


Undir the wod^ fhawei > 


ungc men, feide the malftir 


Yon^ Gamelyn anfwerid tho 


by the gwJc rode 


The King with hit coroune, " • 


ire of lome gefliiw 


He roull^ nedii walk in wodei 


d feodio us godc ! 


That may not walk in loune. 


! fondiriic ewayongt mea 


Sire, wc walWaothcrcinwodci 


n right wcl bdight, 


Noo hirm^ for to do, 


dventure they bca mo. 


But if paradventurc wc mete 


oktd aright. 


A dcrc to flierte thereto. 


h up quick j«»ge meii, 


Asmetne that htn right hungry » 


i< them to me. 


And mow no mete fynd, 


godc that we weciti 


And very hard^ hen belUd 


" r *^^t they be. 


Undir the wod^ lynd. 


•{uik It chat word. 


Of Oani^lyn'it wordi* tho 


:. - . .iiucrc, 


The maiftcf haddc routhe, 


f mcttm with Garni lyn 


And feid<? to them. Ye ihall havt 


asn Difpeoccrc. 


fnow, heve God r»y trouthe. 


K»t thcf wcrio ney to tbcni 
^thu» that one, 


Anon he badd^ them fitiin 


Dounc /or to tak^ reft, 


irp (0 Of, joti^c meo 


And badd^ them etin and drink, ^^^^M 


orti and your flone. 


And tliat too of the beO. ^^^H 


fcidc to thctn G^imelyn, 


A«rhey were ctiag and drinking ^^^^| 


Bfpt wai of elde, 


Of the heft wdc and Hne. ^^^M 


ik forowmoie they have 


Than feide the ton to the tothir ^^^M 


to you ftiall ) clde : 


This rs yonje^e Gamelyn. '^^^| 


woU nofv; othir wight 


Tho was the maiftcr of outlawc* • ^H 


tmine own^fclrc 


Into confaik nomtn, ^^| 


»y fcttin unto you 


And told how it wa« Gam^yn 'J^H 


idtUzn be ye twelve. 


That thither was com in. f^H 


lerdin by Jii» wordi* that 


Anon as he had herdin aU ^H 


ht wa* in his armc, 


How that it wai befall, ^H 


hi there wa» non of them 


He made Gamejyn maiiltr "^1 


Ide don him harme, 


Undir him o'rc them all. * "^ 


dm utitoGam^lyn 


W'thin the third wckcaftirthi* 


ildily and ftiU, 


To him eomith tiding, 


ifohn our maifljr. 


To the nuillir of outtawif, 


to Uitn thy wiil. 


Which that ncrw was their king. 


f nun, feid^ Gam^(yn» 


That he fliuld^ y com in home, < 


«ir Icaute 


For that hij pcca was made ; , 


rhat man your maiftcr it 


And of that joyfull tiding he 


bat ye with ybe. 


Was wonderoufly glade. 


lid they infweiid him ' 


Tho fetdc he to his yongc men^ 


without Icfmg, 


The fothefor to tell. , 


ftr- '" ' ' '- ' nid 


To mc be com in tidingia 


Wi '.T. 


I may no Icngir dwelL 


, i. ^ Gamclyn, 


Tho wasyong Gamclyn anoOt 


iCnli'it niitne, 


Withnutin tarying, . 


ooihix mete noiliriAk 


Made miifllr of outtawiv and 


ii9 for jhamei 


Y coroundld thcii king ; 





^^i ^^^^ 



tH THE COKE'S TALE OF GAiMELYK. ^| 


Tho wai yongOatn^lyn c roan id 


This Gamclyn harh a brothir "^^H 


Tbc King of tlieOurlawts 


That clcped wa» Sir Ot« ; V 


And among them walkid a whik 


As godc and hend m knight he WM ^^M 


UncJjr the wodc ftiawc»« 


As mightin gon on fotc ^^^M 


The fAlic knight fii^ brothir now 


Right anon yede a meflkgrr ^^^B 


Was ihirrgcreTe and Sire, 


Unto that gode knight, ^^^H 


Aiid Ictc hii brothir be cnditc ^ 


Andtoldinhimaho^ rlitr ^^^H 


For hate and for ire. 


How Gatn^lyn wa^ digla. ^^^H 


Tho wcrin oU hi* bondmcin^ 


Anon a^ Sir Oct hcrdin hid ^^^| 


Sory and nothing glad 


How Gam<^l)^n was dight, ^^^H 


Whan that Gamdiyn their lordd 


He was right piifHtig fory tho| ^^H 


Wolvei Hed^ was crycd and made. 


Ne he was nothing Tight : ^^^| 


And ftrttin oui* hit inrin* 


And kte faddlc him a jVed^, V 


Where tJiey mightin him fj-nd, 


And Jlrcit the wcic he name, fl 


f 1 r to fckin ycnpe G^tntlyn 


And onto hi* twcie brethertn fl 


XJndir the Wf)d^ lynd, 


Right fonc there he came. ^^ 


To tcll^ lo him Hdipgis 


Sir» Teide this Sir Ote unto ^^^| 


The vt'indt was ywent. 


The Hiiregcrcve tho, ^^^H 


And alie his gode revied wa». 
And all hh men yflient. 


Wc ben but only thre brethren, ^^^H 


Shall we be ncvir mo, ^ 


Whan vhat cttey hadd^ hym foundti^ 


And thus haft thou vprifoviiid ^^^ 


On kncya they them fcttc, 


Thcbefltiofu^all: ^H 


1 And adouii with thdr hod*, and 


Soche anothir broihtf ai thoQ ^^^| 


Gani^l)'n their lord grcttc. 


Evil mrie him befall I ^^H 


They fcidcn. Sire, » ow wrath* not 


^ir Ote, feide the hUi knight, ^^M 


You for the god^ rpde, 


Now tct* be thycJn; ^^^| 


For we have hroughf y. u tidlogit^ 


By God f^r thefe thi wofdis he ^l^^l 


But they be nothing godc. 


Shalle farin the wori, ^^H 


' Now iii thy brotbjr ftii^gereve, 


Nr.w to the ki^g*is prifpun be V 


And he hath tlie baijtie, 


li IciuUy ynome, jfl 


And thereto hath rnditid rhc^ 


And ther he fhuit abidtit B 


Aiid WoWta Hedc doth the me. 


Untill the jufticc come. ^^H 


Alia* f iho fcide Onmelyn, 


But parde, feid^ Sir Ote tho. ^IH 


Tliat e'rc I was fo flak. 


Eettir it fhaU ybe ^^^H 


That ] nc hadd brokin hi> ock 


Ibiddin him unto mftynprife ^^^| 


Whan I hi» rigg^ brak. 


And that thou graum^ me, V^^| 


Goith^and grerith you wel4 


V ntill the next* fitting ihill ^^H 


My hou(bondii an wif, 


Come of dclivcraunce, ^M 


I wolle ben at the next fliire, 


And than kte Gsmrlyn faire>y ^^^| 


So have God my lif» 


YAondin to hitchaunce. ^^^H 


Cancel yn cami well tcdy 


Brothir^ in ibchc a forewanU ^^^H 


Untn the oettf (hire, 


1 takin him to the, ^^^| 


And there the falfe knight hts bfOthlr 


And by thy fadir'ii fonJ^, ^^M 


Was botKp Lord and Si/c, 


That the begat and me, ^^^| 


, Oam^lyn cam^ boldilkh 


U that he be not right redj ^^H 


Into the Moi: Hall. 


Whan that the juftice fiitc, ^^H 


And put adoun his hode among 


Thou Hi ait c bcrin the judgement^ H 


The lordilingii all- 


^or all thy grctt*^ wit. ^ 


God favc yoi, Lordilmgis 1 


I grauiitin it wele, fddc fiir Ote, H 


Which that now here be ; 


Thar it fliall fo ybe ; * ^^H 


But as for the, brokebak Biertwt, 


Letith dclivir him anoo, ^^^H 


^ ' Evil mot* thou the S 


And takin him to me. ^^^H 


1 Why haile thou doin to ipc 


T3 Gamelyn wat d^linred ^^^| 


That (hame and viUonie 


To Sir Otc his brothir, ^^^^ 


, For to latin endite mc. 


And that night ydwellid in fere ^^H 


And Wolf*i» Hcde me eric I 


The ton with the tothir. '^^^| 


Tho thought ttic blie knight on hlni 
For to have ben avvrcjce, 


On the morow feide G«in^lyn ^^^| 


Unto Sir Ote the hend, ^^^^ 


And let* takin GameJyn ; 


My brotJ»ir,he feid^, forfotbe ^^B 


Mi'fl he no more yfpckc. 


I mot* from the wend, B 


Mighie there be no nwnnir grace. 


To lokin how my yonge men U 


But Gamejyn at U(t 


In wodc ledin their li'f, S 


Wa* into priforn tciAia, 
Andfcttcn4iitl)iaa. 


And whethir that thcviivcn noi» ^^U 


In j^ or eUci in ftrifl ^^H 



^^^ THE COKEYS TALE OF GAMELYR ^ 


■ 


lod, fho anfwerid Sir Ote^ 


He thoughtin wdd that he wohk. 


.] 


m colde rede. 


Withouttn more delay. 


^^^t 


fc that aile th« cvk 


Ycomin afore the juHice 


^^H, 


dlin on my hc<ic ; 


For to kcpin his day ; 


^^^li 


whan that thcjuAice Httitht 


And feidci to his yong^ men, 


^^H 


too be not yfounH 


Now dighiith you full yar^. 


''^^^1 


mon be laJtin. and 


for whan that tJ^e juAiee fitlith 


i^^^H 


ftcdc be ybound. 


We mote nedit be tlicre ; 


^^^1 


hir, tho (tidt Oamclyn, 


For I am undir a bof ow 


^^H 


r* the right noghl. 


1 Until that 1 comin, 


I^^H 


SdQte Jamc m Galii, 


And my broth ir inilede of ai« 


^^^■' 


naisj man hath fooght, 


To prifon fhal be nomin. 


'^^^1 


that God Almighty bold 


Be Seint Jamc.feide hit yong^ mctt, 


^^H 


r Uf and my wit 


And that thou rede thereto, 


^^^m 


ben there nght rcdy 


Ordcinith how it fhall^ be, 


^^H 


ihjt the jufticc fit. 


And it fhall fo be do. 


^^^1 


n feidc Sir Ot€ to G»m«lyn, 


While Gam^lyn wa*ycoming 


^^H 


cide the fro ihamc ! 


There that the juflicc fatt 


^^^1 


I whan that thou fcift tymc, 


The fair^ knight lus own brothir 


!^^l 


ing u<. out of blame. 


Forgattin he not that, 


'^^^1 


r lithir.ith and leftinithl 


To hire the meine on his queft 


^^H 


ildith you right ft ill, 


To hangin hit brothir, 


^^^1 


: fliuUc hcrin how that 


And tliough thei haddJ not that oon 


^^^li 


fD hdd hit wi]h 


He woldc han that othir. 


^^^1' 


a Gam^lyn wendn his 


Tho comiih yong^ Gamely d 


^^1 


4lir the wodc rife, 


From undir the wodc rife, 


'^^Hi 


: yfonde there playing 


And he broiightin along with him 


r^^l 


ngc men of prife. 


Hi& yongi* men of prife. 


l^Hi 


was this yoflgc Gamely B 


1 fe wcle, fcidi Gamclyn, 


j^^H 


right glad inow 


The juflicc i^yfettc j 


^^^1 


that he fond hts yongi men 


Go thou aforn ub, Adam, and 


j^^l 


Lhe wode bow 


Lok^ how that it fpette. 


t^^Hi 


lelyn andhiayopgi^ men 


Adam wcnte into the Hall, 


^^|i 


lin in fere, 


And lokid all about, 


'^^1 


ey all hadd^ rfght gode game 


And he faugh there yftond^ tho 


■ ^H 


Enaillir for to here. 


Lordingis grcuc and flout. 


*'^^l 


men lold him of ai^entnret 


And Sir Ore, Gamelyn*i»brothjr. 


^^H 


that they bad y found. 


Yfcrterid wcle fail ; 


T^^^^i 


am lyn told them agcn 


Tho wen tin Adam* out of Hall 


^^^1 


e w at fail ybound. 


As he wcrin a gait. 


^^^1 


he while that Camelya wis 


' Adam fcidc to Gam^lyni 


^^H 


r had he no cars : , 


And to his fclawct all. 


/^^H 


nc wai no man that for hkn 


Sir Otc yftondith fctterid 


*^^H, 


otight tl^e wort. 


Within the Motel Hall 


'^^H. 


ibbotit and priooris. 


Seide Gamelyn, If God geve ut 


^^B 


ookit, and chanon ; 


Grac^ wcl for to do 


r^^H 


a forfothc nc laft he noght 


He Ihallin it abeggc anon 


^^^H 


er he might them nom. 


That him brought in thereto. 


^^H 


Ic Gam^lyn^and hii yoog men 


Then feidin Adam Difpeneeri 


^^1 


mirthii ryvc, 1 


That kkki^ hadditi kore, 


^^1 


li? knight his own brothlr. 


Chrift'is curfc mot<^ he havin 


• ^^^^H 


ot^ he thryrcl 


That boundin him fo fore. 


^^Hi 


ill this while he waft abotit^ 


And if thou wik^, Gam^n, 


^^1'^ 


[ie day and othir, 


Doin aftir my rede, 


. ^^|, 


pofc for to hire the qtieft 


There i» none in the Hall<? that 


^^1'' 


i«n his brothir, 
Syn ftodin on a day. 


Shall here aweic hi* hcde. 


'. ^^H' 


Adam, tho fcidi Gam^lyn. 


^^ll 


^tmd him he beheld 


We W€j11^ not do fo; 


^^1 


tld wodis and the fhawii 


We woll flc only the giltif, 


^^1 


itbcwiJd^fcld; 


And bt the othir go. 


^^1 


bough tin upon his broihir, 


I will my fclvc into the HaU^ 


^^1 


bat he hi m bchete 


And hire the Juftice fpckc, 


^^H 


e yworldin be redy 


And on all them that ben gilriC 


^^Hi 


tluKtbejaiUcefcUl 


1 


J 



1 ^m 


wtK^r 


^pfg THE COKE»S TALE OF GAMELYN, 


^m Lat nooe efapin «t the doic ; 


And Sir Ote by him he Xatie, 


^M •Take, yong«^ mcint , ycmc. 


And Adam at hi* fete. 


^H For 1 woUe ben the jullicc 


And whan Gim Jyn the yong WiT 


Thit day domi« to dcmc. 


Satie in the jufticc fete. 


Pray God fpcde me this ilk dai 


He ktc fctt : the juaicc 


At thi» my ncwe w«rkc ! 


And hrs falfc brothir, 


And Adatn, comith thou with mc. 


And kte tht.-m come to the barre 


For thtHi fljalt be my clcrkc* 


The ton with that othir. 


His meliit; iU a«fwcrid hini. 


Whan Gamclyn had thus y done 


And had hym don his heft. 


Haddin he tho no reft 


^K And if thou to us have oede 


Till tliat he had cntjucrid who 


^B Thou {halt fyndin tXK prcft ; 


Wcrin upon thequed* 


^H For we woU«l' floudin with the 


For to demm hikbratliir dcrc. 


^H Whilisthar wc may dure, 


Sir Ote,for to be honge. 


^1 And but that wc werkin manly 


Er that he wifte which ihcy were^ 


^1 Payith us then (lo hurr. 


It tbowgbte liim full longe. 


^H Yong> men, feide Gamelyn, 


But al to fonc as Gamclyn 


^m Bo mot t wclc y the. 


Wifle where that tlici were 


^r As yc a right trufty maiftir 


He diddc them cverichonc 


ShuU<^ findin of me. 


Fcttcnn faft in fere. 


And right- tht»eat the jaftice 


And bringc them unto the bame. 


Yfatiin in the Halle, 


And fetic them tn vcwc : 


In wcjitc tho yong Gamelyn 


By my faith, fcid^i the jufHce, 


Boldly amongcf them all. 


The JberiiT u a flirewc. 


Oamclyo Icte unfct^ir 


Than ft id'.- yongc Gamelyo 


^- Hitbrothir cut of bend ; 

B Thj*n fcidc to him Sir Otis, j 

^m His brothir that was hende, 


Unto the falfc juftiee, 


Thou hafte gcv^ thy domift 


Alof thcworft airifc; 


Thou haddift almofl, Gam^Iyii, 


And the twelve fifouris that 


1 DwcUid away to long, 


Werin of the inqucfl 


^K For the queft-^ is ygon out 


They ftiulle ben hongid this day. 


^B On mc that I fbuldc honge. 


So God gcvc mc godc reft. 


^ Brothir, tho fcidt} Gamelyn, 


Than fcidc the Chcfjff pitoufly 


God gerc mc godc reft, 


To yongc Gamdyn, 


^m This gode day they Ihull ben hongid 


My Lord, 1 eric the mercie, 4j 


^m That ben upon ihc qucft ; 


Brodur arti* thou myn. J 


^^ And thereto the jnfticc boihe, 


Therefore, fcidc yongc Gametyv^ '^^i 


Thai i% the juggc man, 


4iave you Cnft's curfc, ^^H 


And eke the fheriff our broUiirj 


For if thou wcrin matilir yet ^^H 


Uk For through him it began. 
^P Th&n feida yongd Gomtlyn 


Shuldin 1 fari worfc. 1 


But for to make fhort my Talc> J 


tJnto the falfcjullice. 


And not to tary longe, ^^M 


Kow ii thi powir at an end. 


Hr ordeynid bim there a qocCL ^^M 


Vou muft ncdis irife. 


Of his own men fo flrong, ^^H 


Thou haft y^^cvin doniia that 


The fatfe juftice and the ih«nff ^^1 


B<n evil alle dight; 


Bothl were hongid hie, ^^W 


1 woll^ feitin in thi fete, 


To weyvin there with the ropis^ fl 


And drcJIiD them aright. 


And with the winde dric* ^^« 


But the jufticc fattin OSXH^ 


And als the twelve ftfourit^ ^^H 


And roofc not anon, 


Sorow have that rekk, ^^H 


And Camelyn with hi» fwerdd 


AUc they werin yhongid ^^H 


Clevid hi* chckt bone. 


Full fafte by tlie nckk. ^^M 


Yongc Gamclyn toke him i& hh 


Thus cndid hath th^fall'c knight ^^m 


Armift, and no more fpak, 


With all hi» trtchcric, 1 


But threw him o\\t the barrt, 


That evir haddc lad hi* life J 


And hi^ amic to brak. 


la faUVn^ift and folic, 1 


Durft no one unto Gamclya 


He wa* hongid up by the nek, 3 


6ayd nothing hut gode, 


And nought by the purfe, M 


For fffc of 5ie gret company 




That withautin yftodc. 


From hif fadir'tt curfe. ^^^| 


Gamclyn fatt^. him adofun 


Sir Otc was the cldift tho» ^^H 


In the juiUc'jn ftcdr. 


And Gamclyn was yonge, ^^H 


(Hcrkrnith now of tfecbooTd;i 


T hey wcriiin with vliclr ittadk^^^^^M 


That Gamelyn tho dcdi) 

• 


Fafbdifi to the ki/ig ^^H 



THE COKE'S Tale of gamelyn. 



^n pecc with the kingi 

g lovid Sir Ot* wcle, 
it him a juftice. 
the kin^madc Gam^l)"]!, 
I. eft iitid wcA^ 
fe juJlicc and ndcre of 
fi-c for eft. 

lis wivht jon^e itieo the king 
I them their g^tlt, 
kfli in godc o^ce the king 
i them ypi)t. 
haj won yongc!' Camflyn 
1? and ht& ledc, 
akc of him his enemies, 
them their mcde. 



And Sir Ott, hisbroihlr icrc^ 
Yniadc him hath his heir. 
And fifhiti wcddid Gam^lyu 
A wife both gode and fairc. 

They lividin togidir wclc 
Wlijij* that Chrifte woldc, 
Aud fjthin that was G^melyit 
Ygravin undir moldc : 

And fo fhall^ wc allc here; 
May there no man yflc 
Godbrinj^in ih untn the joic 
*rhat evir fliuU yhc [ 



i 



TTitit indUii the h^md 0/ Gamefrn, uiltci Tin Ct>i<*t TjU, 





HERE BEGiNNETK 



THE PLOWMAN'S PROLOGUE. 



Tut Plowman pluclccd up hh plowc 
Wlian midfomcr moae wns cornea in. 
And faietl his bcftc* Diould etc inowc» 
And ligr in g;rafrc up to the chin : 
1*hei ben fcbic: both oxe and cowe^ 
Of *h«m n*i&tcft but bone and flcinne; 
He fliokc of ibrrc, and coulter' off drowc^ 
And hongcd his hamift on a pinne. 

He tokc hi I tsibardc and ftalTc eke» 
And on hii hcdde he fct his hat. 
And faicd he would Saintft: Thomas feke. 
On pilgrimage he goth forth plat ; 
in fcrippc he bare liothc bred lekcs ; 
He w&i foLTwonkc and all forfwat : 
Men might have fenc through bnth his chckes^ 
And every wang tothc where it fat. 

Our Hnftc bchcldc well all about. 
And fa we thi$ man vtrm funne i brent ; 
Kc knewc well by hi* Gngid fnout. 
And by hi* clothes, that were to fcot. 
He wai A man wont walkc about. 
He n*M not aye in clotfter pent, 
Nc couth e religiouilicJie lout. 
And therefore wai he full ill fhcnt. 

Our Kofte him aied. What man art thou ? 
Sire Hoftc, (quod he) I am an hint. 
For I ^m wont to go to plow. 
And cme my mete yet iim t diqc : 



To fwcttc and fwinke 1 mak« avowe, 
My wift: und babe* therewith to fiadc, 
And lervin God and 1 wift how. 
But we leode men yUcn fall bUnde j 

For clerkes faic wc fhullin he fain 
For thtr livelod to fwcttc md fwinke^ 
And thei rigbt nought us i^ive atgmin 
Ketther to etc ne yet to drinkc ; 
Thei mo we by bwe, as that thei l!iin» 
U» curfe and dampne to heiris brinkc; 
And thus thei pur tin m to pain 
With candU» quient and beU'is dinke. 

Thei make w* thrallit at their iuft. 
And fain wc mowc not eli be favcd ; 
Thei have the corne and we the duft ; 
Who gal(i(aye& then thcv faye he raved. 
What, man ! (quod our Ho Ac) canft thou | 
Come nere and tcl fomc holy thing. 
Sir, quod he» 1 herd onii icche 
A preeft in pulpit godc prcdiing, 

Saic on quod he, I the befeche. 
Sir, 1 am rcdy at yoar bidding. 
I praic that no man me reprochc 
While that l am my Tale telling. 





HERE FOLOWETH 



THE FIRST PART OF THE TALE*. 



I ftricf ti ftirrid cicwei 
r ftedis in a Aoundc, 
Iry fedis that ben fcwc ; 
h tlut fcuiic ben unfoonde, 
le oe grcK gTDwin on groundc, 
en founk^ imiplt and fmaii : 
r irf 'hem is faliir fuundc 
It /oulc mote him bifall. 
Ofic fide is tK^ I of tell 
^ardinali, and prebues, 

monkiSj and freris fell, 

abbotcs, of gretc cftates ; 
:n ind hell thci kq>e the ycates, 
t«r'*focceffburs ben all, 
i u demid by old dates ; 
ted fock mo:c it befall. 
tliir Ude ben pore and pale, 
lie yput out of prcfc, 
lio caiti^et fore a cale, 
ID ©nc without encKfc 
J0lAcis> and Londlefc ; 
Keth on *hcni thei ben iincall ; 
I ariyid all for pece, 
td foulc mote it befall 

m counrrey haTc I fought 

re ihe falfirof thcfe two, 

my tmvailc was for nought 

rre a« I have ygo, 

wandrid in a wro, 

I wode bdide a wall, 

ISi fawe r fitting tho» 

r foule mote him behll. 

me did pJcre on the Popc*i lide, 

D of a grinune ftarure ; 

mc withoutin pride 

Lollcrs yJaied bit Inrc; 
d hit mattir in mcfure 
[aUe, Chrifl ay gon he call ; 
I (hewed as Ikarpc as fire, 
Dole mote it bd^lL 



ic »od c«»ctoafncf* of the 
: , fayx the edlitvr of Cluu- 



The Pcllicane began to preche 
Bothc of mercic and of mekcneife. 
And faied that Chrift fo gan u» leche, 
And m eke and mcrciable gan bleffc i 
The' Etrangcly benth witocffc 
A lambe he likeneth Chrift ovrc' all. 
In tokening that he mekifl wai 
Sjih pride was out of hcvin fall. 

And fo fhould every Criftencd be, 
PricftiB and Peter's fucccifour*, 
Beth lowlichc and of lowe dcgre^ 
And ufin none ycrthly honours, 
Nc crounc nc curious cove rf ours, 
Ne pilloiire ne other proude pall, 
Ne to cofrin up grctc trefours, 
For fallhcd foulc mote it bcfalL 

Pricftis fliould for no catttll plcdc. 
But chaftcn *hcm in charitc, 
Nc to nobattaik ihouldmcn Icdc 
Forinhaunfing ther ownc degre, 
Nat willirt Cttinges in hie fc. 
No fovcraiotc in hnui ne hall, 
Worldly worfhip dcfic and fle ; 
Who willcth highneji fbulc fhall fall. 

ALi> ! who maic Xochc faincfii* call 
That wilnith wc4dc yerthly honour ? 
JLowc as Lucifcrc fochc fhall fall, 
In balcfull bbckneiTe build thcr bourc 
That cggith peple to errourc, 
And makith them unto 'hem ihrall ; 
To Crifl I holde fochc one traitour ; f 
htmc: as Lucifer fochc fhall fall, 

That willith to be kingit pcrei. 
And higher than the Eniperour, 
And fome that wcrin but pore frcrc» 
Now wollin waic a warriour ; 
Gnd nc h not thcr gOTcrnour 
That hoJdith none his permagall. 
While coTc'tiff is ther confailour; 
All foche fallhcde mote nedis fall. 

That hie on horfe willith to ride 
In glitterandc goldc of grcte araie. 
Painted and portr id allc in pride. 
No common knjghl maic go fo gale. 



I «»> THE PLOWMAN S TALE- ^^| 


, Chating^c of ctotlitng every dale, 


Al Holica they clcpe thcr hed« ^^^M 


I With goldin girdili grctc and dnal). 


That of thcr rule i« full regaO ; ^^^H 


^ Ai Ijoiftom at it bcrc at baic; 


Alai that cvtr thci etc bred ! ^^^^| 


All foche falflicdc mote ncdi* fall. 


For ai fueh falfhcd wol foule fall. ^^H 


Witli pride ponifhith thci the pore. 


Thcr hcd covitith al hunour, ^M 


And fomc one thci fuftain with falc. 


To be worfhipped in worde and dcde # ^^ 


Of hoHc churchc makith an hore, 


Kingismotc to him knelc and coure, ^H 


And iill thcr wombe with wine and ales 


To tlic' apofllc* that Chrift forbcdc : 'H 


j With money fille ihei many a male, 


Trt Popi* hcllc fuch take more hedc ^M 


And chalTrin chuichii when thci fall. 




Atid telle the pcple a leudc tale ; 


Of gold and tiWir ben thcr wc4e, ^M 


So die falfc faitoura foulc 'hem bcfulL 


Thci holdc him hole omnipotent. ^H 


Thci fcde of many manir m«c«, 


He ordamelh by his ordinauoce ^^^H 


' With foiig and folas fitting lnng» 


To parifbe pricf^ii a powere» ^^^H 


And fillcth thcr wombe, and laflc frctct, 


To' anothir a gretir avauncc, ^^^^ 


And from the mctc unto the gong. 


A gretir point to his mlilcre ; ^^^^ 


And iitir mete with harpe and Umg, 


BiH for he* U hightfl in cnh hert ^^^^ 


And echc man mote 'hem Lordi» call. 


To him rcfcrvcth he many' a point, ^^^B 


And hotc fpicis cvir cmong ; 


But unto Chrifl, that hath no pcrc, ^M 


Sochc falfc faitours foulc *hcm befall. 


Ri'firvith he no pin no joyut. ^^^H 


1 Miters thci werin mo than two 


So fcmith he abovin all, ^^^^H 


Ipcrlid &§ the qucn'is hsdde, ' 


And Chrifl abovin him norhinge, ^^^^| 


A ftaffe of golde, and pirric lo ! 


Whan that he littith in his Rail ^^H 


A4 hcvie a»* it were made of Icdde j i 


Dampnith and favith as him thinke ; ^^^H 


With clothe of gold bothc new and rcddc» ' 


Suchc pride taforc hie God doth fttnkc^^^H 


With glittcrandc gold as grenc as gall, 


An angel bttd John to* him not knclc, ^^^H 


By dome thci dampnc men to be dcddc; 


Only to God to 6n his bowmge ; ^^^H 


1 All fochc fai tours foulc 'hem befall. | 


Sochc worfliip-willcri mote ill fcic, ^^^^| 


! And Crjft'i* pcplc proudly curfe 


Thci nc cUpe Chrift but Samirmt i>^»»>^^H 


1 With brtjdc bokc and braying bvll^ i 


Atid clepc tlicr hcd SaH^ffiwtvji ^H 


I And to put pcunici in thcr purfc 


All they that fudic a fe^r fcwis ^^^H 


* Thci wi'li fell boihc htvta and hclj : 


I trowc thci taken *hcm amiOc : ^^^^| 


1 In thcr fcntciice aad thou wilt dwell 


la crth htrc they havin thcr blifle, ^^W 


1 Thei wilhn gciTc in thcr gaic hall, ' 


Thcr hie maflir is Bellall ; ^^k 


And tlioogh the foth thou of 'hem tell 


Chrift his pore peplc from *hem wiflV, ^| 


In the grcte curfing {halt thou fall. 


For at fucbc f^lfc will foule 1>rfill ■ 


That is ybldHd that thei blclTe, ' 


They mow in both ybinde and lofr, ^| 


And curfid that thei eurfin woll. 


And all is for thcr holy life ; ^| 


And thus the pcplc thci oppreflc. ! 


To favc or dampnc they mo wen chofes ^| 


And have thcr lordihippis at Ml : 


Betwene 'hem now is a grcte iUifc ; ^^k 


And many be mi-Tchauntc* of woll. 


Many' a man is killed with a knife ^^ 


And to pun pennie* woll come rhrall^ 


To wetc which havin lordlhip fhall ; ^B 


The port prplc thci al to pull; 


For fuchc Chrift fuffnd woundit five, V 


lluch falfc fai tour* foulc 'hem befall, , 


For all fuchc faJihed will foule fall. ^^^H 


Lordii* Alfo mote to 'hem loute. 


Chrift faid, J^i^itf^tf/^cwfrif, ^^^H 
With fwcrde fuirly he fhall die ; ^^^H 


0!»eyfaunt to thcr brodc blcCing, 


Thci ridin with thcr royal route 


He bad hiftpricftis pccc and grith, '^H 


1 On a courfir at* it were a king. 


And bad 'hem nr»t dredc for to die, ^H 


' With fadlc of golde glittering. 


And bad them be both fimplc* and flk, ^B 


With curious harneis quaintly craUit, 


And carkc not for no ctttc 1, ^| 


Srircippi& gdie of gold^ majliin^ ; 


And truftc on God thit Cttith on hie, ^ 


All fuchc falfhtxl foule may bcial it. 


For al falfc Ihal full foale befall. fl 


Ou ifle» MiniAcrs cltpid thd'bcue^ 
And rulin al in robbcrie, 


rhcfc wollin make men to fwere ^^^H 


Ayend ChriH'i** conimaundiment, ^^^^| 


Put Aniichrittcihct ftrvin clcnc. 


And Chrift %& members al to tere, j^^^l 


Attlrid aj in tirannic. 


On n>dc a^ he were new yrcnt ^^^H 


Witneflc of John hi* prophcclc j 


Suchc tawcs thci maken by tfleoc, 9^^^H 


Antichrijle ii thcr admirall, 


F.che on it trowith a» a bdl, ^.^^^1 


Tiffcleri attired in tfcchcric j 


And thus the pore be fntly ihenC| ^^^H 


Al fuche faitoum foulc 'hem befall. 


But faUhed fotile \i fhiillc bc^lt, ^^M 


Who faith that fomc of *hcm may finnr 


Nc ufin thci no (imonie, ^^^^1 


He ihil he domid r " ' ' 


0Lt fdlc churchis and priories, ^^^^| 


Sume of *hem\\c vinnc 


Nc tliey uHn to none cnvic^ ^^^H 


' Al »)cufi that wLv .. ^ ^^ .. . Ud. 


But curfio sd 'bcm coutimri^«, ^^^H 



■ ■ TKE PLOWMAN'S TALK. 


in ■ 


Pmeti hy (ki«i and yere« 


And at] to holdin grct arraif , 


^J 


Dgth to hold 'hem in thcr (bit, 


To muhiplic *bem more mctail. 


^^H 


! til thcradviTfarrcs, 


They drcdc Ful litd dom'is day. 


^^^^^M 


tilfljcd fonlc thou them fall. 


Whan al fuchc falfhcd thai (oiilc fall 


^^^^^M 


m(c they purchafc pcrfonage. 


Suchc harlottc» ibul men difclaundrr^ 


^^^H 


Klhci payin *hem to plede. 


Fur that they fhullin roakt thcra gre» 


^^^^^1 


(1 want thci wollin wage 


And ben as proud as Alexander, 


^^^^^1 


tiler enemies to dcde, 


And fain to the pore >j'o be ye ! 


J^^^^l 


a U^U ihey wol ledc, 


By ycrc eche pried (hal paic his fc 


^^^^1 


kil take, and give but fmall. 


For to CDcrcfe hi» kmman^ call ; 


^^^^H 


, fo get from it ftjal Oicdc, 


Suchc hcrdis Jhul wcl ivil the. 


^^1 


c fuche falfc nght foule yfall* 


And al fuche falfc ibal foule befalL 


^^^^H 


lalowe Qoching but for hire, 


And if a man be fajfely famed, 


J^^^H 


lie, ne foot, nc ve (lime tit. 


And wol ymakc purgacioun, 


^^^^1 


e orders in every (hire. 


Than wol the' officers be agramcd. 


^H 


m pay for the parchment ; 


And afljgn him fro toun to toun ; 


"^^1 


Bth«7 t^iken rent. 


So nedc he mutk payin rauufome. 


.^^t 


Bry fmcre the (h(;pM» fkall. 


Though he be clene a ti chrifluU,, 


^^M 


W»rrhe^ b«i fufpcnt; 


And than have an abfolution ; 


^H 


B£hcd loule it befaU. 


But al futhc falfc (hal foule bcfalL 


^^t 


mth not in Iccheric, 


Though he be giltie of the didc. 


^^^^H 


te wenchis widowi, and wrrci. 


And that he m^y the money pale. 


fl^^H 


Ih the pore for ptJtrc, 


Al the while his purfc wol ybledt 


^^^^H 


: it ufcLh al ther Ifvci ; 


He may ufc it fro day to day. 


^^^1 


^an to thexn him (h rivet 


1 The bifliopes officers gone gay. 


^^^^M 


bnc he nevir (haU, 


And this game they ufe ovir all. 


^^^^^t 


BprfjQ aa be catives; 


The pore to pil is al their pray ; 


■ ^^^^^M 


^bine that he fhal fall. 


But al fuchc falfc fliul foule bcfaU. 


^^^^^M 


^feore mercy* in Maximinc, 


Alas! God ordained no Fuchc kwc^ 


^^^^H 


1, that never wat gode, 


Nc no fuchc craft e of covctii«. 


^^^^^^ 


re it now in Ibmc of thf na 


But he forbad it by hi* lawc ; 


^^^^^1 


|ph on his furrid hode ; 


Suche rulers raowcn of God agrlfc. 


^^^^M 


m Chrift iliat tlicdc hi» blode 


For al hif ruli» ben rlghtwifc ; 


^^^^^1 


Pit bucket to the waJL; 


Thcfc newe pointis ben pure papall> 


'^^^^1 


cdiis yben ^orfe than wodff 


And Godd'ts bwe they all dilpicc, 


^^^^^1 


chc fiitour^ foule 'hem ft&U. 


And al fuchc fai Lour* ihul foule fall. 


il^^^^^l 


ive ihcr aim is to the richc^ 


They fainc that Peter bad the key 


^^^^1 


ryoour& and men of lai^e. 


Of hevcn and hei, to have and hoUe; 


^^^^^1 


dU they wolbe lithe, 


1 trowc Peter tokc no money 


^^^^B 


»t4 fonne not worthc an hawc ; 


For no linnis that he yfoldc : 


^H 


I!l- a He fuchc ban Cawc ; 


Suche fuccclTouri yben to boUle, 


^H 


nbe thcr crockcttes with criftall. 


In winning all thcr wittc tliey wral, 


^^1 


c of God they have dcrune drawc i 


Thcr confctencc is waxin coldc. 


^M^^l 


liitoors foule 'htm befall. 


And al fuch faitours foul 'hem fall. 


^^^^H 


Like parfons for tlie pcnuic, 


Peter was ncr fo grt-'lc a folc 


^^^^^1 


nf and their cardinals ; 


To Uvc hi^ key with fuchc a lorcll> 


^^^^^1 


ktnongft 'hem al iit any 


1 Or take fuche curfid foe or tole. 


^^^^H 


Itk glofcd the gofpcl falf. 


He waa advlfid nothing well ; 


^^1 


t mAde ncr no cathedraU, 


1 1 trowc they have tLc key of hcll^ 


^^^^M 


lim wa* no cardinall 


Their maiftir i^of that marfhall, 


,^^^^H 


Wc hatte, uufc minftrais; 


For there thci dreffin *hcm to dwells 


^^^^^^M 


d fouk mote it befill. 


And with falfe Lucifer to fail. 


'^^^^^M 


thing and tJier ofi&ing bothe 


Thd ben sla proudc as Lacifarrr, 


^^^^M 


tuth by pofTcflion, 


As angry and as envious ; 


^^^^^M 


n'ii they none forgo. 


From a god^ faith tlicy ben ful farrc i- 


^^^^^M 


1 men a« a r^^uiifomc : 


In covc'tifc they ben curious ; 


^^^^^M 


[g of tmr/te Ivrrum 


To catche catil a* covitous 


i^^^^H 


c maiflcr^is vcmall ; 


A» hounde thtit For huagrc wol yalj, 


^^^^^1 


>f bribry and larfon 


Ungodlv and ungracious; 


^^^^^1 


'. faJfhcd full foule to MI, 


And nedely fuchc falfe Ihal foule fall. 


^^^^^1 


kin to fermc thcr fontpfiottr» 


The Pope, and he wcri: Jeter's hcirc^ 


. ^^^^^1 


the pt'ple what they may, 


Me thinkc he crrith in this calc. 


^^^^^1 


len *Rd falfe faitours 


Whan cholfc of bifhop's in difpairc 


^^^^^1 


tier fclci I dare well fay, 


To choCn 'hirin ia diver* place, 


1 



tit 

A lordc fiial Write to Kim for grace, 
For hi» clcrke anoDc praye he (hAil, 
So ihal he fpedin his purchafe; 
And al fuchc fadfc foulc 'hem befall. 

Althoygh he caa nc manir godc 
A lord'ii praf ir flial be fpedde, 
Though he be wildc of wil or wodc, 
Nat undcrflanding what men rcddc^ 
A Icydc boftir, that God forbedde. 
As godc a bifhoppe' is my horfc Bail; 
Suchc a pope is fuU foule beftcdc, 
And at the Ufte wol foulc yfaU. 

Hcmakith prieftesfor crthly thanke, 
And not at all for ChriA'ti faltc ; 
t iCuchc that yb«n lul jat and ranke, 
To fotjl'is heic none hcde they take; 
Al iivvcl done what cr they make. 
For they flial anTwcrc oiiet for all ; 
For world*i$ thank fuch worch and wakCi 
And al fudic falfe flial foule befall. 

Suchc that can nat yfay ihcr credc 
With pray if ihu] be made prelatetp 
Kothir caji thei the gofpell rede, 
[ 6uche fliul now wcldtn hic cftates f 
The hie jjodes frendfhip *hem makes, 
Thci totith on iher fumme total! ; 
Suchebcre the keyci of hciria yatei, 
And all fuehe falfe flial fmile bcfaU. 

Thci foffakin for Chrift'i> love 
Travalle, and hungre, thurfte, and coldc j 
They ben ordrtd or al above 
^Oui of youthed til they ben oldc; 
|By the* doic they go nat to the foldc, 
' "To helpe ther fliepc they nought cravali 
For hi rid men al fnchc I holde» 
And al fuche falft fowlc 'htm befall. 

For Chrid oar King thci wol forfake* 
'And knowc him nought for hi» povcrte^ 
For CKri(l'ij.IoTe thcyrolawakci 
And driiike picmcnt al aperte ; 
Of God they feme nothing a£rrdc, 
A* htily live i» i.aniual. 
And drive ther fhcpc into defert ; 
Al fuchc falfe fJtouri (hul foulc fal. 
Chrift yhad twelve apoftle* here, 
ffowc fay they Ther may be but one 
l^hat may not arc in no manerf, 
ll^'^ho levc not thi* ben loft echonc : 
peter etrid, fo did not John j 
Why i» he cleped thf Principall ? 
Chriftc cleped him Peter, cot the Stone ; 
Al falfe faitour* fodlc *hcm hcfiil. 

Why curlin they the croifcry 
Chrifl'ii Chriftian creturi* ? 
Forbyrwenc them is now enry 
To be cnhaunild in hooouriv | 
Chriilin liven wtth ther labottrit 
For ihey levin on no mortal, 
Ben do to dcth with diihonour*. 
And al fuchc falfe foulc *hcm he fat. 

What knoweth a tilloure at the ploWe 
The Pop 'it name, and what he Kate ? 
Hit credc fufSfcth to* him inowc, 
Aad kfiowsth a csudi'aol by hit batte. 



THE PLOWMAN^S TALE. 



Rough it the pore unrightly Iitte» 
That koowith Chrift his God royaJ ; 
Suche maters be not worth a gnatcc, 
But fuche falfe faitours foule *beiD faJL 

A king Ihal knele and kiffc hi* fliowca 
Chrilt let a Gnful kiiTe hit fete, 
Me thinkc he holdcth him hic inowe. 
So Lucifer did, that hie fet : 
Sudic one mc thinkc himfclfc foryetf 
Or to the trouth he wat nat cal ; 
Chrille that fuiiirid wottndi» wete. 
Shall make all fuche falihcd foule £ilL 

They layith out ther larg: octtca 
For to takm filrir and golde, 
Thei £llin coifcn^ and facket fettcs 
Ther ai they fouUt catchin ihokk ; 
Ther fcrvauRtc» be to them tmholdcb 
But they can doublin ther rentall ; 
To bigge *hem caftlesbigge 'h«:m holde; 
And ai fuche falfe foule *heiii bcfalL 



fttametb tbt feande ^ti€* 



To accords what this wor^^ hM 
No more EngHlhe ne can 1 fiude^ 
Shewing anothir uowc \ (hallf 
For 1 have mochc to faye bcKiod^p 
How pricjlis han the peple pinde, 
A» curteifl Chrifte yh&th mc kinde^ 
And put thsi matter in my minde^ 
To make thii manir men amende. 

Shortcly to {hende *hem, and (hewe na 
How wrongfully they wercbe and waikc, 
Of hie God nothing iell» ne howe. 
But in Goddcs wordc tell many a balke. 
In harniii hotdc 'hem and in halke. 
And pre Jien* of tithi» and oflrcnde^ 
And untrurly of the golpH talke; 
For hii» mercy God it amende ! 

What cli is Astichrifte to fate 
But cvtn Chrifl'is advcrfarie f 
Suche hath now ben many a daic 
To Chrift'i* bidding ful contrarie. 
That from the trouthe clenc y warry % 
Out of the way they ben yweode^ 
And Chrid'ik pepk uotruely cary ; 
God for his pitie it amende ! 

They live contrary to Chriftct life. 
In hie pride agaiiifl mek nc0e, 
Againft fuflraunce tlicy u6d ftrlfe. 
And angre ay en ft fobrcnclTe, 
Aycnift wifcdom wilfulncfle; 
To Ciirill*U talis litil tcndc, 
Againfl mefurc outrigioufnefle; 
Bill whan God wol it ttviy amende* 

Lordely life ay en ft lowHnclfe, 
Anddcmin al without mercy. 
And covetifc ayculU largc0e| 
Aycnllk UQuUie trcchery, 



THE PLOWMAK^S TALR ^^i»^| 


Eoift ilmcffit covy ; 


Me thiukc fuche Ihiphcrdcsbcn tn wife '.^M 


ChrLiI they Cfimprchcndc ; 


Who* aycn rhcr Ihtpc witli fwcrde contcnde ; ^^M 


[tile nuJntciiie kcheVy ; 


They drive thtr ihepe with grctc dcfpite ; ^^t 


Idsftau thw z^mcndc ! 


Bur itt this God m;ij well amende. ^H 


[kll peniUDce thci ii/c deUg;htefa 


Peter*! fucceiTuurcLi be thci nought ^H 


fttfeiuiicc fborig ucfcncc. 


Whom Chrifl ymude hi* ehck pailoure i ^^| 


God they tilifl JU nghici. 


A fwcrde jio jhcphcrde uiiu ought i^H 
But he would ilc as ^ bochoure : ^^^| 


pit.t punirhmcato. 


^li jy lilt cvntiocncc; 


Who fo were Petcr'f fucccfiourc ^^M 


t..ksd wjfjuing worfc difpcnde, 


Should be re his fhepc til hU backc b^nde. l^^l 


dc icxte ia to di< pence ; 


/^ndlhadowc *hcm from c wry fliuurc ; ■ ^^^| 


h.. .^^^,.,..ri.. it Amende J 


And al this God may wel ^^codc^ ^^H 


Ay" his po were, 


Succeilours to Peter ben theic ^^| 


dhUhcftcs?^ ' 


In that, that Pcttr Chriile krloke, |^H 


ipg tolowc ihci nought hcrei 


That levir bad God'i love to Icfe ^^| 


In wcrtic ihao witicfTc bcftei i 


Than ihephcrde hid to kfe his hoke $ ^^| 


Kind Idbe tHey lovm (dka i 


He cuUeth the Ihcpe at doth tix coke ; ^^M 


Iftbei hm hrodc Oiecde ; 


Of 'em tnkin they wotl luttrendc, ^^H 


■Mbporcthei hMm g«ftcs; 


And fiilfL ly glofe the Gofpeli boke ; ^H 


Bb mercy thU amende ! 


Gud for his mercy them amende I ^^H 


nKvcft fuche ihal have Lhcrdomc* 


Whan Chrift hadtidte Peter the kiy l^B 


IDethuL the)' be Chrift*is frcndc*. 


Chrift faidc he muil ydie for man £ "^H 


mofh ^^. a. rKey fllould dolK, 


That Peter to Chrift gan withfay, .^H 


»h^ ri bt'ti ft'Qdci : 


CKrille bad him Go behinde, Sathan ) ^^M 


pepi V luchc beodd 


Suche cotmfailoursmany' of ihefch^ai, ,^^H 


1 in crth they hau ofTcodc ; 


For world'it welc God to ofTcnde ; ^|^H 


r for fuch Chriftc now fcod u«, 


Pctcr*i» fmccc£our5 they ben than j^^M 


r his mercy thi* suncndc ! 


But ai fuche God may wel amcjidc. ^^^H 


iken* of ADikhriA cbcy be ; 


For Smthan is to fay no more ^iV 


Kcka hcD now widt Ucnowe, 


But he that contrary to Ciirift is, ~ 


^d lo prcchc (hal no m no be 


Iif this they Icrnln PeicrS lore, 


Bt tokin of hiin i irowe ; 


They ftwin him whan ht did miflc i 


;hi.*liD prieft to prcchin owe. 


They folcwc him forfoth in this 


^od above the! ben yicnde 


That Chriii would Peter rtprch.ciide. 


s *.vor«l to &I folkc for to fcowCg 


But nat th:it longith to* hevjn bliflcj 


iful m^ for to amende* 


God for hi* nicrcic *bcm amende ! 


iQ. fent the pore for tu prcche* 


Thci ncnc apoftle frvren, m cafe 


(yil richc hi did cot [o^ 


Of ought tJiat 1 am undcrftoudc, 


;arr no pore the prplc tcchc. 


But him that betraicth Chriil, Judaf ; 


iCichrtJl u al ther foe ; 


That bare the purfe in every londe^ 


Mhc p^e he mote go« 


And a! that he might fette onhondc 


■^dm al fuche fufpcnde. 


He hiddc and ftalc, and it mifpcndc : 


■m he hcnt, and thinketli yet mo \ 


His rule ihefc traitours han in bonde ; 


thif God rtiay wel amende. 


Almighty God al! fuche amende 1 


ho that haa the worlde forfake. 


And at the laft his lordc ^tn tny 


vin lowiy, as Goi badde, 


Curfidly tl»rough falfc covctifc, 


ler prifoD fhuUc be taikr. 


9o would thefc traine Kim for ninocy 


md boundin, and fortb Indde : 


And they ywiftin in what wiici 


r I rrde no man be drulde. 


They be filtrc' of the fcle cnlife. 


(ud ikxt hu ihouid be yihcudc ; 


From adl fothntfle they ben yfrcnde. 


tun ought hereof to be^^iaddt^ 


And covctifc chaungc with quetitifc ; 


od ful wd it woL anieode. 


Almighty Cod al fudic amoidc ! 


ry take oo *hem royall powcT| 


Were Chrift ujioo erth, here cftc fonf > 


ly they ha^in fwerdis two, 


Thcfe would in d^mpne him to die i 


arfe to he], oncfle men here : 


All his hcftia they han fordone. 


caking Chrift lad no mo. 


And fame his fawes ben hcrefic ; 


dtr bid but one of tlio, 


Ayenft his comm^undemente* they crie, 


JhnQ. to him fmltc g«n deftndc, 


And dampnia all his to he ^>r. jhU-. 


dto the* Jheth badde piit it tho i 


For thei ne like fuche iofer 


I fwche mTfcheve* God amende ! 


God Almighty allfuchc aril 




ThcJe han morcmigliC in luj^jkndc here 


It I 


Than hath the bng and ^li hi:* lawe, 


C U no tOl" M LEU UKpe lo it-pr^ 


They han purchafid fuche powcre 


ihfphcrdci t,*i*t /ht^pc wol bite ; 


To «;ikixj 'hem v. bom lift not kaiHvvf » 



ftM 



THE PLOWMAN S TAtt. 



And fay that hcrcfie' U ther fawe. 
And ih TO prifon wol 'hrm icnde ; 
It was not fo by cldir dawc ; 
God for his mercy it amende ! 

The king* is Uwe wol ao man deme 
Anj^riichc wlthoutin arfwcre, 
But 11 amy man thefe mifquemc 
He fliuU be bai^htid a§ a berc. 
And yet wel worfe they wol him terc. 
And iu prifon wollin him pendc 
la giuis, Ind in otiiir gere ; 
Whan that God woll it may amende. 

The king nc toxith nat hi» men 
But by afltnt of the commi'naltc. 
But thcfc eche ycrc wol rauniom 'hero 
Maiflirfully, more than dothe he : 
Thcr ftli* by ycre bettir be 
Than is the king*i« in extcnde, 
Ther ofhrcrshan gretir fe; 
But allc thi» mifchcfe God amende! 

Who fo wol prove a ttfhiment 
That 18 nat al worth tenne potinde, 
He fhal paye for the parchemcnt 
The thirtlc of the money all ro unde ; 
Thui the pore pepic i:* ranfounde. 
They fay fuchc parte i>m Ihould apende^ 
There as they gripen* it goeth to groundc ; 
God for his tneicy it amende ! 

A fimplc fornication 
Twenty fhiilingi> he fliatl pay, 
And tban have abfolucion 
And al Lhc ycrc ufc it he may : 
Thui thci lettin "hem go aftray ; 
Thet rcckc nat though the fuulc bcbrcnde^ 
Thefc kcpin cviU PetcrS kay ; 
And al fuchc Qiephcrdec God amende I 

Wondir ii« that the parliaments. 
And all the lordi» of thiK loodc. 
Here to takin fo lite entente 
To hclpe the peplc' out of thcr hondf. 
For thci ben hardir in ther bonde, 
Warfc bete, and crucUir ybrcndc, 
Than to the king is underftand ; 
Cod him hclpc this for to ameiidc \ 

Wliat biihoppcs,what rciigionH 
Han in thi» lande a» muchc lay fc» 
l^rdcibippift and poiTtfTionj, 
Alorc than lordit it ftrmith me; 
That makith 'hem IcXc chat itc : 
They mowin not to God attende, 
In crththci have fohighc dcgrc; 
God for his meicy it amende! 

The Empc^our yatc the Pope fomtime 
So bighe iordrfhip him about, 
That at tJic lafl the fely kimc 
The pruutlc Pope yput him out. 
So of ihh relme t» m gretc dout ; 
But, Lordcs, beware, and them dcfrode* 
For nowc thcfc folke be wondir floutc ; 
The king and lord» now chit amende. 



JVlorsrs I awe forbodc it tho 

That pre ft is fhould no lordthippei wdde^p 

Chrill'it gofpcll biddith alfo 

Th.»t they (hould wo tordfluppi» helde \ 

Chritles apoftcl* were ncr fo faolde. 

No fuchi: lordihippci to *hcm embrace. 

But fktere thcr fhepe and kepc thcrfoldc; 

May God amende 'hem for his grace 1 

For thci ne ben but counterfetc. 
Men may ytnow *hem by thcr frutte, 
Thcr gretcnelTc maketh 'hem God foryeU, 
And take his mckcncffc in drfpiic ; 
And thci were pore and had but lite 
Thci u*old nal dcmcn' aftir the face, 
Norilhe thcr ihcpc, and 'hcra nat bite ; 
May God amende *hcm for hi* grace ! 

Griffon, 
What canO thou prcchc aycnfi ciisnoi 
That men yckpin Seculerc ^ 

Thci ben curate* of many tounct. 
On yerth they havin gretc powcrc. 
They have gtcteprcbendi* and dcre^ 
Some two or thrc, and fume have mo, 
A parlonage to ben playing fere. 
And yet thei fcrvc the king alfo. 

And let to-fermc* all that fare 
To whom that wol moftc give therfcirejr 
Some wbllin ipcndc, and Tome woll fpate. 
And iome wol Uyc it up in ftorc ; 
A cure of foule they care not fore, 
&» that they mowin money take; 
Whtithir thcr foule* be wonnc or lore! 
Thcr profites they woll not forfake» 

They have a gcdcring procuratoor. 
That can the pore peplr cnpledc. 
And roble 'hent as a ravinoor. 
And to hift lordc the mony Icdc, 
And catche of quickc and eke of dede. 
And richin hira and hit lordc eke. 
And lorcbbe the pore give gtjdc rede: 
Of oldc and yongc, of hole and fickc. 

Thtrwith they purchafc "hem lay fc 
In londe, there at *hem likith bcft. 
And buildiii brode as a tite 
Botli in the eft md in the weft ; 
To purchalc thus they ben ful prrft. 
But on the pore they woll nought fpcndc, 
Nc no gode give to Godd'it geft, 
Nc fende him fomethat all hath fender 

By ther fcnicc fochc wollin life, 
And truft that othir to trcjure ; 
Though all ther parifhc die unOiriirc 
Thci w oil nut givin a rofc fiourc ; 
Thcr life Ihould l>c as a mirrour 
Both to lerid and Icudc alfo, 
And tcchc the folkc tlitr lelc tabovr ; ' 
Sochc miiftcr men ben all mifgo. 

Some of 'hem ybeo full harde i 
And fomc of *hcTii ben proudc andf 
Some fpcndin ther fcodc upon giggCH "" 
And fiiidia 'hctn of gretc arwc^ 



^^ THE PLOWHtAN^S TALI?. ib| 


R|,;.a.rK.r.«,.^ ro faic 


Who fayiih fothe h<? fhill he Ihcntt 


m ;nde> 


Of fpcketh ay en ft thcr falfc living, 


B ( -^ d*ic 


Who fo well liirith fhallbc brent. 


tchi» 111411 be worlc than wodc 


For fochc ben grctir than the king. 


itr chufthi* ncvif ne lie, 


Popl^ bifhops, and cardinids. 


pcuic thidii fcndc; 


Chanons, and parfon&«aod vicarc. 


tutl the pore fur hungir die, * 


In Godde* fenrice I trowc ben fall 


^^cm wilJ thei not fpcnde : 


That facramentisfciJin herc» 


Having of the rente 


And hen 3l> proudc a» Lucifcre I i 


Rerof '^ „ 'lunt; 


Eche man lokc whtthir that ( lie y 


.drvill 1 m blcntcj 


Who fo fpckjfh ^yrnft thcr powtrc 


ttSaiii'ii -!jnr. 


It fhalJ be hoi din hcrcric. 


r horedo! r i > , 


Lokith how maiif order* takt 


tifc^anU ; _ , :. [>rja^>, 


Oncly of Chh(i for hit ftrvicc. 


e,and wr*thc» ^nd ckc cnvic^ 


Thut the worKi'i* godii forfake ; 


I finncbf evft7 fide; 


^Vho fo take oidirt othir wife 


ere thinkiu fochc t* abide ? 


I tn>i,*e that thci ftiall fore agrift.'» 


1 thci thcr accomptii ycld ? 


For all the glofc that thci connc, 


God thci mowe 'hem nof hide ; 


All nc fcwin not this afiife j 


ci* wittc* if not worth a Oflde. 


In evill rime thci thu% begonnc. 


n (o rotid in riwhcflc 


I.oke huw many cmong hem alt 


iVi% poTcrt lAfnrycti 


Nc holdia^not this hi } waic 


ith fo many meffc 


With Antichrift ihei ihuUin fal!^ 


JM tliat manna is no mete ; 


For that thci woUin OoJ betraic : 


c thai thci niowin gete ; 


God amende *hcm, that heft yiiiAJc t 


e ro livjji evlrmorc ; 


For many men ihei makin fticudc ; 


ehat God at dome is fcie 


Thci WLtin well the fothe I faie. 


rjur i» a fcbic ft ore. 


But the devill haih f9yle hem blende. 


i»mntc ihci mating faic 


Sora of *hcni^on iher chitrchi* dwell 


.... ,^. J t ^ urrholding^ 


Appitraiilcd porcly ; proude of porte ; 


,.itC, 


The fcvcii fticramcntcs thci docnfcUi 


-j noticing I 


In cat tell catching' is the r comfort : 


Itffvc bothc crie aad king 


Ofechc mattir thei woUin mell; 


kding and for hiife, 


To docn *htm wrong it thcr difport ; 


his tithing and ofiriogi 


Toafraic th- peplc thci ben fcJi, 


cblc charite. 


And hold 'hem lower than docth the Jorde* 


hel ben proudc or c<i?e*tous, 


And for the tithing: of * dackc, 


e« ben hard or hnngrie. 


Or of an apple or an aicf 


m UbeVall or lechcrom. 


Thci make men Iwerc upon % bokc ; 


lUers with marchaaJrie, 


I.o 1 thii!. thci foulixi Chrift'i$ due i 
Stic he berin evill hevin kaic j 


T»ofmeii with maiilrie. 


dcs, couutour*, or pledours, 


Thti mowin afloile, tli/ci moweJhrive, 


; God in ypocrific ; 


With mcimis wivU flrong^iy plaic, I 


:fti*bcn Chriil€»Xalfe tmiinurs* 


And with true tiltcr*, fturte and ftrivcj 


m £alfe,thci hen vcn^cable. 


At the wrciliing and at the wake. 


^brn in Chnll*u n^mc ; 


And the chief chauniour* at the nalc. 


■hrdlaA and uiiflablcf ; 


Market bctcrs, and medling make, 


BvLordc *ht'm thinXe no &anic | 


Hoppcn' and houtin with hcvc and hak i 


God thci hen fuU lame j 


At fijre frcfhc, and at win^ ilak', 


._*.:. ,.-j *■ , \i .r.- .i-^.r. 


Thci dine and drinke, and make debate, 


ume J 


The fevcn facramentes fct a fade; 


. -.- ■■ -.- .dc. 


Kepc fochc the kaics of hcviti gate ? 


nit tbclc prieUis icrvc alt, 


Mcimis wivis thci woliinhoid. 


E who maic fnyin Naic ? 


And thoogh lb at tfici ben right lory, 


rift focheihuUiu tall. 


To fpekc thci fliuJl not be fo bold, 


hrm in dcdc %ad hie\ 


For fonipoing to* the conrtftory. 


il . araie, 


And make 'hem iaie with mouthc 1 lie ; i 


ir Jfclyfaini 


Thou^ U thci it fdwin with iher eytf i 


rL-::iuu a.-.m*ia daie 


Hislemman holdin opiniy 


: lolowc him to p.vin ? 


No man fo hardc to alkc why. 1 


u-H, 'h.Tr i,iMit:,t theidocn lU 


He woll have titliing and dfring . 


y Mcnt, 


Miugre whofoevir it grtrtchc. 


• ,. ,:l, 


And twifc on the date h; wn^^ fing i 


hau bj qhc ajJciit« 


Godd'ii prieiUs nc were ntmi f«:iic j 



THE PLtVr%iAH'S rAt% 



He mote go hunlc wk!i t!tig*c and bich«, 
I And hlowcn hk home mid crytn Hcyi 
'And forccnc ufcn aa a witchc ; 
Soche kfipin cviH Peter's key. 

Yet thci mote hterc fomc ftixltc or (tone 
Gaily p^intid and proud fy dight. 
To makin men livm upon, 
And fain that it U fii!l of nnght, 
I AlKtut fache men Tct up gfctc light, 
tOthcr f<fiche ffockes fhall ftande thcjby 
I A& darkc as if it were midni|^lit, 
^For it maic makin no maflf ic. 

That it the Icudc pepte ft: niowe, 
[Thou Mx^ry.thtiu worchcftwondir thin^s^ 
I About that thail men oftrin to 
^Honjjtn brochif, ouchis, and ringri; 
The pritft pirchafith the ofTnii^tn^ 
But he n'ill olfir t^' noi>e imaf e : 
Wo in tbc fouk- that he forCnge* 
That prcchilh for foche pilcrrima^ ! 
To nicn -nd women that ben pore, 
l^liich tliat ben Chrift'b ownc likcncCre^ 
! J*f en fliulten offir at ther dorc. 
That fuFrc htingir and diftrcfCr, 
And to fochc image oSr Icffe, 
I That mo we riot fclc ne thirllent eold; 
FThc pore in fpirite gan Chrift bl^JTc, 
Thcrfore offrith to feblc' an^J old. 

Buckiiers brodc and fwerdis lon^, 
Baudrtke, with h ' V ' '; nc, 
[•fSochc tolcH abevi thei hong : 

|%Vith Antirhrift i v.v ^ . wUs ten; 
iVpon ther dtdes it ia well feac 
""Whom rhci ftrvin, whom thei hnnouren ; 
Antichrift'ii thd ben oil cicnc, 
And GoddUs godes falfly dcvouren. 
Of fcarlct and grcne ^ii gonnes. 
That mote be Ihaptn for the newc, 
To clippin andkifltn in tounes 
f The damordci that to thedauncc f«rwc, 
Cuttid clothe* to fcwe ther hcwe, 
With long" pik« on ther fhone : 
Our GcMid'ia gofpell is not true ; 
jEithcf thei fcrrc the dcvtll or none. 

Now ben the pricftis pokca fo wide 
2^Ico mu'l enlarge the veftimcnt, 
*rhc holy gofpell they docn hide 
' IFor the contrarien in raiment ; 
ffiuch priftes of Lucifer ben fent : 
Make conqncrours thei ben araicd, 
I The proude pcadauntc* at ther tm pcnt^ 
^ralfciy the irueth thei hAn bctraied. 

Slirift filvir foche wolHn aflccii, 
rAod'W'oitin nreu crepe to thccrouchc; 
Kone of the facramente* (avc aflcii 
Withoutcn moede (hall no man touchc ; 
On ther biflitjp ther warant vouche, 
That i» a law of the decrc : 
^^ith mcdc and money thus thei mouchc. 
And thu» thei fain it charitc. 

Within the middf« of ther ma/Tc 
Thei n'ill have no man hnt fr>r birr, 
And full (htjrtJy let forth ypiffc -» 
Suvhc ihuU m«Q imEo In cch^ 9xm 



That parfonagci for galoc dcttrP 
Tu live ill liking and in lu{lc%; 
t dare not f ^in Jams «/*jr9 dire 
That foche ben Anticlirift'is pricilm 

Or thei ycf the bifivippi* why^ 
Or ihct mote ben in bi^ fervice, 
And holdin foTth ther harlottric, 
Socbe prcbteb beii of f jbl^* i-mprifi; ; 
Of Godd'is granve foche men agrlTe, 
For foche mattir^that takin mcde. 
How thei' escufe hcni, and in what wifi^ 
Mcthiuketh thei otij^ht gretely cfr- ^ 

Thei fain that it to no man ir> 
Tu rrprove them th^ju^fh that »]. 
But fuUly Godd'i* gcdcs tbcifongcm. 
And thcrwitfa mairKein wo and werre; 
Thtr dedci (hould be a*bri^t a*llcrrf| 
Ther living lend maon'is light : 
Thei Wic f be Pope ne maic not crrc ; 
Ncde muft thai ynilTin mann'ts might. 

Though* A pricil lie wrth hit Icmnun* 
And telien hit fclawc and he him. 
He gMth to malTc ant^n J^ght^ 
And faicth he fingtfth out of Hunt j 
Hill birdc abideth him at hi« imi?» 
And dighteth his diner the menc wliilr. 
He finjrctli his maiTe for he would wiooie^ 
And fo he wcnith G^jd bcgile, 

Uiem thinktth long till thd be met 
And that thei xiic fotth it] the ycrc; 
Emong the fulkc whan he i« fct 



perc : 



He buhljrh no i 

Of the biOiop I. 

To fuiJc men, < t n trrre^ 

His abfolucion raJirth ihcro flrere ; 

Wo is the foulc that he {ingcth for ! 

The Oi iflbn began fur to tlircte, 
And (aicd| Of motikis canft rhou ought ♦ 
The PcUiVan f*id, Tliei I 
And in thia world moche \ 
Saiaia Benct, that th^r or-i 
Ne made 'hem net in foeh 
I trowe it came ncr in his ... .^^.,, 
That thd fliould tJfe fo gtrie powtre. 

That 3 man Ihould a mon!ic I.ordc ci?,' 
Ne fcrvc him on knee» a;* ?. 
He ii at proude as prinrc i 
In mete and drinke, and in ail liA^^ : 
Some wcrcn a miter and ring, 
\rith double worilid well idtght. 
With roiall mete and riche drlnfce. 
And ride on courfer as a knight. 

With haukit and with hoatjdi< fke. 
With broche or ouchi) cm his hodc ;, 
Some faic no maffe in all a wel^i 
Of deimeei it ther moll^fade 
W^jtli lordiliippi^ and with hoadsatn % 
'1 hi) is a roiall regroun ; 
Sa nd Bnet made ner non of "hem 
Tci have lordfhip of nun trc totmr. 

Now thei ben qneint and nrrioaa, 
Wiih fine cloth*- chd md fcrridclc: 
Prouici and an^^ic, and eurioti^ 
Malice it mad:il Uat thei meiie ; 



THE PLOWMaN'5 tali 



in in y 

to Brilrt"« living, 
n clfrrkr^, mA cotirt* dTtf fe, 
T lly thti flitc; 

ir ■!!«: 

^ ■■ 'te : 

r r/verttf, 

:., Jitc; 

ir liite, 

ben comen 

- icn : 

fete, 

ci etc, 

.1 . 

■ v.^\n and wcte, 
l,ur{^r,^nd cold, 
vcs hin forfak^ 
-liii^l Bcnete, 
hem betake | 

ioo ts iij Dciite : 

^n cnii of ^rct rdiglan 
have bwn^i.1 at the plow?, 

md diked fro tounf to coone^ 

: ii * Ifc mowt- 

►c s AUforfak^t 

V hem ma.kC]!' 

icj 
to, 

.■Ak m^uif li^L lind ^A^ 

fcf uinfk Bcnct, 

Lb' \o]y curfc; 

ncm ttfrcT met 
i : to fobbc his purfe, 

h- tc.re» 

i. hen, 

lis treitirc and his ftare ; 
f^idie crthtr counterfaitourt,* 

^cm», and foch^ diigi fed, 
cncTn1c^a^d traltuurs, 
m tun foulc dtfpifed j 
■rii I hrrc before 

rfe and more, 

>u..- .. . it trifcde, 

godencfi no roan tell mijrht, 
,_jpeke, nc thltike in ihought, 
\§ktd and rbcr ucrigbt 
i«« t<ll that ere God wroiugbt, 
ikicd^ Thou canft no godc, 
r of no ^cntill Idndc | 
' '^ ;odc 



ret of d 
cm to f 



F.hc man fball live by hi* ^^'^1:'^lf-» - 
Who UdldoithlhaJl have 
With flrcngth it' mna the i ilc 

%Viih flrcngth men mull dcfcudc her ncde. 

And if the Pone were purely pore 
And ncdy, and nothing nc had. 
He fhuld be drive from dorc to dort • 
The wickJd of hitti n'olde not drad r 
Of f'jcJi«? un hedde men would be fisde, 
And ftnfully liven' -' »» ^n inil * 
With llrcngth a be made. 

With weptu wi>l' ii pc be wxilf. 

If ih&t the Pope and prcrbte^ tvouU 
So bcggc and bid, howe and bon«t^ e. 
Holy church e fliould yftmdc lull ctdd, 
Her fcrvauntcs Gt and foupc forowe j 
And thci were nougblte.foulc, and honf#ef 
To worfliip Go4 men wotild wUtc 
Both on evin and on morowe : 
Soch^ h:irlotnc nufi would hjtc» 

And therfore m^'n of holy churchc 
Shouldin be honeftc in all thing, 
And uorniifvfidl Ood*s worki* wef lihe ; 
So fcineth it to (ct^c Chrift thcr king 
In honefl ahd in clen^ «1trFliJi)|if, 
With vclTela of g<.ld and tlothcfu rtthc 
To God hnncftly to" mjike ufTriug, 
Tor to his lardfiiip none h Hche. 

The Pcllican cuH an houge trie, 
And faicdi Alas! why faieft thou fo f 
Chrifi i« our hcde t)mt fitteth on hicj 
Hcddi* nc ought wd have no mo j 
We ben his membrc* bothc alfo, 
Fathir he taught us call htm nh, 
M^iftcr* to call forbad he tho : 
All ntiiilem b«0 wi(kid and t,ih 

That ukith maiflrit in his tuLoK 
ChoHly, artd to win yerthly gode; 
Kingij and lord<s fhould lordfliip hSve^ 
And ride the ptplc with mildtf mr.rJc. 
But Chriil, for Qs th»t Ihed his Mode, 
Bad hii prieflft no nKuRfrfbip have, 
Nc carke not for clothis nc tode; 
From all mifchtcf he tvoll *hcm fav^. 

Thcr richc clothe* (hEll be rightwilheffe^ 
Thcr trcfare a true life fhall S<, 
Charitc fhal be thef tiehefle^ 
Ther Loidlhip fhall be unite, 
And hope in God ther horiefle, 
Thcr vefTcll a clcnc coufcicncci 
Pore in fpritc, and humifite, 
fihall be holy church*i« defence* 

What J faicd the Griffon, niaic the greY9 
That othir folkid faren wclc f 
What hail thou to doin with ther live? 
"i'hy fallhcd every man rauie frle. 
For thou ne cinft no cattell gtftc, 
But livcfl in loudc IS a loreTl, 
With glofinggettift thou thy m^te; 
So farith the devil in hell. 

He would that - ' - "• n tlicrc Ihotild dWfit), 
For he Uvith in . 

So with the taK> iocfl tell 

Thou wouldeft otiur peplc dc^nt 
Pij 




9%l 



THE PLOWMAN'S TAL*«. 



With your glofe and your herdfic. 
For yc can live no bcttir life 
But clcne in fait hypocrifie. 
And bring i ft the in wo and flrifc. 
And thtrwith have yc not docn, 
'Pot yc nc havin here nc cure ; 
Yc icrvc the devil 1, not God nc man. 
And he fliafl payin you your hire ; 
For yc wol fdrin wcl at fcflc«» 
And be warm cbthid for the cold,, 
"I'hcrfore ye glofto Godd'ii heftcs. 
And bcgile |)Cplc yong and oW. 
And all the ievin facnimcnte» 
Yc fpckc ayenft as yc were flic. 
Tithing^, offringti, with your ententes^' 
And on your Lord^Js body Ik : 
All this yc docn to live in c£o» 
As who fayith iher ben none fnchc. 
And f.iTn The Pope* h not worth a pcfe. 
To make the pcpic' aycn him ^roclic. 

And thi* ycomimth in by fcndcs 
To bring fhe Chriftin in diitaunce, 
YoT thci woujd that no man were frcndea. 
Ltvith thy chattring with mifchauncc ! 
If tliou Uve wcH what wilt thou more t 
i.ct othif men hvc ai» 'hem lifl, 
Spendin thcr godc or kfpc in iore ; 
Othir mcnnci conTdencc? ocr thou n'ifl. 

Ye han no cure to anfwere furc ; 
"What meddle* yc that han not to docn ? 
Let men live ai thci han dotn yore. 
For thou flialt anfwcrc for no man% 
The PclKcan fayid.Sir, naie,. 
1 nc difpifid not the Pope 
Nc no facrament, fothc to faie. 
But fpcke in charitc* and gode hope : 

But I difpifr thcr hie pride, 
Ther wchhc that fhould be pore in fprite^ 
Thcr wickidncffe i« know* fo wide,. 
Thci fcrvin God Is hUc habitc, 
And toumin mekeiic0c into pride. 
And lowlineflc into' hie dcgre. 
And Godd'is wordis toumc and hidc> 
' An<l I am moved by charitc 
To Icttin men to llvin fo 
With all my conning and my mighty 
And to wamin men of ther wo. 
And to tdlin 'hem trouth and right. 
The facramcnics be fouri* hck 
If the i bra ufid in godc ufc ; 
Ay en ft that fpcke 1 ner a dele, 
For than nc were I nothing wife ; 

But thei thu ufc 'hem in mUTe lAuierf, 
Or fct *hem up to any fale, 
I trowc thei Oiall abic *hem dcr« ; 
This is my rcfon, tbi» my talc : 
Who fo taketh hem unrightfulHchc 
Aycnfl the ten commtndcnientc*. 
Or cUcj by glofe wocchiJlichc 
Scllcth any of the facramantci, 

I trowc thci doc the dcvill homage^ 
In that the! wetin thci doc wrong, 
And therto 1 dare well to wage 
Thci fervc Sathan for all their ^ng« 



To tithen' and offrc* iii huHumc hfe^ 
So it be docn in due mane re, 
A man to houfeUn and to ihrivc. 
Wedding, and all othir in fcrc- 

So it be nothcr foldc nc bought. 
Nc tat^ ue give for covctife, 
And it be fo taken* it it nought; 
Who fcUcth him fo miic fore agrifc ; 
On our Lordc* b«dy' 1 dot not lie, 
1 faic the fothc thorough true rcdc^ 
Hi» ficflie and blodc^ through ht» miilc 
li there all in the iarmc of brcdc 

How it is there It ncdcth not Urivc^ 
Whcthre' it be fubget or acddcnt, 
But as Chrift waj» whan he* was on live 
So is he ther^ iu veramenCp 
If Pope or cardi'uall live gode U»c, 
As Chrift ua bad in his gefpcll, 
Aycnft that nc i^oU I not ftrivc. 
But mc thinkith thei live not well ; 

For if the Pope lived as God bcdde. 
Pride and highncffe lie fhould difpife, 
Richcflc, covctife, and croanc on hcdde;, i 
MtkcnelTe and povertc* he Ihcruld ufc. 
The Griffon faicd he fiiould aboic, 
1 hou (halt be brent in bakfull firc» 
And all thy fca I ihail diftric ; 
Yc fliall be hangid by the fwirc, 

Yc fhulle be hanged and to drawc 7 
Whogivith you Icvc for to prcchc. 
Of fpt-kin ayenft Godd'is la we. 
And the pcplc thus falfdy tcchc ? 
Thuu fhait be curfcd with boke and bcll» 
And diffcvcred from hoHc dhuxche^ 
And clene idanipnid into belt, 
Othirwife but yc woUin worche. 

The PclU'can faied,That I nc drtde; 
Vnur curfing is of lite value ; 
Of God I hope to have my rnedc^ 
For it is fjlOtcd that yc flicwe. 
For yc ben out of charitc. 
And wilnc vengeauncc, aj did Nero : 
To fuifrin 1 wol rcdy be; 
I dredc not all that thou can ft do. 

Chrift bad ones fuifrc for hii loYe» 
And fo he taught all Kii fervaunttJ, 
But thoa* amende for his fake above ; 

I dredc not all thy n^^- • - - 

For if 1 drcde the v 

' Mc thinkith I were 1 : ^ 

I dredc nothing your hie eftate, 
Ne I nc dredc not ycur difcfe, 

WoUin ye toumc and Icvc your pride^ 
And your hie porte and your ricKeflc^ 
Your cuf (Ing fhould not go fo wide ; 
God bring you into right wifenrffc ! 
For I dredc not your titannic. 
For nothing that yc can ydocn $ 
To fuffVc I am all redie, 
Sikir i rcckc ncvir how font. 

The Griffon grinned at be mtte wojr. 
And lokid lovely as an owle, 
And fworc by cock*i» hcrtc and Vlodfi 
He wold him iqtc every doute; 




THE PLOW 

fSie dum difdautxlrjft foulc ; 
eche 1 woU the to race, 
: fhy flefti ta rote and moulc ; 
lu Qkdt hnyt hardiJ grace. 
iffoo flcwe forth oq his wiic, 
:aj3 did (it and wcpe, 
ni'eif be gan to (vt, 
d that my of Chriftes fhcpc 
ia. and ttakcn krpc 
3ird chat here Ciyid was 
Id tt write and well ikcpc ; 
4 it were ail for his grace ! 

nidy and £ued f would^ 
tniaik one would pcy. 

PcUicatt* 
d yet; thefe ther God han fold, 
oa grete (lore of money. 

, Tell me and thou maie, 
ill thou mcimUs trefpacc f 

I, To' arocnde htm in gode fay, 
oil give me any grace ; 
\riSt hiinTelf 1% liken to me, 
btt pcple died «n rode ; 

rigDc Co farith he, 
I Ms hirdes with hi*^ hlode : 
\ dofn evifl aycnft Godc, 

lil» foen andir frcndcs face ; 
?iii how thcr living {lode, 
i amende *bcm for his grace ! 

PhvrmMn. 
ailith Che Grififiin, tell why 
loldith on the' othir fide^ 
rwo yben hkily 
^ kisdis yrobio wide. 

Pimc*m. 
itd^ betokinitb pride, 

that high tkwc wai, 
he did him in ill hide, 
^hcd Godd'j* grace, 
de flyith up in the aire, 
ih by birdet that ben meke, 
ben flowe up in difpoirc, 
sdin itly foulift eke ; 
t» that ben iii finnei eke 
\h *hem; knele thcrforc^ adasl 
■ic Oodd'is forbodc brckc ; 

amende it for ht» grace ! 

bder parte k a loun, 

r and a ravin er, 

►belli the peple in yertb doane, 

erth holdith none his perc : 
this foale both fcrre and ncre, 
npo*rel fbrength the pcplc chafe 
proudcin ycrth here ; 

d amende 'hcmfnr hi^ grace! 




MAN^S TALE. 

PfUysn. 

He flewe forth with hii winps twaim 
All drouping and dafid^and dull, 
But fore th;.- Griffon came ag4ing 
Of Ills fuulis the ycrth was full; 
The PctU'can he had caft to poll, 
.So grcte nombre net fcnc thcr was. 
What iiianir of foulcs telle I woil. 
If God Vk^\ give mc of ki* grace. 

With the Griffon come louU» fcic, 
RiiviuK, roki», crowit, add pic^ 

I And graic fouli», agadrid wclc, 
Igurde above they wouldin hie, 
Gl^rdts aadbofacdcswrren'hcm by. 
White mollc« and pnttockes tokc ther place« 
And lapwings, that wel conith lie; 
Thi* company' h:in forlete thcr grace. 
Long while the Pcilican Wat ouie* 
But at lafl h« commith againe^ 
And brought with him the plicnix (lotite; 
The Griffon would have flow ful faine, 
Hi& fouUs flcwcn as thickc as rAine» 
The phenix tho began 'hem chacc; 
To flie from him it was in valne» 
For he did vcngeauncc and no grace. 

He flcwc *hcm doune wttheut mercy ; 
There cftirtc neither Ire nc thrall ; 
On him thvy call a rufuU eric 
Whstn that the Griffon doua was fall ; 
Be bete him not, but Ocwc hem all : 
Where he *hcm drove no man moy trace * 
Under the erth methought they yall ; 
Ala*, they had a feble grace \ 

The PcUii'an then aaid right 
For my writing if I have bUme 
Who then wol for me fight of tlight ? ^ 

Who {liiilUn fheldc mt: from (banie I 
He that yhad a maide to dame. 
And the Lamb«! that llaine ywas, 
Shal fhcldin mc from goilly blanie* 
For crthcly harmc is Godd'is grace. 

Thi:rforc I pray every man 
Of my writing have mc excufcj, 
Tliis writing %vritt:th the Ptllican, 
That thcttlicfe peplc hathdifpifed; 
For I am frethc fuUy advifed 
1 n'ili not maintenc his menace. 
For the devill is oftc difguifed 
To bring a man to evil grace. 

Witith the PclU'can and not me. 
For herof 1 o*il not avowe 
In hie nc lowc, nc no degre. 
But ^^ fable take it ye mowc. 
To holy churchc T will mc bowe ; 
Eche man to' amende him CUrifte fende fp^Ctf! 
And for my writing mc aLowc 
He that* it almighty for his grace. 

Hen eidtth tht PlnismmCt T^* 



m 




«>>« 



THE PARDONSHI AND TAWBTEK^. 



T H E PHQLOGUEj 



Or, 7>&r mcty adventure <^ ibf ParJonen and Tapjlerc at the Inn at Canta 



Wu2N all this frdh felc&ip woro coia« to Caor 

tirbury. 
As yc haye hcrde to fore, with Talys glad and 

merry, 
Som rf fotill fentcnce of vertue and of lore, 
And fom of othir mirthis, for them that hold no 
Of wifdom, Rc of holynes, ne of chiralry, [ftore 
Ncthir of vertuoufc matcre, but to foly 
Lcyd wit and Ittftif all to fuch japif 
As hurlcwayncs mcyne in ^vcry hegg that rapes 
Thorough unftabill mynde, ryp[h( at the Icvls 

grcnc 
Stondewn ageyn the wedir, rygfat fo by them I 

mcnr : , 

But no more hereof nowc at this ilche tyme, 
111 fdving of my icateacc, ray Frolog, and my 

rymc. 
Thty toke thcr in, and Ipggit them at mydmo- 

rowc I trowc, 
Allc dicker of the hope that mapy a man doth 

knowc ; 
Their Hooft of Southworke, that with them went, 

as yc have herde to fore, 
That wa« rcwlcr of them al, of las and eke of 

more, 
OrJcyned their dyner wifely or they to chirch 

went, 
Sueh vitaii!is as he fonde in town, and for noon 

othir fcnt. 
The Pardoncrc beheUc the befynes, how ftatis 

wer ilcrvid, 
Dlikcnnynj: hyip al prlvcly, and a fyde IWervid : 
The hoflelcre was fo halouid fro o plafc to an- 
other, 
He toke hi* rtaffc to the Tapftcrc ; Wclcom myn 

own brother, 
Qnod flic, with a frendly loke, al rcdy for to kys ; 
And lie, as a man i lerncd of fuch kyndnes, 
}3iacyd hir by the myddyll, and made hir gladly 



chcrc. 



As thoughe he had iknovco bir al tk 

yfccr : 
She halid hym into the tapdry there |ur I 

was makid ; 
Lo, here I ligg, (quod flie) myfetf al i 

nakid , 
Without manny*s company fyn my Ipve v 
Jenkyn Harpour, yf yc hym kncwe : h 

to the hede 
Was not a luHier perfon^ to dsinnce ne to 
Then he was, thoughe I it fey : and ther 

wcpe 
She made, and with hir napron feir an 

ywaih 
She wypid foft hir eyen for teris that (he < 
As grete as any niylAone : upward p 

flert 
For love of her fwctyng, that fiit To oi 

hert ; 
She wept and waylid, and wrong her boo 

made much to done, 
For they that loveQ fo paflyngly fuch troa 

have echon : 
She fnyfTith, fighith» and (hoke hire ke 

made rouful cbcr : 
B.nedicite ! quod the Pardooere, ud toke 

the fwwc, 
Yce make forwc iflowgK, quod he, yi 

tiiough yq (hukl loft. 
It is no wondir, quod ihc than ; and then 

gan to fnefe. 
Aha ! al hoje, quod the Pardonci'e; yoarp 

is fomewhat paflid. 
God forbedc it eU ! quod (be, hot it wd 

tvhat IaITkI ; 
I might nat lyvc ela, thowe wotift, aad 

long endure ; 
Now bleflid be God of mcndcmcntc of h 

eke of cure ! 




1 PARDONER 

re tho aaoon, &Qd tokc hir by 

WATtiif tho ; Aiss that love 

^ ■• je be ooD, and lb trcw of 
f 

t confcience jit for yewe I fmrrte, 
Miflli htttiStcT^ for your foden 

hysi yc lo^d fo he cood ytsti 

loo shook thar trrwc h* fhuld ytwt 

9 j&tt dede ii prnie in ycur mynd. 
lory nuo; 1 drcd ye wold have 

L geBtil Sir, ijuod (be, thzt ye uik 

bman, iblcfild mut ycc he : 
\u\ drynk. Kay l win (<}uod he) 
l|» myQc own hett*j%rote. 
iUf« - quod £hc ; thcrof I cmn godc 

ttte town and fct a py a\ hole, 

^ the Pardoacre ; Jcnkcn, 1 wccti 

m I pm prey, 1 wis, myn own 



of them that did me follir. 
qrowTs? Kitt, iwia; fo clcpcd nic 

be, 

idling have thmr, Kitt ; now broke 

fmmti 

Bnl^iid hit both cycti hddei, 
the vifiige paramour and amyddis, 
c with A licil time that ihc it here 

rn and feyn thit fong, Nwwj i*Wj 

brrr» quod (he; why breke yc nowt 

lefhip it were hot work in wailc. 
§a duU cherc } for your love at 

I rmjne own hen^ it it for you alooo. 
Ivhat fey ye? that werafimplcprcy, 
Huod the l^^rdoncre, it i4i» t ycwe 
» 
Wth mcry ; we wol fpekc thcrof 

iSti /^t / it !■ tnery to be a loan \ 

iftdy Miiry, that bare Jcfui on hir 
ttve yit but it did mc harm, [^rrh^ 
ptancrc hath he to love ovirtnuch, 
1^ quod the Pardoncrc, go with 

riowdls worchyn cch man to mete 

kitsl CriOtan, I ufe the fame each, 
any a ycr : I may it nat forbcrc^ 
lA^'/ /// <>«/- tbcii^h mca ihc con- 



AND TAPSTIRE, 

And therwith he ftert up fmcrtly anil caA down 

m grote. 
What (hal this do, gcntil Sir ? Kay, Sir, for my 
I n'old yc payd a pciiy her and fb Tone pas. [cote 
The Pardoner fworc hi> grcttc othc lie wold i uy 

no laa, 
f wi»» Sir, ft is ovir do, hat ilth tc if yowr will 
I well putt it in my purfclcft yce it take in ill 
To rcfufe your curttify : and therwith ihc gun to 

howc» 
New trcwly, qtiod the Pardoner, yeuf inaner* 

been to lowe, 
for had yccGuntid(lrcytly,and nothing left behind, 
I might have welc ydcmcd that yc be unkind, 
And ckc untrcwc of hcrt, and fminer mu for^ctc, 
But yc lift be my ireforer, for we Jhali ofiter mete. 
Now ccrten, quod the Tapfter, yc have a rede ful 

even, 
A-* wold to God ye couth as wchr undo my fvrcvcti 
That 1 my fc:if did mctcthi^ nyght that h ypaflld. 
How I \va» in a chirch when it wa.% all y-maUid, 
And was in ray dervocioune tyl fervice wa* at doon, 
Tyl the prctft and the clerk boyftly bad mc goon. 
And put mc out of the chirch wiili tm rgir mode 
Now Scynt Daniel, quod the I'ardoncrc, your 

fwevyn turn to gode, 
And I woll halfow it to tli£ befi, have it in ycur 

mynd. 
For comyngly of theft* fwnvyogi the contrary meii 

fhtrl fynd, 
Yf hav€ be a lover gUd, ami Util joy yhad ; 
Flick up a lufty hcrt, and be nicry and glad. 
For yc fliul havu an hu/bood that IhaU ytf*rc wc4 

• to wyve. 
That (hal love ycwe as hertly a» hi« own lyve. 
Ihc prctft that put yew out of chirch Ihaii lede 

you in agrynr, 
And hclpe to ycur mariag^; witli al his might and 

Thi» h the fwevcn al and fom KJi j how hkith the? 
BcmytrowithwondJrwelCjbleflidmut tliou webe f 
1 hen toke be kve at that tyme, lyll he come cflt* 

fonf, 
And went tohia fclcfliip (as it was to dofiii) 
Thoughe it be no grcte holynes to prcch this ilk 

materc, 
And that fom liH to her it, yit, Sh-f| ner the littct 
Endunth for a while and fultrith them that woll. 
And yc fliuU her how the Tapiltr made the Par- 
doner pull 
Oarlik all the long nyghte ti! it wai ner end day ; 
For the more chire Bie made of love the faliir 

was her lay : 
But litil charge gaff the therof, tho ihe acquit hti 

while, 
For cthir it thowght and tent wai othir to hegile, 
As yc ihbl here hcrc^tir, when tymc comith ahd 

fpalc 
To mevf fuch martre, — But now a Htil fpafe 
I \\o\ return mc ;»gcyn to the conipany^ 
live Knyghte and at tliclelc^fp, and nothing for 

to ly. 




I3> 



THE PARDONERE AND TAP3TERB. 



^¥h%a they ^et ?1 yloggit, as ikil wold and rrfan, 
Evtrich aftir hi* de^rc, to chirch tlicn was felon 
To pas and to weed to maker tliar olfringt*, 
Righte as their dcvociotme was, of HlvcT broch 

ami r) ugcs ; 
Then at chirch dorr the curttfy gan to ryfc 
Tyl ihc Kuy;;ht, of gtntilncs that kiicwc right 

wclc tJtc guyfcj 
Put forth the picUii^, the Parfon, and hu fcrtfi 
A Monk that took thiilpryrjriUwith a manly cherc, 
Atid did as the tnaticrc is, moiljd ai their patis 
Evcrich aftir othir, ri^lttc aMJicy were of ftatis : 
fhc Frcr ftynyd fctoufly the fpryngill for to hold 
To fpryiig ttppon the rcmnautit, that for his cope 

he u'old 
Have laft that occitpftcinune in tliat holy ptafc, 
9e longid his holy cotifcicnce^ to fe the Nonn -i^ fafc. 
The Kiiyght wctit with his compers toward the 

holy fhrync 
*fo do that they wcr com for, and aftir for to 

Syne i 
phc I'^doncr and the Miller, afHl othir tcwde 

foies, 

Sought *hcm fdf in the chirch right aa lewd gotcs, 
I^yrid fafl and pourid high t;pcm the glafe, 
CotJiittrfciyng gcDtilmcn the armies for to blafc, 
Dtikyntring faS the pcyntur, and for the Itjry 

mournid, 
4Mid :» red al fo right at rammys homyd. 
He bcrith a balfta^, quod the toon* and els a ra- 

kid end t ' 

ThoT^ liilefl, quod the Miller, tlww haft nat wcl 

thy mynd ; 
It 1* a fptrc, jf thow cunft fc, %*iUi a prik tefone, 
To pufh A down hiscnmyt apd through the Oipul- 

dcr borc» 
Pcfc, qood thr Hooft of Sot^thwork ; let ftond the 

W):rdow gUfid ^ 
oitli up and doith yift^r offcryngc; yc fcmitli 

hjilf ntiiafid : 
Bith ye be in company of honefl men and good 
Wordiith Tom what aftir ihem, and let the kynd 

of hrt>dc 
Pfli for a tyntc j I hold it for the bcft, 
l?or yfho doith aftir company may live the bet iQ 

reft. 
Then p4ni4 they forth boyftly gogling wkh their 

hcdit, 
Knelifl akdowii to fore the (hrine, and henltth their 

bedti 
They prey^l to Sciqt Thopiai in fuche wyle 9$ they 

cpoth ; 
And fith the holy relikes ech man with his mowlth 
Jiiftidf %9 :^ goodly n\opk the names tuid aiid 

taught. 
And fitb to othir pUf^cn of bolynes they raugbt, 
^d wcr in iljcir dcvociounc tyl fervicc wer al 

doon, 
And (idi they drowgh to dyncrward as it drew to 

noon^ 
Theo, as mancrc aq^<^ c^ftoin is, dgnes there thqr 

bought. 
For m^ of pontic fliuld know whomc they had 
' fought. 



Eche man fct hi$ filver in fuch thinjr 4* they 
And in the mecn while the Miller had f| " 
His bufom ful of iignys til CAiintcrborf 
Though the Pardoner and be pryvcly in Kir po*« 

chis, 
They put them afterwards, that nooA of them k 

wift, 
Save the Sompncr feid fomwhat, atiil i«yd tt k 

lift 
Halif part, quod be, privtly pawnro^ «io iNi 

ere; 
Hulht ! pees, quod the Miller, fcift thovsislk 

I'rert, 
How he lowrith imdir hit hood with a dog)^ 

eye ? 
Hit ft) u Id be a privy thing that he coutl nat ifp; ; 
Of every crafc he can fomwhat our 1 ady pm 

hym for<>wc ! 
Amen, tho quod the Sompnrr, on rte and dt 

on morowc ; 
So curfid a Tale he told of me the dcrill of kl 

hem fpcdc. 
And mr, hut yf I pay him wcle and qvyte will 

hi!) mede. 
Yf it hap hum ward that cch man trU his Takv 
As we did hidcrward^ though we ftiuld tct m^ 
All the ftirewdnes ihat I can, I woli hym ia«cft^ 

fpare, 
Tliat T n*oI *Piich his takerd fom-what of \m cam. 
Tbcy fct thiir fignys Uf>on their hcdts* vgd lem 

oppon their c^pp, 
Aj)d fillt to the dyncrward thc7 gsn for to ftspf. 
Every man in hiidigrc wifii and tokc hisfci^i 
As they were wont to dcon at fop.r and ii twi^ 
And wer in filcnee fot a tyme tjFt gcxtd ak^gM 

arifc. 
And then, as nature asith, a% ihcfc old wife 
Kaowen wck, when vcynp been fomwhat 

plcte, 
The fptrtti wol fterf, and aHb mcti%fwttc 
Caufen oft myrthis for to be ymcvid. 
And eke it wax no tyme tho for to be ygmnd 
Every noan in hif wyfc made hcrtly choc, 
Telling hi* fclowc of fporty* and of choK^ 
And of othir mirthis that fcliya by the wey# 
As cuftom is of pylgryms, and hath boea raaoj • 

dcy. 
The Hooft teid to his ere, of Southwotle u Jt 

knowc^ 

And thenkid al the company both high and Xnmt^ 
So wck kcpeing the covenauat in South work t^l 

vras made. 
That every man Ihuld by the wey wttlia'M 

glade 
All tbc whole company in fliorting c£ the ivry; 
And al is wck performed : but than now thv* t 

fcy, 

That we muft fo homeward eche man tci aooibir* 
1 hus we wcr accordit^ and I Ihuld be A rsthir 
To fet yewc in governauocc by right Ctd im^ 

mcnt, 
Trewly Hooft, quod the Frcr, that yn% aB 

affient. 




mv. PA^riO'RtiLE ANt> TArSTERE. 



With s lltil more that I Ihall fry thcrto : 
j \ec graiintcd of ycur turtcfy iHut wc fhuld alfo 
b^ the hole company fupe wrth ycwe at oyght ? 
HflTbtt* I trowc th«L it was ; what ley yoti, Sir 
H KujgKt? 

I^' It (bal t»at flcde, quod the Hooft, to axe no wit* 

rccofd ri good I nowe ; and of yeur gcn- 
tiliies 
fit 1 f fty y<w dTt agcyn ; for by Scynt Thomas 

flirync 
Ind yc woU hold covrn aunt I woll hold mync< 
' trcwely H^joft, quod the Kuyght, yc have 

right wd yfcyd ; 
I a«tawching my pcrfone I hold me payde ; 
I fo I trowc th:it al doiih : Sir^^ what fey ytc ? 
: Monk Afid eke the Marchaunte and al feid Ye. 
i al thi» aftir-mcte, 1 hold it for the bcft; 
af]port and pley us, quod thcHooft, eche man 
ac hym letl, 
I go by tymc to fopcf and to bed alfo, 
Bto(»«re we erly ryfeo our jorney for to do, 
" cKnyght arofc dicrwith4l)aDdcafl on afiefhtr 

Ibis fonc aaothir, to walk in the town, 
fb dtd oil the remoaunt that were of that 



m«i 



aray. 



had their rhaungi» with them, they made 
them frcfh and gny, 
llanid them trtgidir , right a$ their luftis lay, 
I Jk» they were more uHd trivcllingby the wuy. 

yght with hij» meyne went to fee the walle 
ward* of the town, as to a knyght befall, 
g cntcntiflich tlie ftreng^thJs al about, 
'And ipointld CO hi« fotic the pereli and ihcdout 
f«r Ihot of arbldll and of bowc, at)d ckc for (hot 

of gonne, 
Vnto the wairdij of the town, and how it might 

be wone ; 
A«da] defence ther ageyn afttr hiBtntetit 
He dcvUrid cunipcndiouny, and al thtiit cvir he 

ment 
He fone pf rrey%*id every poynt^ as he was ful abil. 
To amies jind to iravaiU and pirfone covenabill 
He wasof all fa<*lur nhir lourm of kynd, 
JLod for tu (iLfiic his govcrnaunce it femcd that 
hismynd 
much in hi* Udy that he lovid bell, 
made hytn ofFt to wuke vt hen he fhuld hare 
bis red. 
iTlic Clerk ikxz was of Oxcnforth onto the Somp 

- 1, .J . 

' t 

I Me rL-te dcrge that thow art amaydc, 

' For tj ^ on the Frer in maner of repreff, 

That be knowcih fallhedc, Tice, and eke a thcfl"; 
And 1 it hold vcituoufe and right commendabill 
. T* have very knowlech of thmgci reprovabill ; 
1 far *ho to may cfchew if, and let it pas by, 

! misfit fall theron unward and fodenly. 
he tlic fret told a laic of a Somp- 

|Tlif« or to take It for no dlJhonour, 

Foj L. . 3 and of cchc dc^c 

Tbcjr bf npe al perigee, but (bm nyce be. 



I^ 1 what i% worthy, fcyd the Knighr, fur to bo 

a clerk ; 

To fommoa among ns them this moeiount wa<i ful 
I comtnd his wittis and ek^ hi» clergc, [dirrke I 
For of ether part he faveth htint-ne. 
The Monk toke the Parfonc then and the grey 

FrtT, 
And prcyd them for curtefy for to go in fere : 
I have thpcr ocquaintannce that al this yeres thrc - 
Hath preyd hym by his kttris that 1 hym wo!d fe; 
And ye my brothir in habit and in poiTeflioune, 
And now I am here mcthinketh it i? to doon, 
To prcve it in dede what cherc he wold rac make. 
And to yew my frendc alfo for my Lk ♦ ' 

They went forth logidir talking of holy matcre, 
But woot ye welc in ccrteyn they had no nvind on 

watt-re 
To drynk at that tyme,when they wcr met in fert, 
Forol the beflthat niyght be founde, and there- 
with mcry chcrc, 
They had, it is no douhtc j for fpycy* and ckc wine 
Wi ct round about the gaftoyn and ckc the ruyne. 
The Wyfc of Batli was fo wcry, flic had no wyl to 

walk, 
She toke the Priorci by the honde ; Madam, wol 

ye ftalk, 
Pryvcly into the garden to fe the herbcs growe. 
And aftir with our hofl'is wife in hjr parlour 

rowe? 
I wol g)'ve yewe the wyne and ye fliul me :ilfo^ 
For tyl we go to foptr wc have naughs ellis to do. 
The Prforcs.ai woman taught of gcntil blood and 

hend, 
AflVntidto hir cnunfel, and forth gon they wend, 
Paflyng forth foftly into the hcrbcry, 
For many a herb grewc for fewc and furgery, 
And all the aleya fclr, and parid, and raylid, and 

ymakiri, 
The favlgc and the jfopc yfrethid and yftakld, 
And othir beddii^by and by fre(h ydight. 
For comer* to the hooflc righte a fportful fight* 
The Marchaunt and the Mancipill, theMilkrand 

the Rcve, 
And the Clerk of Oienforth, to town ward gao 

they mcvc. 
And al the othir nicyne, and laffi noon at home 
Save the Pardoner, that pryvclich when ai they 

wcr goon 
Kralkjd into the tapftry ; for nothing wold he leve 
To make his covcnauntc in certcyn that fame eve ; 
He v%'old be loggit with hir, that was his hole en- 

tentioune. 
But hap and eke Fortune, and all the conltdlaci* 

ounc, 
Was clcre hym ageyni, a« ye Ihul a/iir here ; 
For hym had better be yloggit al nyght in a myere 
Thru he \\a« the fame nyght or the fun wa« up; 
For fuch was hi* fortune he drank without the 

cupp ; 
But thcrtot wift he no delay j nc No man eftuath 
Iviay t'i\re thai /'f-A fon^yng h In'^^v ^vf^ai Ji>:tff If/Utl, 
Hf rtappid into llu- taprtry wondir pryvcly, 
And fond liir ligging llrylong v.'itU half fiopy 
eye, . . 



n4 



nm FARDONERE AHJ 



kPSTERB. 



I 



I 
I 



PouthI fcllich midLr fiir hooU, uiJ fawc all his 

comyng, 
And lay iiy ftiU, as naught fbt; kncwc, but Ujn'A 

fair flcpynf . 
He put hi» hQQd to hir breft ; Awake, quod he, 

A, Unedidu I Sir, who wtil few her ? out tho I 

myght bcuke 
^rifonrr/ quod the Tapftcrc, being al aloon ; 
And thcrwith brcyd up in a fritc, and bcgiio to 

groon. 
Now lith y« b« my prifoner ycld yew now»quod he. 
I tSkvJk Dcdis, quod (he, [ may nothyng Be ; 
And eke I have no llrengitii, and am bwt yong of 
And al£» h U n^ ma^ry to <mb a monji m « tag* [^g^* 
Tiuxl may M ^ffhcrtjlen Mr^, kii fUjid w«mJir/a/i ; 
Andckc^ Sir, 1 tell yew though I ha