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His lordes shepe, his nete, and his deirie,
But, wel I wote, he lied right in dede:
For curse wol sle right as assoiling saveth,
And also ware him of a significavit. Sin that his lord were twenty yere of age;
In danger hadde he, at his owen gise, Ther coude no man bring him in arerage.
yonge girles of the diocise; Ther n'as bailif, ne herde, ne other hine,
And knew hir conseil and was of hir rede. That he ne knew his sleight and his covine: A girlond hadde he sette upon his hede, They were adradde of him as of the deth.
As gret as it were for an alestake; His wonning was ful fayre upon an heth;
A bokeler hadde he made him of a cake. With greene trees yshadewed was his place.
With him there rode a gentil Pardonere He coude better than his lord pourchace:
Of Rouncevall, his frend and his compere, Ful riche he was ystored privily.
That streit was comen from the court of Rome, His lord wel coude he plesen, subtilly
Ful loude he sang Come hither, love! to me:
This Sompnour bare to him a stiff burdoun,
This Pardoner had here as yelwe as wax,
Ful smothe it heng, as doth a strike of flax: The Reve sate upon a right good stot
By unces beng his lokkes that he hadde, That was all pomelee grey, and highte Scot. And therwith he his shulders overspradde: A long surcote of perse upon he hade,
Ful thinne it lay, by culpons on and on. And by his side he bare a rusty blade.
But hode, for jolite, ne wered he non, Of Norfolk was this Reve of which I tell,
For it was trussed up in his wallet. Beside a toun men clepen Baldeswell.
Him thought he rode al of the newe get; Tucked he was, as is a frere, aboute;
Dishevele, sauf his cappe, he rode all bare. And ever he rode the hinderest of the route.
Swiche glaring eyen hadde he as an hare. A Sompnour was ther with us in that place, A vernicle hadde he sewed upon his cappe. That hadde a fire-red cherubinnes face,
His wallet lay beforne him, in his lappe, For sausefleme he was, with eyen barwe.
Bret-ful of pardon come from Rome al hote. As hote he was, and likerous as a sparwe,
A vois he hadde, as smale as hath a gote: With scalled browes blake, and pilled berd: No berd hadde he, ne never non shulde have; Of his visage children were sore aferd.
As smothe it was as it were newe shave: Ther n'as quicksilver, litarge, ne brimston,
I trowe he were a gelding or a mare, Boras, ceruse, ne oile of tartre non,
But of his craft, fro Berwike unto Ware, Ne ointement, that wolde clense or bite,
Ne was ther swiche an other Pardonere; That him might helpen of his whelkes white, For in his male he hadde a pilwebere, Ne of the knobbes sitting on his chekes.
Which, as he saide, was our Ladies veil:
He saide he hadde a gobbet of the seyl
He had a crois of laton ful
stones; Then wold he speken no word but Latin.
And in a glas he hadde pigges bones. A fewe termes coude he, two or three,
But with these relikes, whanne that he fond That he had lerned out of som decree;
A poure persone dwelling upon lond, No wonder is, he herd it all the day:
Upon a day he gat him more moneie And eke ye knowen wel how that a jay
Than that the persone gat in monethes tweie; Can clepen watte as well as can the pope:
And thus with fained flattering and japes, But who so wolde in other thing himn grope
He made the persone, and the peple, his apes. Than, hadde he spent all his philosophie;
But trewely to tellen atte last, Ay Questio quid juris? wolde he crie.
He was in chirche a noble ecclesiast; He was a gentil harlot, and a kind;
Wel coude he rede a lesson or a storie, A better felaw shulde a man not find.
But alderbest he sang an offertorie; He wolde suffre, for a quart of wine,
For wel he wiste, whan that song was songe, A good felaw to have his concubine
He muste preche and wel afile his tonge, A twelve month, and excuse him at the full, To winne silver, as he right wel coude; Ful privily a finch, eke, coude he pull;
Therfore he sang the merier and loude. And if he found o where a good felawe,
Now have I told you shorily in a clause Ile wolde techen him, to have non awe,
Th'estat, th' araie, the nombre, and eke the cause, In swiche a cas, of the archedehenes curse:
Why that assembled was this compagnie But if a mannes soule were in his purse,
In Southwerk at this gentil hostelrie, For in his purse he shulde ypunished be.
That highte the Tabard, faste by the Belle. Purse is the archedekenes hell, said he.
But now is time, to you for to telle,
How that we baren us that ilke night,
Hold up your hondes withouten more speche.”
Our conseil was not longe for to seche :
l's thought it was not worth to make it wise,
And granted him withouten more avise,
And bad him say his verdit as him leste. (beste;
“ Lordinges,” (quod he) “ now herkeneth for the
This is the point, to speke it plat and plain,
That eche of you, to shorten with youre way,
In this viage shal tellen Tales tway;
To Canterbury ward, I mene it so,
And homeward he shal tellen other two;
Of aventures that whilom han befalle.
That is to sayn, that telleth in this cas
Tales of best sentence and most solas,
Ilere in this place sitting by this post,
Whan that ye comen agen from Canterbury
And for to maken you the more mery,
I wol my selven gladly with you ride,
Right at min owen cost, and be your gide.
And who that wol my jugement withsay
for alle we spenden by the way.
Telle me, anon, withouten wordes mo,
This thing was granted, and our othes swore
With ful glad herte, and praiden him also,
And that he wolde ben our governour,
And of our 'Tales juge and reportour,
And sette a souper at a certain pris;
And we wol ruled ben at his devise,
We ben accorded to his jugement.
And therupon, the win was fette anon:
We dronken, and to reste wenten eche on,
THE SQUIERES TALE. (A Fragment.)
At Sarra, in the land of Tartarie,
Ther dwelt a king that werreied Russie,
Thurgh which ther died many a doughty man.
Which in his time was of so gret renoun,
That ther n'as no wler in no regioun
So excellent a lord in alle thing:
Him lacked nought that longeth to a king,
As of the secte of which that he was borne, Ye shapen you to talken and to play:
He kept his lay to which he was ysworne ; For trewely comfort ne mirthe is non,
And, therto, he was hardy, wise and riche:
And pitous, and just; and alway yliche,
Trewe of his word, benigne and honourable;
Of his corage, as any centre, stable;
Yong, fresh, and strong; in armes desirous,
bachelor of all his hous.
A faire person he was, and fortunate,
And kept alway so wel real estat,
That ther n'as no wher swiche another man. Now, by my faders soule that is ded,
This noble king, this Tartre Cambuscan, But ye be mery, smiteth of my hed:
Hadde two sones by Elfeta his wif,
A daughter bad this worthy king also,
And so befell, that whan this Cambuscan Hath twenty winter borne his diademe,As he was wont fro yere to yere, I deme, He let the feste of his nativitee Don crien thurghout Sarra his citee, The last ides of March after the yere,
Phæbus the sonne ful jolif was and clere, For he was nigh his exaltation In Martes face, and in his mansion In Aries, the colerike hote signe: And lusty was the wether and benigne; For which the foules, again the sonne shene, What for the seson and the yonge grene, Ful loude songen hir affections: Hem semed han getten hem protections Again the swerd of winter kene and cold.
This Cambuscan, of which I have you told, In real vestiments, sit on his deis With diademe, ful high in his paleis; And holte his feste so solempne and so riche That in this world ne was ther non it liche; Of which if I shall tellen all the array, Than wold it occupie a somers day; And, eke, it nedeth not for to devise At every cours the order of hir service: I wol not tellen of hir strange sewes, Ne of hir swannes, ne hir heronsewes. Eke, in that lond, as tellen knightes old, Ther is som mete that is ful deintee hold, That in this lond men recche of it ful smal: Ther n'is no man that may reporten al. I wol not tarien you, for it is prime, And for it is no fruit, but losse of time: Unto my purpos I wol have recours.
And so befell, that after the thridde cours, While that this king sit thus in his nobley, Herking his minstralles hir thinges pley Beforne him at his bord deliciously, In at the halle dore, al sodenly, Ther came a knight upon a stede of bras,' And in his hond a brod mirrour of glas; Upon his thombe he had of gold a ring ; And by his side a naked swerd hanging, And up he rideth to the highe bord. In all the balle, ne was ther spoke a word For mervaille of this knight; him to behold Ful besily they waiten, yong and old.
This strange knight that come thus sodenly Al armed, save his hed, ful richely,
Salueth king and quene, and lordes alle,
Ile sayd: “ The King of Arabie and of Inde,
“ This mirrour, eke, that I have in min hond,
frend or fo.
“ Wherfore, again this lusty somer tide,
“ The vertue of this ring, if ye wol here,
And every gras that groweth upon rote
It were right good that al swiche thing were know.”
* This naked swerd, that hangeth by my side, An apparence ymade by some magike,
As lewed peple demen comunly
And som of hem wondred on the mirrour Ye moten, with the platte swerd, again
That born was up in to the maister tour, Stroken him in the wound, and it wol close. How men mighte in it swiche thinges see. This is the veray soth withouten glose:
Another answers and sayd: “ It might wel be It failleth not while it is in your hold.”
Naturelly by compositions
And sayd, that in Rome was swiche on.
And Aristotle; that writen, in hir lives, This knight is to his chambre ladde, anon, Of queinte mirrours and of prospectives, And is unarmed, and to the mete ysette.
As knowen they that han hir bookes herd. Thise presents ben, ful richelich yfette,
And other folk han wondred on the swerd This is to sain, the swerd and the mirrour;
That wolde percen thurghout every thing, And borne, anon, into the highe tour
And fell in speche of Telephus the king, With certain officers ordained therfore;
And of Achilles for his queinte spere, And unto Canace the ring is bore
For he coude with it bothe hele and dere, Solempnely, ther she sat at the table.
Right in swiche wise as men may with the swerd But, sikerly, withouten any fable,
Of which, right now, ye have yourselven herd. The hors of bras, that may not be remued ;
They speken of sondry harding of metall, It stant as it were to the ground yglued:
And speken of medicines therwithall, Ther may no man out of the place it drive
And how and whan it shuld yharded be, For non engine, of windas or polive;
Which is unknow algates unto me. And cause why, for they con not the craft,
Tho, speken they of Canacees ring, And therfore in the place they han it last
And saiden all, that swiche a wonder thing Til that the knight hath taught hem the manere
Of craft of ringes herd they never nonTo voiden him, as ye shul after here.
Save that he Moises, and King Salomon, Gret was the prees that swarmed to and fro
Hadden a name of conning in swiche art. To gauren on this hors that stondeth so;
Thus sain the peple, and drawen hem apart. and so brod and long,
But, natheles, som saiden that it was So wel proportioned for to be strong,
Wonder to maken of ferne ashen glas, Right as it were a stede of Lumbardie;
And yet is glas nought like ashen of ferne, Therwith so horsly, and so quik of eye,
But for they han yknowen it so, ferne, As it a gentil Poileis courser were;
Therforth ceseth hir jangling and hir wonder. For certes fro his tayl unto his ere
As sore wondren som on cause of thunder, Nature ne art ne coud him not amend
On ebbe and floud, on gossomer and on mist, In no degree, as all the peple wend.
And on all thing, til that the cause is wist. But evermore hir moste wonder was
Thus janglen they, and demen and devise, How that it coude gon, and was of bras;
Til that the king gan fro his bord arise. It was of Faerie, as the peple semed.
Phæbus hath left the angle meridional, Diverse folk diversely han demed ;
And yet ascending was the beste real, As many heds, as many wittes ben.
The gentil Leon, with his Aldrian, They murmured as doth a swarme of been,
Whan that this Tartre king, this Cambuscan, And maden skilles after hir fantasies,
Rose from his bord, ther as he sat ful hie: Rehersing of the olde poetries.
Beforne him goth the loude minstralcie, And sayd it was ylike the Pegasee,
Til he come to bis chambre of parements, The hors that hadde winges for to flee ;
Ther as they sounden divers instruments, Or, elles, it was the Grekes hors Sinon,
That it is like an heven for to here. That broughte Troye to destruction,
Now dauncen lusty Venus children dere ; As men moun in thise olde gestes rede.
For in the Fish hir lady set ful hie,
And loketh on hem with a frendly eye. “Myn herte," quod on, « is evermore in drede; I trow some men of armes ben therin,
This noble king is set upon his trone ; That shapen hem this citee for to win:
This straunge knight is fet to him, ful sone,
For it so high was,
Repaireth to his revel, as beforne,
And on the daunce he goth with Canace.
Here is the revell and the jolitee,
Who coude tellen you the forme of daunces
The steward bit the spices for to hie,
What nedeth you rehersen hir array ?
At after souper goth this noble king
This hors, anon, gan for to trip and daunce, Whan that the knight laid hond upon his rein; And said, “ Sire! ther n'is no more to sain, But whan you list to riden any where, Ye moten trill a pin, stant in his ere, Which I shal tellen you betwixt us two, Ye moten nempne him to what place also Or to what contree, that you list to ride.
“ And whan ye come ther as you list abide, Bid him descend, and trill another pin, (For therin lieth the effect of all the gin,) And he wol doun descend and don your will, And in that place he wol abiden still: Though al the world had the contrary swore, He shal not thennes be drawe ne be bore. Or if you list to bid him thennes gon, Trille this pin, and he wol vanish anon Out of the sight of every maner wight, And come agen, be it day or night, Whan that you list to clepen him, again, In swiche a guise as I shal to you sain Betwixen you and me,
and that ful sone. Ride whan you list, ther n'is no more to done."
Enfourmed whan the king was of the knight, And hath conceived in his wit aright The maner and the forme of all this thing, Ful glad and blith, this noble doughty king
They thanken him galping, by two, by three;
Hir dremes shul not now be told for me; Ful were hir hedes of fumositee, That causeth dreme, of which ther is no charge: They slepen, til that it was prime large, The moste parte, but it were Canace; She was ful mesurable as women be. For of hire father had she taken hire leve To gon to rest, sone after it was eve; Hire liste not appalled for to be, Nor on ihe morwe unfestliche for to see, And slept hire firste slepe and than awoke. For swiche a joy she in her herte toke Both of hire queinte ring, and of hire mirrour, That twenty time she chaunged hire colour; And in hire slepe right for the impression Of hire mirrour she had a vision ;Wherfore, or that the sonne gan up glide, She clepeth upon hire maistresse hire beside, And saide that hire luste for to arise.
bise olde women that ben gladly wise, As is hire maistresse, answerd hire anon; And said: “ Madam! whider wol ye gon Thus erly? for the folk ben all in rest.”
I wol,” quod she,“ arisen (for me lest No longer for to slepe) and walken aboute."
Hire maistresse clepeth women a gret route, And up they risen, wel a ten or twelve; Up riseth freshe Canace hireselve, As rody and bright, as the yonge sonne, That in the Ram is four degrees yronne; No higher was he whan she redy was: And forth she walketh esily a pas, Arrayed after the lusty seson sote Lightely for to playe, and walken on fote, Nought but with five or sixe of hire meinie; Aud in a trenche forth in the park goth she.
The vapour, which that fro the erthe glode, Maketh the sonne to seme rody and brode: But, natheles, it was so faire a sight, That it made all hir hertes for to light, What for the seson and the morwening And for the foules that she herd sing.