The Canterbury tales
Geoffrey Chaucer
F.N. Robinson

The Franklin's words to the Squire

In feith, squier, thow hast thee wel yquit
And gentilly. I preise wel thy wit,
Quod the frankeleyn, considerynge thy yowthe,
So feelyngly thou spekest, sire, I allow the!
As to my doom, ther is noon that is heere
Of eloquence that shal be thy peere,
If that thou lyve; God yeve thee good chaunce,
And in vertu sende thee continuance!
For of thy speche I have greet deyntee. Page  135
I have a sone, and by the trinitee,
I hadde levere than twenty pounnd worth lond,
Though it right now were fallen in myn hond,
He were a man of swich discrecioun
As that ye been! fy on possessioun,
But if a man be vertuous withal!
I have my sone snybbed, and yet shal,
For he to vertu listeth nat entende;
But for to pleye at dees, and to despende
And lese al that he hath, is his usage.
And he hath levere talken with a page
Than to comune with any gentil wight
Where he myghte lerne gentillesse aright.
Straw for youre gentillesse! quod oure hoost.
What, frankeleyn! pardee, sire, wel thou woost
That ech of yow moot tellen atte leste
A tale or two, or breken his biheste.
That knowe I wel, sire, quod the frankeleyn.
I prey yow, haveth me nat in desdeyn,
Though to this man I speke a word or two.
Telle on thy tale withouten wordes mo.
Gladly, sire hoost, quod he, I wole obeye
Unto your wyl; now herkneth what I seye.
I wol yow nat contrarien in no wyse
As fer as that my wittes wol suffyse.
I prey to God that it may plesen yow;
Thanne woot I wel that it is good ynow.