The Canterbury tales

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Title
The Canterbury tales
Author
Chaucer, Geoffrey, d. 1400
Publication
Boston, Mass.: Houghton Mifflin
1957
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Available at URL http://www.hti.umich.edu/c/cme/

This text has been made available through the Oxford Text Archive for personal scholarly use only. OTA number: U-1678-C

Link to this Item
http://name.umdl.umich.edu/CT
Cite this Item
"The Canterbury tales." In the digital collection Corpus of Middle English Prose and Verse. https://name.umdl.umich.edu/CT. University of Michigan Library Digital Collections. Accessed June 24, 2024.

Pages

Group 7

The Shipman's Tale

a merchant whilom dwelled at seint-denys, Line 1 That riche was, for which men helde hym wys. Line 2 A wyf he hadde of excellent beautee; Line 3 And compaignable and revelous was she, Line 4 Which is a thyng that causeth more dispence Line 5 Than worth is al the chiere and reverence Line 6 That men hem doon at festes and at daunces. Line 7 Swiche salutaciouns and contenances Line 8 Passen as dooth a shadwe upon the wal; Line 9 But wo is hym that payen moot for al! Line 10 The sely housbonde, algate he moot paye, Line 11 He moot us clothe, and he moot us arraye, Line 12 Al for his owene worshipe richely, Line 13 In which array we daunce jolily. Line 14 And if that he noght may, par aventure, Line 15 Or ellis list no swich dispence endure, Line 16 But thynketh it is wasted and ylost, Line 17 Thanne moot another payen for oure cost, Line 18 Or lene us gold, and that is perilous. Line 19 this noble marchaunt heeld a worthy hous, Line 20 For which ne hadde alday so greet repair Line 21 For his largesse, and for his wyf was fair, Line 22 That wonder is; but herkneth to my tale. Line 23 Amonges alle his gestes, grete and smale, Line 24 Ther was a monk, a fair man and a boold -- Line 25 I trowe a thritty wynter he was oold -- Line 26 That evere in oon was drawynge to that place. Line 27 This yonge monk, that was so fair of face, Line 28 Aqueynted was so with the goode man, Line 29 Sith that hir firste knoweliche bigan, Line 30 That in his hous as famulier was he Line 31 As it is possible any freend to be. Line 32 and for as muchel as this goode man, Line 33 And eek this monk, of which that I began, Line 34 Were bothe two yborn in o village, Line 35 The monk hym claymeth as for cosynage; Line 36 And he agayn, he seith nat ones nay, Line 37 But was as glad therof as fowel of day; Line 38 For to his herte it was a greet plesaunce. Line 39 Thus been they knyt with eterne alliaunce, Line 40 And ech of hem gan oother for t'assure Line 41 Of bretherhede, whil that hir lyf may dure. Line 42 Free was daun john, and namely of dispence, Line 43 As in that hous, and ful of diligence Line 44 To doon plesaunce, and also greet costage. Line 45 He noght forgat to yeve the leeste page Line 46 In al that hous; but after hir degree, Line 47 He yaf the lord, and sitthe al his meynee, Line 48 Whan that he cam, som manere honest thyng; Line 49 For which they were as glad of his comyng Line 50 As fowel is fayn whan that the sonne up riseth. Line 51 Na moore of this as now, for it suffiseth. Line 52 But so bifel, this marchant on a day Line 53 Shoop hym to make redy his array Line 54 Toward the toun of brugges for to fare, Line 55 To byen there a porcioun of ware; Line 56 For which he hath to parys sent anon Line 57 A messager, and preyed hat daun john Line 58 That he sholde come to seint-denys to pleye Line 59 With hym and with his wyf a day or tweye, Line 60 Er he to brugges wente, in alle wise. Line 61 This noble monk, of which I yow devyse, Line 62 Hath of his abbot, as hym list, licence, Line 63 By cause he was a man of heigh prudence, Line 64 And eek an officer, out for to ryde, Line 65 To seen hir graunges and hire bernes wyde, Line 66 And unto seint-denys he comth anon. Line 67 Who was so welcome as my lord daun john, Line 68 Oure deere cosyn, ful of curteisye? Line 69 With hym broghte he a jubbe of malvesye, Line 70 And eek another, ful of fyn vernage, Line 71 And volatyl, as ay was his usage. Line 72 And thus I lete hem ete and drynke and pleye, Line 73 This marchant and this monk, a day or tweye. Line 74 The thridde day, this marchant up ariseth, Line 75 And on his nedes sadly hym avyseth, Line 76 And up into his countour-hous gooth he Line 77 To rekene with hymself, as wel may be, Line 78 Of thilke yeer how that it with hym stood, Line 79

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Line 79 And how that he despended hadde his good, Line 80 And if that he encressed were or noon. Line 81 His bookes and his bagges many oon Line 82 He leith biforn hym on his countyng-bord. Line 83 Ful riche was his tresor and his hord, Line 84 For which ful faste his countour-dore he shette; Line 85 And eek he nolde that no man sholde hym lette Line 86 Of his acountes, for the meene tyme; Line 87 And thus he sit til it was passed pryme. Line 88 Daun john was rysen in the morwe also, Line 89 And in the gardyn walketh to and fro, Line 90 And hath his thynges seyd ful curteisly. Line 91 This goode wyf cam walkynge pryvely Line 92 Into the gardyn, there he walketh softe, Line 93 And hym saleweth, as she hath doon ofte. Line 94 A mayde child cam in hire compaignye, Line 95 Which as hir list she may governe and gye, Line 96 For yet under the yerde was the mayde. Line 97 O deere cosyn myn, daun john, she sayde, Line 98 What eyleth yow so rathe for to ryse? Line 99 Nece, quod he, it oghte ynough suffise Line 100 Fyve houres for to slepe upon a nyght, Line 101 But it were for an old appalled wight, Line 102 As been thise wedded men, that lye and dare Line 103 As in a fourme sit a wery hare, Line 104 Were al forstraught with houndes grete and smale. Line 105 But deere nece, why be ye so pale? Line 106 I trowe, certes, that oure goode man Line 107 Hath yow laboured sith the nyght bigan, Line 108 That yow were nede to resten hastily. Line 109 And with that word he lough ful murily, Line 110 And of his owene thought he was reed. Line 111 This faire wyf gan for to shake hir heed Line 112 And seyde thus, ye, God woot al, quod she. Line 113 Nay, cosyn myn, it stant nat so with me; Line 114 For, by that God that yaf me soule and lyf, Line 115 In al the reawme of france is ther no wyf Line 116 That lasse lust hath to that sory pley. Line 117 For I may synge -- allas and weylawey Line 118 That I was born, -- but to no wight, quod she, Line 119 Dar I nat telle how that it stant with me. Line 120 Wherfore I thynke out of this land to wende, Line 121 Or elles of myself to make an ende, Line 122 So ful am I of drede and eek of care. Line 123 This monk bigan upon this wyf to stare, Line 124 And seyde, allas, my nece, God forbede Line 125 That ye, for any sorwe or any drede, Line 126 Fordo youreself; but telleth me youre grief. Line 127 Paraventure I may, in youre meschief, Line 128 Conseille or helpe; and therfore telleth me Line 129 Al youre anoy, for it shal been secree. Line 130 For on my porthors here I make an ooth Line 131 That nevere in my lyf, for lief ne looth, Line 132 Ne shal I of no conseil yow biwreye. Line 133 The same agayn to yow, quod she, I seye. Line 134 By God and by this porthors I yow swere, Line 135 Though men me wolde al into pieces tere, Line 136 Ne shal I nevere, for to goon to helle, Line 137 Biwreye a word of thyng that ye me telle, Line 138 Nat for no cosynage ne alliance, Line 139 But verraily, for love and affiance. Line 140 Thus been they sworn, and heerupon they kiste, Line 141 And ech of hem tolde oother what hem liste. Line 142 Cosyn, quod she, if that I hadde a space, Line 143 As I have noon, and namely in this place, Line 144 Thanne wolde I telle a legende of my lyf, Line 145 What I have suffred with I was a wyf Line 146 With myn housbonde, al be he youre cosyn. Line 147 Nay, quod this monk, by God and seint martyn, Line 148 He is na moore cosyn unto me Line 149 Than is this leef that hangeth on the tree! Line 150 I clepe hym so, by seint denys of fraunce, Line 151 To have the moore cause of aqueyntaunce Line 152 Of yow, which I have loved specially Line 153 Aboven alle wommen, sikerly. Line 154 This swere I yow on my professioun. Line 155 Telleth youre grief, lest that he come adoun; Line 156 And hasteth yow, and gooth youre wey anon. Line 157 My deere love, quod she, o my daun john, Line 158 Ful lief were me this conseil for to hyde, Line 159 But out it moot, I may namoore abyde. Line 160 Myn housbonde is to me the worste man Line 161 That evere was sith that the world bigan. Line 162 But sith I am a wyf, it sit nat me Line 163 To tellen no wight of oure privetee, Line 164 Neither abedde, ne in noon oother place; Line 165 God shilde I sholde it tellen, for his grace! Line 166 A wyf ne shal nat seyn of hir housbonde Line 167 But al honour, as I kan understonde; Line 168 Save unto yow thus muche I tellen shal: Line 169 As helpe me god, he is noght worth at al Line 170 In no degree the value of a flye. Line 171 But yet me greveth moost his nygardye. Line 172 And wel ye woot that wommen naturelly Line 173 Desiren thynges sixe as wel as I: Line 174 They wolde that hir housbondes sholde be Line 175 Hardy, and wise, and riche, and therto free, Line 176 And buxom unto his wyf, and fressh abedde. Line 177 But by that ilke lord that for us bledde, Line 178 For his honour, myself for to arraye, Line 179

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Line 179 A sonday next I moste nedes paye Line 180 An hundred frankes, or ellis I am lorn. Line 181 Yet were me levere that I were unborn Line 182 Than me were doon a sclaundre or vileynye; Line 183 And if myn housbonde eek it myghte espye, Line 184 I nere but lost; and therfore I yow preye, Line 185 Lene me this somme, or ellis moot I deye. Line 186 Daun john, I seye, lene me thise hundred frankes. Line 187 Pardee, I wol nat faille yow my thankes, Line 188 If that yow list to doon that I yow praye. Line 189 For at a certeyn day I wol yow paye, Line 190 And doon to yow what plesance and service Line 191 That I may doon, right as yow list devise. Line 192 And but I do, God take on me vengeance Line 193 As foul as evere hadde genylon of france. Line 194 This gentil monk answerde in this manere: Line 195 Now trewely, myn owene lady deere, Line 196 I have, quod he, on yow so greet a routhe Line 197 That I yow swere, and plighte yow my trouthe, Line 198 That whan youre housbonde is to flaundres fare, Line 199 I wol delyvere yow out of this care; Line 200 For I wol brynge yow an hundred frankes. Line 201 And with that word he caughte hire by the flankes, Line 202 And hire embraceth harde, and kiste hire ofte. Line 203 Gooth now youre wey, quod he, al stille and softe, Line 204 And lat us dyne as soone as that ye may; Line 205 For by my chilyndre it is pryme of day. Line 206 Gooth now, and beeth as trewe as I shal be. Line 207 Now elles God forbede, sire, quod she; Line 208 And forth she gooth as jolif as a pye, Line 209 And bad the cookes that they sholde hem hye, Line 210 So that men myghte dyne, and that anon. Line 211 Up to hir housbonde is this wyf ygon, Line 212 And knokketh at his countour boldely. Line 213 Quy la? quod he. Peter! it am I, Line 214 Quod she; what, sire, how longe wol ye faste? Line 215 How longe tyme wol ye rekene and caste Line 216 Youre sommes, and youre bookes, and youre thynges? Line 217 The devel have part on alle swiche rekenynges! Line 218 Ye have ynough, pardee, of goddes sonde; Line 219 Com doun to-day, and lat youre bagges stonde. Line 220 Ne be ye nat ashamed that daun john Line 221 Shal fasting al this day alenge goon? Line 222 What! lat us heere a messe, and go we dyne. Line 223 Wyf, quod this man, litel kanstow devyne Line 224 The curious bisynesse that we have. Line 225 For of us chapmen, also God me save, Line 226 And by that lord that clepid is seint yve, Line 227 Scarsly amonges twelve tweye shul thryve Line 228 Continuelly, lastynge unto oure age. Line 229 We may wel make chiere and good visage, Line 230 And dryve forth the world as it may be, Line 231 And kepen oure estaat in pryvetee, Line 232 Til we be deed, or elles that we pleye Line 233 A pilgrymage, or goon out of the weye. Line 234 And therfore have I greet necessitee Line 235 Upon this queynte world t' avyse me; Line 236 For everemoore we moote stonde in drede Line 237 Of hap and fortune in oure chapmanhede. Line 238 To flaundres wol I go to-morwe at day, Line 239 And come agayn, as soone as evere I may. Line 240 For which, my deere wyf, I thee diseke, Line 241 As be to every wight buxom and meke, Line 242 And for to kepe oure good be curious, Line 243 And honestly governe wel oure hous. Line 244 Thou hast ynough, in every maner wise, Line 245 That to a thrifty houshold may suffise. Line 246 Thee lakketh noon array ne no vitaille; Line 247 Of silver in thy purs shaltow nat faille. Line 248 And with that word his countour-dore he shette, Line 249 And doun he gooth, no lenger wolde he lette. Line 250 But hastily a messe was ther seyd, Line 251 And spedily the tables were yleyd, Line 252 And to the dyner faste they hem spedde, Line 253 And richely this monk the chapman fedde. Line 254 At after-dyner daun john sobrely Line 255 This chapman took apart, and prively Line 256 He seyde hym thus: cosyn, it standeth so, Line 257 That wel I se to brugges wol ye go. Line 258 Go and seint austyn spede yow and gyde! Line 259 I prey yow, cosyn, wisely that ye ryde. Line 260 Governeth yow also of youre diete Line 261 Atemprely, and namely in this hete. Line 262 Bitwix us two nedeth no strange fare; Line 263 Farewel, cosyn; God shilde yow fro care! Line 264 And if that any thyng by day or nyght, Line 265 If it lye in my power and my myght, Line 266 That ye me wol comande in any wyse, Line 267 It shal be doon, right as ye wol devyse. Line 268 O thyng, er that ye goon, if it may be, Line 269 I wolde prey yow; for to lene me Line 270 An hundred frankes, for a wyke or tweye, Line 271 For certein beestes that I moste beye, Line 272 To stoore with a place that is oures. Line 273 God helpe me so, I wolde it were youres! Line 274 I shal nat faille surely of my day, Line 275 Nat for a thousand frankes, a mile way. Line 276 But lat this thyng be secree, I yow preye, Line 277

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Line 277 For yet to-nyght thise beestes moot I beye. Line 278 And fare now wel, myn owene cosyn deere; Line 279 Graunt mercy of youre cost and of youre cheere. Line 280 This noble marchant gentilly anon Line 281 Answerde and seyde, o cosyn myn, daun john, Line 282 Now sikerly this is a smal requeste. Line 283 My gold is youres, whan that it yow leste, Line 284 And nat oonly my gold, but my chaffare. Line 285 Take what yow list, God shilde that ye spare. Line 286 But o thyng is, ye knowe it wel ynogh, Line 287 Of chapmen, that hir moneie is hir plogh. Line 288 We may creaunce whil we have a name; Line 289 But goldlees for to be, it is no game. Line 290 Paye it agayn whan it lith in youre ese; Line 291 After my myght ful fayn wolde I yow plese. Line 292 Thise hundred frankes he fette forth anon, Line 293 And prively he took hem to daun john. Line 294 No wight in al this world wiste of this loone, Line 295 Savynge this marchant and daun john allone. Line 296 They drynke, and speke, and rome a while and pleye, Line 297 Til that daun john rideth to his abbeye. Line 298 The morwe cam, and forth this marchant rideth Line 299 To flaundres-ward; his prentys wel hym gydeth, Line 300 Til he came into brugges murily. Line 301 Now gooth this marchant faste and bisily Line 302 Aboute his nede, and byeth and creaunceth. Line 303 He neither pleyeth at the dees ne daunceth, Line 304 But as a marchaunt, shortly for to telle, Line 305 He let him lyf, and there I lete hym dwelle. Line 306 The sonday next the marchant was agon, Line 307 To seint-denys ycomen is daun john, Line 308 With crowne and berd al fressh and newe yshave. Line 309 In al the hous ther nas so litel a knave, Line 310 Ne no wight elles, that he nas ful fayn Line 311 For that my lord daun john was come agayn. Line 312 And shortly to the point right for to gon, Line 313 This faire wyf acorded with daun john Line 314 That for thise hundred frankes he sholde al nyght Line 315 Have hire in his armes bolt upright; Line 316 And this acord parfourned was in dede. Line 317 In myrthe al nyght a bisy lyf they lede Line 318 Til it was day, that daun john wente his way, Line 319 And bad the meynee farewel, have good day! Line 320 For noon of hem, ne no wight in the toun, Line 321 Hath of daun john right no suspecioun. Line 322 And forth he rydeth hoom to his abbeye, Line 323 Or where hym list; namoore of hym I seye. Line 324 This marchant, whan that ended was the faire, Line 325 To seint-denys he gan for to repaire, Line 326 And with his wyf he maketh feeste and cheere, Line 327 And telleth hire that chaffare is so deere Line 328 That nedes moste he make a chevyssaunce; Line 329 For he was bounden in a reconyssaunce Line 330 To paye twenty thousand sheeld anon. Line 331 For which this marchant is to parys gon Line 332 To borwe of certeine freendes that he hadde Line 333 A certeyn frankes; and somme with him he ladde. Line 334 And whan that he was come into the toun, Line 335 For greet chiertee and greet affeccioun, Line 336 Unto daun john he gooth first, hym to pleye; Line 337 Nat for to axe or borwe of hym moneye, Line 338 But for to wite and seen of his welfare, Line 339 And for to tellen hym of his chaffare, Line 340 As freendes doon whan they been met yfeere. Line 341 Daun john hym maketh feeste and murye cheere, Line 342 And he hym tolde agayn, ful specially, Line 343 How he hadde wel yboght and graciously, Line 344 Thanked be god, al hool his marchandise; Line 345 Save that he moste, in alle maner wise, Line 346 Maken a chevyssaunce, as for his beste, Line 347 And thanne he sholde been in joye and reste. Line 348 Daun john answerde, certes, I am fayn Line 349 That ye in heele ar comen hom agayn. Line 350 And if that I were riche, as have I blisse, Line 351 Of twenty thousand sheeld sholde ye nat mysse, Line 352 For ye so kyndely this oother day Line 353 Lente me gold; and as I kan and may, Line 354 I thanke yow, by God and by seint jame! Line 355 But nathelees, I took unto oure dame, Line 356 Youre wyf, at hom, the same gold ageyn Line 357 Upon youre bench; she woot it wel, certeyn, Line 358 By certeyn tokenes that I kan hire telle. Line 359 Now, by youre leve, I may no lenger dwelle; Line 360 Oure abbot wole out of this toun anon, Line 361 And in his compaignye moot I goon. Line 362 Grete wel oure dame, myn owene nece sweete, Line 363 And fare wel, deere cosyn, til we meete! Line 364 This marchant, which that was ful war and wys, Line 365 Creanced hath, and payd eek in parys Line 366 To certeyn lumbardes, redy in hir hond, Line 367 The somme of gold, and gat of hem his bond; Line 368 And hoom he gooth, murie as a papejay, Line 369 For wel he knew he stood in swich array Line 370 That nedes moste he wynne in that viage Line 371

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Line 371 A thousand frankes aboven al his costage. Line 372 His wyf ful redy mette hym atte gate, Line 373 As she was wont of oold usage algate, Line 374 And al that nyght in myrthe they bisette; Line 375 For he was riche and cleerly out of dette. Line 376 Whan it was day, this marchant gan embrace Line 377 His wyf al newe, and kiste hire on hir face, Line 378 And up he gooth and maketh it ful tough. Line 379 Namoore, quod she, by god, ye have ynough! Line 380 And wantownly agayn with hym she pleyde, Line 381 Til atte laste thus this marchant seyde: Line 382 By go, quod he, I am a litel wrooth Line 383 With yow, my wyf, although it be me looth. Line 384 And woot ye why? by god, as that I gesse Line 385 That ye han maad a manere straungenesse Line 386 Bitwixen me and my cosyn daun john. Line 387 Ye sholde han warned me, er I had gon, Line 388 That he yow hadde an hundred frankes payed Line 389 By redy token; and heeld hym yvele apayed, Line 390 For that I to hym spak of chevyssaunce; Line 391 Me semed so, as by his contenaunce. Line 392 But nathelees, by god, oure hevene kyng, Line 393 I thoughte nat to axen hym no thyng. Line 394 I prey thee, wyf, ne do namoore so; Line 395 Telle me alwey, er that I fro thee go, Line 396 If any dettour hath in myn absence Line 397 Ypayed thee, lest thurgh thy necligence Line 398 I myghte hym axe a thing that he hath payed. Line 399 This wyf was nat afered nor affrayed, Line 400 But boldely she seyde, and that anon; Line 401 Marie, I deffie the false monk, daun john! Line 402 I kepe nat of his tokenes never a deel; Line 403 He took me certeyn gold, that woot I weel, -- Line 404 What! yvel thedam on his monkes snowte! Line 405 For, God it woot, I wende, withouten doute, Line 406 That he hadde yeve it me bycause of yow, Line 407 To doon therwith myn honour and my prow, Line 408 For cosynage, and eek for beele cheere Line 409 That he hath had ful ofte tymes heere. Line 410 But sith I se I stonde in this disjoynt, Line 411 I wol answere yow shortly to the poynt. Line 412 Ye han mo slakkere dettours than am i! Line 413 For I wol paye yow wel and redily Line 414 Fro day to day, and if so be I faille, Line 415 I am youre wyf; score it upon my taille, Line 416 And I shal paye as soone as ever I may. Line 417 For by my trouthe, I have on myn array, Line 418 And nat on wast, bistowed every deel; Line 419 And for I have bistowed it so weel Line 420 For youre honour, for goddes sake, I seye, Line 421 As be nat wrooth, but lat us laughe and pleye. Line 422 Ye shal my joly body have to wedde; Line 423 By god, I wol nat paye yow but abedde! Line 424 Forgyve it me, myn owene spouse deere; Line 425 Turne hiderward, and maketh bettre cheere. Line 426 This marchant saugh ther was no remedie, Line 427 And for to chide it nere but folie, Line 428 Sith that the thyng may nat amended be. Line 429 Now wyf, he seyde, and I foryeve it thee; Line 430 But, by thy lyf, ne be namoore so large. Line 431 Keep bet my good, this yeve I thee in charge. Line 432 Thus endeth now my tale, and God us sende Line 433 Taillynge ynough unto oure lyves ende. Amen Line 434

The Words of the Host to the Prioress

Wel seyd, by corpus dominus, quod oure hoost, Line 435 Now longe moote thou saille by the cost, Line 436 Sire gentil maister, gentil maryneer! Line 437 God yeve the monk a thousand last quade yeer! Line 438 A ha! felawes! beth ware of swich a jape! Line 439 The monk putte in the mannes hood an ape, Line 440 And in his wyves eek, by seint austyn! Line 441 Draweth no monkes moore unto youre in. Line 442 But now passe over, and lat us seke aboute, Line 443 Who shal now telle first of al this route Line 444 Another tale; and with that word he sayde, Line 445 As curteisly as it had been a mayde, Line 446 My lady prioresse, by youre leve, Line 447 So that I wiste I sholde yow nat greve, Line 448 I wolde demen that ye tellen sholde Line 449 A tale next, if so were that ye wolde. Line 450 Now wol ye vouche sauf, my lady deere? Line 451 Gladly, quod she, and seyde as ye shal heere. Line 452

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The Prioress' Prologue

O lord, oure lord, thy name how merveillous Line 453 Is in this large world ysprad, quod she; Line 454 For noght oonly thy laude precious Line 455 Parfourned is by men of dignitee, Line 456 But by the mouth of children thy bountee Line 457 Parfourned is, for on the brest soukynge Line 458 Somtyme shewen they thyn heriynge. Line 459 Wherfore in laude, as I best kan or may, Line 460 Of thee and of the white lyle flour Line 461 Which that the bar, and is a mayde alway, Line 462 To telle a storie I wol do my labour; Line 463 Nat that I may encressen hir honour, Line 464 For whe hirself is honour and the roote Line 465 Of bountee, next hir sone, and soules boote. Line 466 O mooder mayde! o mayde mooder free! Line 467 O bussh unbrent, brennynge in moyses sighte, Line 468 That ravyshedest doun fro the dietee, Line 469 Thurgh thyn humbless, the goost that in th' alighte, Line 470 Of whos vertu, whan he thyn herte lighte, Line 471 Conceyved was the fadres sapience, Line 472 Help me to telle it in thy reverence! Line 473 Lady, thy bountee, thy magnificence, Line 474 Thy vertu, and thy grete humylitee, Line 475 Ther may no tonge expresse in no science; Line 476 For somtyme, lady, er men praye to thee, Line 477 Thou goost biforn of thy benyngnytee, Line 478 And getest us the lyght, of thy preyere, Line 479 To gyden us unto thy sone so deere. Line 480 My konnyng is so wayk, o blisful queene, Line 481 For to declare thy grete worthynesse Line 482 That I ne may the weighte nat susteene; Line 483 But as a child of twelf month oold, or lesse, Line 484 That kan unnethes any word expresse, Line 485 Right so fare I, and therfore I yow preye, Line 486 Gydeth my song that I shal of yow seye. Line 487

The Prioress' Tale

Ther was in asye, in a greet citee, Line 488 Amonges cristene folk, a jewerye, Line 489 Sustened by a lord of that contree Line 490 For foule usure and lucre of vileynye, Line 491 Hateful to crist and to his compaignye; Line 492 And thurgh the strete men myghte ride or wende, Line 493 For it was free and open at eyther ende. Line 494 A litel scole of cristen folk ther stood Line 495 Doun at the ferther ende, in which ther were Line 496 Children an heep, ycomen of cristen blood, Line 497 That lerned in that scole yeer by yere Line 498 Swich manere doctrine as men used there, Line 499 This is to seyn, to syngen and to rede, Line 500 As smale children doon in hire childhede. Line 501 Among thise children was a wydwes sone, Line 502 A litel clergeon, seven yeer of age, Line 503 That day by day to scole was his wone, Line 504 And eek also, where as he saugh th' ymage Line 505 Of cristes mooder, hadde he in usage, Line 506 As hym was taught, to knele adoun and seye Line 507 His ave marie, as he goth by the weye. Line 508 Thus hath this wydwe hir litel sone ytaught Line 509 Oure blisful lady, cristes mooder deere, Line 510

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Line 510 To worshipe ay, and he forgat it naught, Line 511 For sely child wol alday soone leere. Line 512 But ay, whan I remembre on this mateere, Line 513 Seint nicholas stant evere in my presence, Line 514 For he so yong to crist dide reverence. Line 515 This litel child, his litel book lernynge, Line 516 As he sat in the scole at his prymer, Line 517 He alma redemptoris herde synge, Line 518 As children lerned hire antiphoner; Line 519 And as he dorste, he drough hym ner and ner, Line 520 And herkned ay the wordes and the noote, Line 521 Til he the firste vers koude al by rote. Line 522 Noght wiste he what this latyn was to seye, Line 523 For he so yong and tendre was of age. Line 524 But on a day his felawe gan he preye Line 525 T' expounden hym this song in his langage, Line 526 Or telle hym why this song was in usage; Line 527 This preyde he hym to construe and declare Line 528 Ful often tyme upon his knowes bare. Line 529 His felawe, which that elder was than he, Line 530 Answerde hym thus: this song, I have herd seye, Line 531 Was maked of our blisful lady free, Line 532 Hire to salue, and eek hire for to preye Line 533 Fo been oure help and socour whan we deye. Line 534 I kan namoore expounde in this mateere; Line 535 I lerne song, I kan but smal grammeere. Line 536 And is this song maked in reverence Line 537 Of cristes mooder? seyde this innocent. Line 538 Now, certes, I wol do my diligence Line 539 To konne it al er cristemasse be went. Line 540 Though that I for my prymer shal be shent, Line 541 And shall be beten thries in an houre, Line 542 I wol it konne oure lady for to honoure! Line 543 His felawe taughte hym homward prively, Line 544 For day to day, til he koude it by rote, Line 545 And thanne he song it wel and boldely, Line 546 Fro word to word, acordynge with the note. Line 547 Twies a day it passed thurgh his throte, Line 548 To scoleward and homward whan he wente; Line 549 On cristes mooder set was his entente. Line 550 As I have seyd, thurghout the juerie, Line 551 This litel child, as he cam to and fro, Line 552 Ful murily than wolde he synge and crie Line 553 O alma redemptoris everemo. Line 554 The swetnesse hath his herte perced so Line 555 Of cristes mooder that, to hire to preye, Line 556 He kan nat stynte of syngyng by the weye. Line 557 Oure firste foo, the serpent sathanas, Line 558 That hath in jues herte his waspes nest, Line 559 Up swal, and seide, o hebrayk peple, allas! Line 560 Is this to yow a thyng that is honest, Line 561 That swich a boy shal walken as hym lest Line 562 In youre despit, and synge of swich sentence, Line 563 Which is agayn youre lawes reverence? Line 564 Fro thennes forth the jues han conspired Line 565 This innocent out of this world to chace. Line 566 And homycide therto han they hyred, Line 567 That in an aleye hadde a privee place; Line 568 And as the child gan forby for to pace, Line 569 This cursed jew hym hente, and heeld hym faste, Line 570 And kitte his throute, and in a pit hym caste. Line 571 I seye that in a wardrobe they hym threwe Line 572 Where as thise jewes purgen hire entraille. Line 573 O cursed folk of herodes al newe, Line 574 What may youre yvel entente yow availle? Line 575 Mordre wol out, certeyn, it wol nat faille, Line 576 And namely ther th' onour of God shal sprede; Line 577 The blood out crieth on youre cursed dede. Line 578 O martir, sowded to virginitee, Line 579 Now maystow syngen, folwynge evere in oon Line 580 The white lamb celestial -- quod she -- Line 581 Of which the grete evaungelist, seint john, Line 582 In pathmos wroot, which seith that they that goon Line 583 Biforn this lamb, and synge a song al newe, Line 584 That nevere, flesshly, wommen they ne knewe. Line 585 This poure wydwe awaiteth al that nyght Line 586 After hir litel child, but he cam noght; Line 587 For which, as soone as it was dayes lyght, Line 588 With face pale of drede and bisy thoght, Line 589 She hath at scole and elleswhere hym soght, Line 590 Til finally she gan so fer espie Line 591 That he last seyn was in the juerie. Line 592 With moodres pitee in hir brest enclosed, Line 593 She gooth, as she were half out of hir mynde, Line 594 To every place where she hath supposed Line 595 By liklihede hir litel child to fynde; Line 596

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Line 596 And evere on cristes mooder meeke and kynde Line 597 She cride, and atte laste thus she wroghte: Line 598 Among the cursed jues she hym soghte. Line 599 She frayneth and she preyeth pitously Line 600 To every jew that dwelte in thilke place, Line 601 To telle hire if hir child wente oght forby. Line 602 They seyde nay; but jhesu, of his grace, Line 603 Yaf in hir thoght, inwith a litel space, Line 604 That in that place after hir sone she cryde, Line 605 Where he was casten in a pit bisyde. Line 606 O grete god, that parfournest thy laude Line 607 By mouth of innocentz, lo, heere thy myght! Line 608 This gemme of chastite, this emeraude, Line 609 And eek of martirdom the ruby bright, Line 610 Ther he with throte ykorven lay upright, Line 611 He alma redemptoris gan to synge Line 612 So loude that al the place gan to rynge. Line 613 The cristene folk that thurgh the strete wente Line 614 In coomen for to wondre upon this thyng, Line 615 And hastily they for the provost sente; Line 616 He cam anon withouten tariyng, Line 617 And herieth crist that is of hevene kyng, Line 618 And eek his mooder, honour of mankynde, Line 619 And after that the jewes leet he bynde. Line 620 This child with pitous lamentacioun Line 621 Up taken was, syngynge his song alway, Line 622 And with honour of greet processioun Line 623 They carien hym unto the nexte abbay. Line 624 His mooder swownynge by the beere lay; Line 625 Unnethe myghte the peple that was theere Line 626 This newe rachel brynge fro his beere. Line 627 With torment and with shameful deeth echon Line 628 This provost dooth thise jewes for to sterve Line 629 That of this mordre wiste, and that anon. Line 630 He nolde no swich cursednesse observe. Line 631 Yvele shal have that yvele wol deserve; Line 632 Therfore with wilde hors he dide hem drawe, Line 633 And after that he heng hem by the lawe. Line 634 Upon this beere ay lith this innocent Line 635 Biforn the chief auter, whil masse laste; Line 636 And after that, the abbot with his covent Line 637 Han sped hem for to burien hym ful faste; Line 638 And whan they hooly water on hym caste, Line 639 Yet spak this child, whan spreynd was hooly water, Line 640 And song o alma redemptoris mater! Line 641 This abbot, which that was an hooly man, Line 642 As monkes been -- or elles oghte be -- Line 643 This yonge child to conjure he bigan, Line 644 And seyde, o deere child, I halse thee, Line 645 In vertu of the hooly trinitee, Line 646 Tel me what is thy cause for to synge, Line 647 Sith that thy throte is kut to my semynge? Line 648 My throte is kut unto my nekke boon, Line 649 Seyde this child, and, as by wey of kynde, Line 650 I sholde have dyed, ye, longe tyme agon. Line 651 But jesu crist, as ye in bookes fynde, Line 652 Wil that his glorie laste and be in mynde, Line 653 And for the worship of his mooder deere Line 654 Yet may I synge o alma loude and cleere. Line 655 This welle of mercy, cristes mooder sweete, Line 656 I loved alwey, as after my konnynge; Line 657 And whan that I my lyf sholde forlete, Line 658 To me she cam, and bad me for to synge Line 659 This anthem verraily in my deyynge, Line 660 As ye han herd, and whan that I hadde songe, Line 661 Me thoughte she leyde a greyn upon my tonge. Line 662 Wherfore I synge, and synge moot certeyn, Line 663 In honour of that blisful mayden free, Line 664 Til fro my tonge of taken is the greyn; Line 665 And after that thus seyde she to me; Line 666 -- My litel child, now wol I fecche thee, Line 667 Whan that the greyn is fro thy tonge ytake. Line 668 Be nat agast, I wol thee nat forsake. -- Line 669 This hooly monk, this abbot, hym meene I, Line 670 His tonge out caughte, and took awey the greyn, Line 671 And he yaf up the goost ful softely. Line 672 And whan this abbot hadde this wonder seyn, Line 673 His salte teeris trikled doun as reyn, Line 674 And gruf he fil al plat upon the grounde, Line 675 And stille he lay as he had ben ybounde. Line 676 The covent eek lay on the pavement Line 677 Wepynge, and herying cristes mooder deere, Line 678 And after that they ryse, and forth been went, Line 679 And tooken awey this martir from his beere; Line 680 And in a tombe of marbul stones cleere Line 681 Enclosen they his litel body sweete. Line 682 Ther he is now, God leve us for to meete! Line 683

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Line 683 O yonge hugh of lyncoln, slayn also Line 684 With cursed jewes, as it is notable, Line 685 For it is but a litel while ago, Line 686 Preye eek for us, we synful folk unstable, Line 687 That, of his mercy, God so merciable Line 688 On us his grete mercy multiplie, Line 689 For reverence of his mooder marie. Amen Line 690

The Prologue to the Tale of Sir Thopas

Whan seyd was al this miracle, every man Line 691 As sobre was that wonder was to se, Line 692 Til that oure hooste japen tho bigan, Line 693 And thanne at erst he looked upon me, Line 694 And seyde thus: what man artow? quod he; Line 695 Thou lookest as thou woldest fynde an hare, Line 696 For evere upon the ground I se thee stare. Line 697 Approche neer, and looke up murily. Line 698 Now war yow, sires, and lat this man have place! Line 699 He in the waast is shape as wel as I; Line 700 This were a popet in an arm t' enbrace Line 701 For any womman, smal and fair of face. Line 702 He semeth elvyssh by his contenaunce, Line 703 For unto no wight dooth he daliaunce. Line 704 Sey now somwhat, syn oother folk han sayd; Line 705 Telle us a tale of myrthe, and that anon. Line 706 Hooste, quod I, ne beth nat yvele apayd, Line 707 For oother tale certes kan I noon, Line 708 But of a rym I lerned longe agoon. Line 709 Ye, that is good, quod he; now shul we heere Line 710 Som deyntee thyng, me thynketh by his cheere. Line 711

The Tale of Sir Thopas

Fitt I
Listeth, lordes, in good entent, Line 712 And I wol telle verrayment Line 713 Of myrthe and of solas; Line 714 Al of a knyght was fair and gent Line 715 In bataille and in tourneyment, Line 716 His name was sire thopas. Line 717 Yborn he was in fer contree, Line 718 In flaundres, al biyonde the see, Line 719 At poperyng, in the place. Line 720 His fader was a man ful free, Line 721 And lord he was of that contree, Line 722 As it was goddes grace. Line 723 Sire thopas wax a doghty swayn; Line 724 Whit was his face as payndemayn, Line 725 His lippes rede as rose; Line 726 His rode is lyk scarlet in grayn, Line 727 And I yow telle in good certayn, Line 728 He hadde a semely nose. Line 729 His heer, his berd was lyk saffroun, Line 730 That to his girdel raughte adoun; Line 731 His shoon of cordewane. Line 732 Of brugges were his hosen broun, Line 733 His robe was of syklatoun, Line 734 That coste many a jane. Line 735 He koude hunte at wilde deer, Line 736 And ride an haukyng for river Line 737 With grey goshauk on honde; Line 738 Therto he was a good archeer; Line 739 Of wrastlyng was ther noon his peer, Line 740 Ther any ram shal stonde. Line 741

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Line 741 Ful many a mayde, bright in bour, Line 742 They moorne for hym paramour, Line 743 Whan hem were bet to slepe; Line 744 But he was chaast and no lechour, Line 745 And sweete as is the brembul flour Line 746 That bereth the rede hepe. Line 747 And so bifel upon a day, Line 748 For sothe, as I yow telle may, Line 749 Sire thopas wolde out ride. Line 750 He worth upon his steede gray, Line 751 And in his hand a launcegay, Line 752 A long swerd by his side. Line 753 He priketh thurgh a fair forest, Line 754 Therinne is many a wilde best, Line 755 Ye, bothe bukke and hare; Line 756 And as he priketh north and est, Line 757 I telle it yow, hym hadde almest Line 758 Bitid a sory care. Line 759 Ther spryngen herbes grete and smale, Line 760 The lycorys and the cetewale, Line 761 And many a clowe-gylofre; Line 762 And notemuge to putte in ale, Line 763 Wheither it be moyste or stale, Line 764 Or for to leye in cofre. Line 765 The briddes synge, it is no nay, Line 766 The sparhauk and the papejay, Line 767 That joye it was to heere; Line 768 The thrustelock made eek his lay, Line 769 The wodedowve upon the spray Line 770 She sang ful loude and cleere. Line 771 Sire thopas fil in love-longynge, Line 772 Al whan he herde the thrustel synge, Line 773 And pryked as he were wood. Line 774 His faire steede in his prikynge Line 775 So swatte that men myghte him wrynge; Line 776 His sydes were al blood. Line 777 Sire thopas eek so wery was Line 778 For prikyng on the softe gras, Line 779 So fiers was his corage, Line 780 That doun he leyde him in that plas Line 781 To make his steede som solas, Line 782 And yaf hym good forage. Line 783 O seinte marie, benedicite! Line 784 What eyleth this love at me Line 785 To bynde me so soore? Line 786 Me dremed al this nyght, pardee, Line 787 An elf-queene shal my lemman be Line 788 And slepe under my goore. Line 789 An elf-queene wol I love, ywis, Line 790 For in this world no womman is Line 791 Worthy to be my make Line 792 In towne; Line 793 Alle othere wommen I forsake, Line 794 And to an elf-queene I me take Line 795 By dale and eek by downe! Line 796 Into his sadel he clamb anon, Line 797 And priketh over stile and stoon Line 798 An elf-queene for t' espye, Line 799 Til he so longe hath riden and goon Line 800 That he foond, in a pryve woon, Line 801 The contree of fairye Line 802 So wilde; Line 803 For in that contree was ther noon Line 804 That to him durste ride or goon, Line 805 Neither wyf ne childe; Line 806 Til that ther cam a greet geaunt, Line 807 His name was sire olifaunt, Line 808 A perilus man of dede. Line 809 He seyde, child, by termagaunt! Line 810 But if thou prike out of myn haunt, Line 811 Anon I sle thy steede Line 812 With mace. Line 813 Heere is the queene of fayerye, Line 814 With harpe and pipe and symphonye, Line 815 Dwellynge in this place. Line 816 The child seyde, also moote I thee, Line 817 Tomorwe wol I meete with thee, Line 818 Whan I have myn armoure; Line 819 And yet I hope, par ma fay, Line 820 That thou shalt with this launcegay Line 821 Abyen it ful sowre. Line 822 Thy mawe Line 823 Shal I percen, if I may, Line 824 Er it be fully pryme of day, Line 825 For heere thow shalt be slawe. Line 826 Sire thopas drow abak ful faste; Line 827 This geant at hym stones caste Line 828 Out of a fel staf-slynge. Line 829 But faire escapeth child thopas, Line 830 And al it was thurgh goddes gras, Line 831 And thurgh his fair berynge. Line 832 Yet listeth, lordes, to my tale Line 833 Murier than the nightyngale, Line 834 For now I wol yow rowne Line 835 How sir thopas, with sydes smale, Line 836 Prikyng over hill and dale, Line 837 Is comen agayn to towne. Line 838

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Line 838 His myrie men comanded he Line 839 To make hym bothe game and glee, Line 840 For nedes moste he fighte Line 841 With a geaunt with hevedes three, Line 842 For paramour and jolitee Line 843 Of oon that shoon ful brighte. Line 844 Do come, he seyde, my mynstrale, Line 845 And geestours for to tellen tales, Line 846 Anon in myn armynge, Line 847 Of romances that been roiales, Line 848 Of popes and of cardinales, Line 849 And eek of love-likynge. Line 850 They fette hym first the sweet wyn, Line 851 And mede eek in a mazelyn, Line 852 And roial spicerye Line 853 Of gyngebreed that was ful fyn, Line 854 And lycorys, and eek comyn, Line 855 With sugre that is trye. Line 856 He dide next his white leere, Line 857 Of cloth of lake fyn and cleere, Line 858 A breech and eek a sherte; Line 859 And next his sherte an aketoun, Line 860 And over that an haubergeoun Line 861 For percynge of his herte; Line 862 And over that a fyn hawberk, Line 863 Was al ywroght of jewes werk, Line 864 Ful strong it was of plate; Line 865 And over that his cote-armour Line 866 As whit as is a lilye flour, Line 867 In which he wol debate. Line 868 His sheeld was al of gold so reed, Line 869 And therinne was a bores heed, Line 870 A charbocle bisyde; Line 871 And there he swoor on ale and breed Line 872 How that the geaunt shal be deed, Line 873 Bityde what bityde! Line 874 His jambeux were of quyrboilly, Line 875 His swerdes shethe of ivory, Line 876 His helm of latoun bright; Line 877 His sadel was of rewel boon, Line 878 His brydel as the sonne shoon, Line 879 Or as the moone light. Line 880 His spere was of fyn ciprees, Line 881 That bodeth werre, and nothyng pees, Line 882 The heed ful sharpe ygrounde; Line 883 His steede was al dappull gray, Line 884 It gooth an ambil in the way Line 885 Ful softely and rounde Line 886 In londe. Line 887 Loo, lordes myne, heere is a fit! Line 888 If ye wol any moore of it, Line 889 To telle it wol I fonde. Line 890
Fitt II
Now holde youre mouth, par charitee, Line 891 Bothe knyght and lady free, Line 892 And herkneth to my spelle; Line 893 Of bataille and of chivalry, Line 894 And of ladyes love-drury Line 895 Anon I wol yow telle. Line 896 Men speken of romances of prys, Line 897 Of horn child and of ypotys, Line 898 Of beves and sir gy, Line 899 Of sir lybeux and pleyndamour, -- Line 900 But sir thopas, he bereth the flour Line 901 Of roial chivalry! Line 902 His goode steede al he bistrood, Line 903 And forth upon his wey he glood Line 904 As sparcle out of the bronde; Line 905 Upon his creest he bar a tour, Line 906 And therinne stiked a lilie flour, -- Line 907 God shilde his cors for shonde! Line 908 And for he was a knyght auntrous, Line 909 He nolde slepen in noon hous, Line 910 But liggen in his hoode; Line 911 His brighte helm was his wonger, Line 912 And by hym baiteth his dextrer Line 913 Of herbes fyne and goode. Line 914 Hymself drank water of the well, Line 915 As dide the knyght sire percyvell Line 916 So worthy under wede, Line 917 Til on a day -- Line 918

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The Host's Interruption of the Tale of Sir Thopas

Namoore of this, for goddes dignitee, Line 919 Quod oure hooste, for thou makest me Line 920 So wery of thy verray lewednesse Line 921 That, also wisly God my soule blesse, Line 922 Myne eres aken of thy drasty speche. Line 923 Now swich a rym the devel I biteche! Line 924 This may wel be rym dogerel, quod he. Line 925 Why so? quod I, why wiltow lette me Line 926 Moore of my tale than another man, Line 927 Syn that it is the beste rym I kan? Line 928 By god, quod he, for pleynly, at a word, Line 929 Thy drasty rymyng is nat worth a toord! Line 930 Thou doost noght elles but despendest tyme. Line 931 Sire, at o word, thou shalt no lenger ryme. Line 932 Lat se wher thou kanst tellen aught in geeste, Line 933 Or telle in prose somwhat, at the leeste, Line 934 In which ther be som murthe or som doctryne Line 935 Gladly, quod I, by goddes sweete pyne! Line 936 I wol yow telle a litel thyng in prose Line 937 That oghte liken yow, as I suppose, Line 938 Or elles, certes, ye been to daungerous. Line 939 It is a moral tale vertuous, Line 940 Al be it told somtyme in sondry wyse Line 941 Of sondry folk, as I shal yow devyse. Line 942 As thus: ye woot that every evaungelist, Line 943 That telleth us the peyne of jhesu crist, Line 944 Ne seith nat alle thyng as his felawe dooth; Line 945 But nathelees hir sentence is al sooth, Line 946 And alle acorden as in hire sentence, Line 947 Al be ther in hir tellyng difference. Line 948 For somme of hem seyn moore, and somme seyn lesse, Line 949 Whan they his pitous passioun expresse -- Line 950 I meene of mark, mathew, luc, and john -- Line 951 But doutelees hir sentence is al oon. Line 952 Therfore, lordynges alle, I yow biseche, Line 953 If that yow thynke I varie as in my speche, Line 954 As thus, though that I telle somwhat moore Line 955 Of proverbes than ye han herd bifoore Line 956 Comprehended in this litel tretys heere, Line 957 To enforce with th' effect of my mateere, Line 958 And though I nat the same wordes seye Line 959 As ye han herd, yet to yow alle I preye Line 960 Blameth me nat; for, as in my sentence, Line 961 Shul ye nowher fynden difference Line 962 Fro the sentence of this tretys lyte Line 963 After the which this murye tale I write. Line 964 And therfore herkneth what that I shal seye, Line 965 And lat me tellen al my tale, I preye. Line 966

The Tale of Melibee

A yong man called melibeus, myghty and Line 967 Riche, bigat upon his wyf, that called was prudence, Line 967 a doghter which that called was sophie./ Line 968 Upon a day bifel that he for his desport is Line 968 Went into the feeldes hem to pleye./ His wyf Line 969 And eek his doghter hath he left inwith his hous, Line 969 Of which the dores weren faste yshette./ Thre Line 970 Of his olde foes han it espyed, and setten laddres Line 970 To the walles of his hous, and by wyndowes Line 970 been entred,/ and betten his wyf, Line 971 And wounded his doghter with fyve mortal Line 971 woundes in fyve sondry places, -- / this is to Line 972 Seyn, in hir feet, in hire handes, in hir erys, in Line 972 Hir nose, and in hire mouth, -- and leften hire Line 972 For deed, and wenten awey./ Line 973 Whan melibeus retourned was in to his hous, Line 973 And saugh al this meschief, he, lyk a mad man, Line 973 Rentynge his clothes, gan to wepe and crie./ Line 974 Prudence, his wyf, as ferforth as she dorste, Line 974 Bisoghte hym of his wepyng for to stynte;/ but Line 975 Nat forthy he gan to crie and wepen Line 975 Evere lenger the moore./ Line 975 This noble wyf prudence remembred Line 976 Hire upon the sentence of ovide, in his book Line 976 That cleped is the remedie of love, where as Line 976 He seith/ he is a fool that destourbeth the Line 977 Mooder to wepen in the deeth of hire child, Line 977 Til she have wept hir fille as for a certein tyme;/ Line 978 And thanne shal man doon his diligence with Line 978 Amyable wordes hire to reconforte, and preyen Line 978

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Line 978 Hire of hir wepyng for to stynte./ For which Line 979 Resoun this noble wyf prudence suffred hir Line 979 Housbonde for to wepe and crie as for a certein Line 979 Space;/ and whan she saugh hir tyme, she Line 980 Seyde hym in this wise: allas, my lord, quod Line 980 She, why make ye youreself for to be Line 980 Lyk a fool?/ for sothe it aperteneth nat Line 981 To a wys man to maken swich a sorwe./ Line 982 Youre doghter, with the grace of god, shal Line 982 Warisshe and escape./ And, al were it so that Line 983 She right now were deed, ye ne oughte nat, as Line 983 For hir deeth, youreself to destroye./ Senek Line 984 Seith: the wise man shal nat take to greet disconfort Line 984 for the deeth of his children;/ but, Line 985 Certes, he sholde suffren it in pacience as wel Line 985 As he abideth the deeth of his owene Line 985 Propre persone. -- / Line 986 This melibeus answerde anon, and Line 986 Seyde, what man, quod he, sholde of his Line 986 Wepyng stente that hath so greet a cause for Line 986 To wepe?/ jhesu crist, oure lord, hymself Line 987 Wepte for the deeth of lazarus hys freend./ Line 988 Prudence answerde: certes, wel I woot attempree Line 988 wepyng is no thyng deffended to hym Line 988 That sorweful is, amonges folk in sorwe, but it Line 988 Is rather graunted hym to wepe./ The apostle Line 989 Paul unto the romayns writeth, -- man shal rejoyse Line 989 with hem that maken joye, and wepen Line 989 With swich folk as wepen. -- / ut though attempree Line 990 wepyng be ygraunted, outrageous Line 990 wepyng certes is deffended./ Line 991 Mesure of wepyng sholde be considered, Line 991 after the loore that techeth us senek:/ Line 992 -- whan that thy frend is deed, -- quod he, -- lat Line 992 Nat thyne eyen to moyste been of teeris, ne Line 992 To muche drye; although the teeris come to Line 992 Thyne eyen, lat hem nat falle;/ and whan thou Line 993 Hast forgoon thy freend, do diligence to gete Line 993 Another freend; and this is moore wysdom than Line 993 For to wepe for thy freend which that thou has Line 993 Lorn, for therinne is no boote. -- / and therfore, Line 994 If ye governe yow by sapience, put awey sorwe Line 994 Out of youre herte./ Remembre yow that Line 995 Jhesus syrak seith, -- a man that is joyous and Line 995 Glad in herte, it hym conserveth florissynge Line 995 In his age; but soothly sorweful herte Line 995 Maketh his bones drye. -- / he seith eek Line 996 Thus, that sorwe in herte sleeth ful many Line 996 A man./ Salomon seith that right as motthes Line 997 In shepes flees anoyeth to the clothes, and Line 997 The smale wormes to the tree, right so anoyeth Line 997 Sorwe to the herte./ Wherfore us oghte, as wel Line 998 In the deeth of oure children as in the los of Line 998 Oure othere goodes temporels, have pacience./ Line 999 Remembre yow upon the pacient job. Whan Line 999 He hadde lost his children and his temporeel Line 999 Substance, and in his body endured and receyved Line 999 ful many a grevous tribulacion, yet Line 999 Seyde he thus:/ -- oure lord hath yeve it me; Line 1000 Oure lord hath biraft it me; right as oure lord Line 1000 Hath wold, right so it is doon; blessed Line 1000 Be the name of oure lord! -- / Line 1001 To thise forseide thynges answerde Line 1001 Melibeus unto his wyf prudence: alle thy Line 1001 Wordes, quod he, been sothe, and therto profitable; Line 1001 but trewely myn herte is troubled with Line 1001 This sorwe so grevously that I noot what to Line 1001 Doone./ Line 1002 Lat calle, quod prudence, thy trewe Line 1002 Freendes alle, and thy lynage whiche that been Line 1002 Wise. Telleth youre cas, and herkneth what Line 1002 They seye in conseillyng, and yow governe after Line 1002 Hire sentence./ Salomon seith, -- werk alle thy Line 1003 Thynges by conseil, and thou shalt never repente. Line 1003 Thanne, by the conseil of his wyf prudence, Line 1004 This melibeus leet callen a greet congregacion Line 1004 Of folk;/ as surgiens, phisiciens, olde folk and Line 1005 Yonge, and somme of his olde enemys reconsiled Line 1005 as by hir semblaunt to his love and Line 1005 Into his grace;/ and therwithal ther Line 1006 Coomen somme of his neighebores that Line 1006 Diden hym reverence moore for drede than for Line 1006 Love, as it happeth ofte./ Ther coomen also Line 1007 Ful many subtille flatereres, and wise advocatz Line 1007 lerned in the lawe./ Line 1008 And whan this folk togidre assembled weren, Line 1008 This melibeus in sorweful wise shewed hem his Line 1008 Cas./ And by the manere of his speche it Line 1009 Semed that in herte he baar a crueel ire, redy Line 1009 To doon vengeaunce upon his foes, and sodeynly Line 1009 desired that the werre sholde bigynne;/ Line 1010 But nathelees, yet axed he hire conseil Line 1010 Upon this matiere./ A surgien, by licence Line 1011 and assent of swiche as weren Line 1011 Wise, up roos, and to melibeus seyde as ye may Line 1011 Heere:/ Line 1012 Sire, quod he, as to us surgiens aperteneth Line 1012 that we do to every wight the beste that Line 1012 We kan, where as we been withholde, and to Line 1012 Oure pacientz that we do no damage;/ wherfore Line 1013 it happeth many tyme and ofte that whan Line 1013 Twey men han everich wounded oother, oon Line 1013 Same surgien heeleth hem bothe;/ wherfore Line 1014 Unto oure art it is nat pertinent to norice werre Line 1014 Ne parties to supporte./ But certes, as to the Line 1015 Warisshynge of youre doghter, al be it so that Line 1015 She perilously be wounded, we shullen do so Line 1015

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Line 1015 Ententif bisynesse fro day to nyght that with Line 1015 The grace of God she shal be hool and Line 1015 Sound as soone as is possible./ Line 1016 Almoost right in the same wise the Line 1016 Phisiciens answerden, save that they seyden a Line 1016 Fewe woordes moore:/ that right as maladies Line 1017 Been cured by hir contraries, right so shul men Line 1017 Warisshe werre by vengeaunce./ Line 1018 His neighebores ful of envye, his feyned Line 1018 Freendes that semeden reconsiled, and his flatereres/ Line 1018 maden semblant of wepyng, and empeireden Line 1019 and agreggeden muchel of this matiere Line 1019 in preisynge greetly melibee of myght, of Line 1019 Power, of richesse, and of freendes, despisynge Line 1019 The power of his adversaries,/ and seiden outrely Line 1020 that he anon sholde wreken hym on Line 1020 His foes, and bigynne werre./ Line 1021 Up roos thanne an advocat that was Line 1021 Wys, by leve and by conseil of othere that were Line 1021 Wise, and seide:/ lordynges, the nede for Line 1022 Which we been assembled in this place is a ful Line 1022 Hevy thyng and an heigh matiere,/ by cause Line 1023 Of the wrong and of the wikkednesse that hath Line 1023 Be doon, and eek by resoun of the grete damages Line 1023 that in tyme comynge been possible to Line 1023 Fallen for this same cause,/ and eek by resoun Line 1024 Of the grete richesse and power of the parties Line 1024 Bothe;/ for the whiche resouns it were a Line 1025 Ful greet peril to erren in this matiere./ Line 1026 Wherfore, melibeus, this is oure sentence: Line 1026 we conseille yow aboven alle thyng Line 1026 That right anon thou do thy diligence in Line 1026 Kepynge of thy propre persone in swich Line 1026 A wise that thou ne wante noon espie ne Line 1026 Wacche, thy persone for to save./ And after Line 1027 That, we conseille that in thyn hous thou sette Line 1027 Sufficeant garnisoun so that they may as wel Line 1027 Thy body as thyn hous defende./ But certes, Line 1028 For to moeve werre, ne sodeynly for to doon Line 1028 Vengeaunce, we may nat demen in so litel Line 1028 Tyme that it were profitable./ Wherfore we Line 1029 Axen leyser and espace to have deliberacion in Line 1029 This cas to deme./ For the commune proverbe Line 1030 Seith thus: -- he that soone deemeth, Line 1030 Soone shal repente. -- / and eek men seyn Line 1031 That thilke juge is wys that soone under- Line 1031 Stondeth a matiere and juggeth by leyser;/ for Line 1032 Al be it so that alle tariyng be anoyful, algates it Line 1032 Is nat to repreve in yevynge of juggement ne Line 1032 In vengeance takyng, whan it is sufficeant Line 1032 And resonable./ And that shewed oure lord Line 1033 Jhesu crist by ensample; for whan that the Line 1033 Womman that was taken in avowtrie was broght Line 1033 In his presence to knowen what sholde be doon Line 1033 With hire persone, al be it so that he wiste wel Line 1033 Hymself what that he wolde answere, yet ne Line 1033 Wolde he nat answere sodeynly, but he wolde Line 1033 Have deliberacion, and in the ground he wroot Line 1033 Twies./ And thise causes weaxen deliberacioun, Line 1034 and we shal thanne, by the grace of Line 1034 God, conseille thee thyng that shal be profitable./ Line 1034 n=11035>Up stirten thanne the yonge folk atones, and Line 1035 The mooste partie of that compaignye han Line 1035 Scorned this olde wise man, and bigonnen Line 1035 to make noyse, and seyden that/ Line 1036 Right so as, whil that iren is hoot, men Line 1036 Sholden smyte, right so men sholde wreken hir Line 1036 Wronges whil that they been fresshe and newe; Line 1036 And with loud voys they criden werre! Line 1036 Werre!/ Line 1037 Up roos tho oon of thise olde wise, and with Line 1037 His hand made contenaunce that men sholde Line 1037 Holden hem stille and yeven hym audience./ Line 1038 Lordynges, quod he, ther is ful many a man Line 1038 That crieth -- werre! werre! -- that woot ful litel Line 1038 What werre amounteth./ Werre at his bigynnyng Line 1039 hath so greet an entryng and so large, that Line 1039 Every wight may entre whan hym liketh, and Line 1039 Lightly fynde werre;/ but certes what ende Line 1040 That shal therof bifalle, it is nat light to Line 1040 Knowe./ For soothly, whan that werre is Line 1041 Ones bigonne, ther is ful many a child Line 1041 Unborn of his mooder that shal sterve yong by Line 1041 Cause of thilke werre, or elles lyve in sorwe and Line 1041 Dye in wrecchednesse./ And therfore, er that Line 1042 Any werre bigynne, men moste have greet conseil Line 1042 and greet deliberacion./ And whan this Line 1043 Olde man wende to enforcen his tale by resons, Line 1043 Wel ny alle atones bigonne they to rise for to Line 1043 Breken his tale, and beden hym ful ofte his Line 1043 Wordes for to abregge./ For soothly, he that Line 1044 Precheth to hem that listen nat heeren his Line 1044 Wordes, his sermon hem anoieth./ For jhesus Line 1045 Syrak seith that musik in wepynge ia a noyous Line 1045 Thyng; this is to seyn: as muche availleth to Line 1045 Speken bifore folk to which his speche anoyeth, Line 1045 as it is to synge biforn hym that Line 1045 Wepeth./ And whan this wise man Line 1046 Saugh that hym wanted audience, al Line 1046 Shamefast he sette hym doun agayn./ For Line 1047 Salomon seith: ther as thou ne mayst have Line 1047 Noon audience, enforce thee nat to speke./ Line 1048 I see wel, quod this wise man, that the commune Line 1048 proverbe is sooth, that -- good conseil Line 1048 Wanteth whan it is moost nede. -- / Line 1049 Yet hadde this melibeus in his conseil many Line 1049 Folk that prively in his eere conseilled hym Line 1049

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Line 1049 Certeyn thyng, and conseilled hym the contrarie Line 1049 in general audience./ Line 1050 Whan melibeus hadde herd that the gretteste Line 1050 partie of his conseil weren accorded that Line 1050 He sholde maken werre, anoon he consented to Line 1050 Hir conseillyng, and fully affermed hire Line 1050 Sentence./ Thanne dame prudence, Line 1051 Whan that she saugh how that hir Line 1051 Housbonde shoop hym for to wreken hym on Line 1051 His foes, and to bigynne werre, she in ful humble Line 1051 wise, whan she saugh hir tyme, seide to Line 1051 Hym thise wordes:/ my lord, quod she, I Line 1052 Yow biseche as hertely as I dar and kan, ne Line 1052 Haste yow nat to faste, and for alle gerdons, as Line 1052 Yeveth me audience./ For piers alfonce seith, Line 1053 -- whoso that dooth to thee oother good or harm, Line 1053 Haste thee nat to quiten it; for in this wise thy Line 1053 Freend wole abyde, and thyn anemy shal the Line 1053 Lenger lyve in drede. -- / the proverbe seith, -- he Line 1054 Hasteth wel that wisely kan abyde, -- and in Line 1054 Wikked haste is no profit./ Line 1055 This melibee answerde unto his wyf prudence: Line 1055 I purpose nat, quod he, to werke by Line 1055 Thy conseil, for many causes and resouns. Line 1055 For certes, every wight wolde holde me Line 1055 Thanne a fool;/ this is to seyn, if I, for Line 1056 Thy conseillyng, wolde chaungen thynges Line 1056 That been ordeyned and affermed by so manye Line 1056 Wyse./ Secoundely, I seye that alle wommen Line 1057 Been wikke, and noon good of hem alle. For -- of Line 1057 A thousand men, -- seith salomon, -- I foond o Line 1057 Good man, but certes, of alle wommen, good Line 1057 Womman foond I nevere.--/ and also, certes, Line 1058 If I governed me by thy conseil, it sholde Line 1058 Seme that I hadde yeve to thee over me Line 1058 The maistrie; and God forbede that it so Line 1058 Weere!/ for jhesus syrak seith that -- if the Line 1059 Wyf have maistrie, she is contrarious to hir Line 1059 Housbonde./ -- and salomon seith: -- nevere in Line 1060 Thy lyf to thy wyf, ne to thy child, ne to Line 1060 Thy freend, ne yeve no power over thy- Line 1060 Self; for bettre it were that thy children aske Line 1060 Of thy persone thynges that hem nedeth, than Line 1060 Thou see thyself in the handes of thy Line 1060 Children. -- / and also if I wolde werke Line 1061 By thy conseillyng, certes, my conseil Line 1061 Moste som tyme be secree, til it were tyme Line 1061 That it moste be knowe, and this ne may noght Line 1061 Be./ (car il est escript, la genglerie des Line 1062 Femmes ne puet riens celler fors ce qu' elle ne Line 1062 Scet./ Apres, le philosophre dit, en mauvais Line 1063 Conseil les femmes vainquent les hommes: et Line 1063 Par ces raisons je ne dois point user de ton conseil.)/ Line 1063 n=11064>Whanne dame prudence, ful debonairly and Line 1064 With greet pacience, hadde herd al that hir Line 1064 Housbonde liked for to seye, thanne axed she Line 1064 Of hym licence for to speke, and seyde in this Line 1064 Wise:/ my lord, quod she, as to youre firste Line 1065 Resoun, certes it may lightly been answered. Line 1065 For I seye that it is no folie to chaunge conseil Line 1065 Whan the thyng is chaunged, or elles whan Line 1065 The thyng semeth ootherweyes than it Line 1065 Was biforn./ And mooreover, I seye Line 1066 That though ye han sworn and bihight Line 1066 To perfourne youre emprise, and nathelees ye Line 1066 Weyve to perfourne thilke same emprise by Line 1066 Juste cause, men sholde nat seyn therfore that Line 1066 Ye were a liere ne forsworn./ For the book Line 1067 Seith that -- the wise man maketh no lesyng Line 1067 Whan he turneth his corage to the bettre. --/ Line 1068 And al be it so that youre emprise be establissed Line 1068 and ordeyned by greet multitude of folk, Line 1068 Yet that ye nat accomplice thilke ordinaunce, Line 1068 But yow like./ For the trouthe of thynges and Line 1069 The profit been rather founden in fewe folk that Line 1069 Been wise and ful of resoun, than by greet multitude Line 1069 of folk ther every man crieth and clatereth Line 1069 what that hym liketh. Soothly swich multitude Line 1069 is nat hones./ And as to the seconde Line 1070 Resoun, where as ye seyn that alle wommen Line 1070 Been wikke; save youre grace, certes ye despisen Line 1070 alle wommen in this wyse, and -- he that Line 1070 Al despiseth, al displeseth, -- as seith the Line 1070 Book./ And senec seith that -- whose Line 1071 Wole have sapience shal no man dispreyse, Line 1071 but he shal gladly techen the science Line 1071 That he kan withouten presumpcion or pride,/ Line 1072 And swiche thynges as he noght ne kan, he Line 1072 Shal nat been ashamed to lerne hem, and enquere Line 1072 of lasse folk than hymself. -- / and, sire, Line 1073 That ther hath been many a good womman, Line 1073 May lightly be preved./ For certes, sire, oure Line 1074 Lord jhesu crist wolde nevere have descended Line 1074 To be born of a womman, if alle wommen hadden Line 1074 been wikke./ And after that, for the grete Line 1075 Bountee that is in wommen, oure lord jhesu Line 1075 Crist, whan he was risen fro deeth to lyve, Line 1075 Appeered rather to a womman than to Line 1075 His apostles./ And though that salomon Line 1076 seith that he ne foond nevere womman Line 1076 good, it folweth nat therfore that alle wommen Line 1076 ben wikke./ For though that he ne foond Line 1077 No good womman, certes, many another man Line 1077 Hath founden many a womman ful good and Line 1077 Trewe./ Or elles, per aventure, the entente of Line 1078 Salomon was this, that, as in sovereyn bounte, Line 1078 He foond no womman;/ this is to seyn, that ther Line 1079

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Line 1079 Is no wight that hath sovereyn bountee save Line 1079 God allone, as he hymself recordeth in hys Line 1079 Evaungelie./ For ther nys no creature so good Line 1080 That hym ne wanteth somwhat of the Line 1080 Perfeccioun of god, that is his makere./ Line 1081 Youre thridde reson is this: ye seyn that Line 1081 If ye governe yow by my conseil, it sholde Line 1081 Seme that ye hadde yeve me the maistrie and Line 1081 The lordshipe over youre persone./ Sire, save Line 1082 Youre grace, it is nat so. For if it so were that Line 1082 No man sholde be conseilled but oonly of hem Line 1082 That hadden lordshipe and maistrie of his persone, Line 1082 men wolden nat be conseilled so ofte./ Line 1083 For soothly thilke man that asketh conseil of Line 1083 A purpos, yet hath he free choys wheither he Line 1083 Wole werke by that conseil or noon./ And as Line 1084 To youre fourthe resoun, ther ye seyn that the Line 1084 Janglerie of wommen kan hyde thynges that Line 1084 They wot noght, as who seith that a womman Line 1084 Kan nat hyde that she woot;/ sire, thise wordes Line 1085 Been understonde of wommen that been Line 1085 Jangleresses and wikked;/ of whiche Line 1086 Wommen men seyn that thre thynges Line 1086 Dryven a man out of his hous, -- that is to seyn, Line 1086 Smoke, droppyng of reyn, and wikked wyves,/ Line 1087 And of swiche wommen seith salomon that -- it Line 1087 Were bettre dwelle in desert than with a woman Line 1087 that is riotous. --/ and sire, by youre leve, Line 1088 That am nat I;/ for ye han ful ofte assayed my Line 1089 Grete silence and my grete pacience, and eek Line 1089 How wel that I kan hyde and hele thynges that Line 1089 Men oghte secreely to hyde./ And soothly, as Line 1090 To youre fifthe resoun, where as ye seyn that Line 1090 In wikked conseil wommen venquisshe men, Line 1090 God woot, thilke resoun stant heere in Line 1090 No stede./ For understoond now, ye Line 1091 Asken conseil to do wikkednesse;/ and if Line 1092 Ye wole werken wikkednesse, and youre wif Line 1092 Restreyneth thilke wikked purpos, and overcometh Line 1092 yow by reson and by good conseil,/ Line 1093 Certes youre wyf oghte rather to be preised Line 1093 Than yblamed./ Thus sholde ye understonde Line 1094 The philosophre that seith, -- in wikked conseil Line 1094 Wommen venquisshen hir housbondes. -- / and Line 1095 Ther as ye blamen alle wommen and hir resouns, Line 1095 I shal shewe yow by manye ensamples Line 1095 That many a womman hath ben ful good, and Line 1095 Yet been, and hir conseils ful hoolsome Line 1095 And profitable./ Eek som men han seyd Line 1096 That the conseillynge of wommen is Line 1096 Outher to deere, or elles to litel of pris./ But al Line 1097 Be it so that ful many a womman is badde, and Line 1097 Hir conseil vile and noght worth, yet han men Line 1097 Founde ful many a good womman, and ful discret Line 1097 and wis in conseillynge./ Loo, jacob, by Line 1098 Good conseil of his mooder rebekka, wan the Line 1098 Benysoun of ysaak his fader, and the lordshipe Line 1098 Over alle his bretheren./ Judith, by hire good Line 1099 Conseil, delivered the citee of bethulie, in Line 1099 Which she dwelled, out of the handes of olofernus, Line 1099 that hadde it biseged and wolde have al Line 1099 Destroyed it./ Abygail delivered nabal hir Line 1100 Housbonde fro david the kyng, that wolde Line 1100 Have slayn hym, and apaysed the ire of the Line 1100 Kyng by hir wit and by hir good conseillyng./ Line 1100 hester, by hir good conseil, Line 1101 Enhaunced greetly the peple of God in Line 1101 The regne of assuerus the kyng./ And the Line 1102 Same bountee in good conseillyng of many a Line 1102 Good womman may men telle./ And mooreover, Line 1103 Whan oure lord hadde creat adam, oure Line 1103 Forme fader, he seyde in this wise:/ -- it is nat Line 1104 Good to been a man alloone; make we to Line 1104 Hym an helpe semblable to hymself. -- / heere Line 1105 May ye se that if that wommen were nat Line 1105 Goode, and hir conseils goode and profitable,/ Line 1105 oure lord God of hevene wolde Line 1106 Nevere han wroght hem, ne called hem Line 1106 Help of man, but rather confusioun of man./ Line 1107 And ther seyde oones a clerk in two vers, Line 1107 -- What is bettre than gold? jaspre. What is Line 1107 Bettre than jaspre? wisedoom./ And what is Line 1108 Better than wisedoom? womman. And what is Line 1108 Bettre than a good womman? nothyng. -- / and, Line 1109 Sire, by manye of othre resons may ye seen Line 1109 That manye wommen been goode, and hir Line 1109 Conseils goode and profitable./ And therfore, Line 1110 sire, if ye wol triste to my conseil, I shal Line 1110 Restoore yow youre doghter hool and Line 1110 Sound./ And eek I wol do to yow so Line 1111 Muche that ye shul have honour in this Line 1111 Cause./ Line 1112 Whan melibee hadde herd the wordes of his Line 1112 Wyf prudence, he seyde thus:/ I se wel that Line 1113 The word of salomon is sooth. He seith that Line 1113 -- Wordes that been spoken discreetly by ordinaunce Line 1113 been honycombes, for they yeven swetnesse Line 1113 to the soule and hoolsomnesse to the Line 1113 Body. -- / and, wyf, by cause of thy sweete Line 1114 Wordes, and eek for I have assayed and preved Line 1114 Thy grete sapience and thy grete trouthe, I wol Line 1114 Governe me by thy conseil in alle thyng./ Line 1115 Now, sire, quod dame prudence, and syn Line 1115 Ye vouche sauf to been governed by my conseil, Line 1115 I wol enforme yow how ye shul governe Line 1115 Yourself in chesynge of youre conseillours./ Line 1115 ye shul first in alle youre werkes Line 1116 Mekely biseken to the heighe God that Line 1116

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Line 1116 He wol be youre conseillour;/ and shapeth yow Line 1117 To swich entente that he yeve yow conseil and Line 1117 Confort, as taughte thobie his sone:/ -- at alle Line 1118 Tymes thou shalt blesse god, and praye hym Line 1118 To dresse thy weyes, and looke that alle thy Line 1118 Conseils been in hym for everemoore. -- / seint Line 1119 Jame eek seith: -- if any of yow have nede of Line 1119 Sapience, axe it of god. -- / and afterward Line 1120 Thanne shul ye taken conseil in youreself, and Line 1120 Examyne wel youre thoghtes of swich thyng Line 1120 As yow thynketh that is bes for youre Line 1120 Profit./ And thanne shul ye dryve fro Line 1121 Youre herte thre thynges that been contrariouse Line 1121 to good conseil;/ that is to seyn, ire, Line 1122 Coveitise, and hastifnesse./ Line 1123 First, he that axeth conseil of hymself, certes Line 1123 He moste been withouten ire, for manye Line 1123 Causes./ The firste is this: he that hath greet Line 1124 Ire and wratthe in hymself, he weneth alwey Line 1124 That he may do thyng that he may nat do./ Line 1125 And secoundely, he that is irous and Line 1125 Wrooth, he ne may nat wel deme;/ and Line 1126 He that may nat wel deme, may nat wel Line 1126 Conseille./ The thridde is this, that he that is Line 1127 Irous and wrooth, as seith senec, ne may nat Line 1127 Speke but blameful thynges,/ and with his Line 1128 Viciouse wordes he stireth oother folk to angre Line 1128 And to ire./ And eek, sire, ye moste dryve Line 1129 Coveitise out of youre herte./ For the aposthe Line 1130 seith that coveitise is roote of alle Line 1130 Harmes./ And trust wel that a coveitous Line 1131 Man ne kan noght deme ne thynke, but Line 1131 Oonly to fulfille the ende of his coveitise;/ and Line 1132 Certes, that ne may nevere been accompliced; Line 1132 For evere the moore habundaunce that he hath Line 1132 Of richesse, the moore he desireth./ And, sire, Line 1133 Ye moste also dryve out of youre herte hastifnesse; Line 1133 for certes,/ ye ne may nat deeme for Line 1134 The beste by a sodeyn thought that falleth in Line 1134 Youre herte, but ye moste avyse yow on it Line 1134 Ful ofte./ For, as ye herde her biforn, the Line 1135 Commune proverbe is this, that -- he that Line 1135 Soone deemeth, soone repenteth. -- / sire, Line 1136 Ye ne be nat alwey in lyk disposicioun;/ Line 1137 For certes, somthyng that somtyme semeth to Line 1137 Yow that it is good for to do, another tyme it Line 1137 Semeth to yow the contrarie./ Line 1138 Whan ye han taken conseil in youreself, and Line 1138 Han deemed by good deliberacion swich thyng Line 1138 As yow semeth bes,/ thanne rede I yow that Line 1139 Ye kepe it secree./ Biwrey nat youre conseil Line 1140 To no persone, but if so be that ye wenen Line 1140 Sikerly that thurgh youre biwreyyng youre Line 1140 Condicioun shal be to yow the moore profitable./ Line 1140 for jhesus syrak seith, -- neither Line 1141 To thy foo, ne to thy frend, discovere nat Line 1141 Thy secree ne thy folie;/ for they wol yeve yow Line 1142 Audience and lookynge and supportacioun in Line 1142 Thy presence, and scorne thee in thyn absence. Line 1142 -- / another clerk seith that -- scarsly Line 1143 Shaltou fynden any persone that may kepe conseil Line 1143 secrely. -- / the book seith, -- whil that thou Line 1144 Kepest thy conseil in thyn herte, thou kepest Line 1144 It in thy prisoun;/ and whan thou biwreyest Line 1145 Thy conseil to any wight, he holdeth Line 1145 Thee in his snare. -- / and therfore yow Line 1146 Is bettre to hyde youre conseil in youre Line 1146 Herte than praye him to whom ye han biwreyed Line 1146 Youre conseil that he wole kepen it cloos and Line 1146 Stille./ For seneca seith: -- if so be that thou Line 1147 Ne mayst nat thyn owene conseil hyde, how Line 1147 Darstou prayen any oother wight thy conseil Line 1147 Secrely to kepe? -- / but nathelees, if thou wene Line 1148 Sikerly that the biwreiyng of thy conseil to a Line 1148 Persone wol make thy condicion to stonden in Line 1148 The bettre plyt, thanne shaltou tellen hym thy Line 1148 Conseil in this wise./ First thou shalt make no Line 1149 Semblant wheither thee were levere pees or Line 1149 Werre, or this or that, ne shewe hym nat thy Line 1149 Wille and thyn entente. / for trust wel that Line 1150 Comunli thise conseillours been flatereres,/ Line 1150 namely the conseillours of grete Line 1151 Lordes;/ for they enforcen hem alwey Line 1152 Rather to speken plesante wordes, enclynynge Line 1152 To the lordes lust, than wordes that been trewe Line 1152 Or profitable./ And therfore men seyn that the Line 1153 Riche man hath seeld good conseil, but if he Line 1153 Have it of hymself./ Line 1154 And after that thou shalt considere thy Line 1154 Freendes and thyne enemys./ And as touchynge Line 1155 thy freendes, thou shalt considere which Line 1155 Of hem been moost feithful and moost wise Line 1155 And eldest and most approved in conseillyng;/ Line 1155 and of hem shalt thou aske Line 1156 Thy conseil, as the caas requireth./ I Line 1157 Seye that first ye shul clepe to youre conseil Line 1157 Youre freendes that been trewe./ For salomon Line 1158 Seith that -- right as the herte of a man deliteth in Line 1158 Savour that is soote, right so the conseil of trewe Line 1158 Freendes yeveth swetnesse to the soule -- / he Line 1159 Seith also, -- ther may no thyng be likned to the Line 1159 Trewe freend;/ for certes gold ne silver ben nat Line 1160 So muche worth as the goode wyl of a Line 1160 Trewe freend. -- / and eek he seith that Line 1161 -- A trewe freend is a strong deffense; Line 1161 Who so that it fyndeth, certes he fyndeth a Line 1161 Greet tresour. -- / thanne shul ye eek considere Line 1162 If that youre trewe freendes been discrete and Line 1162

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Line 1162 Wise. For the book seith, -- axe alwey thy conseil Line 1162 of hem that been wise. -- / and by this same Line 1163 Resoun shul ye clepen to youre conseil of youre Line 1163 Freendes that been of age, swiche as han seyn Line 1163 And been expert in manye thynges and been Line 1163 Approved in conseillynges./ For the book seith Line 1164 That -- in olde men is the sapience, and in longe Line 1164 Tyme the prudence. -- / and tullius seith that Line 1165 -- Grete thynges ne been nat ay accompliced by Line 1165 Strengthe, ne by delivernesse of body, but by Line 1165 Good conseil, by auctoritee of persones, and by Line 1165 Science; the whiche thre thynges ne been nat Line 1165 Fieble by age, but certes they enforcen Line 1165 And encreescen day by day. -- / and Line 1166 Thanne shul ye kepe this for a general Line 1166 Reule: first shul ye clepen to youre conseil a Line 1166 Fewe of youre freendes that been especiale;/ Line 1167 For salomon seith, -- manye freendes have thou, Line 1167 But among a thousand chese thee oon to be Line 1167 Thy conseillour. -- / for al be it so that thou first Line 1168 Ne telle thy conseil but to a fewe, thou mayst Line 1168 Afterward telle it to mo folk if it be nede./ But Line 1169 Looke alwey that thy conseillours have thilke Line 1169 Thre condiciouns that I have seyd bifore, that Line 1169 Is to seyn, that they be trewe, wise, and of Line 1169 Oold experience./ And werke nat alwey in Line 1170 Every nede by oon counseillour allone; for somtyme Line 1170 bihooveth it to been conseilled by Line 1170 Manye./ For salomon seith, -- salvacion Line 1171 Of thynges is where as ther been manye Line 1171 Conseillours. -- / Line 1172 Now, sith that I have toold yow of which Line 1172 Folk ye sholde been conseilled, now wol I Line 1172 Teche yow which conseil ye oghte to eschewe/. Line 1173 First, ye shul eschue the conseillyng of fooles; Line 1173 For salomon seith, -- taak no conseil of a fool, Line 1173 For he ne kan noght conseille but after his Line 1173 Owene lust and his affeccioun. -- / the book Line 1174 Seith that -- the propretee of a fool is this: he Line 1174 Troweth lightly harm of every wight, and lightly Line 1174 Troweth alle bountee in hymself. -- / thou shalt Line 1175 Eek eschue the conseillyng of alle flatereres, Line 1175 Swiche as enforcen hem rather to preise youre Line 1175 Persone by flaterye than for to telle yow Line 1175 The soothfastnesse of thynges./ Wherfore Line 1176 tullius seith, -- amonges alle the Line 1176 Pestilences that been in freendshipe the gretteste Line 1176 is flaterie. -- and therfore is it moore nede Line 1176 That thou eschue and drede flatereres than any Line 1176 Oother peple./ The book seith, -- thou shalt Line 1177 Rather drede and flee fro the sweete wordes of Line 1177 Flaterynge preiseres than fro the egre wordes Line 1177 Of thy freend that seith thee thy sothes. -- / salomon Line 1178 seith that -- the wordes of a flaterere is a Line 1178 Snare to cacche with innocentz. -- / he seith also Line 1179 That -- he that speketh to his freend wordes of Line 1179 Swetnesse and of plesaunce, setteth a net biforn Line 1179 his feet to cacche hym. -- / and therfore Line 1180 Seith tullius, -- enclyne nat thyne eres to flatereres, Line 1180 ne taak no conseil of the wordes Line 1180 Of flaterye. -- / and caton seith, -- avyse Line 1181 Thee wel, and eschue the wordes of swetnesse Line 1181 and of plesaunce. -- / and eek thou shalt Line 1182 Eschue the conseillyng of thyne olde enemys Line 1182 That been reconsiled./ The book seith that -- no Line 1183 Wight retourneth saufly into the grace of his Line 1183 Olde enemy. -- / and isope seith, -- ne trust nat Line 1184 To hem to whiche thou hast had som tyme Line 1184 Werre or enemytee, ne telle hem nat thy Line 1184 Conseil. -- / and seneca telleth the cause why: Line 1185 -- it may nat be. -- seith he, -- that where greet Line 1185 Fyr hath longe tyme endured, that ther Line 1185 Ne dwelleth som vapour of warmness. Line 1185 -- / and therfore seith salomon, -- in Line 1186 Thyn olde foo trust nevere. -- / for sikerly, Line 1187 Though thyn enemy be reconsiled, and maketh Line 1187 thee chiere of hymylitee, and lowteth to Line 1187 Thee with his heed, ne trust hym nevere./ For Line 1188 Certes he maketh thilke feyned humilitee moore Line 1188 For his profit than for any love of thy persone, Line 1188 By cause that he deemeth to have victorie over Line 1188 Thy persone by swich feyned contenance, the Line 1188 Which victorie he myghte nat have by strif or Line 1188 Werre./ And peter alfonce seith, -- make no Line 1189 Felawshipe with thyne olde enemys; for if thou Line 1189 Do hem bountee, they wol perverten it into Line 1189 Wikkednesse. -- / and eek thou most eschue Line 1190 The conseillyng of hem that been thy servantz Line 1190 and beren thee greet reverence, for Line 1190 Peraventure they seyn it moore for drede Line 1190 Than for love./ And therfore seith a philosophre Line 1191 in this wise: ther is no wight Line 1191 Parfitly trewe to hym that he to soore dredeth. Line 1191 -- / and tullius seith, ther nys no myght Line 1192 So greet of any emperour that longe may endure, Line 1192 but if he have moore love of the peple Line 1192 Than drede. -- / thou shalt also eschue the conseiling Line 1193 of folk that been dronkelewe, for they Line 1193 Ne kan no conseil hyde./ For salomon seith, Line 1194 -- ther is no privetee ther as regneth dronkenesse. Line 1194 -- / ye shul also han in suspect the conseillyng Line 1195 of swich folk as conseille yow o thyng Line 1195 Prively, and conseille yow the contrarie Line 1195 Openly./ For cassidorie seith that -- it Line 1196 Is a manere sleighte to hyndre, whan he Line 1196 Sheweth to doon o thyng openly and werketh Line 1196 Prively the contrarie. -- / thou shalt also have Line 1197 In suspect the conseillyng of wikked folk, for Line 1197

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Line 1197 The book seith, -- the conseillyng of wikked folk Line 1197 Is alwey ful of fraude. -- / and david seith, -- blisful Line 1198 is that man that hath nat folwed the con -- Line 1198 Seilyng of shrewes. -- / thou shalt also eschue Line 1199 The conseillyng of yong folk, for hir conseil is Line 1199 Nat rype./ Line 1200 Now, sire, sith I have shewed yow of Line 1200 Which folk ye shul take youre conseil, and of Line 1200 Which folk ye shul folwe the conseil,/ Line 1200 now wol I teche yow how ye shal Line 1201 Examyne youre conseil, after the doctrine Line 1201 of tullius./ In the examynynge thanne Line 1202 Of youre conseillour ye shul considere manye Line 1202 Thynges./ Alderfirst thou shalt considere that Line 1203 In thilke thyng that thou purposest, and upon Line 1203 What thyng thou wolt have conseil, that verray Line 1203 Trouthe be seyd and conserved; this is to seyn, Line 1203 Telle trewely thy tale./ For he that seith fals Line 1204 May nat wel be conseilled in that cas of which Line 1204 He lieth./ And after this thou shalt considere the Line 1205 Thynges that acorden to that thou purposest for Line 1205 To do by thy conseillours, if resoun accorde Line 1205 therto;/ and eek if thy myhgt may Line 1206 Atteine therto; and if the moore part and Line 1206 The bettre part of thy conseillours acorde therto, Line 1206 Or noon./ Thanne shaltou considere what Line 1207 Thyng shal folwe of that conseillyng, as hate, Line 1207 Pees, werre, grace, profit, or damage, and Line 1207 Manye othere thynges./ And in alle thise Line 1208 Thynges thou shalt chese the beste, and weyve Line 1208 Alle othere thynges./ Thanne shaltow considere Line 1209 of what roote is engendred the matiere of Line 1209 Thy conseil, and what fruyt it may conceyve Line 1209 And engendre./ Thou shalt eek considere Line 1210 Alle thise causes, fro whennes they been Line 1210 Sprongen./ And whan ye han examyned Line 1211 youre conseil, as I have seyd, and Line 1211 Which partie is the bettre and moore profitable, Line 1211 and han approved it by manye wise folk Line 1211 And olde,/ thanne shaltou considere if thou Line 1212 Mayst parfourne it and maken of it a good Line 1212 Ende./ For certes, resoun wol nat that any Line 1213 Man sholde bigynne a thyng, but if he myghte Line 1213 Parfourne it as hym oghte;/ ne no wight sholde Line 1214 Take upon hym so hevy a charge that he Line 1214 Myghte nat bere it./ For the proverbe seith, Line 1215 -- he that to muche embraceth, distreyneth Line 1215 litel. -- / and catoun seith, -- assay Line 1216 To do swich thyng as thou hast power to Line 1216 Doon, lest that the charge oppresse thee so Line 1216 Soore that thee bihoveth to weyve thyng that Line 1216 Thou hast bigonne. -- / and if so be that thou Line 1217 Be in doute wheither thou mayst parfourne a Line 1217 Thing or noon, chese rather to suffre than bigynne./ Line 1217 and piers alphonce seith, -- if thou hast Line 1218 Myght to doon a thyng of which thou most Line 1218 Repente, it is bettre nay than ye. -- / this is Line 1219 To seyn, that thee is bettre holde thy tonge Line 1219 Stille than for to speke./ Thanne may ye understonde Line 1220 by strenger resons that if thou hast Line 1220 Power to parfourne a werk of which thou shalt Line 1220 Repente, thanne is it bettre that thou suffre Line 1220 than bigynne./ Wel seyn they that Line 1221 Defenden every wight to assaye a thyng Line 1221 Of which he is in doute wheither he may parfourne Line 1221 it or noon./ And after, whan ye han Line 1222 Examyned youre conseil, as I have seyd biforn, Line 1222 And knowen wel that ye may parfourne youre Line 1222 Emprise, conferme it thanne sadly til it be at Line 1222 And ende./ Line 1223 Now is it resoun and tyme that I shewe yow Line 1223 Whanne and wherfore that ye may chaunge Line 1223 Youre conseillours withouten youre repreve./ Line 1224 Soothly, a man may chaungen his purpos and Line 1224 His conseil if the cause cesseth, or whan a newe Line 1224 Caas bitydeth./ For the lawe seith that -- upon Line 1225 Thynges that newely bityden bihoveth Line 1225 Newe conseil. -- / and senec seith, -- if thy Line 1226 Conseil is comen to the eeris of thyn enemy, Line 1226 chaunge thy conseil. -- / thou matst also Line 1227 Chaunge thy conseil if so be that thou fynde Line 1227 That by errour, or by oother cause, harm or Line 1227 Damage may bityde./ Also if thy conseil be Line 1228 Dishonest, or ellis cometh of dishonest cause, Line 1228 Chaunge thy conseil./ For the lawes seyn that Line 1229 -- alle bihestes that been dishoneste been of no Line 1229 Value -- ;/ and eek if so be that it be inpossible, Line 1230 or may nat goodly be parfourned Line 1230 Or kept./ Line 1231 And take this for a general reule, that Line 1231 Every conseil that is affermed so strongly that Line 1231 It may nat be chaunged for no condicioun that Line 1231 May bityde, I seye that thilke conseil is wikked./ Line 1231 n=11232>This melibeus, whanne he hadde herd the Line 1232 Doctrine of his wyf dame prudence, answerde Line 1232 In this wyse:/ dame, quod he, as yet into Line 1233 This tyme ye han wel and covenably taught me Line 1233 As in general, how I shal governe me in the Line 1233 Chesynge and in the withholdynge of my conseillours./ Line 1233 but now wolde I fayn that ye wolde Line 1234 Condescende in especial,/ and telle me how liketh Line 1235 yow, or what semeth yow, by oure conseillours Line 1235 that we han chosen in oure present Line 1235 nede./ Line 1236 My lord, quod she, I biseke yow in al Line 1236 Humblesse that ye wol nat wilfully replie agayn Line 1236 My resouns, ne distempre youre herte, thogh I Line 1236

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Line 1236 Speke thyng that yow displese./ For God woot Line 1237 That, as in myn entente, I speke it for youre Line 1237 Beste, for youre honour, and for youre profite Line 1237 Eke./ And soothly, I hope that youre benyngnytee Line 1238 wol taken it in pacience./ Trusteth me Line 1239 Wel, quod she, that youre conseil as in this Line 1239 Caas ne sholde nat, as to speke properly, be Line 1239 Called a conseillyng, but a mocioun or a moevyng Line 1239 of folye,/ in which conseil ye han Line 1240 Erred in many a sondry wise./ Line 1241 First and forward, ye han erred in Line 1241 Th' assemblynge of youre conseillours./ For ye Line 1242 Sholde first have cleped a fewe folk to youre Line 1242 Conseil, and after ye myghte han shewed it Line 1242 To mo folk, if it hadde been nede./ But certes, Line 1243 Ye han sodeynly cleped to youre conseil a greet Line 1243 Multitude of peple, ful chargeant and ful anoyous Line 1243 for to heere./ Also ye han erred, for theras Line 1244 Ye sholden oonly have cleped to youre conseil Line 1244 Youre trewe frendes olde and wise./ Ye han Line 1245 Ycleped straunge folk, yonge folk, false flatereres, Line 1245 And enemys reconsiled, and folk that Line 1245 Doon yow reverence withouten love./ Line 1246 And ekk also ye have erred, for ye han Line 1246 Broght with yow to youre conseil ire, coveitise, Line 1246 And hastifnesse,/ the whiche thre thinges been Line 1247 Contrariouse to every conseil honest and profitable;/ Line 1247 the whiche thre thinges ye han nat Line 1248 Anientissed or destroyed hem, neither in youreself, Line 1248 ne in youre conseillours, as yow oghte./ Line 1249 Ye han erred also, for ye han shewed to youre Line 1249 Conseillours youre talent and youre affeccioun Line 1249 To make werre anon, and for to do vengeance./ Line 1250 They han espied by youre wordes to Line 1250 What thyng ye been enclyned;/ and Line 1251 Therfore han they rather conseilled Line 1251 Yow to youre talent that to youre profit./ Line 1252 Ye han erred also, for it semeth that yow Line 1252 Suffiseth to han been conseilled by thise Line 1252 Conseillours oonly, and with litel avys,/ Line 1253 Whereas in so greet and so heigh a nede Line 1253 It hadde been necessarie mo conseillours Line 1253 And moore deliberacion to parfourne youre emprise./ Line 1253 ye han erred also, for ye ne han nat Line 1254 Examyned youre conseil in the forseyde manere, Line 1254 ne in due manere, as the caas requireth./ Line 1255 Ye han erred also, for ye han maked no division Line 1255 bitwixe youre conseillours; this is to Line 1255 Seyn, bitwixen youre trewe freendes and Line 1255 Youre feyned conseillours;/ ne ye han Line 1256 Nat knowe the wil of youre trewe Line 1256 Freendes olde and wise;/ but ye han cast alle Line 1257 Hire wordes in an hochepot, and enclyned Line 1257 Youre herte to the moore part and to the gretter Line 1257 Nombre, and there been ye condescended./ Line 1258 And sith ye woot wel that men shal alwey Line 1258 Fynde a gretter nombre of fooles than of wise Line 1258 Men,/ and therfore the conseils that been at Line 1259 Congregaciouns and multitudes of folk, there as Line 1259 Men take moore reward to the nombre than to Line 1259 The sapience of persones,/ ye se wel that in Line 1260 Swiche conseillynges fooles han the maistrie./ Line 1260 Melibeus answerde agayn, and seyde, Line 1261 I graunte wel that I have erred;/ but there Line 1262 As thou hast toold me heerbiforn that he nys Line 1262 Nat to blame that chaungeth his conseillours in Line 1262 Certein caas and for certeine juste causes,/ I am Line 1263 Al redy to chaunge my conseillours right as thow Line 1263 Wolt devyse./ The proverbe seith that -- for Line 1264 To do synne is mannyssh, but certes for to persevere Line 1264 longe in synne is werk of the devel. -- / Line 1265 To this sentence answered anon dame Line 1265 Prudence, and seyde:/ examineth, Line 1266 Quod she, youre conseil, and lat us see Line 1266 The whiche of hem han spoken most resonably Line 1266 And taught yow best conseil./ And for as Line 1267 Muche as that the examynacion is necessarie, Line 1267 Lat us bigynne at the surgiens and at the phisiciens, Line 1267 that first speeken in this matiere./ I sey Line 1268 Yow that the surgiens and phisiciens han Line 1268 Seyd yow in youre conseil discreetly, as hem Line 1268 Oughte;/ and in hir speche seyden ful wisely Line 1269 That to the office of hem aperteneth to doon to Line 1269 Every wight honour and profit, and no wight Line 1269 For to anoye;/ and after hir craft to doon greet Line 1270 Diligence unto the cure of hem which Line 1270 That they han in hir governaunce./ Line 1271 And, sire, right as they han answered Line 1271 Wisely and discreetly,/ right so rede I that they Line 1272 Been heighly and sovereynly gerdoned for hir Line 1272 Noble speche;/ and eek for they sholde do the Line 1273 Moore ententif bisynesse in the curacion of Line 1273 Youre doghter deere./ For al be it so that they Line 1274 Been youre freendes, therfore shal ye nat suffren Line 1274 that they serve yow for noght,/ but ye Line 1275 Oghte the rather gerdone hem and shewe Line 1275 Hem youre largesse./ And as touchynge Line 1276 The proposicioun which that the phisiciens Line 1276 encreesceden in this caas, this is to seyn./ Line 1277 That in maladies that oon contrarie is warisshed Line 1277 By another contrarie,/ I wolde fayn knowe hou Line 1278 Ye understonde thilke text, and what is youre Line 1278 Sentence./ Line 1279 Certes, quod melibeus, I understonde Line 1279 It in this wise:/ that right as they han Line 1280 Doon me a contrarie, right so sholde I Line 1280 Doon hem another./ For right as they Line 1281

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Line 1281 Han venged hem on me and doon me wrong, Line 1281 Right so shal I venge me upon hem and doon Line 1281 Hem wrong;/ and thanne have I cured oon contrarie Line 1282 by another./ Line 1283 Lo, lo, quod dame prudence, how lightly Line 1283 Is every man enclined to his owene desir and Line 1283 To his owene plesaunce!/ certes, quod she, Line 1284 The wordes of the phisiciens ne sholde nat Line 1284 Han been understonden in thys wise./ For Line 1285 Certes, wikkednesse is nat contrarie to wikkednesse, Line 1285 ne vengeance to vengeaunce, ne Line 1285 Wrong to wrong, but they been semblable./ Line 1285 and therfore o vengeaucne is Line 1286 Nat warisshed by another vengeaunce, Line 1286 Ne o wroong by another wroong,/ but everich Line 1287 Of hem encreesceth and aggreggeth oother./ Line 1288 But certes, the wordes of the phisiciens sholde Line 1288 Been understonden in this wise:/ for dood and Line 1289 Wikkednesse been two contraries, and pees and Line 1289 Werre, vengeaunce and suffraunce, discord and Line 1289 Accord, and manye othere thynges./ But certes, Line 1290 Wikkednesse shal be warisshed by goodnesse, Line 1290 Discord by accord, werre by pees, and Line 1290 So forth of othere thynges./ And heerto Line 1291 Accordeth seint paul the apostle in Line 1291 Manye places./ He seith: -- ne yeldeth nat Line 1292 Harm for harm, ne wikked speche for wikked Line 1292 Speche;/ but do wel to hym that dooth thee Line 1293 Harm, and blesse hym that seith to thee harm./ Line 1294 And in manye othere places he amonesteth pees Line 1294 And accord./ But now wol I speke to yow of Line 1295 The conseil which that was yeven to yow Line 1295 By the men of lawe and the wise Line 1295 Folk,/ that seyden alle by oon accord, Line 1296 As ye han herd bifore,/ that over alle Line 1297 Thynges ye shal doon youre diligence to kepen Line 1297 Youre persone and to warnestoore youre hous; Line 1297 And seyden also that in this caas yow oghten Line 1297 For to werken ful avysely and with greet deliberacioun./ Line 1297 and, sire, as to the firste point, that Line 1298 Toucheth to the kepyng of youre persone,/ ye Line 1299 Shul understonde that he that hath werre Line 1299 Shal everemoore mekely and devoutly Line 1299 Preyen, biforn alle thynges,/ that jhesus Line 1300 Crist of his mercy wol han hym in his Line 1300 Proteccion and been his sovereyn helpyng at Line 1300 His nede./ For certes, in this world ther is no Line 1301 Wight that may be conseilled ne kept sufficeantly Line 1301 Withouten the kepyng of oure lord jhesu Line 1301 Crist./ To this sentence accordeth the prophete Line 1302 david, that seith,/ -- if God ne kepe the Line 1303 Citee, in ydel waketh he that it kepeth. -- / Line 1304 Now, sire, thanne shul ye committe the kepyng Line 1304 of youre persone to youre trewe freendes, Line 1304 That been approved and yknowe,/ and Line 1305 Of hem shul ye axen help youre persone Line 1305 For to kepe. For catoun seith: -- if thou hast Line 1305 Nede of help, axe it of thy freendes;/ for ther Line 1306 Nys noon so good a phisicien as thy trewe Line 1306 Freend. -- / and after this thanne shul ye kepe Line 1307 Yow fro alle straunge folk, and fro lyeres, and Line 1307 Have alwey in suspect hire compaignye./ For Line 1308 Piers alfonce seith, -- ne taak no compaignye by Line 1308 The weye of a straunge man, but if so be that Line 1308 Thou have knowe hym of a lenger tyme./ And Line 1309 If so be that he falle into thy compaignye Line 1309 Paraventure, withouten thyn assent,/ enquere Line 1310 thanne as subtilly as thou mayst of Line 1310 His conversacion, and of his lyf bifore, and feyne Line 1310 Thy wey; seye that thou wolt thider as thou Line 1310 Wolt nat go;/ and if he bereth a spere, hoold Line 1311 Thee on the right syde, and if he bere a swerd, Line 1311 Hoold thee on the lift syde. -- / and after this Line 1312 Thanne shul ye kepe yow wisely from all swich Line 1312 Manere peple as I have seyd bifore, and hem Line 1312 And hir conseil eschewe./ And after this Line 1313 Thanne shul ye kepe yow in swich manere/ Line 1314 That, for any presumpcion of youre strengthe, Line 1314 That ye ne dispise nat, ne accompte nat the Line 1314 Myght of youre adversarie so litel, that ye lete Line 1314 The kepyng of youre persone for youre Line 1314 Presumpcioun;/ for every wys man Line 1315 Dredeth his enemy./ And salomon Line 1316 Seith: -- weleful is he that of alle hath drede;/ Line 1317 For certes, he that thurgh the hardynesse of Line 1317 His herte, and thurgh the hardynesse of Line 1317 Hymself, hath to greet presumpcioun, hym shal Line 1317 Yvel bityde. -- / thanne shul ye everemoore contrewayte Line 1318 embusshementz and alle espiaille./ Line 1319 For senec seith that -- the wise man that Line 1319 Dredeth harmes, eschueth harmes,/ ne Line 1320 He ne falleth into perils that perils eschueth. Line 1320 -- / and al be it so that it seme that Line 1321 Thou art in siker place, yet shaltow alwey do Line 1321 Thy diligence in kepynge of thy persone;/ this Line 1322 Is to seyn, ne be nat necligent to kepe thy persone, Line 1322 nat oonly for thy gretteste enemys, but Line 1322 Fro thy leeste enemy./ Senek seith: -- a man Line 1323 That is well avysed, he dredeth his leste enemy. Line 1323 -- / ovyde seith that -- the litel wesele Line 1324 Wol slee the grete bole and the wilde Line 1324 Hert. -- / and the book seith, -- a litel Line 1325 Thorn may prikke a kyng ful soore, and Line 1325 An hound wol holde the wolde boor. -- / but Line 1326 Nathelees, I sey nat thou shalt be so coward Line 1326 That thou doute ther wher as is no drede./ The Line 1327 Book seith that -- somme folk han greet lust to Line 1327 Deceyve, but yet they dreden hem to be deceyved. Line 1327

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Line 1327 -- / yet shaltou drede to been empoisoned, Line 1328 and kepe the from the compaignye of Line 1328 Scorneres./ For the book seith, -- with scorneres Line 1329 make no compaignye, but flee hire Line 1329 Wordes as venym. -- / Line 1330 Now, as to the seconde point, where Line 1330 As youre wise conseillours conseilled yow to Line 1330 Warnestoore youre hous with gret diligence,/ Line 1331 I wolde fayn knowe how that ye understonde Line 1331 Thilke wordes and what is youre sentence./ Line 1332 Melibeus answerde, and seyde, certes, I understande Line 1332 it in this wise: that I shal warne -- Line 1332 Stoore myn hous with toures, swiche as han Line 1332 Castelles and othere manere edifices, and armure, Line 1332 and artelries;/ by whiche thynges I may Line 1333 My persone and myn hous so kepen and deffenden Line 1333 that myne enemys shul been in drede Line 1333 Myn hous for to approche./ Line 1334 To this sentence answerde anon prudence: Line 1334 Warnestooryng, quod she, of heighe toures Line 1334 And of grete edifices apperteyneth somtyme Line 1334 to pryde./ And eek men make Line 1335 Heighe toures, and grete edifices with Line 1335 Grete costages and with greet travaille; and Line 1335 Whan that they been accompliced, yet be they Line 1335 Nat worth a stree, but if they be defended by Line 1335 Trewe freendes that been olde and wise./ And Line 1336 Understoond wel that the gretteste and strongeste Line 1336 garnysoun that a riche man may have, as Line 1336 Wel to kepen his persone as his goodes, is/ Line 1337 That he be biloved with hys subgetz and with Line 1337 His neighebores./ For thus seith tullius, that Line 1338 -- ther is a manere garnysoun that no man may Line 1338 Vanquysse ne disconfite, and that is/ a lord to Line 1339 Be biloved of his citezeins and of his Line 1339 Peple. -- / Line 1340 Now, sire, as to the thridde point, Line 1340 Where as youre olde and wise conseillours Line 1340 Seyden that yow ne oghte nat sodeynly ne Line 1340 Hastily proceden in this nede,/ but that yow Line 1341 Oghte purveyen and apparaillen yow in this caas Line 1341 With greet diligence and greet deliberacioun;/ Line 1342 Trewely, I trowe that they seyden right wisely Line 1342 And right sooth./ For tullius seith: -- in every Line 1343 Nede, er thou bigynne it, apparaille thee with Line 1343 Greet diligence. -- / thanne seye I that in vengeance- Line 1344 takyng, in were, in bataille, and Line 1344 In warnestooryng,/ er thow bigynne, I Line 1345 Rede that thou apparaille thee therto, Line 1345 And do it with greet deliberacion./ For tul Line 1346 Lius seith that -- longe apparaillyng biforn the Line 1346 Bataille maketh short victorie. -- / and cassidorus Line 1347 seith, -- the garnysoun is stronger, whan Line 1347 It is longe tyme avysed. -- / Line 1348 But now lat us speken of the conseil that Line 1348 Was accorded by youre neighebores, swiche Line 1348 As doon yow reverence withouten love,/ Line 1349 Youre olde enemys reconsiled, youre flatereres,/ Line 1349 that conseilled yow certeyne Line 1350 Thynges prively, and openly conseilleden Line 1350 Yow the contrarie;/ the yonge folk also, that Line 1351 Conseilleden yow to venge yow, and make Line 1351 Werre anon./ And certes, sire, as I have seyd Line 1352 Biforn, ye han greetly erred to han cleped Line 1352 Swich manere folk to youre conseil,/ which Line 1353 Conseillours been ynogh repreved by the re/ Line 1354 Souns aforeseyd./ But nathelees, lat us now Line 1355 Descende to the special. Ye shuln first Line 1355 Procede after the doctrine of tullius./ Line 1356 Certes, the trouthe of this matiere, or of Line 1356 This conseil, nedeth nat diligently enquere;/ Line 1357 For it is wel wist whiche they been that han Line 1357 Doon to yow this trespas and vileynye,/ and Line 1358 How manye trespassours, and in what manere Line 1358 They han to yow doon al this wrong and al this Line 1358 Vileynye./ And after this, thanne shul ye examyne Line 1359 the seconde condicion which that the Line 1359 Same tullius addeth in this matiere./ For tullius Line 1360 put a thyng which that he clepeth Line 1360 -- consentynge -- ; this is to seyn,/ who been Line 1361 They, and which been they and how Line 1361 Manye, that consenten to thy conseil in thy Line 1361 Wilfulnesse to doon hastif vengeance./ And Line 1362 Lat us considere also who been they, and how Line 1362 Manye been they, and whiche been they, that Line 1362 Consenteden to youre adversaries./ And certes, Line 1363 As to the first poynt, it is wel knowen whiche Line 1363 Folk been they that consenteden to youre hastif Line 1363 Wilfulnesse;/ for trewely, alle tho that conseilleden Line 1364 yow to maken sodeyn were ne been nat Line 1364 Youre freendes./ Lat us now considere whiche Line 1365 Been they that ye holde so greetly youre Line 1365 Freendes as to youre persone./ For al Line 1366 Be it so that ye be myghty and riche, Line 1366 Certes ye ne been but allone,/ for certes ye ne Line 1367 Han no child but a doghter,/ ne ye ne han Line 1368 Brotheren, ne cosyns germayns, ne noon oother Line 1368 Neigh kynrede,/ wherfore that youre enemys Line 1369 For drede wholde stinte to plede with yow, or Line 1369 To destroye youre persone./ Ye knowen also Line 1370 That youre richesses mooten been dispended Line 1370 in diverse parties,/ and whan Line 1371 That every wight hath his part, they ne Line 1371 Wollen taken but litel reward to venge thy Line 1371 Deeth./ But thyne enemys been thre, and they Line 1372 Han manie children, bretheren, cosyns, and Line 1372 Oother ny kynrede./ And though so were that Line 1373 Thou haddest slayn of hem two or tree, yet Line 1373

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Line 1373 Dwellen ther ynowe to wreken hir deeth and Line 1373 To sle thy persone./ And though so be that Line 1374 Youre kynrede be moore siker and stedefast Line 1374 Than the kyn of youre adversarie,/ yet nathelees Line 1375 youre kynrede nys but a fer kynrede; Line 1375 they been but litel syb to yow,/ Line 1376 And the kyn of youre enemys been ny Line 1376 Syb to hem. And certes, as in that, hir condicioun Line 1376 is bet than youres./ Thanne lat us considere Line 1377 also if the conseillung of hem that conseilleden Line 1377 yow to taken sodeyn bengeaunce, Line 1377 Wheither it accorde to resoun./ And certes, ye Line 1378 Knowe wel -- nay. -- / for, as by right and resoun, Line 1379 Ther may no man taken vengeance on no wight Line 1379 But the juge that hath the jurisdiccioun of it,/ Line 1380 Whan it is graunted hym to take thilke vengeance Line 1380 hastily or attemprely, as the lawe Line 1380 Requireth./ And yet mooreover of thilke Line 1381 Word that tullius clepeth -- consentynge, Line 1381 -- / thou shalt considere if thy myght and Line 1382 Thy power may consenten and suffise to thy Line 1382 Wilfulnesse and to thy conseillours./ And certes Line 1383 Thou mayst wel seyn that -- nay. -- / for sikerly, Line 1384 as for to speke proprely, we may do Line 1384 No thyng, but oonly swich thyng as we may Line 1384 Doon rightfully./ And certes rightfully ne mowe Line 1385 Ye take no vengeance, as of youre Line 1385 Propre auctoritee./ Thanne mowe ye Line 1386 Seen that youre power ne consenteth Line 1386 Nat, ne accordeth nat, with youre wilfulnesse./ Line 1387 Lat us now examyne the thridde point, that Line 1387 Tullius clepeth -- consequent. -- / thou shal understonde Line 1388 that the vengeance that thou purposest Line 1388 for to take is the consequent;/ and Line 1389 Therof folweth another vengeaunce, peril, and Line 1389 Werre, and othere damages withoute nombre, Line 1389 Of whiche we be nat war, as at this tyme./ Line 1390 And as touchynge the fourthe point, Line 1390 That tullius clepeth -- engendrynge, -- / Line 1391 Thou shalt considere that this wrong Line 1391 Which that is doon to thee is engendred of the Line 1391 Hate of thyne enemys,/ and of the vengeance- Line 1392 Takynge upon that wolde engendre another Line 1392 Vengeance, and muchel sorwe and wastynge Line 1392 Of richesses, as I seyde./ Line 1393 Now, sire, as to the point that tullius clepeth Line 1393 -- causes, -- which that is the laste point,/ thou Line 1394 Shalt understonde that the worng that thou hast Line 1394 Receyved hath certeine causes,/ whiche that Line 1395 Clerkes clepen oriens and efficiens, and causa Line 1395 Longinqua and causa propinqua, this is Line 1395 To seyn, the fer cause and the ny cause./ Line 1396 The fer cause is almyghty god, that is Line 1396 Cause of alle thynges./ The neer cause is thy Line 1397 Thre enemys.// the cause accidental was hate./ Line 1399 The cause material been the fyve woundes of Line 1399 Thy doghter./ The cause formal is the manere Line 1400 Of hir werkynge that broghten laddres Line 1400 And cloumben in at thy wyndowes./ Line 1401 The cause final was for to sle thy doghter. Line 1401 it letted nat in as muche as in hem was./ Line 1402 But for to speken of the fer cause, as to what Line 1402 Ende they shul come, or what shal finally bityde Line 1402 Of hem in this caas, ne kan I nat deeme but Line 1402 By conjectynge and by supposynge./ For we Line 1403 Shul suppose that they shul come to a wikked Line 1403 Ende,/ by cause that the book of decrees seith, Line 1404 -- seelden, or with greet peyne, been causes Line 1404 Ybroght to good ende whanne they been baddely Line 1404 bigonne. -- / Line 1405 Now, sire, if men wolde axe me why that Line 1405 God suffred men to do yow this vileynye, certes, Line 1405 I kan nat wel answere, as for no soothfastnesse./ Line 1405 for th' apostle seith that -- the Line 1406 Sciences and the juggementz of oure Line 1406 Lord God almyghty been ful depe;/ ther may Line 1407 No man comprehende ne serchen hem suffisantly. Line 1407 -- / nathelees, by certeyne presumpciouns Line 1408 and conjectynges, I holde and bileeve/ Line 1409 That god, which that is ful of justice and of Line 1409 Rightwisnesse, hath suffred this bityde by juste Line 1409 Cause resonable./ Line 1410 Thy name is melibee, this is to seyn, Line 1410 -- a man that drynketh hony. -- / thou hast Line 1411 Ydronke so muchel hony of sweete temporeel Line 1411 richesses, and delices and honours of Line 1411 This world,/ that thou art dronken, and hast Line 1412 Forgeten jhesu crist thy creatour./ Thou ne Line 1413 Hast nat doon to hym swich honour and reverence Line 1413 as thee oughte,/ ne thou ne hast nat Line 1414 Wel ytaken kep to the wordes of ovide, that Line 1414 Seith,/ -- under the hony of the goodes of Line 1415 The body is hyd the venym that sleeth Line 1415 The soule -- / and salomon seith, -- if thou Line 1416 Hast founden hony, ete of it that suffiseth;/ Line 1416 for if thou ete of it out of mesure, thou Line 1417 Shalt spewe, -- and be nedy and povre./ And Line 1418 Peraventure crist hath thee in despit, and hath Line 1418 Turned awey fro thee his face and his eeris of Line 1418 Misericorde;/ and also he hath suffred that thou Line 1419 Hast been punysshed in the manere that thow Line 1419 Hast ytrespassed./ Thou hast doon Line 1420 Synne agayn oure lord crist;/ for certes, Line 1421 The three enemys of mankynde, that is to Line 1421 Seyn, the flessh, the feend, and the world,/ Line 1422 Thou hast suffred hem entre in to thyn herte Line 1422 Wilfully by the wyndowes of thy body,/ and Line 1423 Hast nat defended thyself suffisantly agayns Line 1423

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Line 1423 Hire assautes and hire temptaciouns, so that they Line 1423 Han wounded thy soule in fyve places;/ this is Line 1424 To seyn, the deedly synnes that been entred into Line 1424 Thyn herte by thy fyve wittes./ And in the Line 1425 Same manere oure lord crist hath woold and Line 1425 Suffred that thy three enemys been entred Line 1425 into thyn house by the wyndowes,/ Line 1426 And han ywounded thy doghter in the Line 1426 Forseyde manere./ Line 1427 Certes, quod melibee, I se wel that ye Line 1427 Enforce yow muchel by wordes to overcome Line 1427 Me in swich manere that I shal nat venge me Line 1427 Of myne enemys,/ shewynge me the perils and Line 1428 The yveles that myghten falle of this vengeance./ Line 1428 but whoso wolde considere in alle Line 1429 Vengeances the perils and yveles that myghte Line 1429 Sewe of vengeance-takynge,/ a man wolde Line 1430 Nevere take vengeance, and that were Line 1430 Harm;/ for by the vengeance-takynge Line 1431 Been the wikked men dissevered fro the Line 1431 Goode men,/ and they that han wyl to do wikkednesse Line 1432 restreyne hir wikked purpos, whan Line 1432 They seen the punyssynge and chastisynge of Line 1432 The trespassours./ Line 1433 (et a ce respont dame prudence, certes, Line 1433 Dist elle, je t' ottroye que de vengence vient Line 1433 Molt de maulx et de biens;/ mais vengence Line 1434 N' appartient pas a un chascun fors seulement Line 1434 Aux juges et a ceulx qui ont la juridicion sur Line 1434 Les malfaitteurs.)/ and yet seye I moore, that Line 1435 Right as singuler persone synneth in Line 1435 Takynge vengeance of another man,/ Line 1436 Right so synneth the juge if he do no Line 1436 Vengeance of hem that it han disserved./ For Line 1437 Senec seith thus: -- that maister, -- he seith, -- is Line 1437 Good that proveth shrewes. -- / and as cassidore Line 1438 seith, -- a man dredeth to do outrages Line 1438 Whan he woot and knoweth that it despleseth Line 1438 To the juges and the sovereyns. -- / and another Line 1439 Seith, -- the juge that dredeth to do right, maketh Line 1439 men shrewes. -- / and seint paul the apostle Line 1440 seith in his epistle, whan he writeth unto Line 1440 The romayns, that -- the juges beren nat Line 1440 The spere withouten cause,/ but they Line 1441 Beren it to punysse the shrewes and mysdoers, Line 1441 and for to defende the goode men./ If ye Line 1442 Wol thanne take vengeance of youre enemys, ye Line 1442 Shul retourne or have youre recours to the juge Line 1442 That hath the jurisdiccion upon hem,/ and he Line 1443 Shal punysse hem as the lawe axeth and requireth./ Line 1443 A! quod melibee, this vengeance liketh Line 1444 Me no thyng./ I bithenke me now and take Line 1445 Heede how fortune hath norissed me fro my Line 1445 Childhede, and hath holpen me to passe Line 1445 Many a stroong paas./ Now wol I assayen Line 1446 hire, trowynge, with goddes help, Line 1446 That she shal helpe me my shame for to Line 1446 Venge./ Line 1447 Certes, quod prudence, if ye wol werke Line 1447 By conseil, ye shul nat assaye fortune by Line 1447 No wey,/ ne ye shul nat lene or bowe unto Line 1448 Hire, after the word of senec;/ for -- thynges that Line 1449 Been folily doon, and that been in hope of Line 1449 Fortune, shullen nevere come to good ende. -- / Line 1450 And, as the same senec seith, -- the moore cleer Line 1450 And the moore shynyng that fortune is, the Line 1450 Moore brotil and the sonner broken she Line 1450 Is -- ./ Trusteth nat in hire, for she nys Line 1451 Nat stidefast ne stable;/ for whan thow Line 1452 Trowest to be moost seur or siker of hire help, Line 1452 She wol faille thee and deceyve thee./ And Line 1453 Where as ye seyn that fortune hath norissed Line 1453 Yow fro youre childhede,/ I seye that in so Line 1454 Muchel shul ye the lasse truste in hire and in Line 1454 Hir wit./ For senec seith, -- what man that is Line 1455 Norissed by fortune, she maketh hym Line 1455 A greet fool. -- / now thanne, syn ye desire Line 1456 and axe vengeance, and the vengeance Line 1456 that is doon after the lawe and bifore Line 1456 The juge ne liketh yow nat,/ and the vengeance Line 1457 That is doon in hope of fortune is perilous and Line 1457 Uncertein,/ thanne have ye noon oother remedie Line 1458 but for to have youre recours unto the sovereyn Line 1458 juge that vengeth alle vileynyes and Line 1458 Wronges./ And he shal venge yow after that Line 1459 Hymself witnesseth, where as he seith,/ -- leveth Line 1460 the vengeance to me, and I shal Line 1460 Do it. -- / Line 1461 Melibee answerde, if I ne venge me Line 1461 Nat of the vileynye that men han doon to me,/ Line 1462 I sompne or warne hem that han doon to me Line 1462 That vileynye, and alle othere, to do me another Line 1462 Vileynye./ For it is writen, -- if thou take no Line 1463 Vengeance of an oold vileynye, thou sompnest Line 1463 Thyne adversaries to do thee a newe vileynye. -- / Line 1464 And also for my suffrance men wolden do Line 1464 Me so muchel vileynye that I myghte neither Line 1464 Bere it ne susteene,/ and so sholde I Line 1465 Been put and holden overlowe./ For Line 1466 Men seyn, -- in muchel suffrynge shul Line 1466 Manye thynges falle unto thee whiche thou Line 1466 Shalt nat mowe suffre. -- / Line 1467 Certes, quod prudence, I graunte yow Line 1467 That over -- muchel suffraunce is nat good./ But Line 1468 Yet ne folweth it nat therof that every persone Line 1468 To whom men doon vileynye take of it vengeance;/ Line 1468 for that aperteneth and longeth al Line 1469

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Line 1469 Oonly to the juges, for they shul venge the Line 1469 Vileynyes and injuries./ And therfore tho two Line 1470 Auctoritees that ye han seyd above been Line 1470 Oonly understonden in the juges./ For Line 1471 Whan they suffren over-muchel the Line 1471 Wronges and the vileynyes to be doon withouten Line 1471 punysshynge,/ the sompne nat a man Line 1472 Al oonly for to do newe wronges, but they Line 1472 Comanden it./ Also a wys man seith that the Line 1473 Juge that correcteth nat the synnere comandeth Line 1473 and biddeth hym do synne. -- / and the juges Line 1474 And sovereyns myghten in hir land so muchel Line 1474 Suffre of the shrewes and mysdoeres/ that they Line 1475 Sholden, by swich suffrance, by proces of Line 1475 Tyme wexen of swich power and myght that Line 1475 They sholden putte out the juges and the Line 1475 Sovereyns from hir places,/ and atte laste Line 1476 Maken hem lesen hire lordshipes./ Line 1477 But lat us now putte that ye have leve to Line 1477 Venge yow./ I seye ye been nat of myght and Line 1478 Power as now to venge yow;/ for if ye wole Line 1479 Maken comparisoun unto the myght of youre Line 1479 Adversaries, ye shul fynde in manye thynges Line 1479 That I have shewed yow er this that hire condicion Line 1479 is bettre than youres./ And therfore Line 1480 Seye I that it is good as now that ye suffre Line 1480 and be pacient./ Line 1481 Forthermoore, ye knowen wel that Line 1481 After the comune sawe, -- it is a woodnesse a Line 1481 Man to stryve with a strenger or a moore Line 1481 Myghty man than he is hymself;/ and for to Line 1482 Stryve with a man of evene strengthe, that is Line 1482 To seyn, with as strong a man as he is, it is Line 1482 Peril;/ and for to stryve with a weyker man, it Line 1483 Is folie. -- / and therfore sholde a man flee stryvynge Line 1484 as muchel as he myghte./ For salomon Line 1485 Seith, -- it is a greet worshipe to a man to Line 1485 Kepen hym fro noyse and stryf. -- / and Line 1486 If it so bifalle or happe that a man of Line 1486 Gretter myght and strengthe than thou art do Line 1486 Thee grevaunce,/ studie and bisye thee rather Line 1487 To stille the same grevaunce than for to venge Line 1487 Thee./ For senec seith that -- he putteth hym in Line 1488 Greet peril that stryveth with a gretter man Line 1488 Than he is hymself. -- / and catoun seith, -- if a Line 1489 Man of hyer estaat or degree, or moore myghty Line 1489 Than thou, do thee anoy or grevaunce, suffre Line 1489 Hym;/ for he that oones hath greved thee, Line 1490 May another tyme releeve thee and Line 1490 Helpe. -- / yet sette I caas, ye have bothe Line 1491 Myght and licence for to venge yow,/ I Line 1492 Seye that ther be ful manye thynges that shul Line 1492 Restreyne yow of vengeance-takynge,/ and Line 1493 Make yow for to enclyne to suffre, and for to Line 1493 Han pacience in the wronges that han been Line 1493 Doon to yow./ First and foreward, if ye wole Line 1494 Considere the defautes that been in youre Line 1494 Owene persone,/ for whiche defautes God hath Line 1495 Suffred yow have this tribulacioun, as I Line 1495 Have seyd yow heer-biforn./ For the Line 1496 Poete seith that -- we oghte paciently Line 1496 Taken the tribulacions that comen to us, whan Line 1496 We thynken and consideren that we han disserved Line 1496 to have hem. -- / and seint gregorie Line 1497 Seith that -- whan a man considereth wel the Line 1497 Nombre of his defautes and of his synnes,/ the Line 1498 Peynes and the tribulaciouns that he suffreth Line 1498 Semen the lesse unto hym;/ and in as muche Line 1499 As hym thynketh his synnes moore hevy and Line 1499 Grevous,/ in so muche semeth his peyne Line 1500 The lighter and the esier unto hym. -- / Line 1501 Also ye owen to enclyne and bowe youre Line 1501 Herte to take the pacience of oure lord jhesu Line 1501 Crist, as seith seint peter in his epistles./ Line 1502 Jhesu crist, -- he seith, -- hath suffred for us and Line 1502 Yeven ensample to every man to folwe and Line 1502 Sewe hym;/ for he dide nevere synne, ne nevere Line 1503 cam ther a vileyns word out of his mouth./ Line 1504 Whan men cursed hym, he cursed hem noght; Line 1504 And whan men betten hym, he manaced hem Line 1504 Noght. -- / also the grete pacience which the Line 1505 Seintes that been in paradys han had in tribulaciouns Line 1505 that they han ysuffred, withouten Line 1505 Hir desert or gilt,/ oghte muchel stiren Line 1506 Yow to pacience./ Forthermoore ye Line 1507 Sholde enforce yow to have pacience,/ considerynge Line 1508 that the tribulaciouns of this world but Line 1508 Litel while endure, and soone passed been and Line 1508 Goon,/ and the joye that a man seketh to have Line 1509 By pacience in tribulaciouns is perdurable, Line 1509 After that the apostle seith in his epistle./ The Line 1510 Joye of god, he seith, is perdurable, Line 1510 That is to seyn, everelastynge./ Also Line 1511 Troweth and bileveth stedefastly that he Line 1511 Nys nat wel ynorissed, ne wel ytaught, that kan Line 1511 Nat have pacience, or wol nat receyve pacience./ Line 1511 for salomon seith that -- the doctrine Line 1512 And the wit of a man is knowen by pacience. -- / Line 1513 And in another place he seith that -- he that is Line 1513 Pacient governeth hym by greet prudence. -- / Line 1514 And the same salomon seith, -- the angry and Line 1514 Wrathful man maketh noyses, and the pacient Line 1514 Man atempreth hem and stilleth. -- / he seith Line 1515 Also, -- it is moore worth to be pacient Line 1515 Than for to be right strong;/ and he Line 1516 That may have the lordshipe of his Line 1516 Owene herte is moore to preyse than he that Line 1516 By his force or strengthe taketh grete citees. -- / Line 1517

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Line 1517 And therfore seith seint jame in his epistle that Line 1517 -- pacience is a greet vertu of perfeccioun. -- / Line 1518 Certes, quod melibee, I graunte yow, Line 1518 Dame prudence, that pacience is greet vertu Line 1518 Of perfeccioun;/ but every man may nat have Line 1519 The perfeccioun that ye seken;/ ne I nam Line 1520 Nat of the nombre of right parfite men,/ Line 1521 For myn herte may nevere been in pees Line 1521 Unto the tyme it be venged./ And al be it so Line 1522 That it was greet peril to myne enemys to do Line 1522 Me a vileynye in takynge vengeance upon me,/ Line 1523 Yet tooken they noon heede of the peril, but Line 1523 Fulfilleden hir wikked wyl and hir corage./ Line 1524 And therfore me thynketh men oghten nat Line 1524 Repreve me, though I putte me in a litel peril Line 1524 For to venge me,/ and though I do a greet Line 1525 Excesse, that is to seyn, that I venge Line 1525 Oon outrage by another./ Line 1526 A, quod dame prudence, ye seyn Line 1526 Youre wyl and as yow liketh,/ but in no caas Line 1527 Of the world a man sholde nat doon outrage Line 1527 Ne excesse for to vengen hym./ For cassidore Line 1528 Seith that -- as yvele dooth he that vengeth hym Line 1528 By outrage as he that dooth the outrage. -- / and Line 1529 Therfore ye shul venge yow after the ordre of Line 1529 Right, that is to seyn, by the lawe, and noght Line 1529 By excesse ne by outrage./ And also, if ye Line 1530 Wol venge yow of the outrage of youre adversaries Line 1530 in oother manere than right comandeth, Line 1530 ye synne./ And therfore seith senec Line 1531 That -- a man shal nevere vengen shrewednesse Line 1531 by shrewednesse. -- / and if ye seye that Line 1532 Right axeth a man to defenden violence by violence, Line 1532 and fightyng by fightyng,/ certes ye seye Line 1533 Sooth, whan the defense is doon anon withouten Line 1533 intervalle or withouten tariyng or delay,/ Line 1533 for to deffenden hym and nat for to Line 1534 Vengen hym./ And it bihoveth that a man Line 1535 Putte swich attemperance in his deffense/ Line 1535 that men have no cause ne matiere Line 1536 to repreven hym that deffendeth Line 1536 Hym of excesse and outrage, for ellis were it Line 1536 Agayn resoun./ Pardee, ye knowen wel that Line 1537 Ye maken no deffense as now for to deffende Line 1537 Yow, but for to venge yow;/ and so seweth Line 1538 It that ye han no wyl to do youre dede attemprely./ Line 1538 and therfore me thynketh that pacience Line 1539 is good; for salomon seith that -- he that Line 1539 Is nat pacient shal have a greet harm. -- / Line 1540 Certes, quod melibee, I graunte yow that Line 1540 Whan a man is inpacient and wrooth, of that Line 1540 That toucheth hym noght and that aperteneth Line 1540 Nat unto hym, though it harme hym, it Line 1540 Is no wonder./ For the lawe seith that Line 1541 -- he is coupable that entremetteth hym or Line 1541 Medleth with swych thyng as aperteneth nat Line 1541 Unto hym. -- / and salomon seith that -- he that Line 1542 Entremetteth hym of the noyse or strif of another Line 1542 man is lyk to hym that taketh an hound Line 1542 By the eris. -- / for right as he that taketh a Line 1543 Straunge hound by the eris is outherwhile biten Line 1543 With the hound,/ right in the same wise is it Line 1544 Resoun that he have harm that by his inpacience Line 1544 medleth hym of the noyse of another Line 1544 Man, wheras it aperteneth nat unto hym./ But Line 1545 Ye knowen wel that this dede, that is to seyn, Line 1545 My grief and my disese, toucheth me Line 1545 Right ny./ And therfore, though I be Line 1546 Wrooth and inpacient, it is no merveille./ Line 1547 And, savynge youre grace, I kan nat seen that it Line 1547 Myghte greetly harme me though I tooke vengeaunce./ Line 1547 for I am richer and moore myghty Line 1548 Than myne enemys been;/ and wel knowen ye Line 1549 That by moneye and by havynge grete possessions Line 1549 been alle the thynges of this world governed./ Line 1549 and salomon seith that -- alle Line 1550 Thynges abeyen to moneye. -- / Line 1551 Whan prudence hadde herd hir housbonde Line 1551 avanten hym of his richesse and of his Line 1551 Moneye, dispreisynge the power of his adversaries, Line 1551 she spak, and seyde in this wise:/ Line 1552 Certes, deere sire, I graunte yow that ye been Line 1552 Riche and myghty,/ and that the richesses been Line 1553 Goode to hem that han wel ygeten hem and wel Line 1553 Konne usen hem./ For right as the body of a Line 1554 Man may nat lyven withoute the soule, namoore Line 1554 May it lyve withouten temporeel goodes./ And Line 1555 By richesses may a man gete hym grete Line 1555 Freendes./ And therfore seith pamphilles: Line 1556 -- if a net -- herdes doghter, -- seith Line 1556 He, -- be riche, she may chesen of a thousand Line 1556 Men which she wol take to hir housbonde;/ Line 1557 For, of a thousand men, oon wol nat forsaken Line 1557 Hire ne refusen hire. -- / and this pamphilles Line 1558 Seith also: -- if thow be right happy -- that is to Line 1558 Seyn, if thou be right riche -- thou shalt fynde Line 1558 A greet nombre of felawes and freendes./ And Line 1559 If thy fortune change that thou wexe povre, Line 1559 Farewel freendshipe and felaweshipe;/ for thou Line 1560 Shalt be alloone withouten any compaignye, Line 1560 But if it be the compaignye of povre Line 1560 Folk. -- / and yet seith this pamphilles Line 1561 Moreover that -- they that been thralle and Line 1561 Bonde of lynage shullen been maad worthy and Line 1561 Noble by the richesses. -- / and right so as by Line 1562 Richesses ther comen manye goodes, right so Line 1562 By poverte come ther manye harmes and Line 1562 Yveles./ For greet poverte constreyneth a man Line 1563

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Line 1563 To do manye yveles./ And therfore clepeth Line 1564 Cassidore poverte the mooder of ruyne,/ that Line 1565 Is to seyn, the mooder of overthrowynge Line 1565 Or fallynge doun./ And therfore seith Line 1566 Piers alfonce: -- oon of the gretteste adversitees Line 1566 of this world is/ whan a free man by Line 1567 Kynde or of burthe is constreyned by poverte Line 1567 To eten the almesse of his enemy, -- / and the Line 1568 Same seith innocent in oon of his bookes. He Line 1568 Seith that -- sorweful and myshappy is the condicioun Line 1568 of a povre beggere;/ for if he axe nat Line 1569 His mete, he dyeth for hunger;/ and if he axe, Line 1570 He dyeth for shame; and algates necessitee Line 1570 constreyneth hym to axe. -- / and Line 1571 Seith salomon that -- bet it is to dye than Line 1571 For to have swich poverte. -- / and as the same Line 1572 Salomon seith, -- bettre it is to dye of bitter deeth Line 1572 Than for to lyven in swich wise. -- / by thise Line 1573 Resons that I have seid unto yow, and by manye Line 1573 Othere resons that I koude seye,/ I graunte yow Line 1574 That richesses been goode to hem that geten Line 1574 Hem wel, and to hem that wel usen tho richesses./ Line 1574 and therfore wol I shewe yow hou ye Line 1575 Shul have yow and how ye shul bere yow in Line 1575 Gaderynge of richesses, and in what Line 1575 Manere ye shul usen hem./ Line 1576 First, ye shul geten hem withouten Line 1576 Greet desir, by good leyser, sokyngly and nat Line 1576 Over-hastily./ For a man that is to desirynge Line 1577 To gete richesses abaundoneth hym first to Line 1577 Thefte, and to alle othere yveles;/ and therfore Line 1578 seith salomon, -- he that hasteth hym to Line 1578 Bisily to wexe riche shal be noon innocent. -- / Line 1579 He seith also that -- the richesses that hastily cometh Line 1579 to a man, soone and lightly gooth and Line 1579 Passeth fro a man;/ but that richesse that Line 1580 Cometh litel and litel, wexeth alwey and Line 1580 Multiplieth. -- / and, sire Line 1581 Richesses by youre wit and by youre Line 1581 Travaille unto youre profit;/ and that withouten Line 1582 Wrong or hamr doynge to any oother persone./ Line 1583 For tha lawe seith that -- ther maketh no man Line 1583 Himselven riche, if he do harm to another Line 1583 Wight. -- / this is to seyn, htat nature deffendeth Line 1584 and fordedeth by right that no man make Line 1584 Hymself riche unto the harm of another persone./ Line 1584 and tulliur seith that -- no sorwe, ne no Line 1585 Drede of deeth, ne no thyng that may Line 1585 Falle unto a man,/ is so muchel agayns Line 1586 Nature as a man to encressen his owene Line 1586 Profit to the harm of another man./ And Line 1587 Though the grete man and the myghty men Line 1587 Geten richesses moore lightly than thou, / yet Line 1588 Shaltou nat been ydel ne slow to do thy profit, Line 1588 For thou shalt in alle wise flee ydelnesse. -- / for Line 1589 Salomon seith that -- ydelnesse techeth a man to Line 1589 Do manye yveles. -- / and the same salomon Line 1590 Seith that -- he that travailleth and bisieth Line 1590 Hym to tilien his land, shal eten breed;/ Line 1591 But he that is ydel and casteth hym to Line 1591 No bisynesse ne occupacioun, shal falle into Line 1591 Poverte, and dye for hynger. -- / and he that is Line 1592 Ydel and slow kan nevere fynde covenable Line 1592 Tyme for to doon his profit./ For ther is a Line 1593 Versifiour seith that -- the ydel man excuseth hym Line 1593 In wynter by cause of the grete coold, and in Line 1593 Somer by enchesoun of the greete heete. -- / for Line 1594 Thise causes seith caton, -- waketh and enclyneth Line 1594 nat yow over -- muchel for to slepe, for overmuchel Line 1594 reste norisseth and causeth manye Line 1594 Vices. -- / and therfore seith seint jerome, Line 1595 -- dooth somme goode dedes that the devel, Line 1595 Which is oure enemy, ne fynde yow nat Line 1595 Unocupied. -- / for the devel ne taketh Line 1596 Nat lightly unto his werkynge swiche as Line 1596 He fyndeth occupied in goode werkes./ Line 1597 Thanne thus, in getynge richesses, ye mosten Line 1597 Flee ydelnesse./ And afterward, ye shul use Line 1598 The richesses which ye have geten by youre wit Line 1598 And by youre travaille,/ in swich a manere that Line 1599 Men holde yow nat to scars, ne to sparynge, ne Line 1599 To fool-large, that is to seyen, over-large a Line 1599 Spendere./ For right as men blamen an avaricious Line 1600 man by cause of his scarsetee and Line 1600 Chyncherie,/ in the same wise is he to Line 1601 Blame that spendeth over-largely./ And Line 1602 Therfore seith caton: -- use, -- he seith, -- thy richesses Line 1602 that thou hast geten/ in swich a manere Line 1603 That men have no matiere ne cause to calle Line 1603 The neither wrecche ne chynche;/ for it is a Line 1604 Greet shame to a man to have a povere herte Line 1604 And a riche purs. -- / he seith also: -- the goodes Line 1605 That thou hast ygeten, use hem by mesure, -- Line 1605 That is to seyn, spende hem mesurably;/ Line 1605 for they that folily wasten and Line 1606 Despenden the goodes that they han,/ Line 1607 What they han namoore propre of hir owene, Line 1607 They shapen hem to take the goodes of another Line 1607 Man./ I seye thanne that ye shul fleen avarice;/ Line 1608 usynge youre richesses in swich manere Line 1609 That men seye nat that youre richesses been Line 1609 Yburyed,/ but that ye have hem in Line 1610 Youre myght and in youre weeldynge./ Line 1611 For a wys man repreveth the avaricious Line 1611 Man, and seith thus in two vers:/ -- wherto and Line 1612 Why burieth a man his goodes by his grete Line 1612 Avarice, and knoweth wel that nedes moste Line 1612 He dye?/ for deeth is the ende of every man Line 1613

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Line 1613 As in this present lyf. -- / and for what cause or Line 1614 Enchesoun joyneth he hym or knytteth he hym Line 1614 So faste unto his goodes/ that alle hise wittes Line 1615 Mowen nat disseveren hym or departen Line 1615 Hym from his goodes,/ and knoweth Line 1616 Wel, or oghte knowe, that whan he is Line 1616 Deed he shal no thyng bere with hym out of Line 1616 This world?/ and therfore seith seint austyn Line 1617 That -- the avaricious man is likned unto helle,/ Line 1618 That the moore it swelweth. The moore desir it Line 1618 Hath to swelwe and devoure. -- / and as wel as Line 1619 Ye wolde eschewe to be called an avaricious Line 1619 Man or chynche,/ as wel sholde ye kepe yow Line 1620 And governe yow in swich a wise that Line 1620 Men calle yow nat fool-large./ Therfore Line 1621 seith tullius: -- the goodes, -- he seith, Line 1621 -- of thyn hous ne sholde nat been hyd ne kept Line 1621 So cloos, but that they myghte been opened Line 1621 By pitee and debonairetee; -- / that is to seyn, to Line 1622 Yeven part to hem that han greet nede;/ -- ne Line 1623 Thy goodes shullen nat been so opene to been Line 1623 Every mannes goodes. -- / afterward, in getynge Line 1624 Of youre richesses and in usynge hem, ye shul Line 1624 Alwey have thre thynges in youre herte,/ that Line 1625 Is to seyn, oure lord god, conscience, Line 1625 And good name./ First, ye shul have Line 1626 God in youre herte,/ and for no richesse Line 1627 Ye shullen do no thyng which may in any Line 1627 Manere displese god, that is youre creator Line 1627 And makere./ For after the word of salomon, Line 1628 -- it is bettre to have a litel good with the love Line 1628 Of god,/ than to have muchel good and tresour, Line 1629 and lese the love of his lord god./ And Line 1630 The prophete seith that -- bettre it is to been Line 1630 A good man and have litel good and Line 1630 Tresour,/ than to been holden a shrewe Line 1631 And have grete richesses. -- / and yet seye Line 1632 I ferthermoore, that ye sholde alwey doon youre Line 1632 Bisynesse to gete yow richesses,/ so that ye Line 1633 Gete hem with good conscience./ And th' apostle Line 1634 seith that -- ther nys thyng in this world Line 1634 Of which we sholden have so greet joye as Line 1634 Whan oure conscience bereth us good witnesse. Line 1634 -- / and the wise man seith, -- the substance Line 1635 of a man is ful good, whan synne Line 1635 Is nat in mannes conscience. -- / afterward, Line 1636 in getynge of youre richesses and Line 1636 In usynge of hem,/ yow moste have greet bisynesse Line 1637 and greet diligence that youre goode Line 1637 Name be alwey kept and conserved./ For salomon Line 1638 seith that -- bettre it is an moore it availleth Line 1638 a man to have a good name, than for Line 1638 To have grete richesses. -- / and therfore he Line 1639 Seith in another place, -- do greet diligence, Line 1639 Seith salomon, -- in kepyng of thy freend and Line 1639 Of thy goode name;/ for it shal lenger abide Line 1640 With thee than any tresour, be it never Line 1640 So precious. -- / and certes he sholde nat Line 1641 Be called a gentil man that after god Line 1641 And good conscience, alle thynges left, ne Line 1641 Dooth his diligence and bisynesse to kepen his Line 1641 Goode name./ And cassidore seith that -- it is Line 1642 Signe of a gentil herte, whan a man loveth and Line 1642 Desireth to han a good name. -- / and therfore Line 1643 Seith seint austyn that -- ther been two thynges Line 1643 That arn necessarie and nedefulle,/ and that Line 1644 Is good conscience and good loos;/ that is to Line 1645 Seyn, good conscience to thyn owene persone Line 1645 Inward, and good loos for thy neighebor Line 1645 Outward. -- / and he that trusteth hym so Line 1646 Muchel in his goode conscience/ that he Line 1647 Displeseth, and setteth at noght his goode Line 1647 Name or loos, and rekketh noght though he Line 1647 Kepe nat his goode neam, nys but a crueel Line 1647 Cherl./ Line 1648 Sire, now have I shewed yow how ye shul Line 1648 Do in getynge richesses, and how ye shullen Line 1648 Usen hem,/ and I se wel that for the trust Line 1649 That ye han in youre richesses ye wole moeve Line 1649 Werre and bataille./ I conseille yow that ye Line 1650 Bigynne no were in trust of youre richesses, Line 1650 For thay ne suffisen noght werres to Line 1650 Mayntene./ And therfore seith a philosophre, Line 1651 hthat man that desireth and Line 1651 Wole algates han werre, shal nevere have suffisaunce;/ Line 1651 for the richer that he is, the gretter Line 1652 Despenses moste he make, if he wole have worshipe Line 1652 and victorei. -- / and salomon seith that Line 1653 -- the gretter richesses that a man hath, the mo Line 1653 Despendours he hath. -- / and, deere sire, al be Line 1654 It so that for youre richesses ye mowe have Line 1654 Muchel folk,/ yet bihoveth it nat, ne it is nat Line 1655 Good, to bigynne werre, whereas ye mowe in Line 1655 Oother manere have pees unto youre Line 1655 Worshipe and profit./ For the victorie Line 1656 Of batailles that been in this world lyth Line 1656 Nat in greet nombre or multitude of the peple, Line 1656 Ne in the vertu of man,/ but it lith in the wyl Line 1657 And in the hand of oure lord God almyghty./ Line 1658 And therfore judas machabeus, which was Line 1658 Goddes knyght,/ whan he sholde fighte agayn Line 1659 His adversarie that hadde a gretter nombre and Line 1659 A gretter multitude of folk and strenger than Line 1659 Was this peple of machabee,/ yet he reconforted Line 1660 his litel compaignye, and seyde Line 1660 Right in this wise:/ -- als lightly, -- quod Line 1661 He, -- may oure lord God almyghty yeve Line 1661 Victorie to a fewe folk as to many folk;/ for the Line 1662

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Line 1662 Victorie of a bataile comth nat by the grete Line 1662 Nombre of peple,/ but it cometh from oure Line 1663 Lord God of hevene. -- / and, deere sire, for as Line 1664 Muchel is ther is no man certein if he be Line 1664 Worthy that God yeve hym victorie, (ne plus Line 1664 Que il est certain se il est digne de l' amour de Line 1664 Dieu), or naught, after that salomon seith,/ Line 1665 Therfore every man sholde greetly drede Line 1665 Werres to bigynne./ And by cause that Line 1666 In batailles fallen manye perils,/ and Line 1667 Happeth outher while that as soone is the grete Line 1667 Man slayn as the litel man;/ and as it is writen Line 1668 In the seconde book of kynges, -- the dedes of Line 1668 Batailles been aventurouse and nothyng certeyne,/ Line 1668 for as lightly is oon hurt with a spere Line 1669 As another; -- / and for ther is gret peril in Line 1670 Werre; therfore sholde a man flee and eschue Line 1670 Werre, in as muchel as a man may Line 1670 Goodly./ For salomon seith, -- he that Line 1671 Loveth peril shal falle in peril -- / Line 1672 After that dame prudence hadde spoken in Line 1672 This manere, melibee answerde, and seyde:/ Line 1673 I see wel, dame prudence, that by youre faire Line 1673 Wordes, and by youre resouns that ye han Line 1673 Shewed me, that the werre liketh yow no Line 1673 Thyng;/ but I have nat yet herd youre conseil, Line 1674 How I shal do in this nede./ Line 1675 Certes, quod she, I conseille yow that ye Line 1675 Accorde with youre adversaries and that Line 1675 Ye have pees with he./ For seint jame Line 1676 Seith in his epistles that -- by concord and Line 1676 Pees the smale richesses wexen grete,/ and by Line 1677 Debaat and discord the grete richesses fallen Line 1677 Doun. -- / and ye knowen wel that oon of the Line 1678 Gretteste and moost sovereyn thyng that is in Line 1678 This world is unytee and pees./ And therfore Line 1679 Seyde oure lord jhesu crist to his apostles in Line 1679 This wise:/ -- wel happy and blessed been they Line 1680 That loven and purchacen pees, for they Line 1680 Been called children of god. -- / Line 1681 A, quod melibee, now se I wel that Line 1681 Ye loven nat myn honour ne my worshipe./ Line 1682 Ye knowen wel that myne adversaries han Line 1682 Bigonnen this debaat and bryge by hire outrage,/ Line 1682 and ye se wel that they ne requeren ne Line 1683 Preyen me nat of pees, ne they asken nat to be Line 1683 Reconsiled./ Wol ye thanne that I go and meke Line 1684 Me and obeye me to hem, and crie hem Line 1684 Mercy?/ for sothe, that were nat my Line 1685 Worshipe./ For right as men seyn that Line 1686 -- over-greet hoomlynesse engendreth dispreisynge, Line 1686 -- so fareth it by to greet hymylitee Line 1686 Or mekenesse./ Line 1687 Thanne bigan dame prudence to maken Line 1687 Semblant of wratthe, and seyde:/ certes, sire, Line 1688 Sauf youre grace, I love youre honour and youre Line 1688 Profit as I do myn owene, and evere have Line 1688 Doon;/ ne ye, ne noon oother, seyn nevere Line 1689 The contrarie./ And yit if I hadde seyd that Line 1690 Ye sholde han purchaced the pees and the Line 1690 Reconsilacioun, I ne hadde nat muchel Line 1690 Mystaken me, ne seyd amys./ For the Line 1691 Wise man seith, -- the dissensioun bigynneth Line 1691 by another man, and the reconsilyng bygynneth Line 1691 by thyself. -- / and the prophete seith, Line 1692 -- flee shrewednesse and do goodnesse;/ seke Line 1693 Pees and folwe it, as muchel as in thee is. -- / Line 1694 Yet seye I nat that ye shul rather pursue to Line 1694 Youre adversaries for pees than they shuln to Line 1694 Yow./ For I knowe wel that ye been so hard- Line 1695 Herted that ye wol do no thyng for Line 1695 Me./ And salomon seith, -- he that hath Line 1696 Over-hard an herte, atte laste he shal Line 1696 Myshappe and mystyde. -- / Line 1697 Whanne melibee hadde herd dame prudence Line 1697 Maken semblant of wratthe, he seyde in this Line 1697 Wise:/ dame, I prey yow that ye be nat displesed Line 1698 of thynges that I seye,/ for ye knowe Line 1699 Wel that I am angrey and wrooth, and that is Line 1699 No wonder;/ and they that been wrothe witen Line 1700 Nat wel what they don, ne what they Line 1700 Seyn./ Therfore the prophete seith that Line 1701 -- troubled eyen han no cleer sighte. -- / but Line 1702 Seyeth and conseileth me as yow liketh, for I Line 1702 Am redy to do right as ye wol desire;/ and if Line 1703 Ye repreve me of my folye, I am the moore Line 1703 Holden to love yow and to preyse yow./ For Line 1704 Salomon seith that -- he that repreveth hym Line 1704 That dooth folye,/ he shal fynde gretter grace Line 1705 Than he that deceyveth hym by sweete Line 1705 Wordes. -- / Line 1706 Thanne seide dame prudence, I Line 1706 Make no semblant of wratthe ne anger, but Line 1706 For youre grete profit./ For salomon seith, Line 1707 -- he is moore worth that repreveth or chideth Line 1707 A fool for his folye, shewynge hym semblant Line 1707 Of wratthe,/than he that supporteth hym and Line 1708 Preyseth hym in his mysdoynge, and laugheth Line 1708 At his folye. -- / and this same salomon seith Line 1709 Afterward that -- by the sorweful visage of a Line 1709 Man, -- that is to seyn by the sory and hevy contenaunce Line 1709 of a man,/ -- the fool correcteth Line 1710 And amendeth hymself. -- / Line 1711 Thanne seyde melibee, I shal nat Line 1711 Koone answere to so manye faire resouns as ye Line 1711 Putten to me and shewen./ Seyeth shorthly Line 1712 Youre wyl and youre conseil, and I am al redy Line 1712 To fulfille and parfourne it./ Line 1713

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Line 1713 Thanne dame prudence discovered al hir Line 1713 Wyl to hym, and seyde,/ I conseille yow, Line 1714 Quod she, aboven alle thynges, that ye make Line 1714 Pees bitwene God and yow;/ and beth Line 1715 Reconsiled unto hym and to his grace./ Line 1716 For, as I have seyd yow heer biforn, god Line 1716 Hath suffred yow to have this tribulacioun and Line 1716 Disese for youre synnes./ And if ye do as I sey Line 1717 Yow, God wol sende youre adversaries unto Line 1717 Yow,/ and maken hem fallen at youre feet, Line 1718 Redy to do youre wyl and youre comande -- Line 1718 Mentz./ For salomon seith, -- whan the condicioun Line 1719 of man is plesaunt and likynge to god,/ Line 1720 He chaungeth the hertes of the mannes adversaries Line 1720 and constreyneth hem to biseken Line 1720 hym of pees and of grace. -- / and Line 1721 I prey yow lat me speke with youre adversaries Line 1721 in privee place;/ for they shul nat Line 1722 Knowe that it be of youre wyl or of youre adsent./ Line 1722 and thanne, whan I knowe hir wil and Line 1723 Hire entente, I may conseille yow the moore Line 1723 Seurely./ Line 1724 Dame, quod melibee, dooth youre wil and Line 1724 Youre likynge;/ for I putte me hoolly in Line 1725 Youre disposicioun and ordinaunce./ Line 1726 Thanne dame prudence, whan she Line 1726 Saugh the goode wyl of hir housbonde, delibered Line 1726 and took avys in hirself,/ thinkinge how Line 1727 She myghte brynge this nede unto a good conclusioun Line 1727 and to a good ende./ And whan she Line 1728 Saugh hir tyme, she sente for thise adversaries Line 1728 To come unto hire into a pryvee place,/ and Line 1729 Shewed wisely unto hem the grete goodes that Line 1729 Comen of pees,/ and the grete harmes Line 1730 And perils that been in werre;/ and Line 1731 Seyde to hem in a goodly manere hou Line 1731 That hem oughten have greet repentaunce/ of Line 1732 The injurie and wrong that they hadden doon Line 1732 To melibee hir lord, and unto hire, and to hire Line 1732 Doghter./ Line 1733 And whan they herden the goodliche wordes Line 1733 Of dame prudence,/ they weren so supprised Line 1734 And ravysshed, and hadden so greet joye of Line 1734 Hire that wonder was to telle./ A, lady, quod Line 1735 They, ye han shewed unto us the blessynge Line 1735 Of swetnesse, after the sawe of david the Line 1735 Prophete;/ for the reconsilynge which Line 1736 We been nat worthy to have in no manere,/ Line 1736 but we oghte requeren it with greet contricioun Line 1737 and humylitee,/ ye of youre grete Line 1738 Goodnesse have presented unto us./ Now se Line 1739 We wel that the science and the konnynge Line 1739 Of salomon is ful trewe./ For he seith that Line 1740 -- sweete wordes multiplien and encreescen Line 1740 Freendes, and maken shrewes to be debonaire Line 1740 and meeke. -- / Line 1741 Certes, quod they, we putten oure Line 1741 Dede and al oure matere and cause al hooly in Line 1741 Youre goode wyl/ and been redy to obeye to Line 1742 The speche and comandement of my lord melibee./ Line 1742 and therfore, deere and benygne lady, Line 1743 We preien yow and biseke yow as mekely as we Line 1743 Konne and mowen,/ that it lyke unto youre Line 1744 Grete goodnesse to fulfillen in dede youre goodliche Line 1744 wordes./ For we consideren and knowelichen Line 1745 that we han offended and greved Line 1745 My lord melibee out of mesure,/ so ferforth Line 1746 that we be nat of power to maken Line 1746 His amendes./ And therfore we oblige and Line 1747 Bynden us and oure freendes for to doon al Line 1747 His wyl and his comandementz./ But peraventure Line 1748 he hath swich hevynesse and swich wratthe Line 1748 To us -- ward, by cause of oure offense,/ that he Line 1749 Wole enjoyne us swich a peyne as we mowe Line 1749 Nat bere ne susteene./ And therfore, noble Line 1750 Lady, we biseke to youre wommanly Line 1750 Pitee/ to taken swich avysement in this Line 1751 Nede that we, ne oure freendes, be nat Line 1751 Desherited ne destroyed thurgh oure folye./ Line 1752 Certes, quod prudence, it is an hard Line 1752 Thyng and right perilous/ that a man putte Line 1753 Hym al outrely in the arbitracioun and juggement, Line 1753 and in the myght and power of his enemys./ Line 1753 for salomon seith, -- leeveth me, and Line 1754 Yeveth credence to that I shal seyn: I seye, -- Line 1754 Quod he, -- ye peple, folk and governours of Line 1754 Hooly chirche,/ to thy sone, to thy wyf, Line 1755 To thy freend, ne to thy broother,/ ne Line 1756 Yeve thou nevere myght ne maistrie of Line 1756 Thy body whil thou lyvest. -- / now sithen he Line 1757 Deffendeth that man sholde nat yeven to his Line 1757 Broother ne to his freend the myght of his Line 1757 Body,/ by a strenger resoun he deffendeth and Line 1758 Forbedeth a man to yeven hymself to his enemy./ Line 1758 and nathelees I conseille you that ye Line 1759 Mystruste nat my lord,/ for I woot wel and Line 1760 Knowe verraily that he is debonaire and Line 1760 Meeke, large, curteys,/ and nothyng desirous Line 1761 ne coveitous of good ne richesse./ Line 1762 For ther nys nothyng in this world that he Line 1762 Desireth, save oonly worshipe and honour./ Line 1763 Forthermoore I knowe wel and am right seur Line 1763 That he shal nothyng doon in this nede withouten Line 1763 my conseil;/ and I shal so werken in this Line 1764 Cause that, by the grace of oure lord god, ye Line 1764 Shul been reconsiled unto us./ Line 1765 Thanne seyden they with o voys, worshipful Line 1765 lady, we putten us and oure goodes Line 1765

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Line 1765 Al fully in youre wil and disposicioun,/ Line 1766 And been redy to comen, what day that Line 1766 It like unto youre noblesse to lymyte us or assigne Line 1766 us,/ for to maken oure obligacioun and Line 1767 Boond as strong as it liketh unto youre goodnesse,/ Line 1767 that we mowe fulfille the wille of yow Line 1768 And of my lord melibee./ Line 1769 Whan dame prudence hadde herd the answeres Line 1769 of thise men, she bad hem goon agayn Line 1769 Prively;/ and she retourned to hir lord melibee, Line 1770 and tolde hym how she foond his Line 1770 Adversaries ful repentant,/ knowelechynge Line 1771 ful lowely hir synnes and trespas, Line 1771 And how they were redy to suffren al peyne,/ Line 1772 Requirynge and preiynge hym of mercy and Line 1772 Pitee./ Line 1773 Thanne seyde melibee: he is wel worthy Line 1773 To have pardoun and foryifnesse of his synne. Line 1773 That excuseth nat his synne,/ but knowelecheth Line 1774 It and repenteth hym, axinge indulgence./ For Line 1775 Senec seith, ther is the remissioun and Line 1775 Foryifnesse, where as the confessioun is -- ;/ Line 1776 For confessioun is neighebor to innocence./ Line 1776 and he seith in another place that -- he Line 1777 That hath shame of his synne and knowlecheth Line 1777 It, is worthy remissioun. -- and therfore I assente Line 1777 and conferme me to have pees;/ but it Line 1778 Is good that we do it nat withouten the assent Line 1778 And wyl of oure freendes./ Line 1779 Thanne was prudence right glad and joyeful, Line 1779 and seyde:/ certes, sire, quod Line 1780 She, ye han wel and goodly answered;/ Line 1781 For right as by the conseil, assent, and Line 1781 Help of youre freendes ye han been stired to Line 1781 Venge yow and maken werre,/ right so withouten Line 1782 hire conseil shul ye nat accorden yow Line 1782 Ne have pees with youre adversaries./ For the Line 1783 Lawe seith: -- ther nys no thyng so good by wey Line 1783 Of kynde as a thyng to be unbounde by hym Line 1783 That it was ybounde. -- / Line 1784 And thanne dame prudence, withouten delay Line 1784 or tariynge, sente anon hire messages for Line 1784 Hire kyn, and for hire olde freendes which Line 1784 That were trewe and wyse,/ and tolde hem Line 1785 By ordre in the presence of melibee al this mateere Line 1785 as it is aboven expressed and declared,/ Line 1785 and preyden hem that they Line 1786 Wolde yeven hire avys and conseil what Line 1786 Best were to doon in this nede./ And whan Line 1787 Melibees freendes hadde taken hire avys and Line 1787 Deliberacioun of the forseide mateere,/ and Line 1788 Hadden examyned it by greet bisynesse and Line 1788 Greet diligence,/ they yave ful conseil for to Line 1789 Have pees and reste,/ and that melibee sholde Line 1790 Receyve with good herte his adversaries Line 1790 To foryifnesse and mercy./ Line 1791 And whan dame prudence hadde herd Line 1791 The assent of hir lord melibee, and the conseil Line 1791 of his freendes/ accorde with hire wille Line 1792 And hire entencioun,/ she was wonderly glad Line 1793 In hire herte, and seyde:/ ther is an old Line 1794 Proverbe, quod she, seith that -- the goodnesse Line 1794 that thou mayst do this day, do it,/ Line 1795 And abide nat ne delaye it nat til tomorwe. Line 1795 -- / and therfore I conseille that Line 1796 Ye sende youre messages, swiche as been Line 1796 Discrete and wise,/ unto youre adversaries, Line 1797 Tellynge hem on youre bihalve/ that if they Line 1798 Wole trete of pees and of accord,/ that they Line 1799 Shape hem withouten delay or tariyng to comen Line 1799 Unto us./ Which thyng parfourned was Line 1800 In dede./ And whanne thise trespassours Line 1801 and repentynge folk of hire folies, Line 1801 That is to seyn, the adversaries of melibee,/ Line 1802 Hadden herd what thise messagers seyden unto Line 1802 Hem,/ they weren right glad and joyeful, and Line 1803 Answereden ful mekely and benignely,/ yeldynge Line 1804 graces and thankynges to hir lord melibee Line 1804 and to al his compaignye;/ and shopen Line 1805 Hem withouten delay to go with the messagers, Line 1805 And obeye to the comandement of hir Line 1805 Lord melibee./ Line 1806 And right anon they tooken hire wey Line 1806 To the court of melibee,/ and tooken with hem Line 1807 Somme of hire trewe freendes to maken feith Line 1807 For hem and for to been hire borwes./ And Line 1808 Whan they were comen to the presence of Line 1808 Melibee, he seyde hem thise wordes:/ it standeth Line 1809 thus, quod melibee, and sooth it is, that Line 1809 Ye,/ causelees and withouten skile and Line 1810 Resoun,/ han doon grete injuries and Line 1811 Wronges to me and to my wyf prudence, Line 1811 And to my doghter also./ For ye han entred Line 1812 Into myn hous by violence,/ and have doon Line 1813 Swich outrage that alle men knowen wel that Line 1813 Ye have disserved the deeth./ And therfore Line 1814 Wol I knowe and wite of yow/ wheither ye Line 1815 Wol putte the punyssement and the chastisynge Line 1815 And the vengeance of this outrage in the wyl Line 1815 Of me and of my wyf prudence, or ye Line 1815 Wol nat?/ Line 1816 Thanne the wiseste of hem thre answerde Line 1816 for hem alle, and seyde,/ sire, quod Line 1817 He, we knowen wel that we been unworthy Line 1817 To comen unto the court of so greet a lord and Line 1817 So worthy as ye been./ For we han so greetly Line 1818 Mystaken us, and han offended and agilt in Line 1818 Swich a wise agayn youre heigh lordshipe,/ Line 1819

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Line 1819 That trewely we han disserved the deeth./ But Line 1820 Yet, for the grete goodnesse and debonairetee Line 1820 That al the world witnesseth of youre Line 1820 Persone,/ we submytten us to the excellence Line 1821 and benignitee of youre gracious Line 1821 Lordshipe,/ and been redy to obeie to alle youre Line 1822 Comandementz;/ bisekynge yow that of youre Line 1823 Merciable pitee ye wol considere oure grete Line 1823 Repentaunce and lowe submyssioun,/ and Line 1824 Graunten us foryevenesse of oure outrageous Line 1824 Trespas and offense./ For wel we knowe that Line 1825 Youre liberal grace and mercy strecchen hem Line 1825 Ferther into goodnesse than doon oure outrageouse Line 1825 giltes and trespas into wikkednesse,/ Line 1825 al be it that cursedly and Line 1826 Dampnablely we han agilt agayn youre Line 1826 Heigh lordshipe./ Line 1827 Thanne melibee took hem up fro the ground Line 1827 Ful benignely,/ and receyved hire obligaciouns Line 1828 And hir boondes by hire othes upon hire plegges Line 1828 And borwes,/ and assigned hem a certeyn day Line 1829 To retourne unto his court,/ for to accepte and Line 1830 Receyve the sentence and juggement that Line 1830 Melibee wolde comande to be doon on Line 1830 Hem by the causes aforeseyd./ Whiche Line 1831 Thynges ordeyned, every man retourned Line 1831 To his hous./ Line 1832 And whan that dame prudence saugh hir Line 1832 Tyme, she freyned and axed hir lord melibee/ Line 1833 What vengeance he thoughte to taken of his Line 1833 Adversaries./ Line 1834 To which melibee answerde, and seyde: Line 1834 Certes, quod he, I thynke and purpose me Line 1834 Fully / to desherite hem of al that evere they Line 1835 Han, and for to putte hem in exil for Line 1835 Evere./ Line 1836 Certes, quod dame prudence, this Line 1836 Were a crueel sentence and muchel agayn resoun./ Line 1836 for ye been riche ynough, and han Line 1837 No nede of oother mennes good;/ and ye Line 1838 Myghte lightly in this wise gete yow a coveitous Line 1838 name,/ which is a vicious thyng, and Line 1839 Oghte been eschued of every good man./ For Line 1840 After the sawe of the word of the apostle, Line 1840 -- coveitise is roote of alle harmes. -- / Line 1841 And therfore it were bettre for yow to Line 1841 Lese so muchel good of youre owene, than for Line 1841 To taken of hir good in this manere;/ for bettre Line 1842 it is to lesen good with worshipe, than it Line 1842 Is to wynne good with vileynye and shame./ Line 1843 And everi man oghte to doon his diligence and Line 1843 His bisynesse to geten hym a good name./ Line 1844 And yet shal he nat oonly bisie hym in kepynge Line 1844 of his good name,/ but he shal also enforcen Line 1845 hym alwey to do somthyng by Line 1845 Which he may renovelle his good name./ Line 1846 For it is writen that -- the olde good loos Line 1846 Or good name of a man is soone goon and Line 1846 Passed, whan it is nat newed ne renovelled. -- / Line 1847 And as touchynge that ye seyn ye wole exile Line 1847 Youre adversaries,/ that thynketh me muchel Line 1848 Agayn resoun and out of mesure,/ considered Line 1849 The power that they han yeve yow upon hemself./ Line 1849 and it is writen that -- he is worthy Line 1850 To lesen his privilege, that mysuseth the Line 1850 Myght and the power that is yeven Line 1850 Hym. -- / and I sette cas ye myghte enjoyne Line 1851 hem that peyne by right and by Line 1851 Lawe,// which I trowe ye mowe nat do,/ I seye Line 1853 Ye mighte nat putten it to execucioun peraventure,/ Line 1853 and thanne were it likly to retourne Line 1854 To the werre as it was biforn./ And therfore, Line 1855 If ye wole that men do yow obeisance, Line 1855 Ye moste deemen moore curteisly;/ this Line 1856 Is to seyn, ye moste yeven moore esy sentences Line 1856 and juggementz./ For it is writen that Line 1857 -- he that moost curteisly comandeth, to hym Line 1857 Men moost obeyen. -- / and therfore I prey yow Line 1858 That in this necessitee and in this nede ye caste Line 1858 Yow to overcome youre herte./ For senec seith Line 1859 That -- he that overcometh his herte, overcometh Line 1859 Twies. -- / and tullius seith: -- ther is no Line 1860 Thyng so comendable in a greet lord/ as Line 1861 Whan he is debonaire and meeke, and Line 1861 Appeseth him lightly. -- / and I prey yow that ye Line 1862 Wole forbere now to do vengeance,/ in swich Line 1863 A manere that youre goode name may be kept Line 1863 And conserved,/ and that men mowe have Line 1864 Cause and mateere to preyse yow of pitee and Line 1864 Of mercy,/ and that ye have no cause to Line 1865 Repente yow of thyng that ye doon./ Line 1866 For senec seith, -- he overcometh in an Line 1866 Yvel manere that repenteth hym of his victorie. Line 1866 -- / wherfore I pray yow, lat mercy been in Line 1867 Youre herte,/ to th' effect and entente that Line 1868 God almighty have mercy on yow in his laste Line 1868 Juggement./ For seint jame seith in his epistle: Line 1869 -- juggement withouten mercy shal be doon Line 1869 To hym that hath no mercy of another wight. -- / Line 1870 Whanne melibee hadde herd the grete skiles Line 1870 And resouns of dame prudence, and hire Line 1870 Wise informaciouns and techynges,/ his Line 1871 Herte gan enclyne to the wil of his wif, Line 1871 Considerynge hir trewe entente,/ and conformed Line 1872 hym anon, and assented fully to werken Line 1872 After hir conseil;/ and thonked god, of whom Line 1873 Procedeth al vertu and alle goodnesse, that Line 1873 Hym sente a wyf of so greet discrecioun./ And Line 1874

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Line 1874 Whan the day cam that his adversaries sholde Line 1874 Appieren in his presence,/ he spak unto Line 1875 Hem ful goodly, and seyde in this wyse:/ Line 1876 Al be it so that of youre pride and heigh Line 1876 Presumpcioun and folie, and of youre necligence Line 1876 and unkonnynge,/ ye have mysborn yow Line 1877 And trespassed unto me,/ yet for as muche as Line 1878 I see and biholde youre grete humylitee,/ and Line 1879 That ye been sory and repentant of youre Line 1879 Giltes,/ it constreyneth me to doon yow Line 1880 Grace and mercy./ Wherfore I receyve Line 1881 Yow to my grace,/ and foryeve yow outrely Line 1882 alle the offenses, injuries, and wronges that Line 1882 Ye have doon agayn me and myne,/ to this Line 1883 Effect and to this ende that God of his endelees Line 1883 mercy/ wole at the tyme of oure diynge Line 1884 Foryeven us oure giltes that we han trespassed Line 1884 To hym in this wrecched world./ For doutelees, Line 1885 if we be sory and repentant of the synnes Line 1885 And giltes which we han trespassed in Line 1885 The sighte of oure lord god,/ he is so Line 1886 Free and so merciable/ that he wole foryeven Line 1887 us oure giltes,/ and bryngen us to the Line 1888 Blisse that nevere hath ende. Amen. Line 1888

The Monk's Prologue

Whan ended was my tale of melibee, Line 1889 And of prudence and hire benignytee, Line 1890 Oure hooste seyde, as I am feithful man, Line 1891 And by that precious corpus madrian, Line 1892 I hadde levere than a barel ale Line 1893 That goodelief, my wyf, hadde herd this tale! Line 1894 For she nys no thyng of swich pacience Line 1895 As was this melibeus wyf prudence. Line 1896 By goddes bones! whan I bete my knaves, Line 1897 She bryngeth me forth the grete clobbed staves, Line 1898 And crieth, -- slee the dogges everichoon, Line 1899 And brek hem, bothe bak and every boon! -- Line 1900 And if that any neighebor of myne Line 1901 Wol nat in chirche to my wyf enclyne, Line 1902 Or be so hardy to hire to trespace, Line 1903 Whan she comth hoom she rampeth in my face, Line 1904 And crieth, -- false coward, wrek thy wyf! Line 1905 By corpus bones, I wol have thy knyf, Line 1906 And thou shalt have my distaf and go spynne! -- Line 1907 Fro day to nyght right thus she wol bigynne. Line 1908 -- allas! -- she seith, -- that evere I was shape Line 1909 To wedden a milksop, or a coward ape, Line 1910 That wol been overlad with every wight! Line 1911 Thou darst nat stonden by thy wyves right! -- Line 1912 This is my lif, but if that I wol fighte; Line 1913 And out at dore anon I moot me dighte, Line 1914 Or elles I am but lost, but if that I Line 1915 Be lik a wilde leoun, fool-hardy. Line 1916 I woot wel she wol do me slee som day Line 1917 Som neighebor, and thanne go my way; Line 1918 For I am perilous with knyf in honde, Line 1919 Al be it that I dar nat hire withstonde, Line 1920 For she is byg in armes, by my feith: Line 1921 That shal he fynde that hire mysdooth or seith, -- Line 1922 But lat us passe awey fro this mateere. Line 1923 My lord, the monk, quod he, by myrie of cheere, Line 1924 For ye shul telle a tale trewely. Line 1925 Loo, rouchestre stant heer faste by! Line 1926 Ryde forth, myn owene lord, brek nat oure game. Line 1927 But, by my trouthe, I knowe nat youre name. Line 1928 Wher shal I calle yow my lord daun john, Line 1929 Or daun thomas, or elles daun albon? Line 1930 Of what hous be ye, by youre fader kyn? Line 1931 I vowe to god, thou hast a ful fair skyn; Line 1932 It is a gentil pasture ther thow goost. Line 1933 Thou art nat lyk a penant or a goost: Line 1934 Upon my feith, thou art som officer, Line 1935 Som worthy sexteyn, or som celerer, Line 1936 For by my fader soule, as to my doom, Line 1937 Thou art a maister whan thou art at hoom; Line 1938 No povre cloysterer, ne no novts, Line 1939 But a governour, wily and wys, Line 1940 And therwithal of brawnes and of bones, Line 1941 A wel farynge persone for the nones. Line 1942 I pray to god, yeve hym confusioun Line 1943 That first thee broghte unto religioun! Line 1944 Thou woldest han been a tredefowel aright. Line 1945

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Line 1945 Haddestow as greet a leeve, as thou hast myght, Line 1946 To parfourne al thy lust in engendrure, Line 1947 Thou haddest bigeten ful many a creature. Line 1948 Allas, why werestow so wyd a cope? Line 1949 God yeve me sorwe, but, and I were a pope, Line 1950 Nat oonly thou, but every myghty man, Line 1951 Though he were shorn ful hye upon his pan, Line 1952 Sholde have a wyf; for al the world is lorn! Line 1953 Religioun hath take up al the corn Line 1954 Of tredyng, and we borel men been shrympes. Line 1955 Of fieble trees ther comen wrecched ympes. Line 1956 This maketh that oure heires been so sklendre Line 1957 And feble that they may nat wel engendre. Line 1958 This maketh that oure wyves wole assaye Line 1959 Religious folk, for ye mowe bettre paye Line 1960 Of venus peiementz than mowe we; Line 1961 God woot, no lussheburghes payen ye! Line 1962 But be nat wrooth, my lord, though that I pleye. Line 1963 Ful ofte in game a sooth I have herd seye! Line 1964 This worthy monk took al in pacience, Line 1965 And seyde, I wol doon al my diligence, Line 1966 As fer as sowneth into honestee, Line 1967 To telle yow a tale, or two, or three. Line 1968 And if yow list to herkne hyderward, Line 1969 I wol yow seyn the lyf of seint edward; Line 1970 Or ellis, first, tragedies wol I telle, Line 1971 Of whiche I have an hundred in my celle. Line 1972 Tragedie is to seyn a certeyn storei, Line 1973 As olde bookes maken us memorie, Line 1974 Of hym that stood in greet prosperitee, Line 1975 And is yfallen out of heigh degree Line 1976 Into myserie, and endeth wrecchedly. Line 1977 And they ben versified communely Line 1978 Of six feet, which men clepen exametrron. Line 1979 In prose eek been endited many oon, Line 1980 And eek in meetre, in many a sondry wyse. Line 1981 Lo, this declaryng oghte ynogh suffise. Line 1982 Now herkneth, if yow liketh for to heere. Line 1983 But first I yow biseeke in this mateere, Line 1984 Though I by ordre telle nat thise thynges, Line 1985 Be it of popes, emperours, or kynges, Line 1986 After hir ages, as men writen fynde, Line 1987 But tellen hem som bifore and som bihynde, Line 1988 As it now comth unto my remembraunce, Line 1989 Have me excused of myn ignoraunce. Line 1990

The Monk's Tale

I wol biwaille, in manere of tragedie, Line 1991 The harm of hem that stoode in heigh degree, Line 1992 And fillen so that ther nas no remedie Line 1993 To brynge hem out of hir adversitee. Line 1994 For certein, whan that fortune list to flee, Line 1995 Ther may no man the cours of hire withholde. Line 1996 Lat no man truste on blynd prosperitee; Line 1997 Be war by thise ensamples trewe and olde. Line 1998
Lucifer
At lucifer, though he an angel were, Line 1999 And nat a man, at hym wol I bigynne. Line 2000 For though fortune may noon angel dere, Line 2001 From heigh degree yet fel he for his synne Line 2002 Doun into helle, where he yet is inne. Line 2003 O lucifer, brightest of angels alle, Line 2004 Now artow sathanas, that mayst nat twynne Line 2005 Out of miserie, in which that thou art falle. Line 2006
Adam
Loo adam, in the feeld of damyssene, Line 2007 With goddes owene fynger wroght was he, Line 2008 And nat bigeten of mannes sperme unclene, Line 2009 And welte al paradys savynge o tree. Line 2010 Hadde nevere worldly man so heigh degree Line 2011 As adam, til he for mysgovernaunce Line 2012 Was dryven out of hys hye prosperitee Line 2013 To labour, and to helle, and to meschaunce. Line 2014
Sampson
Loo sampsoun, which that was annunciat Line 2015 By th' angel, longe er his nativitee, Line 2016 And was to God almyghty consecrat, Line 2017 And stood in noblesse whil he myghte see. Line 2018 Was nevere swich another as was hee, Line 2019 To speke of strengthe, and threwith hardynesse; Line 2020

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Line 2020 But to his wyves toolde he his secree, Line 2021 Thurgh which he slow hymself for wrecchednesse. Line 2022 Sampsoun, this noble almyghty champioun, Line 2023 Withouten wepen, save his handes tweye, Line 2024 He slow and al torente the leoun, Line 2025 Toward his weddyng walkynge by the weye. Line 2026 His false wyf koude hym so plese and preye Line 2027 Til she his conseil knew; and she, untrewe, Line 2028 Unto his foos his conseil gan biwreye, Line 2029 And hym forsook, and took another newe. Line 2030 Thre hundred foxes took sampson for ire, Line 2031 And alle hir tayles he togydre bond, Line 2032 And sette the foxes tayles alle on fire, Line 2033 For he on every tayl had knyt a brond; Line 2034 And they brende alle the cornes in that lond, Line 2035 And alle hire olyveres, and vynes eke. Line 2036 A thousand men he slow eek with his hond, Line 2037 And hadde no wepen but an asses cheke. Line 2038 Whan they were slayn, so thursted hym that he Line 2039 Was wel ny lorn, for which he gan to preye Line 2040 That God wolde on his peyne han some pitee, Line 2041 And sende hym drynke, or elles moste he deye; Line 2042 And of this asses cheke, that was dreye, Line 2043 Out of a wang-tooth sprang anon a welle, Line 2044 Of which he drank ynogh, shortly to seye; Line 2045 Thus heelp hym god, as judicum telle. Line 2046 By verray force at gazan, on a nyght, Line 2047 Maugree philistiens of that citee, Line 2048 The gates of the toun he hath up plyght, Line 2049 And on his bak ycaryed hem hath hee Line 2050 Hye on an hill whereas men myghte hem see. Line 2051 O noble, almyghty sampsoun, lief and deere, Line 2052 Had thou nat toold to wommen thy secree, Line 2053 In al this world ne hadde been thy peere! Line 2054 This sampson nevere ciser drank ne wyn, Line 2055 Ne on his heed cam rasour noon ne sheere, Line 2056 By precept of the messager divyn, Line 2057 For alle his strengthes in his heeres weere. Line 2058 And fully twenty wynter, yeer by yeere, Line 2059 He hadde of israel the governaunce. Line 2060 But soone shal he wepe many a teere, Line 2061 For wommen shal hym bryngen to meschaunce! Line 2062 Unto his lemman dalida he tolde Line 2063 That in his heeris al his strengthe lay, Line 2064 And falsly to his foomen she hym solde. Line 2065 And slepynge in hir barm, upon a day, Line 2066 She made to clippe or shere his heres away, Line 2067 And made his foomen al his craft espyen; Line 2068 And whan that they hym foond in this array, Line 2069 They bounde hym faste and putten out his yen. Line 2070 But er his heere were clipped or yshave, Line 2071 Ther was no boond with which men myghte him bynde; Line 2072 But now is he in prison in a cave, Line 2073 Were-as they made hym at the queerne grynde. Line 2074 O noble sampsoun, strongest of mankynde, Line 2075 O whilom juge, in glorie and in richesse! Line 2076 Now maystow wepen with thyne eyen blynde, Line 2077 Sith thou fro wele art falle in wrecchednesse. Line 2078 The ende of this caytyf was as I shal seye. Line 2079 His foomen made a feeste upon a day, Line 2080 And made hym as hire fool biforn hem pleye; Line 2081 And this was in a temple of greet array. Line 2082 But atte laste he made a foul affray; Line 2083 For he two pilers shook and made hem falle, Line 2084 And doun fil temple and al, and ther it lay, -- Line 2085 And slow hymself, and eek his foomen alle. Line 2086 This is to seyn, the prynces everichoon, Line 2087 And eek thre thousand bodyes, were ther slayn Line 2088 With fallynge of the grete temple of stoon. Line 2089 Of sampson now wol I namoore sayn. Line 2090 Beth war by this ensample oold and playn Line 2091 That nomen telle hir conseil til hir wyves Line 2092 Of swich thyng as they wolde han secree fayn, Line 2093 If that it touche hir lymes or hir lyves. Line 2094
Hercules
Of hercules, the sovereyn conquerour, Line 2095 Syngen his werkes laude and heigh renoun; Line 2096 For in his tyme of strengthe he was the flour. Line 2097 He slow, and frate the skyn of the leoun; Line 2098 He of centauros leyde the boost adoun; Line 2099 He arpies slow, the crueel bryddes felle; Line 2100 He golden apples rafte of the dragoun; Line 2101 He drow out cerberus, the hound of helle; Line 2102 He slow the crueel tyrant busirus, Line 2103 And made his hors to frete hem, flessh and boon; Line 2104 He slow the firy serpent venymus; Line 2105 Of acheloys two hornes he brak oon; Line 2106 And he slow cacus in a cave of stoon; Line 2107 He slow the geant antheus the stronge; Line 2108

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Line 2108 He slow the grisly boor, and that anon; Line 2109 And bar the hevene on his nekke longe. Line 2110 Was nevere wight, sith that this world bigan, Line 2111 That slow so manye monstres as dide he. Line 2112 Thurghout this wyde world his name ran, Line 2113 What for his strengthe and for his heigh bountee, Line 2114 And every reawme wente he for to see. Line 2115 He was so stoong that no man myghte hym lette. Line 2116 At bothe the worldes endes, seith trophee, Line 2117 In stide of boundes he a pileer sette. Line 2118 A lemman hadde this noble champioun, Line 2119 That highte dianira, fressh as may; Line 2120 And as thise clerkes maken mencioun, Line 2121 She hath hym sent a sherte, fressh and gay. Line 2122 Allas! this sherte, allas and weylaway! Line 2123 Envenymed was so subtilly withalle, Line 2124 That er that he had wered it half a day, Line 2125 It made his flessh al from his bones falle. Line 2126 But nathelees somme clerkes hire excusen Line 2127 By oon that highte nessus, that it maked. Line 2128 Be as be may, I wol hire noght accusen; Line 2129 But on his bak this sherte he wered naked, Line 2130 Til that his flessh was for the venym blaked. Line 2131 And whan he saugh noon oother remedye, Line 2132 In hoote coles he hath hymselven raked, Line 2133 For with no venym deigned hym to dye. Line 2134 Thus starf this worthy, myghty hercules. Line 2135 Lo, who may truste on fortune and throwe? Line 2136 For hym that folweth al this world of prees, Line 2137 Er he be war, is ofte yleyd ful lowe. Line 2138 Ful wys is he that kan hymselven knowe! Line 2139 Beth war, for whan that fortune list to glose, Line 2140 Thanne wayteth she her man to overthrowe Line 2141 By swich a wey as he wolde leest suppose. Line 2142
Nebchadnezzar
The myghty trone, the precious tresor, Line 2143 The glorious ceptre, and roial magestee Line 2144 That hadde the kyng nabugodonosor Line 2145 With tonge unnethe may discryved bee. Line 2146 He twyes wan jerusalem the citee; Line 2147 The vessel of the temple he with hym ladde. Line 2148 At babiloigne was his sovereyn see, Line 2149 In which his glorie and his delit he hadde. Line 2150 The faireste children of the blood roial Line 2151 Of israel he leet do gelde anoon, Line 2152 And maked ech of hem to been his thral. Line 2153 Amonges othere daniel was oon, Line 2154 That was the wiseste child of everychon; Line 2155 For he the dremes of the kyng expowned, Line 2156 Whereas in chaldeye clerk ne was ther noon Line 2157 That wiste to what fyn his dremes sowned. Line 2158 This proude kyng leet maken a statue of gold, Line 2159 Sixty cubites long and sevene in brede; Line 2160 To which ymage bothe yong and oold Line 2161 Comanded he to loute, and have in drede, Line 2162 Or in a fourneys, ful of flambes rede, Line 2163 He shal be brent that wolde noght obeye. Line 2164 But nevere wolde assente to that dede Line 2165 Daniel, ne his yonge felawes tweye. Line 2166 This kyng of kynges proud was and elaat; Line 2167 He wente that god, that sit in magestee, Line 2168 Ne myghte hym nat bireve of his estaat. Line 2169 But sodeynly he loste his dignytee, Line 2170 And lyk a beest hym semed for to bee, Line 2171 And eet hey as an oxe, and lay theroute Line 2172 In reyn; with wilde beestes walked hee, Line 2173 Til certein tyme was ycome aboute. Line 2174 And lik an egles fetheres wax his heres; Line 2175 His nayles lyk a briddes clawes weere; Line 2176 Til God relessed hym a certeyn yeres, Line 2177 And yaf hym wit, and thanne with many a teere Line 2178 He thanked god, and evere his lyf in feere Line 2179 Was he to doon amys or moore trespace; Line 2180 And til that tyme he leyd was on his beere, Line 2181 He knew that God was ful of myght and grace. Line 2182
Belshazzar
His sone, which that highte balthasar, Line 2183 That heeld the regne after his fader day, Line 2184 He by his fader koude noght be war, Line 2185 For proud he was of herte and of array; Line 2186 And eek an ydolastre was he ay. Line 2187 His hye estaat assured hym in pryde; Line 2188 But fortune caste hym doun, and ther he lay, Line 2189 And sodeynly his regne gan divide. Line 2190 A feeste he made unto his lordes alle, Line 2191 Upon a tyme, and bad hem blithe bee; Line 2192 And thanne his officeres gan he calle: Line 2193 Gooth, bryngeth forth the vesseles, quod he, Line 2194 Whiche that my fader in his prosperitee Line 2195 Out of the temple of jerusalem birafte; Line 2196 And to oure hye goddes thanke we Line 2197 Of honour that oure eldres with us lafte. Line 2198

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Line 2198 Hys wyf, his lordes, and his concubynes Line 2199 Ay dronken, whil hire appetites laste, Line 2200 Out of thise noble vessels sondry wynes. Line 2201 And on a wal this kyng his eyen caste, Line 2202 And saugh an hand, armlees, that wroot ful faste, Line 2203 For feere if which he quook and siked soore. Line 2204 This hand, that balthasar so soore agaste, Line 2205 Wroot mane, techel phares, and namoore. Line 2206 In all that land magicien was noon Line 2207 That koude expoune what this lettre mente; Line 2208 But daniel expowned it anoon, Line 2209 And seyde, kyng, God to thy fader lente Line 2210 Glorie and honour, regne, tresour, rente; Line 2211 And he was proud, and nothyng God ne dradde, Line 2212 And therfore God greet wreche upon hym sente, Line 2213 And hym birafte the regne that he hadde. Line 2214 He was out cast of mannes compaignye; Line 2215 With asses was his habitacioun, Line 2216 And eet hey as a beest in weet and drye, Line 2217 Til that he knew, by grace and by resoun, Line 2218 That God of hevene hath domynacioun Line 2219 Over every regne and every creature; Line 2220 And thanne hadde God of hym compassioun, Line 2221 And hym restored his regne and his figure. Line 2222 Eek thou, that art his sone, art proud also, Line 2223 And knowest alle thise thynges verraily, Line 2224 And art rebel to god, and art his foo. Line 2225 Thou drank eek of his vessels boldely; Line 2226 Thy wyf eek, and thy wenches, synfully Line 2227 Dronke of the same vessels sondry wynys; Line 2228 And heryest false goddes cursedly; Line 2229 Therfore to thee yshapen ful greet pyne ys. Line 2230 This hand was sent from God that on the wal Line 2231 Wroot mane, techel, phares, truste me; Line 2232 Thy regne is doon, thou weyest noght at al. Line 2233 Dyvyded is thy regne, and it shal be Line 2234 To medes and to perses yeven, quod he. Line 2235 And thilke same nyght this kyng was slawe, Line 2236 And darius occupieth his degree, Line 2237 Thogh he therto hadde neither right ne lawe. Line 2238 Lordynges, ensample heerby may ye take Line 2239 How that in lordshipe is no sikernesse; Line 2240 For whan fortune wole a man forsake, Line 2241 She bereth awey his regne and his richesse, Line 2242 And eek his freendes, bothe moore and lesse. Line 2243 For what man that hath freendes thurgh fortune, Line 2244 Mishap wol maken hem enemys, I gesse; Line 2245 This proverbe is ful sooth and ful commune. Line 2246
Zenobia
Cenobia, of palymerie queene, Line 2247 As writen persiens of hir noblesse, Line 2248 So worthy was in armes and so keene, Line 2249 That no wight passed hire in hardynesse, Line 2250 Ne in lynage, ne in oother gentillesse. Line 2251 Of kynges blood of perce is she descended. Line 2252 I seye nat that she hadde moost fairnesse, Line 2253 But of his shap she myghte nat been amended. Line 2254 From hire childhede I fynde that she fledde Line 2255 Office of wommen, and to wode she wente, Line 2256 And many a wolde hertes blood she shedde Line 2257 With arwes brode that she to hem sente. Line 2258 She was so swift that she anon hem hente; Line 2259 And whan that she was elder, she wolde Line 2260 Leouns, leopardes, and beres al torente, Line 2261 And in hire armes weelde hem at hir wille. Line 2262 She dorste wilde beestes dennes seke, Line 2263 And rennen in the montaignes al the nyght, Line 2264 And slepen under a bussh, and she koude eke Line 2265 Wrastlen, by verray force and varray myght, Line 2266 With any yong man, were he never so wight. Line 2267 Ther myghte no thyng in hir armes stonde. Line 2268 She kepte hir maydenhod from every wight; Line 2269 To no man deigned hire for to be bonde. Line 2270 But atte laste hir freendes han hire maried Line 2271 To odenake, a prynce of that contree, Line 2272 Al were it so that she hem longe taried. Line 2273 And ye shul understonde how that he Line 2274 Hadde swiche fantasies as hadde she. Line 2275 But natheless, whan they were knyt in-feere, Line 2276 They lyved in joye and in felicitee; Line 2277 For ech of hem hadde oother lief and deere. Line 2278 Save o thyng, that she wolde nevere assente, Line 2279 By no wey, that he sholde by hire lye Line 2280 But ones, for it was hire pleyn entente Line 2281 To have a child, the world to multiplye; Line 2282 And also soone as that she myghte espye Line 2283 That she was nat with childe with that dede Line 2284 Thanne wolde she suffre hym doon his fantasye Line 2285 Eft-soone, and nat but oones, out of drede. Line 2286

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Line 2286 And if she were with childe at thilke cast, Line 2287 Namoore sholde he pleyen thilke game Line 2288 Til fully fourty wikes weren past; Line 2289 Thanne wolde she ones suffre hym do the same. Line 2290 Al were this odenake wolde or tame, Line 2291 He gat namoore of hire, for thus she seyde, Line 2292 It was to wyves lecherie and shame, Line 2293 In oother caas, if that men with hem pleyde. Line 2294 Two sones by this odenake hadde she, Line 2295 The whiche she kepte in verty and lettrure; Line 2296 But now unto oure tale turne we. Line 2297 I seye, so worshipful a creature, Line 2298 And wys therwith, and large with mesure, Line 2299 So penyble in the werre, and curteis eke, Line 2300 Ne moore laboure myghte in werre endure, Line 2301 Was noon, though al this world men sholde seke. Line 2302 Hir riche array ne myghte nat be told, Line 2303 As wel in vessel as in hire clothyng. Line 2304 She was al clad in perree and in gold, Line 2305 And eek she lafte noght, for noon huntyng, Line 2306 To have of sondry tonges ful knowyng, Line 2307 Whan that she leyser hadde; and for to entende Line 2308 To lerne bookes was al hire likyng, Line 2309 How she in vertu myghte hir lyf dispende. Line 2310 And shortly of this storie for to trete, Line 2311 So doghty was hir housbonde and eek she, Line 2312 That they conquered manye regnes grete Line 2313 In the orient, with many a fair citee Line 2314 Apertanaunt unto the magestee Line 2315 Of rome, and with strong hond held hem ful faste, Line 2316 Ne nevere myghte hir foomen doon hem flee, Line 2317 Ay whil that odenakes dayes laste. Line 2318 Hir batailles, whoso list hem for to rede, Line 2319 Agayn spor the kyng and othere mo, Line 2320 And how that al this proces fil in dede, Line 2321 Why she conquered, and what title had therto, Line 2322 And after, of hir meschief and hire wo, Line 2323 How that she was biseged and ytake, -- Line 2324 Lat hym unto my maister petrak go, Line 2325 That writ ynough of this, I undertake. Line 2326 Whan odenake was deed, she myghtily Line 2327 The regnes heeld, and with hire propre hond Line 2328 Agayn hir foos she faught so cruelly Line 2329 That ther nas kyng ne prynce in al that lond Line 2330 That he nas glad, if he that grace fond, Line 2331 That she ne wolde upon his lond werreye. Line 2332 With hire they maden alliance by bond Line 2333 To been in pees, and lete hire ride and pleye. Line 2334 The emperour of rome, claudius Line 2335 Ne hym bifore, the romayn galien, Line 2336 Ne dorste nevere been so corageus, Line 2337 Ne noon ermyn, ne noon egipcien, Line 2338 Ne surrien, ne noon arabyen, Line 2339 Withinne the feeld that dorste with hire fighte, Line 2340 Lest that she wolde hem with hir handes slen, Line 2341 Or with hir meignee putten hem to flighte. Line 2342 In kynges habit wente hir sones two, Line 2343 As heires of hir fadres regnes alle, Line 2344 And hermanno and thymalao Line 2345 Hir names were, as persiens hem calle. Line 2346 But ay fortune hath in hire hony galle; Line 2347 This myghty queene may no while endure. Line 2348 Fortune out of hir regne made hire falle Line 2349 To wrecchednesse and to mysaventure. Line 2350 Aurelian, whan that the governaunce Line 2351 Of rome cam into his handes tweye, Line 2352 He shoop upon this queene to doon vengeaunce. Line 2353 And with his legions he took his weye Line 2354 Toward cenobie, and shortly for to seye, Line 2355 He made hire flee, and atte laste hire hente, Line 2356 And fettred hire, and eek hire children tweye, Line 2357 And wan the land, and hoom to rome he wente. Line 2358 Amonges othere thynges that he wan, Line 2359 Hir chaar, that was with gold wroght and perree, Line 2360 This grete romayn, this aurelian, Line 2361 Hath with hym lad, for that men sholde it see. Line 2362 Biforen his triumphe walketh shee, Line 2363 With gilte cheynes on hire nekke hangynge. Line 2364 Coroned was she, as after hir degree, Line 2365 And ful of perree charged hire clothynge. Line 2366 Allas, fortune! she that whilom was Line 2367 Dredeful to kynges and to emperoures, Line 2368 Now gaureth al the peple on hire, allas! Line 2369 And she that helmed was in starke stoures, Line 2370 And wan by force townes stronge and toures, Line 2371 Shal on hir heed now were a vitremyte; Line 2372 And she that bar the ceptre ful of floures Line 2373 Shal bere a distaf, hire cost for to quyte Line 2374

Page 194

Pedro of Castille
O noble, o worthy petro, glorie of spayne, Line 2375 Whom fortune heeld so hye in magestee, Line 2376 Wel oghten men thy pitous deeth complayne! Line 2377 Out of thy land thy brother made thee flee, Line 2378 And after, at a seege, by subtiltee, Line 2379 Thou were bitraysed and lad unto his tente, Line 2380 Where as he with his owene hand slow thee, Line 2381 Succedynge in thy regne and in thy rente. Line 2382 The feeld of snow, with th' egle of blak therinne, Line 2383 Caught with the lymrod coloured as the gleede, Line 2384 He brew this cursednesse and al this synne. Line 2385 The wikked nest was werker of this nede. Line 2386 Noght charles olyver, that took ay heede Line 2387 Of trouthe and honoure, but of armorike Line 2388 Genylon-olyver, corrupt for meede, Line 2389 Broghte this worthy kyng in swich a brike. Line 2390
De Petro Rege de Cipro
O worthy petro, kyng of cipre, also, Line 2391 That alisandre wan by heigh maistrie, Line 2392 Ful many an hethen wroghtestow ful wo, Line 2393 Of which thyne owene liges hadde envie, Line 2394 And for no thyng but for thy chivalrie Line 2395 They in thy bed han slayn thee by the morwe. Line 2396 Thus kan fortune hir wheel governe and gye, Line 2397 And out of joye brynge men to sorwe. Line 2398
De Barnabo de Lumbardia
Off melan grete barnabo viscounte, Line 2399 God of delit, and scourge of lumbardye, Line 2400 Why sholde I nat thyn infortune acounte, Line 2401 Sith in estaat thow cloumbe were so hye? Line 2402 Thy brother sone, that was thy double allye, Line 2403 For he thy nevew was, and sone-in-lawe, Line 2404 Withinne his prisoun made thee to dye, -- Line 2405 But why, ne how, noot I that thou were slawe. Line 2406
De Hugelino Comite de Pize
Off the erl hugelyn of pyze the langour Line 2407 Ther may no tonge telle for pitee. Line 2408 But litel out of pize stant a tour, Line 2409 In which tour in prisoun put was he, Line 2410 And with hym been his litel children thre; Line 2411 The eldest scarsly fyf yeer was of age. Line 2412 Allas, fortune! it was greet crueltee Line 2413 Swiche briddes for to putte in swich a cage! Line 2414 Dampned was he to dyen in that prisoun, Line 2415 For roger, which that bisshop was of pize, Line 2416 Hadde on hym maad a fals suggestioun, Line 2417 Thurgh which the peple gan upon hym rise, Line 2418 And putten hym to prisoun, in swich wise Line 2419 As ye han herd, and mete and drynke he hadde Line 2420 So smal, that wel unnethe it may suffise, Line 2421 And therwithal it was ful povre and badde. Line 2422 And on a day bifil that in that hour Line 2423 Whan that his mete wont was to be broght, Line 2424 The gayler shette the dores of the tour. Line 2425 He herde it wel, but he spak right noght, Line 2426 And in his herte anon ther fil a thoght Line 2427 That they for hunger wolde doon hym dyen. Line 2428 Allas! quod he, allas, that I was wroght! Line 2429 Therwith the teeris fillen from his yen. Line 2430 His yonge sone, that thre yeer was of age, Line 2431 Unto hym seyde, fader, why do ye wepe? Line 2432 Whanne wol the gayler bryngen oure potage? Line 2433 Is ther no morsel breed that ye do kepe? Line 2434 I am so hungry that I may nat slepe. Line 2435 Now wolde God that I myghte slepen evere! Line 2436 Thanne sholde nat hunger in my wombe crepe; Line 2437 Ther is no thyng, save breed, that me were levere. Line 2438 Thus day by day this child bigan to crye, Line 2439 Til in his fadres barm adoun it lay, Line 2440 And seyde, farewel, fader, I moot dye! Line 2441 And kiste his fader, and dyde the same day. Line 2442 And whan the woful fader deed it say, Line 2443 For wo his armes two he gan to byte, Line 2444 And seyde, allas, fortune, and weylaway! Line 2445 Thy false wheel my wo al may I wyte. Line 2446 His children wende that it for hunger was Line 2447 That he his armes gnow, and nat for wo, Line 2448 And seyde, fader, do nat so, allas! Line 2449 But rather ete the flessh upon us two. Line 2450 Oure flessh thou yaf us, take oure flessh us fro, Line 2451 And ete ynogh, -- right thus they to hym seyde, Line 2452 And after that, withinne a day or two, Line 2453 They leyde hem in his lappe adoun and deyde. Line 2454 Hymself, despeired, eek for hunger starf; Line 2455 Thus ended is this myghty erl of pize. Line 2456 From heigh estaat fortune awey hym carf. Line 2457 Of this tragedie it oghte ynough suffise; Line 2458 Whoso wol here it in a lenger wise, Line 2459 Redeth the grete poete of ytaille Line 2460 That highte dant, for he kan al devyse Line 2461 Fro point to point, nat o word wol he faille. Line 2462

Page 195

Nero
Although that nero were as vicius Line 2463 As any feend that lith ful lowe adoun, Line 2464 Yet he, as telleth us swetonius, Line 2465 This wyde world hadde in subjeccioun, Line 2466 Bothe est and west, (south), and septemtrioun. Line 2467 Of rubies, saphires, and of peerles white Line 2468 Were alle his clothes brouded up and doun; Line 2469 For he in gemmes greetly gan delite. Line 2470 Moore delicaat, moore pompous of array, Line 2471 Moore proud was nevere emperour than he; Line 2472 That like clooth that he hadde wered o day, Line 2473 After that tyme he nolde it nevere see. Line 2474 Nettes of gold threed hadde he greet plentee Line 2475 To fisshe in tybre, whan hym liste pleye. Line 2476 His lustes were al lawe in his decree, Line 2477 For fortune as his freend hym wolde obeye. Line 2478 He rome brende for his delicasie; Line 2479 The senatours he slow upon a day Line 2480 To heere how that men wolde wepe and crie; Line 2481 And slow his brother, and by his suster lay. Line 2482 His mooder made he in pitous array, Line 2483 For he hire wombe slitte to biholde Line 2484 Where he conceyved was; so weilaway! Line 2485 That he so litel of his mooder tolde. Line 2486 No teere out of his eyen for that sighte Line 2487 Ne cam, but seyde, a fair womman was she! Line 2488 Greet wonder is how that he koude or myghte Line 2489 Be domesman of hire dede beautee. Line 2490 The wyn to bryngen hym comanded he, Line 2491 And drank anon, -- noon oother wo he made. Line 2492 Whan myght is joyned unto crueltee, Line 2493 Allas, to depe wol the venym wade! Line 2494 In yowthe a maister hadde this emperour Line 2495 To teche hym letterure and curteisye, Line 2496 For of moralitee he was the flour, Line 2497 As in his tyme, but if bookes lye; Line 2498 And whil this maister hadde of hym maistrye, Line 2499 He maked hym so konnyng and so sowple Line 2500 That longe tyme it was er tirannye Line 2501 Or any vice dorste on hym uncowple. Line 2502 This seneca, of which that I devyse, Line 2503 By cause nero hadde of hym swich drede, Line 2504 For he fro vices wolde hym ay chastise Line 2505 Discreetly, as by word and nat by dede, -- Line 2506 Sire, wolde he seyn, an emperour moot nede Line 2507 Be vertuous and hate tirannye -- Line 2508 For which he in a bath made hym to blede Line 2509 On bothe his armes, til he moste dye. Line 2510 This nero hadde eek of acustumaunce Line 2511 In youthe agayns his maister for to ryse, Line 2512 Which afterward hym thoughte a greet grevaunce; Line 2513 Therefore he made hym dyen in this wise. Line 2514 But natheless this seneca the wise Line 2515 Chees in a bath to dye in this manere Line 2516 Rather than han another tormentise; Line 2517 And thus hath nero slayn his maister deere. Line 2518 Now fil it so that fortune liste no lenger Line 2519 The ye pryde of nero to cherice, Line 2520 For though that he were strong, yet was she strenger. Line 2521 She thoughte thus, by god! I am to nyce Line 2522 To sette a man that is fulfild of vice Line 2523 In heigh degree, and emperour hym calle. Line 2524 By god! out of his sete I wol hym trice; Line 2525 Whan he leest weneth, sonnest shal he falle. Line 2526 The peple roos upon hym on a nyght Line 2527 For his defaute, and whan he it espied, Line 2528 Out of his dores anon he hath hym dight Line 2529 Allone, and ther he wende han been allied, Line 2530 He knokked faste, and ay the moore he cried, Line 2531 The fastere shette they the dores alle. Line 2532 Tho wiste he wel, he hadde himself mysgyed, Line 2533 And wente his wey; no lenger dorste he calle. Line 2534 The peple cried and rombled up and doun, Line 2535 That with his erys herde he how they seyde, Line 2536 Shere is this false tiraunt, this neroun? Line 2537 For fere almoost out of his wit he breyde, Line 2538 And to his goddes pitously he preyde Line 2539 For socour, but it myghte nat bityde. Line 2540 For drede of this, hym thoughte that he deyde, Line 2541 And ran into a gardyn hym to hyde. Line 2542 And in this gardyn foond he cherles tweye Line 2543 That seten by a fyr full greet and reed. Line 2544 And to thise cherles two he gan to preye Line 2545 To sleen hym, and to girden of his heed, Line 2546 That to his body, whan that he were deed, Line 2547 Were no despit ydoon for his defame. Line 2548 Hymself he slow, he koude no bettre reed, Line 2549 Of which fortune lough, and hadde a game. Line 2550

Page 196

De Oloferno
Was nevere capitayn under a kyng Line 2551 That regnes mo putte in subjeccioun, Line 2552 Ne strenger was in feeld of alle thyng, Line 2553 As in his tyme, ne gretter of renoun, Line 2554 Ne moore pompous in heigh presumpcioun Line 2555 Than oloferne, which fortune ay kiste Line 2556 So likerously, and ladde hym up and doun, Line 2557 Til that his heed was of, er that he wiste. Line 2558 Nat oonly that this world hadde hym in awe Line 2559 For lesynge of richesse or libertee, Line 2560 But he made every man reneyen his lawe. Line 2561 Nabugodonosor was god, seyde hee; Line 2562 Noon oother God sholde adoured bee. Line 2563 Agayns his heeste no wight dar trespace, Line 2564 Save in bethulia, a strong citee, Line 2565 Where eliachim a preest was of that place. Line 2566 But taak kep of the deth of oloferne: Line 2567 Amydde his hoost he dronke lay a-nyght, Line 2568 Withinne his tente, large as is a berne, Line 2569 And yet, for al his pompe and al his myght, Line 2570 Judith, a womman, as he lay upright Line 2571 Slepynge, his heed of smoot, and from his tente Line 2572 Ful pryvely she stal from every wight, Line 2573 And with his heed unto hir toun she wente. Line 2574
De Rege Antiocho illustri
What nedeth it of kyng anthiochus Line 2575 To telle his hye roial magestee, Line 2576 His hye pride, his werkes venymus? Line 2577 For swich another was ther noon as he. Line 2578 Rede which that he was in machabee, Line 2579 And rede the proude wordes that he seyde, Line 2580 And why he fil fro heigh prosperitee, Line 2581 And in an hill how wrecchedly he deyde. Line 2582 Fortune hym hadde enhaunced so in pride Line 2583 That verraily he wende he myghte attayne Line 2584 Unto the sterres upon every syde, Line 2585 And in balance weyen ech montayne, Line 2586 And alle the floodes of the see restrayne. Line 2587 And goddes peple hadde he moost in hate; Line 2588 Hem wolde he sleen in torment and in payne, Line 2589 Wenynge that God ne myghte his pride abate. Line 2590 And for that nichanore and thymothee Line 2591 Of jewes weren venquysshed myghtily, Line 2592 Unto the jewes swich an hate hadde he Line 2593 That he bad greithen his chaar ful hastily, Line 2594 And swoor, and seyde ful despitously Line 2595 Unto jerusalem he wolde eftsoone, Line 2596 To wreken his ire on it ful cruelly; Line 2597 But of his purpos he was let ful soone. Line 2598 God for his manace hym so soore smoot Line 2599 With invisible wounde, ay incurable, Line 2600 That in his guttes carf it so and boot Line 2601 That his peynes weren importable. Line 2602 And certeinly the wreche was resonable, Line 2603 For many a mannes guttes dide he peyne. Line 2604 But from his purpos cursed and dampnable, Line 2605 For al his smert, he wolde hym nat restreyne, Line 2606 But bad anon apparaillen his hoost; Line 2607 And sodeynly, er he was of it war, Line 2608 God daunted al his pride and al his boost. Line 2609 For he so soore fil out of his char Line 2610 That it his limes and his skyn totar, Line 2611 So that he neyther myghte go ne ryde, Line 2612 But in a chayer men aboute hym bar, Line 2613 Al forbrused, bothe bak and syde. Line 2614 The wreche of God hym smoot so cruelly Line 2615 That thurgh his body wikked wormes crepte, Line 2616 And therwithal he stank so horribly Line 2617 That noon of al his meynee that hym kepte, Line 2618 Theither so he wook, or ellis slepte, Line 2619 Ne myghte noght the stynk of hym endure. Line 2620 In this meschief he wayled and eek wepte, Line 2621 And knew God lord of every creature. Line 2622 To al his hoost and to hymself also Line 2623 Ful wlatsom was the stynk of his careyne; Line 2624 No man ne myghte hym bere to ne fro. Line 2625 And in this stynk and this horrible peyne, Line 2626 He starf ful wrecchedly in a monteyne. Line 2627 Thus hath this robbour and this homycide, Line 2628 That many a man made to wepe and pleyne, Line 2629 Swich gerdoun as bilongeth unto pryde. Line 2630
De Alexandro
The storie of alisaundre is so commune Line 2631 That every wight that hath discrecioun Line 2632 Hath herd somwhat or al of his fortune. Line 2633 This wyde world, as in conclusioun, Line 2634 He wan by strengthe, or for his hye renoun Line 2635 They weren glad for pees unto hym sende. Line 2636 The pride of man and beest he leyde adoun, Line 2637 Wherso he cam, unto the worldes ende. Line 2638

Page 197

Line 2638 Comparisoun myghte nevere yet maked Line 2639 Bitwixe hym and another conquerour; Line 2640 For al this world for drede of hym hath quaked. Line 2641 He was of knyghthod and of fredom flour; Line 2642 Fortune hym made the heir of hire honour. Line 2643 Save wyn and wommen, no thing myghte aswage Line 2644 His hye entente in armes and labour, Line 2645 So was he ful of leonyn corage. Line 2646 What pris were it to hym, though I yow tolde Line 2647 Of darius, and an hundred thousand mo Line 2648 Of kynges, prices, dukes, erles bolde Line 2649 Whiche he conquered, and broghte hem into wo? Line 2650 I seye, as fer as man may ryde or go, Line 2651 The world was his, -- what sholde I moore devyse? Line 2652 For though I write or tolde yow everemo Line 2653 Of his knyghthod, it myghte nat suffise. Line 2654 Twelf yeer he regned, as seith machabee. Line 2655 Philippes sone of macidoyne he was, Line 2656 That first was kyng in grece the contree. Line 2657 O worthy, gentil alisandre, allas, Line 2658 That evere sholde fallen swich a cas! Line 2659 Empoysoned of thyn owene folk thou weere; Line 2660 Thy sys fortune hath turned into aas, Line 2661 And yet for thee ne weep she never a teere. Line 2662 Who shal me yeven teeris to compleyne Line 2663 The deeth of gentillesse and of franchise, Line 2664 That al the world weelded in his demeyne, Line 2665 And yet hym thoughte it myghte nat suffise? Line 2666 So ful was his corage of heigh emprise. Line 2667 Allas! who shal me helpe to endite Line 2668 False fortune, and poyson to despise, Line 2669 The whiche two of al this wo I wyte? Line 2670
De Julio Cesare
By wisedom, manhede, and by greet labour, Line 2671 From humble bed to roial magestee Line 2672 Up roos he julius, the conquerour, Line 2673 That wan al th' occident by land and see, Line 2674 By strengthe of hand, or elles by tretee, Line 2675 And unto rome made hem tributarie; Line 2676 And sitthe of rome the emperour was he, Line 2677 Til that fortune weex his adversarie. Line 2678 O myghty cesar, that in thessalie Line 2679 Agayn pompeus, fader thyn in lawe, Line 2680 That of the orient hadde al the chivalrie Line 2681 As fer as that the day bigynneth dawe, Line 2682 Thou thurgh thy knyghthod hast hem take and slawe, Line 2683 Save fewe folk that with pompeus fledde, Line 2684 Thurgh which thou puttest al th' orient in awe. Line 2685 Thanke fortune, that so wel thee spedde! Line 2686 But now a litel while I wol biwaille Line 2687 This pompeus, this noble governour Line 2688 Of rome, which that fleigh at this bataille. Line 2689 I seye, oon of his men, a fals traitour, Line 2690 His heed of smoot, to wynnen hym favour Line 2691 Of julius, and hym the heed he broghte. Line 2692 Allas, pompeye, of th' orient conquerour, Line 2693 That fortune unto swich a fyn thee broghte! Line 2694 To rome agayn repaireth julius Line 2695 With his triumphe, lauriat ful hey; Line 2696 But on a tyme brutus cassius, Line 2697 That evere hadde of his hye estaat envye, Line 2698 Ful prively hath maad conspiracye Line 2699 Agayns this julius in subtil wise, Line 2700 And caste the place in which he sholde dye Line 2701 With boydekyns, as I shal yow devyse. Line 2702 This julius to the capitolie wente Line 2703 Upon a day, as he was wont to goon, Line 2704 And in the capitolie anon hym hente Line 2705 This false brutus and his othere foon, Line 2706 And stiked hym with boydekyns anoon Line 2707 With many a wounde, and thus they lete hym lye; Line 2708 But nevere gronte he at no strook but oon, Line 2709 Or elles at two, but if his storie lye. Line 2710 So manly was this julius of herte, Line 2711 And so wel lovede estaatly honestee, Line 2712 That though his deedly woundes soore smerte, Line 2713 His mantel over his hypes caste he, Line 2714 For no man sholde seen his privetee; Line 2715 And he lay of diyng in a traunce, Line 2716 And wiste verraily that deed was hee, Line 2717 Of honestee yet hadde he remembraunce. Line 2718 Lucan, to thee this storie I recomende, Line 2719 And to swetoun, and to valerie also, Line 2720 That of this storie writen word and ende, Line 2721 How that to thise grete conqueroures two Line 2722 Fortune was first freend, and sitthe foo. Line 2723 No man ne truste upon hire favour longe, Line 2724 But have hire in awayt for everemoo; Line 2725 Witnesse on alle thise conqueroures stronge. Line 2726

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Croesus
This riche cresus, whilom kyng of lyde, Line 2727 Of which cresus cirus soore hym dradde, Line 2728 Yet was he caught amyddes al his pryde, Line 2729 And to be brent men to the fyr hym ladde. Line 2730 But swich a reyn doun fro the welkne shadde Line 2731 That slow the fyr, and made hym to escape; Line 2732 But to be war no grace yet he hadde, Line 2733 Til fortune on the galwes made hym gape. Line 2734 Whanne he escaped was, he kan nat stente Line 2735 For to bigynne a newe werre agayn. Line 2736 He wende wel, for that fortune hym sente Line 2737 Swich hap that he escaped thurgh the rayn, Line 2738 That of his foos he myghte nat be slayn; Line 2739 And eek a sweven upon a nyght he mette, Line 2740 Of which he was so proud and eek so fayn Line 2741 That in vengeance he al his herte sette. Line 2742 Upon a tree he was, as that hym thoughte, Line 2743 Ther juppiter hym wessh, bothe bak and syde, Line 2744 And phebus eek a fair towaille hym broughte Line 2745 To dryen hym with; and therfore was his pryde, Line 2746 And to his doghter, that stood hym bisyde, Line 2747 Which that he knew in heigh sentence habounde, Line 2748 He bad hire telle hym what it signyfyde, Line 2749 And she his dreem bigan right thus expounde: Line 2750 The tree, quod she, the galwes is to meene, Line 2751 And juppiter bitokneth snow and reyn, Line 2752 And phebus, with his towaille so clene, Line 2753 Tho been the sonne stremes for to seyn. Line 2754 Thou shalt anhanged be, fader, certeyn; Line 2755 Reyn shal thee wasshe, and sonne shal thee drye. Line 2756 Thus warned hym ful plat and eek ful pleyn Line 2757 His doghter, which that called was phanye. Line 2758 Anhanged was cresus, the proude kyng; Line 2759 His roial trone myghte hym nat availle. Line 2760 Tragedies noon oother maner thyng Line 2761 Ne kan in syngyng crie ne biwaille Line 2762 But that fortune alwey wole assaille Line 2763 With unwar strook the regnes that been proude; Line 2764 For whan men trusteth hire, thanne wol she faille, Line 2765 And covere hire brighte face with a clowde. Line 2766

The Knight's Interruption of the Monk's Tale

Hoo! quod the knyght, good sire, namoore of this! Line 2767 That ye han seyd is right ynough, ywis, Line 2768 And muchel moore; for litel hevynesse Line 2769 Is right ynough to muche folk, I gesse. Line 2770 I seye for me, it is a greet disese, Line 2771 Whereas men han been in greet welthe and ese, Line 2772 To heeren of hire sodeyn fal, allas! Line 2773 And the contrarie is joye and greet solas, Line 2774 As whan a man hath been in povre estaat, Line 2775 And clymbeth up and wexeth fortunat, Line 2776 And there abideth in prosperitee. Line 2777 Swich thyng is gladsom, as it thynketh me, Line 2778 And of swich thyng were goodly for to telle. Line 2779 Ye, quod oure hooste, by seint poules belle! Line 2780 Ye seye right sooth; this monk he clappeth lowde. Line 2781 He spak how fortune covered with a clowde Line 2782 I noot nevere what; and als of a tragedie Line 2783 Right now ye herde, and, pardee, no remedie Line 2784 It is for to biwaille ne compleyne Line 2785 That that is doon, and als it is a peyne, Line 2786 As ye han seyd, to heere of hevynesse. Line 2787 Sire monk, namoore of this, so God yow blesse! Line 2788

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Line 2788 Youre tale anoyeth al this compaignye. Line 2789 Swich talkyng is nat worth a boterflye, Line 2790 For therinne is ther no desport ne game. Line 2791 Wherfore, sire monk, or daun piers by youre name, Line 2792 I pray yow hertely telle us somwhat elles; Line 2793 For sikerly, nere clunkyng of youre belles, Line 2794 That on youre bridel hange on every syde, Line 2795 By hevene kyng, that for us alle dyde, Line 2796 I sholde er this han fallen doun for sleep, Line 2797 Althogh the slough had never been so deep; Line 2798 Thanne hadde your tale al be toold in veyn. Line 2799 For certeinly, as that thise clerkes seyn, Line 2800 Whereas a man may have noon audience, Line 2801 Noght helpeth it to tellen his sentence. Line 2802 And wel I woot the substance is in me, Line 2803 If any thyng shal wel reported be. Line 2804 Sir, sey somwhat of huntyng, I yow preye. Line 2805 Nay, quod this monk, I have no lust to pleye. Line 2806 Now lat another telle, as I have toold. Line 2807 Thanne spak oure hoost with rude speche and boold, Line 2808 And seyde unto the nonnes preest anon, Line 2809 Com neer, thou preest, com hyder, thou sir john! Line 2810 Telle us swich thyng as may oure hertes glade. Line 2811 Be blithe, though thou ryde upon a jade. Line 2812 What thogh thyn hors be bothe foul and lene? Line 2813 If he wol serve thee, rekke nat a bene. Line 2814 Looke that thyn herte be murie everemo. Line 2815 Yis, sir, quod he, yis, hoost, so moot I go, Line 2816 But I be myrie, ywis I wol be blamed. Line 2817 And right anon his tale he hath attamed, Line 2818 And thus he seyde unto us everichon, Line 2819 This sweete preest, this goodly man sir john. Line 2820

The Nun's Priest's Tale

A povre wydwe, somdeel stape in age Line 2821 Was whilom dwellyng in a narwe cotage, Line 2822 Biside a grove, stondynge in a dale. Line 2823 This wydwe, of which I telle yow my tale, Line 2824 Syn thilke day that she was last a wyf, Line 2825 In pacience ladde a ful symple lyf, Line 2826 For litel was hir catel and hir rente. Line 2827 By housbondrie of swich as God hire sente Line 2828 She foond hirself and eek hir doghtren two. Line 2829 Thre large sowes hadde she, and namo, Line 2830 Three keen, and eek a sheep that highte malle. Line 2831 Ful sooty was hire bour and eek hir halle, Line 2832 In which she eet ful many a sklendre meel. Line 2833 Of poynaunt sauce hir neded never a deel. Line 2834 No deyntee morsel passed thurgh hir throte; Line 2835 Hir diete was accordant to hir cote. Line 2836 Repleccioun ne made hire nevere sik; Line 2837 Attempree diete was al hir phisik, Line 2838 And exercise, and hertes suffisaunce. Line 2839 The goute lette hire nothyng for to daunce, Line 2840 N' apoplexie shente nat hir heed. Line 2841 No wyn ne drank she, neither whit ne reed; Line 2842 Hir bord was served moost with whit and blak, -- Line 2843 Milk and broun breed, in which she foond no lak, Line 2844 Seynd bacoun, and somtyme an ey or tweye; Line 2845 For she was, as it were, a maner deye. Line 2846 A yeerd she hadde, enclosed al aboute Line 2847 With stikkes, and a drye dych withoute, Line 2848 In which she hadde a cok, hight chauntecleer. Line 2849 In al the land, of crowyng nas his peer. Line 2850 His voys was murier than the murie orgon Line 2851 On messe-dayes that in the chirche gon. Line 2852 Wel sikerer was his crowyng in his logge Line 2853 Than is a clokke or an abbey orlogge. Line 2854 By nature he knew ech ascencioun Line 2855 Of the equynoxial in thilke toun; Line 2856 For whan degrees fiftene weren ascended, Line 2857 Thanne crew he, that it myghte nat been amended. Line 2858 His coomb was redder than the fyn coral, Line 2859

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Line 2859 And batailled as it were a castel wal; Line 2860 His byle was blak, and as the jeet it shoon; Line 2861 Lyk asure were his legges and his toon; Line 2862 His nayles whitter than the lylye flour, Line 2863 And lyk the burned gold was his colour. Line 2864 This gentil cok hadde in his governaunce Line 2865 Sevene hennes for to doon al his plesaunce, Line 2866 Whiche were his sustres and his paramours, Line 2867 And wonder lyk to hym, as of colours; Line 2868 Of whiche the faireste hewed on hir throte Line 2869 Was cleped faire damoysele pertelote. Line 2870 Curteys she was, discreet, and debonaire, Line 2871 And compaignable, and bar hyrself so faire, Line 2872 Syn thilke day that she was seven nyght oold, Line 2873 That trewely she hath the herte in hoold Line 2874 Of chauntecleer, loken in every lith; Line 2875 He loved hire so that wel was hym therwith. Line 2876 But swich a joye was it to here hem synge, Line 2877 Whan that the brighte sonne gan to sprynge, Line 2878 In sweete accord, my lief is faren in londe! Line 2879 For thilke tyme, as I have understonde, Line 2880 Beestes and briddes koude speke and synge. Line 2881 And so bifel that in a dawenynge, Line 2882 As chauntecleer among his wyves alle Line 2883 Sat on his perche, that was in the halle, Line 2884 And next hym sat this faire pertelote, Line 2885 This chauntecleer gan gronen in his throte, Line 2886 As man that in his dreem is drecched soore. Line 2887 And whan that pertelote thus herde hym roore, Line 2888 She was agast, and seyde, herte deere, Line 2889 What eyleth yow, to grone in this manere? Line 2890 Ye been a verray sleper; fy, for shame! Line 2891 And he answerde, and seyde thus: madame, Line 2892 I pray yow that ye take it nat agrief. Line 2893 By god, me mette I was in swich meschief Line 2894 Right now, that yet myn herte is soore afright. Line 2895 Now god, quod he, my swevene recche aright, Line 2896 And kepe my body out of foul prisoun! Line 2897 Me mette how that I romed up and doun Line 2898 Withinne our yeerd, wheer as I saugh a beest Line 2899 Was lyk an hound, and wolde han maad areest Line 2900 Upon my body, and wolde han had me deed. Line 2901 His colour was bitwixe yelow and reed, Line 2902 And tipped was his tayl and bothe his eeris Line 2903 With blak, unlyk the remenant of his heeris; Line 2904 His snowte smal, with glowynge eyen tweye. Line 2905 Yet of his look for feere almoost I deye; Line 2906 This caused me my gronyng, doutelees. Line 2907 Avoy! quod she, fy on yow, hertelees! Line 2908 Allas! quod she, for, by that God above, Line 2909 Now han ye lost myn herte and al my love. Line 2910 I kan nat love a coward, by my feith! Line 2911 For certes, what so any womman seith, Line 2912 We alle desiren, if it myghte bee, Line 2913 To han housbondes hardy, wise, and free, Line 2914 And secree, and no nygard, ne no fool, Line 2915 Ne hym that is agast of every tool, Line 2916 Ne noon avauntour, by that God above! Line 2917 How dorste ye seyn, for shame, unto youre love Line 2918 That any thyng myghte make yow aferd? Line 2919 Have ye no mannes herte, and han a berd? Line 2920 Allas! and konne ye been agast of swevenys? Line 2921 Nothyng, God woot, but vanitee in sweven is. Line 2922 Swevenes engendren of replecciouns, Line 2923 And ofte of fume and of complecciouns, Line 2924 Whan humours been to habundant in a wight. Line 2925 Certes this dreem, which ye han met to-nyght, Line 2926 Cometh of the greete superfluytee Line 2927 Of youre rede colera, pardee, Line 2928 Which causeth folk to dreden in hir dremes Line 2929 Of arwes, and of fyr with rede lemes, Line 2930 Of rede beestes, that they wol hem byte, Line 2931 Of contek, and of whelpes, grete and lyte; Line 2932 Right as the humour of malencolie Line 2933 Causeth ful many a man in sleep to crie Line 2934 For feere of blake beres, or boles blake, Line 2935 Or elles blake develes wole hem take. Line 2936 Of othere humours koude I telle also Line 2937 That werken many a man sleep ful wo; Line 2938 But I wol passe as lightly as I kan. Line 2939 Lo catoun, which that was so wys a man, Line 2940 Seyde he nat thus, -- ne do no fors of dremes? -- Line 2941 Now sire, quod she, whan we flee for the bemes, Line 2942 For goddes love, as taak som laxatyf. Line 2943 Up peril of my soule and of my lyf, Line 2944 I conseille yow the beste, I wol nat lye, Line 2945 That bothe of colere and of malencolye Line 2946 Ye purge yow; and for ye shal nat tarie, Line 2947 Though in this toun is noon apothecarie, Line 2948 I shal myself to gerbes techen yow Line 2949 That shul been for youre hele and for youre prow; Line 2950 And in oure yeerd tho herbes shal I fynde Line 2951 The whiche han of hire propretee by kynde Line 2952 To purge yow bynethe and eek above. Line 2953 Foryet nat this, for goddes owene love! Line 2954 Ye been ful coleryk of compleccioun; Line 2955 Ware the sonne in his ascencioun Line 2956 Ne fynde yow nat repleet of humours hoote. Line 2957 And if it do, I dar wel leye a grote, Line 2958

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Line 2958 That ye shul have a fevere tercaine, Line 2959 Of an agu, that may be youre bane. Line 2960 A day or two ye shul have digestyves Line 2961 Of wormes, er ye take youre laxatyves Line 2962 Of lawriol, centaure, and fumetere, Line 2963 Or elles of ellebor, that groweth there, Line 2964 Of katapuce, or of gaitrys beryis, Line 2965 Of herbe yve, growyng in oure yeerd, ther mery is; Line 2966 Pekke hem up right as they growe and ete hem yn. Line 2967 By myrie, housbonde, for youre fader kyn~ Line 2968 Dredeth no dreem, I kan sey yow namoore. Line 2969 Madame, quod he, graunt mercy of youre loore. Line 2970 But nathelees, as touchyng daun catoun, Line 2971 That hath of wysdom swich a greet renoun, Line 2972 Though that he bad no dremes for to drede, Line 2973 By god, men may in olde bookes rede Line 2974 Of many a man moore of auctorite Line 2975 Than evere caton was, so moot I thee, Line 2976 That al the revers seyn of this sentence, Line 2977 And han wel founden by experience Line 2978 That dremes been significaciouns Line 2979 As wel of joye as of tribulaciouns Line 2980 That folk enduren in this lif present. Line 2981 Ther nedeth make of this noon argument; Line 2982 The verray preeve sheweth it in dede. Line 2983 Oon of the gretteste auctour that men rede Line 2984 Seith thus: that whilom two felawes wente Line 2985 On pilgrimage, in a ful good entente; Line 2986 And happed so, yhey coomen in a toun Line 2987 Wher as ther was swich congregacioun Line 2988 Of peple, and eek so streit of herbergage, Line 2989 That they ne founde as muche as cotage Line 2990 In which they bothe myghte ylogged bee. Line 2991 Wherfore they mosten of necessitee, Line 2992 As for that nyght,departen compaignye; Line 2993 And ech of hem gooth to his hostelrye, Line 2994 And took his loggyng as it wolde falle. Line 2995 That oon of hem was logged in a stalle, Line 2996 Fer in a yeerd, with oxen of the plough; Line 2997 That oother man was logged wel ynough, Line 2998 As was his aventure or his fortune, Line 2999 That us governeth alle as in commune. Line 3000 And so bifel that, longe er it were day, Line 3001 This man mette in his bed, ther as he lay Line 3002 How that his felawe gan upon hym calle, Line 3003 And seyde,, -- allas! for in an oxes stalle Line 3004 This nyght I shal be mordred ther I lye. Line 3005 Now help me,deere brother, or I dye. Line 3006 In alle haste com to me! -- he sayde. Line 3007 This man out of his sleep for feere abrayde; Line 3008 But whan that he was wakened of this sleep, Line 3009 He turned hym, and took of this no keep. Line 3010 Hym thoughte his dreem nas but a vanitte. Line 3011 Thus twies in his slepyng dremed hee; Line 3012 And atte thridde tyme yet his felawe Line 3013 Cam, as hym thoughte, and seide, -- I am now slawe. Line 3014 Bihood my bloody woundes depe and wyde! Line 3015 Arys up erly in the morwe tyde, Line 3016 And at the west gate of the toun, -- quod he, Line 3017 -- A carte ful of dong ther shaltow se, Line 3018 In which my body is hid ful prively; Line 3019 Do thilke carte arresten boldely. Line 3020 My gold caused my mordre, sooth to sayn., Line 3021 And tolde hym every point how he was slayn, Line 3022 With a ful pitous face, pale of hewe. Line 3023 And truste wel, his dreem he foond ful trewe, Line 3024 For on the morwe, as soone as it was day, Line 3025 To his felawes in he took the way; Line 3026 And whan that he cam to his oxes stalle, Line 3027 After his felawe he bigan to calle. Line 3028 The hostiler answerede hym anon, Line 3029 And seyde,,sire, your felawe is agon. Line 3030 As soone as day he wente out of the toun., Line 3031 This man gan fallen suspecioun, Line 3032 Remembrynge on his dremes that he mette, Line 3033 And forth he gooth no lenger wolde he lette Line 3034 Unto the west gate of the toun, and fond Line 3035 A dong carte, wente as it were to donge lond, Line 3036 That was arrayed in that same wise Line 3037 As ye han herd the dede man devyse. Line 3038 And with an hardy herte he gan to crye Line 3039 Vengeance and justice of this felonye. Line 3040 My felawe mordred is this same nyght, Line 3041 And in this carte he lith gapyng upright. Line 3042 I crye out on the ministres, -- quod he, Line 3043 -- That sholden kepe and reulen this citee. Line 3044 Harrow! allas! heere lith my felawe slayn! -- Line 3045 What sholde I moore unto this tale sayn? Line 3046 The peple out sterte and caste the cart to grounde, Line 3047 And in the myddel of the dong they founde Line 3048 The dede man, that mordred was al newe. Line 3049 O blisful god, that art so just and trewe, Line 3050 Lo, how that thou biwryest mordre alway! Line 3051 Mordre wol out, that se we day by day. Line 3052 Mordre is so wlatsom and abhomynable Line 3053 To god, that is so just and resonable, Line 3054 That he ne wol nat suffre it heled be, Line 3055 Though it abyde a yeer, or two, or thre. Line 3056 Mordre wol out, this my conclusioun. Line 3057

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Line 3057 And right anon, ministres of that toun Line 3058 Han hent the carter and so soore hym pyned, Line 3059 And eek the hostiler so soore engyned, Line 3060 That they biknewe hire wikkednesse anon, Line 3061 And were anhanged by the nekke bon. Line 3062 Heere may men seen that dremes been to drede. Line 3063 And certes in the same book I rede, Line 3064 Right in the nexte chapitre after this Line 3065 I gabbe nat, so have I joye or blis Line 3066 Two men that wolde han passed over see, Line 3067 For certeyn cause, into a fer contree, Line 3068 If that the wynd ne hadde been contrarie, Line 3069 That made hem in a citee for to tarie Line 3070 That stood ful myrie upon an haven-syde; Line 3071 But on a day, agayn the even-tyde, Line 3072 The wynd gan chaunge, and blew right as hem leste. Line 3073 Jolif and glad they wente unto hir reste, Line 3074 And casten hem ful erly for to saille. Line 3075 But to that o man fil a greet mervaille: Line 3076 That oon of hem,in slepyng as he lay, Line 3077 Hym mette a wonder dreem agayn the day. Line 3078 Hym thoughte a man stood by his beddes syde, Line 3079 And hym comanded that he sholde abyde, Line 3080 And seyde hym thus: -- if thou tomorwe wende, Line 3081 Thow shalt be dreynt; my tale is at an ende. Line 3082 He wook, and tolde his felawe what he mette, Line 3083 And preyde hym his viage for to lette; Line 3084 As for that day, he preyde hym to byde. Line 3085 His felawe, that lay by his beddes syde, Line 3086 Gan for to laughe, and scorned him ful faste. Line 3087 -- no dreem, -- quod he, -- may so myn herte agaste Line 3088 That I wol lette for to do my thynges. Line 3089 I sette nat a straw by thy dremynges, Line 3090 For swevenes been but vantees and japes. Line 3091 Men dreme alday of owles and of apes, Line 3092 And eek of many a maze therwithal; Line 3093 Men dreme of thyng that nevere was ne shal. Line 3094 But sith I see that thou wolt heere abyde, Line 3095 And thus forslewthen wilfully thy tyde, Line 3096 God woot, it reweth me; and have good day! -- Line 3097 And thus he took his leve, and wente his way. Line 3098 But er that he hadde half his cours yseyled, Line 3099 Noot I nat why, ne what myschaunce it eyled, Line 3100 But casuelly the shippes botme rente, Line 3101 And ship and man under the water wente Line 3102 In sighte of othere shippes it bisyde, Line 3103 That with hem seyled at the same tyde. Line 3104 And therfore, faire pertelote so deere, Line 3105 By swiche ensamples olde maistow leere Line 3106 That no man sholde been to recchelees Line 3107 Of dremes; for I seye thee, doutelees, Line 3108 That many a dreem ful soore is for to drede. Line 3109 Lo, in the lyf of seint kenelm I rede, Line 3110 That was kenulphus sone, the noble kyng Line 3111 Of mercenrike, how kenelm mette a thyng. Line 3112 A lite er he was mordred, on a day, Line 3113 His mordre in his avysioun he say. Line 3114 His norice hym expowned every deel Line 3115 His sweven, and bad hym for to kepe hym weel Line 3116 For traisoun; but he nas but seven yeer oold, Line 3117 And therfore lite tale hath he toold Line 3118 Of any dreem, so hooly was his herte. Line 3119 By god! I hadde levere than my sherte Line 3120 That ye hadde rad his legende, as have I. Line 3121 Dame pertelote, I sey yow trewely, Line 3122 Macrobeus, that writ the avisioun Line 3123 In affrike of the worthy cipioun, Line 3124 Affermeth dremes, and seith that they been Line 3125 Warnynge of thynges that men after seen. Line 3126 And forthermoore, I pray yow, looketh wel Line 3127 In the olde testament, of daniel, Line 3128 If he heeld dremes any vanitee. Line 3129 Reed eek of joseph, and ther shul ye see Line 3130 Wher dremes be somtyme -- I sey nat alle -- Line 3131 Warnynge of thynges that shul after falle. Line 3132 Looke of egipte the kyng, daun pharao, Line 3133 His bakere and his butiller also, Line 3134 Wher they ne felte noon effect in dremes. Line 3135 Whoso wol seken actes of sondry remes Line 3136 May rede of dremes many a wonder thyng. Line 3137 Lo cresus, which that was of lyde kyng, Line 3138 Mette he nat that he sat upon a tree, Line 3139 Which signified he sholde anhanged bee? Line 3140 Lo heere andromacha, ectores wyf, Line 3141 That day that ector sholde lese his lyf, Line 3142 She dremed on the same nyght biforn Line 3143 How that the lyf of ector sholde be lorn, Line 3144 If thilke day he wente into bataille. Line 3145 She warned hym, but it myghte nat availle; Line 3146 He wente for to fighte natheles, Line 3147 But he was slayn anon of achilles. Line 3148 But thilke tale is al to longe to telle, Line 3149 And eek it is ny day, I may nat dwelle. Line 3150 Shortly I seye, as for conclusioun, Line 3151 That I shal han of this avisioun Line 3152 Adversitee; and I seye forthermoor, Line 3153 That I ne telle of laxatyves no stoor, Line 3154 For they been venymous, I woot it weel; Line 3155 I hem diffye, I love hem never a deel! Line 3156 Now let us speke of myrthe, and stynte al this. Line 3157 Madame pertelote, so have I blis, Line 3158 Of o thyng God hath sent me large grace; Line 3159

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Line 3159 For whan I se the beautee of youre face, Line 3160 Ye been so scarlet reed aboute youre yen, Line 3161 It maketh al my drede for to dyen; Line 3162 For al so siker as in principio, Line 3163 Mulier est hominis confusio, -- Line 3164 Madame, the sentence of this latyn is, Line 3165 -- womman is mannes joye and al his blis. -- Line 3166 For whan I feele a-nyght your softe syde, Line 3167 Al be it that I may nat on yow ryde, Line 3168 For that oure perche is maad so narwe, allas! Line 3169 I am so ful of joye and of solas, Line 3170 That I diffye bothe sweven and dreem. Line 3171 And with that word he fley doun fro the beem, Line 3172 For it was day, and eke his hennes alle, Line 3173 And with a chuk he gan hem for to calle, Line 3174 For he hadde founde a corn, lay in the yerd. Line 3175 Real he was, he was namoore aferd. Line 3176 He fethered pertelote twenty tyme, Line 3177 And trad hire eke as ofte, er it was pryme. Line 3178 He looketh as it were a grym leoun, Line 3179 And on his toos he rometh up and doun; Line 3180 Hym deigned nat to sette his foot to grounde. Line 3181 He chukketh whan he hath a corn yfounde, Line 3182 And to hym rennen thanne his wyves alle. Line 3183 Thus roial, as a prince is in his halle, Line 3184 Leve I this chauntecleer in his pasture, Line 3185 And after wol I telle his aventure. Line 3186 Whan that the month in which the world bigan, Line 3187 That highte march, whan God first maked man, Line 3188 Was compleet, and passed were also, Line 3189 Syn march bigan, thritty dayes and two, Line 3190 Bifel that chauntecleer in al his pryde, Line 3191 His sevene wyves walkynge by his syde, Line 3192 Caste up his eyen to the brighte sonne, Line 3193 That in the signe of taurus hadde yronne Line 3194 Twenty degrees and oon, and somwhat moore, Line 3195 And knew by kynde, and by noon oother loore, Line 3196 That it was pryme, and crew with blisful stevene. Line 3197 The sonne, he seyde, is clomben up on-evene Line 3198 Fourty degrees and oon, and moore ywis. Line 3199 Madame pertelote, my worldes blis, Line 3200 Herkneth thise blisful briddes how they synge, Line 3201 And se the fresshe floures how they sprynge; Line 3202 Ful is myn herte of revel and solas! Line 3203 But sodeynly hym fil a sorweful cas, Line 3204 For evere the latter ende of joye is wo. Line 3205 God woot that worldly joye is soone ago; Line 3206 And if a rethor koude faire endite, Line 3207 He in a cronycle saufly myghte it write Line 3208 As for a sovereyn notabilitee. Line 3209 Now every wys man, lat him herkne me; Line 3210 This storie is also trewe, I undertake, Line 3211 As is the book of launcelot de lake, Line 3212 That wommen holde in ful greet reverence. Line 3213 Now wol I torne agayn to my sentence. Line 3214 A col-fox, ful of sly iniquitee, Line 3215 That in th grove hadde woned yeres three, Line 3216 By heigh ymaginacioun forncast, Line 3217 The same nyght thurghout the hegges brast Line 3218 Into the yerd ther chauntecleer the faire Line 3219 Was wont, and eek his wyves, to repaire; Line 3220 And in a bed of wortes stille he lay, Line 3221 Til it was passed undren of the day, Line 3222 Waitynge his tyme on chauntecleer to falle, Line 3223 As gladly doon thise homycides alle Line 3224 That in await liggen to mordre men. Line 3225 O false mordrour, lurkynge in thy den! Line 3226 O newe scariot, newe genylon, Line 3227 False dissymulour, o greek synon, Line 3228 That broghtest troye al outrely to sorwe! Line 3229 O chauntecleer, acursed be that morwe Line 3230 That thou into that yerd flaugh fro the bemes! Line 3231 Thou were ful wel ywarned by thy dremes Line 3232 That thilke day was perilous to thee; Line 3233 But what that God forwoot moot nedes bee, Line 3234 After the opinioun of certein clerkis. Line 3235 Witnesse on hym that any parfit clerk is, Line 3236 That in scole is greet altercacioun Line 3237 In this mateere, and greet disputisoun, Line 3238 And hath been of an hundred thousand men. Line 3239 But I ne kan nat bulte it to the bren Line 3240 As kan the hooly doctour augustyn, Line 3241 Or boece, or the bisshop bradwardyn, Line 3242 Wheither that goddes worthy forwityng Line 3243 Streyneth me nedely for to doon a thyng, -- Line 3244 Nedely clepe I symple necessitee; Line 3245 Or elles, if free choys be graunted me Line 3246 To do that same thyng, or do it noght, Line 3247 Though God forwoot it er that was wroght; Line 3248 Or if his wityng streyneth never a deel Line 3249 But by necessitee condicioneel. Line 3250 I wol nat han to do of swich mateere; Line 3251 My tale is of a cok, as ye may heere, Line 3252 That tok his conseil of his wyf, with sorwe, Line 3253 To walken in the yerd upon that morwe Line 3254 That he hadde met that dreem that I yow tolde. Line 3255 Wommennes conseils been ful ofte colde; Line 3256 Wommannes conseil broghte us first to wo, Line 3257 And made adam fro paradys to go, Line 3258 Ther as he was ful myrie and wel at ese. Line 3259 But for I noot to whom it myght displese, Line 3260

Page 204

Line 3260 If I conseil of wommen wolde blame, Line 3261 Passe over, for I seyde it in my game. Line 3262 Rede auctours, where they trete of swich mateere, Line 3263 And what they seyn of wommen ye may heere. Line 3264 Thise been the cokkes wordes, and nat myne; Line 3265 I kan noon harm of no womman divyne. Line 3266 Faire in the soond, to bathe hire myrily, Line 3267 Lith pertelote, and alle hire sustres by, Line 3268 Agayn the sonne, and chauntecleer so free Line 3269 Soong murier than the mermayde in the see; Line 3270 For phisiologus seith sikerly Line 3271 How that they syngen wel and myrily. Line 3272 And so bifel that, as he caste his ye Line 3273 Among the wortes on a boterflye, Line 3274 He was war of this fox, that lay ful lowe. Line 3275 Nothyng ne liste hym thanne for to crowe, Line 3276 But cride anon, cok! cok! and up he sterte Line 3277 As man that was affrayed in his herte. Line 3278 For natureelly a beest desireth flee Line 3279 Fro his contrarie, if he may it see, Line 3280 Though he never erst hadde seyn it with his ye. Line 3281 This chauntecleer, whan he gan hym espye, Line 3282 He wolde han fled, but that the fox anon Line 3283 Seyde, gentil sire, allas! wher wol ye gon? Line 3284 Be ye affrayed of me that am youre freend? Line 3285 Now, certes, I were worse than a feend, Line 3286 If I to yow wolde harm or vileynye! Line 3287 I am nat come youre conseil for t' espye, Line 3288 But trewely, the cause of my comynge Line 3289 Was oonly for to herkne how that ye synge. Line 3290 For trewely, ye have as myrie a stevene Line 3291 As any aungel hath that is in hevene. Line 3292 Therwith ye han in musyk moore feelynge Line 3293 Than hadde boece, or any that kan synge. Line 3294 My lord youre fader -- God his soule blesse! -- Line 3295 And eek youre mooder, of hire gentillesse, Line 3296 Han in myn hous ybeen to my greet ese; Line 3297 And certes, sire, ful fayn wolde I yow plese. Line 3298 But, for men speke of syngyng, I wol seye, -- Line 3299 So moote I brouke wel myne eyen tweye, -- Line 3300 Save yow, I herde nevere man so synge Line 3301 As dide youre fader in the morwenynge. Line 3302 Certes, it was of herte, al that he song. Line 3303 And for to make his voys the moore strong, Line 3304 He wolde so peyne hym that with bothe his yen Line 3305 He moste wynke, so loude he wolde cryen, Line 3306 And stonden on his tiptoon therwithal, Line 3307 And strecche forth his nekke long and smal. Line 3308 And eek he was of swich descrecioun Line 3309 That ther nas no man in no regioun Line 3310 That hym in song or wisedom myghte passe. Line 3311 I have wel rad in -- daun burnel the asse --, Line 3312 Among his vers, how that ther was a cok, Line 3313 For that a preestes sone yaf hym a knok Line 3314 Upon his leg whil he was yong and nyce, Line 3315 He made hym for to lese his benefice. Line 3316 But certeyn, ther nys no comparisoun Line 3317 Bitwixe the wisedom and discrecioun Line 3318 Of youre fader and of his subtiltee. Line 3319 Now syngeth, sire, for seinte charitee; Line 3320 Lat se, konne ye youre fader countrefete? Line 3321 This chauntecleer his wynges gan to bete, Line 3322 As man that koude his traysoun nat espie, Line 3323 So was he ravysshed with his flaterie. Line 3324 Allas! ye lordes, many a fals flatour Line 3325 Is in youre courtes, and many a losengeour, Line 3326 That plesen yow wel moore, by my feith, Line 3327 Than he that soothfastnesse unto yow seith. Line 3328 Redeth ecclesiaste of flaterye; Line 3329 Beth war, ye lordes, of hir trecherye. Line 3330 This chauntecleer stoond hye upon his toos, Line 3331 Strecchynge his nekke, and heeld his eyen cloos, Line 3332 And gan to crowe loude for the nones. Line 3333 And daun russell the fox stirte up atones, Line 3334 And by the gargat hente chauntecleer, Line 3335 And on his bak toward the wode hym beer, Line 3336 For yet ne was ther no man that hym sewed. Line 3337 O destinee, that mayst nat been eschewed! Line 3338 Allas, that chauntecleer fleigh fro the bemes! Line 3339 Allas, his wyf ne roghte nat of dremes! Line 3340 And on a friday fil al this meschaunce. Line 3341 o venus, that art goddesse of plesaumce, Line 3342 Syn that thy servant was this chauntecleer, Line 3343 And in thy servyce dide al his poweer, Line 3344 Moore for delit than world to multiplye, Line 3345 Why woldestow suffre hym on thy day to dye? Line 3346 O gaufred, deere maister soverayn, Line 3347 That whan thy worthy kyng richard was slayn Line 3348 With shot, compleynedest his deeth so soore, Line 3349 Why ne hadde I now thy sentence and thy loore, Line 3350 The friday for to chide, as diden ye? Line 3351 For on a friday, soothly, slayn was he. Line 3352 Thanne wolde I shewe yow how that I koude pleyne Line 3353 For chauntecleres drede and for his peyne. Line 3354 Certes, swich cry ne lamentacion, Line 3355 Was nevere of ladyes maad whan ylion Line 3356 Was wonne, and pirrus with his streite swerd, Line 3357 Whan he hadde hent kyng priam by the berd, Line 3358 And slayn hym, as seith us eneydos, Line 3359 As maden alle the hennes in the clos, Line 3360 Whan they had seyn of chauntecleer the sighte. Line 3361

Page 205

Line 3361 But sovereynly dame pertelote shrighte Line 3362 Ful louder than dide hasdrubales wyf, Line 3363 Whan that hir housbonde hadde lost his lyf, Line 3364 And that the romayns hadde brend cartage. Line 3365 She was so ful of torment and of rage Line 3366 That wilfully into the fyr she sterte, Line 3367 And brende hirselven with a stedefast herte. Line 3368 O woful hennes, right so criden ye, Line 3369 As, whan that nero brende the citee Line 3370 Of rome, cryden senatoures wyves Line 3371 For that hir husbondes losten alle hir lyves, -- Line 3372 Withouten gilt this nero hath hem slayn. Line 3373 Now wole I turne to my tale agayn. Line 3374 This sely wydwe and eek hir doghtres two Line 3375 Herden thise hennes crie and maken wo, Line 3376 And out at dores stirten they anon, Line 3377 And syen the fox toward the grove gon, Line 3378 And bar upon his bak the cok away, Line 3379 And cryden, out! harrow! and weylaway! Line 3380 Ha! ha! the fox! and after hym they ran, Line 3381 And eek with staves many another man, Line 3382 Ran colle oure dogge, and talbot and gerland, Line 3383 And malkyn, with a dystaf in hir hand; Line 3384 Ran cow and calf, and eek the verray hogges, Line 3385 So fered for the berkyng of the dogges Line 3386 And shoutyng of the men and wommen eeke, Line 3387 They ronne so hem thoughte hir herte breeke. Line 3388 They yolleden as feendes doon in helle; Line 3389 The dokes cryden as men wolde hem quelle; Line 3390 The gees for feere flowen over the trees; Line 3391 Out of the hyve cam the swarm of bees. Line 3392 So hydous was the noyse, a, benedicitee! Line 3393 Certes, he jakke straw and his meynee Line 3394 Ne made nevere shoutes half so shrille Line 3395 Whan that they wolden any flemyng kille, Line 3396 As thilke day was maad upon the fox. Line 3397 Of bras they broghten bemes, and of box, Line 3398 Of horn, of boon, in whiche they blewe and powped, Line 3399 And therwithal they skriked and they howped. Line 3400 It semed as that hevene sholde falle. Line 3401 Now, goode man, I prey yow herkenth alle: Line 3402 Lo, how fortune turneth sodeynly Line 3403 The hope and pryde eek of hir enemy! Line 3404 This cok, that lay upon the foxes bak, Line 3405 In al his drede unto the fox he spak, Line 3406 And seyde, sire, if that I were as ye, Line 3407 Yet sholde I seyn, as wys God helpe me, Line 3408 Turneth agayn, ye proude cherles alle! Line 3409 A verray pestilence upon yow falle! Line 3410 Now am I come unto the wodes syde; Line 3411 Maugree youre heed, the cok shal heere abyde. Line 3412 I wol hym ete, in feith, and that anon! Line 3413 The fox answerde, in feith, it shal be don. Line 3414 And as he spak that word, al sodeynly Line 3415 This cok brak from his mouth delyverly, Line 3416 And heighe upon a tree he fleigh anon. Line 3417 And whan the fox saugh that the cok was gon, Line 3418 Allas! quod he, o chauntecleer, allas! Line 3419 I have to yow, quod he, ydoon trespas, Line 3420 In as muche as I maked yow aferd Line 3421 Whan I yow hente and broghte out of the yerd. Line 3422 But, sire, I dide it in no wikke entente. Line 3423 Com doun, and I shal telle yow what I mente; Line 3424 I shal seye sooth to yow, God help me so! Line 3425 Nay thanne, quod he, I shrewe us bothe two. Line 3426 And first I shrewe myself, bothe blood and bones, Line 3427 If thou bigyle me ofter than ones. Line 3428 Thou shalt namoore, thurgh thy flaterye, Line 3429 Do me to synge and wynke with myn ye; Line 3430 For he that wynketh, whan he sholde see, Line 3431 Al wilfully, God lat him nevere thee! Line 3432 Nay, quod the fox, but God yeve hym meschaunce, Line 3433 That is so undiscreet of governaunce Line 3434 That jangleth whan he sholde holde his pees. Line 3435 Lo, swich it is for to be recchelees Line 3436 And necligent, and truste on flaterye. Line 3437 But ye that holden this tale a folye, Line 3438 As of a fox, or of a cok and hen, Line 3439 Taketh the moralite, goode men. Line 3440 For seint paul seith that al that writen is, Line 3441 To oure doctrine it is ywrite, ywis; Line 3442 Taketh the fruyt, and lat the chaf be stille. Line 3443 Now, goode god, if that it be thy wille, Line 3444 As seith my lord, so make us alle goode men, Line 3445 And brynge us to his heighe blisse! amen. Line 3446

Page 206

The Epilogue of the Nun's Priest's Tale

Sire Nonnes Preest," oure Hooste seide anoon, Line 3447 I-blessed be thy breche, and every stoon! Line 3448 This was a murie tale of Chauntecleer. Line 3449 But by my trouthe, if thou were seculer, Line 3450 Thou woldest ben a trede-foul aright. Line 3451 For if thou have corage as thou hast myght, Line 3452 Thee were nede of hennes, as I wene, Line 3453 Ya, moo than seven tymes seventene. Line 3454 See, whiche braunes hath this gentil preest Line 3455 So gret a nekke, and swich a large breest! Line 3456 He loketh as a sperhauk with his yen; Line 3457 Him nedeth nat his colour for to dyen Line 3458 With brasile, ne with greyn of Portyngale. Line 3459 Now, sire, faire falle yow for youre tale! Line 3460 And after that he, with ful merie chere, Line 3461 Seide unto another, as ye shuln heere. Line 3462
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