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may be;


See ye that ook? right ther ye shul him And bad hem drawe, and loke wher it finde.

wol falle;

475 God save yow, that boghte agayn man And it fil on the youngest of hem alle; kinde,

And forth toward the toun he wente anon. And yow amende!”—thus seyde this olde And al-so sone as that he was gon, man.

That oon of hem spak thus un-to that And everich of thise ryotoures ran, 440

other: Til he cam to that tree, and ther they “Thou knowest wel thou art my sworne founde


480 Of forins fyne of golde ycoyned rounde Thy profit wol I telle thee anon. Wel ny an eightel busshels, as hem Thou woost wel that our felawe is agon; thoughte.

And heer is gold, and that ful greet plentee, No lenger thanne after Deeth they soughte, That shal departed been among us three. But ech of hem so glad was of that sighte, But natheles, if I can shape it so 485 For that the florins been so faire and That it departed were among us two, brighte,

446 Hadde I nat doon a frendes torn to thee?” That doun they sette hem by this precious That other answerde, “I noot how that

hord. The worste of hem he spak the firste word. He woot10 how that the gold is with us “ Brethren," quod he, “tak kepe’ what tweye; I seye;

What shal we doon, what shal we to him My wit is greet, though that I bourde3 seye?”

490 and pleye.

“Shal it be conseil?”ll seyde the firste This tresor hath fortune un-to us yiven,

· shrewe, 12 In mirthe and Iolitee our lyf to liven, “And I shal tellen thee, in wordes fewe, And lightly as it comth, so wol we spende. What we shal doon, and bringe it wel Ey! goddes precious dignitee! who wende aboute." Today, that we sholde han so faire a “I graunte," quod that other, “out of grace?


doute, But mighte this gold be caried fro this That, by my trouthe, I wol thee nat place

495 Hoom to myn hous,

youres “Now," quod the firste, “thou woost For wel ye woot that al this gold is oures wel we be tweye, Than were we in heigh felicitee.

And two of us shul strenger be than oon. But trewely, by daye it may nat be; 460 Look whan that he is set, and right anoon Men wolde seyn that we were theves Arys, as though thou woldest with him stronge,

pleye; And for our owene tresor doon us honge. And I shal ryve him thurgh the sydes This tresor moste ycaried be by nighte


500 As wysly and as slyly as it mighte. 464 | Whyl that thou strogelest with him as in Wherfore I rede that cut among us alle

game, Be drawe, and lat se wher the cut wol falle; | And with thy dagger look thou do the And he that hath the cut with herte blythe same; Shal renne to the toune, and that ful And than shal al this gold departed be, swythe,

My dere freend, bitwixen me and thee; And bringe us breed and wyn ful prively. Than may we bothe our lustes al fulfille, 505 And two of us shul kepen subtilly


And pleye at dees right at our owene This tresor wel; and, if he wol nat tarie,

biwreye. 1:13

or elles


wille." Whan it is night, we wol this tresor carie And thus acorded14 been thise shrewes By oon assent, wher-as us thinketh? best.” tweye That oon of hem the cut broughte in his To sleen the thridde, as ye han herd me



* have us hanged.

? note of
& quickly.

3 jest. * thought.
7 it seems best.

o know not.
12 scoundrel.


10 knows 13 betray.

11 a secret. 14 agreed.

the toun,


that oon,




This yongest, which that wente un-to The thridde he kepte clene for his drinke.

For all the night he shoop him for to Ful ofte in herte he rolleth

and doun 510

546 The beautee of thise florins newe and In caryinge of the gold out of that place. brighte.

And whan this ryotour, with sory grace, “O lord!” quod he, “if so were that I Had filled with wyn his grete botels three, mighte

To his felawes agayn repaireth he. 550 Have al this tresor to my-self allone,

What nedeth it to sermone17 of it more? Ther is no man that liveth under the For right as they had cast his deeth bifore, trone

Right so they han him slayn, and that Of god, that sholde live so mery as I!” 515 And atte laste the feend, our enemy,

And whan that this was doon, thus spak Putte in his thought that he shold poyson beye,

“Now lat us sitte and drinke, and make us With which he mighte sleen his felawes merie,

555 tweye;

And afterward we wol his body berie.” For why 3 the feend fond him in swich And with that word it happed him, par lyvinge,

cas, That he had leve* him to sorwe bringe, 520

To take the botel ther the poyson was, For this was outrelyó his ful entente And drank, and yaf his felawe drinke To sleen hem bothe, and never to repente. also. And forth he gooth, no lenger wolde he For which anon they storven "' bothe two. tarie,

But, certes, I suppose that Avicen 561 Into the toun, un-to a pothecarie,

Wroot never in no canon,

ne in no fen,20 And preyed him, that he him wolde Moal wonder” signes of empoisoning selle


Than hadde thise wrecches two, er hir Som poyson, that he mighte his rattes ending. quelle;6

Thus ended been thise homicydes two, 565 And eek ther was a polcat in his hawe, And eek the false empoysoner also. That, as he seyde, his capouns hadde yslawe,

O cursed sinne, ful of cursednesse! And fayn he wolde wrekes him, if he O traytours homicyde, o wikkednesse! mighte,

O glotonye, luxurie, and hasardrye! On vermin, that destroyed him by nighte. Thou blasphemour of Crist with vileinye The pothecarie answerde, “and thou And othes grete, of usage23 and of pryde!571 shalt have

531 Allas! mankynde, how may it bityde, A thing that, al-so god my soule save, That to thy creatour which that thee In al this world ther nis no creature,

wroghte, That ete or dronke hath of this confiture' And with his precious herte-blood thee Noght but the mountance10 of a corn of boghte, whete,


Thou art so fals and so unkinde, allas! 575 That he ne shal his lyf anon forlete;"1 Now, goode men, god forgeve yow your Ye, stervell he shal, and that in lasse whyle trespas, Than thou wolt goon a paasl3 nat but a And ware yow24 fro the sinne of avaryce. myle;

Myn holy pardoun may yow alle waryce, 25 This poyson is so strong and violent.” So that ye offre nobles or sterlinges, This cursed man hath in his hond Or elles silver broches, spones, ringes.

580 yhent14

540 Boweth your heed under this holy bulle! This poyson in a box, and sith he ran Cometh up, ye wyves, offreth of your In-to the nexte strete, un-to a man,

wolle! 26 And borwed of him large botels three; Your name I entre heer in my rolle anon; And in the two his poyson poured he;

In-to the blisse of hevene shul ye gon; I throne. 2 buy. permission. 5 entirely. 18 planned. 16 labor. 17 speak.

18 by chance. ? yard. 8 avenge.

24 keep you.


6 kill. 11 lose.

3 because.

mixture. 13 at a foot pace.

10 amount.
14 seized.

19 died.
23 habit.

20 See notes. 31 more.



12 die.

22 wonderful. 26 wool.



I yow assoile, by myn heigh power, 585 Werk wel thy-self, that other folk canst Yow that wol offre, as clene and eek as

rede;13 cleer

And trouthe shal delivere, hit is no drede. As ye were born; and, lo, sirs, thus I preche.

Tempest thee noght al croked to redresse, And Iesu Crist, that is our soules leche, In trust of hir that turneth as a bal; So graunte yow his pardon to receyve; Gret reste14 stant15 in litel besinesse, For that is best; I wol yow nat deceyve.590 And eek be war to sporne16 ageyn an al;

But sirs, o word forgat I in my tale; Stryve noght, as doth the crokke with I have reliks and pardon in my male,

the wal. As faire as any man in Engelond,

Daunteľ7 thyself, that dauntest otheres Whiche were me yeven by the popes dede; hond.

And trouthe shal delivere, hit is no drede. If any of yow wol, of devocioun,

595 Offren, and han myn absolucioun,

That thee is sent, receyve in buxumnesse,15 Cometh forth anon, and kneleth heer The wrastling for this world axeth 18 a fal. adoun,

Her nis non hom, her nis but wildernesse; And mekely receyveth my pardoun:

Forth, pilgrim, forth! Forth, beste, out Or elles, taketh pardon as ye wende,

of thy stal! Al newe and fresh, at every tounes ende, Know thy countree; lok up, thank God of So that ye offren alwey newe and newe 601 al; Nobles and pens, which that be gode and Hold the hye-way, and lat thy gost1o thee trewe.

lede! It is an honour to everich that is heer, And trouthe shal delivere, hit is no drede. That ye mowe have a suffisant pardoneer

ENVOY Tassoille? yow, in contree as ye ryde, 605 For aventures which that may bityde. Therefore, thou Vache, leve20 thyn old Peraventure ther may falle oon or two

wrecchednesse; Doun of his hors, and breke his nekke Unto the world leve now to be thral; atwo.

Crye Him mercy that of His hy goodnesse Look which a seuretee is it to yow alle Made thee of noght, and in especial 25 That I am in your felaweship yfalle, 610 Draw unto Him, and pray in general That may assoille yow, both more and For thee, and eek for other, hevenlich

lasse, Whan that the soule shal fro the body | And trouthe shal delivere, hit is no drede.

passe. I rede that our host heer shal biginne,

THE COMPLAINT OF CHAUCER TO For he is most envoluped in sinne.

HIS EMPTY PURSE Com forth, sir hoste, and offre first anon, And thou shalt kisse the reliks everichon, To you, my purse, and to non other wight22 Ye, for a grote! unbokel anon thy purs. Compleyne I, for ye be my lady dere!

I am so sory, now



be light;

For certes, but23 ye make me hevy chere, BALADE DE BON CONSEYL Me were as leef be leyd up-on my bere;

For whiche un-to your mercy thus I crye: Fle fro the prees, and dwelle with soth- Beth25 hevy ageyn, or elles mot I dye!

fastnesse:8 Suffyce unto thy good, though hit be smal; Now voucheth sauf this day, or26 hit be For hord hath hate, and clymbing tikel- night, nesse,

That I of you the blisful soun may here, Prees hath envye, and welelo blent" overal; Or see your colour lyk the sonne bright, 10 Savour"? no more than thee bihove shal; 5

13 advise.

15 resides.
? to absolve. 3 high.
6 each one. ?the crowd.






16 kick. 20 cease.

24 appearance. * uncertainty. 10 wealth.


sallet. advise.

18 asks.

4 low

12 have relish for.

17 subdue.
91 reward
25 be.

19 spirit.
23 unless.


11 blinds.

2 before.

on a toft26





hem monye,


That of yelownesse hadde never pere.

I sauh25 a tour

trielich27 Ye be my lyf, ye be myn hertes stere,

ymaked; Quene of comfort and of good companye: A deop dale bineothe'a dongeon ther-inne, Beth hevy ageyn, or elles mot I dye! With deop dich and derk · and dredful

of siht.29

16 Now purs, that be to me my lyves light, 15

A feir feld ful of folk · fond I ther bitwene, And saveour, as doun’ in this worlde here, Out of this toune help me through your

Of alle maner of men' the mene30 and the

riche, might, Sin that wole nat been ye

Worchinge31 and wandringe as the world tresorere; my

asketh. For I am shave as nye as any frere.

Summe putten hem33 to the plow and But yit I pray un-to your curtesye:

pleiden34 ful selde;35 Beth hevy ageyn, or elles mot I dye!

In settyng36 and in sowyng swonken37 LENVOY DE CHAUCER

ful harde, O conquerour of Brutes Albioun!

And wonnen that theos38 wasturs39 in Which that by lyne and free eleccioun

glotonye distruen. 40 Ben verray king, this song to you I sende; And summe putten hem to pruide41 · apAnd ye, that mowen 6 al


harm parayld“2 hem ther-after, amende,


In continaunce43 of clothinge · comen disHave mynde up-on my supplicacioun!

gised. To preyere44 and to penaunce · putten


For love of ur46 lorde · lyveden"7 ful streite, PIERS THE PLOWMAN In hope for to have · hevenriches blisse;

As ancres 19 and hermytes that holdeth From the PROLOGUE

hem50 in heore51 celles, In a somer sesun whon softe was the Coveyte not in cuntre52 • to cairen53 aboute, sonne,

For non likerous54 lyflode55 · heore licam 56 I schop? me in-to a schroud · a scheep to plese.

30 as I were;

And summe chosen chaffare57. to cheeven58 In habite of an hermite' unholy of werkes,

the bettre, Wende10 I wyde in this world - wondres to As hit semeth to owre siht that suche here.

men thryveth; Bote on a May mornynge

on Malverne And summe murthes 59 to maken as munhulles 11


strals cunne, Me bi-fella a ferlyl3 of fairy,14 me thoughte. And get gold with here gle61. giltles I trowe. I was wery, forwandred,15 •and went me Bote japers62 and jangelers, 63 · Iudas chilto reste


35 Under a brod bankebi a bournel6 syde, Founden64 hem fantasyes65 · and fooles And as I lay and leonede17 . and lokede on hem maaden, the watres,

And habbeth wit at heor wille66 to I slumberde in a slepyng · hit sownede18 so worchen7 gif hem luste;

Thaths Poul precheth of hem · I dar not Thenne gon20 I meeten. a mervelous preoven heere; swevene,

26 cleared space.

97 choicely. wuste23 I

28 made. That I was in a wildernesse

29 sight.
31 working. 32 requires.


murie. 19



25 saw.


33 gave themselves. never where;

34 played. 36 seldom.

36 planting

37 labored. 38 these. And as I beheold into the est' an heigh24 40 destroy.

41 pride.

42 clothed. to the sonne,

43 outward appearance.

47 lived. guide.

48 happiness of the kingdom of heaven,
50 keep themselves. b1 their.

52 country. 9 shepherd.

65 diet.

56 body. 12 happened.

59 amusements. 15 tired with wandering.

61 glee.

62 fools. 63 bufioons. 64 feigned.

65 tricks.

67 work if it pleased them. 24 on high.

prove, explain.


39 wasters.

44 prayer.

45 many

46 our.

? down. 6 have power to.

a close.
7 clothed.
10 went.
13 wonder.
16 brook.
19 merry

4 friar. 5 art.

11 hills.
14 enchantment.
17 leaned.
20 did.
22 dream.

49 nuns.
53 wander. 54 luxurious.
57 trade. 88

60 know how

18 sounded.
21 dream.
23 knew.

66 at command.
68 what.


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Qui loquitur tur piloquium is Luciferes And rauhte30 with his ragemon · ringes hyne.

and broches. Bidders' and beggers · faste aboute eoden, Thus ye giveth oure32 gold · glotonye to Til heor bagges and heor belies

helpen, bretful ycrammed;3

And leveth hit to losels33 · that lecherie Feyneden hem* for heore foode · foughten

haunten.34 atte ale;

Weore the bisschop y-blessed and worth In glotonye, God wot, ·gon heo to

bothe his eres,

75 bedde,

His seel shulde not be sent to deceyve And ryseth up with ribaudye? . this rober

the peple. des knaves;

Ac37 hit is not bi36 the bisschop that Sleep and sleuthe · suwetho hem evere.

the boye precheth; Pilgrimes and palmers · plihten 10 hem Bote37 the parisch prest and he · parten togederes

the selver For to sechell Seint Jame · and seintes at That the poraille38 of the parisch · schold Roome;

have yif thei nere.39 Wenten forth in heore wey

wyse tales,
And hadden leve to lyen · al heore lyf aftir.



with mony



I fond there freres all the foure ordres, 55

THE WATERLEADERS AND DRAWERS Prechinge the peple · for profyt of heore

OF DEE wombes 12

First God, sitting in some high place, or in Glosyngel3 the Gospel · as hem!4 good

clouds, if it can be done, speaks to Noah, liketh, 14

standing with all his family outside the For covetysels of copes · construeth 16 hit

ark. ille; For monye7 of this maistres · mowen 18 GOD. I, God, that all the world have clothen hem at lyking, 19

wrought, For moneye20 and heore marchaundie21 · Heaven and earth, and all of nought, meeten oft togedere.

60 I see my people in deed and thought

Are foully set in sin.

My spirit shall not remain in any man 5 Ther prechede a pardoner as22 he a That through fleshly liking is my fone,40 prest were,


But till six score years be gone, And brought forthe a bulle · with bis- To look if they will blynne. 41

schopes seles, And seide that himself mighte: asoylen23

Man that I made I will destroy, hem alle

Beast, man, and fowl that ily, Of falsnesse and fastinge · and of vowes

For on earth they do me annoy, y-broken.

The folk that are thereon; The lewede24 men leved25 him wel and It harms me so hurtfully, lyked his wordes,

The malice now that does multiply, And comen up knelynge · and cusseden 26 That sore it grieveth me inwardly 15 his bulle;

That ever I made man.

70 He bonchede hem with his brevet28 · and blered heore eiyen,29

Therefore, Noah, my servant free,

That righteous man art, as I see, · beggars. ? went.

3 crammed. shammed
i ribaldry.

A ship soon thou shalt make thee $these robber.

10 plighted. Of trees dry and light; 12 bellies. 13 interpreting. Was it pleased them.


at the.

6 they

. follow


30 reached, got.

31 bull.
19 as they please.

34 practise.
71 merchandise.
25 believed.

26 kissed.

poor people. 24 letter of indulgence.


15 covetousness.

16 construe.


1% may,

32 your. 35 ears. 37 but.

22 as if.

23 shrive.

money Mignorant. * banged.

33 rascals.
36 all the fault of.
40 loe.

39 if it were not for them.

41 cease.

29 eyes.

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