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His lordes shepe, his nete, and his deirie,

But, wel I wote, he lied right in dede:
His swine, his hors, his store, and his pultrie, Of cursing ouglit eche gilty man him drede;
Were holly in this Reves governing;

For curse wol sle right as assoiling saveth,
And by his covenant yave he rekening,

And also ware him of a significavit. Sin that his lord were twenty yere of age;

In danger hadde he, at his owen gise, Ther coude no man bring him in arerage.


yonge girles of the diocise; Ther n'as bailif, ne herde, ne other hine,

And knew hir conseil and was of hir rede. That he ne knew his sleight and his covine: A girlond hadde he sette upon his hede, They were adradde of him as of the deth.

As gret as it were for an alestake; His wonning was ful fayre upon an heth;

A bokeler hadde he made him of a cake. With greene trees yshadewed was his place.

With him there rode a gentil Pardonere He coude better than his lord pourchace:

Of Rouncevall, his frend and his compere, Ful riche he was ystored privily.

That streit was comen from the court of Rome, His lord wel coude he plesen, subtilly

Ful loude he sang Come hither, love! to me:
To yeve and lene him of his owen good,

This Sompnour bare to him a stiff burdoun,
And have a thank, and yet a cote and hood. Was never trompe of half so gret a soun.
In youth he lerned hadde a good mistere;

This Pardoner had here as yelwe as wax,
He was a wel good wright, a carpentere.

Ful smothe it heng, as doth a strike of flax: The Reve sate upon a right good stot

By unces beng his lokkes that he hadde, That was all pomelee grey, and highte Scot. And therwith he his shulders overspradde: A long surcote of perse upon he hade,

Ful thinne it lay, by culpons on and on. And by his side he bare a rusty blade.

But hode, for jolite, ne wered he non, Of Norfolk was this Reve of which I tell,

For it was trussed up in his wallet. Beside a toun men clepen Baldeswell.

Him thought he rode al of the newe get; Tucked he was, as is a frere, aboute;

Dishevele, sauf his cappe, he rode all bare. And ever he rode the hinderest of the route.

Swiche glaring eyen hadde he as an hare. A Sompnour was ther with us in that place, A vernicle hadde he sewed upon his cappe. That hadde a fire-red cherubinnes face,

His wallet lay beforne him, in his lappe, For sausefleme he was, with eyen barwe.

Bret-ful of pardon come from Rome al hote. As hote he was, and likerous as a sparwe,

A vois he hadde, as smale as hath a gote: With scalled browes blake, and pilled berd: No berd hadde he, ne never non shulde have; Of his visage children were sore aferd.

As smothe it was as it were newe shave: Ther n'as quicksilver, litarge, ne brimston,

I trowe he were a gelding or a mare, Boras, ceruse, ne oile of tartre non,

But of his craft, fro Berwike unto Ware, Ne ointement, that wolde clense or bite,

Ne was ther swiche an other Pardonere; That him might helpen of his whelkes white, For in his male he hadde a pilwebere, Ne of the knobbes sitting on his chekes.

Which, as he saide, was our Ladies veil:
Wel loved he garlike, onions, and lekes,

He saide he hadde a gobbet of the seyl
And for to drinke strong win as rede as blood; Thatte Seint Peter had, whan that he went
Than wold he speke and crie as he were wood; Upon the see till Jesu Crist him hent:
And when that he wel dronken had the win,

He had a crois of laton ful

stones; Then wold he speken no word but Latin.

And in a glas he hadde pigges bones. A fewe termes coude he, two or three,

But with these relikes, whanne that he fond That he had lerned out of som decree;

A poure persone dwelling upon lond, No wonder is, he herd it all the day:

Upon a day he gat him more moneie And eke ye knowen wel how that a jay

Than that the persone gat in monethes tweie; Can clepen watte as well as can the pope:

And thus with fained flattering and japes, But who so wolde in other thing himn grope

He made the persone, and the peple, his apes. Than, hadde he spent all his philosophie;

But trewely to tellen atte last, Ay Questio quid juris? wolde he crie.

He was in chirche a noble ecclesiast; He was a gentil harlot, and a kind;

Wel coude he rede a lesson or a storie, A better felaw shulde a man not find.

But alderbest he sang an offertorie; He wolde suffre, for a quart of wine,

For wel he wiste, whan that song was songe, A good felaw to have his concubine

He muste preche and wel afile his tonge, A twelve month, and excuse him at the full, To winne silver, as he right wel coude; Ful privily a finch, eke, coude he pull;

Therfore he sang the merier and loude. And if he found o where a good felawe,

Now have I told you shorily in a clause Ile wolde techen him, to have non awe,

Th'estat, th' araie, the nombre, and eke the cause, In swiche a cas, of the archedehenes curse:

Why that assembled was this compagnie But if a mannes soule were in his purse,

In Southwerk at this gentil hostelrie, For in his purse he shulde ypunished be.

That highte the Tabard, faste by the Belle. Purse is the archedekenes hell, said he.

But now is time, to you for to telle,

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How that we baren us that ilke night,

Hold up your hondes withouten more speche.”
Whan we were in that hostelrie alighit.

Our conseil was not longe for to seche :
And after wol I telle of our viage,

l's thought it was not worth to make it wise,
And all the remenant of our pilgrimage.

And granted him withouten more avise,
But, firste, I praie you of your curtesie

And bad him say his verdit as him leste. (beste;
That ye ne arette it not my vilanie,

“ Lordinges,” (quod he) “ now herkeneth for the
Though that I plainly speke in this matere, But take it nat, I pray you, in disdain:
To tellen you his wordes and hir chere,

This is the point, to speke it plat and plain,
Ne though I speke hir wordes proprely:

That eche of you, to shorten with youre way,
For this ye knowen al so wel as I,

In this viage shal tellen Tales tway;
Who so shall telle a Tale after a man

To Canterbury ward, I mene it so,
He moste reherse as neigh as ever he can,

And homeward he shal tellen other two;
Everich word, if it be in his charge,

Of aventures that whilom han befalle.
All speke he never so rudely and so large; And which of you that bereth him beste of alle,
Or elles he moste tellen his Tale untrewe,

That is to sayn, that telleth in this cas
Or feinen thinges, or finden wordes newe:

Tales of best sentence and most solas,
He may not spare although he were his brother; Shal have a souper at youre aller cost
He moste as wel sayn o word as an other.

Ilere in this place sitting by this post,
Crist spake himself ful brode in holy writ,

Whan that ye comen agen from Canterbury
And wel ye wote no vilanie is it:

And for to maken you the more mery,
Eke Plato sayeth, who so can him rede,

I wol my selven gladly with you ride,
The wordes moste ben cosin to the dede.

Right at min owen cost, and be your gide.
Also I praie you to forgive it me,

And who that wol my jugement withsay
All have I not sette folk in hir degree,


for alle we spenden by the way.
Here in this Tale, as that they shulden stonde. And if ye vouchesauf that it be so,
My wit is short, ye may well understonde.

Telle me, anon, withouten wordes mo,
Gret chere made our Hoste us evericli on, And I wol erly shapen me therfore.”
And to the souper sette he us anon;

This thing was granted, and our othes swore
And served us with vitaille of the beste.

With ful glad herte, and praiden him also,
Strong was the win, and wel to drinke us leste. That he wold vouchesauf for to don so,
A semely man our Hoste was, with alle,

And that he wolde ben our governour,
For to han ben a marshal in an halle.

And of our 'Tales juge and reportour,
A large man he was, with eyen stepe;

And sette a souper at a certain pris;
A fairer burgeis is ther non in Chepe:

And we wol ruled ben at his devise,
Bold of his speche, and wise, and wel ytaught, In highe and lowe: and thus by an assent
And of manhood him lacked righte naught.

We ben accorded to his jugement.
Eke therto, was he right a mery man,

And therupon, the win was fette anon:
And after souper plaien he began,

We dronken, and to reste wenten eche on,
And spake of mirthe amonges other thinges, Withouten any lenger tarying.
Whan that we hadden made our rekeninges,
And saide thus; “ now Lordinges, trewely
Ye ben to me welcome right hertily,--

For by my trouthe, if that I shal not lie,

At Sarra, in the land of Tartarie,
I saw not this yere swiche a compagnie

Ther dwelt a king that werreied Russie,
At ones in this herberwe, as is now.

Thurgh which ther died many a doughty man.
Fain wolde I do you mirthe, and I wiste how ; This noble king was cleped Cambuscan,--
And of a mirthe I am right now bethought

Which in his time was of so gret renoun,
To don you ese, and it shal coste you nought.

That ther n'as no wler in no regioun
Ye gon to Canterbury; God you spede,

So excellent a lord in alle thing:
The blissful martyr quite you your mede;

Him lacked nought that longeth to a king,
And wel I wot as ye gon by the way,

As of the secte of which that he was borne, Ye shapen you to talken and to play:

He kept his lay to which he was ysworne ; For trewely comfort ne mirthe is non,

And, therto, he was hardy, wise and riche:
To riden by the way dombe as the ston;

And pitous, and just; and alway yliche,
And therfore wolde I maken you disport,

Trewe of his word, benigne and honourable;
As I said erst, and don you some comfort.

Of his corage, as any centre, stable;
And if you liketh alle, by an assent,

Yong, fresh, and strong; in armes desirous,

Now for to standen at my jugement;


bachelor of all his hous.
And for to werchen as I shal you say

A faire person he was, and fortunate,
To-moswe, whan ye riden on the way,

And kept alway so wel real estat,

That ther n'as no wher swiche another man. Now, by my faders soule that is ded,

This noble king, this Tartre Cambuscan, But ye be mery, smiteth of my hed:

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Hadde two sones by Elfeta his wif,
Of which the eldest sone highte Algarsif,
That other was ycleped Camballo.

A daughter bad this worthy king also,
That yongest was, and highte Canace:
But for to tellen you all hire beautee
It lith not in my tonge ne in my conning;
I dare not undertake so high a thing:
Min English, eke, is unsufficient;
It muste ben a rethor excellent,
That coude his colours longing for that art,
If he shuld hire descriven ony part:
I am non swiche; I mote speke as I can.

And so befell, that whan this Cambuscan Hath twenty winter borne his diademe,As he was wont fro yere to yere, I deme, He let the feste of his nativitee Don crien thurghout Sarra his citee, The last ides of March after the yere,

Phæbus the sonne ful jolif was and clere, For he was nigh his exaltation In Martes face, and in his mansion In Aries, the colerike hote signe: And lusty was the wether and benigne; For which the foules, again the sonne shene, What for the seson and the yonge grene, Ful loude songen hir affections: Hem semed han getten hem protections Again the swerd of winter kene and cold.

This Cambuscan, of which I have you told, In real vestiments, sit on his deis With diademe, ful high in his paleis; And holte his feste so solempne and so riche That in this world ne was ther non it liche; Of which if I shall tellen all the array, Than wold it occupie a somers day; And, eke, it nedeth not for to devise At every cours the order of hir service: I wol not tellen of hir strange sewes, Ne of hir swannes, ne hir heronsewes. Eke, in that lond, as tellen knightes old, Ther is som mete that is ful deintee hold, That in this lond men recche of it ful smal: Ther n'is no man that may reporten al. I wol not tarien you, for it is prime, And for it is no fruit, but losse of time: Unto my purpos I wol have recours.

And so befell, that after the thridde cours, While that this king sit thus in his nobley, Herking his minstralles hir thinges pley Beforne him at his bord deliciously, In at the halle dore, al sodenly, Ther came a knight upon a stede of bras,' And in his hond a brod mirrour of glas; Upon his thombe he had of gold a ring ; And by his side a naked swerd hanging, And up he rideth to the highe bord. In all the balle, ne was ther spoke a word For mervaille of this knight; him to behold Ful besily they waiten, yong and old.

This strange knight that come thus sodenly Al armed, save his hed, ful richely,

Salueth king and quene, and lordes alle,
By order as they saten in the halle,
With so high reverence and observance,
As wel in speche as in his contenance,
That Gawain with his olde curtesie
Though he were come agen out of Fairie,
Ne coude him not amenden with a word.
And, after this, beforn the highe bord,
He with a manly vois sayd his message,
After the forme used in his langage,
Withouten vice of sillable or of letter.
And for his tale shulde seme the better,
Accordant to his wordes was his chere,
As techeth art of speche hem that it lere:
Al be it that I cannot soune his stile,
Ne cannot climben over so high a stile,
Yet say I this, as to comun entent,
Thus much amounteth al that ever he ment,
If it so be that I have it in mind;

Ile sayd: “ The King of Arabie and of Inde,
My liege Lord! on this solempne-day,
Salueth you as he best can and may,
And sendeth you, in honour of your feste,
By me, that am al redy at your heste,
This stede of bras, that esily and wel
Can in the space of a day naturel,
(This is to sayn, in four and twenty houres,)
Wher so you list, in drought or elles shoures,
Beren your body into every place,
To which your herte willeth for to pace,
Withouten wemme of you, thurgh foule or faire;
Or if you list to fleen as high in the aire
As doth an egle, whan him list to sore,
This same stede shal bere you evermore,
Withouten harme, till ye be ther you lest,
(Though that ye slepen on his back or rest,)
And turne again with writhing of a pin.
He that it wrought, he coude many a gin;
He waited many a constellation
Or he had don this operation,
And knew ful many a sele and many a bond.

“ This mirrour, eke, that I have in min hond,
Hath swiche a might, that men may in it see
Whan ther shall falle any adversitee
L'nto your regne, or to yourself also;
And, openly, who is your

frend or fo.
And, over all this, if any lady bright
Hath set hire herte on any maner wight,
If he be false she shal his treson see,
His newe love, and all his subtiltee,
So openly, that ther shal nothing hide.

“ Wherfore, again this lusty somer tide,
This mirrour and this ring, that ye may se,
He hath sent to my lady Canace,
Your excellente doughter that is here.

“ The vertue of this ring, if ye wol here,
Is this, that if hire list it for to were
Upon hire thomb, or in hire purse it bere,
Ther is no foule that fleeth under heven
That she ne shal wel understond his steven,
And know his mening openly and plaine,
And answere him in his langage again :

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And every gras that groweth upon rote

It were right good that al swiche thing were know.”
She shal eke know; and whom it wol do bote, Another rowned to his felaw low,
Al be his woundes never so depe and wide. And sayd: “He lieth, for it is rather like

* This naked swerd, that hangeth by my side, An apparence ymade by some magike,
Swiche vertue hath, that what man that it smite As jogelours plaien at thise festes grete."
Thurghout his armure it wol kerve and bite, Of sondry doutes thus they jangle and trete,
Were it as thick as is a braunched oke;

As lewed peple demen comunly
And what man that is wounded with the stroke Of thinges, that ben made more subtilly,
Slal never be hole, til that you list of grace Than they can in hir lewednesse comprehende,
To stroken him with the platte in thilke place They demen gladly to the badder ende.
Ther he is hurt; this is as much to sain,

And som of hem wondred on the mirrour Ye moten, with the platte swerd, again

That born was up in to the maister tour, Stroken him in the wound, and it wol close. How men mighte in it swiche thinges see. This is the veray soth withouten glose:

Another answers and sayd: “ It might wel be It failleth not while it is in your hold.”

Naturelly by compositions
And whan this knight hath thus his tale told, Of angles, and of slie reflections ;"
He rideth out of halle, and doun he light.

And sayd, that in Rome was swiche on.
His stede, which that shone as sonne bright, They speke of Alhazen and Vitellon,
Stant in the court as stille as any ston.

And Aristotle; that writen, in hir lives, This knight is to his chambre ladde, anon, Of queinte mirrours and of prospectives, And is unarmed, and to the mete ysette.

As knowen they that han hir bookes herd. Thise presents ben, ful richelich yfette,

And other folk han wondred on the swerd This is to sain, the swerd and the mirrour;

That wolde percen thurghout every thing, And borne, anon, into the highe tour

And fell in speche of Telephus the king, With certain officers ordained therfore;

And of Achilles for his queinte spere, And unto Canace the ring is bore

For he coude with it bothe hele and dere, Solempnely, ther she sat at the table.

Right in swiche wise as men may with the swerd But, sikerly, withouten any fable,

Of which, right now, ye have yourselven herd. The hors of bras, that may not be remued ;

They speken of sondry harding of metall, It stant as it were to the ground yglued:

And speken of medicines therwithall, Ther may no man out of the place it drive

And how and whan it shuld yharded be, For non engine, of windas or polive;

Which is unknow algates unto me. And cause why, for they con not the craft,

Tho, speken they of Canacees ring, And therfore in the place they han it last

And saiden all, that swiche a wonder thing Til that the knight hath taught hem the manere

Of craft of ringes herd they never nonTo voiden him, as ye shul after here.

Save that he Moises, and King Salomon, Gret was the prees that swarmed to and fro

Hadden a name of conning in swiche art. To gauren on this hors that stondeth so;

Thus sain the peple, and drawen hem apart. and so brod and long,

But, natheles, som saiden that it was So wel proportioned for to be strong,

Wonder to maken of ferne ashen glas, Right as it were a stede of Lumbardie;

And yet is glas nought like ashen of ferne, Therwith so horsly, and so quik of eye,

But for they han yknowen it so, ferne, As it a gentil Poileis courser were;

Therforth ceseth hir jangling and hir wonder. For certes fro his tayl unto his ere

As sore wondren som on cause of thunder, Nature ne art ne coud him not amend

On ebbe and floud, on gossomer and on mist, In no degree, as all the peple wend.

And on all thing, til that the cause is wist. But evermore hir moste wonder was

Thus janglen they, and demen and devise, How that it coude gon, and was of bras;

Til that the king gan fro his bord arise. It was of Faerie, as the peple semed.

Phæbus hath left the angle meridional, Diverse folk diversely han demed ;

And yet ascending was the beste real, As many heds, as many wittes ben.

The gentil Leon, with his Aldrian, They murmured as doth a swarme of been,

Whan that this Tartre king, this Cambuscan, And maden skilles after hir fantasies,

Rose from his bord, ther as he sat ful hie: Rehersing of the olde poetries.

Beforne him goth the loude minstralcie, And sayd it was ylike the Pegasee,

Til he come to bis chambre of parements, The hors that hadde winges for to flee ;

Ther as they sounden divers instruments, Or, elles, it was the Grekes hors Sinon,

That it is like an heven for to here. That broughte Troye to destruction,

Now dauncen lusty Venus children dere ; As men moun in thise olde gestes rede.

For in the Fish hir lady set ful hie,

And loketh on hem with a frendly eye. “Myn herte," quod on, « is evermore in drede; I trow some men of armes ben therin,

This noble king is set upon his trone ; That shapen hem this citee for to win:

This straunge knight is fet to him, ful sone,

For it so high was,

Repaireth to his revel, as beforne,
The bridel is in to the tour yborne,
And kept among his jewels lefe and dere:
The hors vanisht, I n'ot in what manere,
Out of hir sight: ye get no more of me;
But thus I lete, in lust and jolitee,
This Cambuscan his lordes festeying,
Til that wel nigh the day began to spring.

And on the daunce he goth with Canace.

Here is the revell and the jolitee,
That is not able a dull man to devise:
He must han knowen Love and his service,
And ben a festlich man, as fresh as May,
That shulde you devisen swiche array.

Who coude tellen you the forme of daunces
So uncouth, and so freshe contenaunces,
Swiche subtil lokings and dissimulings,
For dred of jalous mennes apperceivings?
No man but Launcelot, and he is ded:
Therfore I passe over all this lustyhed;
I say no more, but in this jolinesse
I lete hem, til men to the souper hem dresse.

The steward bit the spices for to hie,
And eke the win, in all this melodie;
The ushers and the squierie ben gon;
The spices and the win is come anon:
They ete and drinke, and whan this had an end
Unto the temple, as reson was, they wend:
The service don, they soupen all by day.

What nedeth you rehersen hir array ?
Eche man wot wel that at a kinges feste
Is plentee, to the most and to the lest,
And deintees mo than ben in my knowing.

At after souper goth this noble king
To seen the hors of bras, with all a route
Of lordes and of ladies him aboute.
Swiche wondring was er on this hors of bras,
That sin the gret assege of Troye was,
Ther as men wondred on an hors also,
Ne was ther swiche a wondring, as was, tho.
But, finally, the king asketh the knight
The vertue of this courser, and the might,
And praied him to tell his governaunce.

This hors, anon, gan for to trip and daunce, Whan that the knight laid hond upon his rein; And said, “ Sire! ther n'is no more to sain, But whan you list to riden any where, Ye moten trill a pin, stant in his ere, Which I shal tellen you betwixt us two, Ye moten nempne him to what place also Or to what contree, that you list to ride.

“ And whan ye come ther as you list abide, Bid him descend, and trill another pin, (For therin lieth the effect of all the gin,) And he wol doun descend and don your will, And in that place he wol abiden still: Though al the world had the contrary swore, He shal not thennes be drawe ne be bore. Or if you list to bid him thennes gon, Trille this pin, and he wol vanish anon Out of the sight of every maner wight, And come agen, be it day or night, Whan that you list to clepen him, again, In swiche a guise as I shal to you sain Betwixen you and me,

and that ful sone. Ride whan you list, ther n'is no more to done."

Enfourmed whan the king was of the knight, And hath conceived in his wit aright The maner and the forme of all this thing, Ful glad and blith, this noble doughty king

The norice of digestion, the slepe,
Gan on hem winke, and bad hem taken kepe
That mochel drinke and labour wol have rest,
And with a galping mouth hem all he kest
And said that it was time to lie adoun,
For blood was in his dominatioun:
Cherisheth blood, nature's frend, quod he.

They thanken him galping, by two, by three;
And every wight gan drawe him to his rest,
As slepe him bade; they take it for the best.

Hir dremes shul not now be told for me; Ful were hir hedes of fumositee, That causeth dreme, of which ther is no charge: They slepen, til that it was prime large, The moste parte, but it were Canace; She was ful mesurable as women be. For of hire father had she taken hire leve To gon to rest, sone after it was eve; Hire liste not appalled for to be, Nor on ihe morwe unfestliche for to see, And slept hire firste slepe and than awoke. For swiche a joy she in her herte toke Both of hire queinte ring, and of hire mirrour, That twenty time she chaunged hire colour; And in hire slepe right for the impression Of hire mirrour she had a vision ;Wherfore, or that the sonne gan up glide, She clepeth upon hire maistresse hire beside, And saide that hire luste for to arise.

bise olde women that ben gladly wise, As is hire maistresse, answerd hire anon; And said: “ Madam! whider wol ye gon Thus erly? for the folk ben all in rest.”

I wol,” quod she,“ arisen (for me lest No longer for to slepe) and walken aboute."

Hire maistresse clepeth women a gret route, And up they risen, wel a ten or twelve; Up riseth freshe Canace hireselve, As rody and bright, as the yonge sonne, That in the Ram is four degrees yronne; No higher was he whan she redy was: And forth she walketh esily a pas, Arrayed after the lusty seson sote Lightely for to playe, and walken on fote, Nought but with five or sixe of hire meinie; Aud in a trenche forth in the park goth she.

The vapour, which that fro the erthe glode, Maketh the sonne to seme rody and brode: But, natheles, it was so faire a sight, That it made all hir hertes for to light, What for the seson and the morwening And for the foules that she herd sing.

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