The Canterbury Tales, by Geoffrey Chaucer

The Pardoners Tale.

(Numbered in continuation of the preceding.)

Here biginneth the Pardoners Tale.

In Flaundres whylom was a companye

Of yonge folk, that haunteden folye,

465

As ryot, hasard, stewes, and tavernes,

Wher-as, with harpes, lutes, and giternes,

They daunce and pleye at dees bothe day and night,

(140)

And ete also and drinken over hir might,

Thurgh which they doon the devel sacrifyse

470

With-in that develes temple, in cursed wyse,

By superfluitee abhominable;

Hir othes been so grete and so dampnable,

That it is grisly for to here hem swere;

Our blissed lordes body they to-tere;

475

Hem thoughte Iewes rente him noght y-nough;

And ech of hem at otheres sinne lough.

And right anon than comen tombesteres

(150)

Fetys and smale, and yonge fruytesteres,

Singers with harpes, baudes, wafereres,

480

Whiche been the verray develes officeres

To kindle and blowe the fyr of lecherye,

That is annexed un-to glotonye;

The holy writ take I to my witnesse,

That luxurie is in wyn and dronkenesse.

Heading; from E. Hn.   465. E. Hl. stywes.   475. So Cp. Ln. Hl.; E. Hn. Cm. that Iewes; Pt. þe Iwes.   478, 479. Hl. omits.

485

 Lo, how that dronken Loth, unkindely,

Lay by his doghtres two, unwitingly;

So dronke he was, he niste what he wroghte.

(160)

 Herodes, (who-so wel the stories soghte),

Whan he of wyn was replet at his feste,

490

Right at his owene table he yaf his heste

To sleen the Baptist Iohn ful giltelees.

488. E. Hn. Cm. P. Hl. agree here; Cp. Ln. have two additional (spurious) lines; see note.

 Senek seith eek a good word doutelees;

He seith, he can no difference finde

Bitwix a man that is out of his minde

495

And a man which that is dronkelewe,

But that woodnesse, y-fallen in a shrewe,

Persevereth lenger than doth dronkenesse.

(170)

O glotonye, ful of cursednesse,

O cause first of our confusioun,

500

O original of our dampnacioun,

Til Crist had boght us with his blood agayn!

Lo, how dere, shortly for to sayn,

Aboght was thilke cursed vileinye;

Corrupt was al this world for glotonye!

492. Hl. Seneca (for Senek).   Cp. Ln. eek; rest omit.   495. which that] Hl. the which; Cp. Pt. Ln. om. which.   496. E. Hl. fallen; Hn. Cm. y-fallen.

505

 Adam our fader, and his wyf also,

Fro Paradys to labour and to wo

Were driven for that vyce, it is no drede;

(180)

For whyl that Adam fasted, as I rede,

He was in Paradys; and whan that he

510

Eet of the fruyt defended on the tree,

Anon he was out-cast to wo and peyne.

O glotonye, on thee wel oghte us pleyne!

O, wiste a man how many maladyes

Folwen of excesse and of glotonyes,

515

He wolde been the more mesurable

Of his diete, sittinge at his table.

Allas! the shorte throte, the tendre mouth,

(190)

Maketh that, Est and West, and North and South,

In erthe, in eir, in water men to-swinke

520

To gete a glotoun deyntee mete and drinke!

Of this matere, o Paul, wel canstow trete,

‘Mete un-to wombe, and wombe eek un-to mete,

Shal god destroyen bothe,’ as Paulus seith.

Allas! a foul thing is it, by my feith,

525

To seye this word, and fouler is the dede,

Whan man so drinketh of the whyte and rede,

That of his throte he maketh his privee,

(200)

Thurgh thilke cursed superfluitee.

519. E. Hl. man; rest men.

 The apostel weping seith ful pitously,

530

‘Ther walken many of whiche yow told have I,

I seye it now weping with pitous voys,

That they been enemys of Cristes croys,

Of whiche the ende is deeth, wombe is her god.’

O wombe! O bely! O stinking cod,

535

Fulfild of donge and of corrupcioun!

At either ende of thee foul is the soun.

How greet labour and cost is thee to finde!

(210)

Thise cokes, how they stampe, and streyne, and grinde,

And turnen substaunce in-to accident,

540

To fulfille al thy likerous talent!

Out of the harde bones knokke they

The mary, for they caste noght a-wey

That may go thurgh the golet softe and swote;

Of spicerye, of leef, and bark, and rote

545

Shal been his sauce y-maked by delyt,

To make him yet a newer appetyt.

But certes, he that haunteth swich delyces

(220)

Is deed, whyl that he liveth in tho vyces.

532. That they is Tyrwhitt’s reading; Hl. Thay; but the rest have Ther, probably repeated by mistake from l. 530.   534. Hl. o stynking is thi cod.

 A lecherous thing is wyn, and dronkenesse

550

Is ful of stryving and of wrecchednesse.

O dronke man, disfigured is thy face,

Sour is thy breeth, foul artow to embrace,

And thurgh thy dronke nose semeth the soun

As though thou seydest ay ‘Sampsoun, Sampsoun’;

555

And yet, god wot, Sampsoun drank never no wyn.

Thou fallest, as it were a stiked swyn;

Thy tonge is lost, and al thyn honest cure;

(230)

For dronkenesse is verray sepulture

Of mannes wit and his discrecioun.

560

In whom that drinke hath dominacioun,

He can no conseil kepe, it is no drede.

Now kepe yow fro the whyte and fro the rede,

And namely fro the whyte wyn of Lepe,

That is to selle in Fish-strete or in Chepe.

565

This wyn of Spayne crepeth subtilly

In othere wynes, growing faste by,

Of which ther ryseth swich fumositee,

(240)

That whan a man hath dronken draughtes three,

And weneth that he be at hoom in Chepe,

570

He is in Spayne, right at the toune of Lepe,

Nat at the Rochel, ne at Burdeux toun;

And thanne wol he seye, ‘Sampsoun, Sampsoun.’

 But herkneth, lordings, o word, I yow preye,

That alle the sovereyn actes, dar I seye,

575

Of victories in the olde testament,

Thurgh verray god, that is omnipotent,

Were doon in abstinence and in preyere;

(250)

Loketh the Bible, and ther ye may it lere.

573. E. lordes; rest lordinges, lordynges, lordyngs.

 Loke, Attila, the grete conquerour,

580

Deyde in his sleep, with shame and dishonour,

Bledinge ay at his nose in dronkenesse;

A capitayn shoulde live in sobrenesse.

And over al this, avyseth yow right wel

What was comaunded un-to Lamuel —

585

Nat Samuel, but Lamuel, seye I—-

Redeth the Bible, and finde it expresly

Of wyn-yeving to hem that han Iustyse.

(260)

Na-more of this, for it may wel suffyse.

 And now that I have spoke of glotonye,

590

Now wol I yow defenden hasardrye.

Hasard is verray moder of lesinges,

And of deceite, and cursed forsweringes,

Blaspheme of Crist, manslaughtre, and wast also

Of catel and of tyme; and forthermo,

595

It is repreve and contrarie of honour

For to ben holde a commune hasardour.

And ever the hyër he is of estaat,

(270)

The more is he holden desolaat.

If that a prince useth hasardrye,

600

In alle governaunce and policye

He is, as by commune opinoun,

Y-holde the lasse in reputacioun.

589. E. Hl. omit that.   593. E. Blasphemyng; rest Blaspheme.

 Stilbon, that was a wys embassadour,

Was sent to Corinthe, in ful greet honour,

605

Fro Lacidomie, to make hir alliaunce.

And whan he cam, him happede, par chaunce,

That alle the grettest that were of that lond,

(280)

Pleyinge atte hasard he hem fond.

For which, as sone as it mighte be,

610

He stal him hoom agayn to his contree,

And seyde, ‘ther wol I nat lese my name;

Ne I wol nat take on me so greet defame,

Yow for to allye un-to none hasardours.

Sendeth othere wyse embassadours;

615

For, by my trouthe, me were lever dye,

Than I yow sholde to hasardours allye.

For ye that been so glorious in honours

(290)

Shul nat allyen yow with hasardours

As by my wil, ne as by my tretee.’

620

This wyse philosophre thus seyde he.

606. Cm. Cp. Hl. happede; rest happed.   612. Hn. Ny; Cm. Nay (both put for Ne I) which shews the scansion.   Hl. I nyl not.   614. So all.

 Loke eek that, to the king Demetrius

The king of Parthes, as the book seith us,

Sente him a paire of dees of gold in scorn,

For he hadde used hasard ther-biforn;

625

For which he heeld his glorie or his renoun

At no value or reputacioun.

Lordes may finden other maner pley

(300)

Honeste y-nough to dryve the day awey.

621. E. Ln. Hl. omit to.

 Now wol I speke of othes false and grete

630

A word or two, as olde bokes trete.

Gret swering is a thing abhominable,

And false swering is yet more reprevable.

The heighe god forbad swering at al,

Witnesse on Mathew; but in special

635

Of swering seith the holy Ieremye,

'Thou shalt seye sooth thyn othes, and nat lye,

And swere in dome, and eek in rightwisnesse;’

(310)

But ydel swering is a cursednesse.

Bihold and see, that in the firste table

640

Of heighe goddes hestes honurable,

How that the seconde heste of him is this —

‘Tak nat my name in ydel or amis.’

Lo, rather he forbedeth swich swering

Than homicyde or many a cursed thing;

645

I seye that, as by ordre, thus it stondeth;

This knowen, that his hestes understondeth,

How that the second heste of god is that.

(320)

And forther over, I wol thee telle al plat,

That vengeance shal nat parten from his hous,

650

That of his othes is to outrageous.

‘By goddes precious herte, and by his nayles,

And by the blode of Crist, that it is in Hayles,

Seven is my chaunce, and thyn is cink and treye;

By goddes armes, if thou falsly pleye,

655

This dagger shal thurgh-out thyn herte go’—

This fruyt cometh of the bicched bones two,

Forswering, ire, falsnesse, homicyde.

(330)

Now, for the love of Crist that for us dyde,

Leveth your othes, bothe grete and smale;

660

But, sirs, now wol I telle forth my tale.

632. Cp. Ln. Hl. om. yet.   644. Hn. Cm. Hl. many a.; E. any; Cp. Pt. Ln. eny other.   656. Hl. bicchid; Ln. becched; Hn. Cm. bicche; Pt. thilk.   659. E. Hn. Lete; rest Leueth.

 Thise ryotoures three, of whiche I telle,

Longe erst er pryme rong of any belle,

Were set hem in a taverne for to drinke;

And as they satte, they herde a belle clinke

665

Biforn a cors, was caried to his grave;

That oon of hem gan callen to his knave,

‘Go bet,’ quod he, ‘and axe redily,

(340)

What cors is this that passeth heer forby;

And look that thou reporte his name wel.’

661. E. Hn. Pt. Hl. riotours.   663. Cp. Pt. Hl. for; rest om.

670

 ‘Sir,’ quod this boy, ‘it nedeth never-a-del.

It was me told, er ye cam heer, two houres;

He was, pardee, an old felawe of youres;

And sodeynly he was y-slayn to-night,

For-dronke, as he sat on his bench upright;

675

Ther cam a privee theef, men clepeth Deeth,

That in this contree al the peple sleeth,

And with his spere he smoot his herte a-two,

(350)

And wente his wey with-outen wordes mo.

He hath a thousand slayn this pestilence:

680

And, maister, er ye come in his presence,

Me thinketh that it were necessarie

For to be war of swich an adversarie:

Beth redy for to mete him evermore.

Thus taughte me my dame, I sey na-more.’

685

‘By seinte Marie,’ seyde this taverner,

‘The child seith sooth, for he hath slayn this yeer,

Henne over a myle, with-in a greet village,

(360)

Both man and womman, child and hyne, and page.

I trowe his habitacioun be there;

690

To been avysed greet wisdom it were,

Er that he dide a man a dishonour.’

‘Ye, goddes armes,’ quod this ryotour,

‘Is it swich peril with him for to mete?

I shal him seke by wey and eek by strete,

695

I make avow to goddes digne bones!

Herkneth, felawes, we three been al ones;

(370)

Lat ech of us holde up his hond til other,

And ech of us bicomen otheres brother,

And we wol sleen this false traytour Deeth;

700

He shal be slayn, which that so many sleeth,

By goddes dignitee, er it be night.’

 Togidres han thise three her trouthes plight,

To live and dyen ech of hem for other,

As though he were his owene y-boren brother.

705

And up they sterte al dronken, in this rage,

And forth they goon towardes that village,

Of which the taverner had spoke biforn,

(380)

And many a grisly ooth than han they sworn,

And Cristes blessed body they to-rente —

710

‘Deeth shal be deed, if that they may him hente.’

704. E. yborn; Hn. ybore; Cm. bore; Pt. born; Cp. Ln. Hl. sworne.   705. E. Hn. stirte.   Hn. Cp. Ln. Hl. al; E. Cm. Pt. and.   710. they] Cp. Pt. Ln. we.

 Whan they han goon nat fully half a myle,

Right as they wolde han troden over a style,

An old man and a povre with hem mette.

This olde man ful mekely hem grette,

715

And seyde thus, ‘now, lordes, god yow see!’

 The proudest of thise ryotoures three

Answerde agayn, ‘what? carl, with sory grace,

(390)

Why artow al forwrapped save thy face?

Why livestow so longe in so greet age?’

720

 This olde man gan loke in his visage,

And seyde thus, ‘for I ne can nat finde

A man, though that I walked in-to Inde,

Neither in citee nor in no village,

That wolde chaunge his youthe for myn age;

725

And therfore moot I han myn age stille,

As longe time as it is goddes wille.

 Ne deeth, allas! ne wol nat han my lyf;

(400)

Thus walke I, lyk a restelees caityf,

And on the ground, which is my modres gate,

730

I knokke with my staf, bothe erly and late,

And seye, “leve moder, leet me in!

Lo, how I vanish, flesh, and blood, and skin!

Allas! whan shul my bones been at reste?

Moder, with yow wolde I chaunge my cheste,

735

That in my chambre longe tyme hath be,

Ye! for an heyre clout to wrappe me!”

But yet to me she wol nat do that grace,

(410)

For which ful pale and welked is my face.

 But, sirs, to yow it is no curteisye

740

To speken to an old man vileinye,

But he trespasse in worde, or elles in dede.

In holy writ ye may your-self wel rede,

“Agayns an old man, hoor upon his heed,

Ye sholde aryse;” wherfor I yeve yow reed,

745

Ne dooth un-to an old man noon harm now,

Na-more than ye wolde men dide to yow

In age, if that ye so longe abyde;

(420)

And god be with yow, wher ye go or ryde.

I moot go thider as I have to go.’

746. E. Hn. than that; rest omit that.

750

 ‘Nay, olde cherl, by god, thou shall nat so,’

Seyde this other hasardour anon;

‘Thou partest nat so lightly, by seint Iohn!

Thou spak right now of thilke traitour Deeth,

That in this contree alle our frendes sleeth.

755

Have heer my trouthe, as thou art his aspye,

Tel wher he is, or thou shalt it abye,

By god, and by the holy sacrament!

(430)

For soothly thou art oon of his assent,

To sleen us yonge folk, thou false theef!’

760

 ‘Now, sirs,’ quod he, ‘if that yow be so leef

To finde Deeth, turne up this croked wey,

For in that grove I lafte him, by my fey,

Under a tree, and ther he wol abyde;

Nat for your boost he wol him no-thing hyde.

765

See ye that ook? right ther ye shul him finde.

God save yow, that boghte agayn mankinde,

And yow amende!’— thus seyde this olde man.

(440)

And everich of thise ryotoures ran,

Til he cam to that tree, and ther they founde

770

Of florins fyne of golde y-coyned rounde

Wel ny an eighte busshels, as hem thoughte.

No lenger thanne after Deeth they soughte,

But ech of hem so glad was of that sighte,

For that the florins been so faire and brighte,

775

That doun they sette hem by this precious hord.

The worste of hem he spake the firste word.

760. E. Cm. ye; Hn. Hl. yow.

 ‘Brethren,’ quod he, ‘tak kepe what I seye;

(450)

My wit is greet, though that I bourde and pleye.

This tresor hath fortune un-to us yiven,

780

In mirthe and Iolitee our lyf to liven,

And lightly as it comth, so wol we spende.

Ey! goddes precious dignitee! who wende

To-day, that we sholde han so fair a grace?

But mighte this gold be caried fro this place

785

Hoom to myn hous, or elles un-to youres —

For wel ye woot that al this gold is oures —

Than were we in heigh felicitee.

(460)

But trewely, by daye it may nat be;

Men wolde seyn that we were theves stronge,

790

And for our owene tresor doon us honge.

This tresor moste y-caried be by nighte

As wysly and as slyly as it mighte.

Wherfore I rede that cut among us alle

Be drawe, and lat se wher the cut wol falle;

795

And he that hath the cut with herte blythe

Shal renne to the toune, and that ful swythe,

And bringe us breed and wyn ful prively.

(470)

And two of us shul kepen subtilly

This tresor wel; and, if he wol nat tarie,

800

Whan it is night, we wol this tresor carie

By oon assent, wher-as us thinketh best.’

That oon of hem the cut broughte in his fest,

And bad hem drawe, and loke wher it wol falle;

And it fil on the yongeste of hem alle;

805

And forth toward the toun he wente anon.

And al-so sone as that he was gon,

That oon of hem spak thus un-to that other,

(480)

‘Thou knowest wel thou art my sworne brother,

Thy profit wol I telle thee anon.

810

Thou woost wel that our felawe is agon;

And heer is gold, and that ful greet plentee,

That shal departed been among us three.

But natheles, if I can shape it so

That it departed were among us two,

815

Hadde I nat doon a freendes torn to thee?’

779. E. Hn. Pt. Ln. yeuen.   780. E. Ioliftee.   796. Hl. Ln. the; rest omit.   803. E. hym; rest hem.   E. Hn. Cp. wol; Hl. wil; Cm. Pt. Ln. wolde.   807. E. omits of hem.   808. E. Hn. Pt. sworn; Cm. swore: Cp. Ln. Hl. sworne.

 That other answerde, ‘I noot how that may be;

He woot how that the gold is with us tweye,

(490)

What shal we doon, what shal we to him seye?’

 ‘Shal it be conseil?’ seyde the firste shrewe,

820

‘And I shal tellen thee, in wordes fewe,

What we shal doon, and bringe it wel aboute.'

820. Hl. the (=thee); rest omit.   E. Hn. Cm. in a; rest omit a.

 ‘I graunte,’ quod that other, ‘out of doute,

That, by my trouthe, I wol thee nat biwreye.’

823. E. shal; rest wol (wil, wyl).

 ‘Now,’ quod the firste, ‘thou woost wel we be tweye,

825

And two of us shul strenger be than oon.

Look whan that he is set, and right anoon

Arys, as though thou woldest with him pleye;

(500)

And I shal ryve him thurgh the sydes tweye

Whyl that thou strogelest with him as in game,

830

And with thy dagger look thou do the same;

And than shal al this gold departed be,

My dere freend, bitwixen me and thee;

Than may we bothe our lustes al fulfille,

And pleye at dees right at our owene wille.’

835

And thus acorded been thise shrewes tweye

To sleen the thridde, as ye han herd me seye.

826. E. Hn. Cm. that right; Cp. and thanne; Pt. Ln. Hl. and that. I take and from Cp. Pt. Ln. Hl., and right from E. Hn. Cm.

 This yongest, which that wente un-to the toun,

(510)

Ful ofte in herte he rolleth up and doun

The beautee of thise florins newe and brighte.

840

‘O lord!’ quod he, ‘if so were that I mighte

Have al this tresor to my-self allone,

Ther is no man that liveth under the trone

Of god, that sholde live so mery as I!’

And atte laste the feend, our enemy,

845

Putte in his thought that he shold poyson beye,

With which he mighte sleen his felawes tweye;

For-why the feend fond him in swich lyvinge,

(520)

That he had leve him to sorwe bringe,

For this was outrely his fulle entente

850

To sleen hem bothe, and never to repente.

And forth he gooth, no lenger wolde he tarie,

Into the toun, un-to a pothecarie,

And preyed him, that he him wolde selle

Som poyson, that he mighte his rattes quelle;

855

And eek ther was a polcat in his hawe,

That, as he seyde, his capouns hadde y-slawe,

And fayn he wolde wreke him, if he mighte,

(530)

On vermin, that destroyed him by nighte.

847. E. Hn. foond.   848. E. Cm. hem; rest hym or him.   853. Hn. preyed; Cm. preyede; rest preyde.

 The pothecarie answerde, ‘and thou shalt have

860

A thing that, al-so god my soule save,

In al this world ther nis no creature,

That ete or dronke hath of this confiture

Noght but the mountance of a corn of whete,

That he ne shal his lyf anon forlete;

865

Ye, sterve he shal, and that in lasse whyle

Than thou wolt goon a paas nat but a myle;

This poyson is so strong and violent.’

861. E. Hn. Cm. is; rest nys or nis.

(540)

 This cursed man hath in his hond y-hent

This poyson in a box, and sith he ran

870

In-to the nexte strete, un-to a man,

And borwed [of] him large botels three;

And in the two his poyson poured he;

The thridde he kepte clene for his drinke.

For al the night he shoop him for to swinke

875

In caryinge of the gold out of that place.

And whan this ryotour, with sory grace,

Had filled with wyn his grete botels three,

(550)

To his felawes agayn repaireth he.

871. All omit of.   873. E. his owene; rest omit owene.

 What nedeth it to sermone of it more?

880

For right as they had cast his deeth bifore,

Right so they han him slayn, and that anon.

And whan that this was doon, thus spak that oon,

‘Now lat us sitte and drinke, and make us merie,

And afterward we wol his body berie.’

885

And with that word it happed him, par cas,

To take the botel ther the poyson was,

And drank, and yaf his felawe drinke also,

(560)

For which anon they storven bothe two.

880. E. so as; rest omit so.

 But, certes, I suppose that Avicen

890

Wroot never in no canon, ne in no fen,

Mo wonder signes of empoisoning

Than hadde thise wrecches two, er hir ending.

Thus ended been thise homicydes two,

And eek the false empoysoner also.

891. E. Hn. Cm. signes; Cp. Ln. Hl. sorwes; Pt. sorowes.

895

 O cursed sinne, ful of cursednesse!

O traytours homicyde, o wikkednesse!

O glotonye, luxurie, and hasardrye!

(570)

Thou blasphemour of Crist with vileinye

And othes grete, of usage and of pryde!

900

Allas! mankinde, how may it bityde,

That to thy creatour which that thee wroghte,

And with his precious herte-blood thee boghte,

Thou art so fals and so unkinde, allas!

895. E. Hn. Cm. of alle; Cp. Ln. Hl. ful of; Pt. ful of al.

 Now, goode men, god forgeve yow your trespas,

905

And ware yow fro the sinne of avaryce.

Myn holy pardoun may yow alle waryce,

So that ye offre nobles or sterlinges,

(580)

Or elles silver broches, spones, ringes.

Boweth your heed under this holy bulle!

910

Cometh up, ye wyves, offreth of your wolle!

Your name I entre heer in my rolle anon;

In-to the blisse of hevene shul ye gon;

I yow assoile, by myn heigh power,

Yow that wol offre, as clene and eek as cleer

915

As ye were born; and, lo, sirs, thus I preche.

And Iesu Crist, that is our soules leche,

So graunte yow his pardon to receyve;

(590)

For that is best; I wol yow nat deceyve.

910. E. Com; rest Cometh, Comyth.   911. E. Hl. names; rest name.

 But sirs, o word forgat I in my tale,

920

I have relikes and pardon in my male,

As faire as any man in Engelond,

Whiche were me yeven by the popes hond.

If any of yow wol, of devocioun,

Offren, and han myn absolucioun,

925

Cometh forth anon, and kneleth heer adoun,

And mekely receyveth my pardoun:

Or elles, taketh pardon as ye wende,

(600)

Al newe and fresh, at every tounes ende,

So that ye offren alwey newe and newe

930

Nobles and pens, which that be gode and trewe.

It is an honour to everich that is heer,

That ye mowe have a suffisant pardoneer

Tassoille yow, in contree as ye ryde,

For aventures which that may bityde.

935

Peraventure ther may falle oon or two

Doun of his hors, and breke his nekke atwo.

Look which a seuretee is it to yow alle

(610)

That I am in your felaweship y-falle,

That may assoille yow, bothe more and lasse,

940

Whan that the soule shal fro the body passe,

I rede that our hoste heer shal biginne,

For he is most envoluped in sinne.

Com forth, sir hoste, and offre first anon,

And thou shalt kisse the reliks everichon,

945

Ye, for a grote! unbokel anon thy purs.’

925. E. Hn. Com; rest Cometh, Comyth.   928. E. Hn. Cm. myles; rest tounes.   930. E. Hn. or; rest and.   935. E. fallen.   941. E. Cm. heere; rest om.   944. E. my; Cm. myne; rest the.

 ‘Nay, nay,’ quod he, ‘than have I Cristes curs!

Lat be,’ quod he, ‘it shal nat be, so theech!

(620)

Thou woldest make me kisse thyn old breech,

And swere it were a relik of a seint,

950

Thogh it were with thy fundement depeint!

But by the croys which that seint Eleyne fond,

I wolde I hadde thy coillons in myn hond

In stede of relikes or of seintuarie;

Lat cutte hem of, I wol thee helpe hem carie;

955

Thay shul be shryned in an hogges tord.’

947. Hn. thee ich; rest theech.   954. Cp. Ln. the helpe; Pt. Hl. helpe; E. with thee; Cm. from the; Hn. thee.

 This pardoner answerde nat a word;

So wrooth he was, no word ne wolde he seye.

(630)

 ‘Now,’ quod our host, ‘I wol no lenger pleye

With thee, ne with noon other angry man.’

960

But right anon the worthy knight bigan,

Whan that he saugh that al the peple lough,

‘Na-more of this, for it is right y-nough;

Sir pardoner, be glad and mery of chere;

And ye, sir host, that been to me so dere,

965

I prey yow that ye kisse the pardoner.

And pardoner, I prey thee, drawe thee neer,

(639)

And, as we diden, lat us laughe and pleye.’

[T. 12902.

Anon they kiste, and riden forth hir weye.

Here is ended the Pardoners Tale.

(For T. 12903, see p. 165).

Colophon. From E. Hn.; Hl. Here endeth the pardoneres tale.

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Last updated Saturday, March 1, 2014 at 20:37