The Canterbury Tales, by Geoffrey Chaucer

The Cook’s Prologue.

The prologe of the Cokes Tale.

4325

The Cook of London, whyl the Reve spak,

For Ioye, him thoughte, he clawed him on the bak,

‘Ha! ha!’ quod he, ‘for Cristes passioun,

This miller hadde a sharp conclusioun

Upon his argument of herbergage!

4330

Wel seyde Salomon in his langage,

“Ne bringe nat every man in-to thyn hous;”

For herberwing by nighte is perilous.

Wel oghte a man avysed for to be

(10)

Whom that he broghte in-to his privetee.

4335

I pray to god, so yeve me sorwe and care,

If ever, sith I highte Hogge of Ware,

Herde I a miller bettre y-set a-werk.

He hadde a Iape of malice in the derk.

But god forbede that we stinten here;

4340

And therfore, if ye vouche-sauf to here

A tale of me, that am a povre man,

I wol yow telle as wel as ever I can

A litel Iape that fil in our citee.’

4325. E. whil that the.   4332. Hl. herburgage.   4336. Hn. sith; E. sitthe; Hl. siþþe; Cp. Pt. Ln. sithen.   4339. Hn. Hl. stynten; E. stynte.   4339, 4340. Last two words glossed hic and audire in E. Hn.

(20)

 Our host answerde, and seide, ‘I graunte it thee;

4345

Now telle on, Roger, loke that it be good;

For many a pastee hastow laten blood,

And many a Iakke of Dover hastow sold

That hath been twyes hoot and twyes cold.

Of many a pilgrim hastow Cristes curs,

4350

For of thy persly yet they fare the wors,

That they han eten with thy stubbel-goos;

For in thy shoppe is many a flye loos.

Now telle on, gentil Roger, by thy name.

(30)

But yet I pray thee, be nat wrooth for game,

4355

A man may seye ful sooth in game and pley.’

4347. E. Hn. Cm. Ln. Douere.   E. Hn. soold.   4348. E. Hn. coold.   4350. Hl. persly; Hn. persle; E. percely.   4355. Hl. omits.

 ‘Thou seist ful sooth,’ quod Roger, ‘by my fey,

But “sooth pley, quaad pley,” as the Fleming seith;

And ther-fore, Herry Bailly, by thy feith,

Be thou nat wrooth, er we departen heer,

4360

Though that my tale be of an hostileer.

But nathelees I wol nat telle it yit,

But er we parte, y-wis, thou shalt be quit.’

And ther-with-al he lough and made chere,

(40)

And seyde his tale, as ye shul after here.

Thus endeth the Prologe of the Cokes tale.

4357. E. Cm. quaad; Cp. Hl. quad; rest quade.   4359. E. na (for nat).   Colophon. In Pt.; Ln. Explicit prologus.

http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/c/chaucer/canterbury/skeat/prologue3.html

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