The Canterbury Tales, by Geoffrey Chaucer

The Shipman’s Prologue.

Here biginneth the Shipmannes Prolog.

Our hoste up-on his stiropes stood anon,

And seyde, ‘good men, herkneth everich on;

1165

This was a thrifty tale for the nones!

Sir parish prest,’ quod he, ‘for goddes bones,

Tel us a tale, as was thy forward yore.

I see wel that ye lerned men in lore

Can moche good, by goddes dignitee!’

1163-1190. From Cp., collated with Hl. Pt. Ln. Seld. Royal, and Sloane; E. Hn. Cm. omit.   1164. Cp. herkeneth; Hl. herkneth.

1170

 The Persone him answerde, ’benedicite!

What eyleth the man, so sinfully to swere?’

(10)

 Our hoste answerde, ‘O Iankin, be ye there?

I smelle a loller in the wind,’ quod he.

‘How! good men,’ quod our hoste, ‘herkneth me;

1175

Abydeth, for goddes digne passioun,

For we shal han a predicacioun;

This loller heer wil prechen us som-what.’

1174. Cp. herkeneth; Hl. herkneth.   1174. Hl. Now; rest How (Howe).   1175. Hl. omits.

 ‘Nay, by my fader soule! that shal be nat,’

Seyde the Shipman; ‘heer he shal nat preche,

1180

He shal no gospel glosen heer ne teche.

We leve alle in the grete god,’ quod he,

(20)

‘He wolde sowen som difficultee,

Or springen cokkel in our clene corn;

And therfor, hoste, I warne thee biforn,

1185

My Ioly body shal a tale telle,

And I shal clinken yow so mery a belle,

That I shal waken al this companye;

But it shal nat ben of philosophye,

(27)

Ne physices, ne termes queinte of lawe;

1190

Ther is but litel Latin in my mawe.’

Here endeth the Shipman his Prolog.

1179. Seld. has Shipman; Roy. Slo. Cp. Pt. Ln. squier; Hl. sompnour.   1181. Seld. Hl. We leuen; Roy. Cp. Pt. Ln. He leueth.   1182. Seld. Hl. quod, which Cp. Pt. Ln. Roy. Slo. omit.   1186-90. Hl. omits.   1189. Tyrwhitt has of physike; the Mss. have the unmeaning word phislyas (Sloane phillyas; Ln. fisleas); read physices; see note.   Colophon. From Seld.

http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/c/chaucer/canterbury/skeat/prologue4.html

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