The Canterbury Tales, by Geoffrey Chaucer

Part 21

Prologue to the Freres Tale

The Prologe of the Freres Tale.

 This worthy lymytour, this noble frere,
He made alwey a maner louryng chiere
Upon the Somonour, but for honestee
No vileyns word as yet to hym spak he.
But atte laste he seyde unto the wyf,
“Dame,” quod he, “God yeve yow right good lyf!
Ye han heer touched, also moot I thee,
In scole-matere greet difficultee.
Ye han seyd muche thyng right wel, I seye.
But dame, heere as we ryde by the weye
Us nedeth nat to speken but of game,
And lete auctoritees, on Goddes name,
To prechyng and to scole eek of clergye.
But if it lyke to this compaignye,
I wol yow of a somonour telle a game.
Pardee, ye may wel knowe bby the name
That of a somonour may no good be sayd;
I praye that noon of you be yvele apayd.
A somonour is a renner up and doun
With mandementz for fornicacioun,
And is ybet at every townes ende.”
Oure Hoost tho spak, “A sire, ye sholde be hende
And curteys, as a man of youre estaat.
In compaignye we wol have no debaat.
Telleth youre tale, and lat the Somonour be.”
“Nay,” quod the Somonour, “lat hym seye to me
What so hym list. Whan it comth to my lot,
By God I shal hym quiten every grot.
I shal hym tellen which a greet honour
It is to be a flaterynge lymytour,
And his office I shal hym teele, ywis.”
Oure Hoost answerde, “Pees, namoore of this!”
And after this he seyde unto the Frere,
“Tel forth youre tale, leeve maister deere.”

The Tale

(How a Summoner, meeting a devil dressed as a yeoman, agrees to share gifts with him as a friend; and is himself consigned to the devil by a poor old woman. Then follow the Summoner’s Prologue and Tale of an insult put by a goodman upon a greedy friar.)

Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:52