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Though the pardoner and he pryvely in bir pouchis
They put them afterwards, that noon of them it wist,
Save the sompner seid somwhat, and seyd to he list,
“Halff part !” quod he, pryvely rownyng on their ere.
' Husht, pees !" quod the miller,“ seist thow nat the frere, 180
How he lowrith undir his hood with a doggish eye ?
Hit shuld be privy thing that he coud nat aspy ;
Of every craft he can somwhat, our lady give hym sorowe !"
“Amen,” tho quod the sompner, “on eve and eke on morowe.
So cursid a tale he told of me, the devill of hell hym spede !
And me! but yf I pay him wele and quyte wele his mede,
Yf it hap hom-ward that ech man tell his tale,
As we did hither-ward, though we shuld set at sale
All the shrewdnes that I can, I woll hym nothing spare, 190
That I nol touch his takerd somwhat of his care !"
They set their signys upon their hedes, and som oppon their
And sith to the dyner-ward they gan for to stapp ;
Every man in his degré wissh and toke his sete,
As they wer wont to doon at soper and at mete;
their pilgrimage. Many of these leaden signs had been found, especially in rivers, such as the Thames, the river at Canterbury, etc., and antiquaries were in the dark as to their purpose. This has, however, been very clearly shown in a series of papers on the subject by Mr. C. Roach Smith, in his Collectanea Antiqua. The annexed figure of a veritable Canterbury brooch", is taken from one engraved in the Archeological Album, p. 21 ; it is in lead, and represents the head of St. Thomas of Canterbury, with the inscription CAPUT
The whole of this passage is a very curious picture of the manners of the time. Erasmus, in his Pilgrimage for Religion's sake", describes the pilgrim as “covered with scallop shells, stuck all over with leaden and tin figures, adorned with straw necklaces, and a bracelet of serpents' eggs."
And wer in silence for a tyme, tyl good ale gan arise,
And then, as nature axith, as these old wise
Knowen wele, when venys been somwhat replete,
The spirits wol stere, and also metes swete
Causen oft myrthis for to be y-mevid,
And eke it was no tyme tho for to be y-grevid.
Every man in his wise made hertly chere,
Telling his felowe of sportys and of chere,
And of other mirthis that fellyn by the wey,
As custom is of pylgryms, and hath been many a dey.
The hoost leid to his ere, of Southworke as ye knowe,
And thenkid al the company both high and lowe,
So wele kepeing the covenaunt, in Southwork that was made,
That every man shuld by the wey with a tale glade
All the whole company, in shorting of the wey ;
“ And al is wele performed, but than now thus I sey, 210
That we must so home-ward ech man tel anothir,
Thus we wer accordit, and I shuld be a rathir
To set yewe in governaunce by rightful jugement."
“ Trewly, hoost,” quod the frer, “ that was all our assent,
With a litil more that I shall sey therto.
Yee graunted of your curtesy that we shuld also
All the hole company sope with yowe at nyght ;
Thus I trow that it was, what sey you, sir knyght ?”
“ It shal nat nede," quod the hoost,“ to axe no witnes ;
Your record is good i-nowe ; and of your gentilnes 220
Yit I prey yow efft ageyn ; for, by seynt Thomas shryne !
And ye woll hold covenaunt, I woll hold myne.”
“Now trewly, hoost,” quod the knyght, “ye have right wel
y-seyd; And as towching my persone, I holde me payde ; And so I trowe that al doith ; sirs, what seye ye
?” The monk and eke the marchaunte and al seyd, "ye”.
« Then al this aftir-mete I hold it for the best
To sport and pley us,” quod the boost,“ech mau as hym lest,
And go by tyme to soper and to bed also ;
So mowe we erly rysen, our jorney for to do.”
The knyght arose therwithal, and cast on a fresher gown,
And his sone anothir, to walk in the town.
And so did all the remnaunt that wer of that
aray, That had their chaungis with them, they made them fresh
Sortid them togithir, right as their lustis lay,
As they were more usid travelling by the way.
The knyght with his meyné went to see the walle,
And the wards of the town, as to a knyght befalle;
Devising ententiilich the strengthis al about,
And apointid to his sone the perell and the dout,
For shot of arblast and of bowe, and eke for shot of
Unto the wardis the town, and how it might be wone;
And al defence ther-ageyn, aftir his intent,
He declarid compendiously, and al that evir he ment,
He sone perseyvid every poynt, as he was full abil,
To armes and to travaile and persone covenabill,
He was of all factur aftir fourm of kynd,
And for to deme his governaunce it semed that his mynd
Was much in his lady that he lovid best ;
That made him offt to wake when he shuld have his
rest. The clerk that was of Oxenforth onto the sompnore seyd, “Me semeth of grete clergé that thow art a mayde ; For thou puttest on the frer in maner of repreff, That he knoweth falshede, vice, and eke a theff. And I it hold vertuose and right commendabill To have very knowlech of things reprovabill.
For who so may eschew it, and let it pas by,
And els he myght fall theron unward and sodenly.
And thoughe the frer told a tale of a sompnour,
Thow oughtist for to take it for no dishonour;
For of al craftis and of eche degré
They be not al perfite, but som nyce be.”
“Lo what is worthy,” seyd the knyght, "for to be a clerk.
To sommon among us them this mocioune was ful derke;
I comend his wittis and eke his clergé ;
For of ether parte he saveth honesté.”
The monk toke the parsone then and the grey
And preyd them for curtesy for to go in fere.
“I have ther acquaintaunce, that al this yeris thre
Hath preyd hym by his lettris that I hym wold se;
And ye my brothir in habit and in possessioune.
And now I am here, methinkith it is to doon,
it in dede what chere he wold me make, And to yow my friende also, for my
They went forth togithir talking of holy matere ;
But woot ye wele, in certeyn, they had no mind on watere
To drink at that tyme, when they wer met in fere ;
For of the best that myght be founde and therwith mery
They had, it is no doute, for spycys and eke wine
Went round about the gastoyn, and eke the ruyne.
The wyfe of Bath was so wery, she had no wyl to walk ;
She toke the priores by the honde ; “Madam, wol ye
Pryvely into the garden to se the herbis growe ?
And aftir with our hostis wife in bir parlour rowe?
I wol gyve yowe
shul me also.
For tyl we go to soper we have naught ellis to do."
The priores, as woman taught of gentil blood and hend,
Assentid to hir counsel ; and forth gon they wend,
Passyng forth sofftly into the herbery;
For many a herb grew
for sewe and surgery ;
And all the aleys feir and parid, and raylid, and y-makid ;
The savige and the isope y-frethid and y-stakid;
And othir beddis by and by fresh y-dight,
For comers to the hooste righte a sportful sight.
The marchaunt, and the mancipill, the miller, and the reve,
And the clerk of Oxenforth, to town-ward gan they move ;
And al the othir meyné; and lafft noon at home,
Save the pardoner, that pryvelich when al they wer goon
Stalkid into the tapstry; for nothing wold he leve,
To make his covenaunte in certeyn the same eve,
He wold be loggit with hir, that was his hole ententioune.
But hap and eke fortune and all the constellacioune
Was clere hym ageyns, as ye shul aftir here.
For hym had better be y-loggit al nyght in a myere,
Then he was the same nyght or the sun was up;
For such was his fortune, he drank without the cupp,
But thereof wist be no dele ; ne no man of us alle
May have that high connyng, to know what shal befalle.
He stappid into the tapstry wondir pryvely,
And fond hir ligging lirylong with half slopy eye,
Pourid fellich undir hir hood, and sawe al his comyng,
And lay ay still, as naught she knewe, but feynid hir slepyng.
He put his hond to hir brest, “ Awake,” quod he, “awake!"
“A! benedicite, sir, who wist yow her ? out tho I myght be
take Prisoner," quod the tapstere, “ being al aloon;" And therwith breyd up in a frite, and began to groon. “Now, sith ye be my prisoner, yeld yow now," quod he. “I must nedis,” quod she, “I may nothyng fle; And eek I have no strength and am but yong of age, And also it is no mastry to cach a mouse in a cage,