Legends and Sagas
The Canterbury Tales and Other Works of Chaucer (Middle English), by Geoffery Chaucer, [14th cent.], at sacred-texts.com
The Canterbury Tales
The Man of Law's Epilogue [Owre Hoost upon his stiropes stood anon,
And seyde, "Goode men, herkeneth everych on!
This was a thrifty tale for the nones!
Sir Parisshe Prest," quod he, "for Goddes bones,
Telle us a tale, as was thi forward yore.
I se wel that ye lerned men in lore
Can moche good, by Goddes dignitee!"
1170 The Parson him answerde, "Benedicite!
What eyleth the man, so synfully to swere?"
Oure Host answerde, "O Jankin, be ye there?
I smelle a Lollere in the wynd," quod he.
"Now! goode men," quod oure Hoste, "herkeneth me;
Abydeth, for Goddes digne passioun,
For we schal han a predicacioun;
This Lollere heer wil prechen us somwhat."
"Nay, by my fader soule, that schal he nat!"
Seyde the Shipman, "Heer schal he nat preche;
1180 He schal no gospel glosen here ne teche.
We leven alle in the grete God," quod he;
"He wolde sowen som difficulte,
Or springen cokkel in our clene corn.
And therfore, Hoost, I warne thee biforn,
My joly body schal a tale telle,
And I schal clynken you so mery a belle,
That I schal waken al this compaignie.
But it schal not ben of philosophie,
Ne phislyas, ne termes queinte of lawe.
1190 Ther is but litel Latyn in my mawe!"]
Next: The Wife of Bath's Prologue