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4-29-32

THE CANTERBURY TALES.

THE NONNES PREESTES PROL. Ho! quod the Knight, good-Sire, no more of this; That

ye

han said is right ynongh ywis, And mochel more; for litel hevinesse

14775 Is right ynough to mochel folk I gefle. I say for me it is a gret disese Wher as men have ben in gret welth and ese To heren of hir foden fall, alas! And the contrary is joye and gret fólas, 14780 As whan a man hath ben in poure eftat, And climbeth up and wexeth fortunat, And ther abideth in prosperitee : Swich thing is gladsom as it thinketh me, And of swiche thing were goodly for to telle. 14785

Ye, quod our Hofte, by Seint Poules belle, Ye say right foth : this Monk hath clapped loude; He spake how Fortune covered with a cloude I wotę not what, and als of a tragedie Right now ye herd; and parde no remedie 14790 It is for to bewailen ne complaine That that is don, and als it is a paine, As ye han said, to here of hevinesse. Sire Monk, no more of this, so God you blefe ; Your Tale anoyeth all this compagnie; 14795 Swiche talking is not worth a boterflie,

THE CANTERBURY TALES.

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THE NONNES PREESTES PROL.
Ho quod the Knight, good -Sire, no more of this;
That ye han said is right ynongh ywis,
And mochel more ; for litel hevinesse 14775
Is right ynough to mochel folk I gesse.
I say for me it is a gret difese
Wher as men have ben in gret welth and ese
To heren of hir foden fall, alas!
And the contrary is joye and gret fólas, 14780
As whan a man hath ben in poure estat,
And climbeth up and wexeth fortunat,
And ther abideth in prosperitee :
Swich thing is gladsom as it thinketh me,
And of swiche thing were goodly for to telle. 14785

Ye, quod our Hofte, by Seint Poules belle.
Ye say right foth : this Monk hath clapped loude;
He spake how Fortune covered with a cloude
I wote not what, and als of a tragedie
Right now ye herd; and parde no remedie 14790
It is for to bewailen ne complaine
That that is don, and als it is a paine,

ye han said, to here of hevinefle. Sire Monk, no more of this, so God you bleffe ; Your Tale anoyeth all this compagnie; 14795 Swiche talking is not worth a boterflie,

As

For therin is ther no disport ne game;
Therfore Sire Monk, Dan Piers by your name,
I pray you hertely tell us somwhat elles,
For fikerly n'erc clinking of your belles 14800
That on your bridel hange on every fide,
By heven king, that for us alle dide,
I fhuld er this have fallen doun for flepe,
Although the flough had ben never so depe,
Than hadde your Tale all ben tolde in vain: 14805'
For certainly, as that thise clerkes lain,
Wher as a man may have non audience
Nought helpech it to tellen his sentence;
And wel I wote the substance is in me
If arıy thing shal wel reported be.

14810 Sire, say somwhat of hunting you pray.

Nay, quod this Monk, I have not luft to play: Now lette another telle as I have told.

Than spake oure Hofte with rude fpeche and bold, And sayd unto the Nonnes Preeft anon, 14815 Come nere, thou Preeft, come hither, thou Sire John;

t. 14911. Say Somwhat of hunting] For the propriety of this request 1ce the note on ver. 166 of the Monkes character.

V. 14816. ibou Sire Folyn] I know not how it has happened that in the principal modern languages John (or its equivalent) is a naine of contempt, or at leaft of flight. So the Italians ufe Gianni, from whence Zani, the Spaniards Juan, as Bobo Juan, a foolith John, the French Jean, with various additions, and in English when we call a man a John we do not mean it as a title of lionour. Chaucer, in ver. 3708, uses Jacke Fool as the Spaniards do Bolo Juin, and I suppose Fuck Ass has the same etymolcsy-The title of Sire was usually given, by courtesy, to pricftiboth secular and regular.

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