The Pardoner's Introduction, Prologue, and Tale in the Hengwrt Manuscript of the Canterbury Tales

Original Text: 
Nat. Lib. Wales Peniarth 392. From Geoffrey Chaucer. The Canterbury Tales: A Facsimile and Transcription of the Hengwrt Manuscript, with Variants from the Ellesmere Manuscript, ed. Paul G. Ruggiers, introduction by Donald C. Baker, A. I. Doyle, and M. B. Parkes. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1979. PR 1866 .R8 1979 Robarts Library
{{Folio 195r}}
¶The myry talkyng/ of the hoo{s}t/ to the Phi{s}cien
2Harrow quod he / by nayles and by blood
3This was a fals cherl / and a fals Iu{s}ti{s}e
4As shameful deeth / as herte may deuy{s}e
5Come to thi{s}e Iuges / and hir aduocatz
6Algate this sely mayde / is slayn allas
7Allas / to deere boghte she beautee
8Wherfore I seye alday / |þt| men may {s}e
9That yiftes of ffortune / and of nature
10Been cau{s}e of deeth / to many a creature
11Of bothe yiftes / |þt| I speke of now
12Men han ful ofte / moore for harm than prow
13¶But trewely / myn owene mai{s}ter deere
14This is a pitous tale / for to heere
15But nathelees pa{ss}e ouer/ is no fors
16I pray to god / so saue thy gentil cors
17And eek thyne Vrynals / and thy Iurdones
18Thyn Ypocras / and eek thy galyones
19And euery boy{s}te / ful of thy letuarie
20God ble{ss}e hem / and oure lady Seinte Marie
21So mote I then / thow art a |prop|re man
22And lyk a |pre|lat / by Seint Ronyan
{{Folio 195v}}
23Seyde I nat wel / I kan nat/ speke in terme
24But wel I woot/ thow doo{s}t myn herte to erme
25That I almoo{s}t/ haue caught/ a Cardynacle
26By corpus bones / but if I haue triacle
27Or ellis a draghte / of moy{s}te and corny ale
28Or but I heere anon / a murye tale
29Myn herte is lo{s}t/ for pitee of this mayde
30¶Thow beel amy / thow Pardoner he sayde
31Tel vs som myrthe / or Iapes right anon
32¶It shal be doon quod he / by Seint Ronyon
33But fir{s}t quod he / heere at this ale stake
34I wol bothe drynke / and eten of a Cake
35¶And right anon / thi{s}e gentils gonne to crye
36Nay lat hym telle vs / of no ribawdye
37Tel vs {s}om moral thyng/ / |þt| we may leere
38Som wit / and thanne wol we gladly heere
39¶I graunte ywis quod he / but I moot thynke
40Vp on som hone{s}te thyng/ whil |þt| I drynke
¶Radix |o{_mi}| malo|rum| / e{s}t Cupiditas // Ad Thimoth|_eu| .6^{0}^.
¶Here bigynneth / the {^}{{|pro|loge of the}} Pardo|ner|s tale
1LOrdynges quod he / in chirches whan I |pre|che
2I peyne me / to han an hauteyn speche
3And rynge it out/ as round as gooth a belle
4ffor I kan / al by rote that I telle
5My theme is alwey oon / and e|uer|e was
6Radix malo|rum| / e{s}t cupiditas
7¶ffir{s}t I |pro|nounce / whennes |þt| I come
8And thanne my bulles / shewe I alle |&| some
9Oure lige lordes seel / on my patente
10That shewe I fir{s}t/ my body to warente
11That no man be so boold / ne pree{s}t ne clerk/
12Me to de{s}tourbe / of Cri{s}tes holy werk/
13And after that/ thanne telle I forth my tales
14Bulles of Popes / and of Cardynales
{{Folio 196r}}
15Of Patriarkes / and Bi{ss}hopes I shewe
16And in latyn / I speke a wordes fewe
17To saffron with / my |pre|dicacio|un|
18And for to stire hem / to deuocio|un|
19¶Thanne shewe I forth / my longe |cri|{s}tal {s}tones
20Ycrammed ful / of cloutes and of bones
21Relikes been they / as wenen they echon
22Thanne haue I in a lato|un| / a shulder bon
23Which |þt| was / of an holy Iewes sheep
24Goode men I seye / tak of my wordes keep
25If |þt| this boon be wa{ss}he / in any welle
26If cow / or calf/ or sheep / or Oxe swelle
27That any worm hath ete / or worm y{s}tonge
28Taak water of that welle / and wa{ss}h his tonge
29And it is hool anoon / and forther moor
30Of pokkes / and of Scabbe / and e|uer|y soor
31Shal e|uer|y sheep be hool / |þt| of this welle
32Drynketh a draughte / taak kepe eek what I telle
33¶If |þt| the goode man / |þt| the be{s}tes oweth
34Wol euery wike / er |þt| the cok hym croweth
35ffa{s}tynge / drynken of this welle a draghte
36As thilke holy Iew / oure eldres taghte
37Hi{s}e be{s}tes and his stoor / shal multiplie
38And sire al{s}o / it heeleth Ialou{s}ie
39ffor thogh a man / be falle in Ialous rage
40Lat maken with this water / his potage
41And neuere shal he moore / his wyf my{s}tri{s}te
42Thogh he the {s}oothe / of hir defaute wi{s}te
43Al hadde she / taken pree{s}tes / two or thre
44¶Heere is a Miteyn eek / |þt| ye may se
45He |þt| his hand / wol putte / in this Mitayn
46He shal haue / multiplyyng/ of his grayn
47Whan he hath sowen / be it whete or Otes
48So |þt| / he / offre pens / or ellis grotes
49¶Goode men and wommen / o thyng warne I yow
50If any wight/ be in this chirche now
51That hath doon synne horrible / that he
52Dar nat for shame / of it y{s}hryuen be
53Or any womman / be she yong or old
54That hath ymaked / hir hou{s}bond Cokewold
{{Folio 196v}}
55Swich folk / shal haue no power / ne no |gra|ce
56To offren to my Relikes / in this place
57And who so fyndeth hym / out of swich blame
58He wol come vp / and offre a goddes name
59And I a{ss}oille hym / by the auctoritee
60Which |þt| by bulle / ygraunted was to me
61¶By this gaude / haue I wonne / yeer by yeer
62An hundred mark/ sith I was Pardoner
63I stonde lyk a Clerk / in my pulpet/
64And whan |þt| lewed peple / is doun y{s}et/
65I |pre|che so / as ye han herd bifore
66And telle / and hundred fal{s}e Iapes more
67Thanne peyne I me / to {s}trecche forth the nekke
68And E{s}t and We{s}t/ vp on the peple I bekke
69As dooth a dowue / sittyng on a berne
70Myne handes / and my tonge goon {s}o yerne
71That it is ioye / to se my bi{s}yne{ss}e
72Of Auarice / and of swich cur{s}edne{ss}e
73Is al my |pre|chyng/ for to make hem free
74To yeuen hir pens / and namely vn to me
75ffor myn entente is nat/ but for to wynne
76And no thyng/ for correccio|un| of synne
77I rekke ne|uer|e / whan |þt| they been beryed
78Thogh |þt| hir soules / goon a blakeberyed
79ffor certes / many a |pre|dicacio|un|
80Comth ofte tyme / of yuel entencio|un|
81¶Som for ple{s}ance of folk/ and flaterye
82To been auanced / by ypocri{s}ie
83And som for veyne glorie / and som for hate
84ffor whan I dar / noon oother weyes debate
85Thanne wol I {s}tynge hym / |with| my tonge s|mer|te
86In |pre|chyng/ so |þt| he shal nat a{s}terte
87To been diffamed fal{s}ly / if |þt| he
88Hath tre{s}pa{s}ed / to my bretheren / or to me
89ffor though I telle noght/ his |prop|re name
90Men shal wel knowe / that it is the same
91By {s}ignes / and by othere circum{s}tances
92Thus quyte I folk/ that {^}{{doon}} vs di{s}ple{s}ances
93Thus spete I out/ my venym vnder hewe
94Of holyne{ss}e/ to seme holy and trewe
{{Folio 197r}}
95But shortly / myn entente I wol deuy{s}e
96I |pre|che of no thyng/ but for coueiti{s}e
97Ther fore my theme is yet/ and e|uer|e was
98Radix malo|rum| / e{s}t Cupiditas
99¶Thus kan I |pre|che / agayn that same vice
100Which |þt| I v{s}e / and that is Auarice
101But though my self/ be gilty in that synne
102Yet kan I make / oother folk to twynne
103ffrom Auarice / and soore to repente
104But that is nat/ my principal entente
105I |pre|che no thyng/ but for coueiti{s}e
106Of this matere / it oghte ynow suffi{s}e
107¶Thanne telle I hem / en{s}amples many oon
108Of olde stories / longe tyme agoon
109ffor lewed peple / louen tales olde
110Swiche thynges / kan they wel reporte |&| holde
111What trowe ye / |þt| whiles I may |pre|che
112And wynne / gold and siluer / for I teche
113That I wol lyue in pouerte / wilfully
114Nay nay / I thoghte it ne|uer|e trewely
115ffor I wol |pre|che / and begge / in sondry landes
116I wol nat do no labour / |with| myne handes
117Ne make ba{s}kettes / and lyue ther by
118By cau{s}e / I wol nat beggen ydelly
119I wol / none of the Apo{s}tles countrefete
120I wol haue moneye / wolle / che{s}e / and whete
121Al were it yeuen / of the pouere{s}t page
122Or of the pouere{s}te widwe / in a village
123Al sholde hir children / {s}terue for famyne
124Nay I wol drynke / licour of the vyne
125And haue a ioly wenche / in euery toun
126But herkneth lordynges / in conclu{s}ioun
127¶Youre likyng is / |þt| I shal telle a tale
128Now haue I dronke / a draghte of corny Ale
129By god I hope / I shal yow telle a thyng/
130That shal by re{s}o|un| / been at youre likyng/
131ffor thogh my self be / a ful vicious man
132A moral tale / yet I yow telle kan
133Which I am wont to |pre|che / for to wynne
134Now holde youre pees / my tale I wol bigynne
{{Folio 197v}}
 [H]ere bigynneth / the Pardo|ner|s tale
1IN fflandres / whilom was a compaignye
2Of yonge folk/ that haunteden folye
3As Riot/ ha{s}ard / Stewes / and Tauernes
4Where as with harpes / lutes / and gyternes
5They daunce / and pleyen at dees / bothe day |&| nyght/
6And ete al{s}o and drynke / o|uer| hir myght/
7Thurgh which / they doon the deuel sacrifi{s}e
8With Inne that deueles temple / in cur{s}ed wi{s}e
9By su|per|fluytee / abhomynable
10Hir othes been {s}o grete / and so dampnable
11That it is gri{s}ly / for to heere hem swere
12Oure bli{ss}ed lordes body / they to tere
13Hem thoughte / that Iewes / rente hym noght ynough
14And eech of hem / at otheres synne lough
15And right anon / thanne coomen Tombe{s}teres
16ffetys and smale / and yonge ffrute{s}teres
17Syngeris with harpes / Baudes / waufereres
18Whiche been / the verray deueles Officers
19To kyndle and blowe / the fyr of lecherye
20That is annexed / vn to glotonye
21The holy writ take I / to my witne{ss}e
22That luxure / is in wyn / and dronkene{ss}e
¶Nolite inebriari vino in quo e{s}t luxuria
23¶Lo how |þt| dronken loth / vnkyndely
24Lay by his doghtres two / vnwityngly
25So dronke he was / he ny{s}te what he wroghte
26Herodes / who so wel the stories soghte
27Whan he of wyn was replet/ at his fe{s}te
28Right at his owene table / he yaf his he{s}te
29To sleen the Bapti{s}t/ |Iohan| / ful giltelees
30Senec/ seith a good word doutelees
¶No|ta|
31¶He seith / he kan no difference fynde
32Bitwix a man / that {`,}is out of his mynde
33And a man / which |þt| is dronkelewe
34But that woodne{ss}e / yfallen in a sherewe
35|per|{s}euereth lenger / than dooth dronkene{ss}e
36O glotonye / ful of cur{s}edne{ss}e
37O cau{s}e fir{s}t/ of oure confu{s}io|un|
38O original / of oure dampnacio|un|
39Til Cri{s}t hadde boght vs / with his blood agayn
40Lo how deere / shortly for to sayn
{{Folio 198r}}
41Aboght was / thilke cur{s}ed vileynye
42Corrupt/ was al this world for glotonye
43Adam oure fader/ and his wyf al{s}o
44ffro Paradys / to labour and to wo
45Were dryuen for that vice / it is no drede
46ffor whil |þt| Adam fa{s}ted / as I rede
 / /|Ieronimus| |contra| Iouinian|um| / / Q|Am| diu Ieiuna[uit Adam] duxit vxorem
47He was in Paradys / and whan |þt| he
in paradi{s}o fuit / comedit |&| eiect|us| e{s}t/ {s}ta[tim]
48Eet of the frut/ defended on a tree
duxit vxorem
49Anon he was out ca{s}t/ to wo and peyne
50O glotonye / on thee wel oghte vs pleyne
51¶O wi{s}te a man / how manye maladies
52ffolwen of exce{ss}e / and of glotonyes
53He wolde been / the moore me{s}urable
54Of his diete / sittyng at his table
55Allas the shorte throte / the tendre mouth
56Marketh / |þt| E{s}t/ and We{s}t/ and North and South
57In erthe / in Eyr / in Water / men to swynke
58To gete a gloton / deyntee mete and drynke
59Of this matere / o Paul / wel kan{s}tow trete
60Mete vn to wombe / and wombe eek vn to mete
 / / e{s}ca ventri et venter e{s}cis
61Shal god de{s}troyen bothe / as Paulus seith
deus aut|em| |&| |hunc| |&| ill|am| de{s}truet
62Allas a foul thyng/ is it by my feith
63To seye this word / and fouler is the dede
64Whan man so drynketh / of the white |&| rede
65That of his throte / he maketh his pryuee
66Thurgh / thilke cur{s}ed su|per|fluite
67¶The Apo{s}tle wepyng/ seith ful pitou{s}ly
 / / Ad Philipen{s}es ca^{0}^. 3^{0}^.
68Ther walken manye / of whiche yow toold haue I
69I seye it now wepyng/ with pitous voys
70Ther been enemys / of Cri{s}tes croys
71Of whiche the ende is deth / wombe is hir god
72O wombe / o bely / o stynkyng cod
73ffulfilled of dong/ and of corrupcioun
74At either ende of thee / foul is the soun
75How greet labour / and co{s}t/ is thee to fynde
76Thi{s}e Cokes / how they stampe / |&| streyne / |&| grynde
77And turnen sub{s}tance / in to accident/
78To fulfillen al / the likerous talent/
79Out of the harde bones / knokke they
80The mary / for they ca{s}te nat awey
{{Folio 198v}}
81That may go thurgh the golet/ softe and soote
82Of Spicerie / of lief / and bark / and roote
83Shal been his Sauce / ymaked by delit
84To make hym yet/ a newer appetit/
85But |cer|tes / he that haunteth swiche delices
¶qui aut|em| in delicijs e{s}t viuens/ mortuus e{s}t
86Is deed / whil |þt| he lyueth in tho vices
87¶A lecherous thyng is wyn / / and dronkene{ss}e
¶luxurio{s}a res/ vinum {?}
88Is ful of stryuyng/ and of wrecchedne{ss}e
¶et contumelio{s}a ebrietas
89O dronke man / di{s}figured is thy face
90Sour is thy breeth / foul artow to embrace
91And thurgh thy dronke no{s}e / {s}emeth the {s}oun
92As thogh thou seyde{s}t ay / Samp{s}o|un| Samp{s}oun
93And yet god woot/ Samp{s}on drank ne|uer|e no wyn
94Thou falle{s}t/ as it were a stiked swyn
95Thy tonge is lo{s}t/ and al thyn hone{s}t cure
96ffor dronkene{ss}e / is verray sepulture
97Of mannes wit/ and his di{s}crecio|un|
98In whom |þt| drynke / hath domynacio|un|
99He kan no con{s}eil kepe / it is no drede
100Now kepe yow / fro the white and fro the rede
101And namely / fro the white wyn of lepe
102That is to selle / in ffi{ss}h{s}trete / or in Chepe
103This wyn of Spaigne / crepeth subtilly
104In othere wynes / growynge fa{s}te by
105Of which/ ther ri{s}eth swich fumo{s}itee
106That whan a man / hath dronken draghtes thre
107And weneth |þt| he be at hom in Chepe
108He is in Spaigne / right at the toune of lepe
109Nat at the Rochel / ne at Burdeux toun
110And thanne wol he seyn / Samp{s}on Samp{s}oun
111¶But herkneth lordynges / o word I yow preye
112That alle the souereyn actes / dar I seye
113Of victories / in the olde te{s}tament/
114Thurgh verray god / that is o|_mi|potent/
115Were doon in ab{s}tinence / and in prayere
116Looketh the Bible / and ther ye may it leere
117¶Looke Attilla / the grete conquerour
118Deyde in his sleep / with shame and di{s}hon|our|
119Bledyng at his no{s}e / in dronkene{ss}e
120A Capitayn / sholde lyue in sobrene{ss}e
{{Folio 199r}}
121¶And o|uer| al this / auy{s}eth yow right wel
122What was comaunded / vn to Lamwel
Noli vin|um| dare |&c'|
123Nat Samuel / but Lamwel seye I
124Redeth the Bible / and fynd it ex|pre|{s}ly
125Of wyn yeuynge / to hem |þt| han Iu{s}ti{s}e
126Namoore of this / for it may wel suffi{s}e
127¶And now / that I haue spoken of glotonye
128Now wol I / yow defende ha{s}ardrye
129Ha{s}ard / is verray moder of le{s}ynges
¶|Poli|rum|| li^{0}^. 1^0^. ¶Mendacio|rum|
130And of deceite / and cur{s}ed for{s}werynges
|&| |per|iuria|rum| ma|ter| e{s}t Alea
131Bla{s}pheme of Cri{s}t/ man{s}laughtre / and wa{s}t/ al{s}o
132Of catel / and of tyme / and forthermo
133It is reproue / and contrarie of honour
134ffor to ben holden / a c|om|mune ha{s}ardour
135And euere the hyer / he is of e{s}taat/
136The moore is he holden de{s}olat/
137If |þt| a Prynce / v{s}eth ha{s}ardrye
138In alle gouernance / and policye
139He is / as by c|om|mune opynyo|un|
140Yholde / the la{ss}e in reputacio|un|
141¶Stilbon / that was a wys Emba{ss}adour
142Was sent to Corynthe / in ful gret honour
143ffro lacedomye / to make hi|re| allia|un|ce
144And whan he cam / hym happed |per| chaunce
145That alle the grette{s}te / |þt| were of that lond
146Pleiynge at the ha{s}ard / he hem fond
147ffor which as {s}oone / as it myghte be
148He stal hym hom agayn / to his contree
149And seyde / ther wol I nat le{s}e my name
150Ny wol nat take on me / so greet defame
151Yow for to allie / vn to none ha{s}ardours
152Sendeth / othere wi{s}e Emba{ss}adours
153ffor by my trouthe / me were le|uer|e dye
154Than I yow sholde / to ha{s}ardours allye
155ffor ye that been / {s}o glorious in honours
156Shal nat allye yow / with ha{s}ardours
157As by my wyl / ne as by my tretee
158This wi{s}e Philo{s}ophre / thus seyde he
159¶Looke eek / that to the kyng Demetrius
160The kyng of Parthes / as the book seith vs
{{Folio 199v}}
161Sente hym a paire of dees / of gold in scorn
162ffor he hadde v{s}ed / ha{s}ard ther biforn
163ffor which / he heeld his glorie / or his renoun
164At no value / or reputacioun
165Lordes may fynden / oother ma|ner|e pley
166Hone{s}te ynow / to dryue the day awey
167¶Now wol I speke / of oothes fal{s}e and grete
168A word or two / as olde bokes trete
169¶Greet sweryng/ is a thyng abhomynable
170And fals sweryng/ is yet moore repreuable
171The heighe god / forbad sweryng at al
172Witne{ss}e on Mathew / but in special
¶Nolite iurare o|mn|ino / Mathei .5.
173Of sweryng/ seith the holy Ieremye
¶Ieremie .4^{0}^. Iurabis in veritate
174Thow shalt swere sooth thyne othes / |&| nat lye
in Iudicio |&| Iu{s}ticia
175And swere in doom / and eek in rightwi{s}ne{ss}e
176But ydel sweryng/ is a cur{s}edne{ss}e
177¶Bihoold and se / |þt| in the fir{s}te table
178Of heighe goddes he{s}tes honurable
179How |þt| the seconde he{s}te of hym / is this
180Take nat my name / in ydel or amys
181Lo rather he forbedeth / swich sweryng/
182Than homycide / or many a cur{s}ed thyng/
183I seye / |þt| as by ordre / thus it standeth
184This knoweth / that hi{s}e he{s}tes vnder{s}tandeth
185How that the seconde he{s}te of god / is that/
186And forther ouer/ I wol thee telle al plat/
187That vengeance / shal nat parten from his hous
188That of hi{s}e othes / is to outrageous
189By goddes |pre|cious herte / and by his nayles
190And by the blood of Cri{s}t/ that is in hayles
191Seuene is my chance / and thyn is cynk |&| treye
192By goddes armes / if thow fa[{s}]ly pleye
193This dagger / shal thurgh out thyn herte go
194This frut cometh / of the bicche bones two
195ffor{s}weryng/ / Ire / fal{s}ne{ss}e / homycide
196Now for the loue of Cri{s}t/ that for vs dyde
197Lete youre othes / bothe grete and smale
198But sires / now wol I / telle forth my tale
199¶Thi{s}e Riotours thre / of whiche I telle
200Longe er{s}t/ er Pryme ronge of any belle
{{Folio 200r}}
201Were set hem / in a Ta|uer|ne to drynke
202And as they sat/ they herde a belle klynke
203Biforn a cors / was caryed to his graue
204That oon of hem / gan callen to his knaue
205Go bet quod he / and axe redily
206What cors is this / that pa{ss}eth heer forby
207And looke / |þt| thow reporte his name wel
208¶Sire quod this boy / it nedeth ne|uer| a del
209It was me told / er ye cam heer two houres
210He was |per|dee / an old felawe of youres
211And sodeynly / he was y{s}layn to nyght/
212ffordronke / as he sat on his bench vp right/
213Ther cam a |pri|uee theef/ / men clepeth deeth
214That in this contree / al the peple sleeth
215And with his spere / he smoot his herte atwo
216And wente his wey / with outen wordes mo
217He hath / a thou{s}and slayn this pe{s}tilence
218And mai{s}ter / er ye come in his |pre|{s}ence
219Me thynketh / that it were nece{ss}arie
220ffor to be war / of swich an Ad|uer|{s}arie
221Beeth redy / for to meete hym e|uer|e moore
222Thus taughte me my dame / I sey namoore
223¶By Seinte Marie / seyde this Tauerner
224The child seith sooth / for he hath slayn this yer
225Henne ouer a myle / with Inne a greet village
226Bothe man and womman / child and hyne |&| page
227I trowe / his habitacio|un| be there
228To been auy{s}ed / greet wi{s}dom it were
229Er that he dide / a man a di{s}honour
230¶Ye goddes armes / quod this Riotour
231Is it swich |per|il / with hym for to meete
232I shal hym seke / by wey / and eek by Strete
233I make avow / to goddes digne bones
234Herkneth felawes / we thre been al ones
235Lat ech of vs / holde vp his hand to oother
236And ech of vs / bicome ootheres brother
237And we wol sleen / this fal{s}e traytour deeth
238He shal be slayn / he |þt| so manye sleeth
239By goddes dignytee / er it be nyght/
240¶Togidres han thi{s}e thre / hir trouthes plyght/
{{Folio 200v}}
241To lyue and dyen / ech of hem with oother
242As thogh he were / his owene ybore brother
243And vp they stirte / al dronken / in this rage
244And forth they goon / towardes that village
245Of which the Ta|uer|ner / hadde spoke biforn
246And many a gri{s}ly ooth / thanne han they sworn
247And Cri{s}tes ble{ss}ed body / they to rente
248Deeth shal be deed / if they may hym hente
249¶Whan they han goon / nat fully half a myle
250Right as they wolde / han treden o|uer| a style
251An old man and a poure / with hem mette
252This olde man / ful mekely hem grette
253And seyde thus / now lordes god yow se
254¶The proude{s}te / of thi{s}e Riotours thre
255An{s}werde agayn / what carl |with| sory |gra|ce
256Why artow al forwrapped / saue thy face
257Why lyue{s}tow so longe / in {s}o greet age
258¶This olde man / gan looke in his vi{s}age
259And seyde thus / for I ne kan nat fynde
260A man / thogh |þt| I walked in to Inde
261Neither in Citee / ne in no village
262That wolde chaunge / his youthe for myn age
263And ther fore moot I han / myn age {s}tille
264As longe tyme / as it is goddes wille
265¶Ne deeth allas / ne wol nat haue my lyf
266Thus walke I / lyk a re{s}telees caytyf/
267And on the ground / which is my modres gate
268I knokke with my staf/ bothe erly and late
269And seye / leeue moder leet me In
270Lo how I vany{ss}he / fle{ss}h |&| blood |&| skyn
271Allas / whan shal my bones / been at re{s}te
272Moder / with yow / wolde I chaunge my che{s}te
273That in my chambre / longe tyme hath be
274Ye for an heyre clowt/ to wrappe me
275But yet to me / she wol nat/ do that |gra|ce
276ffor which ful pale / and welked is my face
277But sires / to yow / it is no curtei{s}ye
278To speken / to an old man vileynye
279But he tre{s}pa{s}e in word / or ellis in dede
280In holy writ/ ye may your {s}elf wel rede
{{Folio 201r}}
281¶Agayns an old man / hoor vp on his heed
¶coram canuto capite con{s}urg[e]
282Ye shal ari{s}e / wher fore I yeue yow reed
283Ne dooth vn to an old man / noon harm now
284Namoore than |þt| ye wolde /. men dide to yow
285In age // if |þt| ye so longe abyde
286And god be with yow / wher ye go or ryde
287I moot go thider / as I haue to go
288¶Nay olde cherl / by god thow shalt nat so
289Seyde / this oother ha{s}ardour anon
290Thow |per|te{s}t nat {s}o lightly / by Seint |Iohan|
291Thow speeke right now / of thilke traytour deeth
292That in this contree / alle oure freendes sleeth
293Haue here my trouthe / as thow art his e{s}pye
294Tel wher he is / or thow shalt it abye
295By god / and by the holy sacrament
296ffor {s}oothly / thow art oon of his a{ss}ent/
297To sleen vs yonge folk/ thow fal{s}e theef/
298¶Now sires quod he / if |þt| yow be {s}o leef/
299To fynde deeth / turn vp this croked wey
300ffor in that groue / I lafte hym by my fey
301Vnder a tree / and ther he wol abyde
302Nat for youre boo{s}t/ he wol hym no thyng hyde
303Se ye that ook/ right ther ye shal hym fynde
304God saue yow / that boghte agayn man kynde
305And yow amende / thus seyde this olde man
306¶And euerich / of thi{s}e Riotours ran
307Til he cam to that tree / and ther they founde
308Of floryns fyne / of gold / ycoyned rounde
309Wel ny an .viij. bu{ss}hels / as hem thoughte
310No lenger thanne / after deeth they soughte
311But ech of hem / so glad was of the sighte
312ffor |þt| the floryns / been {s}o faire and brighte
313That doun they sette hem / by this |pre|cious hoord
314The wor{s}te of hem / he spak the fir{s}te word
315¶Bretheren quod he / taak kepe / what |þt| I seye
316My wit is greet/ thogh |þt| I bourde and pleye
317This tre{s}or hath ffortune / vn to vs yeuen
318In myrthe and iolitee / oure lyf to lyuen
319And lightly as it cometh / {s}o wol we spende
320Ey goddes precious dignytee / who wende
{{Folio 201v}}
321To day / that we sholde han / so fair a |gra|ce
322But myghte this gold / be caried fro this place
323Hoom to myn hous / or ellis vn to youres
324ffor wel ye woot/ that al this gold is oures
325Thanne were we / in height felicitee
326But trewely / by daye it may nat be
327Men wolde seyn / |þt| we were theues {s}tronge
328And for oure owene tre{s}or / doon vs honge
329This tre{s}or / mo{s}te ycaried be by nyghte
330As wi{s}ly / and as sleyly / as it myghte
331Ther fore I rede / that/ cut amonges vs alle
332Be drawe / and lat se / wher the {`,}cut/ wol falle
333And he |þt| hath the cut/ with herte blithe
334Shal renne to towne / and that ful swithe
335And brynge vs / breed / and wyn / ful |pri|uely
336And two of vs / shal kepen subtilly
337This tre{s}or wel / and if he wol nat tarye
338Whan it is nyght/ we wol this tre{s}or carye
339By oon a{ss}ent/ wher as vs thynketh be{s}t/
340That oon of hem / the cut broghte in his fe{s}t/
341And bad hem drawe / and looke wher it wol falle
342And it fel / on the yonge{s}te of hem alle
343And forth toward the town / (he wente anon)
344And al{s}o soone / as |þt| he was agon
345That oon of hem / spak thus vn to that oother
346Thow knowe{s}t wel / thow art my sworn brother
347Thy |pro|fit/ wol I telle thee anon
348Thow woo{s}t wel / |þt| oure felawe is agon
349And heere is gold / and that ful greet plentee
350That shal departed been / among vs thre
351But nathelees / if I kan shape it {s}o
352That it departed were / among vs two
353Hadde I nat doon / a freendes torn to thee
354¶That oother an{s}werde / I noot how that may be
355He woot/ |þt| the gold / is with vs tweye
356What shal we doon / what shal we to hym seye
357¶Shal it be con{s}eil / seyde the fir{s}te shrewe
358And I shal telle / in a wordes fewe
359What we shul doon / and brynge it wel aboute
360¶I graunte quod that oother / out of doute
{{Folio 202r}}
361That by my trouthe / I wol thee nat biwreye
362¶Now quod the fir{s}te / thow woo{s}t wel we be tweye
363And two of vs / shul {s}trenger be than oon
364Looke whan |þt| he is set/ that right anon
365Arys / as though thow wolde{s}t/ with hym pleye
366And I shal ryue hym / thurgh the sydes tweye
367Whil that thow {s}trogele{s}t with hym / as in game
368And with thy daggere / looke thow do the same
369And thanne shal {`,}al this gold departed be
370My deere freend / bitwixe thee and me
371Thanne may we bothe / oure lu{s}tes al fulfille
372And pleye at dees / right at oure owene wille
373And thus acorded been / thi{s}e sherewes tweye
374To sleen the thridde / as ye han herd me seye
375¶This yonge{s}te / which that wente to the toun
376fful ofte in herte / he rolleth vp and doun
377The beautee of thi{s}e floryns / newe |&| brighte
378O lord quod he / if so were |þt| I myghte
379Haue al this tre{s}or / to my self allone
380Ther is no man / |þt| lyueth vnder the trone
381Of god / that sholde lyue / {s}o myrie as I
382And at the la{s}te / the feend oure enemy
383Putte in his thoght/ |þt| he sholde poy{s}on beye
384With which he myghte sleen / his felawes tweye
385ffor why / the feend foond hym / in swich lyuynge
386That he hadde leue / hym to sorwe brynge
387ffor this was outrely / his ful entente
388To sleen hem bothe / and neuere to repente
389¶And forth he goth / no lenger wolde he tarye
390In to the toun / vn to Apothecarye
391And preyed hym /|þt| he hym wolde selle
392Som poy{s}o|un| / that he myghte his rattes quelle
393And eek ther was / a polcat/ in his hawe
394That as he seyde / his capons hadde y{s}lawe
395And fayn he wolde / wreke hym if he myghte
396On |ver|myn / that de{s}troyed hym by nyghte
397¶The Pothecarie an{s}werde / and thow shalt haue
398A thyng/ that al{s}o god / my soule saue
399In al this world / ther is no creature
400That ete / or dronke / hath of this confiture
{{Folio 202v}}
401Nat but the monta|un|ce / of a corn of whete
402That he ne shal his lyf / anoon for lete
403Ye sterue he shal / and that in la{ss}e while
404Than thow wolt goon a paas / nat but a myle
405The poy{s}on / is {s}o {s}trong / and violent/
406This cur{s}ed man / hath in his hand yhent/
407This poy{s}on in a box / and sith he ran
408In to the nexte Strete / vn to a man
409And borwed hym / large Botels thre
410And in the two / his poi{s}on poured he
411The thridde / he kepte clene for his drynke
412ffor al the nyght/ he shoop hym for to swynke
413In cariyng/ of the gold / out of that place
414And whan this Riotour / with sory |gra|ce
415Hadde filled with wyn / hi{s}e grete Botels thre
416To hi{s}e felawes / agayn repaireth he
417¶What nedeth it/ to sarmone of it moore
418ffor right as they / hadde ca{s}t his deeth bifore
419Right {s}o / they han hym slayn / and that anon
420And whan this was doon / thus spak that oon
421Now lat vs sitte and drynke / and make vs merye
422And afterward / we wol his body berye
423And with that word / it happed hym |per| cas
424To take the Botel / ther the poy{s}on was
425And drank / and yaf his felawe drynke al{s}o
426ffor which anon / they storuen bothe two
427¶But certes I suppo{s}e / that Auycen
428Wroot neuere in no Canon / ne in no fen
429Mo wonder signes / of empoy{s}onyng/
430Than hadde thi{s}e wrecches two / er hir endyng/
431Thus ended been / thi{s}e homicides two
432And eek / the fal{s}e empoy{s}one|re| al{s}o
433¶O {.} cur{s}ed synne / of alle cur{s}edne{ss}e
434O {.} traytours homicide / o wikkedne{ss}e
435O {.} glotonye / luxure / and ha{s}ardrye
436Thou bla{s}phemour of Cri{s}t/ with vileynye
437And othes grete / of v{s}age / and of pryde
438Allas mankynde / how may it bityde
439That to thy Creatour / which |þt| thee wroghte
440And with his |pre|cious herte blood / the boghte
{{Folio 203r}}
441Thow art {s}o fals / and {s}o vnkynde allas
442¶Now goode men / god foryeue yow youre |ter|pas
443And ware yow / fro the synne of Auarice
444Myn holy pardo|un| / may yow alle wari{ss}e
445So that ye offre nobles / or starlynges
446Or ellis siluer broches / spones / rynges
447Boweth you|re| heed / vnder this holy bulle
448Cometh vp ye wyues / offreth of youre wolle
449Youre name I entre /{^}{{here}} in my rolle anon
450In to the bli{ss}e of heuene / shul ye gon
451I yow a{ss}oille / by myn heigh power
452Ye |þt| wol offre / as clene and eek as cler
453As ye were born / and lo sires thus I |pre|che
454And |Iesu| cri{s}t/ that is oure soules leche
455So graunte yow / his pardo|un| to receyue
456ffor that is be{s}t/ I wol yow nat deceyue
457¶But sires / o word / forgat I in my tale
458I haue Relikes / and pardon in my male
459As faire / as any man in Engelond
460Whiche were me yeuen / by the Popes hond
461If any of yow / wol of deuocio|un|
462Offren / and han myn ab{s}olucio|un|.
463Com forth anon / and kneleth here adoun
464And mekely / receyueth my pardoun
465Or ellis / taketh |per|do|un| as ye wende
466Al newe and fre{ss}h / at euery myles ende
467So |þt| ye offren alwey / newe and newe
468Nobles / or pens / whiche |þt| been goode |&| trewe
469It is an honour / to euerich that is heer
470That ye mowe haue / a suffi{s}ant |per|doner
471Ta{ss}oille yow / in contree as ye ryde
472ffor auentures / whiche |þt| may bityde
473|per|auenture / ther may falle oon or two
474Doun of his hors / and breke his nekke atwo
475Looke which a seuretee is it to yow alle
476That I am / in you|re| felawe{s}hip yfalle
477That may a{ss}oille yow / bothe moore |&| la{ss}e
478Whan |þt| the soule / shal fro the body pa{ss}e
479I rede / that oure hoo{s}t/ shal bigynne
480ffor he is moo{s}t/ envoluped in synne
{{Folio 203v}}
481Com forth sire hoo{s}t / and offre fir{s}t anon
482And thow shalt ki{ss}e / the Relikes e|uer|ychon
483Ye for a grote / vnbokele anon thy purs
484¶Nay nay quod he / thanne haue I Cri{s}tes curs
485Lat be quod he / it shal nat be {s}o thee ich
486Thow wolde{s}t/ make me ki{ss}e thyn olde breech
487And swere it were / a Relyk of a Seint/
488Thogh it were / with thy fondement depeynt/
489But by the croys / which |þt| Seint Eleyne foond
490I wold I hadde / thy coylons in myn hond
491In {s}tide of Relikes / or of Seintuarie
492Lat cutte hem of / I wol thee hem carie
493They shul be shryned / in an hogges toord
494¶This pardoner / an{s}werde nat a word
495So wrooth he was / no word ne wolde he seye
496¶Now quod oure hoo{s}t/ I wol no lenger pleye
497With thee / ne with noon oother angry man
498¶But right anon / the worthy knyght bigan
499Whan |þt| he saugh / |þt| al the peple lough
500Namoore of this / for it is right ynough
501Sire Pardoner be glad / and murye of cheere
502And sire hoo{s}t/ that been to me so deere
503I pray yow / |þt| ye ki{ss}e the Pardoner
504And Pardoner / I pray thee / drawe thee neer
505And as we diden / lat vs lawe and pleye
506Anon they ki{s}te / and ryden forþ {`,}hir weye
¶Here is ended the Pardoners tale

Notes

1] Old spelling is retained except for ligatured letters, which are normalized. Expansions of contractions and abbreviations are placed within vertical bars. The original lineation is retained, but not small capitals and the text of signatures, catchwords, and running titles. Irregularities in spacing are ignored. Reference citations are by folio numbers and editorial through-ms and through-tale line numbers. Unusual characters are identified as follows:
{s} : long-s
{ss} : ligatured long-s long-s
{C|} : capitulum
{`,} : comma under opening single quotation mark
{?.} : punctus elevatus
{^} : caret
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Publication Start Year: 
1866
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
1996
Rhyme: 
Special Copyright: 

Assisted by Nancy Misener and Alex Bisset.