assignment - Geoffrey Chaucer - The Canterbury Tales:...

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Geoffrey Chaucer - The Canterbury Tales: Miller’s Tale 1 The Miller’s Tale Geoffrey Chaucer Here follow the words between the Host and the Miller. When the Knight had ended his tale, in the entire crowd was there nobody, young or old, who did not say it was a noble history and worthy to be called to mind; and especially each of the gentle people. Our Host laughed and swore, “So may I thrive, this goes well! The bag is unbuckled, let see now who shall tell another tale, for truly the sport has begun well. Now you, Sir Monk, if you can, tell something to repay the Knight’s story with.” 3119 The Miller, who had drunk himself so completely pale that he could scarcely sit on his horse, would not take off his hood or hat, or wait and mind his manners for no one, but began to cry aloud in Pilate’s voice 1 , and swore by arms and blood and head, “I know a noble tale for the occasion, to repay the Knight’s story with.” 3127 Our Host saw that he was all drunk with ale and said, “Wait, Robin, dear brother, some better man shall speak first; wait, and let us work thriftily.” 3131 “By God’s soul!” he said, “I will not do that! I will speak, or else go my way!” 3133 “Tell on, in the Devil’s name!” answered our Host. “You are a fool; your wits have been overcome.” 3135 “Now listen, one and all! But first,” said the Miller, “I make a protestation that I am drunk; I know it by my voice. 3138 And therefore if I speak as I should not, blame it on the ale of Southwark 2 , I pray you; for I will tell a legend and a life of a carpenter and his wife, and how a clerk made a fool of the carpenter.” 3143 1 Pilate’s voice. Pilate in the mystery or Corpus Christi plays of the Middle Ages apparently spoke in an exaggerated fashion. 2 Southwark. Borough of London. “Shut your trap!” the Reeve answered and said, “Set aside your rude drunken ribaldry. It is a great folly and sin to injure or defame any man, and to bring woman into such bad reputation. You can say plenty about other matters. 3149 This drunken Miller answered back immediately and said, “Oswald, dear brother, he is no cuckold who has no wife. But I do not say, therefore, that you are one. There are many good wives, and always a thousand good to one bad. That you know well yourself, if you have not gone mad. Why are you angry now with my tale? I have a wife as well as you, by God, yet for all the oxen in my plough I would not presume to be able to judge myself if I may be a cuckold; I will believe well I am not one. A husband should not be too inquisitive about God’s private matters, nor of his wife’s. He can find God’s plenty there; he need not inquire about the remainder.” 3166 What more can I say, but this Miller would withhold his word for nobody, and told his churl’s tale in his own fashion. I think that I shall retell it here. And therefore I beg every gentle creature, for the love of God, not to judge that I tell it thus out of evil intent,
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assignment - Geoffrey Chaucer - The Canterbury Tales:...

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