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PROLOGUE OF THE NONNE
The prologue of the Nonne preestes tale.
Ho! quod the knyght, 'good sir, no more of this,
3970 Ye seye ryght sooth; this monk, he clappeth loude, He spak how “fortune couered with a cloude I noot neuer what, and als of Tragedie” Ryght now ye herde, and parde! no remedie It is for to biwaille, ne compleyne
3975 That that is doon, and als it is a peyne, As ye han seyd, to here of heuynesse. Sir monk, no more of this, so god yow blesse !
Your tale anoyeth al this companye ;
3985 By heuen king, that for vs alle dyde, I sholde er this han fallen doun for slepe Although the slough had neuer ben so depe; Than had your tale al be told in vayn. For certeinly, as that thise clerkes seyn,
3990 Wher as a man may haue noon audience, Nought helpeth it to tellen his sentence. And wel I woot the substance is in me, If any thing shal wel reported be. Sir, sey somwhat of hunting, I yow preye.' 3995 'Nay,' quod this monk, 'I haue no lust to pleye; Now let another telle, as I haue told.' Than spak our host, with rude speche and bold, And seyde vn-to the nonnes preste anon,
Com neer, thou prest, com hider, thou sir Iohn, 4000 Tel vs swich thing as may our hertes glade, Be blythe, though thou ryde vp-on a Iade. What though thyn hors be bothe foule and lene, If he wol serue thee, rek nat a bene; Look that thyn herte be merie euermo.'
4005 Yis, sir,' quod he, 'yis, host, so mote I go, But I be merie, ywis I wol be blamed : 'And ryght anon his tale he hath attamed,
1 Pt. or; Hn. 0; which the rest omit.
And thus he seyde vn-to vs euerichon,
[Here follows The Nonne Prestes Tale, printed in Chaucer's Prologue, &c., ed. Morris (Clar. Press Series) pp. 97-116; lines numbered 4011-4636 in the Six-Text ; next comes The Nuns' Priest's End-link, ll. 4637–4652, with which Group B ends.
Group C begins with The Doctor's Tale, ll. 1-286; after which come The Wordes of the Hoost to the Phisicien and the Pardoner, ll. 287–328, and then The Pardoner's Preamble and Tale, ll. 329-968. See Man of Law's Tale, &c.; pp. 38–60.
Group D contains The Wife of Bath's Tale, the Friar's Tale, and the Summoner's Tale.]
GROUP E. THE CLERK'S PROLOGUE
Heere folweth the Prologe of the clerkes tale of
For goddes sake, as beth of bettre chere,
Telle vs som merie thing of auentures;-
1 E. Hl. that ye ; the rest omit that.
2 E. Hn, we; the rest I.
This, worthy clerk benignely answerde,
Fraunceys Petrark, the laureat poete,
But forth to tellen of this worthy man, - That taughte me this tale, as I bigan,
I seye that first with hy style he endyteth,
And of Mount Vesulus in special,
1 E. omits suffre vs.