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From The Friar's Tale, lines 074-119:
The summoner's trade and practice
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From The Canterbury Tales:
The Friar's Tale
lines 120-169: The summoner meets a yeoman and they ride along


120        "Sire," quod this somnour, "hayl, and wel atake!"
       "Welcome," quod he, "and every good felawe!
Wher rydestow, under this grene-wode shawe?"
Seyde this yeman, "Wiltow fer to day?"
120        "Sir," said the summoner, "hail and well met, Jack!"
       "Welcome," said he, "and every comrade good!
Whither do you ride under this greenwood?"
Said this yeoman, "Will you go far today?"
       This somnour hym answerde and seyde, "Nay;
125Heere faste by," quod he, "is myn entente
To ryden, for to reysen up a rente
That longeth to my lordes duetee."
       This summoner replied to him with: "Nay,
125Hard by this place," said he, "'tis my intent
To ride, sir, to collect a bit of rent
Pertaining to my lord's temporality."
       "Artow thanne a bailly?" "Ye," quod he.
He dorste nat, for verray filthe and shame
130Seye that he was a somonour, for the name.
       "Depardieux," quod this yeman, "deere broother,
Thou art a bailly, and I am another.
I am unknowen as in this contree;
Of thyn aqueyntance I wolde praye thee,
135And eek of bretherhede, if that yow leste.
I have gold and silver in my cheste;
If that thee happe to comen in oure shire,
Al shal be thyn, right as thou wolt desire."
       "And are you then a bailiff?" "Aye," said he.
He dared not, no, for very filth and shame,
130Say that he was a summoner, for the name.
       "In God's name," said this yeoman then, "dear brother,
You are a bailiff and I am another.
I am a stranger in these parts, you see;
Of your acquaintance I'd be glad," said he,
135"And of your brotherhood, if 'tis welcome.
I've gold and silver in my chest at home.
And if you chance to come into our shire,
All shall be yours, just as you may desire."
       "Grant mercy," quod this somonour, "by my feith!"
140Everych in ootheres hand his trouthe leith,
For to be sworne bretheren til they deye.
In daliance they ryden forth and pleye.
       "Many thanks," said this summoner, "by my faith!"
140And they struck hands and made their solemn oath
To be sworn brothers till their dying day.
Gossiping then they rode upon their way.
       This somonour, which that was as ful of jangles,
As ful of venym been thise waryangles,
145And evere enqueryng upon every thyng,
       "Brother," quod he, "where is now youre dwellyng
Another day if that I sholde yow seche?"
This yeman hym answerde in softe speche,
       "Brother," quod he, "fer in the north contree,
150Where-as I hope som tyme I shal thee see.
Er we departe, I shal thee so wel wisse
That of myn hous ne shaltow nevere mysse."
       This summoner, who was as full of words
As full of malice are these butcher birds,
145And ever enquiring after everything,
       "Brother," asked he, "where now is your dwelling,
If some day I should wish your side to reach?"
This yeoman answered him in gentle speech,
"Brother," said he, "far in the north country,
150Where, as I hope, some day you'll come to me.
Before we part I will direct you so
You'll never miss it when that way you go."
       "Now, brother," quod this somonour, "I yow preye,
Teche me, whil that we ryden by the weye,
155Syn that ye been a baillif as am I,
Som subtiltee, and tel me feithfully
In myn office how that I may moost wynne;
And spareth nat for conscience ne synne,
But as my brother tel me, how do ye."
       "Now, brother," said this summoner, "I pray
You'll teach me, while we ride along our way,
155Since that you are a bailiff, as am I,
A trick or two, and tell me faithfully
How, in my office, I may most coin win;
And spare not for nice conscience, nor for sin,
But as my brother tell your arts to me."
160        "Now, by my trouthe, brother deere," seyde he,
"As I shal tellen thee a feithful tale,
My wages been ful streite and ful smale.
My lord is hard to me and daungerous,
And myn office is ful laborous,
165And therfore by extorcions I lyve.
For sothe, I take al that men wol me yive.
Algate, by sleyghte or by violence,
Fro yeer to yeer I wynne al my dispence.
I kan no bettre telle, feithfully."
160        "Now by my truth, dear brother," then said he,
If I am to relate a faithful tale,
My wages are right scanty, and but small.
My lord is harsh to me and niggardly,
My job is most laborious, you see;
165And therefore by extortion do I live.
Forsooth, I take all that these men will give;
By any means, by trick or violence,
From year to year I win me my expense.
I can no better tell you faithfully."




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From The Friar's Tale, lines 170-208:
The yeoman reveals his true identity
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