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From The Friar's Tale, lines 170-208:
The yeoman reveals his true identity
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From The Canterbury Tales:
The Friar's Tale
lines 209-239: The demon's trade and practice


       "What maketh yow to han al this labour?"
210       "Ful many a cause, leeve sire somonour,"
Seyde this feend, "but alle thyng hath tyme.
The day is short, and it is passed pryme,
And yet ne wan I nothyng in this day.
I wol entende to wynnyng, if I may,
215And nat entende oure wittes to declare.
For, brother myn, thy wit is al to bare
To understonde, althogh I tolde hem thee.
But, for thou axest why labouren we -
For somtyme we been goddes instrumentz,
220And meenes to doon his comandementz,
Whan that hym list, upon his creatures,
In divers art and in diverse figures.
Withouten hym we have no myght, certayn,
If that hym list stonden ther-agayn.
225And somtyme, at oure prayere, han we leve
Oonly the body and nat the soule greve;
Witnesse on job, whom that we diden wo.
And somtyme han we myght of bothe two,
This is to seyn, of soule and body eke.
230And somtyme be we suffred for to seke
Upon a man, and doon his soule unreste,
And nat his body, and al is for the beste.
Whan he withstandeth oure temptacioun,
It is a cause of his savacioun,
235Al be it that it was nat oure entente
He sholde be sauf, but that we wolde hym hente.
And somtyme be we servant unto man,
As to the erchebisshop Seint Dunstan,
And to the apostles servent eek was I."
       "What causes you to have all this labour?"
210       "Full many a cause, my dear sir summoner,"
Replied the demon, "but each thing has its time.
The day is short, and it is now past prime,
And yet have I won not a thing this day.
I will attend to winning, if I may,
215And not our different notions to declare.
For, brother mine, your wits are all too bare
To understand, though I told mine fully.
But since you ask me why thus labour we-
Well, sometimes we are God's own instruments
220And means to do his orders and intents,
When so he pleases, upon all his creatures,
In divers ways and shapes, and divers features.
Without him we've no power, 'tis certain,
If he be pleased to stand against our train.
225And sometimes, at our instance, have we leave
Only the body, not the soul, to grieve;
As witness job, to whom we gave such woe.
And sometimes have we power of both, you know,
That is to say, of soul and body too.
230And sometimes we're allowed to search and do
That to a man which gives his soul unrest,
And not his body, and all is for the best.
And when one does withstand all our temptation,
It is the thing that gives his soul salvation;
235Albeit that it was not our intent
He should be saved; we'd have him impotent.
And sometimes we are servants unto man,
As to that old archbishop, Saint Dunstan,
And to the apostles servant once was I."




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From The Friar's Tale, lines 240-258:
The demon's various shapes of appearance
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