Previous Previous:
From The Friar's Tale, lines 259-270:
The summoner and the demon promise to share each other's earning
Previous
Librarius Homepage
© Librarius
All rights reserved.



From The Canterbury Tales:
The Friar's Tale
lines 271-306: About the true meaning and intention of a curse


       "I graunte," quod the devel, "by my fey.
And with that word they ryden forth hir wey.
And right at the entryng of the townes ende,
To which this somonour shoop hym for to wende,
275They saugh a cart that charged was with hey,
Which that a cartere droof forth in his wey.
Deep was the wey, for which the carte stood.
The cartere smoot, and cryde as he were wood,
"Hayt, Brok! Hayt, Scot! what spare ye for the stones?
280The feend," quod he, "yow fecche, body and bones,
As ferforthly as evere were ye foled,
So muche wo as I have with yow tholed!
The devel have al, bothe hors and cart and hey!"
       "Agreed, then," said the devil, "by my fay."
And with that word they rode upon their way.
As they drew near the town- it happened so-
To which this summoner had planned to go,
275They saw a cart that loaded was with hay,
The which a carter drove along the way.
Deep was the mire; for which the cart now stood.
The carter whipped and cried as madman would,
"Hi, Badger, Scot! What care you for the stones?
280The devil," he cried, "take body of you and bones,
As utterly as ever you were foaled!
More trouble you've caused me than can be told!
Devil take all, the horses, cart, and hay!"
       This somonour seyde, "Heere shal we have a pley."
285And neer the feend he drough, as noght ne were,
Ful prively, and rowned in his ere:
"Herkne, my brother, herkne, by thy feith!
Herestow nat how that the cartere seith?
Hent it anon, for he hath yeve it thee,
290Bothe hey and cart, and eek his caples thre."
       This summoner thought, "Here shall be played a play."
285And near the demon he drew, as naught were there,
And unobserved he whispered in his ear:
"Listen, my brother, listen, by your faith;
Hear you not what the carter says in wrath?
Take all, at once, for he has given you
290Both hay and cart, and this three horses too."
       "Nay," quod the devel, "God woot, never a deel!
It is nat his entente, trust me weel.
Axe hym thyself, it thou nat trowest me;
Or elles stynt a while, and thou shalt see."
295       This cartere thakketh his hors upon the croupe,
And they bigonne to drawen and to stoupe.
"Heyt! Now," quod he, "ther Jhesu Crist yow blesse,
And al his handwerk, bothe moore and lesse!
That was wel twight, myn owene lyard boy.
300I pray God save thee, and Seinte Loy!
Now is my cart out of the slow, pardee!"
       "Lo, brother," quod the feend, "what tolde I thee?
Heere may ye se, myn owene deere brother,
The carl spak oo thing, but he thoghte another.
305Lat us go forth abouten oure viage;
Heere wynne I nothyng upon cariage."
       "Nay," said the devil, "God knows, never a bit.
It is not his intention, trust to it.
Ask him yourself, if you believe not me,
Or else withhold a while, and you shall see."
295       This carter stroked his nags upon the croup,
And they began in collars low to stoop.
"Hi now!" cried he, "May Jesus Christ you bless
And all his creatures, greater, aye and less!
That was well pulled, old horse, my own grey boy!
300I pray God save you, and good Saint Eloy!
Now is my cart out of the slough, by gad!"
       "Lo, brother," said the fiend, "what said I, lad?
Here may you see, my very own dear brother,
The peasant said one thing, but thought another.
305Let us go forth upon our travellers' way;
Here win I nothing I can take today."




Next Next:
From The Friar's Tale, lines 307-325:
The summoner attempts to blackmail an old woman
Next