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From General Prologue, lines 101-117:
The Yeoman
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From The Canterbury Tales:
General Prologue
lines 118-162: The Prioress


       Ther was also a Nonne, a PRIORESSE,
That of hir smylyng was ful symple and coy;
120Hir gretteste ooth was but by Seinte Loy;
And she was cleped Madame Eglentyne.
Ful weel she soong the service dyvyne,
Entuned in hir nose ful semely,
And Frenssh she spak ful faire and fetisly,
125After the scole of Stratford-atte-Bowe,
For Frenssh of Parys was to hir unknowe.
At mete wel ytaught was she with alle:
She leet no morsel from hir lippes falle,
Ne wette hir fyngres in hir sauce depe;
130Wel koude she carie a morsel, and wel kepe
That no drope ne fille upon hir brist.
In curteisie was set ful muche hir list.
Hire over-lippe wyped she so clene
That in hir coppe ther was no ferthyng sene
135Of grece, whan she dronken hadde hir draughte.
Ful semely after hir mete she raughte.
And sikerly, she was of greet desport,
And ful plesaunt, and amyable of port,
And peyned hir to countrefete cheere
140Of court, and been estatlich of manere,
And to ben holden digne of reverence.
But, for to speken of hir conscience,
She was so charitable and so pitous
She wolde wepe, if that she saugh a mous
145Kaught in a trappe, if it were deed or bledde.
Of smale houndes hadde she, that she fedde
With rosted flessh, or milk and wastel-breed.
But soore weep she if oon of hem were deed,
Or if men smoot it with a yerde smerte;
150And al was conscience, and tendre herte.
Ful semyly hir wympul pynched was,
Hire nose tretys, hir eyen greye as glas,
Hir mouth ful smal, and therto softe and reed;
But sikerly she hadde a fair forheed;
155It was almoost a spanne brood, I trowe;
For, hardily, she was nat undergrowe.
Ful fetys was hir cloke, as I was war;
Of smal coral aboute hir arm she bar
A peire of bedes, gauded al with grene,
160An theron heng a brooch of gold ful sheene,
On which ther was first write a crowned A,
And after Amor vincit omnia.
       There was also a nun, a PRIORESS,
Who, in her smiling, modest was and coy;
120Her greatest oath was but "By Saint Eloy!"
And she was called Madam Eglantine.
Very well she sang the service divine,
Intoning through her nose, becomingly;
And she spoke French fairly and fluently,
125After the school of Stratford-at-the-Bow,
For French of Paris style she didn't know.
At table her manners were well taught withall,
And never let morsels from her lips fall,
Nor dipped her fingers deep in sauce, but ate
130With so much care the food upon her plate
That no drop could fall upon her breast.
In courtesy she had delight and zest.
Her upper lip was always wiped so clean
That on her cup no speck or spot was seen
135Of grease, when she had drunk her draught of wine.
Graciously she reached for food to dine.
And certainly delighting in good sport,
She was very pleasant, amiable - in short.
She was in pains to imitate the cheer
140Of courtliness, and stately manners here,
And would be held worthy of reverence.
But, to speak about her moral sense,
She was so charitable and solicitous
That she would weep if she but saw a mouse
145Caught in a trap, whether it were dead or bled.
She had some little dogs, that she fed
On roasted flesh, or milk and fine white bread.
But sorely she wept if one of them were dead,
Or if men smote it with a stick to smart:
150Then pity ruled her, and her tender heart.
Very seemly her pleated wimple was;
Her nose was fine; her eyes were grey as glass;
Her mouth was small and therewith soft and red;
But certainly her forehead was fairly spread;
155It was almost a full span broad, I own,
To tell the truth, she was not undergrown.
Her cloak, as I was well aware, had a graceful charm
She wore a small coral trinket on her arm
A string of beads and gauded all with green;
160And therefrom hung a brooch of golden sheen
Whereon there was engraved a crowned "A,"
And under, Amor vincit omnia.




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From General Prologue, lines 163-164:
The Second Nun and Three Priests
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