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From The Man of Law's Prologue, lines 99-133:
About the hateful state of poverty
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From The Canterbury Tales:
The Man of Law's Tale
lines 134-147: About a group of Syrian merchants that go to Rome

Heere begynneth the Man of Lawe his Tale.

       In Surrye whilom dwelte a compaignye
135Of chapmen riche, and therto sadde and trewe,
That wyde-where senten hir spicerye,
Clothes of gold, and satyns riche of hewe.
Hir chaffare was so thrifty and so newe
That every wight hath deyntee to chaffare
140With hem, and eek to sellen hem hir ware.
       In Syria, once, there dwelt a company
135Of traders rich, all sober men and true,
That far abroad did send their spicery,
And cloth of gold, and satins rich in hue;
Their wares were all so excellent and new
That everyone was eager to exchange
140With them, and sell them divers things and strange,

Now fil it, that the maistres of that sort
Han shapen hem to Rome for to wende;
Were it for chapmanhode, or for disport,
Noon oother message wolde they thider sende,
145But comen hemself to Rome, this is the ende,
And in swich place as thoughte hem avantage
For hir entente, they take hir herbergage.
It came to pass, the masters of this sort
Decided that to Rome they all would wend,
Were it for business or for only sport;
No other message would they thither send,
145But went themselves to Rome; this is the end.
And there they found an inn and took their rest
As seemed to their advantage suited best.

Next Next:
From The Man of Law's Tale, lines 148-168:
The emperor's beautiful daughter Constance