Previous Previous:
From The Pardoner's Tale, lines 199-218:
About the risks of drinking
Librarius Homepage
© Librarius
All rights reserved.

From The Canterbury Tales:
The Pardoner's Tale
lines 219-262: A sermon on gluttony

       Adam oure fader, and his wyf also,
220Fro Paradys to labour and to wo
Were dryven for that vice, it is no drede.
For whil that Adam fasted, as I rede,
He was in Paradys, and whan that he
Eet of the fruyt deffended on the tree,
225Anon he was out cast to wo and peyne.
O glotonye, on thee wel oghte us pleyne!
O, wiste a man how manye maladyes
Folwen of excesse and of goltonyes,
He wolde been the moore mesurable
230Of his diete, sittynge at his table.
Allas, the shorte throte, the tendre mouth
Maketh that est and west and north and south
In erthe, in eir, in water, man to swynke
To gete a glotoun deyntee mete and drynke!
235Of this matiere, O Paul! wel kanstow trete:
"Mete unto wombe and wombe eek unto mete
Shal God destroyen bothe," as Paulus seith.
Allas, a foul thyng is it, by my feith,
To seye this word, and fouler is the dede
240Whan man so drynketh of the white and rede
That of his throte he maketh his pryvee
Thurgh thilke cursed superfluitee.
       Adam our father, and his wife also,
220From Paradise to labour and to woe
Were driven for that vice, no doubt; indeed
The while that Adam fasted, as I read,
He was in Paradise; but then when he
Ate of the fruit forbidden of the tree,
225Anon he was cast out to woe and pain.
O gluttony, of you we may complain!
Oh, knew a man how many maladies
Follow on excess and on gluttonies,
Surely he would be then more moderate
230In diet, and at table more sedate.
Alas! The throat so short, the tender mouth,
Causing that east and west and north and south,
In earth, in air, in water men shall swink
To get a glutton dainty meat and drink!
235Of this same matter Paul does wisely treat:
"Meat for the belly and belly for the meat:
And both shall God destroy," as Paul does say.
Alas! A foul thing is it, by my fay,
To speak this word, and fouler is the deed,
240When man so guzzles of the white and red
That of his own throat makes he his privy,
Because of this cursed superfluity.
       The Apostel wepying seith ful pitously,
"Ther walken manye of whiche yow toold have I -
245I seye it now wepyng with pitous voys,
That they been enemys of Cristes croys,
Of whiche the ende is deeth, wombe is hir god."
O wombe! O bely! O stynkyng cod!
Fulfilled of donge and of corrupcioun,
250At either ende of thee foul is the soun;
How greet labour and cost is thee to fynde,
Thise cookes, how they stampe, and streyne, and grynde,
And turnen substaunce into accident,
To fulfillen al thy likerous talent!
255Out of the harde bones knokke they
The mary, for they caste noght awey,
That may go thurgh the golet softe and swoote;
Of spicerie, of leef, and bark, and roote,
Shal been his sauce ymaked by delit,
260To make hym yet a newer appetit.
But, certes, he that haunteth swiche delices
Is deed, whil that he lyveth in tho vices.
       The apostle, weeping, says most piteously:
"For many walk, of whom I've told you, aye,
245Weeping I tell you once again they're dross,
For they are foes of Christ and of the Cross,
Whose end is death, whose belly is their god."
O gut! O belly! O you stinking cod,
Filled full of dung, with all corruption found!
250At either end of you foul is the sound.
With how great cost and labour do they find
Your food! These cooks, they pound and strain and grind;
Substance to accident they turn with fire,
All to fulfill your gluttonous desire!
255Out of the hard and riven bones knock they
The marrow, for they throw nothing away
That may go through the gullet soft and sweet;
With spicery, with leaf, bark, root, replete
Shall be the sauces made for your delight,
260To furnish you a sharper appetite.
But truly, he that such delights entice
Is dead while yet he wallows in this vice.

Next Next:
From The Pardoner's Tale, lines 263-286:
A sermon on drunkenness