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From The Canterbury Tales:
The Squire's Tale
lines 9-41: King Cambinskan and his family


Heere bigynneth the Squieres Tale.


      At Sarray, in the land of Tartarye,
10Ther dwelte a kyng that werreyed Russye,
Thurgh which ther dyde many a doughty man.
This noble kyng was cleped Cambyuskan,
Which in his tyme was of so greet renoun,
That ther was nowher in no regioun
15So excellent a lord in alle thyng.
Hym lakked noght that longeth to a kyng;
And of the secte, of which that he was born,
He kepte his lay, to which that he was sworn;
And therto he was hardy, wys, and riche,
20And pitous, and just, and everemoore yliche,
Sooth of his word, benigne, and honurable,
Of his corage as any centre stable,
Yong, fressh, strong, and in armes desirous
As any bacheler of al his hous.
25A fair persone he was, and fortunat,
And kepte alwey so wel roial estat
That ther was nowher swich another man.
      At Sarai, in the land of Tartary,
10There dwelt a king who warred on Russia, he,
Whereby there died full many a doughty man.
This noble king was known as Cambinskan,
Who in his time was of so great renown
That there was nowhere in the wide world known
15So excellent a lord in everything;
He lacked in naught belonging to a king.
As for the faith to which he had been born,
He kept its law to which he had been sworn;
And therewith he was hardy, rich, and wise,
20And merciful and just in all men's eyes,
True to his word, benign and honourable,
And in his heart like any center stable;
Young, fresh, and strong, in warfare ambitious
As any bachelor knight of all his house.
25Of handsome person, he was fortunate,
And kept always so well his royal state
That there was nowhere such another man.
      This noble kyng, this Tarte Cambyuskan,
Hadde two sones on Elpheta his wyf,
30Of whiche the eldeste highte Algarsyf,
That oother sone was cleped Cambalo.
A doghter hadde this worthy kyng also,
That yongest was, and highte Canacee.
But for to telle yow al hir beautee,
35It lyth nat in my tonge nyn my konnyng.
I dar nat undertake so heigh a thyng;
Myn Englissh eek is insufficient.
I moste been a rethor excellent,
That koude his colours longynge for that art,
40If he sholde hir discryven every part.
I am noon swich; I moot speke as I kan.
      This noble king, this Tartar Cambinskan
Had got two sons on Elpheta, his wife,
30Of whom the elder's name was Algarsyf,
And that same second son was Cambalo.
A daughter had this worthy king, also,
Who was the youngest, and called Canace.
But to describe to you all her beauty,
35It lies not in my tongue nor my knowing;
I dare not undertake so high a thing.
My English is quite insufficient for
What must require a finished orator
Who knew the colours needful to that art
40If he were to describe her every part.
I am none such, I must speak as I can.




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From The Squire's Tale, lines 41-75:
A feast in honour of the king
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