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From The Squire's Tale, lines 651-670:
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From The Canterbury Tales:
The Squire's Tale
lines 671-708: The comments of the Franklin


Incipit pars tercia
(Here begins the third part)


      Appollo whirleth up his chaar so hye
Til that the god Mercurius hous, the slye ----
      Apollo in his chariot whirled so high
That in the God Mercurius' house, the sly----

Heere folwen the wordes of the Frankelyn to the Squier,
and the wordes of the hoost to the Frankelyn.

      "In feith, Squier, thow hast thee wel yquit,
And gentilly I preise wel thy wit,"
675Quod the Frankeleyn, "considerynge thy yowthe,
So feelyngly thou spekest, sire, I allow the;
As to my doom, ther is noon that is heere
Of eloquence that shal be thy peere,
If that thou lyve; God yeve thee good chaunce,
680And in vertu sende thee continuance!
For of thy speche I have greet deyntee;
I have a sone, and, by the Trinitee,
I hadde levere than twenty pound worth lond,
Though it right now were fallen in myn hond,
685He were a man of swich discrecioun
As that ye been! Fy on possessioun
But if a man be vertuous withal!
I have my sone snybbed, and yet shal,
For he to vertu listneth nat entende,
690But for to pleye at dees, and to despende
And lese al that he hath, is his usage.
And he hath levere talken with a page
Than to comune with any gentil wight
Where he myghte lerne gentillesse aright."
695      "Straw for youre gentillesse," quod our Hoost,
"What, Frankeleyn, pardee! sire, wel thou woost
That ech of yow moot tellen atte leste
A tale or two, or breken his biheste."
      In faith, sir squire, you have done well with it,
And openly I praise you for your wit,"
675The franklin said, "Considering your youth,
So feelingly you speak, sir, in good truth!
In my opinion, there is none that's here
In eloquence shall ever be your peer,
If you but live; may God give you good chance
680And in all virtue send continuance!
For, sir, your speech was great delight to me.
I have a son, and by the Trinity
I'd rather have, than twenty pounds in land,
Though it were right now fallen to my hand,
685He were a man of such discretion shown
As you, sir; fie on what a man may own,
Unless the man have virtue therewithal.
I've checked my son, and yet again I shall,
For he toward virtue chooses not to wend;
690But just to play at dice, and gold to spend,
And lose all that he has, is his usage.
And he would rather talk with any page
Than to commune with any gentle wight
From whom he might, learn courtesy aright."
695      "A straw for courtesy!" exclaimed our host;
"What, franklin? Indeed, sir, well you know, I trust,
That each of you must tell us, at the least,
A tale or two, or break his sworn behest."
      "That knowe I wel, sire," quod the Frankeleyn,
700"I prey yow, haveth me nat in desdeyn
Though to this man I speke a word or two."
      "Telle on thy tale, withouten wordes mo."
      "Gladly, sire Hoost," quod he, "I wole obeye
Unto your wyl; now herkneth what I seye.
705I wol yow nat contrarien in no wyse
As fer as that my wittes wol suffyse;
I prey to God that it may plesen yow,
Thanne woot I wel that it is good ynow."
      "I know it," said the franklin; "I am fain,
700And pray you all, you do not me disdain,
Though to this man I speak a word or two."
      "Come, tell your tale, sir, without more ado."
      "Gladly, sir host," said he, "I will obey
Your will, good host; now hearken what I say.
705For I'll not be contrary in any wise,
At least so far as my wit shall suffice;
I pray to God that it may please you; rough
Though it may be, I'll know 'tis good enough."




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