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From The Summoner's Tale, lines 19-44:
Where friars come from according to the Summoner
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From The Canterbury Tales:
The Summoner's Tale
lines 45-96: About a friar from Yorkshire and his practice


Heere bigynneth the Somonour his Tale

45        Lordynges, ther is in Yorkshire, as I gesse,
A mersshy contree called holdernesse,
In which ther wente a lymytour aboute,
To preche, and eek to begge, it so no doute.
And so bifel that on a day this frere
50Hadde preched at a chirche in his manere,
And specially, aboven every thyng,
Excited he the peple in his prechyng
To trentals, and to yeve, for Goddes sake,
Wherwith men myghte hooly houses make,
55Ther as divine servyce is honoured,
Nat ther as it is wasted and devoured,
Ne ther it nedeth nat for to be yive,
As to possessioners, that mowen lyve,
Thanked be God, in wele and habundaunce.
60"Trentals," seyde he, "deliveren fro penaunce
Hir freendes soules, as wel olde as yonge, -
Ye, whan that they been hastily ysonge,
Nat for to holde a preest holy and gay -
He syngeth nat but o masse in a day.
65Delivereth out," quod he, "anon the soules!
Ful hard it is with flesshhook or with oules
To been yclawed, or to brenne or bake.
Now spede yow hastily, for Cristes sake!"
And whan this frere had seyd al his entente,
70With qui cum patre forth his wey he wente.
45       Masters, there is in Yorkshire, as I guess,
A marshy region that's called Holderness,
Wherein there went a limiter about
To preach, and to beg too, beyond a doubt.
And so it happened that on a day this friar
50Had preached in church in his own manner dire,
And specially, and above everything,
Incited he the people, by preaching,
To trentals, and to give, for God's own sake,
The means wherewith men might new churches make,
55That there the services of God might flower,
And not to them who waste and wealth devour,
Nor where there's no necessity to give,
As to the monks, who easily may live -
Thanks be to God!- and need no wealth to gain.
60"Trentals," said he, "deliver from their pain
The souls of friends who're dead, the old and young,
Yea, even when they have been hastily sung;
Not that I hold as frivolous and gay,
A priest who only sings one mass a day.
65"Act quickly now," said he, "their souls redeem,
For hard it is, with spikes and hooks, I deem,
To be so torn, aye, or to burn or bake;
Now speed you all to this, for Christ's own sake!"
And when this friar had said all that he meant,
70With cui cum patre on his way he went.
       Whan folk in chirche had yeve him what hem leste,
He wente his wey, no lenger wolde he reste,
With scrippe and tipped staf, ytukked hye,
In every hous he gan to poure and prye,
75And beggeth mele and chese, or elles corn.
His felawe hadde a staf tipped with horn,
A peyre of tables al of yvory,
And a poyntel polysshed fetisly,
And wrooth the names alwey, as he stood,
80Of alle folk that yaf hym any good,
Ascaunces that he wolde for hem preye.
"Yif us a busshel whete, malt, or reye,
A goddes kechyl, or a trype of chese,
Or elles what yow lyst, we may nat cheese;
85A goddes halfpeny, or a masse peny,
Or yif us of youre brawn, if ye have eny;
A dagon of youre blanket, leeve dame,
Oure suster deere, - lo! Heere I write youre name, -
Bacon or beef, or swich thyng as ye fynde."
       When folk in church had given and pleased him best,
He went his way, no longer would he rest,
With scrip and ferruled staff and skirts tucked high;
In every house he went to peer and pry,
75And beg for flour and cheese, or else for corn.
His fellow had a staff was tipped with horn,
A set of tablets all of ivory,
And stylus that was polished elegantly,
And wrote the names down always as he stood,
80Of those that gave him anything of good,
As if for them he later meant to pray.
"Give us of wheat or malt or rye," he'd say,
"A bushel; or a God's cake; or some cheese;
We may not choose, so give us what you please;
85Give us God's halfpenny or a mass-penny,
Or give us of your brawn, if you have any;
A small piece of your blanket, my dear dame,
Our sister dear, lo, here I write your name;
Bacon or beef, or such thing as you find."
90        A sturdy harlot wente ay hem bihynde,
That was hir hostes man, and bar a sak,
And what men yaf hem, leyde it on his bak.
And whan that he was out at dore, anon
He planed awey the names everichon
95That he biforn had writen in his tables;
He served hem with nyfles and with fables.
90       A sturdy menial went these two behind-
The servant of their host- and bore a sack,
And what men gave them, laid it on his back.
And when they'd left the house, why, then anon
He planed away the names of folk, each one,
95That he before had written on his tables;
And thus he served them mockeries and fables.




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From The Summoner's Tale, lines 97-100:
The interruption by the Friar and the Host
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