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From The Summoner's Tale, lines 284-289:
Thomas says he has given his fortune to several friars
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From The Canterbury Tales:
The Summoner's Tale
lines 290-352: The friar says Thomas should not trust other friars and not even his wife


290        The frere answerde, "O Thomas, dostow so?
What nedeth yow diverse freres seche?
What nedeth hym that hath a parfit leche
To sechen othere leches in the toun?
Youre inconstance is youre confusioun.
295Holde ye thanne me, or elles oure covent,
To praye for yow been insufficient?
Thomas, that jape nys nat worth a myte.
Youre maladye is for we han to lyte.
A! yif that covent half a quarter otes!
300A! yif that covent foure and twenty grotes!
A! yif that frere a peny, and lat hym go!
Nay, nay, Thomas, it may no thyng be so!
What is a ferthyng worth parted in twelve?
Lo, ech thyng that is oned in himselve
305Is moore strong than whan it is toscatered.
Thomas, of me thou shalt nat been yflatered;
Thou woldest han oure labour al for noght.
The hye god, that al this world hath wroght,
Seith that the werkman worthy is his hyre.
310Thomas, noght of youre tresor I desire
As for myself, but that al oure covent
To preye for yow is ay so diligent,
And for to buylden Cristes owene chirche.
Thomas, if ye wol lernen for to wirche,
315Of buyldynge up of chirches may ye fynde,
If it be good, in Thomas lyf of Inde.
Ye lye heere ful of anger and of ire,
With which the devel set youre herte afyre,
And chiden heere the sely innocent,
320Youre wyf, that is so meke and pacient.
And therfore, Thomas, trowe me if thee leste,
Ne stryve nat with thy wyf, as for thy beste;
And ber this word awey now, by thy feith,
Touchynge swich thyng, lo, what the wise seith:
325Withinne thyn hous ne be thou no leon;
To thy subgitz do noon oppression,
Ne make thyne aqueyntances nat to flee. -
And, Thomas, yet eft-soones I charge thee,
Be war from hire that in thy bosom slepeth;
330War fro the serpent that so slily crepeth
Under the gras, and styngeth subtilly.
Be war, my sone, and herkne paciently,
That twenty thousand men han lost hir lyves
For stryvyng with hir lemmans and hir wyves.
335Now sith ye han so hooly and meke a wyf,
What nedeth yow, Thomas, to maken stryf?
Ther nys, ywys, no serpent so cruel,
Whan man tret on his tayl, ne half so fel,
As womman is, whan she hath caught an ire;
340Vengeance is thanne al that they desire.
Ire is a synne, oon of the grete of sevene,
Abhomynable unto the God of hevene;
And to hymself it is destruccion.
This every lewed viker or person
345Kan seye, how ire engendreth homycide.
Ire is, in sooth, executour of pryde.
I koude of ire seye so muche sorwe,
My tale sholde laste til to-morwe.
And therfore preye I God, bothe day and nyght,
350An irous man, God sende hym litel myght!
It is greet harm and certes greet pitee
To sette an irous man in heigh degree.
290       The friar replied: "Ah, Thomas, so you say!
But why need you to different friars reach?
Why should he need, who has a perfect leech,
To call in other leeches from the town?
Your trouble from your fickleness has grown.
295Think you that I, or at least our convent,
Could not suffice to pray? That's what I meant.
Thomas, your feeble joke's not worth a tittle;
Your illness lasts because you've given too little.
Ah, give that convent bushels four of oats!
300Ah, give that convent four and twenty groats!
Ah, give that friar a penny and let him go!
"Nay, nay, Thomas, the thing should not be so!
What is a farthing worth, when split twelve ways?
A thing in its integrity displays
305Far greater strength than does a unit scattered.
Thomas, by me you shall not here be flattered;
You wished you had our labour all for naught.
But the High God, Who all this world has wrought,
Says that the workman's worthy of his hire.
310Thomas! Naught of your treasure I desire
As for myself, but that all our convent
To pray for you is always diligent,
And also to build up Christ's holy church.
Thomas! If you will learn the way to work,
315Of building up of churches you may find
If it be good in Thomas' life, of Inde.
You lie here, full of anger and of ire,
Wherewith the Devil set your heart afire,
And you chide here this hapless innocent,
320Your wife, who is so meek and so patient.
And therefore, Thomas, trust me if you please,
Scold not your wife, who tries to give you ease;
And bear this word away now, by your faith,
Touching this thing, lo what the wise man saith:
325Within thy house do not the lion play,
Oppress thy subjects in no kind of way,
Nor cause thine equals and thy friends to flee.
And Thomas, yet again I charge you, be
Wary of her that in your bosom sleeps;
330Beware the serpent that so slyly creeps
Under the grass and stings so treacherously.
Beware, my son, and hear this patiently,
That twenty thousand men have lost their lives
For quarrelling with their sweet ones, and their wives.
335Now, since you have so holy and meek a wife,
Why need you, Thomas, so to stir up strife?
There is, indeed, no serpent so cruel,
When man treads on his tail, nor half so fell,
As woman is when she is filled with ire;
340Vengeance is then the whole of her desire.
Anger's a sin, one of the deadly seven,
Abominable unto the God of Heaven;
And it is sure destruction unto one.
This every vulgar vicar or parson
345Can say, how anger leads to homicide.
Truth, anger's the executant of pride.
I could of anger tell you so much sorrow
My tale should last until it were tomorrow.
And therefore I pray God both day and night,
350An ireful man, God send him little might!
It is great harm and truly great pity
To set an ireful man in high degree.




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From The Summoner's Tale, lines 353-378:
An example about the logic of a ruthless dictator
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