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From The Tale of Sir Thopas, lines 239-252:
The Host suggests that Chaucer should tell a tale in prose
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From The Canterbury Tales:
The Tale of Sir Thopas
lines 253-276: Chaucer announces a moral tale in prose

       As thus: ye woot that every Evaungelist
That telleth us the peyne of Jhesu Crist
255Ne seith nat alle thyng as his felawe dooth,
But, nathelees, hir sentence is al sooth,
And alle acorden as in hir sentence,
Al be her in hir tellyng difference.
For somme of hem seyn moore, and somme seyn lesse,
260Whan they his pitous passioun expresse -
I meene of Marke, Mathew, Luc, and John -
But doutelees hir sentence is al oon,
Therfore, lordynges alle, I yow biseche
If that yow thynke I varie as in my speche,
265As thus, though that I telle somwhat moore
Of proverbes, than ye han herd bifoore,
Comprehended in this litel tretys heere,
To enforce with th'effect of my mateere,
And though I nat the same wordes seye
270As ye han herd, yet to yow alle I preye,
Blameth me nat; for, as in my sentence
Shul ye nat fynden moche difference
Fro the sentence of this tretys lyte
After the which this murye tale I write.
275And therfore herkneth what that I shal seye,
And lat me tellen al my tale, I preye."
       As thus: you know that each evangelist
Who tells the passion of Lord Jesus Christ
255Says not in all things as his fellows do,
But, nonetheless, each gospel is all true.
And all of them accord in their essence,
Howbeit there's in telling difference.
For some of them say more and some say less
260When they his piteous passion would express;
I mean now Mark and Matthew, Luke and John;
Yet, without doubt, their meaning is all one.
And therefore, masters all, I do beseech,
If you should think I vary in my speech,
265As thus, that I do quote you somewhat more
Of proverbs than you've ever heard before,
Included in this little treatise here,
To point the morals out, as they appear,
And though I do not quite the same words say
270That you have heard before, yet now, I pray,
You'll blame me not; for in the basic sense
You will not find a deal of difference
From the true meaning of that tale polite
After the which this happy tale I write.
275And therefore listen now to what I say,
And let me tell you all my tale, I pray."


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