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From The Canon's Yeoman's Prologue, lines 146-166:
The Yeoman continues and the Canon grumbly leaves the company
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From The Canterbury Tales:
The Canon's Yeoman's Tale
lines 167-196: The yeoman tells he has worked with the canon for seven years


Heere bigynneth the Chanouns Yeman his Tale


       With this Chanoun I dwelt have seven yeer,
And of his science am I never the neer.
Al that I hadde I have lost therby,
170And, God woot, so hath many mo than I.
Ther I was wont to be right fressh and gay
Of clothyng and of oother good array,
Now may I were an hose upon myn heed;
And wher my colour was bothe fressh and reed
175Now is it wan and of a leden hewe -
Whoso it useth, soore shal he rewe! -
And of my swynk yet blered is myn ye.
Lo, which avantage is to multiplie!
That slidynge science hath me maad so bare
180That I have no good, wher that evere I fare;
And yet I am endetted so therby,
Of gold that I have borwed, trewely,
That whil I lyve I shal it quite nevere.
Lat every man be war by me for evere!
185What maner man that casteth hym therto,
If he continue, I holde his thrift ydo.
For so helpe me God, therby shal he nat wynne,
But empte his purs, and make his wittes thynne.
And whan he, thurgh his madnesse and folye,
190Hath lost his owene good thurgh jupartye,
Thanne he exciteth oother folk therto,
To lesen hir good, as he hymself hath do.
For unto shrewes joye it is and ese
To have hir felawes in peyne and disese.
195Thus was I ones lerned of a clerk.
Of that no charge, I wol speke of oure werk.
       Seven years I've served this canon, but no more
I know about his science than before.
All that I had I have quite lost thereby;
170And, God knows, so have many more than I.
Where I was wont to be right fresh and gay
Of clothing and of other good array,
Now may I wear my old hose on my head;
And where my colour was both fresh and red,
175Now it is wan and of a leaden hue;
Whoso this science follows, he shall rue.
And from my toil yet bleary is my eye,
Behold the gain it is to multiply!
That slippery science has made me so bare
180That I've no goods, wherever I may fare;
And I am still indebted so thereby
For gold that I have borrowed, truthfully,
That while I live I shall repay it never.
Let every man be warned by me for ever!
185And any man who casts his lot thereon,
If he continue, I hold his thrift gone.
So help me God, thereby he shall not win,
But empty purse and have his wits grow thin.
And when he, through his madness and folly,
190Has lost his own, by willing jeopardy,
Then will he incite others, many a one,
To lose their wealth as he himself has done.
For unto scoundrels it's a pleasant thing
Their fellows in distress and pain to bring,
195Thus was I taught once by a learned clerk.
Of that no matter, I'll speak of our work.




Next Next:
From The Canon's Yeoman's Tale, lines 197-265:
The yeoman names the objects and materials of the canon's craft
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