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From The Canon's Yeoman's Tale, lines 299-308:
The yeoman names some fluids used by the canon
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From The Canterbury Tales:
The Canon's Yeoman's Tale
lines 309-344: The search for the philosopher's stone


       A! Nay! Lat be; the philosophres stoon,
310Elixer clept, we sechen faste echoon;
For hadde we hym, thanne were we siker ynow.
But unto God of hevene I make avow,
For al oure craft, whan we han al ydo,
And al oure sleighte, he wol nat come us to.
315He hath ymaad us spenden muchel good,
For sorwe of which almoost we wexen wood,
But that good hope crepeth in oure herte,
Supposynge evere, though we sore smerte,
To be releeved by hym afterward.
320Swich supposyng and hope is sharp and hard;
I warne yow wel, it is to seken evere.
That futur temps hath maad men to dissevere,
In trust therof, from al that evere they hadde.
Yet of that art they kan nat wexen sadde,
325For unto hem it is a bitter sweete, -
So semeth it, - for nadde they but a sheete,
Which that they myghte wrappe hem inne a-nyght,
And a brat to walken inne by daylyght,
They wolde hem selle and spenden on this craft.
330They kan nat stynte til no thyng be laft.
And everemoore, where that evere they goon
Men may hem knowe by smel of brymstoon.
For al the world they stynken as a goot;
Hir savour is so rammyssh and so hoot
335That though a man from hem a mile be,
The savour wole infecte hym, trusteth me.
And thus by smel, and by threedbare array,
If that men liste, this folk they knowe may.
And if a man wole aske hem pryvely
340Why they been clothed so unthriftily,
They right anon wol rownen is his ere,
And seyn that if that they espied were,
Men wolde hem slee by cause of hir science.
Lo, thus this folk bitrayen innocence!
       Ah no! Let be; the old philosopher's stone
310Is called elixir, which we seek, each one;
For had we that, then were we safe enow.
But unto God in Heaven do I vow,
For all our art, when we've done all things thus,
And all our tricks, it will not come to us.
315The thing has caused us to spend all we had,
For grief of which almost we should go mad,
Save that good hope comes creeping in the heart,
Supposing ever, though we sorely smart,
The elixir will relieve us afterward;
320The tension of such hope is sharp and hard;
I warn you well, it means go seeking ever;
That future time has made men to dissever,
Trusting that hope, from all that ever they had.
Yet of that art they cannot well grow sad,
325For unto them it is a bitter-sweet;
So it appears; for had they but a sheet
With which to wrap themselves about by night,
And a coarse cloak to walk in by daylight,
They'd sell them both and spend it on this craft;
330They can withhold naught till there's nothing left
And evermore, wherever they'll be gone,
Men know them by their smell of foul brimstone;
For all the world they stink as does a goat;
Their savour is so rammish and so hot
335That, though a man a mile away may be,
The odour will infect him, trust to me!
Thus by their smell and their threadbare array,
If men but wish, these folk they'll know, I say.
And if a man but ask them privately
340Why they do go clothed so unthriftily,
They right away will whisper in his ear
And say that if they should be noticed here,
Why, men would slay them, what of their science;
Lo, thus these folk impose on innocence!




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From The Canon's Yeoman's Tale, lines 345-378:
The melting pot breaks
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