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From The Canon's Yeoman's Tale, lines 784-814:
The priest buys the canon's "recipe"
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From The Canterbury Tales:
The Canon's Yeoman's Tale
lines 815-834: The canon urges the priest not to tell any person


815        "Sire preest," he seyde, "I kepe han no loos
Of my craft, for I wolde it kept were cloos;
And, as ye love me, kepeth it secree.
For, and men knewen al my soutiltee,
By God, they wolden han so greet envye
820To me, by cause of my philosophye,
I sholde be deed; ther were noon oother weye."
       "God it forbeede," quod the preest, "what sey ye?
Yet hadde I levere spenden al the good
Which that I have, and elles wexe I wood,
825Than that ye sholden falle in swich mescheef."
815        "Sir priest," he said, "I do not care to lose
My secret craft, and I would 'twere kept close;
So, as you love me, keep it privily;
For if men knew all of my subtlety,
By God above, they'd have so great envy
820Of me, because of my philosophy,
I should be slain, there'd be no other way."
"Nay, God forbid!" replied the priest. "What say?
Far rather would I spend all coin, by gad,
That I possess, and else may I grow mad,
825Than that you fall in any such distress."
       "For youre good wyl, sire, have ye right good preef,"
Quod the chanoun, "and farwel, grant mercy!"
He wente his wey, and never the preest hym sy
After that day; and whan that this preest shoolde
830Maken assay, at swich tyme as he wolde,
Of this receit, farwel! it wolde nat be.
Lo, thus byjaped and bigiled was he!
Thus maketh he his introduccioun,
To brynge folk to hir destruccioun.
       "For your good will, I wish you all success,"
Replied the canon, "farewell, many thanks."
He went, and ne'er the priest this mountebank's
Face saw thereafter; and when this priest would
830Make his own test, at such time as he could,
Of this receipt, farewell! it would not be!
Lo, thus bejaped and thus beguiled was he!
And thus he had his introduction in
The way men fall to ruin and to sin.




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From The Canon's Yeoman's Tale, lines 835-874:
The moral of the previous narrative
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