The Belles of Canterbury eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 18 pages of information about The Belles of Canterbury.

SOPHOMORE.  Laurine can’t help talking.  Her whole class does it.

JUNIOR.  And what about your class, Miss?  And the angelic Seniors?  They never talk, do they.  Thank Goodness, we’re not like that old patient Griselda in Chaucer.  She was afraid to open her head.

FRESHMAN.  I think you know a lot about Chaucer.  I never will remember all those names.

JUNIOR.  Oh, there are a lot more of them.  One was a silly girl named Emily.  She didn’t do anything but have “hair a yard long I guess” and for that she had two lovers.  I am going to get a hair tonic.  That’s how silly men were in Chaucer’s day, before they learned how to play football, or had fraternities.

SOPHOMORE.  Oh, girls, if you had only seen the hero in the matinee yesterday.  He was simply grand!  And he had such pretty curly hair.

(The bell rings.)

SENIOR.  I know I could think of lots more things to eat if I only had more time.

SOPHOMORE.  Well, come on, I have to go to History. (she starts out)

FRESHMAN.  Wait for me.


JUNIOR.  Here’s where I die.  Where’s that hateful book?  It won’t do any good to lose it, there are a dozen more copies in the bookcase. (sings)

“Hang Geof Chaucer on a sour apple tree,
Hang Geof Chaucer on a sour apple tree,
Hang Geof Chaucer on a sour apple tree,
Our teacher marks us on!”
(exit as she sings)

(The curtain in front of the bookcase shakes more violently than before. 
      Then from behind the curtain comes the voice of the

WIFE.  Ladies, I prithee harkneth for the best. 
            Can Chaucer’s children swich words hear, and rest? 
            This is the point, to speken short and pleyn,
            We, one and all, were used with desdeyn.

(She comes out of the bookcase.)

Come forth and whan we’ve made our reckoning
That girl perchance another tune will sing.

(Enter the PRIORESS.)

What word, sweet Eglantine, would you employ
To tell us of your vengeful wrath?

PRIORESS. (with deep intensity) St. Loy!

WIFE.  Then Chaucer’s uttered sooth about her oath! 
            Odsbodikins!  That cannot do us both!

PRIORESS.  Come hider, my two nonnes to my side,
            Till that my mighty anger shall subside.

(Enter two NUNS who stand on either side of the PRIORESS.)

That girl, alas! hath made my speech too tarte
Who once was conscience al and tendre herte. 
O Emelye, whose hair is in a tresse
Behynd your back, a yarde long.

WIFE. (aside) I guesse.

Project Gutenberg
The Belles of Canterbury from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.