The Canterbury Tales Quotes

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The Canterbury Tales Quotes


The General Prologue

Quote 1: "When that Aprill with his shoures soote
The droghte of March hath perced to the roote,
And bathed every veyne in swich licour
Of which vertu engendred is the flour,
Whan Zephirus eek with his sweete breeth
Inspired hath in every holt and heeth
The tender croppes, and the yonge sonne
Hath in the Ram his halve cours yronne,
And smale foweles maken melodye,
That slepen al the nyght with open ye
(So priketh hem nature in hir corages),
Thanne longen folk to goon on pilgrimages,
And palmers for to seken straunge strondes,
To ferne halwes, kowthe in sondry londes;
And specially from every shires ende
Of Engelond to Caunterbury they wende,
The hooly blissful martir for to seke,
That hem hath holpen whan that they were seeke." General Prologue, l.1-20

The Knight's Tale

Quote 2: "And now thou woldest falsly been aboute / To love my lady, whom I love and serve / And evere shal, til that myn herte sterve. / Nay, certes, false Arcite, thow shalt nat so! / I loved hir first, and tolde thee my wo." Knight's Tale, l.284-288

The Miller's Prologue

Quote 3: "By Goddes soule, quod he, that wol nat I, / For I wol speke, or elles go my wey." Miller's Prologue, l. 24-25

The Miller's Tale

Quote 4: "Thy wyf shal I wel saven, out of doute.
Go now thy wey, and speed thee heer-aboute.
But whan thou hast, for hire and thee and me,
Ygeten us thise knedyng tubbes thre,
Thanne shaltow hange hem in the roof ful hye,
That no man of oure purveiaunce spye.
And whan thou thus hast doon, as I have seyd,
And hast oure vitaille faire in hem yleyd,
And eek an ax, to smyte the corde atwo,
Whan that the water comth, that we may go." Miller's Tale, l.375-384

The Reeve's Tale

Quote 5: "And therfore this proverbe is seyd ful sooth, / Hym thar nat wene wel that yvele dooth; / A gylour shal hymself bigyled be." Reeve's Tale, l.399-401

Introduction to the Man of Law's Prologue

Quote 6: "To breke forward is nat myn entente." Introduction to the Man of Law's Prologue, l.40

The Man of Law's Prologue

Quote 7: "Bet is to dyen than have indigence. / Thy selve neighebor wol thee despise, / If thou be povre, farwel thy reverence!" Man of Law's Prologue, l.16-18

The Man of Law's Tale

Quote 8: "Bitwene hir bothe lawes, that they sayn / They trowe that no cristene prince wolde fayn / Wedden his child under oure lawes swete / That us were taught by Mahoun oure prophete." Man of Law's Tale, l.88-91

The Wife of Bath's Prologue

Quote 9: "I pray you, telleth me, / Or where comanded he virginitee?" Wife of Bath's Prologue, l.61-62

The Wife of Bath's Tale

Quote 10: "I grante thee lyf, if thou kanst tellen me / What thyng is it that wommen moost desiren. / Be war and keep thy nekke-boon from iren." Wife of Bath's Tale, l.48-50

The Friar's Tale

Quote 11: "That lay by hem, they tolde it in his ere.
Thus was the wenche and he of oon assent;
And he wolde fecche a feyned mandement,
And somne hem to chapitre bothe two,
And pile the man, and lete the wenche go." Friar's Tale, l.58-62

The Summoner's Prologue

Quote 12: "This frere bosteth that he knoweth helle, / And God it woot, that it is litel wonder; / Freres and feendes been but lyte asonder." Summoner's Prologue, l.8-10

The Clerk's Tale

Quote 13: "Lat me allone in chesynge of my wyf, / That charge upon my bak I wole endure; / But I yow preye, and charge upon youre lyf / That what wyf that I take, ye me assure / To worshipe hir, whil that hir lyf may dure, / In word and werk, bothe heere and everywheere, / As she an emperoures doghter weere." Clerk's Tale, l.106-112

The Merchant's Tale

Quote 14: "Ne se ye nat this honurable knyght,
By cause, allas! that he is blynd and old,
His owene man shal make hym cokewold.
Lo, where he sit, the lechour, in the tree!
Now wol I graunten, of my magestee,
Unto this olde, blynde, worthy knyght
That he shal have ayen his eyen syght,
Whan that his wyf wold doon hym vileynye.
Thanne shal he knowen al hire harlotrye,
Bothe in repreve of hire and othere mo." Merchant's Tale, l.1010-1019

The Squire's Tale

Quote 15: "And what man that is wounded with a strook / Shal never be hool, til that yow list of grace / To stroke hym with the plate in thilke place / Ther he is hurt; this is as muche to seyn, / Ye moote with the plate swerd ageyn / Strike hym in the wounde, and it wol close." Squire's Tale, l.152-157

The Franklin's Prologue

Quote 16: "But sires, by cause I am a burel man, / At my bigynnyng first I yow biseche, / Have me excused of my rude speche. / I lerned nevere rethorik, certeyn; / Thyng that I speke, it moot be bare and pleyn." Franklin's Prologue, l.8-12

The Physician's Tale

Quote 17: "Anon his herte chaunged and his mood, / So was he caught with beautee of this mayde, / And to hymself ful pryvely he sayde, / This mayde shal be myn, for any man." Physician's Tale, l.126-129

The Pardoner's Prologue

Quote 18: "My theme is alwey oon and evere was, / Radix malorum est Cupiditas." Pardoner's Prologue, l.5-6

Quote 19: "I stonde lyk a clerk in my pulpet,
And whan the lewed peple is doun yset,
I preche so, as ye han heerd bifoore,
And telle an hundred false japes moore." Pardoner's Prologue, l.63-66

The Shipman's Tale

Quote 20: "He is na moore cosyn unto me / Than is this leef that hangeth on the tree!" Shipman's Tale, l.149-150

Quote 21: "And wel ye woot that wommen naturelly
Desiren thynges sixe as wel as I
They wolde that hir housbondes sholde be
Hardy, and wise, and riche, and therto free,
And buxom unto his wyf, and fressh abedde." Shipman's Tale, l.173-177

The Prioress's Tale

Quote 22: "This Provost dooth the Jewes for to sterve, / That of this mordre wiste, and that anon. / He nolde no swich cursednesse observe; / Yvele shal have that yvele wol deserve." Prioress's Tale, l.142-145

Sir Thopas

Quote 23: "Alle othere wommen I forsake, / And to an elf-queene I me take / By dale and eek by downe." Tale of Sir Thopas, l.83-85

The Second Nun's Tale

Quote 24: "I have an Aungel which that loveth me,
That with greet love, wher so I wake or sleepe,
Is redy ay my body for to kepe.
And if that he may feelen out of drede
That ye me touche, or love in vileynye,
He right anon wol sle yow with the dede,
And in youre yowthe thus ye sholden dye.
And if that ye in clene love me gye,
He wol yow loven as me for youre clennesse,
And shewen yow his joye and his brightnesse." Second Nun's Tale, l.33-42

The Manciple's Tale

Quote 25: "And to the crowe, O false theef, seyde he, / I wol thee quite anon thy false tale; / Thou songe whilom lyk a nyghtngale, / Now shaltow, false theef, thy song forgon, / And eek thy white fetheres everichon." Manciple's Tale, l.188-192

Chaucer's Retractation

Quote 26: "Now preye I to hem alle that herkne thai litel tretys or / rede, that if ther be any thyng in it that liketh hem, that / therof they thanken oure Lord Jesu Crist, of whom procedeth / al wit and al goodnesse." Chaucer's Retraction, l.1-4

Quote 27: "So that I may been oon of / hem at the day of doome that shulle be saved. / Qui cum patre, &cetera." Chaucer's Retraction, l.29-30

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