The Lawyer's Tale


Our Host stood in his stirrups right away And said, "Good men, give ear to what I say! That was a worthy tale for our intent! 1165 Sir Parish Priest, by God's bones," on he went, "Tell us a tale as you agreed before. Well I can see you learned men in lore Know, by God's dignity, much good to say!" The Parson answered, "Benedicite! 1170 What ails the man, so sinfully to swear?" Our Host replied, "O Johnny, are you there? I smell a Lollard in the wind," said he. "Now, good men," said our Host, "attend to me; Abide awhile, by our Lord's worthy passion, 1175 For we shall have a sermon--in his fashion This Lollard here will preach to us somewhat." "Nay, by my father's soul, that he shall not!" The Skipper said. "Here shall he never preach, Not here shall he the gospel gloss or teach. 1180 We all believe in one great God," he said. "Some difficulty he would sow, he'd spread Some cockles, sow some weed, in our clean corn. And therefore, Host, you fairly I will warn, A tale my jolly body now shall tell 1185 And clang for you so merrily a bell That I shall wake up all this company! And it shall not be of philosophy Or medicine or of quaint terms of law; There is but little Latin in my maw." 1190

Top | The Wife of Bath's Prologue | Contents | Title Page