The Canterbury Tales of Geoffrey Chaucer/Franklin’s Tale/Words

The Words of the Franklin

Here follow the words of the Franklin to the Squire, and the words of the Host to the Franklin.

"IN faith, Squire, thou hast quit thee well and frankly I praise full high thy discretion," quoth the Franklin. "Considering thy youth, sir, I applaud thee. Thou speakest so feelingly that, to my thinking, there is none of us that shall be thy peer in eloquence, if thou live ; God give thee good fortune and send thee continuance in virtue, for I have great delight of thy speech. I have a son and, by the Trinity, I had liefer than twenty pound worth of land, though right now it were fallen to my lot, that he were a man of such understanding as ye. Fie on possession, unless withal a man be virtuous. I have chid my son, and yet shall, for he list not hearken to virtue; but to play at dice is his wont and to spend and lose all that he hath, and he had liefer talk with a page than commune with any gentle wight where he might have true gentle breeding."

"Straw for your gentle breeding!" quoth our host. "What, Franklin? pardee, sir, well thou wottest that each of you must tell at least a tale or two, or else break his word."

"Sir," quoth the Franklin, "that know I well. I pray you have me not in disdain though I speak to this man a word or two."

"Tell on thy tale without more words."

"Gladly," quoth he, "sir host, I submit unto your will; now hark what I say. I will not withstand you in any way as far as my wits will suffice me. I pray God it may please you, then wot I well it is good enough."