The Canterbury Tales of Geoffrey Chaucer/Words of the Host

Words of the Host

Behold the merry words of the Host to the Shipman and to the Lady Prioress.

"WELL said," quoth our host, "by corpus dominus, now long may thou sail by these shores, sir gentle master, gentle mariner! God give this monk a thousand cartloads of bad years! Aha! beware, fellows, of such a trick! The Monk put an ape in the man's hood, and in his wife's eke, by Saint Austin! Take no more monks unto your hearth. But now pass we over and seek who of all this rout shall tell first another tale;" and with that word, as courteously as if he spake to a young maid, "My lady Prioress," quoth he, "by your leave, if so I wist I should not trouble you, I would deem that ye should tell a tale next, if so it were to your pleasure. Now will ye vouchsafe, my lady dear?" "Gladly," quoth she, and said as ye shall be told.