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From The Nun's Priest's Prologue, lines 40-54:
The Monk is reluctant and the Host asks the Nun's Priest to tell a tale
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From The Canterbury Tales:
The Nun's Priest's Tale
lines 55-80: About a poor widow


Heere bigynneth the Nonnes Preestes Tale of the Cok and Hen, Chauntecleer and Pertelote.



55        A povre wydwe, somdel stape in age,
Was whilom dwellyng in a narwe cotage
Biside a greve, stondynge in a dale.
This wydwe, of which I telle yow my tale,
Syn thilke day that she was last a wyf,
60In pacience ladde a ful symple lyf,
For litel was hir catel and hir rente.
By housbondrie, of swich as God hir sente,
She foond hirself and eek hire doghtren two.
Thre large sowes hadde she, and namo,
65Three keen, and eek a sheep that highte Malle.
Ful sooty was hir bour and eek hire halle,
In which she eet ful many a sklendre meel-
Of poynaunt sauce hir neded never a deel.
No deyntee morsel passed thurgh hir throte,
70Hir diete was accordant to hir cote.
Repleccioun ne made hire nevere sik,
Attempree diete was al hir phisik,
And exercise, and hertes suffisaunce.
The goute lette hir nothyng for to daunce,
75N'apoplexie shente nat hir heed.
No wyn ne drank she, neither whit ne reed,
Hir bord was served moost with whit and blak,
Milk and broun breed, in which she foond no lak,
Seynd bacoun, and somtyme an ey or tweye,
80For she was as it were a maner deye.
55        A poor widow, somewhat advanced in age,
Lived, on a time, within a small cottage
Beside a grove and standing down a dale.
This widow, now, of whom I tell my tale,
Since that same day when she'd been last a wife
60Had led, with patience, her strait simple life,
For she'd small goods and little income-rent;
By husbanding of such as God had sent
She kept herself and her young daughters two.
Three large sows had she, and no more, there to,
65Three cows and a lone sheep that she called Moll.
Right neatly was her bedroom and her hall,
Wherein she'd eaten many a slender meal.
Of sharp sauce, why she needed no great deal,
For dainty morsel never passed her throat;
70Her diet well accorded with her coat.
Repletion never made this woman sick;
A temperate diet was her whole physic,
And exercise, and her heart's sustenance.
The gout, it hindered her nowise to dance,
75Nor apoplexy spun within her head;
And no wine drank she, either white or red;
Her board was mostly garnished, white and black,
With milk and brown bread, whereof she'd no lack,
Broiled bacon and sometimes an egg or two,
80For a small dairy business did she do.




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From The Nun's Priest's Tale, lines 81-115:
The widow's yard and its inhabitants
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