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From The Pardoner's Tale, lines 335-342:
An examplary story about king Demetrius
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From The Canterbury Tales:
The Pardoner's Tale
lines 343-374: A sermon on swearing


       Now wol I speke of othes false and grete
A word or two, as olde bookes trete.
345Gret sweryng is a thyng abhominable,
And fals sweryng is yet moore reprevable.
The heighe God forbad sweryng at al,
Witnesse on Mathew; but in special
Of sweryng seith the hooly Jeremye,
350"Thou shalt seye sooth thyne othes, and nat lye,
And swere in doom, and eek in rightwisnesse";
But ydel sweryng is a cursednesse.
Bihoold and se, that in the firste table
Of heighe Goddes heestes honurable
355How that the seconde heeste of hym is this:
"Take nat my name in ydel or amys."
Lo, rather he forbedeth swich sweryng
Than homycide, or any cursed thyng;
I seye, that as by ordre thus it stondeth,
360This knowen that hise heestes understondeth
How that the seconde heeste of God is that.
And forther-over I wol thee telle al plat,
That vengeance shal nat parten from his hous
That of hise othes is to outrageous.
365"By Goddes precious herte," and "by his nayles,"
And "By the blood of Crist that is in Hayles,
Sevene is my chaunce and thyn is cynk and treye!"
"By Goddes armes, if thou falsly pleye,
This daggere shal thurghout thyn herte go!"
370This fruyt cometh of the bicched bones two,
Forsweryng, ire, falsnesse, homycide!
Now, for the love of Crist, that for us dyde,
Lete youre othes bothe grete and smale.
But, sires, now wol I telle forth my tale.
       Now will I speak of oaths both false and great
A word or two, whereof the old books treat.
345Great swearing is a thing abominable,
And vain oaths yet more reprehensible.
The High God did forbid swearing at all,
As witness Matthew; but in especial
Of swearing says the holy Jeremiah,
350"Thou shalt not swear in vain, to be a liar,
But swear in judgment and in righteousness";
But idle swearing is a wickedness.
Behold, in the first table of the Law,
That should be honoured as High God's, sans flaw,
355This second one of His commandments plain:
"Thou shalt not take the Lord God's name in vain."
Nay, sooner He forbids us such swearing
Than homicide or many a wicked thing;
I say that, as to order, thus it stands;
360'Tis known by him who His will understands
That the great second law of God is that.
Moreover, I will tell you full and flat,
That retribution will not quit his house
Who in his swearing is too outrageous.
365"By God's own precious heart, and by His nails,
And by the blood of Christ that's now at Hales,
Seven is my chance, and yours is five and trey!"
"By God's good arms, if you do falsely play,
This dagger through your heart I'll stick for you!"
370Such is the whelping of the bitched bones two:
Perjury, anger, cheating, homicide.
Now for the love of Christ, Who for us died,
Forgo this swearing oaths, both great and small;
But, sirs, now will I tell to you my tale.




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From The Pardoner's Tale, lines 375-405:
Three men hear about the killings of Death
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