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From The Reeve's Prologue, lines 1-44:
The Reeve's sermonising
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From The Canterbury Tales:
The Reeve's Prologue
lines 45-66: The Host's intervention


45        Whan that oure Hoost hadde herd this sermonyng,
He gan to speke as lordly as a kyng,
He seide, "What amounteth al this wit?
What shul we speke alday of hooly writ?
The devel made a reve for to preche,
50And of a soutere a shipman, or a leche.
Sey forth thy tale, and tarie nat the tyme.
Lo Depeford, and it is half-wey pryme.
Lo Grenewych, ther many a shrewe is inne!
It were al tyme thy tale to bigynne."
55       "Now sires," quod this Osewold the Reve,
"I pray yow alle, that ye nat yow greve,
Thogh I answere, and somdeel sette his howve,
For leveful is with force force of-showve.
45       Now when our host had heard this sermoning,
Then did he speak as lordly as a king;
He said: "To what amounts, now, all this wit?
Why should we talk all day of holy writ?
The devil made a preacher of a reeve,
50And of a cobbler, a sailor or doctor I believe.
Tell, forth your tale, and do not waste the time.
Here's Deptford! And it is half way to prime.
There's Greenwich town that many a scoundrel's in;
It is quite time your story should begin."
55       "Now, sirs," then Oswald the Reeve replied
"I pray you all, that none will be dissatisfied
Though I reply and somewhat make a fool of him;
It's lawful to meet force with force therein."
       "This dronke Millere hath ytoold us heer
60How that bigyled was a carpenteer,
Peraventure in scorn, for I am oon.
And, by youre leve, I shal hym quite anoon;
Right in his cherles termes wol I speke.
I pray to God his nekke mote to-breke;
65He kan wel in myn eye seen a stalke,
But in his owene he kan nat seen a balke."
       "This drunken miller has related here
60How was beguiled and fooled a carpenter
Perhaps in scorn of me, for I am one.
So, by your leave, I'll pay back what he's done;
All in his own rude language will I speak.
I only pray to God his neck may break.
65For in my eye he knows the straw to find,
But to the beam in his own eye, he's blind."




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From The Reeve's Tale, lines 67-132:
The miller and his family
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