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From The Reeve's Tale, lines 213-252:
The chase after the horse
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From The Canterbury Tales:
The Reeve's Tale
lines 253-313: The evening at the miller's house


       Wery and weet, as beest is in the reyn,
Comth sely John, and with him comth Aleyn.
255"Allas," quod John, "the day that I was born!
Now are we dryve til hethyng and til scorn.
Oure corn is stoln, men wil us fooles calle,
Bathe the wardeyn and oure felawes alle,
And namely the millere, weylaway!"
260       Thus pleyneth John as he gooth by the way
Toward the mille, and Bayard in his hond.
The millere sittynge by the fyr he fond,
For it was nyght, and forther myghte they noght;
But for the love of God they hym bisoght
265Of herberwe and of ese, as for hir peny.
       The millere seyde agayn, "If ther be eny,
Swich as it is, yet shal ye have youre part.
Myn hous is streit, but ye han lerned art;
Ye konne by arguments make a place
270A myle brood of twenty foot of space.
Lat se now if this place may suffise,
Or make it rowm with speche, as is your gise."
       "Now, Symond," seyde John, "by seint Cutberd,
Ay is thou myrie, and this is faire answerd.
275I have herd seyd, 'Man sal taa of twa thynges
Slyk as he fyndes, or taa slyk as he brynges.'
But specially I pray thee, hooste deere,
Get us som mete and drynke, and make us cheere,
And we wil payen trewely atte fulle.
280With empty hand men may na haukes tulle;
Loo, heere oure silver, redy for to spende."
       This millere into toun his doghter sende
For ale and breed, and rosted hem a goos,
And booned hire hors, it sholde namoore go loos;
285And in his owene chambre hem made a bed,
With sheetes and with chalons faire yspred,
Noght from his owene bed ten foot or twelve.
His doghter hadde a bed, al by hirselve,
Right in the same chambre by and by.
290It myghte be no bet, and cause why?
Ther was no roumer herberwe in the place.
They soupen and they speke, hem to solace,
And drynken evere strong ale atte beste.
Aboute mydnyght wente they to reste.
295       Wel hath this millere vernysshed his heed;
Ful pale he was for dronken, and nat reed.
He yexeth, and he speketh thurgh the nose
As he were on the quakke, or on the pose.
To bedde he goth, and with hym goth his wyf.
300As any jay she light was and jolyf,
So was hir joly whistle wel ywet.
The cradel at hir beddes feet is set,
To rokken, and to yeve the child to sowke.
And whan that dronken al was in the crowke,
305To bedde wente the doghter right anon;
To bedde goth Aleyn and also John;
Ther nas na moore, - hem nebede no dwale.
This millere hath so wisely bibbed ale
That as an hors he fnorteth in his sleep,
310Ne of his tayl bihynde he took no keep.
His wyf bar hym a burdon, a ful strong;
Men myghte hir rowtyng heere two furlong;
The wenche rowteth eek, par compaignye.
       Weary and wet, as beast is in the rain,
Came foolish John and with him came Alain.
255"Alas," said John, "the day that I was born!
Now are we bound toward mockery and scorn.
Our corn is stolen, folk will call us fools,
The warden and the fellows at the schools,
And specially this miller. What a day!"
260       Thus John complained as he went on his way
Toward the mill, with Bayard once more bound.
The miller sitting by the fire he found,
For it was night, and farther could they not;
But, for the love of God, they him besought
265For shelter and for supper, for their penny.
       The miller said to them: "If there be any,
Such as it is, that you shall have your part.
My house is small, but you have learned your art;
You can, by metaphysics, make a place
270A full mile wide in twenty feet of space.
Let us see now if this place will suffice,
Or make more room with speech, by some device."
       "Now, Simon," said John, "by Saint Cuthbert's beard,
You're always merry and have well answered.
275As I've heard, man shall take one of two things:
Such as he finds, or take such as he brings.
But specially, I pray you, mine host dear,
Give us some meat and drink and some good cheer,
And we will pay you, truly, to the full.
280With empty hand no man takes hawk or gull;
Well, here's our silver, ready to be spent."
       This miller to the town his daughter sent
For ale and bread, and roasted them a goose,
And tied their horse, that it might not go loose;
285And then in his own chamber made a bed,
With sheets and with good blankets fairly spread,
Not from his bed more than ten feet or twelve.
The daughter had a bed all by herself,
In the same chamber with them, by and by;
290It could not well be improved, and for why?
There was no larger lodging in the place.
They ate and talked, and gained some small solace,
And drank strong ale, that evening, of the best.
Then about midnight all they went to rest.
295       Well had this miller varnished his bald head,
For pale he was of drinking, and not red.
He hiccoughed and he mumbled through his nose,
As he were chilled, with humours lachrymose.
To bed he went, his wife and he together.
300She was as jolly as a jay in feather,
So copiously was her gay whistle wet.
The cradle near her bed's foot-board was set,
Handy for rocking and for giving suck.
And when they'd drunk up all there was in crock,
305To bed went miller's daughter, and thereupon
To bed went Alain and to bed went John.
There was no more; no sleeping drug was needed.
This miller had drunk so much ale unheeded
That, like a horse, he snorted in his sleep,
310While of his tail behind he kept no keep.
His wife joined in his chorus, and so strong,
Men might have heard her snores a full furlong;
And the girl snored, as well, for company.




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From The Reeve's Tale, lines 314-344:
Alain and the miller's daughter
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