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From The Reeve's Tale, lines 345-379:
John and the miller's wife
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From The Canterbury Tales:
The Reeve's Tale
lines 380-413: The morning at the miller's House


380       Aleyn wax wery in the dawenynge,
For he had swonken al the longe nyght,
And seyde, "Fare weel, Malyne, sweete wight!
The day is come, I may no lenger byde;
But everemo, wher so I go or ryde,
385I is thyn awen clerk, swa have I seel!"
       "Now, deere lemman," quod she, "go, far weel!
But er thow go, o thyng I wol thee telle:
Whan that thou wendest homward by the melle,
Right at the entre of the dore bihynde
390Thou shalt a cake of half a busshel fynde
That was ymaked of thyn owene mele,
Which that I heelp my sire for to stele.
And, goode lemman, God thee save and kepe!"
And with that word almoost she gan to wepe.
395       Aleyn up rist, and thoughte, "Er that it dawe
I wol crepen in by my felawe,"
And fond the cradel with his hand anon.
"By God," thoughte he, al wrang I have mysgon.
Myn heed is toty of my swynk to-nyght,
400That makes me that I ga nat aright.
I woot wel by the cradel I have mysgo;
Heere lith the millere and his wyf also."
And forth he goth, a twenty devel way,
Unto the bed ther as the millere lay.
405He wende have cropen by his felawe John,
And by the millere in the creep anon,
And caughte hym by the nekke, and softe he spak.
He seyde, "Thou John, thou swynes-heed, awak,
For Cristes saule, and heer a noble game.
410For by that lord called is seint Jame,
As I have thries in this shorte nyght
Swyved the milleres doghter bolt upright,
Whil thow hast, as a coward, been agast."
380       Alain grew weary in the grey dawning,
For he had laboured hard through all the night;
And said: "Farewell, now, Melanie, sweet delight!
The day is come, I may no longer bide;
But evermore, whether I walk or ride,
385I am your own clerk, so may I have weal."
       "Now, sweetheart," said she, "go and fare you well!
But before you go, there's one thing I must tell.
When you go walking homeward past the mill,
Right at the entrance, just the door behind,
390You shall a loaf of half a bushel find
That was baked up of your own flour, a deal
Of which I helped my father for to steal.
And, darling, may God save you now and keep!"
And with that word she almost had to weep.
395       Alain arose and thought: "Before it is dawn,
I will go creep in softly by friend John."
And found the cradle quickly thereupon.
"By God!" thought he, "all wrong I must have gone;
My head is dizzy from my work tonight,
400And that's why I have failed to go aright.
I know well, by this cradle, I am wrong,
For here the miller and his wife belong."
And on he went, and on the devil's way,
Unto the bed wherein the miller lay.
405He thought to have crept in by comrade John,
So, to the miller, in he got anon,
And caught him round the neck, and softly spake,
Saying: "You, John, you old swine's head, awake,
For Christ's own soul, and hear a noble work,
410For by Saint James, and as I am a clerk,
I have, three times in this short night, no lack,
Screwed that old miller's daughter on her back,
While you, like any coward, were terrified."




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From The Reeve's Tale, lines 414-470:
The fight at the miller's house
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