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The Canterbury Tales

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850




Anon to drawen every wight bigan,
And shortly for to tellen, as it was,
Were it by aventure, or sort, or cas,
The sothe is this, the cut fil to the knight,
Of which ful blythe and glad was every wight;
And telle he moste his tale, as was resoun,
By forward and by composicioun,
As ye han herd; what nedeth wordes mo?
And whan this gode man saugh it was so,
As he that wys was and obedient
To kepe his forward by his free assent,
He seyde: ‘Sin I shal biginne the game,
What, welcome be the cut, a Goddes name!
Now lat us ryde, and herkneth what I seye.’
Everyone drew a straw, and—to make a long story short—somehow the knight drew the shortest straw, whether by fate or accident. Everyone was relieved that he would be the first to go. And that was that. The good knight, for his part, didn’t complain at all, but sucked it up and said, “Looks like it’s me. Must be God’s will! Now let’s get going, and listen to my story.”


And with that word we riden forth our weye;
And he bigan with right a mery chere
His tale anon, and seyde in this manere.
And with that, we set out on our way to Canterbury. The knight began his story immediately and said . . .
HERE ENDETH THE PROLOG OF THIS BOOK.
THIS IS THE END OF THE GENERAL PROLOGUE.

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