The Canterbury Tales
Prologue to the Wife of Bath’s Tale: Page 26
BIHOLDE THE WORDES BITWEEN THE SOMONOUR AND THE FRERE.
|HERE’S THE CONVERSATION BETWEEN THE SUMMONER AND THE FRIAR.|
The Frere lough, whan he hadde herd al this,
‘Now, dame,’ quod he, ‘so have I Ioye or blis,
This is a long preamble of a tale!’
And whan the Somnour herde the Frere gale,
‘Lo!’ quod the Somnour, ‘Goddes armes two!
A frere wol entremette him ever-mo.
Lo, gode men, a flye and eek a frere
Wol falle in every dish and eek matere.
What spekestow of preambulacioun?
What! amble, or trotte, or pees, or go sit doun;
Thou lettest our disport in this manere.’
|The Friar laughed when he heard all this and said, “Now ma’am, that was good, but it certainly was a long introduction to a story!” And when the Summoner heard the Friar say this, he exclaimed, “God! Friars are always butting in where they don’t belong! I swear, a friar is no better than a fly because both like to buzz around your food and in other people’s business. What do you mean she blabbed too much? You’re blabbing too much yourself right now, so shut the hell up. You’re ruining everyone else’s good time!”|
‘Ye, woltow so, sir Somnour?’ quod the Frere,
‘Now, by my feith, I shal, er that I go,
Telle of a Somnour swich a tale or two,
That alle the folk shal laughen in this place.’
|“That so, huh, Summoner?” shouted the Friar. “Well honest to God, when it’s my turn, I’ll tell you a story or two about summoners that’ll make everyone laugh.”|
‘Now elles, Frere, I bishrewe thy face,’
Quod this Somnour, ‘and I bishrewe me,
But if I telle tales two or thre
Of freres er I come to Sidingborne,
That I shal make thyn herte for to morne;
For wel I wool thy patience is goon.’
|“Damn you, Friar, and damn me if I don’t tell everyone two or three tales about friars that’ll make you cry before we reach the town of Sittingbourne. It’s plain by the look of the things that you’re getting pretty ornery.”|