Thanne longen folk to goon on pilgrimages, And palmeres for to seken straunge strondes, To ferne halwes, kowthe in sondry longes; And specially from every shires ends Of Engelond to Caunterbury they wende, The hooly blissful martir for to seke, That hem hath holpen whan that they were seeke.
At nyght was come into that hostelrye Wel nyne and twenty in a compaignye, Of sondry folk, by aventure yfalle In felaweshipe, and pilgrims were theyt alle, That toward Caunterbury wolden ryde.
Me thynketh it acordaunt to resoun To telle yow al the condicious Of ech of hem, so as it semed me, And whiche they weren, and of what degree, Andeek in what array that they were inne[.]