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Modern Text

What sholde I more seyn, but this Millere
60He nolde his wordes for no man forbere,
But tolde his cherles tale in his manere;
Me thinketh that I shal reherce it here.
And ther-fore every gentil wight I preye,
For Goddes love, demeth nat that I seye
Of evel entente, but that I moot reherce
Hir tales alle, be they bettre or werse,
Or elles falsen som of my matere.
And therfore, who-so list it nat y-here,
Turne over the leef, and chese another tale;
70For he shal finde y-nowe, grete and smale,
Of storial thing that toucheth gentillesse,
And eek moralitee and holinesse;
Blameth nat me if that ye chese amis.
The Miller is a cherl, ye knowe wel this;
So was the Reve, and othere many mo,
And harlotrye they tolden bothe two.
Avyseth yow and putte me out of blame;
And eek men shal nat make ernest of game.
Well, there really isn’t a whole lot more to say except that this Miller wouldn’t take no for an answer. He was determined to tell his raunchy story no matter what. I’m sorry that I’m including it here with the other stories in this collection, but, as I told you before, I promised to tell you exactly what happened on our trip—for better or worse. I wouldn’t be much of a storyteller myself if I left out some parts, now would I? So, I ask you well-mannered folk for your forgiveness. And for the love of God, don’t blame me for what I’m about to tell you. In fact, those of you who think you might be offended by this story, just go ahead and skip to another one. There are plenty of other long and short stories about nicer things, such as nobility and morality and holiness. But if you stick with this one, well, don’t say I didn’t warn you. The Miller and the Reeve and some of the others were pretty trashy, as were their stories. Be well advised and don’t blame me. And don’t take seriously what was said in fun.