The Canterbury Tales

No Fear The Nun’s Priest’s Tale Page 6
No Fear The Nun’s Priest’s Tale: Page 6

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150‘Madame,’ quod he, ‘graunt mercy of your lore.
But nathelees, as touching daun Catoun,
That hath of wisdom such a greet renoun,
Though that he bad no dremes for to drede,
By God, men may in olde bokes rede
Of many a man, more of auctoritee
Than ever Catoun was, so mote I thee,
Than al the revers seyn of his sentence,
And han wel founden by experience,
That dremes ben significaciouns,
160As wel of Ioye as tribulaciouns
That folk enduren in this lyf present.
Ther nedeth make of this noon argument;
The verray preve sheweth it in dede.
“Thank you for your advice, Madame,” responded Chanticleer. “Cato certainly was known for his wisdom. But even though he said not to worry about dreams, there were plenty of other writers who were even older and wiser than Cato who said just the opposite. They seem to say from their own experience that dreams are signs of the happiness or tragedy that is to come. Let me tell you about some examples:
Oon of the gretteste auctours that men rede
Seith thus, that whylom two felawes wente
On pilgrimage, in a ful good entente;
And happed so, thay come into a toun,
Wher-as ther was swich congregacioun
Of peple, and eek so streit of herbergage,
170That they ne founde as muche as o cotage,
In which they bothe mighte y-logged be.
Wherfor thay mosten, of necessitee,
As for that night, departen compaignye;
And ech of hem goth to his hostelrye,
And took his logging as it wolde falle.
That oon of hem was logged in a stalle,
Fer in a yerd, with oxen of the plough;
That other man was logged wel y-nough,
As was his aventure, or his fortune,
180That us governeth alle as in commune.
“One of the greatest authors people read once told a story about two friends who set out on a holy pilgrimage. On their journey they came to a town that was so crowded with people that they couldn’t find so much as a cottage where they could both stay for the night. So they decided to split up, and each went his own way to find somewhere to sleep. One of them found a place in an oxen barn. Fortune—who controls all our fates—smiled on the other man, who found a much better place to stay in an inn.