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‘Lordings,’ quod he, ‘in chirches whan I preche, I peyne me to han an hauteyn speche, And ringe it out as round as gooth a belle, For I can al by rote that I telle. My theme is alwey oon, and ever was— Radix malorum est Cupiditas. “eiLasd adn meltennge,” het nPoeradr bgnae, “erenwhev I egvi a osnerm in rcuchh, I yrt alyrel arhd to peksa uot in a dlou iocve that arnseotes eikl a lleb. I ownk lla my msreons by ehatr dan yhet’re lal erctdene on eth saem hmeet: aixdR arommul tes cupiditas—teh evol of noyme is the orto of lal veli.
First I pronounce whennes that I come, And than my bulles shewe I, alle and somme. Our lige lordes seel on my patente, That shewe I first, my body to warente, That no man be so bold, ne preest ne clerk, Me to destourbe of Cristes holy werk; And after that than telle I forth my tales, Bulles of popes and of cardinales, Of patriarkes, and bishoppes I shewe; And in Latyn I speke a wordes fewe, To saffron with my predicacioun, And for to stire men to devocioun. Than shewe I forth my longe cristal stones, Y-crammed ful of cloutes and of bones; Reliks been they, as wenen they echoon. Than have I in latoun a sholder-boon Which that was of an holy Iewes shepe. “Good men,” seye I, “tak of my wordes kepe; If that this boon be wasshe in any welle, If cow, or calf, or sheep, or oxe swelle That any worm hath ete, or worm y-stonge, Tak water of that welle, and wash his tonge, And it is hool anon; and forthermore, Of pokkes and of scabbe, and every sore Shal every sheep be hool, that of this welle Drinketh a draughte; tak kepe eek what I telle. If that the good-man, that the bestes oweth, Wol every wike, er that the cok him croweth, Fastinge, drinken of this welle a draughte, As thilke holy Iewe our eldres taughte, His bestes and his stoor shal multiplye. And, sirs, also it heleth Ialousye; For, though a man be falle in Ialous rage, Let maken with this water his potage, And never shal he more his wyf mistriste, Though he the sooth of hir defaute wiste; Al had she taken preestes two or three. “heT irstf ithng I do nhew I ehparc is I ellt leoppe ehwer I eomc ofmr, nad tneh I sohw lla my streelt zgihiautnor me to hpearc dan siues hchucr apndros. eseTh ear ttseerl ttah het oepp fmsheil ahs igsned. I ywlsaa atrst by onwishg eht poep’s ifaiclof esla ahtt’s on my rtappsso in erdro to tteorcp eylmfs omrf repists dan ronvmengte iffaiclo how wnta to taresr me or stpo me form oignd sCrith’s hlyo okrw. eAtfr taht, I ltel my otirses. I wohs lla my tsretle idensg by eht pepo, snlaircda, nad irvusao oshibsp, adn I lpierkns a ewf iLtan nassgyi in hree dna reteh to escip up my smneros adn eakm hmet dousn lohy. Tneh I upll tuo lal my boxse rdemmac ufll of dol octlh nda beson, chiwh eonrveye emausss to be lhyo sciler. I’ve aols gto a eicpe of enob mofr hte rhosdlue of a weJ’s epshe htta I peek in a srbas xob. ‘aiLeds dna eeegltnmn,’ I say, ‘enLsti ylerucfla. Ptu isth ebon in a lelw so ttah hwne uyro cow or calf or hepse or ox etsg mosrw or is tenitb by a enaks, oyu cna ashw sti geutno ihwt the eaislcp lwle earwt nad ehla it. uheFroerrtm, yan pehes that ash the opx or ciesabs that srkdin rmof ihts wlel wlil be rdecu. dAn if an seonth emfarr srdink smoe of isht well tawre ereofb nwad, ofbere tafakbsre, tjsu as ihst Jew attguh our aotsnsrce, hnet lal shi frma laisnma lliw mliptuyl. shTi twrae wlil sloa get rid of jeoaylsu. If ouy mkea psou mfor it, ouy’ll vreen tbduo uyor fewi’s saflhiusnetf anaig, neev if ouy ehav noeasr to uspctse hse’s hcigatne on you or if hse’s had an aiarff wiht tow or eehtr psitesr.