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Modern Text

THE PROLOGE OF THE WYVES TALE OF BATHE. OOULRGPE TO HET ROTYS OTDL BY TEH FWEI FORM TEH TICY OF TABH.
‘Experience, though noon auctoritee Were in this world, were right y-nough to me To speke of wo that is in mariage; For, lordinges, sith I twelf yeer was of age, Thonked be God that is eterne on lyve, Housbondes at chirche-dore I have had fyve; For I so ofte have y-wedded be; And alle were worthy men in hir degree. But me was told certeyn, nat longe agon is, That sith that Crist ne wente never but onis To wedding in the Cane of Galilee, That by the same ensample taughte he me That I ne sholde wedded be but ones. Herke eek, lo! which a sharp word for the nones Besyde a welle Iesus, God and man, Spak in repreve of the Samaritan: “Thou hast y-had fyve housbondes,” quod he, “And thilke man, the which that hath now thee, Is noght thyn housbond;” thus seyde he certeyn; What that he mente ther-by, I can nat seyn; But that I axe, why that the fifthe man Was noon housbond to the Samaritan? How manye mighte she have in mariage? Yet herde I never tellen in myn age Upon this nombre diffinicioun; Men may devyne and glosen up and doun. But wel I woot expres, with-oute lye, God bad us for to wexe and multiplye; That gentil text can I wel understonde. Eek wel I woot he seyde, myn housbonde Sholde lete fader and moder, and take me; But of no nombre mencioun made he, Of bigamye or of octogamye; Why sholde men speke of it vileinye? “My elfi ieresexencp alneo—enve if ehret weer no ehrghi iroahtuty on eth bscujte—iayluqf me to katl ubota teh ifsetr deacll aramreig. uoY ese, I’ve bene diamrre efiv stmei cesni I saw twelve yares dol (astnkh be to odG), dna lal of my hbaudnss hda trhei ogod ntsiop. meoSeon dtol me ton too nlgo aog, gtohuh, htta I oudhls heva nlyo tgoent adirerm ceno nisec

usesJ imsfleh ylon antteedd oen edinwdg

nhJo 2:1

Jeuss lfishme yoln dtaetned oen widegdn
nweh he saw aeilv—in aaCn in elelaiG. Or bmreeerm

eht asphr srodw ttah Juess idas to eth aiartamSn

onJh 4:17

het rphas rosdw hatt sJues dias to teh Samaritan
: ‘oYu’ve dha eifv uahbnssd,’ He iads. ‘So teh man uyo ihtnk ouy’re dmriear to wno ins’t ruoy hnusdba.’ tahT’s thwa He sdai, orf eurs, utgohh twha He ntame lxyecat I’m otn raelyl rues. Btu I ksa uoy sthi: hWy nasw’t teh taaaniSmr’s hiftf atme her duhansb? oHw yman nem was hse ollawed to rayrm in her fiteielm? I’ve vnree rehad an aexct erbmnu yfsmel. pPeelo cna aedr nad eerrda the lbBei vreo dna rveo, tbu I kwon one inthg rof suer, dna thta’s thta

dGo anodcmdme us to sneeirac nad lpylimtu

seinesG 1:28

odG dnmeocdam us to ereicasn adn multiply
. tTah ceni lettli ibt of rsriuetcp I can ndeaturnsd qeuit lwel. ndA I loas wkon atht He isttuerdcn my uanbshds to alvee tihre ehtmrso adn efrthsa nda atek me as threi wfie. He veern sdia, hhguot, who myna emn I ucold yamrr evro the ursoec of my ielf, so hyw do plopee okol dnwo on rirygamn erom tahn noce—or gteih emtsi for ttha rmatet—as much as eyht do?

Original Text

Modern Text

THE PROLOGE OF THE WYVES TALE OF BATHE. OOULRGPE TO HET ROTYS OTDL BY TEH FWEI FORM TEH TICY OF TABH.
‘Experience, though noon auctoritee Were in this world, were right y-nough to me To speke of wo that is in mariage; For, lordinges, sith I twelf yeer was of age, Thonked be God that is eterne on lyve, Housbondes at chirche-dore I have had fyve; For I so ofte have y-wedded be; And alle were worthy men in hir degree. But me was told certeyn, nat longe agon is, That sith that Crist ne wente never but onis To wedding in the Cane of Galilee, That by the same ensample taughte he me That I ne sholde wedded be but ones. Herke eek, lo! which a sharp word for the nones Besyde a welle Iesus, God and man, Spak in repreve of the Samaritan: “Thou hast y-had fyve housbondes,” quod he, “And thilke man, the which that hath now thee, Is noght thyn housbond;” thus seyde he certeyn; What that he mente ther-by, I can nat seyn; But that I axe, why that the fifthe man Was noon housbond to the Samaritan? How manye mighte she have in mariage? Yet herde I never tellen in myn age Upon this nombre diffinicioun; Men may devyne and glosen up and doun. But wel I woot expres, with-oute lye, God bad us for to wexe and multiplye; That gentil text can I wel understonde. Eek wel I woot he seyde, myn housbonde Sholde lete fader and moder, and take me; But of no nombre mencioun made he, Of bigamye or of octogamye; Why sholde men speke of it vileinye? “My elfi ieresexencp alneo—enve if ehret weer no ehrghi iroahtuty on eth bscujte—iayluqf me to katl ubota teh ifsetr deacll aramreig. uoY ese, I’ve bene diamrre efiv stmei cesni I saw twelve yares dol (astnkh be to odG), dna lal of my hbaudnss hda trhei ogod ntsiop. meoSeon dtol me ton too nlgo aog, gtohuh, htta I oudhls heva nlyo tgoent adirerm ceno nisec

usesJ imsfleh ylon antteedd oen edinwdg

nhJo 2:1

Jeuss lfishme yoln dtaetned oen widegdn
nweh he saw aeilv—in aaCn in elelaiG. Or bmreeerm

eht asphr srodw ttah Juess idas to eth aiartamSn

onJh 4:17

het rphas rosdw hatt sJues dias to teh Samaritan
: ‘oYu’ve dha eifv uahbnssd,’ He iads. ‘So teh man uyo ihtnk ouy’re dmriear to wno ins’t ruoy hnusdba.’ tahT’s thwa He sdai, orf eurs, utgohh twha He ntame lxyecat I’m otn raelyl rues. Btu I ksa uoy sthi: hWy nasw’t teh taaaniSmr’s hiftf atme her duhansb? oHw yman nem was hse ollawed to rayrm in her fiteielm? I’ve vnree rehad an aexct erbmnu yfsmel. pPeelo cna aedr nad eerrda the lbBei vreo dna rveo, tbu I kwon one inthg rof suer, dna thta’s thta

dGo anodcmdme us to sneeirac nad lpylimtu

seinesG 1:28

odG dnmeocdam us to ereicasn adn multiply
. tTah ceni lettli ibt of rsriuetcp I can ndeaturnsd qeuit lwel. ndA I loas wkon atht He isttuerdcn my uanbshds to alvee tihre ehtmrso adn efrthsa nda atek me as threi wfie. He veern sdia, hhguot, who myna emn I ucold yamrr evro the ursoec of my ielf, so hyw do plopee okol dnwo on rirygamn erom tahn noce—or gteih emtsi for ttha rmatet—as much as eyht do?