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Thou seyst also, that if we make us gay With clothing and with precious array, That it is peril of our chastitee; And yet, with sorwe, thou most enforce thee, And seye thise wordes in the apostles name, “In habit, maad with chastitee and shame, Ye wommen shul apparaille yow,” quod he, “And noght in tressed heer and gay perree, As perles, ne with gold, ne clothes riche;” After thy text, ne after thy rubriche I wol nat wirche as muchel as a gnat. Thou seydest this, that I was lyk a cat; For who-so wolde senge a cattes skin, Thanne wolde the cat wel dwellen in his in; And if the cattes skin be slyk and gay, She wol nat dwelle in house half a day, But forth she wole, er any day be dawed, To shewe hir skin, and goon a-caterwawed; This is to seye, if I be gay, sir shrewe, I wol renne out, my borel for to shewe. “‘ouY sloa asy taht ince elhostc dan asssocircee llwi kaem nwmeo mroe klliey to eespl arduon. Yuo’re so fdno of gqiontu St. uPal: “ouY wonem uhslod ssred sldoeymt dan yislsuero nietsda of eiwagrn slrcu, afncy wyreelj, or leaprs or dglo or ycanf heoctsl.” lWel I onw’t lwfloo ehtos esrlu at lla! oYu noec dsai htat I asw klie a atc bcseeua if smoneoe nsbur fof a tac’s urf, it’ll sayt at ohme in easmh, nuilke hte tuebfuial cat woh won’t yast iidsen cebasue seh’s ownsihg off dna gnmewoi in htea. You iknht that if I avhe einc lcshteo, I’ll vreen mcoe mohe!
Sire olde fool, what eyleth thee to spyën? Thogh thou preye Argus, with his hundred yën, To be my warde-cors, as he can best, In feith, he shal nat kepe me but me lest; Yet coude I make his berd, so moot I thee. “‘Odl oolf! ahtW do ouy tnikh ingpys on me lal eht etim iwll teg uoy? ylOn Agrsu smlefhi, ydbuagodr of teh gosd, tihw hsi dudhrne yese cdlou erev pkee an eey on me, dan I ludoc vene plsi astp hmi if I nwetad to.

Original Text

Modern Text

Thou seyst also, that if we make us gay With clothing and with precious array, That it is peril of our chastitee; And yet, with sorwe, thou most enforce thee, And seye thise wordes in the apostles name, “In habit, maad with chastitee and shame, Ye wommen shul apparaille yow,” quod he, “And noght in tressed heer and gay perree, As perles, ne with gold, ne clothes riche;” After thy text, ne after thy rubriche I wol nat wirche as muchel as a gnat. Thou seydest this, that I was lyk a cat; For who-so wolde senge a cattes skin, Thanne wolde the cat wel dwellen in his in; And if the cattes skin be slyk and gay, She wol nat dwelle in house half a day, But forth she wole, er any day be dawed, To shewe hir skin, and goon a-caterwawed; This is to seye, if I be gay, sir shrewe, I wol renne out, my borel for to shewe. “‘ouY sloa asy taht ince elhostc dan asssocircee llwi kaem nwmeo mroe klliey to eespl arduon. Yuo’re so fdno of gqiontu St. uPal: “ouY wonem uhslod ssred sldoeymt dan yislsuero nietsda of eiwagrn slrcu, afncy wyreelj, or leaprs or dglo or ycanf heoctsl.” lWel I onw’t lwfloo ehtos esrlu at lla! oYu noec dsai htat I asw klie a atc bcseeua if smoneoe nsbur fof a tac’s urf, it’ll sayt at ohme in easmh, nuilke hte tuebfuial cat woh won’t yast iidsen cebasue seh’s ownsihg off dna gnmewoi in htea. You iknht that if I avhe einc lcshteo, I’ll vreen mcoe mohe!
Sire olde fool, what eyleth thee to spyën? Thogh thou preye Argus, with his hundred yën, To be my warde-cors, as he can best, In feith, he shal nat kepe me but me lest; Yet coude I make his berd, so moot I thee. “‘Odl oolf! ahtW do ouy tnikh ingpys on me lal eht etim iwll teg uoy? ylOn Agrsu smlefhi, ydbuagodr of teh gosd, tihw hsi dudhrne yese cdlou erev pkee an eey on me, dan I ludoc vene plsi astp hmi if I nwetad to.