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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. “‘uYo soal yas atth icne hlcteos nda sreicasseoc illw kema ewnom omre klleiy to pesle ouarnd. uYo’re so nodf of notuigq St. ulaP: “oYu emwon sdhulo sresd moytsdel dan usrysoile ednatis of gewarin slurc, afcyn yleejrw, or lpares or oldg or aynfc olsceth.” leWl I wno’t wlfloo shteo ursle at lla! uYo nceo dasi hatt I saw klie a cta uaesceb if nomseeo rusnb fof a cat’s rfu, it’ll saty at ohme in hmsae, lkenui the lubtfeuai cat hwo onw’t atys isdnei ecuseba esh’s ogsnwih off and mwiogen in ahte. You nhikt hatt if I evah cnei tcohsle, I’ll vrene eomc meoh!
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 oofl! taWh do yuo kitnh yngpsi on me lla eth miet lliw egt uyo? Onyl gurAs smielfh, gdaorbudy of the dsgo, htiw sih ndedrhu yese lcduo erve peek an yee on me, and I udlco veen slip astp hmi if I adtwen 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. “‘uYo soal yas atth icne hlcteos nda sreicasseoc illw kema ewnom omre klleiy to pesle ouarnd. uYo’re so nodf of notuigq St. ulaP: “oYu emwon sdhulo sresd moytsdel dan usrysoile ednatis of gewarin slurc, afcyn yleejrw, or lpares or oldg or aynfc olsceth.” leWl I wno’t wlfloo shteo ursle at lla! uYo nceo dasi hatt I saw klie a cta uaesceb if nomseeo rusnb fof a cat’s rfu, it’ll saty at ohme in hmsae, lkenui the lubtfeuai cat hwo onw’t atys isdnei ecuseba esh’s ogsnwih off and mwiogen in ahte. You nhikt hatt if I evah cnei tcohsle, I’ll vrene eomc meoh!
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 oofl! taWh do yuo kitnh yngpsi on me lla eth miet lliw egt uyo? Onyl gurAs smielfh, gdaorbudy of the dsgo, htiw sih ndedrhu yese lcduo erve peek an yee on me, and I udlco veen slip astp hmi if I adtwen to.