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Benigne he was, and wonder diligent,
He settè not his benefice to hire,
3 Give. 4 The nearest and most distant of his parishioners. 5 Gave.
Or with a brotherhede to be withold :
With him ther was a Plowman, was his brother,
2 No where. 3 Nice, in an affected sense. Dung. 5 Load.
His tithès paied he ful fayre and wel
Ther was also a reve, and a millere,
The Miller was a stout carl for the nones,
1 A sompnour, an officer employed to summon delinquents in ecclesiastical courts, now called an apparitor.--Tyrwhitt.
? A pardoner, a seller of pardons or indulgences.
3 A manciple, an officer who has the care of furnishing victuals for an inn of court. 4 The prize.
5 A hard knot in a tree, 6 A running. 8 Nostrils. 9 Prater.. 10 Buffoon.
And that was most of sinne, and harlotrieś.
A gentil Manciples was ther of a temple,
Of maisters had he mo than thriès ten, That were of lawe expert and curious : Of which ther was a dosein in that hous, Worthy to ben stewardes of rent and lond Of any lord that is in Englelond, To maken him live by his propre good, In honour detteles, but if he were wood, Or live as scarsly, as him list desire; And able for to helpen all a shire In any cas that mighte fallen or happe: And yet this manciple sette hir aller cappe. The Revè was a slendre colerike man, His berd was shave as neighe as ever he can. His here was by his erès round yshorne. His top was docked like a preest beforne. Ful longè were his leggès, and ful lene, Ylike a staff, ther was no calf ysene. Wel coude he kepe a garner and a binne: Ther was non auditour coude on him winne. Wel wiste he by the drought, and by the rain, The yelding of his seed, and of his grain, His lordès shepe, his nete?, and his deirie, His swine, his hors, his store, and his pultrie, Were holly in this revès governing, And by his covenant yave he rekening, Sin that his lord was twenty yere
1 2 He was as honest as other millers, though he had, according to the proverb, like every miller, a thumb of gold. 3 Vide 3 on the preceding page.
4 Purchasers. 5 Purchase. 6 Free from debt.. 7 Made a fool of them all.
age; Ther coude no man bring him in arerage. Ther n'as baillif, ne herde, ne other hine, That he ne knew his sleight and his covine": They were adradde of him, as of the deth. His wonning was ful fayre upon an heth, With grenè trees yshadewed was his place. He coudè better than his lord pourchace. Ful riche he was ystored privily. His lord wel coude he plesen subtilly, To yeve
and lene him of his owen good, And have a thank, and yet a cote and hood. In youthe he lerned hadde a good mistere. He was a wel good wright, a carpentere. 1 Yielding.
2 Cows. 3 Steward. 4 Secret contrivances. 5 Trade, occupation.