307 The Sonday next the marchant was agon,
325 This marchant, whan that ended was the faire,
This merchant, when the fair was ended,
326 To Seint-Denys he gan for to repaire,
Did return to Seint-Denis,
327 And with his wyf he maketh feeste and cheere,
And with his wife he makes merriment and good cheer,
328 And telleth hire that chaffare is so deere
And tells her that merchandise is so expensive
329 That nedes moste he make a chevyssaunce,
That of necessity he had to make an arrangement for credit
330 For he was bounden in a reconyssaunce
For he was bound in a formal pledge
331 To paye twenty thousand sheeld anon.
To pay twenty thousand shields quickly.
332 For which this marchant is to Parys gon
For which this merchant is gone to Paris
333 To borwe of certeine freendes that he hadde
To borrow from certain friends that he had
334 A certeyn frankes; and somme with him he ladde.
A certain number of franks; and some with him he brought.
335 And whan that he was come into the toun,
And when he had come into the town,
336 For greet chiertee and greet affeccioun,
For great fondness and great affection,
337 Unto daun John he first gooth hym to pleye;
He first goes unto Don John to visit him;
338 Nat for to axe or borwe of hym moneye,
Not to ask or borrow money from him,
339 But for to wite and seen of his welfare,
But in order to know and see about his welfare,
340 And for to tellen hym of his chaffare,
And to tell him of his business,
341 As freendes doon whan they been met yfeere.
As friends do when they are met together.
342 Daun John hym maketh feeste and murye cheere,
Don John makes him festive and merry hospitality,
343 And he hym tolde agayn, ful specially,
And he told him in turn, in great detail,
344 How he hadde wel yboght and graciously,
How he had bought well and successfully,
345 Thanked be God, al hool his marchandise,
Thanked be God, all of his merchandise,
346 Save that he moste, in alle maner wise,
Except that he must, no matter what,
347 Maken a chevyssaunce, as for his beste,
Arrange for a loan, as for his best (course of action),
348 And thanne he sholde been in joye and reste.
And then he would be in joy and rest.
349 Daun John answerde, "Certes, I am fayn
Don John answered, "Certainly, I am glad
350 That ye in heele ar comen hom agayn.
That you are come home again in good health.
351 And if that I were riche, as have I blisse,
And if I were rich, as I may have bliss,
352 Of twenty thousand sheeld sholde ye nat mysse,
You should not lack twenty thousand shields ,
353 For ye so kyndely this oother day
For you so kindly this other day
354 Lente me gold; and as I kan and may,
Lent me gold; and as I know how and can,
355 I thanke yow, by God and by Seint Jame!
I thank you, by God and by Saint James!
356 But nathelees, I took unto oure dame,
But nonetheless, I gave unto our dame,
357 Youre wyf, at hom, the same gold ageyn
Your wife, at home, the same gold in return
358 Upon youre bench; she woot it wel, certeyn,
Upon your counting board; she knows it well, certainly,
359 By certeyn tokenes that I kan hire telle.
By certain proofs that I can tell her.
360 Now, by youre leve, I may no lenger dwelle;
Now, by your leave, I can no longer dwell;
361 Oure abbot wole out of this toun anon,
Our abbot will go out of this town very soon,
362 And in his compaignye moot I goon.
And I must go in his company.
363 Grete wel oure dame, myn owene nece sweete,
Greet well our dame, my own sweet niece,
364 And fare wel, deere cosyn, til we meete!"
And farewell, dear cousin, until we meet!"
365 This marchant, which that was ful war and wys,
This merchant, who was very prudent and wise,
366 Creanced hath, and payd eek in Parys
Has obtained credit, and paid also in Paris
367 To certeyn Lumbardes, redy in hir hond,
To certain Lombard bankers, ready in their hand (in cash),
368 The somme of gold, and gat of hem his bond;
The sum of gold, and redeemed his bond from them;
369 And hoom he gooth, murie as a papejay,
And home he goes, merry as a parrot,
370 For wel he knew he stood in swich array
For well he knew he stood in such condition
371 That nedes moste he wynne in that viage
That by necessity he must earn in that journey
372 A thousand frankes aboven al his costage.
A thousand franks above all his costs.
373 His wyf ful redy mette hym atte gate,
His wife very readily met him at the gate,
374 As she was wont of oold usage algate,
As was her long established custom at all times,
375 And al that nyght in myrthe they bisette;
And all that night they devoted themselves to mirth.
376 For he was riche and cleerly out of dette.
For he was rich and clearly out of debt.
377 Whan it was day, this marchant gan embrace
When it was day, this merchant did embrace
378 His wyf al newe, and kiste hire on hir face,
His wife anew, and kissed her on her face,
379 And up he gooth and maketh it ful tough.
And up he goes and makes it full tough.
380 "Namoore," quod she, "by God, ye have ynough!"
"No more," said she, "by God, you have enough!"
381 And wantownly agayn with hym she pleyde
And wantonly again she played with him
382 Til atte laste thus this marchant seyde:
Until at the last thus this merchant said:
383 "By God," quod he, "I am a litel wrooth
"By God," said he, "I am a little angry
384 With yow, my wyf, although it be me looth.
With you, my wife, although I am reluctant to be so.
385 And woot ye why? By God, as that I gesse
And do you know why? By God, because I guess
386 That ye han maad a manere straungenesse
That you have made a sort of estrangement
387 Bitwixen me and my cosyn daun John.
Between me and my cousin Don John.
388 Ye sholde han warned me, er I had gon,
You should have warned me, before I had gone,
389 That he yow hadde an hundred frankes payed
That he had paid a hundred franks to you
390 By redy token; and heeld hym yvele apayed,
In cash; and considered himself ill used,
391 For that I to hym spak of chevyssaunce;
Because I spoke to him about borrowing;
392 Me semed so, as by his contenaunce.
It seemed so, by his countenance.
393 But nathelees, by God, oure hevene kyng,
But nonetheless, by God, our heavenly king,
394 I thoughte nat to axen hym no thyng.
I thought not to ask any thing of him.
395 I prey thee, wyf, ne do namoore so;
I pray thee, wife, do so no more;
396 Telle me alwey, er that I fro thee go,
Tell me always, before I go from thee,
397 If any dettour hath in myn absence
If any debtor has in my absence
398 Ypayed thee, lest thurgh thy necligence
Paid thee, lest through thy negligence
399 I myghte hym axe a thing that he hath payed."
I might ask of him a thing that he has paid."
400 This wyf was nat afered nor affrayed,
This wife was not afeared nor afraid,
401 But boldely she seyde, and that anon,
But boldly she said, and that immediately,
402 "Marie, I deffie the false monk, daun John!
"By Mary, I defy the false monk, Don John!
403 I kepe nat of his tokenes never a deel;
I care not a bit for his proofs;
404 He took me certeyn gold, that woot I weel --
He gave me a specific amount of gold, that I know well --
405 What! Yvel thedam on his monkes snowte!
What! Evil luck on his monk's snout!
406 For, God it woot, I wende, withouten doute,
For, God knows it, I thought, without doubt,
407 That he hadde yeve it me bycause of yow
That he had given it to me because of you
408 To doon therwith myn honour and my prow,
To do (something) with it for my honor and my benefit,
409 For cosynage, and eek for beele cheere
Because of kinship, and also for the good cheer
410 That he hath had ful ofte tymes heere.
That he has had very many times here.
411 But sith I se I stonde in this disjoynt,
But since I see I stand in this difficulty,
412 I wol answere yow shortly to the poynt.
I will answer you shortly to the point.
413 Ye han mo slakkere dettours than am I!
You have more slow-paying debtors than I am!
414 For I wol paye yow wel and redily
For I will pay you well and readily
415 Fro day to day, and if so be I faille,
From day to day, and if it so be that I fail,
416 I am youre wyf; score it upon my taille,
I am your wife; score it upon my tally (tail),
417 And I shal paye as soone as ever I may.
And I shall pay as soon as ever I can.
418 For by my trouthe, I have on myn array,
For by my troth, I have on my clothing,
419 And nat on wast, bistowed every deel;
And not on waste, spent every bit;
420 And for I have bistowed it so weel
And because I have spent it so well
421 For youre honour, for Goddes sake, I seye,
For your honor, for God's sake, I say,
422 As be nat wrooth, but lat us laughe and pleye.
Do not be angry, but let us laugh and play.
423 Ye shal my joly body have to wedde;
You shall have my pretty body as a pledge;
424 By God, I wol nat paye yow but abedde!
By God, I will not pay you except in bed!
425 Forgyve it me, myn owene spouse deere;
Forgive me, my own dear spouse;
426 Turne hiderward, and maketh bettre cheere."
Turn hitherward, and cheer up."
427 This marchant saugh ther was no remedie,
This merchant saw there was no remedy,
428 And for to chide it nere but folie,
And to chide would be nothing but folly,
429 Sith that the thyng may nat amended be.
Since the thing can not be amended.
430 "Now wyf," he seyde, "and I foryeve it thee;
"Now wife," he said, "and I forgive thee;
431 But, by thy lyf, ne be namoore so large.
But, by thy life, be no longer so generous.
432 Keep bet thy good, this yeve I thee in charge."
Take better care of thy goods, this I give thee as a command."
433 Thus endeth my tale, and God us sende
Thus ends my tale, and God send us
434 Taillynge ynough unto oure lyves ende. Amen
Tallying (Tailing) enough unto our lives' end. Amen
Behoold the murie wordes of the Hoost to the Shipman and to the lady Prioresse.
435 "Wel seyd, by corpus dominus," quod oure Hoost,
When you are sure that you understand the Middle English, take a quiz on this part of The Shipman's Tale and The Shipman-Prioress link.
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