Test your reading of The Merchant's
Prologue and Tale

(Lines 1213-1440)

Translate each of bold-face words in the following lines into clear modern English (it is best to write out your translation):

1269 And namely whan a man is oold and hoor;

1295 What force though Theofraste liste lye?

1314 Or moebles -- alle ben yiftes of Fortune

1332 His paradys terrestre, and his disport.

1361 Do alwey so as wommen wol thee rede.

1410 And I wol fonde t'espien, on my syde,

1458 I feele my lymes stark and suffisaunt

1512 Crist halt hym of this conseil ful wel apayd.

1591 For hire sadnesse and hire benyngnytee

1598 For love is blynd alday, and may nat see.

1658 He wolde noon auctoritee allegge,

1671 She may be Goddes meene and Goddes whippe;

1714 The mooste deyntevous of al Ytaille.

1753 That he that nyght in armes wolde hire streyne

1786 Lyk to the naddre in bosom sly untrewe,

1847 He was al coltissh, ful of ragerye,

1911 And therto manly, and eek servysable,

2061 O brotil joye! O sweete venym queynte!

2198 Or elles I empeyre so my name,

2262 Thanne shal he knowen al hire harlotrye,

2331 I moste han of the peres that I see,

2367 "O stronge lady stoore, what dostow?"

2402 Ne may nat sodeynly so wel yse,

2413 He kisseth hire and clippeth hire ful ofte,


Compare your translation with the page glosses for these lines.

Or use the back button on your browser to return to the previous page.