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The Canterbury Tales
Geoffery Chaucer

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Translation of "The Miller's Prologue" courtesy Gerard NeCastro, University of Maine at Machias.

The Miller's Prologue

Here follow the words between the Host and the Miller.

When the Knight had ended his tale, in the entire crowd was there nobody, young or old, who did not say it was a noble history and worthy to be called to mind; and especially each of the gentle people. Our Host laughed and swore, "So may I thrive, this goes well! The bag is unbuckled, let see now who shall tell another tale, for truly the sport has begun well. Now you, Sir Monk, if you can, tell something to repay the Knight's story with." [3119]

The Miller, who had drunk himself so completely pale that he could scarcely sit on his horse, would not take off his hood or hat, or wait and mind his manners for no one, but began to cry aloud in Pilate's voice1, and swore by arms and blood and head, "I know a noble tale for the occasion, to repay the Knight's story with." [3127]

Our Host saw that he was all drunk with ale and said, "Wait, Robin, dear brother, some better man shall speak first; wait, and let us work thriftily." [3131]

"By God's soul!" he said, "I will not do that! I will speak, or else go my way!" [3133]

"Tell on, in the Devil's name!" answered our Host. "You are a fool; your wits have been overcome." [3135]

"Now listen, one and all! But first," said the Miller, "I make a protestation that I am drunk; I know it by my voice. 3138

1 Pilate's voice In the mystery or Corpus Christi plays of the Middle Ages, Pilate apparently spoke in an exaggerated fashion.
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