Geoffrey Chaucer

(c. 1343 – 25 October 1400 / London, England)

Quotations

  • ''And therfore, at the kynges court, my brother,
    Ech man for hymself, ther is noon oother.''
    Geoffrey Chaucer (1340-1400), British poet. The Canterbury Tales, Arcite, in "The Knight's Tale," l. 1181-2 (c. 1387-1400), repr. In The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer, ed. Alfred W. Pollard, et al. (1898).
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  • ''What is this world? what asketh men to have?
    Now with his love, now in his colde grave
    Allone, withouten any compaignye.''
    Geoffrey Chaucer (1340-1400), British poet. The Canterbury Tales, Arcite, in "The Knight's Tale," l. 2777-9 (c. 1387-1400), repr. In The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer, ed. Alfred W. Pollard, et al. (1898).
  • ''Love is a thyng as any spirit free.
    Wommen, of kynde, desiren libertee,
    And nat to been constreyned as a thral;
    And so doon men, if I sooth seyen shal.''
    Geoffrey Chaucer (1340-1400), British poet. The Canterbury Tales, "The Franklin's Tale," l. 767-70 (c. 1387-1400), repr. In The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer, ed. Alfred W. Pollard, et al. (1898).
  • ''Ther nis no werkman, whatsoevere he be,
    That may bothe werke wel and hastily.''
    Geoffrey Chaucer (1340-1400), British poet. The Canterbury Tales, Januarie, in "The Merchant's Tale," l. 1832-3 (c. 1387-1400), repr. In The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer, ed. Alfred W. Pollard, etc. (1898).
  • ''Whan Zephirus eek with his swete breeth,
    Inspired hath in every holt and heeth
    The tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne
    Hath in the Ram his halfe cours yronne,
    And smale foweles maken melodye,
    That slepen al the nyght with open eye,
    (So priketh hem Nature in hir corages);
    Thanne longen folk to goon on pilgrimages.''
    Geoffrey Chaucer (1340-1400), British poet. The Canterbury Tales, "General Prologue," l. 5-12 (1387-1400), repr. In The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer, ed. Alfred W. Pollard, et al. (1898).
  • ''She was a worthy womman al hir lyve:
    Housbondes at chirche dore she hadde fyve,
    Withouten oother compaignye in youthe,
    But thereof nedeth nat to speke as nowthe.''
    Geoffrey Chaucer (1340-1400), British poet. The Canterbury Tales, "General Prologue," l. 459-62 (1387-1400), repr. In The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer, ed. Alfred W. Pollard, et al. (1898). Referring to the Wife of Bath.
  • ''Mordre wol out; that se we day by day.''
    Geoffrey Chaucer (1340-1400), British poet. The Canterbury Tales, "The Nun's Priest's Tale," l. 4242 (1387-1400), repr. In The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer, ed. Alfred W. Pollard, et al. (1898).
  • ''Certes, they been lyk to houndes, for an hound whan he comth by the roser, or by other bushes, though he may nat pisse, yet wole he heve up his leg and make a contenaunce to pisse.''
    Geoffrey Chaucer (1340-1400), British poet. The Canterbury Tales, "The Parson's Tale," Sequitur de Luxuria (c. 1387-1400), repr. In The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer, ed. Alfred W. Pollard, etc. (1898).
  • ''Experience, though noon auctoritee
    Were in this world, were right ynogh to me
    To speke of wo that is in mariage.''
    Geoffrey Chaucer (1340-1400), British poet. The Canterbury Tales, "The Wife of Bath's Prologue," l. 1-3 (c. 1387-1400), repr. In The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer, ed. Alfred W. Pollard, et al. (1898).
  • ''This world nys but a thurghfare ful of wo,
    And we been pilgrymes, passynge to and fro;
    Deeth is an ende of every worldly soore.''
    Geoffrey Chaucer (1340-1400), British poet. The Canterbury Tales, Egeus, in "The Knight's Tale," l. 2847-9 (c. 1387-1400), repr. In The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer, ed. Alfred W. Pollard, et al. (1898).

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Gentilesse

The firste stok, fader of gentilesse --
What man that desireth gentil for to be
Must folowe his trace, and alle his wittes dresse
Vertu to love and vyces for to flee.
For unto vertu longeth dignitee
And noght the revers, saufly dar I deme,
Al were he mytre, croune, or diademe.

This firste stok was ful of rightwisnesse,

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