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- The Canterbury Tales - 150/183 -


But what! it muste needes be. What did this Aeolus, but he Took out his blacke trump of brass, That fouler than the Devil was, And gan this trumpet for to blow, As all the world 't would overthrow. Throughout every regioun Went this foule trumpet's soun', As swift as pellet out of gun When fire is in the powder run. And such a smoke gan out wend,* *go Out of this foule trumpet's end, Black, blue, greenish, swart,* and red, *black <73> As doth when that men melt lead, Lo! all on high from the tewell;* *chimney <74> And thereto* one thing saw I well, *also That the farther that it ran, The greater waxen it began, As doth the river from a well,* *fountain And it stank as the pit of hell. Alas! thus was their shame y-rung, And guilteless, on ev'ry tongue.

Then came the thirde company, And gan up to the dais to hie,* *hasten And down on knees they fell anon, And saide, "We be ev'ry one Folk that have full truely Deserved fame right fully, And pray you that it may be know Right as it is, and forth y-blow." "I grante," quoth she, "for me list That now your goode works be wist;* *known And yet ye shall have better los, In despite of all your foes, Than worthy* is, and that anon. *merited Let now," quoth she, "thy trumpet go'n, Thou Aeolus, that is so black, And out thine other trumpet take, That highte Laud, and blow it so That through the world their fame may go, Easily and not too fast, That it be knowen at the last." "Full gladly, Lady mine," he said; And out his trump of gold he braid* *pulled forth Anon, and set it to his mouth, And blew it east, and west, and south, And north, as loud as any thunder, That ev'ry wight had of it wonder, So broad it ran ere that it stent.* *ceased And certes all the breath that went Out of his trumpet's mouthe smell'd As* men a pot of balme held *as if Among a basket full of roses; This favour did he to their loses.* *reputations

And right with this I gan espy Where came the fourthe company. But certain they were wondrous few; And gan to standen in a rew,* *row And saide, "Certes, Lady bright, We have done well with all our might, But we *not keep* to have fame; *care not Hide our workes and our name, For Godde's love! for certes we Have surely done it for bounty,* *goodness, virtue And for no manner other thing." "I grante you all your asking," Quoth she; "let your workes be dead."

With that I turn'd about my head, And saw anon the fifthe rout,* *company That to this Lady gan to lout,* *bow down And down on knees anon to fall; And to her then besoughten all To hide their good workes eke, And said, they gave* not a leek *cared For no fame, nor such renown; For they for contemplatioun And Godde's love had y-wrought, Nor of fame would they have aught. "What!" quoth she, "and be ye wood? And *weene ye* for to do good, *do ye imagine* And for to have of that no fame? *Have ye despite* to have my name? *do ye despise* Nay, ye shall lie every one! Blow thy trump, and that anon," Quoth she, "thou Aeolus, I hote,* *command And ring these folkes works by note, That all the world may of it hear." And he gan blow their los* so clear *reputation Within his golden clarioun, That through the worlde went the soun', All so kindly, and so soft, That their fame was blown aloft.

And then came the sixth company, And gunnen* fast on Fame to cry; *began Right verily in this mannere They saide; "Mercy, Lady dear! To telle certain as it is, We have done neither that nor this, But idle all our life hath be;* *been But natheless yet praye we That we may have as good a fame, And great renown, and knowen* name, *well-known As they that have done noble gests,* *feats. And have achieved all their quests,* *enterprises; desires As well of Love, as other thing; All* was us never brooch, nor ring, *although Nor elles aught from women sent, Nor ones in their hearte meant To make us only friendly cheer, But mighte *teem us upon bier;* *might lay us on our bier Yet let us to the people seem (by their adverse demeanour)* Such as the world may of us deem,* *judge That women loven us for wood.* *madly It shall us do as muche good, And to our heart as much avail, The counterpoise,* ease, and travail, *compensation As we had won it with labour; For that is deare bought honour, *At the regard of* our great ease. *in comparison with* *And yet* ye must us more please; *in addition* Let us be holden eke thereto Worthy, and wise, and good also, And rich, and happy unto love, For Godde's love, that sits above; Though we may not the body have Of women, yet, so God you save, Let men glue* on us the name; *fasten Sufficeth that we have the fame." "I grante," quoth she, "by my troth; Now Aeolus, withoute sloth, Take out thy trump of gold," quoth she, "And blow as they have asked me, That ev'ry man ween* them at ease, *believe Although they go in full *bad leas."* *sorry plight* This Aeolus gan it so blow, That through the world it was y-know.

Then came the seventh rout anon, And fell on knees ev'ry one, And saide, "Lady, grant us soon The same thing, the same boon, Which *this next folk* you have done." *the people just before us* "Fy on you," quoth she, "ev'ry one! Ye nasty swine, ye idle wretches, Full fill'd of rotten slowe tetches!* *blemishes <75> What? false thieves! ere ye would *Be famous good,* and nothing n'ould *have good fame* Deserve why, nor never raught,* *recked, cared (to do so) Men rather you to hangen ought. For ye be like the sleepy cat, That would have fish; but, know'st thou what? He woulde no thing wet his claws. Evil thrift come to your jaws, And eke to mine, if I it grant, Or do favour you to avaunt.* *boast your deeds Thou Aeolus, thou King of Thrace, Go, blow this folk a *sorry grace,"* *disgrace Quoth she, "anon; and know'st thou how? As I shall telle thee right now, Say, these be they that would honour Have, and do no kind of labour, Nor do no good, and yet have laud, And that men ween'd that Belle Isaude <76> *Could them not of love wern;* *could not refuse them her love* And yet she that grinds at the quern* *mill <77> Is all too good to ease their heart." This Aeolus anon upstart, And with his blacke clarioun He gan to blazen out a soun' As loud as bellows wind in hell; And eke therewith, the sooth to tell, This sounde was so full of japes,* *jests As ever were mows* in apes; *grimaces And that went all the world about, That ev'ry wight gan on them shout, And for to laugh as they were wood;* *mad *Such game found they in their hood.* <78> *so were they ridiculed*

Then came another company, That hadde done the treachery, The harm, and the great wickedness, That any hearte coulde guess; And prayed her to have good fame, And that she would do them no shame, But give them los and good renown, And *do it blow* in clarioun. *cause it to be blown* "Nay, wis!" quoth she, "it were a vice; All be there in me no justice, Me liste not to do it now, Nor this will I grant to you."

Then came there leaping in a rout,* *crowd And gan to clappen* all about *strike, knock Every man upon the crown, That all the hall began to soun'; And saide; "Lady lefe* and dear, *loved


The Canterbury Tales - 150/183

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