| Quote #1
[The Prioress] peyned hire to countrefete chere
With the Prioress we have the first of many characters who are pretending to be something they're not. The idea of counterfeiting is a word that also appears when Chaucer talks about his repetition of other pilgrim's words. This shows the way the word can have both negative ("faking") and positive ("repeating") connotations.
| Quote #2
This worthy man ful wel his wit bisette:
Like the Prioress, the Merchant is working really hard to appear to be something he's not: financially solvent. In his case, though, this deception is probably necessary for his business success, whereas for the Prioress it's actually contrary to the obligations of her profession.
| Quote #3
Discreet he was and of greet reverence:
"Seeming" is not a good thing in The Canterbury Tales. The appearance of this word usually marks some kind of deception that's going on, someone trying to appear to be something they're not.