The Canterbury Tales: General Prologue & Frame Story
by Geoffrey Chaucer
The Canterbury Tales: General Prologue & Frame Story Spirituality Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Line). We used the line numbering found on Librarius's online edition.
A good man was ther of religioun,
And was a povre persoun of a toun,
but riche he was of holy thought and werk.
(General Prologue 477 – 479)
After all the descriptions of decadent wealth in the previous pilgrims' portraits, the Parson's richness only in holy thoughts and works is particularly striking.
A trewe swinkere and a good was he,
Livinge in pees and parfit charitee.
God loved he best with al his hole herte
At alle tymes thogh him gamed or smerte.
(General Prologue 531 – 534)
With the Plowman we learn a simple formula for holiness: hard work, peaceful nature, and love. If the Plowman's portrait is short, maybe it's to make the point that holiness doesn't have to be a complex endeavor.
His walet lay biforn him in his lappe,
Bretful of pardoun comen from Rome al hoot.
(General Prologue 686 – 687)
Calling the pardons "al hoot" emphasizes the way in which they're a hot commodity, and one that's become easy to get because they're quickly produced and moved into the marketplace.