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.
'He schal no gospel glosen here ne teche.
We leven alle in the grete God,' quod he.
(1180 – 1181)
The Shipman, afraid that the Parson will make trouble for the other Pilgrims by berating their sinfulness, holds out their belief in the same God as reason not to do so. But as we know from the pilgrim's portraits, belief in the same God does not necessarily lead to equal levels of holiness.
Why sholde I sowen draf out of my fest,
Whan I may sowen whete, if that me lest?
(Parson's Prologue 35 – 36)
Morality and virtuous material is the "whete" the Parson wishes to sow among the pilgrims. This language emphasizes the Parson's hope that his words will take root in the pilgrims' souls and grow into good works and increased faith.