The Canterbury Tales: The Miller's Tale
by Geoffrey Chaucer
The Canterbury Tales: The Miller's Tale Religion Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Line). We used the line numbering found on Librarius's online edition.
'But of o thyng I warne thee ful right:
Be wel avysed on that ilke nyght
That we ben entred into shippes bord,
That noon of us ne speke nat a word,
Ne clepe, ne crie, but be in his preyere;
For it is Goddes owene heeste deere.'
Nicholas needs to prevent John from trying to speak to him and Alisoun, so that he doesn't figure out they're no longer in their tubs. This silencing of John, both here and a few lines earlier, when Nicholas forbids him from telling anyone about the flood, foreshadows the final silencing of John by Nicholas and Alisoun at the tale's end.
'Thy wyf and thou moote hange fer atwynne;
For that bitwixe yow shal be no synne,
Namoore in lookyng than ther shal in deede,
This ordinance is seyd. Go, God thee speede!'
Nicholas's "This ordinance is seyd" parrots the "So says the Lord" that is often spoken by prophets in the Old Testament. Nicholas is taking on a prophetic role, perhaps to make himself more convincing to John.