The Canterbury Tales: The Reeve's Tale
by Geoffrey Chaucer
The Canterbury Tales: The Reeve's Tale Lies and Deceit Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Line). We used the line numbering found on Librarius's online edition.
This millere smyled of hir nycetee,
And thoghte, 'Al this nys doon but for a wyle.
They wene that no man may hem bigyle.'
(192 – 194)
Symkyn is immediately on to John and Aleyn's plan to prevent him from stealing their flour. He's totally confident that he'll be able to deceive the two scholars. The miller thinks it's "nycetee" (foolishness) that they think no one can possibly deceive them.
And to the hors he goth hym faire and wel;
He strepeth of the brydel right anon.
And whan the horse was laus, he gynneth gon
Toward the fen, ther wilde mares renne.
(208 – 211)
Symkyn releases the students' horse so that they will have to catch it, rather than watch him grind the corn. In this way he hopes to be able to steal from them.
And whan the millere saugh that they were gon,
He half a busshel of hir flour hath take,
And bad his wyf go knede it in a cake.
(238 – 240)
Symkyn steals the clerk's flour and has his wife bake it into a cake. By involving his wife in his trickery, he makes his household an accomplice to theft. Later in the story, his daughter's knowledge of the cake's whereabouts will imply that all of the miller's family is in on his game.