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The Canterbury Tales: The Reeve's Tale

The Canterbury Tales: The Reeve's Tale


by Geoffrey Chaucer

The Canterbury Tales: The Reeve's Tale Lines 133 – 169 Summary

  • This miller takes large payments for his wheat and malt from many all around the town.
  • Namely, there is a large college at Canterbury known as Soler Hall that has its wheat and malt ground at Symkyn's mill.
  • One day it just so happens that the college's Manciple, or person responsible for buying its provisions, is so ill that everyone thinks he's going to die.
  • For this reason, the miller is able to short the college outrageously on its provisions, a hundred times more than he has ever done in the past (then, he stole more subtly).
  • The college warden scolds and complains, but the miller doesn't care. He brags and boasts, and swears he hasn't done anything wrong.
  • Two poor young scholars live at Soler Hall.
  • They are willful, and love to play.
  • For their amusement, they beg to warden to allow them to go to the mill and see their corn ground.
  • They pledge their lives that the miller will not steal so much as half a peck of corn, neither by trickery nor by force.
  • Finally, the warden gives them permission to go to the mill.
  • One student is named John, and the other, Aleyn.
  • They come from the same town, a place in the north of England called Strother.
  • Aleyn gets ready for the journey, and throws the meal-sack on a horse.
  • Aleyn the clerk rides out, and so does John, with good swords and small shields at their sides.
  • John already knows the way, so they don't need a guide.
  • He lays his sack down next to the mill.
  • Aleyn speaks first, saying, "Hello, Symond, good day. How are your daughter and wife?"

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