We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
GO TO SAT PREP GO TO ACT PREP
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 253 – 313 Summary

  • John and Aleyn walk back to the miller's house, as weary and wet as beasts in the rain.
  • "Alas," says John, "the day that I was born! Now we will be subject to mockery and scorn."
  • "Our corn has been stolen. Both the warden and our fellow scholars will call us fools, and so will the miller, alas!"
  • So John complains as he walks along the way toward the mill with the horse's reins in his hands.
  • He finds the miller sitting by his hearth.
  • It is nightfall, and the students can go no further.
  • They beseech the miller to offer them food and lodging for the night.
  • The miller says, "If there is any, you shall certainly have your part."
  • "My house is very small, but you have learned mathematics."
  • "Surely, with your theorems, you can make a space a mile wide out of twenty feet."
  • "See if this place suffices for you, or with your rhetoric make more room, as is your custom."
  • "Now, Symond," says John, "by Saint Cuthbert, you are always merry, and this is a fair answer."
  • "I have heard said, 'Man shall take one of two things: such as he finds, or such as he brings with him."
  • "But I especially ask you, dear host, for some meat, drink, and cheer."
  • "And we will pay for it in full, for with an empty hand men take no hawks."
  • "Look, here's our silver, ready to be spent."
  • This miller sends his daughter into town for ale and bread, and roasts a goose for the clerks.
  • He stables their horse so that it doesn't get free again.
  • In his own chamber, not ten feet from his own bed, he makes a sleeping-space for them from sheets and good blankets.
  • His daughter has a bed to herself in the same chamber, for there is no other bedchamber in the house.
  • Everyone eats and talks, taking solace in strong ale.
  • About midnight, they all go to bed.
  • This miller is all pale from drinking so much. He hiccups and snores loudly.
  • He goes to bed, and his wife with him.
  • She is as light and jolly as a jaybird in feather, so well has she wet her whistle with ale.
  • She sets the cradle at the foot of the bed, the better to rock it and nurse the baby.
  • When they've drunk everything there is in the crock, the daughter goes to bed.
  • John and Aleyn go to bed; they don't need any sleeping pills.
  • This miller has drunk so much ale that he snores like a horse in his sleep.
  • He doesn't seem to notice any of the air coming out of his tail-end, either.
  • His wife joins in the chorus, so that men might hear her snores a furlong away.
  • Their daughter also snores.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...

Advertisement