The Knight tells the Monk to stop, for his stories are too depressing. It is very distressing for people to hear stories about men who fall from prosperity into misery. The Knight thinks it's better to tell stories about people who move in the opposite direction.
The Host agrees, saying that the Monk's tale annoys everyone because it is just no fun, and almost made him fall asleep. He asks the Monk to tell a different tale, perhaps something about hunting.
The Monk says he doesn't feel like playing anymore, and that someone else should tell a tale now.
The Host asks the Nun's Priest to tell a tale – who cares if the Nun's Priest's horse is frail and lean? Surely the Nun's Priest can still be merry.
The Nun's Priest agrees, announces his intention to be merry or be blamed for it, and begins his tale.