The General Prologue
3 of 14 folios
Fro burdeux ward whiles the Merchant sleep
Of nyce conscience took he no keep
If that he faught and had the herre hond
By water he sent hem home to euery lond
But of his crafte to rykene wel his tydes
His streemes and his daungers him bisides
His herberw and his monee and his lodmenage
Ther nas noon suche fro huƚƚ to cartage
Hardy he was and wys to vndertake
Wyth many a tempeste had his berd ben shake
He knewe alle the hauenes as thei were
Fro Scotlond vn to the Cape of Fenestere
And euery crike in Bretaigne and in spayne
His barge it was y clepid the magdalayne.
Wyth vs ther was a doctour of phisik
In alle the world ne was ther noon him lyke
To speken of his phisik and of surgerye
For he was grounded in astronomye.
He kept his pacience a ful gret del
In houres by his magik naturel.
Wel coude he fortune the ascendent
Of his ymage for his paciente
He knew the cause of euery maladye
Were it of hoot or cold moist or drye.
And where it engendryth and of what humor
He was a verrey parfytee practisour
The cause he knew and \of/ his harme the roote
Anon he yaf the seke man his boote
Ful redy had he his apotecaries
To sende him droges and his letuaries
For eche of hem made other for to wynne
Here frenship was noght newe to begynne
Wel knewe he the olde Esculapius
And diascorides and eke Ruphus
Olde ypocras haly and Galyen
Serapioñ Rasy and auysen.
Aueroys Damastyen and constantyn
Bernard Gatisdeyñ and gilbertyn.
Of his diete mesurable was he
For hit was of no superfluite.