Canterbury Tales: The Cook

Geoffrey Chaucer is an English writer and poet who was born in London in the 1340s and died in 1400 in that same city. His most famous work is Canterbury Tales. The Canterbury Tales are, with Sire Gauvain and the Green Knight (from an anonymous person) and Peter the Plowman (by William Langland), the very first great works of English literature. Here is the first tale: the cook.

canterbury tales the cook

Canterbury Tales: The Cook's Tale

Prologue to the Cook's Tale.


The cook in London, when the steward spoke,
Joy (it seemed to him) stroked his back.
"Ha, ha, he said, ha, ha, by the passion of Christ,
the beautiful conclusion that this miller saw
close its argument concerning accommodation,
4330Solomon really said in his own language:
Be careful not to welcome anyone into your house,
because staying overnight is a perilous thing.
It is good that we know
Which people one admits in his particular.
I certainly want God pain and worry to send me
if ever since i name hodge from Ware,
I heard that a miller had more tablature.
We gave him a good ride, of course, in the dark night.
But will it therefore be said that we will stop there?
4340Nay. And that's why, if you deign to hear
a tale told by me, who am a poor devil,
I want to tell you, as best I can,
how a certain turn came to be in our city. "

    Our host answered and said, "I agree,
Come on, tale, Roger, and try to make it good,
because it happened to you to bleed many pate,
and you have sold many stale ones,
which was hot twice and twice was cold.
Many pilgrims prayed that Christ would curse you,
4350who still smells of your parsley today

for having eaten it with your fat goose,
so that in your shop it flies many flies.
Come on, nice Roger, come on, by your nickname,
if I joked you don't anger you:
all truth passes when one laughs and jokes. "
- "You said the truth," said Roger, "by my faith.
But true joke, nasty joke, as the Flemish says.
And, therefore, Henry Bailly, on your faith,
don't get angry before we go our separate ways,
4360if it is about a hotelier that it is in my tale.
But this is not the one I want to tell again.
But before we leave, true, you will have your account. "
About this our man laughed and cheered up loudly,
then he told his tale and you will hear him.

Thus ends the prologue to the Cook's tale.
Cook's Tale.
Here begins the cook's tale.

Once in our town was an apprentice
of a corporation of glaziers.
The rascal was like a chaffinch in the woods,
as brown as a blackberry - pretty little man.
Her hair was black and combed neatly.
4370He was a good dancer, and a happy dancer
that he had been nicknamed Pierquin le Révéleux[5].
He was full of love and gallantry
as much as sweet honey is a hive full.
It was happy for the one who had it!
At all weddings he danced and jumped.
The gallant preferred a tavern than a shop.
Because, when there was in Chepe ride,

he only jumped there, deserting the shop.
Until he saw all we could see
4380and that he had danced well, he never came back.
He assembled house of people of his kind
to jump and sing and carry out such deductions;
and there we still assigned the day and the hour
to go and play dice in such and such a street.
Because in the whole city no apprentice was
who would be more inclined to throw the two dice
than Pierquin was. With that very wide
to the fact of the expense in the discreet room.
This is what his master noticed in his business,
4390who found his drawer empty more than once:
because dashing apprentice - that's a sure thing -
who frequents dice, pleasure or love,
who will pay for the violins? The master in his shop;
all the same to the music he will have nowhere -
flight and dissipation being synonymous -
while the other is scraping or guitar or rebec.
Debauchery and probity, in humble conditions,
get caught in the hair, as we know, all day long.

    This fellow apprentice therefore stayed with his master
4400until his time was nearly over,
although morning and evening he received reprimands
and that sometimes the orgy would lead him to Newgate.

    But it happened that at last his master thought about it,
one day, after he had gone through his papers,
of a proverb which expressly says this:
"Better from the heap to pull a bad apple
than to give it time to spoil everything else. "
A debauched servant, it is a very similar case:
it's a much lesser evil to put him out
4410than to allow all your people to be lost through him.
This is why his master gives him his leave,

praying that misfortune and sorrow accompany home.
So the fellow apprentice was dismissed.
Or run the guilledou or not, it's your business!

And, because there is no thief without a friend
who helps him waste his booty and chomp
what he can extort, what he can borrow,
sometimes he had his bed and his effects carried
in his companion, a funny guy of his caliber,
4420one who loved dice, joy and pleasures,
whose woman held, to save appearance,
shop, and, in his real job, made love.

This is all that Chaucer did from this Cook's tale.