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The Canterbury Tales

Identifying Quotes Worksheet

The following quotes were taking from the "Prologue" of "The Canterbury Tales." Identify the person who is speaking or being described.
1. None had ever caught him in arrears


2. He was an easy man in penance-giving
Where he could hope to make a decent living:


3. He'd sewed a holy relic on his cap;
His wallet lay before him on his lap,
Brimful of pardons come from Rome all hot.
He had the same small voice a goat has got.

4. He much disliked extorting tithe or fee,
Nay rather he preferred beyond a doubt
Giving to the poor parishioners round about
From his own goods and Easter offerings.
He found sufficiency in little things.

5. He could make songs and poems and recite.
Knew how to joust and dance, to draw and write.
He loved so hotly that till dawn grew pale
He slept as little as a nightingale.

6. His nostrils were as black as they were wide.
He had a sword and buckler at his side,
7. He liked to play his bagpipes up and down
And that was how he brought us out of town.
8. She certainly was very entertaining,
Pleasant and friendly in her ways, and straining
To counterfeit a courtly kind of grace,
A stately bearing fitting to her place,
9. A medal of St. Christopher he wore ___________________
10. But still to do him justice first and last
In church he was a noble ecclesiast.
11. His house was never short of bake-meat pies,
Of fish and flesh, and these in such supplies
It positively snowed with meat and drink
12. Above his ears, and he was docked on top
Just like a priest in front; his legs were lean,
Like sticks they were, no calf was to be seen.
13. had hair as yellow as wax,
Hanging down smoothly like a hank of flax.
In driblets fell his locks behind his head
14. The cause of every malady you'd got
He knew, and whether dry, cold, moist, or hot;
15. I saw his sleeves were garnished at the hand
With fine grey fur, the finest in the land,
And on his hood, to fasten it at his chin
He had a wrought-gold cunningly fashioned pin;
Into a lover's knot it seemed to pass.
16. Loving God best with all his heart and mind
And then his neighbour as himself
17. Then he would shout and jabber as if crazy,
And wouldn't speak a word except in Latin
When he was drunk, such tags as he was pat in;
18. his horse was thinner than a rake,
And he was not too fat, I undertake.
19. She'd had five husbands, all at the church door
Apart from other company in youth;
20. so had set
His wits to work, none knew he was in debt

Source: "England in Literature" (Medallion Edition)


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