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CANTERBURY TALES

HERE THE MAKER OF THIS BOOK TAKES HIS LEAVE

by Geoffrey Chaucer

Now do I pray all those who hear this little treatise, or read it,

that, if there be within it anything that pleases them, they thank Our

Lord Jesus Christ, from Whom proceeds all understanding and all

goodness. And if there be anything that displeases them, I pray

them, also, that they impute it to the fault of my ignorance and not

to my intention, which would fain have better said if I had had

knowledge. For our Book says, "All that is written is written for

our instruction;" and that was my intention. Wherefore I meekly

beseech you that, for the sake of God's mercy, you pray for me that

Christ have mercy upon me and forgive me my trespasses and

especially for my translations and the writing of worldly vanities,

the which I withdraw in my retractations: as, The Book of Troilus;

also The Book of Fame; The Book of the Nineteen Ladies; The Book of

the Duchess; The Book of Saint Valentine's Day, Of the Parliament of

Birds; The Tales of Canterbury, those that tend toward sin; The Book

of the Lion; and many another book, were they in my remembrance; and

many a song and many a lecherous lay,- as to which may Christ, of

His great mercy, forgive me the sin. But for the translation of

Boethius's de Consolatione, and other books of legends of saints,

and homilies, and of morality and devotion- for those I thank Our Lord

Jesus Christ and His Blessed Mother and all the saints of Heaven;

beseeching them that they, henceforth unto my life's end, send me

grace whereof to bewail my sins, and to study for the salvation of

my soul:- and grant me the grace of true penitence, confession, and

expiation in this present life; through the benign grace of Him Who is

King of kings and Priest over all priests, Who redeemed us with the

precious blood of His heart; so that I may be one of those, at the day

of doom, that shall be saved: Qui cum patre, etc.

HERE ENDS THE BOOK

OF THE TALES OF CANTERBURY,

WRITTEN BY GEOFFREY CHAUCER,

ON WHOSE SOUL

MAY JESUS CHRIST HAVE MERCY.

AMEN.