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The Canterbury Tales By Geoffrey Chaucer - 1380

 

HERE THE MAKER OF THIS BOOK TAKES HIS LEAVE

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.

END