The Pardoner's Prologue and Tale Contents
And, now that I have spoke of gluttony,
Now will I you defende hazardry.
Hazard is very mother of leasings,
And of deceit, and cursed forswearings:
Blasphem' of Christ, manslaughter, and waste also
Of chattel and of time; and furthermo'
It is repreve, and contrar' of honour,
For to be held a common hazardour.
And ever the higher he is of estate,
The more he is holden desolate.
If that a prince use hazardry,
In alle governance and policy
He is, as by common opinion,
Y-hold the less in reputation.
Chilon, that was a wise ambassador,
Was sent to Corinth with full great honor
From Lacedemon, to make alliance;
And when he came, it happen'd him, by chance,
That all the greatest that were of that land,
Y-playing atte hazard he them fand.
For which, as soon as that it mighte be,
He stole him home again to his country
And saide there, "I will not lose my name,
Nor will I take on me so great diffame,
You to ally unto no hazardors.
Sende some other wise ambassadors,
For, by my troth, me were lever die,
Than I should you to hazardors ally.
For ye, that be so glorious in honours,
Shall not ally you to no hazardours,
As by my will, nor as by my treaty."
This wise philosopher thus said he.
Look eke how to the King Demetrius
The King of Parthes, as the book saith us,
Sent him a pair of dice of gold in scorn,
For he had used hazard therebeforn:
For which he held his glory and renown
At no value or reputatioun.
Lordes may finden other manner play
Honest enough to drive the day away.
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