The Pardoner's Prologue and Tale Contents
Now will I speak of oathes false and great
A word or two, as olde bookes treat.
Great swearing is a thing abominable,
And false swearing is more reprovable.
The highe God forbade swearing at all;
Witness on Matthew: but in special
Of swearing saith the holy Jeremie,
Thou thalt swear sooth thine oathes, and not lie:
And swear in doom and eke in righteousness;
But idle swearing is a cursedness.
Behold and see, there in the firste table
Of highe Godde's hestes honourable,
How that the second best of him is this,
Take not my name in idle or amiss.
Lo, rather he forbiddeth such swearing,
Than homicide, or many a cursed thing;
I say that as by order thus it standeth;
This knoweth he that his hests understandeth,
How that the second hest of God is that.
And farthermore, I will thee tell all plat,
That vengeance shall not parte from his house,
That of his oathes is outrageous.
"By Godde's precious heart, and by his nails,
And by the blood of Christ, that is in Hailes,
Seven is my chance, and thine is cinque and trey:
By Godde's armes, if thou falsely play,
This dagger shall throughout thine hearte go."
This fruit comes of the bicched bones two,
Forswearing, ire, falseness, and homicide.
Now, for the love of Christ that for us died,
Leave your oathes, bothe great and smale.
But, Sirs, now will I ell you forth my tale.
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