The window that once glowed with light is now darkened, A sign that my beloved is unwell.
Her sister comes to the window and tells me:
"Your beloved is dead and buried."
She always lamented that she slept alone,
Now she sleeps in the arms of Death.
After you, please. No, no sir.
No, Mr. Chaucer, after you, please.
It's nothing, sir.
Nothing! You almost knocked me out!
You have a nose like a bludgeon.
I'm joking. I hope I didn't offend you.
Ah, but between a jest and a joke, many a truth can be told.
...I don't mind at all.
I'm so skilled in the art of weaving, I can undo all those bitches in Ypres and Ghent.
In all modesty, I say - shit. Oh! Beg your pardon.
Anyway, there's no-one better than me, no-one! for gathering collections in church, all modesty aside.
And if any woman should try to challenge me, I'll make her rue the day she was born!
I'll eat the darling alive!
I went to Jerusalem, then Rome, Santiago di Compostella and also Cologne.
I'm no spring chicken, but I know how to have fun and how to make people laugh.
And then I know all sorts of stories about young love, I can tell you...
Because, my darlings, I know the old dance of Love!
Good folks, here are pardons brought to you hot from Rome!
A piece of the Virgin's veil!
A scrap of Saint Peter's sail, from when he used to go boating, before Christ taught him to walk on water.
Radix malorum est cupiditas. Cupidity is the root of all evil.
Don't be miserly. Come, buy.
Nowhere in the Gospels does it say we should remain virgins.
What were the genitals made for? Not to lie there dormant.
And don't tell me they were made just for pissing!
I use them for something quite different!
Ladies and gentlemen...
Quiet, pay attention!
Gentle folks, truly I welcome you from the bottom of my heart.
I swear, in all these years, I never saw a finer company.
You take the path to Canterbury.
God be with you and may the holy blessed martyrs reward you, but experience has taught me that during such a long journey you may become dreadfully bored, so here is some friendly advice.
To shorten the way, each of you will tell a tale on the road to Canterbury.
I shall be the judge, and your guide.
I'll accompany you at my own expense, until you reach Canterbury.
I have decided to marry.
No other life is worth a bean.
I'm convinced of it. Marriage is paradise.
When a man is old, he should take a fair young wife to beget an heir, and live a life of pleasure.
All learned men agree on this.
Only a few disagree, of whom Theophrastus was one.
But who gives a damn if he enjoys telling lies?
Arrange for my marriage promptly, for I do not want to wait.
But I tell you, dear friends, on no account will I take an old wife!
What's right is old fish and young flesh!
I'll have no woman of thirty; that is but straw and fodder!
A woman trained in many schools is half a scholar, and I don't like scholars.
What pretty figures, pretty faces!
By God, what pretty neighbours!
Now all there is to do is choose.
Hey, why not?
No, no, no, better not.
Brothers, come quickly!
No longer need you search on foot and horseback, I have made my decision, and I won't turn back.
I have found my mate!
The firm foundation of my happiness!
I have chosen May.
Make a marriage contract!
Publish the banns!
My heart needs peace!
My brother, I feel in my heart profound pity that tonight I must do harm to her!
I fear she will not bear my assaults.
God forbid that I should use all my might.
I wish these guests were gone.
Enough eating, let the dancing commence!
Come on, hurry up.
Hurry up, Father.
Father, let's get a move on.
Go away, all of you!
Alas, now I must trespass against you, my little wife, and make you suffer before our moment of pleasure.
But remember that no workman in the world can do his work quickly and well.
We have plenty of time to play.
All the time we need... Yes, my little wife.
We have the law of God and man on our side.
I am ready!
I did it!
Dearest May, I love you with all my heart, and if you don't make love to me I will die.
Best to rest, it's almost day.
I'm a little weary - twice in a night!
You'll see, my Columbine, how fair a garden!
Not even the author of "Romance of the Rose" could describe its beauty.
Now summer has come again, and only in this garden will I pay you my debt as a husband!
No-one but I can enter this garden.
No-one holds the key, no-one but myself alone, understand?
I carry it with me always.
May, come, undress yourself, lie beside me...
Dear Damian, I too love you with all my heart.
I'll steal the key to the garden and we can make love.
I am blind, you imbeciles!
Fetch a doctor! I am blind!
May, help me, I am blind.
May, where are you?
There you are.
Where are you going?
I've got you now.
I can't see you, but I'll never let you go.
Everyone out! I don't want anybody!
Leave me alone with May. Out!
Everybody out I said! Go away!
Get out! Get out, everyone. Everyone!
Go away, everyone. Everyone!
Lead me to my garden, my lovely garden which I shall never see again!
Poor January, led off to be deceived.
But I forbid it, for I shall give him back his sight so that he can see his wife's treachery.
You can if you wish, but if you give the old man his sight, I'll give her the power of words.
Don't be angry, I give up.
But I am a king, and must keep my word.
I am a queen, and like you I will keep my word.
So you must not be angry with me.
Are we there, my love? Yes, yes.
Come now, lie on the grass, my sweet little wife.
Body sweeter than wine, doe-eyed delight...
I so long to eat those lovely mulberries up on the tree!
Sweet, fruitful wife, there is no boy here to climb the tree.
And I am old and blind.
Never mind, come over here.
Careful, my dear. Do not hurt yourself.
Yes, that's it. Very good.
I'd give my very blood to help you.
Are the mulberries ripe?
Eat your fill, my child!
My eyes! I can see!
What are you doing, whore?
You can see!
It's a miracle!
I'm so happy!
I saw you! That man was taking you!
I saw it with my own eyes, up in that tree!
You are confused, sir!
Your eyesight never was good.
Jealousy made you see phantoms.
Husband, your sight is restored. Let us thank God for this miracle.
Yes, little wife, let's forget everything.
And may the Lord forgive me if ever I thought ill of you.
You are even more beautiful than I remembered, my sweetest May.
Listen! One moment.
Behind the market, in the fish alley.
No, not the old market, but at the new one, I found two.
My friend, for your wife's sake I'll cross you out of our black book.
Don't tremble like that, you were lucky this time.
I am your friend. How much did we say?
Three, four hundred... Take it all!
Just don't denounce my sin, for the love of God!
You swear by Christ you haven't a copper coin to give me?
It's the truth, my lord, I swear!
Friend, I'm doing this for your sake.
But I am a poor man, have mercy on me.
Ask the judge for mercy; you're fried, my friend.
Just a minute, we're coming!
Excellent, my friend, you've done yourself much honour.
I have new tasks for you.
Good morning, sir, and good health!
Welcome. Do you ride far today?
No, nearby - to collect rent.
So you're a rent collector? So am I.
But I'm a stranger to this country.
I pray you to be my friend and brother.
Why not? On my word of honour.
Give me your hand.
Let us swear to be brothers until we die.
Brother, where is your district, if some day I should come and need you?
Far away, in the northern country.
I hope that soon you will visit me there.
As we're rent collectors, teach me a trick or two to earn more money.
Forget conscience or sin, speak frankly, brother to brother.
My wages are so small, and I have to manage somehow.
So I live by extortion and blackmail.
So do I. Without them I couldn't survive.
I know neither pity nor conscience.
We are made to be together. Tell me, brother, what is your name?
Brother, do you really want to know?
I am a Devil and my home is Hell.
I ride around to earn a living, just as you do.
You cheat without scruples, just as I do.
I will keep you good company until you forsake me.
Even if you are the Devil, I'll keep our bargain.
We're both out for profit.
We could share what we make.
That is, you can take all that men want to give you.
Agreed. You'll take your part, while I will take everything that men want to give me.
Here lives an old woman who'd rather break her neck than part with a penny.
I'll get twelve pence off her, by threatening to summon her to court.
Yet God knows she's not guilty of the slightest sin.
Look at how we do things around here and learn.
What can I do for you gentlemen?
I have a letter here: on pain of excommunication, you must appear before the archdeacon tomorrow.
Answer to the court for certain things...
You know what I mean.
Twelve pence, and you'll be acquitted.
Where will I find twelve pence, in the name of Holy Mary?
In all my life I've never had, even seen, twelve pence.
Have pity on me, I'm poor and old.
Pay up, or I'll take your new pitcher to settle our debt.
I paid your fine when you cuckolded your poor husband.
Lies! I've never been summoned to court in my life!
And I've never been wicked with my body.
May the Devil take your body, and my pitcher, too!
Come now, dear mother.
Did you really mean what you said?
Yes, the Devil take him alive, and the pitcher, unless he repents!
Repent? No, you old witch, don't bank on it.
I won't repent for what I take from you, no matter what happens.
Brother, don't take it ill.
This pitcher and your body are mine by right.
This very night you shall come with me to Hell.
There you shall learn more of our secrets than a Master of Theology.
Notes for a Book of Tales of the Pilgrims on their way to Canterbury.
The Cook's Tale.
Get out, you wretched scoundrel!
You've finished scrounging around!
Don't show your face here again!
I'll get you, ugly thief!
You got the sack?
You're a disgrace to your family!
I'm sure your mother had you by an Italian, not by me!
Go to bed at once! No dinner for you!
Eat, son. Don't let your father see you.
Be a good boy, find another job tomorrow.
Promise me, in the name of God.
Master, do you have a job for me?
I do need a boy; I'll try you out.
Shine the eggs!
Shine them! And be careful!
What have you done?
It's nothing, Master.
How can it be?
It's a miracle! Let me see.
What a pity!
What an omelette!
I must go out for a moment.
That is fine, Master.
Stay here and work. Serve the customers well.
Why not come and play with us?
So, I can join your game?
Scoundrel! You're sacked!
Better cast away the rotten apple before it rots all the rest!
Peterkin, come and meet my wife.
She's a whore.
Peterkin the Reveller!
I declare you under arrest.
You'll be tried in London.
Yes, my wife.
Robin, let's go, quick!
Alison, if I can't have you now, my passion for you will kill me.
You're crazy, stop!
Love me, or I swear I'll die!
Let go of me, Nicholas, let go or I'll scream!
Keep your hands off me!
Alison, my love, I desire not only your body, I love you with all my soul.
I'll be your servant, your slave, if only you'll love me a little.
In that case, if you swear it...
Then I'll give you my love.
My husband is jealous. Guard your secret, or I'm dead.
Then do as I say:
Bring me a basket of food for 3 days. I'll be locked in my room.
Then do just as I tell you. Don't worry.
A student wouldn't be worth much if he couldn't outwit a carpenter.
Eggs, meat, fruit... Enough food for three days.
Make pliable that which is rigid,
For everlasting pleasure.
Time to go, Martin.
Am I handsome?
Oh, Alison, my love!
Master Gervase, don't you ever do anything but work?
At your age, I too liked to give "incense" to all the parish wives.
Come on, Absalom, here we go!
Alison, do you hear Absalom singing under our window?
Yes, John, I hear it all.
Is it that peascod who serves as a sacristan, and thinks only of decking himself out and eyeing females?
The very same.
They say he minds his words and is squeamish about farting.
Sleep, husband. You must be weary after your journey to Osney.
Listen to Absalom, gurgling like a nightingale.
You're sure you haven't seen our student all day?
Yes, I'm sure.
I sent Jill to enquire at the door, but there was no answer.
Robin, let's go and see.
Help us, Saint Frideswide.
He seems made of stone.
By Saint Thomas, I feel sorry for our dear Nicholas.
I'll go in and shake him out of his meditations!
Mark my words!
May I come in?
Nicholas! What's the matter? Look down and think of our Lord.
I'll make the sign of the cross to protect you from spirits and witches.
Jesus Christ and Saint Benedict, protect this house.
Shall the whole world vanish so soon?
By my astrology I have found out that on Monday next a rain will fall so fierce that Noah's flood was only half as great.
Within an hour, the world will be submerged and mankind will drown.
Alas, my wife! Will my poor Alison drown?
Is there no remedy?
Yes. Follow my advice and I promise:
I shall save her, you and myself!
There's no time for weeping!
Bring me a large tub.
We need one for each of us.
See they're big enough to fit us. And bring food for a day.
The rain will stop and retire the next morning.
Send away your servants, Robin and Jill!
When you've found the tubs, hang them high up, on the ceiling.
Put an axe in each, so we can cut the ropes when the water comes, and float like lords, safe and sound, as did Noah and his wife.
You and your wife must keep well apart, for woe betide any man who commits carnal sin this night.
Go to work now, and God be with you.
Quickly, let's get on board.
That's enough. Now shush!
Absalom, come here!
The carpenter hasn't been seen all day.
Your girl's alone in her bed.
Then I'll run there!
Come, let me undress you. No, I'll do it; I want to see you!
You first! I want to see you!
Show it to me!
You lucky devil, Absalom!
Alison, it's me, Absalom!
What are you doing, my sweet?
Alison, my gentle flower, my fair little bird, wake up, speak to me!
He's tried to win me with many gifts.
Sweet wine, hydromel, beer perfumed with spices, the freshest fruit, wafers hot from the stove...
And as I'm a city girl, money, too!
My dear, my thirst for love is so great, I am fluttering like a turtle dove! You fool! Go away!
I love another man better than you!
True love is always ill-fated.
If I cannot hope for more, give me a kiss at least!
If I do, will you leave?
Certainly, my love!
Then get ready, I'm coming!
You'll die laughing!
Quick, the neighbours mustn't see!
I am a lord, for after this I dare hope for more.
What have you done, Alison? You'll pay for this!
Master Gervase! Absalom!
Has some pretty girl set you on your toes?
Lend me that poker from the fire, I'll bring it back at once.
Take it, but why do you want it? Stay calm.
I'll tell you tomorrow.
Alison, it's me again, your Absalom!
I'm back, my love! What now?
I've brought you a gold ring my mother gave me - it's beautiful!
It's yours for another kiss!
It's my turn now.
Leave it to me.
Alison, where are you? Just one more kiss!
Speak, so I know where you are.
There you are!
Water, for the love of God!
My God, it's Noah's flood!
Husband, come on!
You know what we women are like.
We have to talk, because we're so fickle.
The more you deny it, the more we want it.
Are you finished?
I can't just lie here at your beck and call!
Mary, fetch some water for your master!
What a lovely arse!
Bitch! My turn...
Ah, my dear neighbour.
This is Master Jenkin, my new boarder. He's a student at Oxford.
Pleased to meet you. The pleasure is all mine.
I think I've seen you somewhere before.
Who knows where?
What a fine young stud.
But I too, as all my husbands have said:
I have the best little pussy to be found in the city of Bath.
But you are married, if I am not mistaken.
Modesty aside, I'm never short of a marriage proposal, or of similar proposals.
If you want to know, I think it's silly if a mouse only has one hole to hide in.
If you really want to, I've agreed to go to the procession with him tomorrow.
Oh, my sweet husband, beloved husband!
Why are you leaving me?
I want to speak to you.
You have bewitched me, I can't deny it.
I dreamt of you all night:
You tried to kill me as I was lying on my back, and my bed was covered in blood.
You have bewitched me.
So, you'll have to marry me.
Marry you? But I'm too young.
You see, my poor husband is croaking his last, and those who know about such things agree it's a propitious dream.
Because blood means gold.
Alice, the hat!
How do I look?
Jenkin, will you take this woman here present as your wedded wife by the sacred rite of our Mother Church?
Alice, do you take this man here present to be your wedded husband by the sacred rite of our Mother Church?
And this is for the pee of my darling, beloved fifth husband.
Jenkin I hope I won't regret giving you all the land and rents left me by four husbands before you?
Everything's in this book.
And what might this "everything" be? What's in this book?
For Saint Jodoca's sake!
It tells of Simplicius Gallus, who left his wife for all time, because once he caught her spying from behind a door.
Eve, with her perversity, has led all men to misery, and Christ to the Cross.
Xanthippe, who poured a piss-pot over Socrates' head, and the saintly man calmly wiped himself and said:
"Ere thunder stops, down comes the rain."
I hate people who dare tell me my faults, like you think you can!
You killed me so you could enjoy in peace
all my land and my money.
But I forgive you, and before I die, come here, give me one more kiss.
God curse me for what I've done.
Forgive me, I beseech you, my dear.
I forgive you.
Rector, I'm sorry for this illness that keeps me in bed like a newborn babe.
Sadly, taking advantage of this, Simpkin the miller will steal more corn than ever.
Since our Manciple is dying, or looks as if he's about to, will you give us leave to go and watch the miller grind our corn?
Good, you'd like to take on this task.
We bet the miller won't manage to cheat us by trickery or by force.
Alright. Go, gentle students.
It seems to be the only solution. May the good Lord protect you.
How lovely to gad about with nothing to do!
Why must we be locked in school?
You'd like a good screw, John?
We're worse than monks, pricks permanently hard...
Simpkin, how goes it?
How are your pretty daughter and your wife?
Not bad, it seems!
What a lovely surprise: two students instead of the Manciple.
What brings you here?
Our Manciple is likely to die.
So we've come to grind our grain.
What will you do while I grind it?
I'll stand by the hopper and watch the corn go in!
I've never seen the hopper go to and fro!
Do that, John, and I'll watch how the meal falls into the trough.
For I'm as poor a miller as John!
Right, lads, get your sack off the horse and bring it here!
Who'll carry it? Give it to me.
Milling's a great trade, lads!
Make yourself at home, get to work!
Start the sails, we're ready!
They think they can't be tricked.
I'll give them bran for flour, for all their philosophy!
People who study aren't always the smartest!
The more they think they're clever, the more I'll rob them!
There you are, lads, done in a trice!
The hopper is amusing!
The working of the trough is interesting!
Where is the horse?
Our rector's horse! Which way did he go?
He's gone down to the marshes, fast as the wind.
The damned thing can't escape - come!
Why didn't you put him in the stall?
Wife, we'll fill half their sack with bran.
They don't trust me...
See them run! Aren't they having fun!
Dobbin, where are you?
Dobbin, leave the mares alone!
You're as weary and wet as two rain-drenched animals!
We've caught the horse, but we beg for hospitality, for the love of God.
For the love of God, and for our money.
Small as it is, share my humble home.
Maybe with your science you can turn this small house into a mansion!
Have a drink with your old friend the miller!
Are you asleep, John? Did you ever hear such a racket?
What a concert!
The miller's snoring like a horse.
You could stick a tail and horns on him.
Who wants to sleep tonight?
I'll be damned if I don't hump that wench!
I'm entitled to compensation for all the grain that's been stolen from us!
Mind the miller doesn't wake up, or he'll do for us both.
He's worth no more than a flea!
So you get your own back with his daughter, while I stay here like a sack of potatoes?
In Cambridge they'll say I was a sissy or a fool!
Can you feel anything down here?
What about mine?
Dammit, the cradle!
I'm dying for a piss!
Damn that cradle!
Where is the cradle?
I nearly got in the wrong bed.
Husband, it's long since you did anything like this. What's happening?
Shut up and get on with it!
Molly, my love, sweet, darling little pussy.
Well done, husband, keep it up!
Farewell, Molly, it's dawn and I must go, but I'll always be your student.
Farewell. But before you go, I must tell you one thing: when you leave the mill, just behind the door, you'll find a loaf made with your stolen flour.
Go, and God protect you, my love.
Wake up, listen to this!
Three times I've screwed the miller's daughter while you lay low!
You filthy devil, you traitor! I'll murder you!
They're killing each other!
Bye-bye, my love!
John, it's baked with our flour!
Why don't you cut it off?
You're on double time.
Just a minute. What?
Tell me you are my queen.
I'm your queen.
My sweet love, my little dove, my sweet little flower.
Saint Paul was right:
God shall destroy the meat of the belly, and the belly of the meat.
Cook, two fried eggs.
Take that, you old bag, sent by the Devil to light the fires of lust and fan them with your whores.
Why don't you piss wine?
You'll pay for your sin in eternal hellfire!
Wine is a lecherous thing.
Drunkenness is the root of evil. You drunks!
Your face is putrid, your breath is rancid and your embrace foul!
Do like Samson!
Read the Bible! Samson never touched a drop of wine.
Rufus, go and piss on your whore's head!
Now that I've preached against gluttony, I'll warn you about gambling.
Gambling is the father of lies and trickery, my friends, the father of blasphemy against Christ.
A prince who gambles loses his prestige as a ruler.
Make a note of it, you ignorant fools!
Go and ask whose corpse it is.
No need, sirs, for I know already: he was an old friend of yours.
He was killed this night, sitting drunk on a bench.
The thief called Death came and split his heart with a lance.
He left without a word. That's all I know.
It's true. This Death, is he so dangerous?
I'll search high and low for him.
Let us call ourselves brothers, and avenge our friend Rufus.
We are brothers of the flesh! Yes!
Get your knives out!
We must find the man who killed our friend.
God be with you, gentle sirs.
Who are you, wrapped up like a friar?
Why live to be so old?
Though I have travelled the world over, and even walked to India, I can find no-one who will agree to exchange his youth for my old age.
So, poor and wretched, I roam the world and morning and night I beat my staff on the ground, which holds my mother in its belly, and I say:
"Dear mother, let me in, when shall my bones have peace at last?"
"Mother, I'd give all my wealth to have a shroud to wrap myself in."
But she will not yet grant me that mercy.
Sirs, do not harm an old man, as you would not want to be harmed when you are old.
Let me go, and God be with you on your way.
I must follow my own.
You'll not get off so lightly.
Just now you talked of this traitor, Death.
I bet you're both in league. Tell us where he is, or you'll pay for it.
You're plotting with him to kill the young.
If you really want to find Death, go down that path down there.
I left the man you seek in the grove, under a tree.
See that oak? You should seek for him there.
God be with you, and make you mend your ways.
From now on we can live as rich men!
But we can't take it away in daylight, we'd be mistaken for thieves.
One of us must fetch bread and wine.
We'll guard it, then carry it away tonight.
Dick is the youngest.
Master Apothecary, I need poison to kill rats and a polecat, They eat through everything, God damn them.
I will give you a poison so strong that anyone who takes but a speck will die at once.
Bread and three flasks of wine!
Hop to it, run!
Hurry, you little bastard!
I'm in a hurry. Get a move on!
We are sworn brothers.
Two men are stronger than one.
You go to him as if to struggle in jest.
I'll knife him.
We'll kill him and split the treasure.
Here's the wine!
About time, too!
Dick, my love, I always said you were my best friend.
What a lovely arse you have!
Let's eat and drink, then bury him.
What delicious cake!
Yes, dear Thomas.
May God reward you, for here I've had many gifts and many a good meal.
Brother Tom, I hear you've given things to other friars, too.
Ah Thomas, you're ill because you're unfaithful!
You gave oats to that convent, and chicken and geese to another.
No, Thomas, it's all useless!
What is a treasure worth if you cut it into many parts? Nothing!
I can only give you what I have, nothing else.
Tell me, you always say I am your brother and you love me.
Since I am dying, I will leave something for your saintly monastery: the most precious thing I have.
But you must swear to share it equally between each friar.
Well then, run your hand down my back you'll find something I have hidden in my bed.
Courage! Where is it?
Right beneath my arse!
Is your hand there? Yes.
What is it?
You must come with me. Where to?
We are going to visit Hell.
It's been decided by those who do as they like.
Ask no more. My God.
Close your eyes, and keep them shut tight!
One, two, three!
Hey, Brother Thomas!
Lift your tail, show him where you keep friars in Hell!
Here finish the Canterbury Tales, told for the sole pleasure of telling.