19 Bifil that in that seson, on a day,
20 In Southwerk at the Tabard as I lay,
21 Redy to wenden on my pilgrymage
22 To Caunterbury, with ful devout corage,
23 At nyght were come into that hostelrye
24 Wel nyne and twenty in a compaignye
25 Of sondry folk, by aventure yfalle
26 In felaweshipe, and pilgrimes were they alle,
27 That toward Caunterbury wolden ryde.
28 The chambres and the stables weren wyde,
29 And wel we weren esed atte beste;
30 And shortly, whan the sonne was to reste,
31 So hadde I spoken with hem everychon
32 That I was of hir felaweshipe anon,
33 And made forward erly for to ryse
34 To take our wey, ther as I yow devyse.
35 But nathelees, whil I have tyme and space,

36 Er that I ferther in this tale pace,
37 Me thynketh it acordaunt to resoun
38 To telle yow al the condicioun
39 Of ech of hem, so as it semed me,
40 And whiche they weren, and of what degree,

41 And eek in what array that they were inne;
42 And at a knyght than wol I first bigynne.
43 A knyght ther was, and that a worthy man,
44 That fro the tyme that he first bigan
45 To riden out, he loved chivalrie,