Finally, after a great load of stories has been told, it is my turn to speak. I listened patiently as every other man and woman told four stories. Each had some sort of rhyme, some sort of meaning, and of course a deeper meaning to be sought from the contexts of the story.
I, however, cannot rhyme and I cannot alliterate. So you will hear no such song-like character in my choice of words. Perhaps most of you do not know me, so I will enlighten you all. I am a poor priest from a poor town. I have stayed loyal to my church and stood fair to my churchgoers. I am a man of God, not of greed, wealth, lavish lifestyle, or unrealistic aspirations. I seek not to punish those who do not contribute their tithe, and as a result, I dwell in my own poverty, under the eyes of God.
And yet, now that I have your attention, I choose to speak of penitence. One must always acknowledge and confess their sins. One must beg for their forgiveness from the Lord. One must repent these atrocities in their own hearts, internally, to realize one’s own wrongs. Not only that, but it is imperative to voice these sins to God, through those of us who can communicate on his behalf. You must confess these sins to the clergy of the Church. All of the Seven Deadly Sins must be confessed, so that I may offer a remedy.
Once the sins are confessed, I may heal you by administering virtues, which you must accept. You may trust me, for I am truly worthy of serving God. I myself am a virtuous and intelligent man, a servant of no tall tales, of no fable or poetry. I offer you this prose to consider for your own salvation, so that you may achieve satisfaction of your own humility.
I’ve prepared my tavern for a group of nearly 30 men and women of different professions that want to journey to Canterbury. These months are always filled with trips of pilgrimage and tales that are told upon their return. I often wish I were able to experience such a quest, but sadly I am married to my work at the Tabard Inn.
Wait! What a thought I’ve had! Perhaps this time I will join in on the trip as a guide! Surely it would make me a better host if I went beyond the duties of the Inn and accompanied my lodgers to further comfort them. Yes! I hope that they will let me. A group of this quantity and diversity is rare indeed. Ah! here they are. They have arrived! I will return to finish this writing after I greet every hand and propose my proposition. Luck be with me!
I am back! What a splendid group. There was a noble knight who fought many battles and his son, a squire, that has the voice of an angel, in fact, I can hear his lullabies in the room over. Such beauty! There is a miller who is very strong that could probably help me fix the weak foundation beams in the cellar. There is also a prioress that defines the word “grace.” Her well-mannered qualities put mine to shame! I am very excited to finally have met them!
They all gladly accepted my proposition. In the morning I will be journeying with them to Canterbury. I have created a game where each member will tell two tales during our trek and again two more when we return. The tale that pleases my ear most will earn a supper paid by the rest of us. They seem to have enjoyed this thought, because they all unanimously agreed!
In the morning we will set off to Canterbury. I will ready some straws to decide who speaks first on our journey. I hope it is the Knight!