The Canterbury Tales Project (see also Geoffrey Chaucer)
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331: A frankeleyn was in his compaignye.
332: Whit was his berd as is the dayesye;
333: Of his complexioun he was sangwyn.
334: Wel loved he by the morwe a sop in wyn;
335: To lyven in delit was evere his wone,
336: For he was epicurus owene sone,
337: That heeld opinioun that pleyn delit
338: Was verray felicitee parfit.
339: An housholdere, and that a greet, was he;
340: Seint julian he was in his contree.
341: His breed, his ale, was alweys after oon;
342: A bettre envyned man was nowher noon.
343: Withoute bake mete was nevere his hous
344: Of fissh and flessh, and that so plentevous,
345: It snewed in his hous of mete and drynke,
346: Of alle deyntees that men koude thynke.
347: After the sondry sesons of the yeer,
348: So chaunged he his mete and his soper.
349: Ful many a fat partrich hadde he in muwe,
350: And many a breem and many a luce in stuwe.
351: Wo was his cook but if his sauce were
352: Poynaunt and sharp, and redy al his geere.
353: His table dormant in his halle alway
354: Stood redy covered al the longe day.
355: At sessiouns ther was he lord and sire;
356: Ful ofte tyme he was knyght of the shire.
357: An anlaas and a gipser al of silk
358: Heeng at his girdel, whit as morne milk.
359: A shirreve hadde he been, and a contour.
360: Was nowher swich a worthy vavasour.
The Franklin is a very well-to-do and prosperous pilgim, who ranks nearly as highly as the Knight. He is enormously hospitable, and ensures that both food and drink are in ample supply in his house. He is, without doubt, a glutton, but a very likeable one. With the exception of an occasionally violent temperament towards his cook, should he be found not to be working hard enough, he is an affable man.
He is an epicurean, opining that pleasure is its own reward. He is also a reliable pillar of the community, who has, in his time, been the member of Parliament for his shire, the sheriff, and a member of the local appeals court.
Modern English Translation from www.fordham.edu:
There was a franklin in his company;
White was his beard as is the white daisy.
Of sanguine temperament by every sign,
He loved right well his morning sop in wine.
Delightful living was the goal he'd won,
For he was Epicurus' very son,
That held opinion that a full delight
Was true felicity, perfect and right.
A householder, and that a great, was he;
Saint Julian he was in his own country.
His bread and ale were always right well done;
A man with better cellars there was none.
Baked meat was never wanting in his house,
Of fish and flesh, and that so plenteous
It seemed to snow therein both food and drink
Of every dainty that a man could think.
According to the season of the year
He changed his diet and his means of cheer.
Full many a fattened partridge did he mew,
And many a bream and pike in fish-pond too.
Woe to his cook, except the sauces were
Poignant and sharp, and ready all his gear.
His table, waiting in his hall alway,
Stood ready covered through the livelong day.
At county sessions was he lord and sire,
And often acted as a knight of shire.
A dagger and a trinket-bag of silk
Hung from his girdle, white as morning milk.
He had been sheriff and been auditor;
And nowhere was a worthier vavasor.