"Two travellers overtook them."
The Canon's Yeoman is one of two travelers who meets up with the company at Boughton under Blean, about five miles from Canterbury; his tale begins with a technical alchemical description and then describes how a canon swindles a priest through false alchemy.
"He has a waist as fairly-shaped as mine."

"Til that oure Hooste japen tho bigan, And thanne at erst he looked upon me, And seyde thus: 'What man artow?' quod he; 'Thou lookest as thou woldest fynde an hare, For evere upon the ground I se thee stare. Approche neer, and looke up murily. Now war yow, sires, and lat this man have place!'" The Chaucer pilgrim starts by telling the tale of Sir Thopas, a romance that i...

"A clerk ther was of Oxenford also..."

"A clerk ther was of Oxenford also, That unto logyk hadde long ago. As leene was his hors as is a rake, And he nas nat right fat, I undertake, But looked holwe, and therto sobrely. Ful thredbare was his overeste courtepy, For he hadde geten hym yet no benefice, Ne was so worldly for to have office. For hym was levere have at his beddes heed Twenty bookes, clad in blak or reed, Of Aristotle an...

"Shoving him this way and that to make him stay on."

"A Cook they hadde with hem for the nones To boille the chiknes with the marybones, And poudre-marchant tart and galyngale. Well koude he knowe a draughte of Londoun ale. He koude rooste, and sethe, and broille, and frye, Maken mortreux, and wel bake a pye." (ll. 379-384) The Cook's Tale is a fragment.  However, the Tale of Gamelyn is often misattributed to Chaucer and assigned...

He was the soul of hospitality

"A Frankeleyn was in his compaignye. Whit was his berd as is the dayesye; Of his complexioun he was sangwyn. Wel loved he by the morwe a sop in wyn; To lyven in delit was evere his wone, For he was Epicurus owene sone, That heeld opinioun that pleyn delit Was verray felicitee parfit. An housholdere, and that a greet, was he; Seing Julian he was in his contree." (331-340) The Franklin ta...

The Friar

"A Frere ther was, a wantowne and a merye, A lymytour, a ful solempne man. In alle the ordres foure is noon that kan So muchel of daliaunce and fair langage. He hadde maad ful many a mariage Of yonge wommen at his owene cost. Unto his ordre he was a noble post." (208-214) The Friar's Tale recounts the story of a dishonest summoner who inadvertently befriends the Devil and makes a ba...

"A knight ther was and that a worthy man..."

"A knyght ther was, and that a worthy man, That fro the tyme that he first bigan To riden out, he loved chivalrie, Trouthe and honour, fredom and curteisie. Ful worthy was he in his lordes werre, And therto hadde he riden, no man ferre, As wel in cristendom as in hethenesse, And evere honoured for his worthynesse." (43-50) The Knight's Tale focuses on two young men, Palamon and Arci...

The Man of Law was a discreet person

"A Sergeant of the Lawe, war and wys, That often hadde been at the Parvys, Ther was also, ful riche of excellence. Discreet he was and of greet reverence - He semed swich, his wordes weren so wise. Justice he was ful often in assise, By patente and by pleyn commissioun." (309-315) The Man of Law tells the story of Constance, a virtuous young Christian woman sent from Rome to marry the S...

The Manciple

"A gentil Maunciple was ther of a temple, Of which achatours myghte take exemple For to be wise in byynge of vitaille; For wheither that he payde of took by taille, Algate he wayted so in his achaat That he was ay biforn and in good staat. Now is nat that of God a ful fair grace That swich a lewed mannes wit shal pace The wisdom of an heep of lerned men?" (567-575) The Manciple tells th...

The Merchant

"A Marchant was ther with a forked berd, In mottelee, and hye on horse he sat; Upon his heed a Flaundryssh bever hat, His bootes clasped faire and fetisly. His resons he spak ful solempnely, Sownynge alwey th'encrees of his wynnyng. He wolde the see were kept for any thyng Bitwixe Middelburgh and Orewelle." Wel koude he in eschaunge sheeldes selle." (270-278) The Merchant's...

"The Miller rode bravely at the head..."

"The Millere was a stout carl for the nones; Ful byg he was of brawn, and eek of bones. That proved wel, for over al ther he cam, At wrastlynge he wolde have alwey the ram. He was short-sholdred, brood, a thikke knarre; Ther was no dore that he nolde heve of harre, Or breke it at a rennyng with his heed. His berd as any sowe or fox was reed, And therto brood, as though it were a spade." ...

The Monk and the Friar

"A Monk ther was, a fair for the maistrie, An outridere, that lovede venerie, A manly man, to been an abbot able. Ful many a deyntee horse hadde he in stable, And whan he rood, men myghte his brydel heere Gynglen in a whistlynge wynd als cleere And eek as loude as dooth the chapel belle Ther as this lorde was kepere of the celle. The reule of Seint Maure or of Seing Beneit - By cause that it ...

"Come here, Sir Priest! ride in the midst with me!"

"Another Nonne with hire hadde she, That was hir chapeleyne, and preestes thre." (163-164). The Nun's Priest's Tale is one of the most commonly retold tales from the Canterbury Tales as a whole.  This animal fable describes the adventures of Chanticleer, a proud rooster, who has a very dramatic nightmare foretelling his own demise.  The next day, a fox approaches him a...

"...He made the person and the peple his apes"

"With hym ther rood a gentil Pardoner Of Rouncivale, his freend and his compeer, That streight was comen fro the court of Rome. Ful loude he soong 'Com hider, love, to me!' ................................... This Pardoner hadde heer as yelow as wex, But smothe it heeng as dooth a strike of flex; By ounces henge his lokkes that he hadde, And therwith he his shuldres overspradde; But t...

"...a trewe swinker and a good was he."

"A good man was ther of religioun, And was a povre Persoun of a Toun, But riche he was of hooly thoght and werk. He was also a lerned man, a clerk, That Cristes gospel trewely wolde preche; ........................................ This noble ensample to his sheep he yaf, That first he wroughte, and afterward he taughte. Out of the gospel he tho wordes caught, And this figure he added eek ther...

"In all this world ne was ther noon him lyk..."

"With us ther was a Doctour of Phisik; In al this world ne was ther noon hym lik, To speke of phisik and of surgerye, For he was grounded in astronomye. He kepte his pacient a ful greet deel In houres by his magyk natureel. Wel koude he fortunen the ascendent Of his ymages for his pacient. He knew the cause of everich maladye, Were it of hoot, or coold, or moyste, or drye, And where they enge...

The Prioress has a simple, innocent smile

"Ther was also a Nonne, a Prioresse, That of hir smylyng was ful symple and coy; Hire gretteste ooth was but by Seinte Loy; And she was cleped madame Eglentyne. Ful weel she soong the service dyvyne, Entuned in hir nose ful semely; And Frenssh she spak ful faire and fetisly, After the scole of Stratford atte Bowe, For Frenssh of Pays was to hire unknowe." The Prioress's Tale describ...

"The Reve was a sclendre colerik man"

"The Reve was a sclendre colerik man. His berd was shave as ny as ever he kan; His heer was by his erys ful round yshorn; His top was dokked lyk a preest biforn. Ful longe were his legges and ful lene, Ylyk a staf: ther was no calf ysene. Wel koude he kepe a gerner and a bynne; Ther was noon auditour koude on him wynne. Wel wiste he by the droghte and by the reyn The yeldynge of his seed and ...

The Second Nun
"Another Nonne with hire hadde she, That was hir chapeleyne, and preestes thre." (163-64) The Second Nun tells the legend of Saint Cecilia, from her marriage, through her time of preaching and conversion, to her eventual martyrdom.
The Shipman

"A Shipman was ther, wonynge fer by weste; For aught I woot, he was of Dertemouthe. He rood upon a rouncy, as he kouthe, In a gowne of faldyng to the knee. A daggere hangynge on a laas hadde he Aboute his nekke, under his arm adoun. The hoote somer hadde maad his hewe al broun; And certeinly he was a good felawe." (388-395) The Shipman tells the story of a merchant and his wife.  A...

"All Day Long He Was Singing or Whistling On His Flute"

"With hym ther was his sone, a yong Squier, A lovyere and a lusty bacheler, With lokkes crulle as they were leyd in presse. Of twenty yeer of age he was, I gesse. Of his stature he was of evene length, And wonderly delyvere, and of greet strengthe. And he hadde been somtyme in chyvachie In Flaundres, in Artoys, and Pycardie, And born hym weel, as of so litel space, In hope to stonden in his l...

The Sumpnour

"A Somonour was ther with us in that place, That hadde a fyr-reed cherubynnes face, For saucefleem he was, with eyen narwe. As hoot he was and lecherous as a sparwe, With scalled browes blake and piled berd. Of his visage children were aferd.  Ther nas quyk-silver, lytarge, ne brymstoon, Boras, ceruce, ne oille of tartre noon, Ne oynement that wolde clense and byte, That hym myghte helpe...

A lively lady from Bath

"A good Wif was ther of biside Bathe, But she was somdel deef, and that was scathe. Of clooth-makynge she hadde swich an haunt She passed hem of Ypres and of Gaunt.  In al the parisshe wif ne was ther noon That to the offrynge bifore hire sholde goon; And if ther dide, certeyn so wrooth was she That she was out of alle charitee. Hir coverchiefs ful fyne weren of ground; I dorste swere th...