Friday, May 10, 2019


Quot Homines, Tot Sententiae

Geoffrey Chaucer, Squire's Tale 202-203 (with Nevill Coghill's modern English version):
Diverse folk diversely they demed;
As many heddes, as many wittes ther been.

Various men gave various opinions.
As many heads, so many fallacies.
Id. 220-224:
Of sondry doutes thus they jangle and trete,
As lewed peple demeth comunly
Of thinges that ben maad moore subtilly
Than they kan in her lewednesse comprehende;
They demen gladly to the badder ende.

Thus they kept up the jangle of debate
As the illiterate are wont to do
When subtler things are offered to their view
Than their unletteredness can comprehend;
They reach the wrong conclusions in the end.

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