The Canterbury Tales HTML version
Notes to the Cook's Tale
NOTES TO THE PROLOGUE
1. Jack of Dover: an article of cookery. (Transcriber's note: suggested by some commentators
to be a kind of pie, and by others to be a fish)
2. Sooth play quad play: true jest is no jest.
3. It may be remembered that each pilgrim was bound to tell two stories; one on the way to
Canterbury, the other returning.
4. Made cheer: French, "fit bonne mine;" put on a pleasant countenance.
NOTES TO THE TALE
1. Cheapside, where jousts were sometimes held, and which was the great scene of city revels
2. His paper: his certificate of completion of his apprenticeship.
3. Louke: The precise meaning of the word is unknown, but it is doubtless included in the cant
4. The Cook's Tale is unfinished in all the manuscripts; but in some, of minor authority, the Cook
is made to break off his tale, because "it is so foul," and to tell the story of Gamelyn, on which
Shakespeare's "As You Like It" is founded. The story is not Chaucer's, and is different in metre,
and inferior in composition to the Tales. It is supposed that Chaucer expunged the Cook's Tale
for the same reason that made him on his death- bed lament that he had written so much