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Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Abbot of Canterbury (Summary)

Thursday, October 29, 2009 - 0 Comments

The Abbot of Canterbury was a rich bishop. He was leading a pompous life. He kept a better house as the King himself. He kept a large train of servants who waited upon him with velvet coats and gold chains. At that time the King John ruled over England. He was jealous of the Abbot of Canterbury and thought that he got his wealth by unfair means. He therefore wanted to punish him, so he called the Abbot and he charged him with treason. The Abbot pleaded not guilty and said that he was spending his own money. At this King put him three questions and declared that the Abbot would have to lose his life, if he failed to answer the questions. King gave him three weeks to answers these questions.

The Abbot was upset. He went to Oxford and Cambridge and to all the wise men of the land. But no one could tell him how to answer the questions. At last the Abbot’s shepherd who resembled him went before the King.

The King put following three question before him:

1. What was his (King’s) worth with his crown of gold?

2. How soon might he ride the whole world about?

3. What was he thinking?

To first question the shepherd replied that Jesus Christ was sold among the Jews for thirty pence, so his worth was only twenty nice pence. To the second question the shepherd replied that if he rode with the sun he would travel round the world in 24 hours. To the third question, he replied that he was thinking him Abbot of Canterbury but he was his poor shepherd and came to beg pardon for the Abbot and himself. King John was very happy at this jest and granted a pension of four nobles per week for the shepherd and pardoned the Abbot of Canterbury.

The character of a Happy Life (Summary)

In this poem poet describes the qualities of a happy life. That man is really happy who thinks and acts in a free manner. He always speaks truth and follows honesty through thick and thin. He is the master of his passion. His passions are completely under his control and he is never afraid of death. He has no cares and does not worry about what people say about him in private. He always acts according to the call of his conscience.

A happy man is not jealous of any body. He always follows the rules of a good life and hates flattery. He always prays to God for guidance and spends his time in reading a good book or in the company of good friend. He neither wishes to get a high office nor has his fear of his down fall. He leads a very simple and carefree life. Though he has no worldly wealth, yet he has all good qualities of a thorough gentleman.

Under the Green Wood Tree (Summary)

Lord Amiens praises the happy and peaceful life of the forest. He invites others to come and join him in the forest. He prefers forest life to the life of the court, because there are no human enemies in the forest. Winter and rough weather may be source of some trouble but such things are tolerable. One can certainly endure the cold weather in the forest, because they are not harmful like man.

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