In the Canterbury Tales, what was the prize for telling the best tale? A. a horse B. a dinner or C a book?
‘Lordinges,’ quod he, ‘now herkneth for the beste;But tak it not, I prey yow, in desdeyn;This is the poynt, to speken short and pleyn,That ech of yow, to shorte with your weye,In this viage, shal telle tales tweye,To Caunterbury-ward, I mene it so,And hom-ward he shal tellen othere two,Of aventures that whylom han bifalle.And which of yow that bereth him best of alle,That is to seyn, that telleth in this casTales of best sentence and most solas,Shal have a soper at our aller costHere in this place, sitting by this post,Whan that we come agayn fro Caunterbury.And for to make yow the more mery,I wol my-selven gladly with yow ryde,Right at myn owne cost, and be your gyde.And who-so wol my Iugement withseyeShal paye al that we spenden by the weye.And if ye vouche-sauf that it be so,Tel me anon, with-outen wordes mo,And I wol erly shape me therfore.’
The Canterbury Tales were written in 1386 by Geoffrey Chaucer.
In the original language, the portion about the prize for the best tale reads:
The answer is B.
The pilgrims all meet at an inn in London before they go to make their way to Canterbury to worship at the shrine of Thomas a Becket. The owner of the inn is going to be going along also. He proposes a contest to help pass the time. He says that they will each tell tales. They will each tell two on the way down and then two more on the way back. Whoever tells the best one gets a free dinner at the inn when they return.
The pilgrims agreed to tell their tales, which will be judged by the Tabard Inn's innkeeper. The prize was a dinner, for which the rest of the pilgrims would pick up the tab.