Authors: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

51 Insightful Quotes By Geoffrey Chaucer, The Father Of English Literature

Famous As: 14 Century English Poet & Author Best Known for His Book 'The Canterbury Tales'
Born On: 1340 AD
Died On: October 25, 1400
Born In: London, England
Died At Age: 60
Geoffrey Chaucer was the first writer to use English language in his works. He was exalted for his work, ‘The Canterbury Tales’. Geoffrey is considered to be the ‘Father of English Literature’ and the first poet to be buried at the ‘Poets Coroner’ at Westminster Abbey. Besides being an astronomer, author and philosopher he also served as a bureaucrat, diplomat and courtier. ‘The Book of the Duchess’ was his first major work. His writings covered varied topics and through these he expressed his thoughts, which became popular as quotations and sayings. His later books like ‘The House of Fame’, 'Troilus and Criseyde', 'Parlement of Foules' and 'The Legend of Good Women' earned him recognition. He is believed to have died in October 1400, as no further furnished records were found. His writings, essays, sayings and quotes were a work of art. We have put together a collection of some of his notable quotes.
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Patience is a conquering virtue.

Patience is a conquering virtue.

Geoffrey Chaucer
The lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne.

The lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne.

Geoffrey Chaucer
What is better than wisdom? Woman. And what is better than a good woman? Nothing.

What is better than wisdom? Woman. And what is better than a good woman? Nothing.

Geoffrey Chaucer
People can die of mere imagination

People can die of mere imagination

Geoffrey Chaucer
If gold rusts, what then can iron do?

If gold rusts, what then can iron do?

Geoffrey Chaucer
Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained

Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained

Geoffrey Chaucer
The greatest scholars are not usually the wisest people

The greatest scholars are not usually the wisest people

Geoffrey Chaucer
No empty handed man can lure a bird

No empty handed man can lure a bird

Geoffrey Chaucer
The guilty think all talk is of themselves.

The guilty think all talk is of themselves.

Geoffrey Chaucer
Forbid Us Something and That Thing we Desire

Forbid Us Something and That Thing we Desire

Geoffrey Chaucer
Life is short. Art long. Opportunity is fleeting. Expierience treacherous. Judgement difficult.

Life is short. Art long. Opportunity is fleeting. Expierience treacherous. Judgement difficult.

Geoffrey Chaucer
How potent is the fancy! People are so impressionable, they can die of imagination.

How potent is the fancy! People are so impressionable, they can die of imagination.

Geoffrey Chaucer
. . . if gold rust, what then will iron do?/ For if a priest be foul in whom we trust/ No wonder that a common man should rust. . . .

. . . if gold rust, what then will iron do?/ For if a priest be foul in whom we trust/ No wonder that a common man should rust. . . .

Geoffrey Chaucer
Ful wys is he that kan himselve knowe.

Ful wys is he that kan himselve knowe.

Geoffrey Chaucer
Purity in body and heart 
May please some--as for me, I make no boast. 
For, as you know, no master of a household 
Has all of his utensils made of gold; 
Some are wood, and yet they are of use.

Purity in body and heart May please some--as for me, I make no boast. For, as you know, no master of a household Has all of his utensils made of gold; Some are wood, and yet they are of use.

Geoffrey Chaucer
And gladly wolde he lerne, and gladly teche.

And gladly wolde he lerne, and gladly teche.

Geoffrey Chaucer
Love will not be constrain'd by mastery.
When mast'ry comes, the god of love anon
Beateth his wings, and, farewell, he is gone.
Love is a thing as any spirit free.

Love will not be constrain'd by mastery. When mast'ry comes, the god of love anon Beateth his wings, and, farewell, he is gone. Love is a thing as any spirit free.

Geoffrey Chaucer
I will eviscerate you in fiction. Every pimple, every character flaw. I was naked for a day; you will be naked for eternity. 

A Knight's Tale

I will eviscerate you in fiction. Every pimple, every character flaw. I was naked for a day; you will be naked for eternity. A Knight's Tale

Geoffrey Chaucer
You are the cause by which I die.

You are the cause by which I die.

Geoffrey Chaucer
All that glitters is not gold,

All that glitters is not gold,

Geoffrey Chaucer
But Christ's lore and his apostles twelve,
He taught and first he followed it himself.

But Christ's lore and his apostles twelve, He taught and first he followed it himself.

Geoffrey Chaucer
By God, if women had written stories,
As clerks had within here oratories,
They would have written of men more wickedness
Than all the mark of Adam may redress.

By God, if women had written stories, As clerks had within here oratories, They would have written of men more wickedness Than all the mark of Adam may redress.

Geoffrey Chaucer
Yet do not miss the moral, my good men.
For Saint Paul says that all that’s written well
Is written down some useful truth to tell.
Then take the wheat and let the chaff lie still.

Yet do not miss the moral, my good men. For Saint Paul says that all that’s written well Is written down some useful truth to tell. Then take the wheat and let the chaff lie still.

Geoffrey Chaucer
And once he had got really drunk on wine,
Then he would speak no language but Latin.

And once he had got really drunk on wine, Then he would speak no language but Latin.

Geoffrey Chaucer
If no love is, O God, what fele I so? 
And if love is, what thing and which is he? 
If love be good, from whennes cometh my woo? 
If it be wikke, a wonder thynketh me

If no love is, O God, what fele I so? And if love is, what thing and which is he? If love be good, from whennes cometh my woo? If it be wikke, a wonder thynketh me

Geoffrey Chaucer
One flesh they are; and one flesh, so I'd guess,
Has but one heart, come grief or happiness.

One flesh they are; and one flesh, so I'd guess, Has but one heart, come grief or happiness.

Geoffrey Chaucer
For hym was levere have at his beddes heed
Twenty bookes, clad in blak or reed,
Of Aristotle and his philosophie,
Than robes riche, or fithele, or gay sautrie.

For hym was levere have at his beddes heed Twenty bookes, clad in blak or reed, Of Aristotle and his philosophie, Than robes riche, or fithele, or gay sautrie.

Geoffrey Chaucer
For if a priest be foul, on whom we trust, 
No wonder is a common man should rust

For if a priest be foul, on whom we trust, No wonder is a common man should rust" -The Prologue of Chaucers Canterbury Tales-

Geoffrey Chaucer
And high above, depicted in a tower,
Sat Conquest, robed in majesty and power,
Under a sword that swung above his head,
Sharp-edged and hanging by a subtle thread.

And high above, depicted in a tower, Sat Conquest, robed in majesty and power, Under a sword that swung above his head, Sharp-edged and hanging by a subtle thread.

Geoffrey Chaucer
Time and Tide wait for no man

Time and Tide wait for no man

Geoffrey Chaucer
The man who has no wife is no cuckold.

The man who has no wife is no cuckold.

Geoffrey Chaucer
Youre tale anoyeth al this compaignye.
Swich talkyng is nat worth a boterflye,

Youre tale anoyeth al this compaignye. Swich talkyng is nat worth a boterflye,

Geoffrey Chaucer
I'll die for stifled love, by all that's true.

I'll die for stifled love, by all that's true.

Geoffrey Chaucer
Three years went by in happiness and health; He bore himself so well in peace and war That there was no one Theseus valued more.

Three years went by in happiness and health; He bore himself so well in peace and war That there was no one Theseus valued more.

Geoffrey Chaucer
And if love is, what thing and which is he? If love be good, from whennes cometh my woo?

And if love is, what thing and which is he? If love be good, from whennes cometh my woo?

Geoffrey Chaucer
Men may the wise atrenne, and naught atrede.

Men may the wise atrenne, and naught atrede.

Geoffrey Chaucer
Thus in this heaven he took his delight And smothered her with kisses upon kisses Till gradually he came to know where bliss is.

Thus in this heaven he took his delight And smothered her with kisses upon kisses Till gradually he came to know where bliss is.

Geoffrey Chaucer
For thus men seyth,

For thus men seyth, "That on thenketh the beere, But al another thenketh his ledere.

Geoffrey Chaucer
And shame it is, if that a priest take keep, To see a shitten shepherd and clean sheep:

And shame it is, if that a priest take keep, To see a shitten shepherd and clean sheep:

Geoffrey Chaucer
It is ful fair a man to bere him evene,/For alday meeteth men at unset stevene.

It is ful fair a man to bere him evene,/For alday meeteth men at unset stevene.

Geoffrey Chaucer
Be nat wrooth, my lord, though that I pleye. Ful ofte in game a sooth I have herd seye!

Be nat wrooth, my lord, though that I pleye. Ful ofte in game a sooth I have herd seye!

Geoffrey Chaucer
O woman’s counsel is so often cold! A woman’s counsel brought us first to woe, Made Adam out of Paradise to go Where he had been so merry, so well at ease.

O woman’s counsel is so often cold! A woman’s counsel brought us first to woe, Made Adam out of Paradise to go Where he had been so merry, so well at ease.

Geoffrey Chaucer
But of no nombre mencioun made he, Of bigamye, or of octogamye33. Why sholde men thanne speke of it vileinye34?

But of no nombre mencioun made he, Of bigamye, or of octogamye33. Why sholde men thanne speke of it vileinye34?

Geoffrey Chaucer
Lo, which a greet thing is affeccioun!
Men may die of imaginacioun,
So depe may impressioun be take.

Lo, which a greet thing is affeccioun! Men may die of imaginacioun, So depe may impressioun be take.

Geoffrey Chaucer
When that Aprille with his shoures sote.
The droghte of Marche hath perced to the rote, 
And bathed every veyne in swich licour,
Of which vertue engendred is the flour.

When that Aprille with his shoures sote. The droghte of Marche hath perced to the rote, And bathed every veyne in swich licour, Of which vertue engendred is the flour.

Geoffrey Chaucer
By God,

By God," quod he, "for pleynly, at a word, Thy drasty rymyng is nat worth a toord!

Geoffrey Chaucer
Then the Miller fell off his horse.

Then the Miller fell off his horse.

Geoffrey Chaucer
For sondry scoles maken sotile clerkis;
Womman of manye scoles half a clerk is.

For sondry scoles maken sotile clerkis; Womman of manye scoles half a clerk is.

Geoffrey Chaucer
Ne nevere mo ne lakked hire pite;
Tendre-herted, slydynge of corage;
But trewely, I kan nat telle hire age.

Ne nevere mo ne lakked hire pite; Tendre-herted, slydynge of corage; But trewely, I kan nat telle hire age.

Geoffrey Chaucer