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The Canterbury Tales
Geoffery Chaucer

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Lo, how dearly was this cursed sin paid for! This whole world was ruined by gluttony! Our father Adam and his wife in truth were driven from Paradise to labor and woe for that vice. For while Adam fasted, I say, he lived in Paradise, and when he ate of the forbidden fruit of the tree, he was cast out to woe and pain. O gluttony, well may we accuse you! If a man only knew how many maladies follow from gluttony and excess, he would be more moderate in his diet as he sits at table. [516]

Alas! The short-lived pleasure of swallowing, the delicate mouth, causes men everywhere, east, west, north, and south, labor in every way, with earth, air, and water, to get fine meat and drink for a glutton. On this, O Paul, well can you explain: 'Meat into the stomach and stomach also to the meat, God shall destroy both1," as Paul says. Alas! It is foul to say, by my faith, but fouler is the act, when a man drinks so of the white and red that he makes a toilet of his throat through this accursed excess. [528]

The apostle, weeping, says piteously, "There walk many of whom I have told you, and I say it now weeping and with a piteous voice, they are enemies of the cross of Christ, their end is death; their god is their belly2." O belly! O stinking bag! Full of corruption! What a labor and cost it is to provide for you! How these cooks pound and strain and grind, and turn substance into accident3, to satisfy all your greedy taste! Out of the hard bone they knock the marrow, and cast away nothing that may go through the gullet soft and sweet. The glutton's delicious sauce is made of spices from the leaf, bark, and root and leaf, to get him ever a new appetite. But he that follows after such delights, surely, is dead while he lives in those vices. [548]

1 God shall destroy both See 1 Corinthians 6.13.
2 their god is their belly See Philippians 3.18-19.
3 turn substance into accident Turn that which is meant to sustain the body into something that is meant to be a delicacy. The Pardoner uses the philosophical terms "substance" (the essence or true purpose of the thing) and "accident" (the external form of the thing) to further his argument that eating fine gourmet food is a form of gluttony, while eating simple food is acceptable behavior.
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