Geoffrey chaucer-three young men, death and a bag of gold
Three young men were sitting in an inn.They were drinking wine and making merry. Suddenly they heard a noise outside. They looked out of the window and saw some people carrying a coffin. ‘Who has died?’ they asked.The innkeeper told them the name of the dead man. It was the name of their friend, also a young man. Тhе three young men were very much surprised. They could not believe their ears. But the innkeeper said,‘Yes, it is true. Your friend is dead. Death takes young and old. He takes many people. There is a village not far from here. Every day Death kills somebody in that village. Nearly all the people there are dead. Death ives in that village, I think.’
Our three young friends were drinking wine so they did not understand
quite clearly what the innkeeper had said. They thought that Death really lived not far from that place and they were very angry with Death for killing their friend. They said, ‘Let’s go and kill Death! Let’s do it before night comes.’
‘Ве careful,’ the innkeeper said, ‘if you meet Death, he will kill you, too.’
‘We are not afraid,’ the young men answered. ‘We shall go and look for Death. And we shall be brothers, and we shall defend each other.And when we find Death, we shall kill him.’
With these words they left the inn and went along the road. Soon they met a very old man. They asked him, ‘Do you know where we can find Death’.
‘Oh, yes,’ the old man replied. ‘It is not difficult to find Death. Do you see that wood? Go there and you will find him under an old oak.’
Тhе young men thanked the old man and went into the wood.
Soon they saw a very large old oak. When they camе up to the oak,
they saw a bag full of gold coins under it. They were so glad that they
forgot all about Death. They thought only about the gold.
‘Fine!’ one of them said. ‘Now we shall be very rich. Let’s take this
gold to the house of one of us and divide it into three parts. Let’s go!Quick!’
‘Wait,’ another said. ‘Listen to me. We cannot carry all these gold
coins now, in the daytime. We shall meet people on the way, and they
will ask us questions. Тhey will say: ‘What are you carrying? Whose gold
is it? Where did you get so much gold?’ And if we say that we found the
coins in this wood, they won’t believe us. No, my friends, we cannot go
now. We must stay here till night. At night, when it is dark and people
are asleep, we can take the gold home and divide it.’
‘You are right,’ the third said. ‘We must stay here till night. Only
it’s a long time to wait and soon we shall be hungry. Let one of us go
to town and buy some wine and something to eat.’
So the youngest of them went to town and the other two remained under the oak with the gold coins.
Now you will see what kind of friends these young men were. When the two of them who stayed there under the oak were sitting and waiting
for the third, one of them said, ‘Look here, I don’t want to divide this gold into three parts, do you? Can’t we divide it into two parts, between you and me?’
‘Why not?’ the other noted. ‘But how can we do it?’
‘Oh, it’s very simple, you fool! Two are stronger than one. When he comes back, we can easily kill him, that’s all, and all the gold will be ours!’
The two young men liked the plan very much and they began to wait for their friend.
And what was their friend thinking about at that time? About the gold,
of course. He was thinking how good it was to have so much money.