Quotation by 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:
But al be that he was a philosophre,
Yet hadde he but litel gold in cofre.
Geoffrey Chaucer (1340–1400), British poet. The Canterbury Tales, "General Prologue," l. 293-8 (1387-1400), repr. In The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer, ed. Alfred W. Pollard, et al. (1898).

Referring to the Clerk of Oxenford; the last couplet alludes to the "philosophy" of alchemy.
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