At nyght was come into that hostelrye
Wei nyne and twenty in a compaignye,
Of sondry folk, by aventure yfalle
In felaweshipe; and pilgrimes were they alle,
That toward Caunterbury wolden ryde.

– Geoffrey Chaucer

The Canterbury Tales, General Prologue. The scene is set here by the Narrator, also called Chaucer, who is staying at the Tabart Inn in Southwark. There he meets twenty-nine travelers on the same journey to Canterbury. They are a diverse group, coming from all walks of life. He speaks of the fellowship that they all share, including himself in this.