For there he was nat lyk a cloysterer
With a thredbare cope, as is a povre scolér,
But he was lyk a maister, or a pope;
(= For there he was not like a monk / With a threadbare cloak, like a poor scholar / But he was like a Master of Arts, or a pope)
Chaucer makes it abundantly clear that the Friar wore blingin' clothes, casually comparing him to the Pope.
‘Maister’ refers to the degree of Master of Arts— back in the days, a degree would last seven years. After three years you would become a ‘Bachelor of Arts’ from studying the trivium (where we get out modern Bachelor’s Degrees from), and would then study a further four years to become a Master. Needless to say, this took LOADSA MONEY.
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