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From The Canterbury Tales:
The Merchant's Prologue

The Prologe of the Marchantes Tale

       "Wepyng and waylyng, care and oother sorwe
I knowe ynogh, on even and a-morwe,"
Quod the marchant, "and so doon other mo
That wedded been. I trowe that it be so,
5For wel I woot it fareth so with me.
I have a wyf, the worste that may be;
For thogh the feend to hire ycoupled were,
She sholde hym overmacche, I dar wel swere.
What sholde I yow reherce in special
10Hir hye malice? She is a shrewe at al.
Ther is a long and large difference
Bitwix Grisildis grete pacience
And of my wyf the passyng crueltee.
Were I unbounden, also moot I thee!
15I wolde nevere eft comen in the snare.
We wedded men lyven in sorwe and care.
Assaye whoso wole, and he shal fynde
That I seye sooth, by Seint Thomas of Ynde,
As for the moore part - I sey nat alle.
20God shilde that it sholde so bifalle!
       A! goode sire hoost, I have ywedded bee
Thise monthes two, and moore nat, pardee;
And yet, I trowe, he that al his lyve
Wyflees hath been, though that men wolde him ryve
25Unto the herte, ne koude in no manere
Tellen so muchel sorwe as I now heere
Koude tellen of my wyves cursednesse!"
       Now," quod oure hoost, "Marchaunt, so God yow blesse,
Syn ye so muchel knowen of that art
30Ful hertely I pray yow telle us part."
       "Gladly," quod he, "but of myn owene soore,
For soory herte, I telle may namoore."



Next:
The Merchant's Tale (ll. 33-1206)