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From The Shipman's Tale, lines 75-88:
The merchant and his financial administration
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From The Canterbury Tales:
The Shipman's Tale
lines 89-111: Dan John the monk meets the merchant's wife in the garden


       Daun John was rysen in the morwe also,
90And in the gardyn walketh to and fro,
And hath his thynges seyd ful curteisly.
       This goode wyf came walkynge pryvely
Into the gardyn, there he walketh softe,
And hym saleweth, as she hath doon ofte.
95A mayde child cam in hire compaignye,
Which as hir list she may governe and gye,
For yet under the yerde was the mayde.
"O deere cosyn myn, daun John," she sayde,
"What eyleth yow so rathe for to ryse?"
       Dan John had risen with the dawn, also,
90And in the garden wandered to and fro,
Having said all his prayers full reverently.
       Then came this goodwife, walking secretly
Into the garden, walking slow and soft.
And kissed him in salute, as she'd done oft.
95A little girl came walking at her side,
Was in her charge to govern and to guide,
For yet beneath the rod was this small maid.
"O my dear cousin, O Dan John," she said,
"What ails you that so early you arise?"
100        "Nece," quod he, it oghte ynough suffise
Fyve houres for to slepe upon a nyght,
But it were for an old appalled wight,
As been thise wedded men, that lye and dare
As in a fourme sit a wery hare,
105Were al forstraught with houndes grete and smale.
But deere nece, why be ye so pale?
I trowe, certes, that oure goode man
Hath yow laboured sith the nyght bigan,
That yow were nede to resten hastily."
110And with that word he lough ful murily,
And of his owene thought he wax al reed.
100       "Dear niece," said he, "surely it should suffice
To sleep for five full hours of any night,
Unless 'twere for some old and languid wight,
As are these married men, who doze and dare
About as in the form the weary hare,
105Worn all distraught by hounds both great and small.
But, my dear niece, just why are you so pale?
I must suppose of course that our good man
Has you belaboured since the night began,
And you were forced to sleep but scantily."
110And with that word he laughed right merrily,
And, what of his own thoughts, he blushed all red.




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From The Shipman's Tale, lines 112-142:
The merchant's wife has a problem
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