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From The Shipman's Tale, lines 112-142:
The merchant's wife has a problem
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From The Canterbury Tales:
The Shipman's Tale
lines 143-157: Dan John reveals he is not really the merchant's cousin


       "Cosyn," quod she, ''if that I hadde a space,
As I have noon, and namely in this place,
145Thanne wolde I telle a legende of my lyf,
What I have suffred sith I was a wyf
With my housbonde, al be he youre cosyn."
       "Nay," quod this monk, "by God and seint Martyn,
He is na moore cosyn unto me
150Than is this leef that hangeth on the tree!
I clepe hym so, by Seint Denys of Fraunce,
To have the moore cause of aqueyntaunce
Of yow, which I have loved specially
Above alle wommen, sikerly.
155This swere I yow on my professioun.
Telleth youre grief, lest that he come adoun;
And hasteth yow, and gooth youre wey anon."
       "Cousin," said she, "if I had time and space,
As I have not, and specially in this place,
145Then would I tell a legend of my life,
What I have suffered since I've been a wife,
From my husband, though he is your cousin."
       "Nay," said the monk, "by God and Saint Martin,
He is no more a cousin unto me
150Than is this leaf that hangs on the tree!
I call him so, by Saint-Denis of France,
To have but better reason to advance
With you, whom I have loved especially
Above all other women, and truly;
155I swear this to you on the faith I own.
Tell me your grief before your man comes down,
Come, hasten now, and go your way anon."




Next Next:
From The Shipman's Tale, lines 158-194:
The wife needs hundred franks and asks the monk to lend it to her
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