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From The Shipman's Tale, lines 208-238:
The importance of the merchant's administration
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From The Canterbury Tales:
The Shipman's Tale
lines 239-254: The merchant announces a business trip to Flanders


       To Flaundres wol I go to-morwe at day,
240And come agayn, as soone as evere I may.
For which, my deere wyf, I thee biseke,
As be to every wight buxom and meke,
And for to kepe oure good be curious,
And honestly governe wel oure hous.
245Thou hast ynough, in every maner wise,
That to a thrifty houshold may suffise.
Thee lakketh noon array ne no vitaille;
Of silver in thy purs shaltow nat faille."
And with that word his contour-dore he shette,
250And doun he gooth, no lenger wolde he lette.
But hastily a messe was ther seyd,
And spedily the tables were yleyd,
And to the dyner faste they hem spedde,
And richely this monk the chapman fedde.
       To Flanders go I at the break of day,
240And I'll come back as soon as ever I may.
For which, my dearest wife, your aid I seek
To be, to all, both courteous and meek,
And to maintain our wealth be studious,
And govern honourably and well our house.
245You have enough in every sort of wise
That, to a thrifty, household, should suffice.
You've clothes and food, I've seen to each detail,
And silver in your purse shall never fail."
And with that word his counting-door he shut
250And down he went, no longer tarrying, but
Right hastily a mass for them was said,
And speedily the tables there were spread,
And to the dinner swiftly all they sped;
And richly then the monk this merchant fed




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From The Shipman's Tale, lines 255-298:
Dan John asks the merchant to lend him secretly hundred franks
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