Previous Previous:
From The Shipman's Tale, lines 365-399:
The merchant asks his wife for the money
Previous
Librarius Homepage
© Librarius
All rights reserved.



From The Canterbury Tales:
The Shipman's Tale
lines 400-434: The interchangeability of money and sex


400        This wyf was nat afered nor affrayed,
But boldely she seyde, and that anon:
"Marie, I deffie the false monk, daun John!
I kepe nat of his tokenes never a deel;
He took me certeyn gold, that woot I weel, -
405What! Yvel thedam on his monkes snowte!
For, God it woot, I wende, withouten doute,
That he hadde yeve it me bycause of yow,
To doon therwith myn honour and my prow,
For cosynage, and eek for beele cheere
410That he hath had ful ofte tymes heere.
But sith I se I stonde in his disjoynt,
I wol answere yow shortly to the poynt.
Ye han mo slakkere dettours than am I!
For I wol paye yow wel and redily
415Fro day to day, and if so be I faille,
I am youre wyf; score it upon my taille,
And I shal paye as soone as ever I may.
For by my trouthe, I have on my array,
And nat on wast, bistowed every deel;
420And for I have bistowed it so weel
For youre honour, for Goddes sake, I seye,
As be nat wrooth, but lat us laughe and pleye.
Ye shal my joly body have to wedde;
By God, I wol nat paye yow but abedde!
425Forgyve it me, myn owene spouse deere;
Turne hiderward, and maketh bettre cheere."
400        This wife was not astounded nor afraid,
But boldly she spoke up and that anon:
"Marrie, I challenge that false monk, Dan John!
I kept, of all his coins, not one to tell.
He brought me certain gold- that know I well
405What! Ill success upon his friar's snout!
For God knows that I thought, with never a doubt.
That he had given it me because of you,
To advance thus my honour, and yours too,
In cousinhood, and for the merry cheer
410That he has found so many a time right here.
But since I see our peace is thus disjoint,
I'll answer you but briefly, to the point.
You have far slacker debtors than am I!
For I will pay you well and readily
415From day to day; and if it be I fail
I am your wife, tally it on my tail,
And I will pay as soon as ever I may.
For by my truth I have, on new array,
And not on rubbish, spent it, every sou.
420And since so well I've spent it, all for you,
All for your honour, for God's sake, I say,
Do not be angry, but let's laugh and play.
My jolly body's yours in pledge," she said,
"By God, I will not pay you, except in bed!
425Forgive me, then, my own sweet husband dear;
Let us be happy now, turn over here!"
       This marchant saugh ther was no remedie,
And for to chide it nere but folie,
Sith that the thyng may nat amended be.
430"Now wyf," he seyde, "and foryeve it thee;
But, by thy lyf, ne be namoore so large.
Keep bet thy good, this yeve I thee incharge."
Thus endeth my tale, and God us sende
Taillynge ynough unto oure lyves ende. Amen.
       This merchant saw there was no remedy,
And, thought he, chiding were but great folly,
Since that the thing might not amended be.
430"Now wife," he said, "I do forgive, you see;
But on your life, don't run so far at large;
Conserve our wealth hereafter, so I charge."
Thus ends my tale, and may the good God send
Tales fair enough until our lives shall end! Amen.



Heere endeth the Shipmannes Tale





Next Next:
From The Shipman's Tale, lines 435-452:
The Host comments on the Shipman's tale and asks the Prioress to tell the next tale
Next