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From The Wife of Bath's Tale, lines 989-1014:
The knight's last chance
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From The Canterbury Tales:
The Wife of Bath's Tale
lines 1015-1036: The knight gives his word


1015       "Plight me thy trouthe, heere in myn hand," quod she,
"The nexte thyng that I requere thee,
Thou shalt it do, if it lye in thy myght,
And I wol telle it yow, er it be nyght."
       "Have heer my trouthe," quod the knyght, "I grante."
1020       "Thanne," quod she, "I dar me wel avante
Thy lyf is sauf; for I wol stonde therby,
Upon my lyf, the queene wol seye as I.
Lat se which is the proudeste of hem alle,
That wereth on a coverchief or a calle,
1025That dar seye nay of that I shal thee teche.
Lat us go forth withouten lenger speche."
Tho rowned she a pistel in his ere,
And bad hym to be glad and have no fere.
       Whan they be comen to the court, this knyght
1030Seyde he had holde his day, as he hadde hight,
And redy was his answere, as he sayde.
Ful many a noble wyf, and many a mayde,
And many a wydwe, for that they been wise,
The queene hirself sittynge as a justise,
1035Assembled been, his answere for to heere;
And afterward this knyght was bode appeere.
1015       "Give me your promise here, hand in hand," said she,
"That you will do, whatever it may be,
The thing I ask if it lie in your might;
And I'll give you your answer before the night."
       "Have here my word," said he. "That thing I grant."
1020       "Then," said the crone, "of this I make my vaunt,
Your life is safe; and I will stand thereby,
Upon my life, the queen will say as I.
Let's see which is the proudest of them all
That wears upon her hair kerchief or caul,
1025Shall dare say no to that which I shall teach;
Let us go now and without longer speech."
Then whispered she a sentence in his ear,
And bade him to be glad and have no fear.
       When they were come unto the court, this knight
1030Said he had kept his promise as was right,
And ready was his answer, as he said.
Full many a noble wife, and many a maid,
And many a widow, since they are so wise,
The queen herself sitting as high justice,
1035Assembled were, his answer there to hear;
And then the knight was bidden to appear.




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From The Wife of Bath's Prologue, lines 1037-1051:
What women want most of all
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