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From The Wife of Bath's Tale, lines 1015-1036:
The knight gives his word
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From The Canterbury Tales:
The Wife of Bath's Tale
lines 1037-1051: What women want most of all


       To every wight comanded was silence,
And that the knyght sholde telle in audience
What thyng that worldly wommen loven best.
1040This knyght ne stood nat stille as doth a best,
But ot his questioun anon answerde
With manly voys, that al the court it herde:
       Command was given for silence in the hall,
And that the knight should tell before them all
What thing all worldly women love the best.
1040This knight did not stand dumb, as does a beast,
But to this question promptly answered
With manly voice, so that the whole court heard:
       "My lige lady, generally," quod he,
"Wommen desiren to have sovereynetee
1045As wel over hir housbond as hir love,
And for to been in maistrie hym above.
This is youre mooste desir, thogh ye me kille.
Dooth as yow list, I am heer at youre wille."
In al the court ne was ther wyf, ne mayde,
1050Ne wydwe, that contraried that he sayde,
But seyden he was worthy han his lyf.
       "My liege lady, generally," said he,
"Women desire to have the sovereignty
1045As well upon their husband as their love,
And to have mastery their man above;
This thing you most desire, though me you kill
Do as you please, I am here at your will."
In all the court there was no wife or maid
1050Or widow that denied the thing he said,
But all held, he was worthy to have life.




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From The Wife of Bath's Prologue, lines 1052-1078:
The fulfilment of the knight's promise
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