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From The Wife of Bath's Tale, lines 1052-1078:
The fulfilment of the knight's promise
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From The Canterbury Tales:
The Wife of Bath's Tale
lines 1079-1109: A frugal wedding


       Now wolden som men seye, paraventure,
1080That for my necligence I do no cure
To tellen yow the joye and al th'array,
That at the feeste was that ilke day;
To whiche thyng shortly answere I shal:
I seye, ther nas no joye ne feeste at al;
1085Ther nas but hevynesse and muche sorwe.
For prively he wedde hir on a morwe,
And al day after hidde hym as an owle,
So wo was hym, his wyf looked so foule.
       Greet was the wo the knyght hadde in his thoght,
1090Whan he was with his wyf abedde ybroght;
He walweth and he turneth to and fro.
His olde wyf lay smylynge everemo,
And seyde, "O deere housbonde, benedicitee,
Fareth every knyght thus with his wyf, as ye?
1095Is this the lawe of Kyng Arthures hous?
Is every knyght of his so dangerous?
I am youre owene love and youre wyf;
I am she which that saved hath youre lyf.
And certes, yet dide I yow nevere unright;
1100Why fare ye thus with me this firste nyght?
Ye faren lyk a man had lost his wit.
What is my gilt? For Goddes love, tel it,
And it shal been amended, if I may."
       "Amended," quod this knyght, "allas! nay! nay!
1105It wol nat been amended nevere mo;
Thou art so loothly and so oold also,
And therto comen of so lough a kynde,
That litel wonder is thogh I walwe and wynde.
So wolde God, myn herte wolde breste!"
       Now, peradventure, would some men say here,
1080That, of my negligence, I take no care
To tell you of the joy and all the array
That at the wedding feast were seen that day.
Make a brief answer to this thing I shall;
I say, there was no joy or feast at all;
1085There was but heaviness and grievous sorrow;
For privately he wedded on the morrow,
And all day, then, he hid him like an owl;
So sad he was, his old wife looked so foul.
       Great was the woe the knight had in his thought
1090When he, with her, to marriage bed was brought;
He rolled about and turned him to and fro.
His old wife lay there, always smiling so,
And said: "O my dear husband, ben'cite!
Fares every knight with wife as you with me?
1095Is this the custom in King Arthur's house?
Are knights of his all so fastidious?
I am your own true love and, more, your wife;
And I am she who saved your very life;
And truly, since I've never done you wrong,
1100Why do you treat me so, this first night long?
You act as does a man who's lost his wit;
What is my fault? For God's love tell me it,
And it shall be amended, if I may."
       "Amended!" cried this knight, "Alas, nay, nay!
1105It will not be amended ever, no!
You are so loathsome, and so old also,
And therewith of so low a race were born,
It's little wonder that I toss and turn.
Would God my heart would break within my breast!"




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From The Wife of Bath's Prologue, lines 1110-1130:
Jesus on the origin of gentility
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