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From The Wife of Bath's Tale, lines 1213-1241:
The two choices of the knight
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From The Canterbury Tales:
The Wife of Bath's Tale
lines 1242-1270: A happy end


       "Thanne have I gete of yow maistrie," quod she,
"Syn I may chese and governe as me lest?"
       "Ye, certes, wyf," quod he, "I holde it best."
1245       "Kys me," quod she, "we be no lenger wrothe,
For, by my trouthe, I wol be to yow bothe!
This is to seyn, ye, bothe fair and good.
I prey to God that I moote sterven wood
But I to yow be al so good and trewe
1250As evere was wyf, syn that the world was newe.
And but I be to-morn as fair to seene
As any lady, emperice, or queene,
That is bitwixe the est and eke the west,
Dooth with my lyf and deth right as yow lest.
1255Cast up the curtyn, looke how that it is."
       "Then have I got of you the mastery,
Since I may choose and govern, in earnest?"
       "Yes, truly, wife," said he, "I hold that best."
1245       "Kiss me," said she, "we'll be no longer wroth,
For by my truth, to you I will be both;
That is to say, I'll be both good and fair.
I pray God I go mad, and so declare,
If I be not to you as good and true
1250As ever wife was since the world was new.
And, save I be, at dawn, as fairly seen
As any lady, empress, or great queen
That is between the east and the far west,
Do with my life and death as you like best.
1255Throw back the curtain and see how it is."
       And whan the knyght saugh verraily al this,
That she so fair was, and so yong therto,
For joye he hente hire in hise armes two.
His herte bathed in a bath of blisse,
1260A thousand tyme a-rewe he gan hir kisse,
And she obeyed hym in every thyng
That myghte doon hym plesance or likyng.
       And thus they lyve unto hir lyves ende
In parfit joye;-and Jesu Crist us sende
1265Housbondes meeke, yonge, fressh abedde,
And grace t'overbyde hem that we wedde;
And eek I praye Jesu shorte hir lyves
That nat wol be governed by hir wyves;
And olde and angry nygardes of dispence,
1270God sende hem soone verray pestilence!
       And when the knight saw verily all this,
That she so very fair was, and young too,
For joy he clasped her in his strong arms two,
His heart bathed in a bath of utter bliss;
1260A thousand times, all in a row, he'd kiss.
And she obeyed his wish in everything
That might give pleasure to his love-liking.
       And thus they lived unto their lives' fair end,
In perfect joy; and Jesus to us send
1265Meek husbands, and young ones, and fresh in bed,
And good luck to outlive them that we wed.
And I pray Jesus to cut short the lives
Of those who'll not be governed by their wives;
And old and querulous niggards with their pence,
1270And send them soon a mortal pestilence!



Heere endeth the Wyves Tale of Bathe




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