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From The Wife of Bath's Prologue, lines 169-193:
The Pardoner's interruption
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From The Canterbury Tales:
The Wife of Bath's Prologue
lines 194-229: About the Wife of Bath's five husbands


       "Gladly," quod she, "sith it may yow like.
195But yet I praye to al this compaignye,
If that I speke after my fantasye,
As taketh not agrief of that I seye,
For myn entente nis but for to pleye."
Now, sire, now wol I telle forth my tale,
200As evere moote I drynken wyn or ale,
I shal seye sooth, tho housbondes that I hadde,
As thre of hem were goode, and two were badde.
The thre men were goode, and riche, and olde;
Unnethe myghte they the statut holde
205In which that they were bounden unto me-
Ye woot wel what I meene of this, pardee!
As help me God, I laughe whan I thynke
How pitously a-nyght I made hem swynke.
And, by my fey, I tolde of it no stoor,
210They had me yeven hir gold and hir tresoor;
Me neded nat do lenger diligence
To wynne hir love, or doon hem reverence,
They loved me so wel, by God above,
That I ne tolde no deyntee of hir love.
215A wys womman wol sette hire evere in oon
To gete hire love, ther as she hath noon.
But sith I hadde hem hoolly in myn hond,
And sith they hadde me yeven all hir lond,
What sholde I taken heede hem for to plese,
220But it were for my profit and myn ese?
I sette hem so a-werke, by my fey,
That many a nyght they songen "weilawey!"
The bacon was nat fet for hem, I trowe,
That som men han in Essex at Dunmowe.
225I governed hem so wel after my lawe,
That ech of hem ful blisful was, and fawe
To brynge me gaye thynges fro the fayre.
They were ful glad whan I spak to hem faire,
For, God it woot, I chidde hem spitously.
       "Gladly," said she, "since it may please, not pique.
195But yet I pray of all this company
That if I speak from my own phantasy,
They will not take amiss the things I say;
For my intention's only but to play.
"Now, sirs, now will I tell you forth my tale.
200And as I may drink ever wine and ale,
I will tell truth of husbands that I've had,
For three of them were good and two were bad.
The three were good men and were rich and old.
Not easily could they the promise hold
205Whereby they had been bound to cherish me.
You know well what I mean by that, pardie!
So help me God, I laugh now when I think
How pitifully by night I made them swink;
And by my faith I set by it no store.
210They'd given me their gold, and treasure more;
I needed not do longer diligence
To win their love, or show them reverence.
They all loved me so well, by God above,
I never did set value on their love!
215A woman wise will strive continually
To get herself loved, when she's not, you see.
But since I had them wholly in my hand,
And since to me they'd given all their land,
Why should I take heed, then, that I should please,
220Save it were for my profit or my ease?
I set them so to work, that, by my fay,
Full many a night they sighed out 'Welaway!'
The bacon was not brought them home, I trow,
That some men have in Essex at Dunmowe.
225I governed them so well, by my own law,
That each of them was happy as a daw,
And fain to bring me fine things from the fair.
And they were right glad when I spoke them fair;
For God knows that I nagged them mercilessly.




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From The Wife of Bath's Prologue, lines 230-240:
About the art of lying
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