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From The Wife of Bath's Prologue, lines 241-262:
The Wife of Bath on how to lecture a husband
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From The Canterbury Tales:
The Wife of Bath's Prologue
lines 263-290: A shrewe's proverb


       Thou seyst, som folk desiren us for richesse,
Somme for oure shape, and somme for oure fairnesse,
265And som for she kan outher synge or daunce,
And som for gentillesse and daliaunce,
Som for hir handes and hir armes smale;
Thus goth al to the devel by thy tale.
Thou seyst, men may nat kepe a castel wal,
270It may so longe assailled been overal.
       And if that she be foul, thou seist that she
Coveiteth every man that she may se;
For as a spaynel she wol on hym lepe
Til that she fynde som man hir to chepe;
275Ne noon so grey goos gooth ther in the lake
As, seistow, wol been withoute make;
And seyst, it is an hard thyng for to welde
A thyng that no man wole, his thankes, helde.
Thus seistow, lorel, whan thow goost to bedde,
280And that no wys man nedeth for to wedde,
Ne no man that entendeth unto hevene -
With wilde thonder-dynt and firy levene
Moote thy welked nekke be tobroke!
       Thow seyst that droppyng houses, and eek smoke,
285And chidyng wyves maken men to flee
Out of hir owene hous, a! benedicitee!
What eyleth swich an old man for to chide?
       Thow seyst, we wyves wol oure vices hide
Til we be fast, and thanne we wol hem shewe, -
290Wel may that be a proverbe of a shrewe!
      You say, some men desire us for our gold,
Some for our shape and some for fairness told:
265And some, that she can either sing or dance,
And some, for courtesy and dalliance;
Some for her hands and for her arms so small;
Thus all goes to the devil in your tale.
You say men cannot keep a castle wall
270That's long assailed on all sides, and by all.
       And if that she be foul, you say that she
Hankers for every man that she may see;
For like a spaniel will she leap on him
Until she finds a man to be victim;
275And not a grey goose swims there in the lake
But finds a gander willing her to take.
You say, it is a hard thing to enfold
Her whom no man will in his own arms hold.
This say you, worthless, when you go to bed;
280And that no wise man needs thus to be wed,
No, nor a man that hearkens unto heaven.
With furious thunder-claps and fiery levin
May your thin, withered, wrinkled neck be broke:
       You say that dripping eaves, and also smoke,
285And wives contentious, will make men to flee
Out of their houses; ah, benedicite!
What ails such an old fellow so to chide?
       You say that all we wives our vices hide
Till we are married, then we show them well;
290That is a scoundrel's proverb, let me tell!




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From The Wife of Bath's Prologue, lines 291-308:
A wife is no horse and cannot be tested
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