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From The Wife of Bath's Prologue, lines 363-384:
Bondage in the marriage band
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From The Canterbury Tales:
The Wife of Bath's Prologue
lines 385-400: About cheating


385       Lordynges, right thus, as ye have understonde,
Baar I stifly myne olde housbondes on honde,
That thus they seyden in hir dronkenesse;
And al was fals, but that I took witnesse
On Janekyn and on my nece also.
390O lord! The pyne I dide hem, and the wo
Ful giltelees, by Goddes sweete pyne!
For as an hors I koude byte and whyne,
I koude pleyne, thogh I were in the gilt,
Or elles often tyme hadde I been spilt.
395Who so that first to mille comth first grynt;
I pleyned first, so was oure werre ystynt.
They were ful glad to excuse hem ful blyve
Of thyng of which they nevere agilte hir lyve.
Of wenches wolde I beren hym on honde,
400Whan that for syk unnethes myghte he stonde,
385       Masters, like this, as you must understand,
Did I my old men charge and censure, and
Claim that they said these things in drunkenness;
And all was false, but yet I took witness
Of Jenkin and of my dear niece also.
390O Lord, the pain I gave them and the woe,
All guiltless, too, by God's grief exquisite!
For like a stallion could I neigh and bite.
I could complain, though mine was all the guilt,
Or else, full many a time, I'd lost the tilt.
395Whoso comes first to mill first gets meal ground;
I whimpered first and so did them confound.
They were right glad to hasten to excuse
Things they had never done, save in my ruse.
With wenches would I charge him, by this hand,
400When, for some illness, he could hardly stand.




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From The Wife of Bath's Prologue, lines 401-436:
Envy, payment and ...
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