Previous Previous:
From The Wife of Bath's Prologue, lines 509-530:
The Wife of Bath's fifth husband and the market price of sex
Previous
Librarius Homepage
© Librarius
All rights reserved.



From The Canterbury Tales:
The Wife of Bath's Prologue
lines 531-548: The Wife of Bath's gossib


       My fifthe housbonde, God his soule blesse,
Which that I took for love and no richesse,
He somtyme was a clerk of Oxenford,
And hadde left scole, and wente at hom to bord
535With my gossib, dwellynge in oure toun,
God have hir soule! hir name was Alisoun.
She knew myn herte and eek my privetee
Bet than oure parisshe preest, as moot I thee.
To hir biwreyed I my conseil al,
540For hadde myn housbonde pissed on a wal,
Or doon a thyng that sholde han cost his lyf,
To hir, and to another worthy wyf,
And to my nece, which that I loved weel,
I wolde han toold his conseil every deel.
545And so I dide ful often, God it woot,
That made his face ful often reed and hoot
For verray shame, and blamed hym-self, for he
Had toold to me so greet a pryvetee.
      My fifth husband, may God his spirit bless!
Whom I took all for love, and not riches,
Had been sometime a student at Oxford,
And had left school and had come home to board
535With my best gossip, dwelling in our town,
God save her soul! Her name was Alison.
She knew my heart and all my privity
Better than did our parish priest, s'help me!
To her confided I my secrets all.
540For had my husband pissed against a wall,
Or done a thing that might have cost his life,
To her and to another worthy wife,
And to my niece whom I loved always well,
I would have told it - every bit I'd tell,
545And did so, many and many a time, knows God,
Which made his face full often red and hot
For utter shame; he blamed himself that he
Had told me of so deep a privity.




Next Next:
From The Wife of Bath's Prologue, lines 549-592:
The Wife of Bath tells how she has enchanted her servant
Next