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From The Wife of Bath's Tale, lines 958-988:
Ovid's tale about Midas: a women cannot keep a secret
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From The Canterbury Tales:
The Wife of Bath's Tale
lines 989-1014: The knight's last chance


       This knyght, of which my tale is specially,
990Whan that he saugh he myghte nat come therby,
This is to seye, what wommen love moost,
Withinne his brest ful sorweful was the goost.
But hoom he gooth, he myghte nat sojourne;
The day was come that homward moste he tourne.
995And in his wey it happed hym to ryde,
In al this care under a forest syde,
Wher as he saugh upon a daunce go
Of ladyes foure and twenty, and yet mo;
Toward the whiche daunce he drow ful yerne,
1000In hope that som wysdom sholde he lerne.
But certeinly, er he came fully there,
Vanysshed was this daunce, he nyste where.
No creature saugh he that bar lyf,
Save on the grene he saugh sittynge a wyf -
1005A fouler wight ther may no man devyse.
Agayn the knyght this olde wyf gan ryse,
And seyde, "Sire knyght, heer forth ne lith no wey.
Tel me what that ye seken, by your fey!
Paraventure it may the bettre be,
1010Thise olde folk kan muchel thyng," quod she.
       "My leeve mooder," quod this knyght, "certeyn
I nam but deed, but if that I kan seyn
What thyng it is, that wommen moost desire.
Koude ye me wisse, I wolde wel quite youre hire."
       This knight my tale is chiefly told about
990When what he went for he could not find out,
That is, the thing that women love the best,
Most saddened was the spirit in his breast;
But home he goes, he could no more delay.
The day was come when home he turned his way;
995And on his way it chanced that he should ride
In all his care, beneath a forest's side,
And there he saw, a-dancing him before,
Full four and twenty ladies, maybe more;
Toward which dance eagerly did he turn
1000In hope that there some wisdom he should learn.
But truly, before he came upon them there,
The dancers vanished all, he knew not where.
No creature saw he that gave sign of life,
Except, on the greensward sitting, an old wife;
1005A fouler person could no man devise.
Before the knight this old wife did arise,
And said: "Sir knight, hence lies no travelled way.
Tell me what thing you seek, and by your fay.
Perchance you'll find it may the better be;
1010These ancient folk know many things," said she.
       "Dear mother," said this knight assuredly,
"I am as good as dead, unless I can tell, truly,
What thing it is that women most desire;
Could you inform me, I'd pay well your hire."




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From The Wife of Bath's Prologue, lines 1015-1036:
The knight gives his word
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