Geoffrey Chaucer.

The Prioresses tale : Sire Thopas, the Monkes tale, the Clerkes tale, the Squieres tale from The Canterbury tales online

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Online LibraryGeoffrey ChaucerThe Prioresses tale : Sire Thopas, the Monkes tale, the Clerkes tale, the Squieres tale from The Canterbury tales → online text (page 12 of 36)
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Ther as this markis shoop his mariage, X^fe^

Ther stood a throp, of site delytable,

In which that poure folk of that village 200

Hadden her bestes and her herbergage,

And of her labour tooke her sustenance

After that the erthe yaf hem habundance.

Amonges this poure folk ther dwelte a man

Which that was holden pourest of hem alle; 305

But hye god som tyme senden can

His grace in-to a litel oxes stalle:

lanicula men of that thrope him calle.

A doughter hadde he fair ynough to syghte,

And Grisildis this yonge may den hyghte. 210

But for to speke of vertuous beautee 1 ,

Than was she oon the faireste vnder sonne;

For poureliche yfostred vp was she,

No [sinful] lust was thurgh hir herte yronne;

Wei ofter of the welle than of the tonne 215

She drank, and for she wolde vertu plese,

She knew wel labour, but noon ydel ese.

1 E bountee ; the rest beautee, beute.



GROUP E. THE CLERKES TALE. 6

But though this mayde tendre were of age,

Yet in the brest of hir virginitee /-HI^O-W. r

Ther was enclosed type and sad corage ; - ao .

And in greet reuerence and charitee

Hir olde poure fader fostred she;

A fewe sheep spinning on feeld she kepte,

She wolde nought been ydel til she slepte.

And whan she homward cam, she wolde bringe 225
Wortes or othere herbes tymes ofte,
The whiche she shredde and seeth for hir liuinge,
And made hir bed ful harde and no thing softe ;
And ay she kepte hir fadres lyf on-lofte gufoffr'
With euerich obeisaunce and diligence 230

That child may doon to fadres reuerence.

Vp-on Grisild this poure creature

Ful ofte sythe this markis sette 1 his ye'

As he on hunting rood parauenture;

And whan it 2 fil that he myghte hir espye, 335

He nought with wantoun loking of folye

His yen caste on hir, but in sad wyse ^^(-^J^L.

Vp-on hir chere he wolde 8 him ofte auyse,

Commending in his herte hir wommanhede,

And eek hir vertu, passing any wyght 240

Of so yong age, as wel in chere as dede.

For though the rjeple. haue * no greet insyght

In vertu, he considered ful ryght

Hir bountee, and disposed that he wolde

Wedde hir oonly, if euer he wedde sholde. 245



1 E. caste ; the rest sette. * E. that it ; the rest omit that.

* E. gan; the rest wolde. E. hadde ; Hn. Cm. hath ; Cp. Pt. Ln. HI. haue.

F 2



68



GROUP E. THE CLERRES TALE.



The day of wedding cam, but no wyght can

Telle what womman that it sholde be ;

For which merueille wondred many a man,

And seyden, whan they 1 were in priuetee,

' Wol nat our lord yet leue his vanitee ? 250

Wol he nat wedde ? alla's, alias the whyle !

Why wol he thus him-self and vs bigyle ? '

But natheles this markis hath doon make
Of gemmes, set in gold and in asure,
Broches and ringes, for Grisildis sake,
And of hir clothing took he the mesure

T/ / / / ' .

By a mayde, lyk to hir stature",
And eek of othere ornamentes alle
That vn-to swich a wedding sholde falle.

The tyme of _yndern of the same day

Approcheth, that this wedding sholde be ;

And al the paleys put was in array,

Bothe halle and chambres, ech in his degree;

Houses of office stuffed with plentee

Ther maystow seen of deynteuous vitaille, 265

That may be founde, as fer as last Itaille.

This roial markis richely arrayed,

Lordes and ladyes in his companye,

The whiche vnto 2 the feste were yprayed,

And of his retenue the bachelrye, 170

With many a soun of sondry melodye,

Vn-to the village, of the which I tolde,

In this array the ryghte wey han holde.




1 E. Cm. that they ; the rest omit that.

9 Cp. Ln. HI. vnto ; Cm. Pt. to ; E. Ho. that to.



GROUP E. THE CLERK ES TALE. 69

Grisilde of this, god wot, ful innocent,

That for hir shapen was al this array, 275

To fecchen water at a welle is went,

And cometh hoom as soone as euer she may.

For wel she had herd seyd, that thilke day

The markis sholde wedde, and, if she myghte,

She wolde fayn han seyn som of that syghte. 280

She thoughte, 'I wol with othere maydens stonde,

That been my felawes, in our dore, a

The markisesse, and therfor wol I fonde

To doon at hoom, as soone as it may be,

The labour which that longeth vn-to me ; 285

And than I may at leyser hir biholde,

If she this wey vn-to the castel holde.'

And as she wolde ouer hir threshfold goon,

The markis cam and gan hir for to calle ;

And she sette doun hir water-pot anoon 290

Bisyde the threshfold, in an oxes stalle,

And doun vp-on hir knees she gan to falle,

And with sad contenance kneleth stille

Til she had herd what was the lordes wille.

This thoughtful markis spak vn-to this mayde 295

Ful sobrely, and seyde in this manere,

' Wher is your fader 1 , Grisildis?' he sayde,

And she with reuerence, in humble chere,

Answerde, ' lord, he is al redy here.'

And in she gooth with-outen lenger lette, 300

And to the markis she hir fader fette.

1 E. HII. Cm. insert o after fader.



GROUP E. THE CLERKES TALE.

He by the bond than took this olde man,

And seyde thus, whan he him hadde asyde,

' lanicula, I neither may ne can

Lenger the plesance of myn herte hyde. 305

If that thou vouche sauf, what so bityde,

Thy doughter wol I take er that I wende

As for my wyf, vn-to hir lyues ende.

Thou louest me, I wot it wel certeyn,

And art my feithful lige man ybore; 310

And al that lyketh me, I dar wel seyn,

It lyketh thee, and specially therfore

Tel me that poynt that I haue seyd bifore,

If that thou wolt vn-to that purpos drawe,

To take me as for thy sone in lawe?' 315

This sodeyn cas this man astonied so,

That reed he wex, abayst, and al quaking

He stood; vnnethes seyde he wordes mo,

But only thus : ' lord,' quod he, ' my willing

Is as ye wole, he ayeins youre lyking 320

I wol no-thing; ye be my lord so dere;

Ryght as yow lust gouerneth this matere.' A^VM^UW^I^

' Yet wol I,' quod this markis softely,

' That in thy chambre I and thou and she

Haue a collacion, and wostow why? 325

For I wol axe if it hir wille be

To be my wyf, and reule hir after me;

And al this shal be doon in thy presence,

I wol nought speke out of thyn audience.'

And in the chambre whyl they were aboute 330

Her tret^s, which as ye shal after here,
The peple cam vn-to the hous with-oute,



GROUP E. THE CLERKES TALE. Jl

And wondred hem in how honest manere

And tentifly she kepte hir fader dere.

But outerly Grisildis wondre myghte, 335

For neuer erst ne sey she swich a syghte.

No wonder is though that 1 she were astoned

To seen so greet a gest come in that place;

She neuer was to swiche gestes woned,

For which she loked with ful pale face. 340

But shortly forth this tale for to chace,

Thise arn the wordes that the markis sayde

To this benigne verray feithful mayde.

' Grisilde,' he seyde, ' ye shul wel vnderstonde

It lyketh to your fader and to me 345

That I yow wedde, and eek it may so stonde,

As I suppose, ye wol that it so be.

But thise demandes axe I first,' quod he,

' That, sith it shal be doon in hastif wyse,

Wol ye assente or elles yow auyse?




I seye this, be ye redy with good herte

To al my lust, and that I frely may,

As me best thinketh, do yow laughe or smerte,

And neuer ye to grucche it, nyght ne day?

And eek whan I sey ' ye,' ne sey nat ' nay,' 355

Neither by word ne frowning contenance;

Swer this, and here I swere our 2 alliance.'

Wondring vp-on this word, quaking for drede,

She seyde, ' lord, vndigne and vnworthy

Am I to thilke honour that ye me bede; 360

1 E. Pt. omit that * E. yow ; the re.t oure.



72 GROUP E. THE CLERKES TALE.

But as ye wol your-self, ryght so wol I.
And heer I swere that neuer willingly
In werk ne thought I nil yow disobeye,

to be deed, though me were loth to deye.'

' This is ynough, Grisilde myn ! ' quod he.

And forth he goth with a ful sobre chere

Out at the dore, and after that cam she,

And to the peple he seyde in this manere,

' This is my wyf,' quod he, ' that standeth here.

Honoureth hir, and loueth hir, I preye, 370

Who so me loueth; ther is namore to seye.'

And for that no-thing of hir olde gere

She sholde bringe in-to his hous, he bad

That wommen sholde dispoilen hir ryght there;

Of which thise ladyes were nat ryght glad 375

To handle hir clothes wher-in she was clad.

But natheles this mayde bryght of hewe

Fro foot to heed 'they clothed han al newe.

Hir heres han they kembd, that lay vntressed

Ful rudely, and with her fingres smale 380

A corone on hir heed they han ydressed,

And sette hir ful of nowches grete and smale;

Of hir array what sholde I make a tale?

Vnnethe the peple hir knew for hir fairnesse,

Whan she translated was in swich richesse. 385

This markis hath hir spoused with a ring

Brought for the same cause, and than hir sette

Vp-on an hors, snow-whyt and wel ambling,

And to his paleys, er he lenger lette,

With ioyful peple that hir ladde and mette, 390



GROUP E. THE CLERK ES TALE. 73

Conueyed hir, and thus the day they spende
In reuel til the sonne gan descende.

And shortly forth this tale for to chace,

I seye that to this newe markisesse

God hath swich fauour sent hir of his grace, 395

That it ne semed nat by lyklinesse

That she was born and fed in rudenesse,

As in a cote or in an oxe-stalle,

But norished in an emperoures halle.

To euery wyght she woxen is so dere 400

And worshipful, that folk ther she was bore

And from hir birthe knewe hir yeer by yere,

Vnnethe trowed they, but dorste han swore

That 1 to lanicle, of which I spak bifore,

She doughter nas 2 , for, as by coniecture, 405

Hem thoughte she was another creature.

For though that euer vertuous was she,
She was encressed in swich excellence

- x

Of the we s goode, yset in heigh bountee,

And so discreet and fair of eloquence, 410

So benigne and so digne of reuerence,

And coude so the peples herte embrace,

That ech hir louede that loked on hir face.

Nought only of Saluces in the toun

Publisshed was the bountee 3 of hir name, 415

But eek bisyde in many a regioun,

If oon seyde wel, another seyde the same;

So spradde of hir heigh bountee the fame 4 ,

1 E. That she ; the rest omit she.

2 Cp. Ln. nas ; E. Hn. Cm. Hl.were ; Ft. ne were.

8 E. beautee ; the rest bountee. * E. name ; the rest fame.



GROUP E. THE CLERKES TALE.

That men and wommen, as wel yonge as olde,

Gon to Saluce, vpon hir to biholde. 420

Thus Walter lowly, nay but roially,

Wedded with forlunat honestetee,

In goddes pees lyueth ful esily

At hoom, and outward grace ynough had he;

And for he sey that vnder low 1 degree 425

Was ofte 2 vertu hid, the peple him helde

A prudent man, and that is seyn ful selde.

Nat only this Grisildis thurgh hir wit

Coude al the feet of wyfly homlinesse 3 ,

But eek, whan that the cas requyred it, 430

The commune profit coude she redresse.

Ther nas discord, rancour, ne heuinesse

In al that lond, that she ne coude apese,

And wysly bringe hem alle in reste and ese.

Though that hir housbonde absent were anoon, 435

If gentil men, or othere of hir contree

Were wrothe, she wolde bringen hem atoon;

So wyse and rype wordes hadde she,

And Ingementz of so greet equitee,

That she from heuen sent was, as men wende, 440

Peple to saue and euery wrong tamende.

longe tyme after that this Grisild
Was wedded, she a doughter hath ybore,
Al had hir leuer haue born a knaue 4 child.
Glad was this markis and the folk therfore ; 445

For though a mayde child come al bifore,

1 E. heigh ; the rest lowe, low. " E. omits ofte.

8 So Cp. Ln. ; the rest humblenesse ; see note.
* E. man ; the rest knaue.



GROUP E. THE CLERKES TALE. 75

She may vnto a knaue 1 child atteyne
By lyklihed, sin she nis nat bareyne.

Explicit secunda pars. Incipit tercia pars.



Ther fil, as it bifalleth tymes mo,

Whan that this child had souked but a throwe, 450

This markis in his herte longeth so

To tempte his wyf, hir sadnesse for to knowe,

That he ne myghte out of his herte throwe

This merueillous desyr, his wyf tassaye,

Needlees, god wot, he thoughte hir for taffraye. 455

He hadde assayed hir ynough bifore
And fond hir euer good; what neded it
Hir for to tempte and alwey more and
Though som men preise it for a subtil wit,,
But as for me, I seye that yuel it sit ^
Tassaye a wyf whan that it is no nede,
And putten her in anguish and in drede.

For which this markis wroughte in this manere ;

He cam alone a-nyghte, ther as she lay,

With sterne face and with ful trouble chere, 465

And seyde thus, ' Grisild,' quod he, ' that day

That I yow took out of your poure array,

And putte yow in estaat of heigh noblesse,

Ye haue nat that forgeten, as I gesse.

I seye, Grisild, this present dignitee, 470

In which that I haue put yow, as I trowe,

* E. man ; the rest knaue.



76 GROUP E. THE CLERKES TALE.

Maketh yow nat foryetful for to be

That I yow took in poure estaat ful lower

For any wele ye moot your-seluen knowe.

Tak hede of euery word that I yow seye, 475

Ther is no wyght that hereth it but we tweye.

Ye woot your-self wel, how that ye came here

In-to this hous, it is nat longe ago,

And though to me that ye be lief and dere,

Vn-to my gentils ye be no-thing so ; 480

They seyn, to hem it is greet shame and wo

For to be subgetz and 1 been in seruage

To thee. that born art of a smal village.

And namely, sith thy doughter was ybore,

Thise wordes han they spoken doutelees ; 485

But I desyre, as I haue doon bifore,

To Hue my lyf with hem in reste and pees;

I may nat in this caas be recchelees.

I mot don with thy doughter for the beste,

Nat as I wolde, but as my peple leste. 490

And yet, god wot, this is ful looth to me;

But natheles with-oute your witing

I wol nat don, but this wol I,' quod he,

' That ye to me assente as in this thing.

Shewe now your pacience in your werking 495

That ye me hyghte and swore in your village

That day that maked was our mariage.'

Whan she had herd al this, she nought ameued

Neither in word, or chere, or countenance;

For, as it semed, she was nat agreued : 500

1 E. and to ; the rest omit to.



GROUP E. THE CLERKES TALE. 77

She seyde, 'lord, al lyth in your plesance,
My child and I with hertly obeisance
Ben youres al, and ye mowe saue or 1 spille
Your owen thing ; werketh after your wille.

Ther may no-thing, god so my soule saue, 505

Lyken to yow that may displese me ;

Ne I ne 2 desyre no-thing for to haue,

Ne drede for to lese, saue only ye 3 ;

This wil is in myn herte and ay shal be.

No lengthe of tyme or deeth may this deface, 510

Ne chaunge my corage to another place.'

Glad was this markis of hir answering,

But yet he feyned as he were nat soj

Al drery was his chere and his loking

Whan that he sholde out of the chambre go. 515

Sone after this, a furlong wey or two. #. Xx/flZe <X/-R

He priuely hath told al his entente

Vn-to a man, and to his wyf him sente.

A maner sergeant was this priuee man,

The which that feithful ofte he founden hadde 520

In thinges grete, and eek swich folk wel can

Boon execucion on thinges badde.

The lord knew wel that he him louede and dradde,

And whan this sergeant wiste his* lordes wille,

In-to the chambre he stalked him ful stille.



'Madame,' he seyde, 'ye mote foryiue it me,
Though I do thing to which I am constreyned;
Ye ben so wys that ful wel knowe ye

1 E. Cp. Pt. Ln. and ; the rest or. 2 E. Ha. Ne 1 ne ; the rest omit ne.
s E. Hn. thee vel yee ; Pt. HI. je ; Cm. Cp. Ln. thee.
* E. the ; Cm. this ; the rest his.



78 GROUP E. THE CLERK ES TALE.

That lordes hestes mowe nat ben yfeyned;

They mowe wel ben biwailled or 1 compleyned, 530
put men mot nede vn-to her lust obeye,
JAnd so wol I; ther is namore to seye.

This child I am comanded for to take'
And spak namore, but out the child he hente
Despitously, and gan a chere make 535

As though he wolde han slayn it er he wente.
Grisildis mot al suffren and consente;
And as a lamb she sitteth meke and stille,
And leet this cruel sergeant doon his wille.

uspecipus was the diffame of this man, 540

Suspect his face, suspect his word also;
Suspect the tyme in which he this bigan.
Alias 1 hir doughter that she louede so
She wende he wolde han slawen it ryght tho.
But natheles she neither weep ne syked, 545

Consenting hir to that the markis lyked.

But atte laste speken 2 she bigan,

And mekely she to the sergeant preyde,

So as he was a worthy gentil man,

That she moste kisse hir child er that it deyde; 550

And in her barm this litel child she leyde

With ful sad face, and gan the child to kisse

And lulled it, and after gan it blisse.

And thus she seyde in hir benigne voys,

'Far wel, my child; I shal thee neuer see; 555

But, sith I thee haue marked with the croys,

1 E. Cm. and ; the rest or. * E. to speken ; the rest omit to.



GROUP E. THE CLERKES TALE. 79

Of thilke fader blessed mote thou * be,

That for vs deyde vp-on a croys of tree.

Thy soule, litel child, I him bitake,

For this nyght shallow deyen for my sake.' 560

I trowe that to a norice in this cas

It had ben hard this rewthe for to se;

Wei myghte a moder than han cryed ' alias !'

But natheles so sad 2 stedfast was she,

That she endured all aduersitee, 565

And to the sergeant mekely she sayde,

1 Haue heer agayn your litel yonge mayde.

Goth now/ quod she, 'and doth my lordes heste,

But 3 o thing wol I preye yow of your grace,

That, but my lord forbad yow, atte leste 570

Burieth this litel body in som place

That bestes ne no briddes it to-race.'

But he no word wol to that purpos seye,

But took the child and wente vpon his weye.

This sergeant cam vn-to his lord ageyn, 575

And of Grisildis wordes and hir chere

He tolde him point for point, in short and playn,

And him presenteth with his doughter dere.

Somwhat this lord hath rewthe in his manere;

B"ut natheles his purpos heeld he stille, 580

As lordes doon whan they wol han hir wille;

And bad his sergeant that he priuely

Sholde this child ful 4 softe wynde and wrappe



1 E. Hn. Cm. he ; the rest thou. 2 E. Cm. Pt. sad and ; the rest omit and.
8 E, Pt. And ; the rest But. * Cp. Pt. Ln. ful ; the rest omit it.




8O GROUP E. THE CLERK ES TALE.

With alle circumstances tendrely,

And carie it in a cofre or in a lappe ;

But, vp-on peyne his heed of for to jwa

That no man sholde knowe of his entente,

Ne whenne he cam 1 , ne whider that he wente;

But at Boloigne to his suster deere,

That thilke tyme of Panik 2 was countesse, 590

He sholde it take and shewe hir this matere,

Bisekinge hir to don hir bisinesse

This child to fostre in alk gentilesse ;

And whos child that it was he bad hir 8 hyde^_

From euery wyght, for ought that may bityde. 595



sergeant goth, and hath fulfild this thing;
But to this markis now retourne we ;
For now goth he ful faste ymagining
If by his wyues chere he myghte se,
Or by hir word aperceyue that she 600

Were chaunged; but he neuer hir coude fynde
. But euer in oon ylyke sad and kynde.

^*- '

As glad, as humble, as bisy in seruyse,

And eek in loue as she was wont to be,

Was she to him in euery maner wyse; 605

Ne of hir dought'er nought a word spak she. -

Noon accident fornoon aduersitee c *~f~' > ^**\\p'

Was seyn in hir, ne neuer hir doughter name

Ne nempned she, in ernest nor in game.

Explicit tercia pars, Sequilur pars quaria.



1 Hn. Cm. Cp. Pt. HI. he cam ; E. Ln. omit.
8 Cp. HI. Panyke ; the rest Pavik, Pauyk, Pavte.
3 E. him ; the rest hire, hir.




GROUP E. THE CLERK ES TALE. 8 1

In this estaat ther passed ben four yeer 610

Er she with childe was; but, as god wolde,
A knaue 1 child she bar by this Walter,

ul gracious and fair for to biholde.
And whan that folk it to his fader tolde,
Nat only he, but al his contree, merie 615

Was for this child, and god they thanke and herie.

Whan it was two yeer old, and fro the brest
Departed of his norice, on a day
This markis caughte yet another lest
To temple his wyf yet ofter, if he may.

needles was she tempted in assay 1
But wedded men ne knowe no mesure,

Whan that they fynde a pacient creature.)""' ft

1 Wyf/ quod this markis, ' ye han herd er this, .

My peple sikly berth our mariage, tv7/c & 1 ^ 625

And namely sith my sone yboren is,

Now is it worse than euer in al our age.

The murmur sleeth myn herte and my coragej \r

For to myne eres comth the voys so smerte, 9^^

That it wel ny destroyed hath myn herte. 630

Now sey they thus, 'whan Walter is agoon,
Than shal the blood of lanicle succede
And been our lord, for other haue we noon ;
Swiche wordes seith my peple, out of drede.
Wel oughte I of swich murmur taken hede ; 635 .

4 For certeinly I drede swich sentence,

.Though they nat pleyn speke in myn audience.




wolde liue in pees, if that I myghtej
herfor I am disposed outerly,

1 E. man ; the rest knaue.
VOL. II. O



82 GROUP E. THE CLERKES TALE.

As I his suster seruede by nyghte, 640

Ryght so thenke I to serue him pryuely ;
This warne I yow, that ye nat sodeynly
Out of your-self for no wo sholde outraye;
Beth pacient, and ther-of I yow preye.'

' I haue/ quod she, ' seyd thus, and euer shal, 645

I wol no thing, ne nil no thing certayn

But as yow list; nought greueth me at al,

Though that my doughter and my sone be slayn,

At your comandement, this is to sayn.

I haue nought had no part of children tweyne 650

But first siknesse, and after wo and peyne.

Ye ben our lord, doth with your owen thing

Ryght as yow list; axeth no reed at_me.

For, as I lefte at hoom al my clothing,

Whan I first cam to yow, ryght so," quod she, 655

' Lefte I my wil and al my libei tee,

And took your clothing; wherfor I yow preye,

Doth your plesance, I wol your lust obeye.

And certes, if I hadde prescience

Your wil to knowe er ye your lust me tolde, 660

I wolde it doon with-outen necligence ;

But now I wot your lust and what ye wolde,

Al your plesance ferme and stable I holde ;

For wiste I that my deeth wolde do yow ese,

Ryght gladly wolde I deyen, yow to plese. 665

Deth may nought make no comparisoun

Vn-to your loue:' and, whan this markis sey

The Constance of his wyf, he caste adoun

His yen two, and wondreth that she may

In patience suffre al this array. 670




GROUP E. THE CLERKES TALE. 83

And forth he goth with drery contenance,

But to his herte it was ful erect plesance. /-"

** _-jP t />*>

This ygjy_ sergeant in the same wyse

That he hir doughter caughte, ryght sohe7

Or worse, if men worse can deuyse,

Hath hent hir sone, that ful was of beautee.

And euer in oon so pacient was she,

That she no chere made of heuinesse,

But kiste hir _sone. and after gan it blesse ; JL ^ C (^

*t^X*j 4&>. <li-4 W<Ua. ^^ 4v CL, *^A~ ft &Jl^rwJ^**.

Saue; this; she preyede him that, if Jhe myghte, 680

Hir litel sone he wolde in erthe graue,

His tendre lymes, delicat to syghte,

Fro foules and fro bestes for to saue.

But she non answer of him myghte haue.

He wente his wey, as him no thing ne roughte; 685

But to Boloigne he tendrely it broughte.

This markis wondreth 1 euerjenger thejnore^*

Vp-on hir pacience, and if that he

Ne hadde soothly knowen ther-bifore,

That parfitly hir children louede she, 690

He wolde haue wend that of som subtiltee,

And of malice or for cruel corage,

That she had suffred this with sad visage.

But wel he knew that next him-self certayn
She louede hir children best in euery wyse.
But now of wommen wolde I axen fayn,
If thise assayes myghte nat suffyse ?
What coude a sturdy housbond more deuyse
To preue hir wyfhod and 2 hir stedfastnesse,
And he continuing euer in sturdinesse?

1 E. wondred ; the rest wondreth. J E. or ; the rest and.

G 2




84 GROUP E. THE CLERK ES TALE.

But ther ben folk of swich condicion,

That, whan they haue a certein purpos take,

They can nat stinte of hir entencion,

But, ryght as they were bounden to a 1 stake,

They wol nat of that firste purpos slake. 705

Ryght so this markis fulliche hath purposed

To tempte his wyf, as he was first disposed.



He waiteth, if by word or contenance

That she to him was changed of corage ;

But neuer coude he fynde variance; 710

She was ay oon in herte and in visage ;

And ay the ferther that she was in age,

The more trewe, if that it were possible,

She was to him in loue, and more penible.

which it semed thus, that of hem two
Ther nas but o wil; for, as Walter leste,
The same lust was hir plesance also,
And, god be thanked, al fil for the beste.
She shewed wel, for no worldly vnreste
A wyf as of hir- self no thing ne sholde \ ^^" 720
Wille in effect, but as hir housbond wolde.

The sclaundre_pf Walter ofte and wyde spradde,



Online LibraryGeoffrey ChaucerThe Prioresses tale : Sire Thopas, the Monkes tale, the Clerkes tale, the Squieres tale from The Canterbury tales → online text (page 12 of 36)