The Canterbury Tales, by Geoffrey Chaucer

Part 24

The Prologue of the Marchantes Tale

The Prologe of the Marchantes tale.

 “Wepyng and waylyng, care and oother sorwe,
I knowe ynogh, on even and a morwe,”
Quod the Marchant, “and so doon othere mo
That wedded been, I trowe that it be so.
For wel I woot, it fareth so with me.
I have a wyf, the worste that may be,
For thogh the feend to hire ycoupled were,
She wolde hym overmacche, I dar wel swere.
What sholde I yow reherce in special
Hir hye malice? She is a shrewe at al!
Ther is a long and large difference
Bitwix Grisildis grete pacience
And of my wyf the passyng crueltee.
Were I unbounden, al so moot I thee,
I wolde nevere eft comen in the snare.
We wedded men lyve in sorwe and care;
Assaye who so wole, and he shal fynde
I seye sooth, by Seint Thomas of Ynde —
As for the moore part, I seye nat alle;
God shilde, that it sholde so bifalle!
Ay, goode Sir Hoost, I have ywedded bee
Thise monthes two, and moore nat, pardee;
And yet I trowe, he that al his lyve
Wyflees hath been, though that men wolde him ryve
Unto the herte, ne koude in no manere
Tellen so muchel sorwe as I now heere
Koude tellen of my wyves cursednesse!”
Now quod our hoost, “Marchant, so God yow blesse,
Syn ye so muchel knowen of that art,
Ful hertely I pray yow telle us part.”
“Gladly,” quod he, “but of myn owene soore,
For soory herte I telle may namoore.”

The Tale.

(January, a rich old dotard, who has married May, in spite of his friends’ objections to the inequality of their ages, is deceived by her and his young squire Damian, although Pluto in pity restores his lost sight.)

Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:52