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From The Clerk's Tale, lines 85-140:
Lord Walter's subjects ask him to marry
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From The Canterbury Tales:
The Clerk's Tale
lines 141-161: Lord Walter consents to marriage


       Hir meeke preyere and hir pitous cheere
Made the markys herte han pitee.
"Ye wol," quod he, "myn owene peple deere,
To that I nevere erst thoughte, streyne me.
145I me rejoysed of my liberte,
That seelde tyme is founde in mariage.
Ther I was free, I moot been in servage.
       Their humble prayer and their so earnest cheer
Roused in the marquis' heart great sympathy.
"You'd have me," he replied, "my people dear,
Do what I've never yet thought necessary.
145I have rejoiced in my fond liberty,
That men so seldom find in their marriage;
Where I was free, I must be in bondage.

       But nathelees I se youre trewe entente,
And truste upon youre wit, and have doon at;
150Wherfore of my free wyl I wole assente
To wedde me, as soone as evere I may.
But ther as ye han profred me to-day
To chese me a wyf, I yow relesse
That choys, and prey yow of that profre cesse.
       Nevertheless, I see your true intent,
And know there's always sense in what you say;
150Wherefore of my free will, will I consent
To marry a wife, as soon as ever I may.
But whereas you have offered here today
To choose a wife for me, I you release
From that, and pray that you thereof will cease.

155        For God it woot, that children ofte been
Unlyk hir worthy eldres hem bifore.
Bountee comth al of God, nat of the streen,
Of which they been engendred and ybore.
I truste in Goddes bountee; and therfore
160My mariage, and myn estaat and reste,
I hym bitake, he may doon as hym leste.
155       For God knows well that children oft retain
Naught of their worthy elders gone before;
Goodness comes all from God, not of the strain
Whereof they were engendered; furthermore
I trust in God's great goodness, and therefore
160My marriage and my state and all my ease
I leave to him to do with as he pleases.





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From The Clerk's Tale, lines 162-175:
Lord Walter stipulates some conditions
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