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From The Clerk's Tale, lines 449-462:
Lord Walter intends to test his wife Griselda
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From The Canterbury Tales:
The Clerk's Tale
lines 463-497: Lord Walter says to Griselda he has to do with her daughter 'what is best'


       For which this markys wroghte in this manere;
He cam allone a-nyght, ther as she lay,
465With stierne face and with ful trouble cheere,
And seyde thus, "Grisilde," quod he, "that day
That I yow took out of your povere array,
And putte yow in estaat of heigh noblesse, -
Ye have nat that forgeten, as I gesse.
       In doing which the marquis took this turn:
He came alone by night to where she lay
465And with a troubled look and features stern
He said to her: "Griselda mine, that day
When I removed you from your poor array
And placed you in a state of nobleness -
You have not all forgotten that, I guess.

470        I seye, Grisilde, this present dignitee
In which that I have put yow, as I trowe
Maketh yow nat foryetful for to be
That I yow took in povre estaat ful lowe
For any wele ye moot youreselven knowe.
475Taak heede of every word that y yow seye,
Ther is no wight that hereth it but we tweye.
470       I say, Griselda, this your dignity
Wherein I have so placed you, as I trow,
Has not made you forgetful now to be
That I raised you from poor estate and low
For any good you might then have or know.
475Take heed of every word that now I say,
There's no one else shall hear it, by my fay.

       Ye woot yourself wel how that ye cam heere
Into this hous, it is nat longe ago.
And though to me that ye be lief and deere,
480Unto my gentils ye be no thyng so.
They seyn, to hem it is greet shame and wo
For to be subgetz, and to been in servage,
To thee, that born art of a smal village.
       You know and well enough how you came here
Into this house, it is not long ago,
And though to me you are both lief and dear,
480Unto my nobles you are not; and so
They say that unto them 'tis shame and woe
To be your subjects and compelled to serve
You who are village-born and naught deserve.

       And namely, sith thy doghter was ybore,
485Thise wordes han they spoken, doutelees;
But I desire, as I have doon bifore,
To lyve my lyf with hem in reste and pees.
I may nat in this caas be recchelees;
I moot doon with thy doghter for the beste,
490Nat as I wolde, but as my peple leste.
       And specially, since that girl-child you bore,
485These things they've said- of this there is no doubt;
But I desire, as I have done before,
To live at peace with all the folk about;
I cannot in this matter leave them out.
I must do with your daughter what is best,
490Not as I would, but under men's behest.

       And yet God woot, this is ful looth to me;
But nathelees, withoute youre wityng
I wol nat doon, but this wol I," quod he,
"That ye to me assente as in this thyng.
495Shewe now youre pacience in youre werkyng,
That ye me highte and swore in youre village,
That day that maked was oure mariage."
       And yet, God knows, the act is hard for me;
And only with your knowledge would I bring
The deed to pass, but this I would," said he,
"That you assent with me to this one thing.
495Show now that patience in your life's dealing
You told me of and swore to in your village
The day that marked the making of our marriage."





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From The Clerk's Tale, lines 498-511:
Griselda submits herself to her husband's will
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