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From The Franklin's Tale, lines 21-52:
About a knight, his wife and their marriage
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From The Canterbury Tales:
The Franklin's Tale
lines 53-94: About love and marriage, freedom and bondage


       For o thyng, sires, saufly dar I seye,
That freendes everych oother moot obeye,
55If they wol longe holden compaignye.
Love wol nat been constreyned by maistrye;
Whan maistrie comth, the God of Love anon
Beteth hise wynges, and farewel, he is gon!
Love is a thyng as any spirit free.
60Wommen, of kynde desiren libertee,
And nat to been constreyned as a thral;
And so doon men, if I sooth seyen shal.
Looke who that is moost pacient in love,
He is at his avantage al above.
65Pacience is an heigh vertu, certeyn,
For it venquysseth, as thise clerkes seyn,
Thynges that rigour sholde nevere atteyne.
For every word men may nat chide or pleyne,
Lerneth to suffre, or elles, so moot I goon,
70Ye shul it lerne, wherso ye wole or noon.
For in this world, certein, ther no wight is
That he ne dooth or seith som tyme amys.
Ire, siknesse, or constellacioun
Wyn, wo, or chaungynge of complexioun
75Causeth ful ofte to doon amys or speken.
On every wrong a man may nat be wreken;
After the tyme moste be temperaunce
To every wight that kan on governaunce.
And therfore hath this wise worthy knyght,
80To lyve in ese, suffrance hir bihight,
And she to hym ful wisly gan to swere
That nevere sholde ther be defaute in here.
       For one thing, sirs, I safely dare to say,
That friends each one the other must obey
55If they'd be friends and long keep company.
Love will not be constrained by mastery;
When mastery 'comes, the god of love anon
Beats his fair wings, and farewell! He is gone!
Love is a thing as any spirit free;
60Women by nature love their liberty,
And not to be constrained like any thrall,
And so do men, if say the truth I shall.
Observe who is most patient in his love,
He is advantaged others all above.
65Patience is virtue high, and that's certain;
For it does vanquish, as these clerks make plain,
Things that oppression never could attain.
One must not chide for trifles nor complain.
Learn to endure, or else, so may I go,
70You'll have to learn it, whether you will or no.
For in this world, it's certain, no one is
Who never does or says sometimes amiss.
Sickness, or woe, or what the stars have sent,
Anger, or wine, or change of temperament
75Causes one oft to do amiss or speak.
For every wrong one may not vengeance wreak;
Conditions must determine temperance
In all who understand good governance.
And therefore did this wise and worthy knight,
80To live in quiet, patience to her plight,
And unto him full truly did she swear
That never should he find great fault in her.
       Heere may men seen an humble wys accord!
Thus hath she take hir servant and hir lord,
85Servant in love, and lord in mariage;
Thanne was he bothe in lordship and servage-
Servage? Nay, but in lordshipe above,
Sith he hath bothe his lady and his love-
His lady, certes, and his wyf also,
90The which that lawe of love acordeth to.
And whan he was in this prosperitee,
Hoom with his wyf he gooth to his contree,
Nat fer fro Pedmark, ther his dwellyng was,
Where as he lyveth in blisse and in solas.
       Here may men see an humble wise accord;
Thus did she take her servant and her lord,
85Servant in love and lord in their marriage;
So was he both in lordship and bondage;
In bondage? Nay, but in lordship above,
Since he had both his lady and his love;
His lady truly, and his wife also,
90To which the law of love accords, we know.
And when he was in this prosperity,
Home with his wife he went to his country,
Not far from Penmarch, where his dwelling was.
And there he lived in bliss and all solace.




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From The Franklin's Tale, lines 95-105:
The knight leaves his wife and goes on a campaign
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