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From The Franklin's Tale, lines 589-630:
Aurelius goes to Dorigen and tells her he has done the impossible
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From The Canterbury Tales:
The Franklin's Tale
lines 631-658: Dorigen pities herself that she has fallen for the trap


       He taketh his leve, and she astonied stood,
In al hir face nas a drope of blood.
She wende nevere han come in swich a trappe.
"Allas," quod she, "that evere this sholde happe.
635For wende I nevere, by possibilitee,
That swich a monstre or merveille myghte be.
It is agayns the proces of nature."
And hoom she goth a sorweful creature,
For verray feere unnethe may she go.
640She wepeth, wailleth, al a day or two,
And swowneth that it routhe was to see;
But why it was, to no wight tolde shee,
For out of towne was goon Arveragus.
But to hirself she spak, and seyde thus,
645With face pale and with ful sorweful cheere,
In hire compleynt, as ye shal after heere.
       "Allas!" quod she, "on thee, Fortune, I pleyne,
That unwar wrapped hast me in thy cheyne;
For which t'escape woot I no socour
650Save oonly deeth or elles dishonour;
Oon of thise two bihoveth me to chese.
But nathelees, yet have I levere to lese
My lif, thanne of my body have a shame,
Or knowe myselven fals or lese my name,
655And with my deth I may be quyt, ywis;
Hath ther nat many a noble wyf er this
And many a mayde yslayn hirself, allas,
Rather than with hir body doon trespas?
       He took his leave, and she astounded stood,
In all her face there was no drop of blood;
She never thought to have come in such a trap.
"Alas!" said she, "that ever this should hap!
635For thought I never, by possibility,
That such prodigious marvel e'er might be!
It is against the way of all nature."
And home she went, a sorrowful creature.
For utter terror hardly could she go,
640She wept, she wailed throughout a day or so,
And swooned so much 'twas pitiful, to see;
But why this was to not a soul told she;
For out of town was gone Arviragus.
But to her own heart spoke she, and said thus,
645With her face pale and with a heavy cheer,
All her complaint, as you'll hereafter hear:
       "Of thee," she said, "O Fortune, I complain,
That, unaware, I'm bound within thy chain;
From which to go, I know of no succour
650Except only death, or else my dishonour;
One of these two I am compelled to choose.
Nevertheless, I would far rather lose
My life than of my body come to shame,
Or know myself untrue, or lose my name;
655By death I know it well, I may be freed;
Has there not many a noble wife, indeed,
And many a maiden slain herself - alas! -
Rather than with her body do trespass?




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From The Franklin's Tale, lines 659-670:
An example about Phido's daughters who have committed suicide
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