Previous Previous:
From The Franklin's Tale, lines 791-805:
Dorigen meets Aurelius and says she has come to fulfil her promise
Previous
Librarius Homepage
© Librarius
All rights reserved.



From The Canterbury Tales:
The Franklin's Tale
lines 806-836: Aurelius discharges Dorigen


       Aurelius gan wondren on this cas,
And in his herte hadde greet compassioun
Of hir and of hir lamentacioun,
And of Arveragus, the worthy knyght,
810That bad hire holden al that she had hight,
So looth hym was his wyf sholde breke hir trouthe;
And in his herte he caughte of this greet routhe,
Considerynge the beste on every syde
That fro his lust yet were hym levere abyde
815Than doon so heigh a cherlyssh wrecchednesse
Agayns franchise and alle gentillesse;
For which in fewe wordes seyde he thus:
       Aurelius then pondered on this case,
And in his heart he had compassion great
On her and her lamenting and her state,
And on Arviragus, the noble knight,
810Who'd bidden her keep promise, as she might,
Being so loath his wife should break with truth;
And in his heart he gained, from this, great ruth,
Considering the best on every side,
That from possession rather he'd abide
815Than do so great a churlish grievousness
Against free hearts and all high nobleness;
For which, and in few words, he told her thus:
       "Madame, seyeth to your lord Arveragus,
That sith I se his grete gentillesse
820To yow, and eek I se wel youre distresse,
That him were levere han shame - and that were routhe -
Than ye to me sholde breke thus youre trouthe,
I have wel levere evere to suffre wo
Than I departe the love bitwix yow two.
825I yow relesse, madame, into youre hond
Quyt every surement and every bond,
That ye han maad to me as heer biforn,
Sith thilke tyme which that ye were born.
My trouthe I plighte, I shal yow never repreve
830Of no biheste, and heere I take my leve,
As of the treweste and the beste wyf
That evere yet I knew in al my lyf."
But every wyf be war of hir biheeste,
On Dorigen remembreth atte leeste!
835Thus kan a squier doon a gentil dede
As wel as kan a knyght, with outen drede.
       "Madam, say to your lord Arviragus
That since I see his noble gentleness
820To you, and since I see well your distress,
That he'd have rather shame - and that were ruth -
Than you to me should break your word of truth,
I would myself far rather suffer woe
Than break apart the love between you two.
825So I release, madam, into your hand,
And do return, discharged, each surety and
Each bond that you have given and have sworn,
Even from the very time that you were born.
My word I pledge, I'll never seek to retrieve
830A single promise, and I take my leave
As of the truest and of the best wife
That ever yet I've known in all my life.
Let every wife of promises take care,
Remember Dorigen, and so beware!
835Thus can a squire perform a gentle deed
As well as can a knight, of that take heed."




Next Next:
From The Franklin's Tale, lines 837-848:
A happy end for Dorigen and Arviragus
Next