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From The Knight's Tale, lines 2129-2168:
Theseus speaks to Palamon and Emily about the Creation of the world
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From The Canterbury Tales:
The Knight's Tale
lines 2169-2208: The power of God


      Of man and womman seen we wel also,
2170That nedeth, in oon of thise termes two -
This is to seyn, in youthe or elles age -
He moot be deed, the kyng as shal a page.
Som in his bed, som in the depe see,
Som in the large feeld, as men may se;
2175Ther helpeth noght, al goth that ilke weye,
Thanne may I seyn that al this thyng moot deye.
      Of man and woman just the same is true:
2170Needs must, in either season of the two,
That is to say, in youth or else in age,
All men perish, the king as well as page;
Some in their bed, and some in the deep sea,
And some in the wide field- as it may be;
2175There's naught will help; all go the same way. Aye,
Then may I say that everything must die.
      What maketh this, but Juppiter the kyng,
That is prince and cause of alle thyng
Convertynge al unto his propre welle
2180From which it is deryved, sooth to telle,
And heer-agayns no creature on lyve
Of no degree availleth for to stryve.
      Who causes this but Jupiter the King?
He is the Prince and Cause of everything,
Converting all back to that primal well
2180From which it was derived, 'tis sooth to tell.
And against this, for every thing alive,
Of any state, avalls it not to strive.
      Thanne is it wysdom, as it thynketh me,
To maken vertu of necessitee,
2185And take it weel, that we may nat eschue;
And namely, that to us alle is due.
And who so gruccheth ought, he dooth folye,
And rebel is to hym that al may gye.
And certeinly, a man hath moost honour
2190To dyen in his excellence and flour,
Whan he is siker of his goode name,
Thanne hath he doon his freend ne hym no shame.
And gladder oghte his freend been of his deeth,
Whan with honour up yolden in his breeth,
2195Than whan his name apalled is for age;
For al forgeten is his vassellage.
Thanne is it best as for a worthy fame,
To dyen whan that he is best of name.
      The contrarie of al this is wilfulnesse:
2200Why grucchen we, why have we hevynesse,
That goode Arcite, of chivalrie flour,
Departed is with duetee and honour
Out of this foule prisoun of this lyf?
Why grucchen heere his cosyn and his wyf
2205Of his welfare, that loved hem so weel?
Kan he hem thank? Nay, God woot never a deel,
That bothe his soule and eek hemself offende,
And yet they mowe hir lustes nat amende.
      Then is it wisdom, as it seems to me,
To make a virtue of necessity,
2185And calmly take what we may not eschew,
And specially that which to all is due.
Whoso would balk at aught, he does folly,
And thus rebels against His potency.
And certainly a man has most honour
2190In dying in his excellence and flower,
When he is certain of his high good name;
For then he gives to friend, and self, no shame.
And gladder ought a friend be of his death
When, in much honour, he yields up his breath,
2195Than when his name's grown feeble with old age;
For all forgotten, then, is his courage.
Hence it is best for all of noble name
To die when at the summit of their fame.
      The contrary of this is wilfulness.
2200Why do we grumble? Why have heaviness
That good Arcita, chivalry's fair flower,
Is gone, with honour, in his best-lived hour.
Out of the filthy prison of this life?
Why grumble here his cousin and his wife
2205About his welfare, who loved them so well?
Can he thank them? Nay, God knows, not! Nor tell
How they his soul and their own selves offend,
Though yet they may not their desires amend.




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From The Knight's Tale, lines 2209-2250:
The marriage of Palamon and Emily
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