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From The Man of Law's Tale, lines 218-245:
The legal difficulties of marriage
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From The Canterbury Tales:
The Man of Law's Tale
lines 246-266: The preparation of the marriage


       Now wolde som men waiten, as I gesse,
That I sholde tellen al the purveiance
That th'Emperour, of his grete noblesse,
Hath shapen for his doghter dame Custance;
250Wel may men knowen that so greet ordinance
May no man tellen in a litel clause
As was arrayed for so heigh a cause.
       Now would some men expect, as I may guess,
That I should tell of all the purveyance
The emperor, of his great nobleness,
Has destined for his daughter, fair Constance.
250But men must know that so great ordinance
May no one tell within a little clause
As was arrayed there for so high a cause.

Bisshopes been shapen with hir for to wende,
Lordes, ladies, knyghtes of renoun,
255And oother folk ynogh, this is th'ende,
And notified is, thurghout the toun,
That every wight with greet devocioun
Sholde preyen Crist, that he this mariage
Receyve in gree, and spede this viage.
Bishops were named who were with her to wend,
Ladies and lords and knights of high renown,
255And other folk- but I will make an end,
Except that it was ordered through the town
That everyone, with great devotion shown,
Should pray to Christ that he this marriage lead
To happy end, and the long voyage speed.

260        The day is comen of hir departynge,
I seye, the woful day fatal is come,
That ther may be no lenger tariynge,
But forthward they hem dressen, alle and some.
Custance, that was with sorwe al overcome,
265Ful pale arist, and dresseth hir to wende,
For wel she seeth ther is noon oother ende.
260       The day is come, at last, for leave-taking,
I say, the woeful, fatal day is come,
When there may be no longer tarrying,
But to go forth make ready all and some;
Constance, who was with sorrow overcome,
265Rose, sad and pale, and dressed herself to wend;
For well she saw there was no other end.





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From The Man of Law's Tale, lines 267-315:
Constance's pity and woe
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