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From The Man of Law's Tale, lines 386-406:
Constance arrives in Syria
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From The Canterbury Tales:
The Man of Law's Tale
lines 407-441: The execution of the conspiracy


       The Sowdan comth hymself soone after this
So roially, that wonder is to telle,
And welcometh hir with alle joye and blis,
410And thus in murthe and joye I lete hem dwelle-
The fruyt of this matiere is that I telle.-
Whan tyme cam, men thoughte it for the beste,
The revel stynte, and men goon to hir reste.
       The sultan came himself, soon after this,
So regally 'twere wonderful to tell,
And welcomed her into all joy and bliss.
410And thus in such delight I let them dwell.
The fruit of all is what I now shall tell.
When came the time, men thought it for the best
Their revels cease, and got them home to rest.

       The tyme cam, this olde Sowdanesse
415Ordeyned hath this feeste of which I tolde,
And to the feeste Cristen folk hem dresse
In general, ye, bothe yonge and olde.
Heere may men feeste and roialtee biholde,
And deyntees mo than I kan yow devyse;
420But al to deere they boghte it er they ryse!
       The time came when this old sultana there
415Has ordered up the feast of which I told,
Whereto the Christian folk did them prepare,
The company together, young and old.
There men might feast and royalty behold,
With dainties more than I can e'en surmise;
420But all too dear they've bought it, ere they rise.

       O sodeyn wo, that evere art successour
To worldly blisse, spreynd with bitternesse!
The ende of the joye of oure worldly labour!
Wo occupieth the fyn of oure gladnesse!
425Herke this conseil for thy sikernesse,
Upon thy galde day have in thy minde
The unwar wo or harm that comth bihynde.
       O sudden woe! that ever will succeed
On worldly bliss, infused with bitterness;
That ends the joy of earthly toil, indeed;
425Woe holds at last the place of our gladness.
Hear, now, this counsel for your certainness:
Upon your most glad day, bear then in mind
The unknown harm and woe that come behind.

For shortly for to tellen at o word,
The Sowdan and the Cristen everichone
430Been al tohewe and stiked at the bord,
But it were oonly dame Custance allone.
This olde Sowdanesse, cursed krone,
Hath with hir freendes doon this cursed dede,
For she hirself wolde all the contree lede.
For, but to tell you briefly, in one word-
The sultan and the Christians, every one,
430Were all hewed down and thrust through at the board,
Save the fair Lady Constance, she alone.
This old sultana, aye, this cursed crone
Has, with her followers, done this wicked deed,
For she herself would all the nation lead.

435Ne was ther Surryen noon, that was converted,
That of the conseil of the Sowdan woot,
That he nas al tohewe er he asterted.
And Custance han they take anon foot-hoot
And in a ship all steerelees, God woot,
440They han hir set, and biddeth hir lerne saille
Out of Surrye agaynward to Ytaille.
435There was no Syrian that had been converted,
Being of the sultan's council resolute,
But was struck down, before from the board he'd started
And Constance have they taken now, hot-foot,
And on a ship, of rudder destitute,
440They her have placed, bidding her learn to sail
From Syria to Italy- or fail.





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From The Man of Law's Tale, lines 442-469:
Constance drifts across the sea
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