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From The Man of Law's Tale, lines 582-602:
Another conspiracy
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From The Canterbury Tales:
The Man of Law's Tale
lines 603-630: Constance is accused, but not yet convicted


       Soone after cometh this constable hoom agayn,
And eek Alla, that kyng was of that lond,
605And saugh his wyf despitously yslayn,
For which ful ofte he weep and wroong his hond,
And in the bed the blody knyf he fond
By Dame Custance; allas, what myghte she seye?
For verray wo hir wit was al aweye!
       Soon after came the warden home again,
And with him Alla, king of all that land,
605And saw his wife so pitilessly slain,
For which he wept and cried and wrung his hand;
And in the bed the bloody dagger, and
The Lady Constance. Ah! What could she say?
For very woe her wits went all away.

610        To kyng Alla was toold al this meschance,
And eek the tyme, and where, and in what wise
That in a ship was founden dame Custance,
As heer-biforn that ye han herd devyse.
The kynges herte of pitee gan agryse,
615Whan he saugh so benigne a creature
Falle in disese and in mysaventure.
610       King Alla was apprised of this sad chance,
And told the time, and where, and in what wise
Was found in a wrecked ship the fair Constance,
As heretofore you've heard my tale apprise.
But in the king's heart pity did arise
615When he saw so benignant a creature
Fallen in distress of such misadventure.

       For as the lomb toward his deeth is broght,
So stant this innocent bifore the kyng.
This false knyght, that hath this tresoun wroght,
620Berth hir on hond that she hath doon thys thyng,
But nathelees, ther was greet moornyng
Among the peple, and seyn, they kan nat gesse
That she had doon so greet a wikkednesse;
       For as the lamb unto his death is brought,
So stood this innocent before the king;
And the false knight that had this treason wrought,
620He swore that it was she had done this thing.
Nevertheless, there was much sorrowing
Among the people, saying, "We cannot gues
That she has done so great a wickedness.

For they han seyn hir evere so vertuous,
625And lovyng Hermengyld right as hir lyf:
Of this baar witnesse everich in that hous
Save he that Hermengyld slow with his knyf.
This gentil kyng hath caught a greet motyf
Of this witnesse, and thoghte he wolde enquere
630Depper in this, a trouthe for to lere.
For we have seen her always virtuous,
625And loving Hermengild as she loved life."
To this bore witness each one in that house,
Except that he that slew the victim with his knife.
The gentle king suspected motive rife
In that man's heart; and thought he would inquire
630Deeper therein, the truth to learn entire.





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From The Man of Law's Tale, lines 631-658:
Constance pleads "not guilty"
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