Previous Previous:
From The Man of Law's Tale, lines 778-784:
About the king's mother's badness
Previous
Librarius Homepage
© Librarius
All rights reserved.



From The Canterbury Tales:
The Man of Law's Tale
lines 785-805: The king's return letter is falsified


785        This messager comth fro the kyng agayn,
And at the kynges moodres court he lighte
And she was of this messager ful fayn,
And plesed hym in al that ever she myghte.
He drank, and wel his girdel underpighte.
790He slepeth, and he fnorteth in his gyse
Al nyght until the sonne gan aryse.
785       This messenger came from the king again,
And at the king's old mother's court did light,
And she was of this messenger full fain
To please him in whatever way she might.
He drank until his girdle was too tight,
790He slept and snored and mumbled, drunken-wise,
All night, until the sun began to rise.

Eft were hise lettres stolen everychon
And countrefeted lettres in this wyse,
"The king comandeth his constable anon
795Up peyne of hangyng and on heigh juyse
That he ne sholde suffren in no wyse
Custance inwith his reawme for t'abyde,
Thre dayes and o quarter of a tyde.
Again were his letters stolen, every one,
And others counterfeited, in this wise:
"The king commands his constable, anon,
795On pain of hanging by the high justice,
That he shall suffer not, in any guise,
Constance within the kingdom to abide
Beyond three days and quarter of a tide.

But in the same ship as he hir fond,
800Hire, and hir yonge sone, and al hir geere,
He sholde putte, and croude hir fro the lond,
And chargen hir she never eft coome theere."
O my Custance, wel may thy goost have fere,
And slepynge in thy dreem been in penance,
805Whan Donegild cast al this ordinance.
But in the ship wherein she came to strand
800She and her infant son and all her gear
Shall be embarked and pushed out from the land,
And charge her that she never again come here."
O Constance mine, well might your spirit fear,
And, sleeping, in your dream have great grievance
805When Donegild arranged this ordinance.





Next Next:
From The Man of Law's Tale, lines 806-840:
The messenger returns to the king's court
Next