Previous Previous:
From The Man of Law's Tale, lines 862-875:
Constance and her son are victually embarked and pushed into the sea
Previous
Librarius Homepage
© Librarius
All rights reserved.



From The Canterbury Tales:
The Man of Law's Tale
lines 876-896: King Alla returns home, learns about the treason of his mother
and consequently executes his mother



Sequitur pars tercia
(Here begins the third part)

       Alla the kyng comth hoom, soone after this,
Unto his castel of the which I tolde,
And asketh where his wyf and his child is.
The constable gan aboute his herte colde,
880And pleynly al the manere he hym tolde,
As ye han herd - I kan telle it no bettre -
And sheweth the kyng his seel and eek his lettre,
       Alla the king came home soon after this
Unto his castle, of the which I've told,
And asked for wife and child, whom he did miss.
The constable about his heart grew cold,
880And plainly all the story he then told,
As you have heard, I cannot tell it better,
And showed the king his seal and the false letter.

And seyde, "Lord, as ye comanded me,
Up peyne of deeth, so have I doon, certein."
885This messager tormented was til he
Moste biknowe, and tellen plat and pleyn
Fro nyght to nyght in what place he had leyn,
And thus, by wit and sotil enquerynge,
Ymagined was, by whom this harm gan sprynge.
And said, "My lord, as you commanded me,
On pain of death, so have I done- in vain!"
885The messenger was tortured until he
Made known the facts to all men, full and plain,
From night to night, in what beds he had lain.
And thus, by dint of subtle questioning,
'Twas reasoned out from whom this harm did spring.

890        The hand was knowe that the lettre wroot,
And al the venym of this cursed dede,
But in what wise certeinly I noot.
Th'effect is this, that Alla, out of drede,
His mooder slow - that may men pleynly rede -
895For that she traitoure was to hir ligeance,
Thus endeth olde Donegild, with meschance!
890       The hand was known, now, that the letter wrote,
And all the venom of this cursed deed,
But in what wise I certainly know not,
The effect is this, that Alla, for her meed,
His mother slew, as men may plainly read,
895She being false to her sworn allegiance,
And thus old Donegild ended with mischance.





Next Next:
From The Man of Law's Tale, lines 897-910:
Meanwhile, Constance drifts at sea for five years before she reaches land
Next