Librarius Homepage
© Librarius
All rights reserved.

From The Canterbury Tales:
The Merchant's Prologue
lines 1-20: The merchant comments on the clerk's tale

       "Wepyng and waylyng, care and oother sorwe
I knowe ynogh, on even and a-morwe,"
Quod the marchant, "and so doon other mo
That wedded been. I trowe that it be so,
5For wel I woot it fareth so with me.
I have a wyf, the worste that may be;
For thogh the feend to hire ycoupled were,
She sholde hym overmacche, I dar wel swere.
What sholde I yow reherce in special
10Hir hye malice? She is a shrewe at al.
Ther is a long and large difference
Bitwix Grisildis grete pacience
And of my wyf the passyng crueltee.
Were I unbounden, also moot I thee!
15I wolde nevere eft comen in the snare.
We wedded men lyven in sorwe and care.
Assaye whoso wole, and he shal fynde
That I seye sooth, by Seint Thomas of Ynde,
As for the moore part - I sey nat alle.
20God shilde that it sholde so bifalle!
       "Of weeping and wailing, care and other sorrow
I know enough, at eventide and morrow,"
The merchant said, "and so do many more
Of married folk, I think, who this deplore,
5For well I know that it is so with me.
I have a wife, the worst one that can be;
For though the foul Fiend to her wedded were,
She'd overmatch him, this I dare to swear.
How could I tell you anything special
10Of her great malice? She is shrew in all.
There is a long and a large difference
Between Griselda's good and great patience
And my wife's more than common cruelty.
Were I unbound, as may I prosperous be!
15I'd never another time fall in the snare.
We wedded men in sorrow live, and care;
Try it who will, and he shall truly find
I tell the truth, by Saint Thomas of Ind,
As for the greater part, I say not all.
20Nay, God forbid that it should so befall!

Next Next:
From The Merchant's Prologue, lines 21-32:
The merchant offers to tell a tale and the host gladly accepts the mechant's offer