Previous Previous:
From The Merchant's Prologue, lines 21-32:
The merchant offers to tell a tale and the host gladly accepts the mechant's offer
Librarius Homepage
© Librarius
All rights reserved.

From The Canterbury Tales:
The Merchant's Tale
lines 33-54: About an old knight who wants to marry

Heere bigynneth the Marchantes Tale

       Whilom ther was dwellynge in Lumbardye
A worthy knyght, that born was of Pavye,
35In which he lyved in greet prosperitee;
And sixty yeer a wyflees man was hee,
And folwed ay his bodily delyt
On wommen, ther as was his appetyt,
As doon thise fooles that been seculeer.
40And whan that he was passed sixty yeer,
Were it for hoolynesse or for dotage,
I kan nat seye, but swich a greet corage
Hadde this knyght to been a wedded man
That day and nyght he dooth al that he kan
45T'espien where he myghte wedded be,
Preyinge oure lord to graunten him that he
Mighte ones knowe of thilke blisful lyf
That is bitwixe an housbonde and his wyf,
And for to lyve under that hooly boond
50With which that first God man and womman bond.
"Noon oother lyf," seyde he, "is worth a bene;
For wedlok is so esy and so clene,
That in this world it is paradys."
Thus seyde this olde knyght, that was so wys.
       Once on a time there dwelt in Lombardy
A worthy knight, born in Pavia,
35And there he lived in great prosperity;
And sixty years a wifeless man was he,
And followed ever his bodily delight
In women, whereof was his appetite,
As these fool laymen will, so it appears.
40And when he had so passed his sixty years,
Were it for piety or for dotage
I cannot say, but such a rapturous rage
Had this knight to become a married man
That day and night he did his best to scan
45And spy a place where he might married be;
Praying Our Lord to grant to him that he
Might once know something of that blissful life
That is between a husband and his wife;
And so to live within that holy band
50Wherein God first made man and woman stand.
"No other life," said he, "is worth a bean;
For marriage is so easy and so clean
That in this world it is a paradise."
Thus said this ancient knight, who was so wise.

Next Next:
From The Merchant's Tale, lines 55-98:
About the pros of marriage