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From The Merchant's Tale, lines 55-98:
About the pros of marriage
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From The Canterbury Tales:
The Merchant's Tale
lines 99-124: God made Adam a wife


       A wyf is Goddes yifte verraily;
100Alle othere manere yiftes hardily,
As londes, rentes, pasture, or commune,
Or moebles, alle been yiftes of fortune,
That passen as a shadwe upon a wal.
But drede nat, if pleynly speke I shal,
105A wyf wol laste, and thyn hous endure,
Wel lenger than thee list, paraventure.
       A wife is God's own gift, yes truly;
100All other kinds of gifts, most certainly,
As lands, rents, pasture, rights in common land,
Or moveables, in gift of Fortune stand,
And pass away like shadows on the wall.
But, without doubt, if plainly speak I shall,
105A wife will last, and in your house endure
Longer than you would like, peradventure.
       Mariage is a ful greet sacrement.
He which that hath no wyf, I holde hym shent;
He lyveth helplees and al desolat, --
110I speke of folk in seculer estaat.
And herke why, I sey nat this for noght,
That womman is for mannes helpe ywroght.
The hye God, whan he hadde Adam maked,
And saugh him al allone, bely-naked,
115God of his grete goodnesse syde than,
"Lat us now make an helpe unto this man
Lyk to hymself"; and thanne he made him Eve.
Heere may ye se, and heerby may ye preve,
That wyf is mannes helpe and his confort,
120His paradys terrestre, and his disport.
So buxom and so vertuous is she,
They moste nedes lyve in unitee.
O flessh they been, and o fleesh, as I gesse,
Hath but oon herte, in wele and in distresse.
       But marriage is a solemn sacrament;
Who has no wife I hold on ruin bent;
He lives in helplessness, all desolate,
110I speak of folk in secular estate.
And listen why, I say not this for naught:
It's because woman was for man's help wrought.
The High God, when He'd Adam made, all rude,
And saw him so alone and belly-nude,
115God of His goodness thus to speak began:
"Let us now make a help meet for this man,
Like to himself." And then he made him Eve.
Here may you see, and here prove, I believe,
A wife is a man's help and his comfort,
120His earthly paradise and means of sport;
So docile and so virtuous is she
That they must needs live in all harmony.
One flesh they are, and one flesh, as I guess,
Has but one heart in weal and in distress.




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From The Merchant's Tale, lines 125-149:
Men should thank God for their wives
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