Previous Previous:
From The Merchant's Tale, lines 1142-1155:
January's power of vision is restored and he rages by what he sees
Previous
Librarius Homepage
© Librarius
All rights reserved.



From The Canterbury Tales:
The Merchant's Tale
lines 1156-1199: Maia denies and says January claims delusion caused by his medicine


       And she answerde, "Sire, what eyleth yow?
Have pacience and resoun in youre mynde!
I have yow holpe on bothe youre eyen blynde.
Up peril of my soule, I shal nat lyen,
1160As me was taught, to heele with youre eyen,
Was no thyng bet, to make yow to see,
Than strugle with a man upon a tree.
God woot, I dide it in ful good entente".
       "Strugle?" quod he, "ye algate in it wente!
1165God yeve yow bothe on shames deth to dyen!
He swyved thee, I saugh it with myne yen,
And elles be I hanged by the hals!"
       And she replied: "Why, sir, and what ails you?
Have patience, and do reason in your mind
That I have helped you for your two eyes blind.
On peril of my soul, I tell no lies,
1160But I was taught that to recover eyes
Was nothing better, so to make you see,
Than struggle with a man up in a tree.
God knows I did it with a good intent."
       "Struggle!" cried he, "but lady, in it went!
1165God give you both a shameful death to die!
He screwed you, for I saw it with my eye,
Or may they hang me by the neck up, else!"
       "Thanne is," quod she, "my medicyne fals;
For certeinly, if that ye myghte se.
1170Ye wolde nat seyn thise wordes unto me.
Ye han som glymsyng, and no parfit sighte."
       "I se," quod he, "as wel as evere I myghte,
Thonked be god! with bothe myne eyen two,
And by my trouthe, me thoughte he dide thee so."
1175       "Ye maze, maze, goode sire," quod she;
"This thank have I for I have maad yow see.
Allas," quod she, "that evere I was so kynde!
       "Now, dame," quod he, "lat al passe out of mynde.
Com doun, my lief, and if I have myssayd,
1180God helpe me so, as I am yvele apayd.
But, by my fader soule, I wende han seyn
How that this Damyan hadde by thee leyn,
And that thy smok hadde leyn upon his brest.
       "Ye sire," quod she, "ye may wene as yow lest.
1185But, sire, a man that waketh out of his sleep,
He may nat sodeynly wel taken keep
Upon a thyng, ne seen it parfitly,
Til that he be adawed verraily.
Right so a man that longe hath blynd ybe,
1190Ne may nat sodeynly so wel yse,
First whan his sighte is newe come ageyn,
As he that hath a day or two yseyn.
Til that youre sighte ysatled be a while,
Ther may ful many a sighte yow bigile.
1195Beth war, I prey yow; for, by hevene kyng,
Ful many a man weneth to seen a thyng,
And it is al another than it semeth.
He that mysconceyveth, he mysdemeth."
And with that word she leep doun fro the tree,
       "Then is," said she, "my medicine all false;
For certainly, if you could really see,
1170You would not say these cruel words to me;
You catch but glimpses and no perfect sight."
       "I see," said he, "as well as ever I might -
Thanks be to God!- and with my two eyes, too,
And truth, I thought he did that thing to you."
1175       "You are bewildered still, good sir," said she,
"Such thanks I have for causing you to see;
Alas!" she cried, "that ever I was so kind!"
       "Now, dame," said he, "put all this out of mind.
Come down, my dear, and if I have missaid,
1180God help me if I'm not put out indeed.
But by my father's soul, I thought to have seen
How Damian right over you did lean
And that your smock was pulled up to his breast."
       "Yes, sir," said she, "you may think as seems best;
1185But, sir, a man that wakens out of sleep,
He cannot suddenly take note and keep
Of any thing, or see it perfectly,
Until he has recovered verily;
Just so a man that blinded long has been,
1190He cannot say that suddenly he's seen
So well, at first, when sight is new to him,
As later, when his sight's no longer dim.
Until your sight be settled for a while,
There may full many a thing your mind beguile.
1195Beware, I pray you, for, by heaven's king,
Full many a man thinks that he sees a thing,
And it is other quite than what it seems.
And he that misconstrues, why, he misdeems."
And with that word she leaped down from the tree.




Next Next:
From The Merchant's Tale, lines 1200-1206:
January is physically healed but still mentally blind
Next