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From The Merchant's Tale, lines 694-719:
January orders Maia to cheer up Damian
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From The Canterbury Tales:
The Merchant's Tale
lines 720-742: Damian stealthly passes the letter to Maia


720        This fresshe May hath streight hir wey yholde,
With alle hir wommen, unto Damyan.
Doun by his beddes syde sit she than,
Confortynge hym as goodly as she may.
This Damyan, whan that his tyme he say,
725In secree wise his purs and eek his bille,
In which that he ywriten hadde his wille,
Hath put into hire hand, withouten moore,
Save that he siketh wonder depe and soore
And softely to hire right thus seyde he:
730"Mercy! and that ye nat discovere me,
For I am deed if that this thyng be kyd."
This purs hath she inwith hir bosom hyd,
And wente hire wey; ye gete namoore of me.
But unto Januarie ycomen is she,
735That on his beddes syde sit ful softe.
He taketh hire, and kisseth hire ful ofte,
And leyde hym doun to slepe, and that anon.
She feyned hire as that she moste gon
Ther as ye woot that every wight moot neede;
740And whan she of this bille hath taken heede,
She rente it al to cloutes atte laste,
And in the pryvee softely it caste.
720       This lovely May then did her straight way hold,
With all her women, unto Damian.
Down by his bed she sat, and so began
To comfort him with kindly word and glance.
This Damian, when once he'd found his chance,
725In secret wise his purse and letter, too,
Wherein he'd said what he aspired to,
He put into her hand, with nothing more,
Save that he heaved a sigh both deep and sore,
And softly to her in this wise said he:
730"Oh, mercy! Don't, I beg you, tell on me;
For I'm but dead if this thing be made known."
This purse she hid in bosom of her gown
And went her way; you get no more of me.
But unto January then came she,
735Who on his bedside sat in mood full soft.
He took her in his arms and kissed her oft,
And laid him down to sleep, and that anon.
And she pretended that she must be gone
Where you know well that everyone has need.
740And when she of this note had taken heed,
She tore it all to fragments at the last
And down the privy quietly it cast.




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From The Merchant's Tale, lines 743-754:
Maia obeys January
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