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From The Miller's Tale, lines 231-288:
Absalom's affection for Alison
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From The Canterbury Tales:
The Miller's Tale
lines 289-330: Nicolas locks himself up


      Now ber thee wel, thou hende Nicholas,
290For Absolon may waille and synge 'allas.'
And so bifel it on a Saturday,
This carpenter was goon til Osenay;
And hende Nicholas and Alison
Acorded been to this conclusioun,
295That Nicholas shal shapen hym a wyle
This sely jalous housbonde to bigyle;
And if so be the game wente aright,
She sholde slepen in his arm al nyght,
For this was his desir and hire also.
300And right anon, withouten wordes mo,
This Nicholas no lenger wolde tarie,
But dooth ful softe unto his chambre carie
Bothe mete and drynke for a day or tweye,
And to hire housbonde bad hire for to seye,
305If that he axed after Nicholas,
She sholde seye she nyste where he was,
Of al that day she saugh hym nat with ye;
She trowed that he was in maladye,
For for no cry hir mayde koude hym calle,
310He nolde answere for thyng that myghte falle.
      This passeth forth al thilke Saterday,
That Nicholas stille in his chambre lay,
And eet and sleep, or dide what hym leste,
Til Sonday, that the sonne gooth to reste.
315This sely carpenter hath greet merveyle
Of Nicholas, or what thyng myghte hym eyle,
And seyde, "I am adrad, by Seint Thomas,
It stondeth nat aright with Nicholas.
God shilde that he deyde sodeynly!
320This world is now ful tikel, sikerly.
I saugh today a cors yborn to chirche
That now, on Monday last, I saugh hym wirche.
      'Go up,' quod he unto his knave anoon,
"Clepe at his dore, or knokke with a stoon.
325Looke how it is, and tel me boldely."
      This knave gooth hym up ful sturdily,
And at the chambre dore whil that he stood,
He cride and knokked as that he were wood,
"What! how! what do ye, maister Nicholay?
330How may ye slepen al the longe day?"
      Now bear you well, you clever Nicholas!
290For Absalom may wail and sing "Alas!"
And so it chanced that on a Saturday
This carpenter departed to Osney;
And clever Nicholas and Alison
Were well agreed to this effect: anon
295This Nicholas should put in play a wile
The simple, jealous husband to beguile;
And if it chanced the game should go a-right,
She was to sleep within his arms all night,
For this was his desire, and hers also.
300Presently then, and without more ado,
This Nicholas, no longer did he tarry,
But softly to his chamber did he carry
Both food and drink to last at least a day,
Saying that to her husband she should say -
305If he should come to ask for Nicholas -
Why, she should say she knew not where he was,
For all day she'd not seen him, far or nigh;
She thought he must have got some malady,
Because in vain her maid would knock and call;
310He'd answer not, whatever might befall.
      And so it was that all that Saturday
This Nicholas quietly in chamber lay,
And ate and slept, or did what pleased him best,
Till Sunday when the sun had gone to rest.
315This simple man with wonder heard the tale,
And marvelled what their Nicholas might ail,
And said: "I am afraid, by Saint Thomas,
That everything's not well with Nicholas.
God send he be not dead so suddenly!
320This world is most unstable, certainly;
I saw, today, the corpse being carried to church
Of one who, but last Monday, was at work.
Go up," said he unto his boy anon,
"Call at his door, or knock there with a stone,
325Learn how it is and boldly come tell me."
The servant went up, then, right sturdily,
And at the chamber door, the while he stood,
He cried and knocked as any madman would -
"What! How! What do you, Master Nicholay?
330How can you sleep through all the livelong day?"



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From The Miller's Tale, lines 331-387:
John finds and questions Nicolas
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