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From The Parson's Tale, paragraph 83:
The remedy against the sin of Lechery: chastity and continence
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From The Canterbury Tales:
The Parson's Tale
Paragraph 84-86
About marriage and how a woman should be subject to her husband

§ 84       First, for mariage is figured bitwixe Crist and holy chirche. And that oother is for a man is heved of a womman; algate, by ordinaunce it sholde be so. For if a womman hadde mo men that oon, thanne sholde she have moo hevedes than oon, and that were an horrible thyng biforn God; and eek a womman ne myghte nat plese to many folk at oones. And also ther ne sholde nevere be pees ne reste amonges hem; for everich wolde axen his owene thyng. And forther over, no man ne sholde knowe his owene engendrure, ne who sholde have his heritage; and the womman sholde been the lasse biloved fro the tyme that she were conjoynt to many men. § 84        First, because marriage is symbolized between Christ and holy church. And that other is for a man is head of a woman; at any rate, properly it should be so. For if a woman had mo men than one, then should she have more heads than one, and that were an horrible thing before God; and also a woman could not please too many people at once. And also there should never be peace nor rest among them, for every one would ask his own thing. And furthermore, no man should know his own engendering, nor who should have his heritage; and the woman should be the less beloved from the time that she was joined to many men.
§ 85       Now comth how that a man sholde bere hym with his wif, and namely in two thynges, that is to seyn, in suffraunce and reverence, as shewed Crist whan he made first womman. For he ne made hire nat of the heved of Adam, for she sholde nat clayme to greet lordshipe. For ther as the womman hath the maistrie, she maketh to muche desray. Ther neden none ensamples of this; the experience of day by day oghte suffise. Also, certes, God ne made nat womman of the foot of Adam, for she ne sholde nat been holden to lowe; for she kan nat paciently suffre. But God made womman of the ryb of Adam, for womman sholde be felawe unto man. Man sholde bere hym to his wyf in feith, in trouthe, and in love, as seith Seint Paul, that a man sholde loven his wyf as Crist loved hooly chirche, that loved it so wel that he deyde for it. So sholde a man for his wyf, if it were nede. § 85        Now comes how that a man should conduct himself with his wife, and namely in two things; that is to say, in patience and reverence, as showed Christ when he made first woman. For he made her not of the head of Adam, for she should not claim too great lordship. For where the woman has the mastery, she makes too much disorder. There needs no examples of this; the experience of day by day ought suffice. Also, certainly, God made not woman of the foot of Adam, for she should not be considered too low; for she can not patiently suffer. But God made woman of the rib of Adam, for woman should be fellow unto man. Man should conduct himself to his wife in faith, in truth, and in love, as says Saint Paul, that a man should love his wife as Christ loved holy church, who loved it so well that he died for it. So should a man for his wife, if it were needed.
§ 86       Now how that a womman sholde be subget to hire housbonde, that telleth Seint Peter. First, in obedience. And eek as seith the decree, a womman that is wyf, as longe as she is a wyf, she hath noon auctoritee to swere ne to bere witnesse withoute leve of hir housbonde, that is hire lord; algate, he sholde be so by resoun. She sholde eek serven hym in alle honestee, and been attempree of hire array. I woot wel that they sholde setten hire entente to plesen hir housbondes, but nat by hire queyntise of array. Seint Jerome seith that "wyves that been apparailled in silk and in precious purpre ne mowe nat clothen hem in Jhesu Crist." Loke what seith Seint John eek in thys matere? Seint Gregorie eek seith that "no wight seketh precious array but oonly for veyne glorie, to been honoured the moore biforn the peple. It is a greet folye, a womman to have a fair array outward and in hirself be foul inward. A wyf sholde eek be mesurable in lookynge and in berynge and in lawghynge, and discreet in alle hire wordes and hire dedes. And aboven alle worldy thyng she sholde loven hire houbonde with al hire herte, and to hym be trewe of hir body. So sholde an housbonde eek be to his wyf. For sith that al the body is the housbondes, so sholde hire herte been, or elles ther is bitwixe hem two, as in that, no parfit mariage. Thanne shal men understonde that for thre thynges a man and his wyf flesshly mowen assemble. The firste is in entente of engendrure of children to the service of God; for certes that is the cause final of matrimoyne. Another cause is to yelden everich of hem to oother the dette of hire bodies; for neither of hem hath power of his owene body. The thridde is for to eschewe leccherye and vileynye. The ferthe is for sothe deedly synne. As to the firste, it is mertorie; the seconde also, for, as seith the decree, that she hath merite of chastitee that yeldeth to hire housbonde the dette of hir body, ye, though it be agayn hir likynge and the lust of hire herte. The thridde manere is venyal synne; and, trewely, scarsly may ther any of thise be withoute venial synne, for the corrupcion and for the delit. The fourthe manere is for to understonde, as if they assemble oonly for amorous love and for noon of the foreseyde causes, but for to accomplice thilke brennynge delit, they rekke nevere how ofte. Soothly it is deedly synne; and yet, with sorwe, somme folk wol peynen hem moore to doon than to hire appetit suffiseth. § 86         Now how a woman should be subject to her husband, that tells Saint Peter. First, in obedience. And also, as says the decree, a woman that is wife, as long as she is a wife, she has no authority to swear nor to bear witness without leave of her husband, that is their lord; at any rate, he should be so by reason. She should also serve him in all honesty, and be moderate of her array. I know well that they should set their intent to please their husbands, but not by their elaborate fashion of dress. Saint Jerome says that "wives that are appareled in silk and in precious purple can not clothe themselves in Jesus Christ." Look what Saint John says also in this matter? Saint Gregory also says that "No person seeks precious array but only for vainglory, to be honored the more before the people." It is a great folly, a woman to have a fair array outward and in herself be foul inward. A wife should also be moderate in looking and in bearing and in laughing, and discreet in all her words and her deeds. And above all worldly thing she should love their husband with all her heart, and to him be true of her body. So should a husband also be to his wife. For since that all the body is the husband's, so should their heart be, or else there is between them two, as in that, no perfect marriage. Then shall men understand that for three things a man and his wife may fleshly assemble. The first is in intent of engendering of children to the service of God, for certainly that is the cause final of matrimony. Another cause is to yield each of them to other the debt of their bodies, for neither of them has power of his own body. The third is to avoid lechery and churlishness. The fourth is truly deadly sin. As to the first, it is meritorious; the second also, for, as says the decree, that she has merit of chastity that yields to their husband the debt of her body, yea, though it be against her will and the desire of her heart. The third manner is venial sin; and, truly, scarcely can there any of these be without venial sin, because of for the corruption and because of the delight. The fourth manner is for to be understood, if they assemble only for amorous love and for none of the aforesaid causes, but for to accomplish that burning delight, they reckon never how often. Truly it is deadly sin; and yet, with sorrow, some people will exert themselves to do more than to their appetite suffices.

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From The Parson's Tale, paragraph 87-90:
About clean widows, virgins and other ways to chastity