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From The Physician's Tale, lines 191-212:
Judge Appius allows Virginius no reply
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From The Canterbury Tales:
The Physician's Tale
lines 213-250: Virginius rather kills his daughter than hand her over to the false judge


       "Doghter," quod he, "Virginia, by thy name,
Ther been two weyes, outher deeth or shame
215That thou most suffre, allas, that I was bore!
For nevere thou deservedest wherfore
To dyen with a swerd, or with a knyf.
O deere doghter, endere of my lyf,
Which I have fostred up with swich plesaunce,
220That thou were nevere out of my remembraunce.
O doghter, which that art my laste wo,
And in my lyf my laste joye also,
O gemme of chastitee, in pacience
Take thou thy deeth, for this is my sentence,
225For love and nat for hate, thou most be deed;
My pitous hand moot smyten of thyn heed.
Allas, that evere Apius the say!
Thus hath he falsly jugged the to day."
And tolde hir al the cas, as ye bifore
230Han herd, nat nedeth for to telle it moore.
       "Daughter," said he, "Virginia by your name,
There are two ways, for either death or shame
215You now must suffer. Ah, that I was born!
For you have not deserved to be thus lorn,
To die by means of sword or any knife.
O my dear daughter, ender of my life,
Whom I have bred up with so deep pleasance
220That you were never from my remembrance!
O daughter who are now my final woe,
Aye, and in life my final joy also,
O gem of chastity, in brave patience
Receive your death, for that is my sentence.
225For love and not for hate you must be dead;
My pitying hand must strike your innocent head.
Alas! That ever Appius saw you! Nay,
Thus has he falsely judged of you today."-
And told her all the case, as you before
230Have heard; there is no need to tell it more.
       "O mercy, deere fader," quod this mayde,
And with that word she bothe hir armes layde
Aboute his nekke, as she was wont to do.
The teeris bruste out of hir eyen two,
235And seyde, "Goode fader, shal I dye?
Is ther no grace? is ther no remedye?"
       "No certes, deere doghter myn," quod he.
       "O mercy, my dear father," said this maid,
And with that word both of her arms she laid
About his neck, as she was wont to do;
Then broke the bitter tears from her eyes two.
235She said: "O my good father, must I die?
Is there no grace? Is there no remedy?"
       "No, truly, darling daughter mine," said he.
       "Thanne yif me leyser, fader myn," quod she,
"My deeth for to compleyne a litel space,
240For, pardee, Jepte yaf his doghter grace
For to compleyne, er he hir slow, allas!
And, God it woot, no thyng was hir trespas
But for she ran hir fader for to see
To welcome hym with greet solempnitee."
245And with that word she fil aswowne anon;
And after whan hir swownyng is agon
She riseth up and to hir fader sayde,
"Blissed be God that I shal dye a mayde;
Yif me my deeth, er that I have a shame.
250Dooth with youre child youre wyl, a Goddes name."
       "Then give me leisure, father mine," said she,
"But to lament my death a little space;
240For even Jephtha gave his daughter grace
To weep a little before he killed her, alas!
And God knows that in naught did she trespass,
Except that she ran to be the first to see
And welcome him with greetings, merrily."
245And with that word she fell into a swoon,
And after, when the faint was past and gone,
She rose up and unto her father said:
"Praise be to God that I shall die a maid.
Give me my death before I come to shame;
250Do with your child your will, and in God's name!"




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From The Physician's Tale, lines 251-276:
The death of the daughter and the false judge
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