Chaucer Texts

eChaucer ¤ Chaucer in the Twenty-First Century

The Canterbury Tales - The Merchant's Prologue
The Prologe of the Marchantes Tale.
"Wepyng and waylyng, care and oother sorwe
I knowe ynogh, on even and a-morwe,"
1215Quod the Marchant, "and so doon other mo
That wedded been. I trowe that it be so,
For wel I woot it fareth so with me.
I have a wyf, the worste that may be;
For thogh the feend to hire ycoupled were,
1220She wolde hym overmacche, I dar wel swere.
What sholde I yow reherce in special
Hir hye malice? She is a shrewe at al.
Ther is a long and large difference
Bitwix Grisildis grete pacience
1225And of my wyf the passyng crueltee.
Were I unbounden, also moot I thee,
I wolde nevere eft comen in the snare.
We wedded men lyven in sorwe and care.
Assaye whoso wole, and he shal fynde
1230That I seye sooth, by Seint Thomas of Ynde,
As for the moore part -- I sey nat alle.
God shilde that it sholde so bifalle!
"A, goode sire Hoost, I have ywedded bee
Thise monthes two, and moore nat, pardee;
1235And yet, I trowe, he that al his lyve
Wyflees hath been, though that men wolde him ryve
Unto the herte, ne koude in no manere
Tellen so muchel sorwe as I now heere
Koude tellen of my wyves cursednesse!"
1240"Now," quod oure Hoost, "Marchaunt, so God yow blesse,
Syn ye so muchel knowen of that art
Ful hertely I pray yow telle us part."
"Gladly," quod he, "but of myn owene soore,
For soory herte, I telle may namoore."