| Quote #4
And hende Nicholas and Alisoun
By referring here to John as "sely" (stupid) and jealous, the text somewhat mitigates Nicholas and Alisoun's treachery, suggesting that John deserves to be tricked.
| Quote #5
And to his wyf he tolde his privetee;
This passage subtly invokes sex with the words "privetee" and "queynte," which both have a second meaning of genitals. Alisoun's feigning of distress here is all the more repugnant given our knowledge of John's sincere concern for his wife, who is the only person he is truly worried about saving from the flood.
| Quote #6
Aboute corfew-tyme, or litel more;
The haste with which Nicholas and Alisoun go to bed suggests that their desires are uncontrollable and overwhelming. This characterization contrasts with the image of John snoring soundly in his tub. The lovers seem healthy and energetic, whereas John appears old and decrepit.