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The Canterbury Tales: The Second Nun's Tale

The Canterbury Tales: The Second Nun's Tale


by Geoffrey Chaucer

The Canterbury Tales: The Second Nun's Tale Prologue, Lines 78-119 Summary

  • Yet I ask you who read what I write: forgive me though I don't write this same story carefully, for I follow both the words and the sense of him who wrote the story to honor the saint, and follow her legend.
  • I pray you that you will amend my work.
  • First I will explain to you the meaning of the name of Saint Cecilia, which men see in her story.
  • In English, it means 'heaven's lily,' symbol of pure and chaste virginity.
  • Or it could be a symbol of how she had the whiteness of modesty, green of conscience, and sweet smell of a good reputation, so that her name was lily.

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