The Canterbury Tales: The Second Nun's Tale
by Geoffrey Chaucer
The Canterbury Tales: The Second Nun's Tale Religion Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Line). We used the line numbering found on Librarius's online edition.
This mayden, bright Cecilie, as hir lyf seith,
Was comen of Romayns, and of noble kynde,
And from hir cradel up fostred in the feith
Of Crist, and bar his gospel in hir mynde.
(120 – 123)
Like most of the virgin martyrs, Cecilia comes onstage as a fully-formed Christian, her fostering in the faith having occurred at some out-of-sight moment in the past.
'If that yow list, the aungel shul ye see,
So that ye trowe in Crist, and yow baptize.'
(170 – 171)
Throughout "The Second Nun's Tale," the assent to Christianity is portrayed as conveying enhanced vision to its converts, which allows them to see things invisible to the naked eye.
'O lord, o feith, o God, withouten mo,
O Cristendom, and fader of alle also,
Aboven alle, and over alle, everywhere.'
Whan this was rad, thanne seyde this olde man,
'Leevestow this thyn or no? sey ye or nay?'
'I leeve al this thyng,' quod Valerian,
'For sother thyng than this, I dar wel say,
Under the hevene no wight thynke may.'
(207 – 214)
Notice that the faith content to which the old man asks Valerian if he assents is not actually a statement, but simply, a proclamation of God's title. In simply acknowledging God as God, Valerian's conversion is complete.