From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
The Canterbury Tales: The Wife of Bath's Prologue
by Geoffrey Chaucer
The Canterbury Tales: The Wife of Bath's Prologue Lines 549-592 Summary
One time, during Lent, I went to my friend's house. (Even during Lent I loved to have fun and walk about from house to house to hear all the news.) The Oxford clerk Jankyn, Alisoun, and I went out into the fields. (My husband was in London all that Lent, so that I was free to play, to see and be seen. How did I know where my next good fortune was to come from?) (Therefore, during that time, I made visits to vigils, processions, sermons, pilgrimages, weddings, and miracle plays.) (To these events, I wore my scarlet skirt. It was so well-worn that worms and moths never touched it.) Now I will tell what happened to me when I went out into the fields with Alisoun and Jankyn. We walked in the fields. We had a lot of fun, this clerk and I. So I spoke to him, and told him that if I were ever widowed, he should marry me. (For I never stopped to provide for my future with prospective marriages. I only have disdain for the mouse that has only one hole to run to.) I made this clerk believe he had enchanted me, a trick my mother taught me. I told him I'd dreamed of him all night, that he killed me as I lay and my bed was full of blood. I told him that I'd been taught blood is a sign gold to come. This was a lie; I hadn't dreamed any such thing. But I was following my mother's teaching. Now what was I saying? Ah, I remember.
People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...