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.
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