The Canterbury Tales: The Wife of Bath's Prologue
by Geoffrey Chaucer
The Canterbury Tales: The Wife of Bath's Prologue Lines 593-632 Summary
- When my fourth husband died, I cried and appeared to be mourning, as wives must after the custom. I covered my face with a handkerchief.
- Actually, though, since I was provided with a future husband, I didn't cry too much.
- My fourth husband was taken to the church the next day, with the neighbors mourning him, including Jankyn the clerk.
- When I saw Jankyn walking behind the coffin, I thought that he had a pair of legs and feet so attractive that I gave my heart to him.
- He was twenty years old, and I was forty.
- I have always had a colt's tooth (a lustful appetite, particularly for younger men).
- I was gap-toothed, which became me well. I had the symbol of Saint Venus on my face.
- I was lusty, rich, young, and becoming.
- Also, and so my husbands said, I had the best vagina you could find.
- Certainly, I am Venus-like in feeling, with a Mars-like heart. Venus gave me my lust and lecherousness, and Mars my sturdy hardiness. My ascending star was Taurus, with Mars in its house.
- It's just too bad that love is considered a sin!
- I always followed my inclinations, because of the sign under which I was born. This made me unable to withhold my sexual favors from a good fellow.
- I have the sign of Mars on my face, and also in another private place.
- I never had sex because of well-considered motives, but always followed my appetite.
- Were the man short, tall, black, or white, I didn't care. As long as he liked me, it didn't matter how poor a man was or to what social class he belonged.
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