The Canterbury Tales: The Wife of Bath's Tale
by Geoffrey Chaucer
The Canterbury Tales: The Wife of Bath's Tale Lines 1110-1130 Summary
- This is the hag's response to her husband's complaint:
- Is this why you are so unhappy?
- Yes, replies the knight, and no wonder!
- I could fix this before three days have passed, if you would treat me better.
- You speak about gentility as if it is a result of noble parentage, believing that anyone who comes from a rich family is therefore a gentleman.
- This arrogance is worthless.
- Pay attention to who is the most virtuous whether in public or private, and always tries to do the most gentle deeds he can; he is the greatest gentleman.
- Our gentility comes from Christ, and not from our ancestors or their old money.
- Though our ancestors give us our heritage, through which we claim to be highborn, it's impossible for them to give us a virtuous lifestyle as an inheritance.
- All this noble lineage bequeaths a man is the desire to be called a gentleman and have his orders followed.
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