Study Guide

The Canterbury Tales: the Man of Law's Tale Lines 925-987

By Chaucer, Geoffrey

Lines 925-987

Lines 925-952

  • The Man of Law has some choice words about lust. The gist? it's bad.
  • He compares Custance defending herself against the thief's lust to David fighting Goliath (and to a bunch of other classic underdog stories. According to him, both succeeded in such unfair fights because of God's grace.
  • Custance's ship keeps going along, through Gibraltar, and sails the seas for many more days until Christ's mother decides to put an end to Custance's suffering.

Lines 953-966

  • We're gonna take a break from Custance for a while to check in with the Roman Emperor, because why not?
  • The Emperor has got some letters from Syria telling him that Christians there are getting slaughtered, and that his daughter has been dishonored by a false traitor—the Sultaness to be exact. Remember her?
  • Understandably peeved, the Emperor sends his senator and some other lords to get revenge on the Syrians.
  • After burning, killing, and making the Syrians suffer a good long while, they head back to Rome.
  • So that's done.

Lines 967-987

  • On his way back to Rome, the senator comes across Custance's drifting ship.
  • He has no clue who she is or how she ended up in such a pickle, so he brings her to Rome and hands her and her son over to his wife for care.
  • Custance has a pretty pleasant time living her life with the senator and his family. We mean, anything's better than a rudderless boat, right?
  • As it turns out, the senator's wife is actually her aunt—she just has no way of knowing this.
  • But let's go back to King Alla for a moment...