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The Canterbury Tales and Other Works of Chaucer (Middle English), by Geoffery Chaucer, [14th cent.], at

The Canterbury Tales

The Merchant's Epilogue

 "Ey! Goddes mercy!" seyde oure Hooste tho,
2420 "Now swich a wyf I pray God kepe me fro!
 Lo, whiche sleightes and subtilitees
 In wommen been! For ay as bisy as bees
 Been they, us sely men for to deceyve,
 And from the soothe evere wol they weyve;
 By this Marchauntes tale it preveth weel.
 But doutelees, as trewe as any steel
 I have a wyf, though that she povre be,
 But of hir tonge, a labbyng shrewe is she,
 And yet she hath an heep of vices mo;
2430 Therof no fors! Lat alle swiche thynges go.
 But wyte ye what? In conseil be it seyd,
 Me reweth soore I am unto hire teyd.
 For and I sholde rekenen every vice
 Which that she hath, ywis I were to nyce.
 And cause why? It sholde reported be
 And toold to hire of somme of this meynee --
 Of whom, it nedeth nat for to declare,
 Syn wommen konnen outen swich chaffare;
 And eek my wit suffiseth nat therto
2440 To tellen al; wherfore my tale is do."

Next: The Squire's Introduction