The Wife of Bath's Prologue and Tale Contents
Part 2: l.77 - 134
77: But this word is nat taken of every wight,
78: But ther as God lust gyve it of his myght.
79: I woot wel that th' apostel was a mayde;
80: But nathelees, thogh that he wroot and sayde
81: He wolde that every wight were swich as he,
82: Al nys but conseil to virginitee.
83: And for to been a wyf he yaf me leve
84: Of indulgence; so nys it no repreve
85: To wedde me, if that my make dye,
86: Withouten excepcion of bigamye.
87: Al were it good no womman for to touche, --
88: He mente as in his bed or in his couche;
89: For peril is bothe fyr and tow t' assemble:
90: Ye knowe what this ensample may resemble.
91: This is al and som, he heeld virginitee
92: Moore parfit than weddyng in freletee.
93: Freletee clepe I, but if that he and she
94: Wolde leden al hir lyf in chastitee.
95: I graunte it wel, I have noon envie,
96: Thogh maydenhede preferre bigamye.
97: It liketh hem to be clene, body and goost;
98: Of myn estaat I nyl nat make no boost.
99: For wel ye knowe, a lord in his houshold,
100: He nath nat every vessel al of gold;
101: Somme been of tree, and doon hir lord servyse.
102: God clepeth folk to hym in sondry wyse,
103: And everich hath of God a propre yifte,
104: Som this, som that, as hym liketh shifte.
105: Virginitee is greet perfeccion,
106: And continence eek with devocion,
107: But crist, that of perfeccion is welle,
108: Bad nat every wight he sholde go selle
109: Al that he hadde, and gyve it to the poore
110: And in swich wise folwe hym and his foore.
111: He spak to hem that wolde lyve parfitly;
112: And lordynges, by youre leve, that am nat I.
113: I wol bistowe the flour of al myn age
114: In the actes and in fruyt of mariage.
115: Telle me also, to what conclusion
116: Were membres maad of generacion,
117: And of so parfit wys a wight ywroght?
118: Trusteth right wel, they were nat maad for noght.
119: Glose whoso wole, and seye bothe up and doun,
120: That they were maked for purgacioun
121: Of uryne, and oure bothe thynges smale
122: Were eek to knowe a femele from a male,
123: And for noon oother cause, -- say ye no?
124: The experience woot wel it is noght so.
125: So that the clerkes be nat with me wrothe,
126: I sey this, that they maked ben for bothe,
127: This is to seye, for office, and for ese
128: Of engendrure, ther we nat God displese.
129: Why sholde men elles in hir bookes sette
130: That man shal yelde to his wyf hire dette?
131: Now wherwith sholde he make his paiement,
132: If he ne used his sely instrument?
133: Thanne were they maad upon a creature
134: To purge uryne, and eek for engendrure.
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