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The Wife of Bath's Prologue [excerpt]

Geoffrey Chaucher

You say some men desire for us wealth,

some for our shapeliness, and some for our beauty,

some want a woman because she can sing or dance,

some because she is well-bred and flirtatious,

some like her hands and her graceful arms;

thus we all fo to the devil by your account,

You say no one can keep a castle wall

when it is assailed all around for so long a time.

And if she is ugly you say that she

covets every man she sees;

for she will leap on him like a spaniel

until she finds some man who will buy her wares;

there is no goose swimming in the lake, you say,

that is so gray it cannot find a mate.