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The Canterbury Tales

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480







The somer passeth, and the nightes longe
Encresen double wyse the peynes stronge
Bothe of the lovere and the prisoner.
I noot which hath the wofullere mester.
For shortly for to seyn, this Palamoun
Perpetuelly is dampned to prisoun,
In cheynes and in fettres to ben deed;
And Arcite is exyled upon his heed
For ever-mo as out of that contree,
Ne never-mo he shal his lady see.
The summer passed and the nights grew longer, which made things worse for both Arcite and Palamon, one banished from Athens and from ever seeing Emily again, the other doomed to live the rest of his life in chains. In fact, I don’t know which guy had it worse.

490





Yow loveres axe I now this questioun,
Who hath the worse, Arcite or Palamoun?
That oon may seen his lady day by day,
But in prison he moot dwelle alway.
That other wher him list may ryde or go,
But seen his lady shal he never-mo.
Now demeth as yow liste, ye that can,
For I wol telle forth as I bigan.
What do all you lovers think? Who had it worse, Arcite or Palamon? The one gets to see the woman he loves every day, even though he’ll never leave the prison tower, while the other can go wherever he wants but can never see Emily again. You think about it, and I’ll continue with my story.
EXPLICIT PRIMA PARS
END OF PART ONE

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