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The Canterbury Tales

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90









100
Now sire, and eft sire, so bifel the cas,
That on a day this hende Nicholas
Fil with this yonge wyf to rage and pleye,
Whyl that hir housbond was at Oseneye,
As clerkes ben ful subtile and ful queynte;
And prively he caughte hir by the queynte,
And seyde, ‘y-wis, but if ich have my wille,
For derne love of thee, lemman, I spille.’
And heeld hir harde by the haunche-bones,
And seyde, ‘lemman, love me al at-ones,
Or I wol dyen, also God me save!’
And she sprong as a colt doth in the trave,
And with hir heed she wryed faste awey,
And seyde, ‘I wol nat kisse thee, by my fey,
Why, lat be,’ quod she, ‘lat be, Nicholas,
Or I wol crye out “harrow” and “allas.”
Do wey your handes for your curteisye!’
Well now, it just so happened one day that Tricky Nicky was playing and teasing with Alison while the carpenter was away in the city of Osney on business. Those college boys can be pretty forward, you know, and in no time at all he had his hand on her crotch. He said, “I’m going to die if I can’t have my way with you, my love.” Then he grabbed her butt and said, “Make love to me right now, or, by God, I’m going to die!” She pulled away from him and twisted out of his grasp as she turned to him and said, “Stop it! I wouldn’t even kiss you, let alone do anything else! Quit it, Nicholas, or I’ll cry ‘rape!’ Now get your hands off me, you creep!”








110
This Nicholas gan mercy for to crye,
And spak so faire, and profred hir so faste,
That she hir love him graunted atte laste,
And swoor hir ooth, by seint Thomas of Kent,
That she wol been at his comandement,
Whan that she may hir leyser wel espye.
‘Myn housbond is so ful of Ialousye,
That but ye wayte wel and been privee,
I woot right wel I nam but deed,’ quod she.
‘Ye moste been ful derne, as in this cas.’
Nicholas begged her for forgiveness and calmed her fears with sweet words, but he continued hitting on her all the same so that in no time at all, she’d fallen for him too. She swore on St. Thomas of Becket himself that she’d let him have his way with her as soon as they could safely get away with it. “My husband is so jealous that he’ll kill me if he finds out,” she explained to him. “This has to stay between you and me, and we have to be careful.”

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