Epilogue To The Merchant’s Tale


Eh! By God’s mercy!” cried our host. Said he:
“Now such a wife I pray God keep from me!
Behold what tricks, and lo, what subtleties
In women are. For always busy as bees
Are they, us simple men thus to deceive,
And from the truth they turn aside and leave;
By this same merchant’s tale it’s proved, I feel,
But, beyond doubt, as true as any steel
I have a wife, though poor enough she be;
But of her tongue a babbling shrew is she,
And she’s a lot of other vices too.
No matter, though, with this we’ve naught to do.
But know you what? In secret, be it said,
I am sore sorry that to her I’m wed.
For if I should up-reckon every vice
The woman has, I’d be a fool too nice,
And why? Because it should reported be
And told her by some of this company;
Who’d be the ones, I need not now declare,
Since women know the traffic in such ware;
Besides, my wit suffices not thereto
To tell it all; wherefore my tale is through.”

Image Credit

1785 print inspired by “The Merchant’s Tale”. The text describes it as the favorite poem of Alexander Pope. The print is now in the British Museum. Sourced from fandom.

Dan Moorhouse

Dan Moorhouse graduated in History and Politics and has since undertaken postgraduate studies in Medieval History and Education. Dan is a member of the Royal Historical Society and has previously been a member of the Historical Association’s Secondary Education Committee. Dan’s early publishing was in the Secondary School History Education field. This included co-authoring the Becta Award shortlisted Dynamic Learning: Medicine Through Time series for Hodder Murray and contributing to the Bafta Award winning Smallpox Through Time documentary series by Tmelines.tv. A former teacher, Dan now concentrates on research and writing, predominantly in Medieval English history. Books by Dan Moorhouse On this day in the Wars of the Roses On this day in the Hundred Years War

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