Wife of Bath

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  • In the time of good King Arthur's ruling, the Queen was given the power of deciding the fate of a young knight, condemned for his violence against a young maiden.
  • "You shall live if you can answer me: What is the thing that women most desire?"
  • Armed with such answer as there might be sent to him by God, he took his leave and went.
  • He knocked at every house, searched every place, each woman responding differently.
  • Honor...
  • As he rode home on the day that his answer was due, the knight came across an old woman crouched upon the forest floor.
  • What thing is it that women most desire?
  • Give me your hand and swear to do whatever I shall next require of you.
  • He's worthy of his life!
  • Sovereignty over their husbands is the thing that women want the most.
  • The knight thought that all was well, until the old woman returned, begging for his hand.
  • You will take me as your wife; for well you know that I have saved your life.
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