The Clerk's Tale

The Clerk's Tale

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  • You might want to think about getting married, Walter.
  • You are right, but I want to choose my own bride and you take care of the rest.
  • Dear Janicula, I come here to ask you permission to marry your daughter.
  • Walter, I give you with great pleasure my consent in your quest.
  • Walter, a noble, gracious, handsome, young, and strong loves his freedom and refuses to marry. However, the lords of the kingdom humbly advice Walter to seek a wife.
  • One of my courtiers will soon come for the child.
  • A very poor man named Janicula with a beautiful and virtuous daughter named Griselda, lives nearby. Before the wedding, Walter decides to ask Janicula for permission to marry his daughter: the old man agrees.
  • Walter wants to marry under one condition: Griselda promises to obey his will and to do so cheerfully. She agrees; He and Griselda decide to get married and have a daugther soon after.
  • Sorry, I cannot do this.
  • Walter resolves to banish any doubt about his wife's loyalty. He tells her that one of his courtiers will soon come for the child, and he expresses the hope that taking the child from her will in no way change her love for him.
  • Four years pass, and Griselda bears a son. Walter again decides to test his wife's patience and fidelity by telling her that she must give up her son, now two years old. She accepts her husband's decision. Then, he decides to put his wife to a final test. He gave himself permission to marry another woman. Griselda accepts the news with a sad heart.
  • The day of the wedding, Walter cannot stand his own cruelty anymore. He confesses that the cruel tests had been perfectly met by Griselda and that he could find no more patient. They live live the rest of their lives in bliss. 
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