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his new bride was a maiden who had been fostered tenderly in her nourishing, and she prayed him not to disturb her with the torture he had inflicted on herself, else worse would follow. When the time came, she took her place among the servants to welcome the new arrivals. They could not understand her. They saw how poorly dressed she was, but yet that she moved like a queen; that ready obedience was given to her every request; and that everything she did was done with grace and dignity. There were great rejoicings over the occasion, and the people forgot for the time the benefits which had been conferred upon them through her influence, for—
“O stormy peple ! unsad and ever untrue !
At the feast which was held in view of the approaching marriage, Walter, from his place at the head of the table, called out to Griselda, as she was attending amongst the other servants to the wants of the guests, “ Griselda,” said he, “how like you my new wife 2° and she answered, “Right wel, my lord, A fairer saw I never non than she. I pray to God give her prosperitee; And so hope I that he wol to you sende Plesance ynough unto your lyvés ende.”
This was her answer, steadfast and true to the last; and then her husband took her in his arms, in presence of all the company, and told her all. It was too much for her poor tender frame to bear, and she swooned away. Joy seldom kills, however, and so she soon recovered ; and then, weeping piteously for gladness, she embraced her children, and in her love she could not let them go. Soon her strength came to her again, and it will be readily conceived that she, who had borne her adversity so sweetly, would look far more beautiful in the hour of her greatest joy. All the company vied with each other in showing her kindness and homage; the ladies got her to lay aside her poor “smock” once more; they clad her in cloth of gold, and with a diadem on her brow they restored her to her husband's side. The feast sped merrily on. She bore herself royally all through it, but she was glad when it was over, and she could be alone with her dear ones, so wonderfully restored to her.
Walter and his faithful Griselda continued to reign in prosperity and happiness for many years; their daughter was married to one of the best and most distinguished nobles of Italy; and Janicula was fostered and tenderly cared for at Court until his death. In due course of time the son succeeded his father, and he also was fortunate in his marriage; but he never forgot the injury done to his mother, and this affected the whole of his after life, and made him kind and considerate to others.
When the worthy Clerk had finished his tale, he thought it necessary to add that Petrarch had written it, not because he wished wives to act as Griselda had done, for they would be insufferable if they did, but because he wished all, men and women alike, to learn the lesson of submission to the will of God; that in the same way as Griselda, on account of her love for her husband, obeyed his will in all things, so should we, out of love for God, show the same constancy, and humility, and resignation, when we have to bear the troubles which He sends us only for our good. And Chaucer added that there was little use in telling the women of his day that they were not expected to act towards their husbands as Griselda had done, for
“Griseld is deed, and eke her patiènce,
and he did not believe a single successor could now be found to her. The feeling, he said, was all the other way, as the worthy Wife of Bath had told them not long before; and nowadays it was the husbands who were the martyrs. The wives had discovered the power of their “crabbed eloquence,” and so, said he, “May God preserve the sex in high maistrie.”
The Merchaunt here struck in, and said that he was one of the martyrs. He had only been married for a couple of months; but, during that short time, he had passed through an amount of sorrow and care which only the initiated could understand; and, to illustrate it, he told the wellknown tale of January and May. Harry Bailly, the Host, said that he was another victim ; but that he hoped none of the ladies of the company would tell his wife that he had said so ; for, if they did, he knew what was in store for him when he went home.
He then called upon the young Squire to tell the next tale; “and let it be a love-story,” said he, “for certes, ye connen thereon as moche as ony man.” The Squire, like his father, responded readily, but said that they must not expect too much
from him, and he hoped they would take the will
And of the wondrous horse of brass
THE SQUYERES TALE: CAMBYNSKAN.
The tale is one of Eastern adventure and enchantment. It must have been culled from various sources, from the travels of Marco Polo, and from many of those delightful stories which go to form such collections as the ‘Arabian Nights' Entertainments.’