The Franklin's Tale
Who is the most honorable of all?
- He is wealthy.
- Likes good food.
- An honest and hard-working leader of society.
- Has an open door policy as a member of parliament.
- Overall a paragon of what a Franklin should be.
The Franklin's Prologue
Synopsis of the Prologue
The Franklin's Tale
In Armorica, which is called Brittany, Arveragus the knight works laboriously and attentively for a lady named Dorigen, one of the fairest in the land. She pities him and decides to marry him, even though he is of lower rank than her. In the return, Arveragus pledges to not control her and she in return does so like wise. They go home to his Penmark after marriage, where they live in bliss as their marriage is going quite well.
However after a year, Arveragus goes to England to look for work in war for a couple of years. Dorigen is in shambles as she constantly worries about her husband. Her friends start worrying about her, tried comforting her as best they could, preached that her constant state of lamenting was going to do no good.
After a time she started getting better as she begin to realize she can't do this forever and began receiving letters from her husband, her friends persuaded her to go out with to take a walk by the sea, since she her castle was by the sea.
She got a depressed. Again. The reason this time is because the the ships remind her that her husband is in England and he will return on the boat. Another day she sat by the see depressed, and got even more depressed as she looked down into the seashore to seas grisly black rocks, which terrified her because she though her husbands ship might crash on these rocks and die. Dorigen the rants to God about how he created men but only for them to be destroyed by God's work among other things.
Her friends realized that walking by the shore was a slightly bad idea so they went to the woods to play chess and dance by the rivers.
One day they went to the garden to have some fun by setting up a party. After they ate, they had themselves a dance. Everyone was happy except Dorigen because her husband wasn't there to dance with her.
At that dance was Aurelious. He was joyful, rich, young, strong, virtuous, wise, well beloved, and held in high honor. Not only that but he madly in love with Dorigen. It tore him to shreds that he couldn't confess his love to her.
But now this was his time. He and her started talking since they were neighbors. After a drawn out conversation, he confesses his love to her. She doesn't reciprocate. However since she was somewhat not depressed she joked that if he removed black rocks by the shore she would marry him. He took it seriously.
So Aurelious left off after the party, the only one depressed that he couldn't have the love of his life. When he got home he did ravenous prayer to the gods to have pity on him. It got so bad he fell down in a trance. His brother dragged him to bed.
Now Arveragus came home with his other knights from war. Everyone, even Dorigen was happy.
Two more years pass as Aurelious lays in bed depressed. His only comfort was his brother a scholar during this time, who told no one else. His brother felt sorry for him until one day he remembered while he was France that some scholars dabbled in magic, particularly an old friend.
Happy he got his brother to get out of bed and go to Orleans, which he did. There he found a young scholar who said the Aurelious' brother's friend was dead, which made them cry.
However this man was a magician as well and he decided to show the two around. After that they had supper. After that, they worked out a deal. For a thousand pounds, the magician would make the rocks disappear. Aurelious accepts the deal.
They went hope to Brittany and there Aurelious kept the magician well feed and rested. He asked the magician to hurry, which out of pity he did. As the conditions were right according to his calculations and he did his work: for a week or two the rocks had vanish.
Aurelious, happy as can be, thanked the magician and went to the temple to claim his prize. When he told her what he had did, she went pale, and she were petrified. Dorigen was in so much horror about to decision to either lose her honor or her body that she thought about committing suicide referencing the fall of Carthage, and Try and other woman who committed suicide then lose their maidenhood. Her husband was away during this time.
On the third day he came back and she explained everything to him. Instead of being in anger he accepted what had happened and decided to let it be, even though it hated it. So Dorigen went to the garden where they would meet up. On the way there she meet Aurelious who asked where she going. She said where they would meet up, to keep her oath as her husband asked her to.
Aurelious, out of compassion of the two's love for each other, cancelled the entire deal altogether and told her to go back to her husband. Dorigen thanked him and went back to her husband. The two lived forever more in bliss.
Aurelious went back to the magician, depressed that he will have to sell everything he has and become a beggar to pay his debt to him. When he asked if he could extend his payment period, the magician asked what was wrong and Aurelious told him what transpired.
The magician, seeing that the squire and the knight had equal amounts of pity no matter their class rank, decided to show pity to the squire, saying the accommodation the squire had made for him was payment of itself. The magician left him.
So my question is: Who is the most noble of them all?