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Now bere thee wel, thou hende Nicholas!
For Absolon may waille and singe ‘allas.’
And so bifel it on a Saterday,
This carpenter was goon til Osenay;
And hende Nicholas and Alisoun
Acorded been to this conclusioun,
That Nicholas shal shapen him a wyle
This sely Ialous housbond to bigyle;
And if so be the game wente aright,
220She sholde slepen in his arm al night,
For this was his desyr and hir also.
And right anon, with-outen wordes mo,
This Nicholas no lenger wolde tarie,
But doth ful softe unto his chambre carie
Bothe mete and drinke for a day or tweye,
And to hir housbonde bad hir for to seye,
If that he axed after Nicholas,
She sholde seye she niste where he was,
Of al that day she saugh him nat with yë;
230She trowed that he was in maladye,
For, for no cry, hir mayde coude him calle;
He nolde answere, for no-thing that mighte falle.
Looks like you’ve got some competition there, Nicky! Well, one day while the carpenter was away in Osney again, Alison and Nicholas decided that they should play a little trick on her simpleton of a husband. And, if all went as planned, the two of them would even be able to sleep together at night, which was what both of them wanted to do very much. So, without any more fuss, Nicholas moved about a day or two’s worth of food into his bedroom. He then told Alison to tell her husband that she hadn’t seen Nicholas all day and that she guessed he was sick in bed in his room. Not even the maid’s bustling around the house had woken him up. She was to say that his door had remained shut.
This passeth forth al thilke Saterday,
That Nicholas stille in his chambre lay,
And eet and sleep, or dide what him leste,
Til Sonday, that the sonne gooth to reste.
Nicholas did his part by staying shut up in his room all weekend. He ate there, slept there, and hung out there all day Saturday and Sunday.