The Canterbury Tales: Novel Summary: The Merchant's Tale

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The Merchant's Tale

A sixty-year-old bachelor named January decides to marry a young and beautiful woman.  He searches for a perfect woman, and finally decides on a young girl named May.  She is bored by his old looks and poor health, and when a young man named Damien courts her, she accepts.  January loses his sight for many weeks, and Damien and May decide to arrange a meeting during this time.  When January walks with May in his garden, they stop under a tree, and then May climbs up the tree to frolic with Damien.  This goes well, but suddenly and miraculously, January regains his sight, and catches his wife frolicking with Damien.  May explains herself by saying that January did not see correctly because his sight was not perfect the moment it suddenly returned.  January believes this explanation, and he lives in ignorant bliss with her.

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