His close friend, Justinius, argues against marriage, pointing out the unfaithfulness of women.The knight's other friend, Placebo, argues that January should make up his own mind.She "went up into the tree, and Damian / Pulled up her smock at once and in he thrust" ("Damian / Gan pullen up the smok, an in he throng").
He bitterly regrets that he is tied to her for life but hopes no one will mention it because women have ways of finding out.
Analysis Even for those who have never read The Merchant's Tale, the concept is widely familiar.
His wife, Prosepina, says men are so lecherous that she will provide May with a believable excuse when he does.
Later, May leads January to the pear tree and, pretending she has an insatiable lust for a pear, tells her husband to bend over and let her stand on his back.
His reasons are clear enough: He wants to fulfill God's wish that man and woman marry, and he wants a son to inherit his estates.
January calls many of his friends together to listen to his plans and to offer him advice.
We realize his decision is less the result of holiness than his dotage and his desire for an heir (only in marriage can a man sire an heir to his lands and castles). Theophrastus (Theofraste) the author of a book on nuptials and sometimes quoted by St. Rebecca, Judith, Abigail, Esther biblical women noted for their good advice or actions.
Solomon (Salomon) the author of the Book of Proverbs.
She then jumps down from the tree, and January clasps her in a fond embrace.
When the Merchant ends his tale, the Host says he wants to be preserved from women like May, but his wife does have a babbling, shrewish tongue and many more vices.