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And al was conscience and tendre herte

It turns out that the image of the kind-hearted society lady with a doggie was known at least as far back as the fourteenth century. Chaucer's prologue to The Canterbury Tales:


'In curteisie was set ful muchel hir lest.

Hir over-lippe wyped she so clene

That in hir coppe ther was no ferthyng sene

Of grece, whan she dronken hadde hir draughte.

Ful semely after hir mete she raughte

But, for to speken of hire conscience,

She was so charitable and so pitous

She wolde wepe, if that she saugh a mous

Kaught in a trappe, if it were deed or bledde.

Of smale houndes hadde she that she fedde

With rosted flessh, or milk and wastel-breed.

But soore wepte she if oon of hem were deed,

Or if men smoot it with a yerde smerte;

And al was conscience and tendre herte'.

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