So far, this book has concentrated on ways in which Chaucer conveys meaning through character and through image. Occasionally, as in the Wife of Bath’s Tale, he opts for a more direct statement or discussion of ideas which elsewhere are mediated through a January or through a prison. The more direct method of working is the subject of the first part of the present chapter, which considers the treatment of patience in the Franklin’s Tale, and particularly in the opening lines of the narrative. Strictly speaking, the statement made there about patience is not unmediated at all: it is uttered by the Franklin in the context of an account of a fictional marriage. Nevertheless, the speaking is so direct, and is so much an appeal to first principles, that the immediate circumstances which have prompted it seem secondary. As with the unadorned treatment o f gentillesse in the Wife of Bath’s Tale, it is as if Chaucer is addressing a topic close to his heart.