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The Devil's Horn
By Monseigneur. _Of a noble knight of Germany, a great tra...

The Mysterious Occurrence In Piccadilly
I. I really never felt so profoundly ashamed of myself i...

Beyond The Mark
By Monseigneur De Lannoy. _Of a shepherd who made an agree...

A Good Dog
_Of a foolish and rich village cure who buried his dog in the...

The Incapable Lover
By Messire Miohaut De Changy. _Of the meeting assigned to ...

The Sore Finger Cured
By Philippe De Laon. _Of a monk who feigned to be very ill...

The Lady Who Lost Her Hair
By Monseigneur. _Of a noble lord who was in love with a da...

The Three Reminders
By Monseigneur De La Roche. _Of three counsels that a fath...

Dr Greatrex's Engagement
Everybody knows by name at least the celebrated Dr. Greatre...

The Husband As Doctor
By Philippe De Laon. _Of a young squire of Champagne who, ...

Tit For Tat
By Anthoine De La Sale. _Of a father who tried to kill his...

A Rod For Another's Back
By The Seneschal Of Guyenne. _Of a citizen of Tours who bo...

The Gluttonous Monk
By Monseigneur De Vaurin. _Of a Carmelite monk who came to...

The Pope-maker, Or The Holy Man
By Monseigneur de Crequy _Of a hermit who deceived the dau...

The Chaste Lover
By Philippe De Laon. _Of a rich merchant of the city of Ge...

The Abbess Cured [21]
By Philippe De Laon. _Of an abbess who was ill for want of...

An Episode In High Life
Sir Henry Vardon, K.C.B., electrician to the Admiralty, who...

The Curate Of Churnside
Walter Dene, deacon, in his faultless Oxford clerical coat ...

The Search For The Ring
By Monseigneur de la Roche _Of the deceit practised by a k...

The Husband Pandar To His Own Wife
By Monseigneur _Of a knight of Burgundy, who was marvellou...



Beyond The Mark








By Monseigneur De Lannoy.

_Of a shepherd who made an agreement with a shepherdess that he should
mount upon her "in order that he might see farther," but was not to
penetrate beyond a mark which she herself made with her hand upon the
instrument of the said shepherd--as will more plainly appear hereafter._


Listen, if you please, to what happened, near Lille, to a shepherd and
young shepherdess who tended their flocks together, or near each other.

Nature had already stirred in them, and they were of an age to know "the
way of the world", so one day an agreement was made between them
that the shepherd should mount on the shepherdess "in order to see
farther",--provided, however, that he should not penetrate beyond a
mark which she made with her hand upon the natural instrument of the
shepherd, and which was about two fingers' breadth below the head; and
the mark was made with a blackberry taken from the hedge.

That being done, they began God's work, and the shepherd pushed in as
though it had cost him no trouble, and without thinking about any mark
or sign, or the promise he had made to the shepherdess, for all that he
had he buried up to the hilt, and if he had had more he would have found
a place to put it.

The pretty shepherdess, who had never had such a wedding, enjoyed
herself so much that she would willingly have done nothing else all her
life. The battle being ended, both went to look after their sheep, which
had meanwhile strayed some distance. They being brought together again,
the shepherd, who was called Hacquin, to pass the time, sat in a swing
set up between two hedges, and there he swung, as happy as a king.

The shepherdess sat by the side of a ditch, and made a wreath of
flowers. She sang a little song, hoping that it would attract the
shepherd, and he would begin the game over again--but that was very far
from his thoughts. When she found he did not come, she began to call,
"Hacquin! Hacquin!"

And he replied, "What do you want?"

"Come here! come here! will you?" she said.

But Hacquin had had a surfeit of pleasure and he replied;

"In God's name leave me alone. I am doing nothing; and enjoying myself."

Then the shepherdess cried;

"Come here, Hacquin; I will let you go in further, without making any
mark."

"By St. John," said Hacquin, "I went far beyond the mark, and I do not
want any more."

He would not go to the shepherdess, who was much vexed to have to remain
idle.


*****





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Previous: Between Two Stools



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