A Good Remedy
By Monseigneur De Beaumont.
_Of a good merchant of Brabant whose wife was very ill, and he supposing
that she was about to die, after many remonstrances and exhortations for
the salvation of her soul, asked her pardon, and she pardoned him all
his misdeeds, excepting that he had not worked her as much as he ought
to have done--as will appear more plainly in the said story._
ncrease the number of stories that I promised to tell, I will relate
a circumstance that occurred lately.
In the fair land of Brabant--the place in the world where adventures
most often happen--there lived a good and honest merchant, whose
wife was very ill, and had to keep her bed continually because of her
The good man, seeing his wife so ill and weak, led a sad life; he was so
vexed and distressed and he much feared she would die. In this state
of grief, and believing that he was about to lose her, he came to her
bedside, and gave her hopes of being cured, and comforted her as best
he could. And after that he had talked with her a little time, and ended
his admonitions and exhortations, he begged her pardon, and requested
that if he had ever wronged her in any way that she would pardon him.
Amongst other instances of things which he knew had annoyed her, he
mentioned that he had not polished up her armour (that part which is
called the _cuirass_) as often as she would have liked, and therefore he
humbly begged her pardon.
The poor invalid, as soon as she could speak, pardoned him all his minor
offences, but this last she would not willingly pardon without knowing
the reasons which had induced her husband to neglect polishing up her
armour when he knew well what a pleasure it was to her, and that she
asked for nothing better.
"What?" he said; "Will you die without pardoning those who have done you
"I do not mind pardoning you," she said, "but I want to know your
reasons--otherwise I will not pardon you."
The good husband thought he had hit on a good excuse, and one that would
obtain his pardon, and replied;
"My dear, you know that very often you were ill and weak--although not
so ill as I see you now--and I did not dare to challenge you to combat
whilst you were in that condition, fearing that it might make you worse.
But be sure that if I refrained from embracing you, it was only out of
love and affection to you."
"Hold your tongue, liar that you are! I was never so ill and weak that
I should have refused the battle. You must seek some other reason if
you would obtain your pardon, for that one will not help you; and since
there is now nothing to be done, I will tell you, wicked and cowardly
man that you are, that there is no medicine in the world which will so
quickly drive away the maladies of us women as the pleasant and amorous
society of men. Do you see me now weakened and dried up with disease?
Well! all that I want is your company."
"Ho, ho!" said the other; "then I will quickly cure you."
He jumped on the bed and performed as well as he could, and, as soon as
he had broken two lances, she rose and stood on her feet.
Half an hour later she was out in the street, and her neighbours, who
all looked upon her as almost dead, were much astonished, until she told
them by what means she had been cured, when they at once replied that
that was the only remedy.
Thus did the good merchant learn how to cure his wife; but it turned out
to his disadvantage in the long run, for she often pretended to be sick
in order to get her physic.