Good Measure! [80]

By Michault De Changy.

_Of a young German girl, aged fifteen or sixteen or thereabouts who was

married to a gentle gallant, and who complained that her husband had too

small an organ for her liking, because she had seen a young ass of only

six months old which had a bigger instrument than her husband, who was

24 or 26 years old._

I have heard it related as true by two noble lor
s worthy of faith and

belief, that in the borders of Germany there lived a young girl, who at

the age of about 15 or 16 years was married to a worthy gentleman, who

did his best to satisfy the demands which, without saying a word, all

girls of that age and condition earnestly ask for. But though the

poor man did his duty well, and indeed more often than he should, the

performance was never agreeable to his wife, who was always sulky,

and often wept as sadly as though all her friends were dead. Her good

husband, seeing her thus lament, could not imagine what she could want,

and asked her tenderly;

"What is the matter, my dear? Are you not as well clothed, lodged, and

served, as people in our position of life can reasonably expect to be?"

"It is not that which vexes me," she replied.

"Then what can it be?" he asked. "Tell me, and if I can remedy it, I

will, at whatever cost to my purse or person."

Generally, she did not reply, but still sulked, and looked miserable, at

which her husband lost his patience, finding she would not tell him the

cause of her grief. But he enquired so often that at last he learned

partly what was the matter, for she told him that she was vexed because

he was so poorly furnished with you-know-what--that is to say the stick

with which you plant men, as Boccaccio calls it.

"Indeed!" said he, "and is that why you grieve? By St. Martin you have

good cause! At any rate it cannot be other than it is, and you must put

up with it, since you cannot change it."

This condition of affairs lasted a long time, till the husband, tired of

her obstinacy, one day invited to dinner a great number of her friends,

and stated the facts which have been already related, and said that

it seemed to him that she had no particular cause to grieve, for he

believed he was as well furnished with a natural instrument as any of

his neighbours.

"And that I may be the better believed," he said, "and that you may see

how wrong she is, I will show it you all."

With that he laid his furniture on the table before all the men and

women there assembled, and said; "There it is!" and his wife wept louder

than ever.

"By St. John!" said her mother, her sister, her aunt, her cousin, and

her neighbour, "you are wrong, my dear! What do you ask? Do you expect

more? Who would not be satisfied with a husband so furnished? So help me

God I should deem myself very happy to have as much, or indeed less. Be

comforted and enjoy yourself in future! By God, you are better off than

any of us I believe."

The young bride, hearing all the women thus speak, replied, still

weeping loudly.

"There is a little ass in the house, hardly half a year old, and who has

an instrument as big, as thick, and as long as your arm,"--and so saying

she held her arm by the elbow and shook it up and down--"and my husband,

who is quite 24 years old has but that little bit he has shown you. Do

you think I ought to be satisfied?" Everyone began to laugh, and she to

weep the more, so that for a long time not a word was said by any of

the company. Then her mother took the girl aside, and said one thing and

another to her, and left her satisfied after a great deal of trouble.

That is the way with the girls in Germany--if God pleases it will soon

be the same also in France.