The Devil's Share

By The Marquis De Rothelin.

_Of one of his marshals who married the sweetest and most lovable woman

there was in all Germany. Whether what I tell you is true--for I do

not swear to it that I may not be considered a liar--you will see more

plainly below._

Whilst we are waiting tor some one to come forward and tell us a good

story, I will relate a little one which will not detain
you long, but is

quite true, and happened lately.

I had a marshal, who had served me long and faithfully, and who

determined to get a wife, and was married to the most ill-tempered woman

in all the country; and when he found that neither by good means or bad

could he cure her of her evil temper, he left her, and would not live

with her, but avoided her as he would a tempest, for if he knew she was

in any place he would go in the contrary direction. When she saw that

he avoided her, and that he gave her no opportunity of displaying her

temper, she went in search of him, and followed him, crying God knows

what, whilst he held his tongue and pursued his road, and this only

made her worse and she bestowed more curses and maledictions on her poor

husband than a devil would on a damned soul.

One day she, finding that her husband did not reply a word to anything

she said, followed him through the street, crying as loud as she could

before all the people;

"Come here, traitor! speak to me. I belong to you. I belong to you!"

And my marshal replied each time; "I give my share to the devil! I give

my share to the devil."

Thus they went all through the town of Lille, she crying all the while

"I belong to you," and the other replying "I give my share to the


Soon afterwards, so God willed, this good woman died, and my marshal was

asked if he were much grieved at the loss of his wife, and he replied

that never had such a piece of luck occurred to him, and if God had

promised him anything he might wish, he would have wished for his wife's

death; "for she," he said, "was so wicked and malicious that if I knew

she were in paradise I would not go there, for there could be no peace

in any place where she was. But I am sure that she is in hell, for never

did any created thing more resemble a devil than she did." Then they

said to him;

"Really you ought to marry again. You should look out for some good,

quiet, honest woman."

"Marry?" said he. "I would rather go and hang myself on a gibbet than

again run the danger of finding such a hell as I have--thank God--now

escaped from."

Thus he lived, and still lives--but I know not what he will be.