The Jade Despoiled
By Messire Chrestien De Dygoigne.
_Of a married man who found his wife with another man, and devised
means to get from her her money, clothes, jewels, and all, down to
her chemise, and then sent her away in that condition, as shall be
It is no new and strange thing for wives to make their husbands
jealous,--or indeed, by God, cuckolds. And so it happened f
in the city of Antwerp, that a married woman, who was not the chastest
person in the world, was desired by a good fellow to do--you know what.
And she, being kind and courteous, did not like to refuse the request,
but gladly consented, and they two continued this life for a long time.
In the end, Fortune, tired of always giving them good luck, willed that
the husband should catch them in the act, much to his own surprise.
Perhaps though it would be hard to say which was the most surprised--the
lover, or his mistress, or the husband. Nevertheless, the lover, with
the aid of a good sword he had, made his escape without getting any
harm. There remained the husband and wife, and what they said to each
other may be guessed. After a few words on both sides, the husband,
thinking to himself that as she had commenced to sin it would be
difficult to break her of her bad habits, and that if she did sin
again it might come to the knowledge of other people, and he might be
dishonoured; and considering also that to beat or scold her would be
only lost labour, determined to see if he could not drive her out, and
never let her disgrace his house again. So he said to his wife;
"Well, I see that you are not such as you ought to be; nevertheless,
hoping that you will never again behave as you have behaved, let no more
be said. But let us talk of another matter. I have some business on
hand which concerns me greatly, and you also. We must put in it all our
jewels; and if you have any little hoard of money stored away, bring it
forth, for it is required."
"By my oath," said the wench, "I will do so willingly, if you will
pardon me the wrong I have done you."
"Don't speak about it," he replied, "and no more will I."
She, believing that she had absolution and remission of her sins, to
please her husband, and atone for the scandal she had caused, gave him
all the money she had, her gold rings, rich stuffs, certain well-stuffed
purses, a number of very fine kerchiefs, many whole furs of great
value--in short, all that she had, and that her husband could ask, she
gave to do him pleasure.
"The devil!" quoth he; "still I have not enough."
When he had everything, down to the gown and petticoat she wore, he
said, "I must have that gown."
"Indeed!" said she. "I have nothing else to wear. Do you want me to go
"You must," he said, "give it me, and the petticoat also, and be quick
about it, for either by good-will or force, I must have them."
She, knowing that force was not on her side, stripped off her gown and
petticoat, and stood in her chemise.
"There!" she said; "Have I done what pleases you?"
"Not always," he replied. "If you obey me now, God knows you do so
willingly--but let us leave that and talk of another matter. When I
married you, you brought scarcely anything with you, and the little that
you had you have dissipated or forfeited. There is no need for me to
speak of your conduct--you know better than anyone what you are, and
being what you are, I hereby renounce you, and say farewell to you for
ever! There is the door! go your way; and if you are wise, you will
never come into my presence again."
The poor wench, more astounded than ever, did not dare to stay after
this terrible reproof, so she left, and went, I believe, to the house of
her lover, for the first night, and sent many ambassadors to try and get
back her apparel and belongings, but it was no avail. Her husband was
headstrong and obstinate, and would never hear her spoken about, and
still less take her back, although he was much pressed both by his own
friends and those of his wife.
She was obliged to earn other clothes, and instead of her husband live
with a friend until her husband's wrath is appeased, but, up to the
present, he is still displeased with her, and will on no account see