Women's Quarrels

By The Editor.

_Of a married woman who was in love with a Canon, and, to avoid

suspicion, took with her one of her neighbours when she went to visit

the Canon; and of the quarrel that arose between the two women, as you

will hear._

In the noble city of Metz in Lorraine, there lived, some time ago a

woman who was married, but also belonged to the confraternity of the

_houlette_ (*); nothing pleased her more than that nice amusement we all

know: she was always ready to employ her arms, and prove that she was

right valiant, and cared little for blows.

(*) "The frail sisterhood".

Now hear what happened to her whilst she was exercising her profession.

She was enamoured of a fat canon, who had more money than an old dog has

fleas. But as he lived in a place where people came at all hours, she

did not know how she was to come to her canon un-perceived.

She pondered over the matter, and at last determined to take into her

confidence a neighbour of hers, a sister-in-arms also of the _houlette_,

for it seemed to her that she might go and see her canon, if accompanied

by her neighbour, without causing any suspicion.

As it was devised, so was it done, and she went to see the canon, as

though on an affair of great importance, and honourably escorted, as has

been said.

To shorten the story, as soon as our _bourgeoises_ arrived, after all

due salutations, the principal personage shut herself up with her lover,

the canon, and he gave her a mount, as he well knew how.

The neighbour, seeing the other have a private audience with the master

of the house, had no small envy, and was much displeased that she could

not do the same.

When the first-named woman came out of the room, after receiving what

she came for, she said to her neighbour;

"Shall We go?"

"Oh, indeed," said the other, "am I to go away like that? If I do not

receive the same courtesy that you did, by God I will reveal everything.

I did not come to warm the wax for other people."

When they saw what she wanted, they offered her the canon's clerk, who

was a stout and strong gallant well suited for the work, but she refused

him point blank, saying that she deserved his master and would have none


The canon was obliged, to save his honour, to grant her request, and

when that was accomplished, she wished to say farewell and leave.

But then the other would not, for she said angrily that it was she

who had brought her neighbour, and for whom the meeting was primarily

intended, and she ought to have a bigger share than the other, and that

she would not leave unless she had another "truss of oats."

The Canon was much alarmed when he heard this, and, although he begged

the woman who wanted the extra turn not to insist, she would not be


"Well," he said, "I am content, since it needs must be; but never come

back under similar conditions--I shall be out of town."

When the battle was over, the damsel who had had an additional turn,

when she took leave, asked the canon to give her something as a


Without waiting to be too much importuned, and also to get rid of

them, the good canon handed them the remainder of a piece of stuff for

kerchiefs, which he gave them, and the "principal" received the gift,

and they said farewell.

"It is," he said, "all that I can give you just now; so take it in good


They had not gone very far, and were in the street, when the neighbour,

who had had nothing more than one turn, told her companion that she

wanted her share of the gift.

"Very well," said the other, "I have no objection. How much do you


"Need you ask that," said she. "I am going to have half, and you the


"How dare you ask," said the other, "more than you have earned? Have you

no shame? You know well that you only went once with the canon, and I

went twice, and, pardieu, it is not right that you should have as much

as I."

"Pardieu! I will have as much as you," said the second.

"Did I not do my duty as well as you?"

"What do you mean by that?"

"Is not once as good as ten times? And now that you know my will,

instead of standing here squabbling over a trifle, I recommend you to

give me my half, or you will soon see a fight. Do you think you can do

as you like with me?"

"Oh, indeed!" said the other, "will you try force? By God's power you

shall only have what is right,--that is to say one third part--and I

will have the rest. Did I not have twice as much trouble as you?"

With that the other doubled up her fist and landed it in the face of

her companion, the one for whom the meeting had been first arranged,

who quickly returned the blow. In short they fought as though they would

have killed each other, and called one another foul names. When the

people in the street saw the fight between the two companions, who a

short while previously had been so friendly, they were much astonished,

and came and separated the combatants. Then the husbands were called,

and each asked his wife the cause of the quarrel. Each tried to make

the other in the wrong, without telling the real cause, and set their

husbands against each other so that they fought, and the sergeants came

and sent them to cool their heels in prison.

Justice intervened, and the two women were compelled to own that the

fight was about a piece of stuff for a kerchief. The Council, seeing

that the case did not concern them, sent it to the "King of the

Bordels", because the women were his subjects. And during the affair the

poor husbands remained in gaol awaiting sentence, which, owing to the

infinite number of cases, is likely to remain unsettled for a long time.