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´╗┐Title: A Merry Dialogue Declaringe the Properties of Shrowde Shrews and Honest Wives
Author: Erasmus, Desiderius, 1469-1536
Language: English
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                         A mery Dia-
               logue, declaringe the propertyes
                  of shrowde shrewes, and ho-
                 nest wyues, not onelie verie
                  pleasaunte, but also not a
                    lytle profitable: made
                     by ye famous clerke
                         D. Erasmus.
                          Roteroda-
                             mus.

                       Translated into
                          Englyshe.

                        Anno. M.CCCCC.
                            LVII.



  Eulalia. God spede, & a thousand mine old
  acqueintance. xantippa. xan. As many agayn, my dere
  hert. Eulalia. me semets ye ar waren much faire now
  of late. Eula. Saye you so? gyue you me a mocke at the
  first dash. xan. Nay veryly but I take you so. Eula.
  Happely mi new gown maketh me to loke fayrer then I
  sholde doe. xan. Sothe you saye, I haue not sene a
  mynioner this many dayes, I reken it Englishe cloth.
  Eu. It is english stuff and dyed in Venis. xan. It is
  softer then sylke what an oriente purpel colore here is
  who gaue you so rich a gift. Eu. How shoulde honeste
  women come by their gere? but by their husbandes.
  xan. Happy arte thou that hathe suche an husband, but
  I wolde to god for his passyon, that I had maryed an
  husband of clowts, when I had maried col my good man.
  Eula. Why say ye so. I pray you, are you at oddes now.
  xan. I shal neuer be at one with him ye se how
  beggerly I go. I haue not an hole smock to put on my
  backe, and he is wel contente with all: I praye god I
  neuer come in heuen & I be not ashamed oftimes to shewe
  my head, when I se other wiues how net and trim they go
  that ar matched with farre porer men then he is.
  Eula. The apparell of honest wiues is not in the aray
  of the body, nor in the tirements of their head as
  saynte Peter the apostle teacheth vs (and that I
  learned a late at a sermon) but in good lyuynge and
  honest conuersacion and in the ornamentes of the soule,
  the common buenes ar painted up, to please manye
  mennes eies we ar trime ynough yf we please our
  husbands only. xan. But yet my good man so euyll
  wylling to bestow ought vpon his wyfe, maketh good
  chere, and lassheth out the dowrye that hee hadde with
  mee no small pot of wine. Eulaly, where vpon? xantipha,
  wheron hym lykethe beste, at the tauerne, at the stewes
  and at the dyce. Eulalia Peace saye not so. xan. wel
  yet thus it is, then when he commeth home to me at
  midnight, longe watched for, he lyeth rowtyng lyke a
  sloyne all the leue longe nyght, yea and now and then
  he all bespeweth his bed, and worse then I will say at
  this tyme. Eulali. Peace thou dyshonesteth thy self,
  when thou doest dishonesteth thy husband. xantip. The
  deuyl take me bodye and bones but I had leuer lye by a
  sow with pigges, then with suche a bedfelowe. Eulali.
  Doest thou not then take him vp, wel favoredly for
  stumbling. Xantip. As he deserueth I spare no tonge.
  Eulalia. what doth he then. xantip. At the first
  breake he toke me vp vengeably, trusting that he
  shoulde haue shaken me of and put me to scilence with
  his crabid wordes. Eula Came neuer your hote wordes
  vnto handstrokes. xantip. On a tyme we fel so farre
  at wordes that we wer almost by ye eares togither.
  Eula what say you woman? xan. He toke vp a staffe
  wandryng at me, as the deuill had bene on hym ready to
  laye me on the bones. Eula. were thou not redye to ron
  in at the bench hole. xanti. Nay mary I warrant the.
  I gat me a thre foted stole in hand, & he had but ones
  layd his littell finger on me, he shulde not haue
  founde me lame. I woulde haue holden his nose to the
  grindstone Eulalia. A newe found shelde, ye wanted
  but youre dystaffe to haue made you a speare. xantip.
  And he shoulde not greatlye a laughed at his parte.
  Eulali. Ah my frynde. xantyppa. that way is neither
  good nor godly, xantippa what is neither good nor
  godly. yf he wyll not vse me, as hys wyfe: I wil not
  take him for my husbande. Eulalya. But Paule sayeth
  that wyues shoulde bee boner and buxome vnto their
  husbandes with all humylytye, and Peter also bryngethe
  vs an example of Sara, that called her husbande
  Abrahame, Lorde. xantippa. I know that as well as you
  then ye same paule say that men shoulde loue theyr
  wyues, as Christ loues his spouse the churche let him
  do his duete I wil do myne. Eula. But for all that,
  when the matter is so farre that the one muste forber
  the other it is reason that the woman giue place vnto
  the man, xan. Is he meete to be called my husbande
  that maketh me his vnderlynge and his dryuel? Eula. But
  tel me dame xantip. Would he neuer offre the stripes
  after that xantip. Not a stripe, and therin he was
  the wyser man for & he had he should haue repented
  euery vayne in hys harte. Eulali. But thou offered him
  foule wordes plentie, xantip. And will do. Eula. What
  doth he ye meane season. xantip. What doth he
  sometyme cowcheth an hogeshed, somtime he doth nothing
  but stande and laughe at me, other whyle takethe hys
  Lute wheron is scarslie three strynges layenge on that
  as fast as he may dryue because he would not here me.
  Eula. Doeth that greue thee? xantippa. To beyonde home,
  manie a tyme I haue much a do to hold my handes. Eula.
  Neighbour. xantip. wylt thou gyue me leaue to be playn
  with the. xantippa Good leaue haue you. Eula. Be as
  bolde on me agayne our olde acquayntaunce and amite,
  euen from our chyldhode, would it should be so.
  xantippa. Trueth you saie, there was neuer woman kinde
  that I fauoured more Elaly Whatsoeuer thy husband be,
  marke well this, chaunge thou canst not, In the olde
  lawe, where the deuill hadde cast aboone betwene the
  man and the wife, at the worste waye they myght be
  deuorsed, but now that remedie is past, euen till
  death depart you he must nedes be thy husbande, and
  thou hys wyfe, xan. Il mote they thryue & thei that
  taken away that liberty from vs Eulalia. Beware what
  thou sayest, it was christes act. Xan. I can euil
  beleue that Eula. It is none otherwyse, now it is beste
  that eyther of you one beyng with an other, ye laboure
  to liue at reste and peace. xantyppa. Why? can I
  forgeue him a new, Eu. It lieth great parte in the
  women, for the orderinge of theyr husbandes. xan.
  Leadest thou a mery life with thine. Eula Now all is
  well. xan. Ergo ther was somwhat to do at your fyrste
  metying Eula. Neuer no greate busynes, but yet as it,
  happeneth now and than betwene man & woman, there was
  foule cloudes a loft, that might haue made a storme but
  that they were ouer blowen with good humanitie and wyse
  handlynge. Euery man hath hys maner and euery man
  hath his seueral aptite or mynde, and thinkes hys owne
  way best, & yf we list not to lie there liueth no man
  without faulte, which yf anie were elles, ywis in
  wedlocke they ought to know and not vtterly hated xan,
  you say well, Eulalya. It happeneth many times that
  loue dayes breketh betwene man and wife, before ye
  one be perfitly knowen vnto the other beware of that
  in any wife, for when malice is ones begon, loue is but
  barely redressed agayne, namely, yf the mater grow
  furthe unto bytter checkes, & shamfull raylinges such
  things as are fastened with glew, yf a manne wyll all
  to shake them strayght waye whyle the glew is warme,
  they soone fal in peces, but after ye glew is ones
  dried vp they cleue togither so fast as anie thing,
  wherefore at the beginning a meanes must be made, that
  loue mai encrease and be made sure betwene ye man &
  the wife, & that is best brought aboute by gentilnesse
  and fayre condycions, for the loue that beautie onelie
  causeth, is in a maner but a cheri faire Xan. But I
  praye you hartelye tell me, by what pollycy ye brought
  your good man to folow your daunce. Eula. I wyll tell
  you on this condicyon, that ye will folowe me. xan. I
  can. Eula, It is as easy as water if ye can find in
  your hart to do it, nor yet no good time past for he is
  a yong man, and you ar but agirle of age, and I trowe
  it is not a yere ful sins ye wer maried. Xan All thys
  is true Eulalia. I wyll shew you then. But you must
  kepe it secret xantip. with a ryght good wyl. Eula.
  This was my chyefe care, to kepe me alwayes in my
  housbandes fauoure, that there shulde nothyng angre him
  I obserued his appetite and pleasure I marked the tymes
  bothe whan he woulde be pleased and when he wold be all
  byshrwed, as they tameth the Elephantes and Lyons or
  suche beastes that can not be wonne by strength
  xantyppa. Suche a beaste haue I at home. Eula. Thei
  that goth vnto the Elephantes weare no white garmentes,
  nor they that tame wylde bulles, weare no blasynge
  reedes, for experience teacheth, that suche beastes bee
  madde with those colours, like as the Tygers by the
  sound of tumbrels be made so wode, that thei plucke
  theymself in peces. Also thei that breake horses haue
  their termes and theyr soundes theyr hadlynges, and
  other knackes to breake their wyldnes, wyth all. Howe
  much more then is it oure duetyes that ye wyues to
  use suche craftes toward our husbandes with whom all
  our lyfe tyme wil we, nyl we is one house, and one bed.
  xantip. furthwith your tale. Eula, when I had ones
  marked there thynges. I applied my selfe unto hym, well
  ware not to displease him. xantip. How could thou do
  that. Eulalya. Fyrste in the ouerseynge my householde,
  which is the very charge and cure of wyues, I wayted
  euer, not onely gyuynge hede that nothing shoulde be
  forgotten or undoone, but that althynges should be as
  he woulde haue it, wer it euer so small a trifle.
  xan. wherin. Eulalia. As thus. Yf mi good man had a
  fantasye to this thynge, or to that thyng, or if he
  would haue his meate dressed on this fashion, or that
  fashion. xan. But howe couldest thou fashyon thye selfe
  after hys wyll and mynde, that eyther woulde not be at
  home or elles be as freshe as a saulte heryng. Elali.
  Abyde a while. I come not at that yet, yf my husband
  wer very sad at anye tyme, no time to speake to him. I
  laughed not nor tryfled him as many a woman doth but I
  looked rufully and heauyly, for as a glasse (if it be a
  true stone) representeth euer ye physnamy of hym that
  loketh in it, so lykewyse it becommeth a wedded woman
  alway to agre vnto the appetite of her husbande, that
  she be not mery when he murneth, nor dysposed to play
  when he is sad. And if that at any time he be waiward
  shrewshaken, either I pacyfye hym with faire wordes, or
  I let hym alone, vntyll the wynd be ouerblowen gyuing
  him neuer a word at al, vntil the time come that I may
  eyther excuse my faute, or tell hym of hys. In lyke
  wyse when he commeth home wel whitled, I gyue hym
  gentyll and fayre woordes, so with fayre entreatynge I
  gette hym to bed. xantyppa, O careful state of wyues,
  when they muste be gladde and fayne to followe their
  husbandes mindes, be thei eluyshe, dronken, or doying
  what myschiefe they liste. Eula. As whoe saieth this
  gentill dealynge serueth not for bothe partyes, for
  they spyte of theyr berdes muste suffre many thynges in
  our demeanor, yet a time ther is, when in a weighty
  matter it is laufull that the wyfe tell the good man
  his faute, if that it be matter of substaunce, for at
  lyght trifles, it is best to play byll under wynge.
  xantyp. what tune is that Eula. when he is ydle,
  neither angry, pensife, nor ouersen, then betwixt you
  two secretly he must be told his faute gently, or
  rather intreated, that in this thynge or that he play
  the better husbande to loke better to his good name and
  fame and to his helth and this tellyng must be myxt
  with mery conceites and pleasaunt wordes many times I
  make a meane to tel my tale after this fashyon, that he
  shall promise me, he shal take no displeasure wyth my
  thynge, that I a foolyshe woman shall breake vnto hym,
  that pertayneth eyther to hys helthe worshyppe or
  welth. When I haue sayde that I woulde, I chop cleane
  from that communication and falle into some other
  pastime, for this is all our fautes, neyghbour
  Xantippa, that when we begyn ones to chat our tounges
  neuer lie. Xantip. So men say Eulalia. Thus was I well
  ware on, that I neuer tell my husband his fautes
  before companie, nor I neuer caried any complaynte
  furthe a dores: the mendes is soner made when none
  knoweth it but two, and there were anie suche faute
  that myght not be wel borne nor amended by ye wyues
  tellige, it is more laudable that the wife make
  complaynte vnto the Parentes and kynsfolke of her
  husband, then vnto her own, and so to moderate her
  complaynte that she seme not to hate hym but hys vice
  nor let her play all the blabbe, that in some poynt
  vnutered, he may know & loue his wiues curteysy.
  Xantip. She had nede be aswellerned woman, that would
  do all this. Eu. Mary through suche demeanoure, we
  shall sterre our husbandes vnto lyke gentylnesse.
  Xan: There be some that cannot be amended with all the
  gentyll handlynge in the worlde. Eula: In faith I
  thyncke nay, but case there be, marke this wel the good
  man must be for borne, howe soeuer the game goeth, then
  is it better to haue him alwayes at one point or ells
  more kinde and louing throw oure gentill handlinge,
  then to haue him worse and worse throwe our
  cursednesse, what wyll you say and I tell you of
  husbandes that hath won theyr wiues by suche
  curtesie, howe muche more are we bounde to use the
  same towarde our husbandes. Xantip. Than shall you tell
  of one farre vnlyke vnto thyne husband. Eula. I am
  aquented with a certayne gentelman well lerned and a
  veri honest man, he maried a yonge wyfe, a mayden of.
  xvii. yeare olde brede and brought vp of a chylde in
  the countre vnder her fathers and mother wing (as
  gentilmen delite to dwel in the countre) to hunt &
  hawke This yong gentilman would haue one that were
  unbroken, because he might the soner breake her after
  hys owne mind, he began to entre her in learning
  syngynge, and playinge, and by lytle and lytle to vse
  here to repete suche thynges as she harde at sermons,
  and to instruct her with other things that myght haue
  doone her more good in time to come. This gere, because
  it was straunge vnto this young woman which at home
  was brought vp in all ydelnesse, and with the light
  communication of her fathers seruantes, and other
  pastimes, began to waxe greuouse & paynfull, vnto
  her. She withdrew her good mynde and dylygence and
  when her husband called vpon her she put ye finger
  in the eye, and wepte and many times she would fal
  downe on the grounde, beatynge her head agaynst the
  floure, as one that woulde be out of thys worlde. When
  there was no healpe for this gere, the good man as
  though he hadde bene wel asked his wyfe yf she woulde
  ryde into the countre with him a sporting vnto her
  fathers house, so that she graunted anone. When they
  were commen thyther, the gentilman left his wyfe
  with her mother & her sisters he went furth an
  huntynge with his father in lawe, there betwene theym
  two, he shewed al together, how that he hadde hoped to
  haue had a louynge companion to lead his lyfe withall,
  now he hath one that is alwaies blubberynge and pyninge
  her selfe awaye withoute anye remedie, he prayeth him
  to lay to hys hande in amendinge his doughters fautes
  her father answered that he had ones giuen hym his
  doughter, and yf that she woulde not be rewled by
  wordes (a goddes name take Stafforde lawe) she was his
  owne. Then the gentylman sayd agayne, I know that I
  may do but I had leuer haue her amended eyther by
  youre good counsell or commaundement, then to come vnto
  that extreme waies, her father promised that he would
  fynde a remedye. After a dai or two, he espied time and
  place when he might be alone with his doughter. Then
  he loked soureli vpon his doughter, as though he had
  bene horne woode with her, he began to reherse how
  foule a beaste she was, how he feared many tymes that
  she neuer haue bestowed her. And yet sayde he much a
  doe, vnto my great coste and charg, I haue gotten the
  one that moughte lye by any Ladyes syde, and she were a
  quene and yet thou not perceiuying what I haue done for
  the nor knowynge that thou hast suche a man whiche but
  of his goodnes myghte thynke thee to euill to be stoye
  in his kytchen, thou contrariest al his mind to make a
  short tale he spake so sharpely to her, that she feared
  that he wold haue beaten her. It is a man of asubtyll
  and wylye wytte, whyche wythout a vysarde is ready to
  playe anye maner of parte. Then this yonge wife what
  for feare, and for trouthe of the matter, cleane
  stryken oute of countenaunce, fell downe at her fathers
  fete desyryng hym that he wolde forgette and forgiue
  her all that was past and euer after she woulde doe her
  duetye Her father forgaue her, and promised that she
  shoulde finde him a kynd and a louynge father, yf so be
  that she perfourmed her promyse. xantippa. How dyd she
  afterwarde? Eulalya, when she was departed from her
  father she came backe into a chaumber, and there by
  chaunce found her husband alone she fel on her knees to
  hym and said. Man in tymes paste, I neyther knewe you
  nor my selfe, from this daye froward ye shall se me
  cleane chaunged, onelye pardon that is past, with that
  her husbande toke her in his armes & kyssed her sayinge
  she should lacke nothyng yf she woulde holde her in
  that mind. xantip. Why did she continue so. Eulalya.
  Euen tyll her endynge daye, nor there was none so vyle
  a thynge but that she woulde laye handes on it redely
  with all her herte, if her husband wolde let her, so
  great loue was begon and assured betwene them and
  many a daye after, shee thanked god that euer she met
  with such a man. For yf she had not she sayd she had
  ben cleane caste awaye. xan. We haue as greate plentie
  of suche housbandes, as of white crowes. Eulalya. Now,
  but for werieng you? I coulde tell you a thynge that
  chaunced a late in this same citye. xantyppa. I haue
  litell to doe, and I lyke your communicacyon very well.
  Eulalia. There was a certaine gentilman he as suche
  sort of men do, vsed much huntyng in the cuntre, where
  he happened on a younge damoysell, a very pore womans
  child on whom he doted a man well stryken in age, and
  for her sake he lay often out of his owne house his
  excuse was hunting. This mans wife an exceding
  honest woman, halfe deale suspecte the mater, tried
  out her husbandes falshed, on a tyme when he had
  taken his iourney fourth of the town vnto some other
  waies, she wente vnto that poore cotage and boulted out
  all the hoole matter, where he laye on nights, wheron
  he dranke, what thyng thei had to welcom him
  withall. There was neither one thyng nor other, but
  bare walles. This good woman returned home, and sone
  after came againe brynginge with her a good soft bed,
  and al therto belongyng and certain plate besydes that
  she gaue them moneye, chargynge them that if the
  Gentilman came agayne, they shold entreate him better
  not beyng knowen al this while that she was his wyfe,
  but fayued her to be her sister. Not long after her
  husband stale thether againe, he sawe the howse
  otherwyse decked, and better fare then he was wounte to
  haue. He asked, frome whence commeth al this goodly
  gere? They sayde that an honeste matrone, a kynsewoman
  of hys hadde broughte it thyther and commaunded thenm
  that he should be well cherished when so euer he came,
  by and by his hart gaue him that it was hys wiues dede,
  whan he came home he demaunded of her yf she hadde
  bene there or nay, she sayd yea. Then he asked her for
  what purpose she sente all that housholde stuffe
  thyther. Man (said she) ye haue ben tenderly brought
  vp. I perceiued that ye were but corslie handled there,
  me thought that it was my part, seing it was your wyll
  and pleasure to be there ye shoulde be better loked to.
  Xantippa. She was one of goddes fooles. I woulde rather
  for a bed haue layd vnder him a bundel of nettels: or a
  burden of thistels. Eula. But here the end her husbande
  perceyuyng the honeste of her great pacience neuer
  after laye from her, but made good cheare at home with
  his owne. I am sure ye knowe Gilberte the holander.
  Xan. Very well. Eu. He (as it is not vnknowen maried
  an old wife in his florishing youth. Xan. Per
  aduenture he maried the good and notthe woman.
  Eulalia. There sayde ye well, setting lytell stoore by
  hys olde wife, hunted a callette, with whom he kept
  much companie abrode, he dined or supped litell at
  home. What wouldest thou haue sayd to ye gere.
  Xantip. What woulde I a said? I wolde haue flowen to
  the hores toppe and I wolde haue crowned myne husbande
  at hys oute goinge to her with a pysbowle, that he so
  embawlmed might haue gon vnto his souerayne ladie.
  Eula. But how much wiselier dyd this woman? She desyred
  that yonge woman home vnto her, and made her good
  chere, so by that meanes she brought home also her
  husband without ani witchraft or sorserie, and yf that
  at anye season he supped abrode with her she would
  sende vnto them some good dayntie morsel, and byd him
  make good chere Xantippa. I had leuer be slayne then I
  woulde be bawde vnto myne owne husbande. Eulalia. Yea,
  but consyder all thynges well, was not that muche
  better, then she shoulde be her shrewyshnesse, haue
  putte her husbandes minde cleane of from her, and so
  haue ledde all her life in trouble and heuynesse.
  Xantippa. I graunte you well, that it was better so but
  I coulde not abyde it. Eulalya. I wyll tell you a prety
  story more, and so make an ende One of oure
  neyghboures, a well disposed and a goddes man, but that
  he is some what testie, on a day pomeld his wife well
  and thriftely aboute the pate and so good a woman as
  euer was borne, she picked her into an inner parler,
  and there weepynge and sobbynge, eased her heuye harte,
  anone after, by chaunce her husbande came into the same
  place, and founde hys wyfe wepyng. What sitest thou
  heare sayth he seighing & sobbing like a child Then
  she like a wise woman sayde. Is it not more honesty for
  me to lamente my dolours here in a secret place, then
  to make wondering and on oute crye in the strete, as
  other women do. At so wyfely and womanly a saing his
  hart melted, promysynge her faythfullye and truelie
  that he woulde neuer laye stroke on her afterwarde, nor
  neuer did. Xantippa. No more wil mine god thanke my
  selfe. Eulalya. But then ye are alwaies one at a
  nother, agreinge lyke dogges and cattes. Xan. What
  wouldest thou that I should do? Eu. Fyrst & formest,
  whatsoeuer thy husbande doeth sayde thou nothinge, for
  his harte must be wonne by lytell and litel by fayre
  meanes, gentilnesse and forbearing at the last thou
  shalte eyther wynne him or at the least waie thou shalt
  leade a better life then thou doest now. Xantippa. He
  his beyonde goddes forbode, he wil neuer amende.
  Eulalia. Eye saye not so, there is no beest so wild but
  by fayre handling be tamed, neuer mistrust man then.
  Assay a moneth or two, blame me and thou findest not
  that my counsell dooeth ease. There be some fautes wyth
  you thoughe thou se them, be wyse of this especyall
  that thou neuer gyue hym foule wordes in the chambre,
  or inbed but be sure that all thynges there bee full of
  pastyme and pleasure. For yf that place which is
  ordeined to make amendes for all fautes and so to
  renew loue, be polluted, eyther with strife or
  grugynges, then fayre wel al hope of loue daies, or
  atonementes, yet there be some beastes so wayward and
  mischeuous, that when theyr husbandes hath them in
  their arms a bed, they scholde & chyde making that same
  plesure their lewd condicions (that expelseth all
  displeasures oute of their husbandes mynde unpleasaunt
  and lytell set bi corrupting the medecine that shuld
  haue cured al deadly greifes, & odible offences.
  xantip. That is no newes to me. Eula. Though the woman
  shulde be well ware and wyse that she shulde neuer be
  disobedient vnto her husband yet she ought to be most
  circumspect that at meting she shew her selfe redy
  and pleasaunt unto him. xantyppa. Yea vnto a man, holde
  well withall but I am combred with a beast. Eula. No
  more of those wordes, most commonly our husbandes ar
  euyll through our owne faute, but to returne againe
  vnto our taile they that ar sene in the olde fables of
  Poetes sai that Venus whome they make chiefe lady of
  wedlocke (hath a girdle made by the handy worke of
  Vulcan her Lorde, and in that is thrust al that
  enforceth love and with that she girdeth her whan so
  ever she lyeth wyth her housbande xantippa. A tale of a
  tubbe. Eulalya. A tayle it is, but herken what the
  taile meaneth. xantippa. Tell me. Eulalia That techeth
  us that the wyfe ought to dyspose her selfe all the she
  maye that lieng by her husband she shew him al the
  plesure that she can; Wherby the honest love of
  matrimony may reuiue and be renewed, & that there with
  be clene dispatched al grudges & malice xant. But how
  shall we come by the thys gyrdle? Eula. We nede neyther
  wytchraft nor enchauntment, ther is non of them al, so
  sure as honest condicions accompayned with good
  feloshyp. xan. I can not fauoure suche an husbande as
  myne is. Eula, It is moste thy profyt that he be no
  longer suche. If thou couldest by thy Circes craft
  chaunge thin husband into an hogge, or a bore wouldest
  thou do it? xantip. God knoweth. Eu. Art thou in dout?
  haddest thou leauer marye an hogge than a man.
  Xantip. Mary I had leauer haue a manne. Eulalia. wel,
  what and thou coudest by sorcery make him of a
  dronkarde a soober man, of a vnthrifte a good
  housbande of an ydell losell a towarde body, woldest
  thou not doe it? xantip. yes, hardely, woulde I doe it.
  But where shoulde I learne the cunnyng? Eula. For soth
  that conning hast thou in the if thou wouldest vtter
  it, thyn must he be, mauger thy head, the towarde ye
  makest him, the better it is for the, thou lokest on
  nothing but on his leude condicions, and thei make
  the half mad, thou wouldest amende hym and thou puttest
  hym farther oute of frame, loke rather on his good
  condicions, and so shalt thou make him better. It is to
  late calagayne yesterdaie before thou were maryed unto
  hym. It was tyme to consyder what his fautes were for
  a women shold not only take her husbande by the eyes
  but by the eares. Now it is more tyme to redresse
  fautes then to fynd fautes. xantt. What woman euer
  toke her gusband by the eares. Eulali. She taketh her
  husbande by the eyes that loketh on nothyng, but on the
  beautye and pulcritude of the body. She taketh him by
  the eares, that harkeneth diligently what the common
  voice sayth by him xantip. Thy counsaile is good, but
  it commeth a day after the faire. Eula. Yet it commeth
  time ynough to bringe thyne husbande to a greate
  furtheraunce to that shall bee yf God sende you anie
  frute togither. xantippa. We are spede alredy of that.
  Eulaly. How long ago. Xantip. A good whyle ago Eulalia.
  How many monethes old is it. Xantip. It lacketh lytle
  of. vii. Eula What a tale is this, ye reken the
  monethes by nightes and dayes double. Xantippa. Not so.
  Eula. It can not be none other wyse, yf ye reken from
  the mariage day. xantippa. yea, but what then, I
  spake with him before we were maried. Eulalia. Be
  children gotten by speakinge. xantip. It befell so that
  he mette me alone and begon to ticke at me, and tickled
  me vnder the arme holes and sydes to make me laugh. I
  might not awaie with ticklynge, but fell downe
  backewarde vpon a bedde and he a lofte, neuer leuinge
  kyssynge on me, what he did els I can not saye, but by
  sayncte Marie within a while after my bely beganne to
  swell. Eula. Go now and disprayse thine husbande
  whiche yf he gette children by playe, what wyll he do
  when he goeth to it in good ernest. xantippa, I fere
  me I am payed agayin. Eula. Good locke God hath sent a
  fruitfull grounde, a good tylman. Xantip. In that
  thing he might haue lesse laboure and more thanke.
  Eula. Few wyues finde at theyr husbandes in that behalf
  but were ye then sure togither. xanti. yea that we
  were Eula. The offence is the lesse. Is it a man
  chylde. xantip. yea. Eula. He shal make you at one so
  that ye wil bow & forbere. What saieth other men by
  thin husband, they that be his companions, they
  delite with him abrode xan, They say that he is
  meruelous gentyl, redy to do euery man pleasure,
  liberal and sure to his frende. Eula. And that putteth
  me in good comfort that he wyll be ruled after our
  counsayll. xantip. But I fynde him not so. Eula. =Order
  thy selfe to him as I haue tolde thee, and cal me no
  more true sayer but a lier, if he be not so good vnto
  the as to anie creature liuinge Again considre this
  he is yet but a childe, I thinke he passethe not.
  xxiiij. the blacke oxe neuer trode on hys fote, nowe it
  is but loste laboure to recken vpon anye deuorse.
  xantippa. Yet manye a tyme and ofte I haue troubled my
  braynes withal Eulalia. As for that fantasye whensoeuer
  it commeth into your mynd first of all counte how naked
  a thynge woman is, deuorsed from man. It is the hyghest
  dignitie that longethe to the wyfe to obsequyous vnto
  her spouse. So hath natyre ordeined so god hath
  appoynted, that the woman shoulde be ruled al by the
  man loke onely vppon this whiche is trouth, thine
  husbande he is, other canste thou none haue. Againe
  forgette not that swete babe be gotten of both your
  bodies what thin beste thou to do with that, wilte thou
  take it awaye with thee? Thou shalte bereue thyne
  husband his ryght wylt thou leue it with hym? thou
  shalt spoile thy self of thy chefeste Jewell thou
  haste. Beside all this tell me trueth hast thou none
  euyll wyllers, Besyde all thys tell me trueth, hast
  thou none euyll wyllers. xan. I haue a stepdame I
  warrant you, and myne husbandes mother euen such
  another. Eula. Do they hate the so deadly. xantip. They
  woulde se me hanged. Eula. Then forget not then
  what greater plesure couldest thou shew them then to se
  the deuorsed from thine husband and to led a wydowes
  lyfe. Yea and worse then a wydow, for wydowes be at
  their choise. xantippa. I holde well with youre
  counsell, but I can not awaye with the paynes.
  Eulalia. yet recken what paines ye toke or ye colde
  teache your paret to speake. xantippa. Exceadynge much.
  Eu. And thinke you much to labour a lytel in reforming
  your husband with whom you may liue merely all the
  dayes of your lyfe. What busines doe men put them
  self to be wel & easly horsed & shal we think our
  selues to good to take paines that we mai haue our
  husbandes gentil & curteise vnto vs. xantip. What
  shal I do. Eu. I haue told you al redy, se that al
  thing be clene & trim at home, that no sluttysh or
  vnclenlye syghtes dryue hym oute a dores. Be your selfe
  alwayes redy at a becke, berynge continuali in minde
  what reuerence the wife oweth vnto her husband. Be
  neyther in your dumpes, nor alwayes on your mery
  pinnes go nether to homely nor to nycely. Let your meat
  be cleane dressed, you know yourhusbandes diet. What
  he loueth best that dresse. Moreouer shewe your selfe
  louinge and fayre spoken vnto them where he loueth,
  call them now and then vnto your table. At meate, se
  that al thinges be well sauored, and make good there,
  And when that he is toppe heuy playing on his lute,
  sytte thou by and singe to him so shalte thou make hym
  keepe home, and lessen hys expences This shall he
  thynke at length, in faythe I am a fonde felowe that
  maketh suche chere with a strumpet abroode with greate
  lossee bothe of substance and name, seyng that I haue a
  wyfe at home bothe muche fayrer, and one that loueth me
  ten times better, with whome I may be both clenlyer
  receiued and dayntelier cherisshed xantip. Beleuest
  thou that it will take and I put it into a profe.
  Eulali. Looke on me. I warrante it or ought longe I
  wyll in hande with thyne husbande, & I will tell hym
  his part. xantippa. ye marie that is well sayde. But be
  wyse that he espie not our casle, he would plaie his
  fages, all the house should be to lytle for hym.
  Eulalia. Take no thoughte. I shall so conuey my
  matters, that he shall dysclose all together hym selfe,
  what busynesse is betwene you, that done I wyll handell
  him pretelie as I thinke beste, and I truste to make
  him a new man for the and when I se my time I wyl make
  a lie for thee, how louinge thou hast spoken of him.
  xantippa. Chryst spede vs and bringe our pupose well
  aboute. Eulalia. He will not fayle the so thou do thy
  good wyll.
  There was a man that maried a woman whiche hadde great
  riches and beawtye. Howe bee it she hadde suche an
  impedyment of nature that she was domme and coulde not
  speake, whiche thynge made him ryghte pensyfe, and
  sayd, wherfore vpon a daye as he walked alone ryght
  heuye in hearte thynkynge vpon his wyfe. There came one
  to hym and asked him what was the cause of his
  heuynesse whiche answered that it was onely bycause his
  wife was borne domme. To whome this other said I shal
  shewe the soone a remedy and a medicyne (therfore that
  is thus) go tak an aspen leafe and lay it vnder her
  tonge this night shee beinge a sleape, and I warrant
  the that shee shall speake on the morowe whiche man
  beyng glad of thys medycyne prepared therfore and
  gathered aspen leaues, wherfore he layd thre of them
  vnder her tonge whan shee was a sleape. And on the
  morow when he him selfe awaked he Desyrous to know how
  hys medicine wrought being in bed with her, he
  demaunded of her how she did, and sodenly she
  answered and sayd, I beshrewe thy harte for waking me
  so early, and so by the vertue of that medycyne she was
  restored to her speche. But in conclusion her spech
  encresed day by day and she was so curst of condycyon
  that euery daie she brauled and chyd with her husbande,
  so muche at the laste he was more weped, and had much
  more trouble and disease wyth her shrewed wordes then
  he hadde before when she was dumme, wherfore as he
  walked another time alone he happened to mete agayne
  with the same personne that taught hym the sayde
  medycine and sayde to hym thys wyse. Syr ye taught me a
  medicin but late to make my domme wyfe to speake,
  byddynge me lay an aspen leafe vnder her toung when
  she sleapte, and I layde three Aspen leaves there.
  Wherfore nowe she speaketh. But yet she speaketh soo
  much & so shrewdlye that I am more werier of her now,
  then I was when she was domme: Wherfore I praie you
  teache me a medycine to modyfye her that she speake not
  so muche. This other answered and sayd thus. Sir I am a
  deuyl of hel but I am one of them that haue least
  power there. Al be yet I haue power to make a woman
  to speake, but and yf a woman begin ones to speake, I
  nor al the deuyls in hel that haue the mooste power be
  not able to make a woman to be styll, nor to cause her
  to leue speakyng.

  The end of this pleasant dialogue declaryng the seueral
  properties of ye two contrary disposers of the wyues
  aforesayde.

                Imprinted at London in Paules
                church yearde, at the sygne of
                    the Sunne, by Antony
                          Kytson.





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