A certain lord's chaplain boasted on a time, sitting at
his lord's table, that he said Our Lady matins every morning
besides all his other service and orisons. The lord, to
prove whether his chaplian did as he said, arose early on
a morning and went to his chaplain's chamber and called
him, saying: "Where be ye, Sir William?"
"Here, and please your lordship (quod he), in my bed."
"Why," said the lord, " I thought ye had been up and saying
of Our Lady matins."
"I am now saying it," quod the chaplain.
"What! lying in your bed?" quod the lord.
"Why, sir," said the chaplain, "where would women be served
to the top .:.
A man that was right jealous of his wife dreamed on a night
as he lay abed with her and slept, that the devil appeared
unto him and said: "Wouldst thou not be glad that I should
put thee in surety of they wife?"
"Yes," said he.
"Hold," said the devil, "as long as thou hast this ring
upon thy finger no man shall make thee cuckold."
The man was glad thereof, and when he awaked he found his
finger in his wife's arse.
to the top .:.
There was a maid stood by a river's side in her smock, washing
clothes. And as she stooped, oft times her smock cleaved
between her buttocks. By whom there came a friar, seeing
her, and said in sport: "Maid, maid, take heed--for Bayard
bites on the bridle!" "Nay, I know, master friar (quod the
maiden), he doth but wipe his mouth and weeneth ye will
come and kiss him."
By this ye may see that a woman's answer is never to seek.
to the top .:.
A gentleman and a gentlewoman sat together talking--which
gentleman had great pain in one of his teeth, and happened
to say to the gentlewoman this: "I know, mistress, I have
a tooth in my head which grieveth me very sore, wherefore
I would it were in your tail."
She, hearing him saying so, answered thus: "In good faith,
sir, if your tooth were in my tail, it could do it but little
good--but if there be anything in my tail that can do your
tooth good, I would it were in your tooth."
By this, ye may see that a woman's answer is seldom to seek.
to the top .:.
A young gentleman of the age of twenty years, somewhat disposed
to mirth and game, on a time talked with a gentlewoman which
was right wise and also merry. This gentlewoman, as she
talked with him, happened to look upon his beard (which
was but young and grown somewhat upon the overlip and but
little grown beneath--as all young men's beards commonly
use to grow) said to him thus: "Sir, ye have beard above
and none beneath."
And he, hearing her say so, said in sport: "Mistress, ye
have a beard beneath and none above."
"Marry," quod she, "then set the one against t'other--"
which answer made the gentleman so abashed that he had not
one word to answer.
to the top
Poge Florentine sayth that sometime there was a man named
Nerus dePacis, the which of his age was among the Florentines
right sage and prudent and right rich. This Nerus had a
fair daughter the which he married with a right fair young
man and a rich and of good parentage or kindred. The which
young man the next day after the feast of the wedding did
lead her into his castle a little way without the city of
And within few days after, this young man brought his wife
again into Florence, into the house of her father Nerus--the
which made then a feast as it was 'customed to do at that
time in some places eight days after the wedding.
When this new married or wedded woman was come again to
her father's house, she made not over good cheer, but ever
she had her look downward to the earth, as full triste,
thoughtful, and melancholious. And when her mother perceived
and saw her daughter so sorrowful and of mourning, she called
her within a wardrobe whereas nobody was but they two, and
asked of her the cause of her sorrow, saying: "How fare
ye, my daughter? What want you? Have you not all the things
coming to you after your desire and plaisance? Wherefore
take ye so great thought and melancholy?"
And then the daughter, weeping full tenderly, said to the
mother in this manner: "Alas, my mother, ye have not married
me to a man. For of such a thing that a man ought to have,
he hath never a dele save only a little part of that thing
for the which wedding is made."
And then the mother, right wroth an sorrowful of this evil
fortune, went toward her husband Nerus and told to him th'evil
aventure and hap of their daughter. Whereof he was greatly
wroth and sore troubled. And soon after, this fortune was
also divulged, manifested and known among all the lineage
of Nerus. Whereof they were all sorrowful and greatly abashed
how this fair young man to whom God had sent so many good
virtues and that had so many gifts of grace--as is beauty,
riches, and good renown--was indigent or faulty of that
thing wherefore marriage is made.
Nevertheless, the tables were set and covered. And when
the time of dinner came, the young man came into the house
of Nerus with his friends and parents. And incontinent they
set them all at the table--some with heavy and sorrowful
hearts, and the others with great hoy and pleasure. And
when the young man saw that all his friends made food cheer
and that all the parents of his wife were heavy and melancholious,
he prayed and besought them that they would tell him the
cause of their heaviness and sorrow. But none of them all
Nevertheless, he prayed and besought them yet again. And
then one of them--full of sorrow and more liberal than all
the others--said thus to him: "Certainly, my fair son, thy
wife hath told to us that thou art not man perfect."
For the which words the man began to laugh and said with
a high voice that all they that were there might understand
what he said: "M'lords and my friends, make good cheer.
For the cause of your sorrow shall soon be 'peased." And
then he, being clothed with a short gown, untied his hose,
and took his member with his hand--which was great and much
sufficient--upon the table so that all the fellowship might
Whereof the said fellowship was full glad and joyful; whereof
some of the men desired to have as much, and many of the
women wished to their husbands such an instrument. And then
some of the friends and parents of Neruus' daughter went
toward her and said to her that she had great wrong for
to complain her of her husband, for he had well wherewith
she might be contented, and blamed her greatly of her folly.
To whom the young daughter answered: "My friends, why blame
ye me? I complain me not without cause, for our ass which
is a brute beast hath well a member as great as mine arm
and my husband which is a man, his member is hardly half
so great." Wherefore the simple and young damsel weened
that the man should have is as great and greater than asses.
Therefore it is said oft that much lacketh he of that, that
a fool thinketh or weeneth.