This is the best recipe that was ever given for a married couple to live in peace. Though John and his wife frequently attempted to quarrel afterwards, they never could get their passions to a considerable height; for there was something so droll in thus carrying on the dispute, that, before they got to the end of the argument, they saw the absurdity of it, laughed, kissed, and were friends.
THE CASE OF MRS. MARGERY
Mrs. Margery was always doing good, and thought she could never sufficiently gratify those who had done anything to serve her. These generous sentiments naturally led her to consult the interest of Mr. Grove, and the rest of her neighbors; and as most of their lands were meadow, and they depended much on their hay, which had been for many years greatly damaged by the wet weather, she contrived an instrument to direct them when to mow their grass with safety, and prevent their hay being spoiled. They all came to her for advice, and by that means got in their hay without damage, while most of that in the neighboring village was spoiled.
This occasioned a very great noise in the country, and so greatly provoked were the people who resided in the other parishes, that they absolutely sent old Gaffer Goosecap (a busy fellow in other people’s concerns) to find out evidence against her. The wiseacre happened to come to her to school, when she was walking about with a raven on one shoulder, a pigeon on the other, a lark on her hand, and a lamb and a dog by her side; which indeed made a droll figure, and so surprised the man that he cried out, “A witch! a witch! a witch!”
Upon this she, laughing, answered, “a conjurer! a conjurer! a conjurer!” and so they parted; but it did not end thus, for a warrant was issued out against Mrs. Margery, and she was carried to a meeting of the justices.