THE FORTIETH CHAPTER
How Apuleius was handled by the Bakers wife, which was a harlot.
The Baker which bought me was an honest and sober man; but his wife was the most pestilent woman in all the world, insomuch that he endured many miseries and afflictions with her, so that I my selfe did secretly pitty his estate, and bewaile his evill fortune: for she had not one fault alone, but all the mischiefes that could be devised: shee was crabbed, cruell, lascivious, drunken, obstinate, niggish, covetous, riotous in filthy expenses, and an enemy to faith and chastity, a despise of all the Gods, whom other did honour, one that affirmed that she had a God by her selfe, wherby she deceived all men, but especially her poore husband, one that abandoned her body with continuall whoredome. This mischievous queane hated me in such sort, that shee commanded every day before she was up, that I should he put into the mill to grind: and the first thing which she would doe in the morning, was to see me cruelly beaten, and that I should grind when the other beasts did feed and take rest. When I saw that I was so cruelly handled, she gave me occasion to learne her conversation and life, for I saw oftentimes a yong man which would privily goe into her chamber whose face I did greatly desire to see, but I could not by reason mine eyes were covered every day. And verily if I had beene free and at liberty, I would have discovered all her abhomination. She had an old woman, a bawd, a messenger of mischiefe that daily haunted to her house, and made good cheere with her to the utter undoing and impoverishment of her husband, but I that was greatly offended with the negligence of Fotis, who made me an Asse, in stead of a Bird, did yet comfort my selfe by this onely meane, in that to the miserable deformity of my shape, I had long eares, whereby I might heare all things that was done: On a day I heard the old bawd say to the Bakers wife: