Tales eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 328 pages of information about Tales.
I would at times advise—­but idle they
Who think th’ assenting husband must obey.” 
   The happy man, who thought his lady right
In other cases, was assured to-night;
Then for the day with proud delight prepared,
To show his doubting friends how much he dared. 
   Counter—­who grieving sought his bed, his rest
Broken by pictures of his love distress’d —
With soft and winning speech the fair prepared: 
“She all his councils, comforts, pleasures shared: 
She was assured he loved her from his soul,
She never knew and need not fear control;
But so it happen’d—­he was grieved at heart
It happen’d so, that they awhile must part
A little time—­the distance was but short,
And business called him—­he despised the sport;
But to Newmarket he engaged to ride
With his friend Clubb:”  and there he stopp’d and sigh’d. 
   Awhile the tender creature look’d dismay’d,
Then floods of tears the call of grief obeyed:  —
   “She an objection!  No!” she sobb’d, “not one: 
Her work was finish’d, and her race was run;
For die she must—­indeed she would not live
A week alone, for all the world could give;
He too must die in that same wicked place;
It always happen’d—­was a common case;
Among those horrid horses, jockeys, crowds,
’Twas certain death—­they might bespeak their shrouds. 
He would attempt a race, be sure to fall —
And she expire with terror—­that was all;
With love like hers she was indeed unfit
To bear such horrors, but she must submit.” 
“But for three days, my love! three days at most,”
“Enough for me; I then shall be a ghost.” 
“My honour’s pledged!”—­“Oh! yes, my dearest life,
I know your honour must outweigh your wife;
But ere this absence have you sought a friend? 
I shall be dead—­on whom can you depend? 
Let me one favour of your kindness crave,
Grant me the stone I mention’d for my grave.” 
   “Nay, love, attend—­why, bless my soul!  I say
I will return—­there, weep no longer, nay!”
“Well!  I obey, and to the last am true,
But spirits fail me; I must die; adieu!”
   “What, Madam! must?—­’tis wrong—­I’m angry—­zounds
Can I remain and lose a thousand pounds?”
   “Go then, my love! it is a monstrous sum,
Worth twenty wives—­go, love! and I am dumb;
Nor be displeased—­had I the power to live,
You might be angry, now you must forgive: 
Alas!  I faint—­ah! cruel—­there’s no need
Of wounds or fevers—­this has done the deed.” 
   The lady fainted, and the husband sent
For every aid—­for every comfort went;
Strong terror seized him:  “Oh! she loved so well,
And who th’ effect of tenderness could tell?”
   She now recover’d, and again began
With accent querulous—­“Ah! cruel man!”
Till the sad husband, conscience-struck, confess’d,
’Twas very wicked with his friend to jest;
For now he saw that those who were obey’d,
Could like the most subservient feel afraid: 
Project Gutenberg
Tales from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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