Of her liege lord, she could prevent it still.
The morning came, and Clubb prepared to ride
With a smart boy, his servant, and his guide;
When, ere he mounted on his ready steed,
Arrived a letter, and he stopped to read.
“My friend,” he read, “our journey I decline,
A heart too tender for such strife is mine;
Yours is the triumph, be you so inclined;
But you are too considerate and kind:
In tender pity to my Juliet’s fears
I thus relent, o’ercome by love and tears;
She knows your kindness; I have heard her say,
A man like you ’tis pleasure to obey:
Each faithful wife, like ours, must disapprove
Such dangerous trifling with connubial love;
What has the idle world, my friend, to do
With our affairs? they envy me and you:
What if I could my gentle spouse command —
Is that a cause I should her tears withstand?
And what if you, a friend of peace, submit
To one you love—is that a theme for wit?
’Twas wrong, and I shall henceforth judge it weak
Both of submission and control to speak:
Be it agreed that all contention cease,
And no such follies vex our future peace;
Let each keep guard against domestic strife,
And find nor slave nor tyrant in his wife.”
“Agreed,” said Clubb, “with all my soul agreed;” —
And to the boy, delighted, gave his steed.
“I think my friend has well his mind express’d,
And I assent; such things are not a jest.”
“True,” said the Wife, “no longer he can hide
The truth that pains him by his wounded pride:
Your friend has found it not an easy thing,
Beneath his yoke this yielding soul to bring:
These weeping willows, though they seem inclined
By every breeze, yet not the strongest wind
Can from their bent divert this weak but stubborn kind;
Drooping they seek your pity to excite,
But ’tis at once their nature and delight;
Such women feel not; while they sigh and weep,
’Tis but their habit—their affections sleep;
They are like ice that in the hand we hold,
So very melting, yet so very cold;
On such affection let not man rely,
The husbands suffer, and the ladies sigh:
But your friend’s offer let us kindly take,
And spare his pride for his vexation’s sake;
For he has found, and through his life will find,
’Tis easiest dealing with the firmest mind —
More just when it resists, and, when it yields, more kind.”
A tapster is a good trade, and an old
cloak makes a new jerkin; a withered serving-man,
a fresh tapster.
Shakespeare, Merry Wives of Windsor.
A fellow, Sir, that I have known go about with troll-my-dames.
A Winter’s Tale.
I myself, sometimes leaving the fear of Heaven on the left hand,and hiding mine honour in my necessity, am forced to shuffle, to hedge, and to lurch.
Merry Wives of Windsor.