Atlength, a second time the bottle failed;
The hostess’ fear of ghosts again prevailed,
And mistress Alice now for escort went,
Though much she wished the other to have sent;
With Simonetta she was forced to change,
And leave the painter at his ease to range.
Thisdame at first appeared to be severe
Would leave the room, and feigned to be sincere;
But when the painter seized her by the gown,
She prudence showed, and feared he’d pull her down;
Her clothes might tear, which led her to remain:
On this the husband scarcely could contain;
He seemed resolved his hiding place to leave;
But instantly the other pulled his sleeve;
Be easy friend, said he, it is but right,
That equal favours we should have to-night,
And cuckoldom should take you to his care,
That we alike in ev’ry thing may fare.
Arewe not brothers in adventure, pray?
And such our solemn promises, to-day.
Since one the painter clearly has disgraced,
The other equally should be embraced.
In spite of ev’ry thing you now advance,
Your wife as well as mine shall have a dance;
A hand I’ll lend, if wanting it be found;
Say what you will, I’ll see she has her round.
She had it then:—our painter tried to please;
The lady equally appeared at ease;
Full time the others gave, and when they came,
More wine was not required by spark nor dame;
’Twas late, and for the day enough he’d done;
Good night was said: their course the belles had run;
The painter, satisfied, retired to rest;
The gay gallants, who lay so long distressed,
The wily hostess from the closet drew,
Abashed, disconsolate, and cuckolds too;
Still worse to think, with all their care and pain;
That neither of them could his wish obtain,
Or e’en return the dame what she procured
Their wives, whom she so cleverly allured.
Hereends our tale; the business is complete;
In soft amours success alone is sweet.
* The Saint Ampoule, or Holy Ampulla, a vial said to have descended from heaven, in which was oil for anointing the kings of France at the coronation, and formerly kept at Rheims.
ETEXT EDITOR’S BOOKMARKS:
By others do The same as you would like they should
The wish to please is ever found the same
We scarcely good can find without alloy
When passion prompts, few obstacles can clog
*** End of the project gutenberg Ebook tales and novels of Fontaine, V15 ***