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Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 8, 1897.djvu/139

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the Seven Wise Masters.

as the wife perceived that it was her husband who was there, she resorted to a stratagem: she rose in an excited manner, caught hold of his beard, and began beating him in his face, while she took to crying and calling out: 'Oh, you fraud! you're a gentleman! These are the oaths and promises which you gave me, that we should not be treacherous to each other! and you've been walking after this old woman!' 'The husband says to her: 'What's the matter with you?' She answers him: 'I heard to-day that you were returning from the journey, and I wanted to see whether you would keep the contract which we had made with each other or no. I, accordingly, prepared myself, and sent this old woman to go forth to meet you, and to learn your intentions, whether you might be led astray (to go) after adultery, and I have found you transgressing against the vows which you plighted to me. And now I have no longer any love for thee.' Her husband rejoins: 'I was also contemplating against you, that this has been your game from the time that I have been away from you, that you had made such (preparations) for someone else.' As her husband spake these words, she called him a liar, and would not believe him, but proceeded to beat herself about the face and to tear her garments, shouting at him: 'O the imposture which has been practised on me!' And she was in a temper with him for a long time, and did'nt make it up until he had made her presents of gilt ornaments and a number of dresses of every description, after which she became reconciled.

"And now, my sovereign lord, understand that no man is able to surmount the wickedness of women."

As the king heard these things, he gave orders that his son should not be killed.

Wife. XI.—The woman's rejoinder:—Now as the woman heard that the king had given orders that his son should not be put to death, she went and stood in his presence, and said to him: "Behold the deadly poison which I have!