Book of the Knight of La Tour-Landry : compiled for the instruction of his daughters : translated from the original French into English in the reign of Henry VI
Geoffroy de La Tour-Landry
Thomas Wright
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CHAPTER XVII.

I wiƚƚ saie an ensaumple that it is an eueƚƚ thinge to a woman to be in ielousie.

THer was a gentiƚƚ woman that was weddid to a squier, and she loued hym so moche that she was ielous ouer aƚƚ women that he spake with; for the whiche he blamed ofte her, but it was neuer the beter. And amonge other she was gelous of a woman that hadd̛ a gret and an high herte; And so on a tyme she reproued that woman with her husbonde, and she saide she saide not true, and the wiff saide she lied. And they ranne togedres and pulled of aƚƚ that euer was on her hedes, and plucked eche other bi the here of the hede right eueƚƚ. And she that was accused, caught a staffe, and smote the wiff on the nose suche a stroke that she brake her nose, and that al her lyff after she hadd̛ her nose al croked, the whiche was a foule mayme and blemesshing of her uisage; for it is the fairest membre that man or woman hathe, and sittithe in the [fol/col 8b/1] middiƚƚ of the uisage. And so was the wiff fouled and maymed aƚƚ her lyff, and her husbonde saide ofte to her, that it hadde be beter that she had not be ielous, thanne forto haue undone her uisage as she hadd̛. And also for that defoulyng of her uisage her husbonde might neuer finde in his herte to loue her hertly as he dede before, and he toke other women, and thus she lost his loue thorugh her ielosie and foly. And therfor here [is] a good ensaumple to aƚƚ good women, that thei aught to leue aƚƚ such fantasyes, and suffre and endure paciently her anger, yef thei haue ani; as dede an aunte of myn, the whiche tolde me diuerse tymes of that she had suffered. She was a ladi of Fraunce, that might spende more thanne fyue hundred pounde bi yeere, and helde a noble estate, and she had a knight to her husbond̛ that was merueilously lecherous, the whiche had eueri day in his hous one or two women besides the lady his wiff. And ofte tyme he rose from her to go lyge with his leude women, and aƚƚ wey, whanne he come agein from hem to bedde, he fonde euer the candeƚƚ light, and water to wasshe his hondes, and he saide he come from the Page  24 priue. And thanne saide the ladi, "somoche haue ye the more nede to wasshe you;" and she saide neuer no thing ellys to hym, but yef it were atte sum tyme whanne thei were meri and allone, she wolde saie, "syr, y know aƚƚ youre doinge by suche women and suche, but sethe it ys youre lust, and that y may sette no remedie theron, y wiƚƚ make you nor them neuer the worse chere; For y were a fole to slee my selff for youre sportes. [fol/col 8b/2] But y praie you, sethe it is weƚƚ, that ye make me neuer the worse chere, and that y lese not youre loue, nor that ye make me not the worse semblaunt, and of the remenaunt y reporte me to you, y woƚƚ suffre it." And so with her goodly wordes he repented hym, and was conuerted in goodnesse atte the laste, and he dede nomore eueƚƚ; And thus with fairenesse she ouercome hym. And bi this ensaumple it may be sene that a woman may chastise her husbonde, and make hym do weƚƚ, witℏ fairnesse rather thanne witℏ rudenesse. For there is mani men that haue eueƚƚ hertys, and thei be foule spoken to, wiƚƚ do the worse, not withstondinge the husbond aught [not] to loue his wiff the wors thou she be ielous ouer hym. For the wise man saithe that ielosye is a gret ensaumple of loue, for he that louitℏ me not, rechithe neuer whedir y do weƚƚ or eueƚƚ; but my frende is sori whanne y do eueƚƚ, and therfor ielosie is neuer withoute gret loue. But there is .ij. diuerse ielosyes, whiche that one ys worse thanne that other. For there is one *. [MS. "none."] withoute reson, as a man to be ielous withoute cause, and in suche wise as to shame hym selff and his wiff; but that other ys of a woman that is aferde lest an other shulde haue the herte of her husbonde, that she augh[t]to haue her selff, after the law of God and the chirche. But the wisest aught to be leste ielous, and restreine and take lest hede, for that is gret wisdom who may do it; but yef the husbonde perceiuithe of the wiff sum leude taches in her gouernaunce or behauing, that he aught to be ielous. [fol/col 9/1] For he must take her and speke therof priueli betwene hem two, that no man wete it, for drede of sclaunder and wratthinge of her, and sauing her the gret loue, "that ye loue me weƚƚ, neuer let youre hert Page  25 turne to loue none other but me, and therof y am suore and with the grace of God, ye wiƚƚ kepe youre worship and myn." And with suche goodly wordes ye aught to entrete youre wiff to, bring her oute of her leudenesse; for yef a man rebuke her, and fare foule with her, it wiƚƚ make her do and thenke the worse, as it were to putte fere in flexe; for diuerse women be more fers in her eueƚƚ dedes thanne in goodnesse. And therfor it is gret drede to fare foule with hem in suche materes. And though a woman haue a liteƚƚ debate and noyse for ielousie with her husbond̛ she aught not to loue hym the worse; for she aught to thinke that he dothe it for the feruent loue that he hathe to her, and for ferde that ani other shulde haue the loue of her sauf he hym selff, and that yef so be that an other man might haue her loue, he shal neuer haue her loue he shal neuer haue it after, and that the ioye of her mariage is done, and her housholde lost.

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