I wolde ye herde an ensaumple of Sampson the fortis wiff.
THe said Sampson. he made a wager with diuers Payens, of .xxx. gownes of silke, that they shuld̛ not vndo certaine redelles that he declared vnto them. So it happed that his wiff cesed neuer to speke and to crie on hym vnto the tyme that she wost what it was, and, whanne she knewe it, she discouerid her husbonde, and made hym lese the .xxx. gownes. And whan her husbonde wist that she had discouered it, he hated her gretly, and putte her away from hym, and went vnto the payens that had wonne the wager, and toke of hem and dispoiled them for dispite of his wiff. So this is here a good ensaumple to a woman that shulde not discouer for no thinge the secret nor the counsaile of her husbond, lesse she faƚƚ bi the yre and hate of hym, as dede this Sampsones wiff; for it is treson, whanne a man trustithe in her, and she discouered his counsaile, the whiche she is bounde to kepe secrete and priuei.
I wolde ye wost the tale of the squier that had a yong wiff, in what wise he said and proued her: "Y wol teƚƚ you a gret counsaile, but discouer me not for no thinge of this that y saie you, for my worshippe liethe therin, and therfor, for the loue of God, teƚƚ it not.
THere is befaƚƚ vnto me suche an auenture, that y haue leide ij eggis." And she sware, and assured her husbonde, that she wolde neuer speke therof vnto no creature ; but hereupon she thought longe tyme til that she might fynde a wey to [fol/col 32/2] goo vnto her godsib,—"Y wolde teƚƚ you a thinge of gret priuete, and ye wiƚƚ ensure me to holde it counsaile. And her godsib behight her to do so. " So helpe Page 97 me so, my dere godsib, there is befaƚƚ a merueilous auenture vnto my husbonde, for he hathe ylaide .iij. eggis." "A! seint Marie," said this godsib, "this is a gret meruaile! how may it be ? it is a straunge thinge!" but, whanne aƚƚ was saide, thei departed. And the godsyb that hadde herde the wiffes counsaile, in aƚƚ haste she gothe forthe vnto another godsib that she had, and tolde euery worde the counsaile that such a squier had leyde .v. eggis. And in this wise it was reported, furst bi the wiff, and after bi the godsibbes in counsaile from one to an other, tiƚƚ aƚƚ the contre spake therof, and that the squier herde of the speche, and how he was renounced that he had leide .v. eggis. And thanne he called his wiff vnto hym before her frendes and her kin, and saide vnto her, "Dame, y tolde you in counsaile suche thinge as ye haue discouered and saide it forthe in suche wise as now aƚƚ the contre spekithe therof; for there y tolde you that y had leide .ij. eggis, thanked be God and your good report, ye haue encresed hem vnto the noumbre of .v. eggis; and, though it be the contrarie of aƚƚ that ye haue saide, y feyned suche a thinge and tolde it you in counsaile, and aƚƚ was forto preue you how ye wolde kepe myn counsaile as ye behight me to do. Wherin y haue founde you of gret defauute, and not true vnto me." And hereupon the wiff was so sore ashamed, that she wost not what [fol/col 32b/1] she might do nor sey, for there was none excusacion in her folye. And bi this ensaumple aƚƚ good women aught to be ware and auised that they discouer not the counsaile of her husbonde, but euer more, as she is ybounde, to kepe his counsaile and fulfeƚƚ his comaundement. Fayre doughtres, y shal teƚƚ you an ensaumple