How A Good Wife Went On A Pilgrimage
By Messire Timoleon Vignier.
_Of a good wife who pretended to her husband that she was going on
a pilgrimage, in order to find opportunity to be with her lover the
parish-clerk--with whom her husband found her; and of what he said and
did when he saw them doing you know what._
Whilst I have a good audience, let me relate a funny incident which
happened in the district of Hainau
In a village there, lived a married woman, who loved the parish clerk
much more than she did her own husband, and in order to find means to be
with the clerk, she feigned to her husband that she owed a pilgrimage to
a certain saint, whose shrine was not far from there; which pilgrimage
she had vowed to make when she was in travail with her last child,
begging the saint that he would be content that she should go on a
certain day she named. The good, simple husband, who suspected nothing,
allowed her to go on this pilgrimage; and as he would have to remain
alone he told her to prepare both his dinner and supper before she left,
or else he would go and eat at the tavern.
She did as he ordered, and prepared a nice chicken and a piece of
mutton, and when all these preparations were complete, she told her
husband that everything was now ready, and that she was going to get
some holy water, and then leave.
She went to church, and the first man she met was the one she sought,
that is to say the clerk, to whom she told the news, that is to say how
she had been permitted to go on a pilgrimage for the whole day.
"And this is what will occur," she said. "I am sure that as soon as I
am out of the house that he will go to the tavern, and not return until
late in the evening, for I know him of old; and so I should prefer to
remain in the house, whilst he is away, rather than go somewhere else.
Therefore you had better come to our house in half an hour, and I will
let you in by the back door, if my husband is not at home, and if he
should be, we will set out on our pilgrimage."
She went home, and there she found her husband, at which she was not
"What! are you still here?" he asked.
"I am going to put on my shoes," she said, "and then I shall not be long
before I start."
She went to the shoemaker, and whilst she was having her shoes put on,
her husband passed in front of the cobbler's house, with another man, a
neighbour, with whom he often went to the tavern.
She supposed that because he was accompanied by this neighbour that they
were going to the tavern; whereas he had no intention of the kind, but
was going to the market to find a comrade or two and bring them back to
dine with him, since he had a good dinner to offer them--that is to say
the chicken and the mutton.
Let us leave the husband to find his comrades, and return to the woman
who was having her shoes put on. As soon as that was completed, she
returned home as quickly as she could, where she found the scholar
wandering round the house, and said to him;
"My dear, we are the happiest people in the world, for I have seen
my husband go to the tavern, I am sure, for one of his neighbours was
leading him by the arm, and I know is not likely to let my man come
back, and therefore let us be joyful. We have the whole day, till night,
to ourselves. I have prepared a chicken, and a good piece of mutton,
and we will enjoy ourselves;" and without another word they entered
the house, but left the door ajar in order that the neighbours should
Let us now return to the husband, who had found a couple of boon
companions besides the one I have mentioned, and now brought them to his
house to devour the chicken, and drink some good Beaune wine--or better,
if they could get it.
When he came to the house, he entered first, and immediately saw our two
lovers, who were taking a sample of the good work they had to do. And
when he saw his wife with her legs in the air, he told her that she need
not have troubled to bother the cobbler about her shoes, since she was
going to make the pilgrimage in that way.
He called his companions, and said;
"Good sirs, just see how my wife looks after my interests. For fear
that she should wear out her new shoes, she is making the journey on her
back:--no other woman would have done that."
He picked up the remainder of the fowl, and told her that she might
finish her pilgrimage; then closed the door and left her with her clerk,
without saying another word, and went off to the tavern. He was not
scolded when he came back, nor on the other occasions either that
he went there, because he had said little or nothing concerning the
pilgrimage which his wife had made at home with her lover, the parish