Scorn For Scorn

By Monseigneur.

_Of two comrades who wished to make their mistresses better inclined

towards them, and so indulged in debauchery, and said, that as after

that their mistresses still scorned them, that they too must have played

at the same game--as you will hear._

I knew, in the time of my green and virtuous youth, two gentlemen, good

comrades, accomplished, and provided with ev
ry quality to be praised

in a virtuous gentleman. They were friends, and were alike each other

in every respect, not only bodily, but as regarded their clothes, their

servants, and their horses.

It happened that they fell in love with two fair young damsels of good

family and gracious, and they did for these fair ladies' sake a hundred

thousand little courtesies. Their vows were listened to--but nothing

more. Perhaps the damsels had lovers already, or did not wish to have

a love affair on their hands, for in truth the youths were both good

fellows, such as many a noble lady would have liked for a lover.

Be that as it may, they could not win their ladies' love, which caused

them to pass many nights in God knows what sorrow, now cursing fortune,

now love, and most often their mistresses for being so unkind. Whilst

they were suffering this rage and grief, one of them said one day to his


"We can see with half an eye that our mistresses do not care for us,

and yet we more madly desire them than ever, and the more scorn and

harshness they show us the more we desire to please, serve, and obey

them! Upon my word this seems to me the height of folly. Let us, I pray

you, think no more of them than they do of us, and you will see that

when they know that, it will be their turn to seek and importune us."

"Ah!" said the other, "very good advice, no doubt, but how can it be

carried out?"

"I have found the means," said the first. "I have always heard it said,

and Ovid puts it in his book, The Remedy of Love, that to do--you know

what--much and often, makes you forget or think little of the person

with whom you are in love. I will tell you what we will do. We will take

home with us a couple of nice young 'cousins' (*), and we will sleep

with them, and commit every folly with them that our strength will

permit, and then we will go and see our ladies, and the devil is in it

if they do not then care for us."

(*) Prostitutes. The word is doubtless derived from


The other agreed, and the proposal was carried out, and each took home a

nice wench. And after that they went to a great feast where their ladies

were, and they flaunted in front of the damsels, chattering carelessly

here and there, and seeming to say in a hundred thousand ways, "We do

not care for you", believing that, as they had devised, their mistresses

would be displeased, and would try to make their lovers return to their


But it happened quite otherwise, for if the youths appeared to think but

little of the ladies, they on the other hand, showed openly that they

cared nothing for the young men, which the latter perceived, and were

much amazed at. The one said to his friend;

"Do you know what is the matter? Morbleu! our mistresses have done

exactly what we have done. Do you not see how scornful they are? They

carry themselves exactly as we do--and, believe me, for the very same

reason. They have each chosen a paramour and indulged in folly to the

utmost. Devil take the bitches! Let us leave them alone!"

"By my oath!" replied the other, "I believe it is as you say. I never

expected to find them like this."

So the two friends thought that their mistresses had done the same as

they had done themselves, because the damsels took no more heed of them

than they did of the damsels--which may not have been true, but was not

difficult to believe.