Story of the Libertine Husband.*

AN old man had married a young and beautiful wife. The husband used frequently to go to his farm in the country, leaving his wife in town. Upon those occa­sions she threw off all restraint, and met many lovers; and an old woman acted as her go-between. The husband once, on returning to town, instead of going home, applies to the old woman to introduce him to a mistress; and his own wife, not knowing whom she was to meet, is induced to grant him an assignation. She manages so well to dissemble her own confusion, and reproaches him so naturally, that he never suspects her guilt, but entreats on his knees to be forgiven his infidelity. [9]

The king's resolution is again shaken by those tales, and he remands his son to prison.

The Damsel now presents herself a fourth time, and demands justice, threatening, if it is refused, to drink a cup of poison which she holds in her hand. She relates the