Thou seydest eek, that ther ben thinges three,
The whiche thinges troublen al this erthe,
And that no wight ne may endure the ferthe;
O leve sir shrewe, Iesu shorte thy lyf!
Yet prechestow, and seyst, an hateful wyf
Y-rekened is for oon of thise meschances.
Been ther none othere maner resemblances
That ye may lykne your parables to,
370But-if a sely wyf be oon of tho?
|“‘You say that there have been three things that have brought hardship to the world and that man can’t endure a fourth. And still you go on and on about how women ruin the world. You old bastard, I hope Jesus takes you to heaven soon! Can’t you find something else to complain about besides your wife?|
Thou lykenest wommanes love to helle,
To bareyne lond, ther water may not dwelle.
Thou lyknest it also to wilde fyr;
The more it brenneth, the more it hath desyr
To consume every thing that brent wol be.
Thou seyst, that right as wormes shende a tree,
Right so a wyf destroyeth hir housbonde;
This knowe they that been to wyves bonde.’
|“‘You say that a woman’s love is like a dry desert or even hell itself. You say a woman’s love is like wildfire because the more it burns, the more it wants to burn down everything it can. You even say every married man knows that women are like a tree-killing fungus, and just like that a wife will destroy her husband.’|
Lordinges, right thus, as ye have understonde,
380Bar I stifly myne olde housbondes on honde,
That thus they seyden in hir dronkenesse;
And al was fals, but that I took witnesse
On Ianekin and on my nece also.
O lord, the peyne I dide hem and the wo,
Ful giltelees, by Goddes swete pyne!
For as an hors I coude byte and whyne.
I coude pleyne, thogh I were in the gilt,
Or elles often tyme hadde I ben spilt.
Who-so that first to mille comth, first grint;
390I pleyned first, so was our werre y-stint.
They were ful glad to excusen hem ful blyve
Of thing of which they never agilte hir lyve.
|“So that’s how I harassed my husbands. I told them they said these stupid things in their drunkenness. Nothing I said was actually true, but I had that guy Janken and my niece back me up by lying too. God, I harassed them so much, even though they hadn’t done anything wrong! I bit and kicked like a horse, even though I was the guilty one and could have been caught in my lies dozens of times. The early bird gets the worm, as they say, so I made sure to always accuse him first in order to win our fights. They were always happy to just confess and apologize for things they hadn’t even done.|