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OF JUST RECOMPENCE.
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when we have done so. The seneschal is any man to whom the care of the senses, and the guardianship of the soul is committed.

TALE XXVIII.

OF THE EXECRABLE DEVICES OF OLD

WOMEN.

In the kingdom of a certain empress there lived a soldier who was happily espoused to a noble, chaste, and beautiful wife. It happened that he was called upon to take a long journey, and previous to his departure he said to the lady—“ I leave you no guard but your own discretion; I believe it to be wholly sufficient." He then embarked with his attendants. Pleased with the confidence reposed in her, she continued at her own mansion, in the daily practice of every virtue. A

short period had elapsed, when the urgent entreaties of a neighbour prevailed with her to appear at a festival ; where, amongst other guests, was a youth, upon whom the excellence and beauty of the lady made a deep impression. He became violently enamoured of her, and despatched various emissaries to declare his passion, and win her to approve his suit. But the virtuous lady received his advances with the utmost scorn, and vehemently reproached him for his dishonesty. This untoward repulse greatly disconcerted the youth, and his health daily declined. It chanced, that on one occasion he went sorrowfully towards the church ; and, upon the way,

, an old woman accosted him, who by pretended sanctity had long obtained an undue share of reverence and regard. She demanded the cause of the youth's apparent uneasiness. “ It will nothing profit thee to know," said he. But," replied the old woman," it may be much to your advantage: discover the wound, and it is not impossible but a remedy may be procured. With the aid of Heaven'it may easily be effected-shew it me." Thus

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urged, the youth made known to her his love for the lady. “Is that all ?” said the beldam-—“ return to your home, I will find a medicine that shall presently relieve you." Confiding in her assurances, he went his way, and the other commenced her devices.

It seems she possessed a little dog, which she had accustomed to fast for two successive days; on the third, she made bread of the flour of mustard, and placed it before the pining animal. As soon as it had tasted the bread, the pungent bitterness caused the water to spring into its eyes, and the whole of that day tears flowed copiously from them. The old woman, accompanied by her dog, posted to the house of the lady whom the young man loved; and the opinion entertained of her sanctity secured her an honourable and gracious reception. As they sat together, the lady noticed the weeping dog, and was curious to ascertain the cause. The crone told her not to inquire, for that it involved a calamity too dreadful to communicate. Such a remark, naturally enough, excited still more the curiosity of the fair questioner, and she

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