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Aesop's Fables: Sir Roger L'Estrange (1692)

172. AN UNHAPPY MATCH (Perry 95)

There was a Man, a long time ago, that had got a Shrew to his Wife, and there could be no Quiet in the House for her. The Husband was willing however to make the Best of a Bad Game, and so for Experiment sake, he sent her away for a while to her Father’s. When he came a little after to take her Home again, Prithee Sweet-heart (says he) How go Matters in the House where thou hast been? In troth, says she, they go I know not how: But there’s none of the Family, you must know, can endure me: No not so much as the very Hinds and Ploughmen; I could read it in the Faces of them. Ah Wife! Says the Husband, If People that rise Early and come Home Late, and are all Day out of your Sight, cannot be Quiet for ye, what a Case is your poor Husband in, that must Spend his whole Life in your Company?
THE MORAL. When Man and Wife cannot Agree, Prudence will oblige the One, and Modesty the Other, to put all their little Controversies into their Pockets, and make the Best of a Bad Game.

L'Estrange originally published his version of the fables in 1692. There is a very nice illustrated edition in the Children's Classics series by Knopf: Sir Roger L'Estrange. Aesop - Fables which is available at amazon.com.