Abstemius's Fables (Sir Roger L'Estrange)
268. (Abstemius 14) The Inconsolable Widow.
There was a poor Young Woman that had brought her self e'en to Death's Door with Grief for her Sick Husband; but the good Man her Father, did all he could to comfort her. Come, Child, says he, We are all mortal: Pluck up a good Heart, my Girl; for let the worst come to the worst, I have a better Husband in store for thee, when this is gone. Alas, Sir, says she, what d'ye talk of another Husband for? why you had as good have struck a Dagger to my Heart. No, no; if ever I think of another Husband, may --- Without any more ado the Man dies, and the Woman immediately breaks into such Transports of tearing her Hair, and beating her Breast, that every Body thought that she'd have run stark-mad upon't: But upon second Thoughts, she wipes her Eyes; lifts 'em up, and cries, Heaven's Will be done; and then turns to her Father, Pray Sir, says she, About T'other Husband you was speaking of, Is he here in the House?
This Fable gives us to understand, that a Widow's Tears are quickly dry'd up, and that it is not impossible for a Woman to out-live the Death of her Husband; and after all the Outrages of her Funeral Sorrow, to propose herself many a merry Hour in the Arms of a second Spouse.
Fables of Aesop and Other Eminent Mythologists: Abstemius's Fables by Sir Roger L'Estrange. Available online at Google Books.