Abstemius's Fables (Sir Roger L'Estrange)
312. (Abstemius 62) A Jealous Husband.
A Jealous Husband committed his Wife in Confidence to the Care and Custody of a Particular Friend; with the Promise of a Considerable Reward if he could but keep her Honest. After some Few Days, the Friend grew weary of his Charge, and Desir'd her Husband to take his Wife Home again, and Release him of his Bargain; for says he, I find it utterly impossible to Hinder a Woman from any thing she has a Mind to. If it were to turn a Bag of Fleas Loose into a Meadow every Morning a Grazing, and Fetch them Home again at Night, I durst be answerable with my Life for the Doing of it, to a single Flea, but T'other is a Commission I dare go no further in.
'Tis enough to make a Woman a Whore, but so much as to Phansy her One, and then 'tis to no Boot to be Jealous neither; for if the Humour takes her to be jadish, 'tis not All the Locks, Bolts and Spies in Nature that can keep her Honest.
Fables of Aesop and Other Eminent Mythologists: Abstemius's Fables by Sir Roger L'Estrange. Available online at Google Books.