Excerpt from Old French Romances: Done Into English
The T ale and so far they went, till they heard a Christian woman who travailed in child-bed in a certain house whereby they went. There was the husband of the said woman aloft m a high solar, and was pray ing to God one while that she might be delivered, and then again another while that she might not be delivered. 'xiheng the Emperor had hearkened this a great while, he said to the knight: Hast thou heard it of yonder churl how he prayeth that his wife may be delivered of her child, and another while prayeth that she may not be delivered? Certes, he is worser than a thief. For every man ought to have pity of women, more especially of them that be sick of childing. And now, so help me Mahoume and Termagaunt if I do not hang him, if he betake him not to telling me reason wherefore he doeth it! Come we now unto him. Hey went within, and said the Em peror Now churl, tell me of a sooth wherefore thou prayedst thy God thus for thy wife, one while that she might be delivered, and another While that she might be delivered not. This have I will to wot.
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