The Devil Who Took a Wife

Jacques de Vitry, Exempla (XX)


“I heard that a certain demon, who had taken the form of a human and was serving a rich man, had pleased the man so much by his industry in servitude that the man gave him his daughter in marriage in addition to great riches. The wife, however, was constantly arguing with her husband day and night and would not allow him to sleep. At the end of the year, the demon said to his wife’s father, ‘I would like to withdraw and return to my homeland.’ The wife’s father said, ‘Have I not given you so much that you want for nothing?’ The demon responded, ‘I will tell you, and won’t hide the truth: my homeland is in Hell, where I never had to deal with as much strife and harassment as I have suffered in this one year from my argumentative wife. I would rather be in Hell than to linger any longer here with her.’ After this speech was finished, he vanished from their sight.”

Audivi quod quidam daemon in specie hominis cuidam diviti homini serviebat et, cum servitium eius et industria multum placerent homini, dedit ei filiam suam in uxorem et divitias multas. Illa autem omni die ac nocte litigabat cum marito suo nec eum quiescere permittebat. In fine autem anni dixit patri uxoris suae: “Volo recedere et in patriam meam redire.” Cui pater uxoris ait: “Nonne multa tibi dedi ita quod nihil desit tibi? Quare vis recedere?” Dixit ille: “Modis omnibus volo repatriare.” Cui socer ait: “Ubi est patria tua?” Ait ille: “Dicam tibi et veritatem non celabo; patria mea est infernus, ubi numquam tantam discordiam vel molestiam sustinui quantam hoc anno passus sum a litigiosa uxore mea. Malo esse in inferno quam amplius cum ipsa commorari.” Et hoc dicto ab oculis eorum evanuit.

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