Flemish Legend The Brotherhood of the Cheerful Countenance by Charles de Coster Chapter 9

Wherein it is seen that the learned Thomas a Klapperibus knew what makes a drinker fidget on his stool.

Left thus to their pots and tankards they turned to one another in wonder, saying: “Ah, look ye at these dames! Does it not always fall out in this wise; that they would have us do whatever they bid, and that with humility! Submissive they seem, tyrants they are. But look ye, is it to male or female that belongs properly the right of command in all matters? To the male. We are the males. Very well, then, let us drink! And we will at all times carry out our own wishes, which will presently be to sleep here in this inn, if we please.”

After this fashion they talked together for some time, feigning great anger, but being, in fact, eager enough to go and join their wives. By and by they fell silent, and so remained for a while, some yawning, others drumming tunes on the floor with their boots, others again, and these many, fidgeting on their seats, as if they were on sharp thorns.

Suddenly a young townsman, but lately married, got up and left the hall, saying that by the advice of a leech he was forbidden to drink more than six-and-twenty mugs of ale, which number he had already taken.

After he had gone they all began to excuse themselves, one with a pain in his stomach, another with a headache, others with a melancholy feeling or with the phlegm, and made off to their homes, excepting only one or two among the older men.

And when they were once outside they hurried with all speed to join their wives. Thus was borne out what was written by the learned Thomas a Klapperibus in his great [20]work De Amore, c. vi, wherein it is said, that woman has more power than the devil.