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The Complaint of the Husband Against The Lazy Wife

Young men ready to get married
stop here to listen,
to talk about women,
because there are very few good ones left,
But, among a hundred of them
there must be some good ones.

I took a wife
who gives me trouble.
I thought I was blessed,
but I am truly desperate,
in misery, and in affliction.
My wife is the cause of all this.

When I went to flirt  (court her)
she was sweet in her talking.
She was good at working,
at sewing, and at hoeing.
She was doing her part
in whatever chores she was doing.

But after the first day went by,
the day in which I said - yes,
her tongue became bitter.
She became prideful
and she can’t get enough
of drinking and eating.

She eats like a lion,
and she wants to drink good wine.
She eats so much polenta
that she feels sick to her stomach.
She wants to eat capon at every meal,
and she wants to dress in fashion,
eat well, and then sleep.

I have to work
to provide her something to eat.
My wife  coquettes (she flirts)
with a damned tongue,
and if I want to live in peace,
I have to be quiet.

She goes inside her bedroom
with her friend Franceschin
and she doesn’t do anything .
If she could, she would eat Italy and France.
To take care of her as she would like to,
we need one hundred bakers.

She cannot eat without wine,
fresh water bothers her,
she doesn’t want to eat polenta,
she throws away black bread
and she always wants to eat good food,
good rice, and good capon.

I took a woman as a wife
who likes good pleasures.
A good package of flower
she sold to the neighbor,
to buy good food,
to eat with Franceschin.

Early in the morning,
she told me that she feels pain,
her lungs hurt,
and that she has convulsions.
When I see her in pain
I want to make her feel better.

I bought her six capons,
ten litters of good wine,
four rubbi of good pasta,
(I think the word “rubbi” refers to an old coin)
one hundred eggs and a hen,
good cheese, and fine oil
to help my little wife to feel better.

I took a job to support her.
After I went to my boss,
when she saw that I was leaving,
she was very happy,
because when I was working,
she called her lover at home.

Then, after twelve noon,
an old lady contacted me.
She came to tell me
that my wife was with her lover.
I went home slowly
and I found her with Franceschino.
She was there with her lover
with much flirtation.

I got really upset,
and I took a stick,
and gave them whacks on the head.
As many hits as in a storm,
I kept beating them.

They were screaming
“Help, I am almost dead.”
I closed the doors
and I beat them even more,
I gave them a nice joy  (sarcastic)

and for three months they will have to feel it  (Sarcastic).

Whoever wants to get married
has a lot to think about.
To find the right woman
it takes a lot of luck,
because women right now
are very ambitious.

If you take one who is a widow,
she chats a lot,
and she has a passionate heart
for her dead husband.
The new husband will have a lot to do,
to make her happy and satisfy her.

If you take an ugly woman,
she doesn’t make herself look better.
If she is ugly in her portrait
It doesn’t give pleasure to the husband at all.
If you take a beautiful and grateful woman,
everyone wants to caress her.
She is always admired
by friends and men.

If you take a poor woman,
hunger will always be in the kitchen.
And when it’s time for lunch
there will be nothing to eat,
and hunger and love
will have a war going on between them.

If you take a rich woman,
she will be the boss.
She will always be bossy
and she will never want to work.
The husband will have the honor
to be her servant.

If you  take an ugly and rich wife,
it will never work out.
If she has some money as a marriage settlement,
she will always be a rascal,
and the poor husband
will always be her porter.

You don’t know at first,
the areas they lack in.
You don’t know what they have done
until after you marry them,
then you begin to find things out
while you sleep at night.

The woman you marry,
she will either have bad luck,
or a short leg,
or she cannot cook,
or she can hardly talk,
or she has a toothache,
or she is crazy,
or she has pain in her lungs,
or she has convulsions, or she has pain,
or she wants to be the matriarch.
At night I can say
that I can never get any sleep,
and I tell you with a sincere heart
that it’s annoying to have a wife.

Translated by:
Chiara Degli Esposti, a native Italian
that was attending Brigham Young
University in Provo, Utah.  She has now

returned to Italy.