The spokesman, the French scholar of the party, demanded more. "Mary" he did not translate the name into "Marie" "encore gâteaux, au moins trois douzaine." Mary, smiling, fetched another dish. I suppose she kept count. I did not, nor I am sure did the feasters. They finished those and repeated the encore. The au moins trois douzaine was a ridiculous under-estimate of their requirements.
When the violation of virgin chastity and conjugal fidelity became more frequent, fathers and husbands had recourse, even in Europe, to a mechanical contrivance for the purpose of preserving intact the honour of the family. This was a kind of padlock, which shut up all access to the seat of voluptuousness. The invention is attributed to one Francesco di Carrera, an imperial judge of Padua, who lived about the close of the 15th century. The machine itself was called the Girdle of Chastity. Francesco's acts of cruelty brought him to the scaffold, where he was strangled in 1405, by a decree of the Senate of Venice. One of the principal accusations brought against him was the employment of the Girdle of Chastity, for his mistresses, and it is said by Misson that a box filled with these articles was for a long time preserved in the palace of St. Mark, at Venice. Rabelais speaks of these girdles, which he calls Ceintures á la Bergamasque, "Nay," says he, Pantagruel, "may that Nick in the dark cellar, who hath no white in his eye, carry me quiet away with him, if, in that case, whenever I go abroad from the palace of my domestic residence, I do not, with as much circumspection as they use to ring mares in our country, to keep them from being saillied by stoned horses, clap a Bergamesco lock upon my wife." Brantome has the following notice of these chastity preservers. "Des temps du roi Henri il yeut un certain Quinquallier qui apporte une douzaine de certains engins
Miser though he be, in a general sense, there's one class with whom he's generous enough. Il a une douzaine des maitresses! Besides, you must remember that Monsieur Dominique is a bachelor. He wants a good housekeeper a femme-de-chambre. Come, friends, I have heard something un petit chose. I'll lay a wager the miser outbids every one of you, even rich generous Marigny here!"
Above the clink of coin, the rustle of bank-notes, the click-click of the ivory ball upon the disc, and the low hum of voices, there rose the monotonous voices of the croupiers: "Rien n'va plus!" "Quatre premier deux pièces!" "Zéro! un louis!" "Dernier douzaine un pièce!" "Messieurs, faites vos jeux!"
Il y a pourtant une de ces lettres qui a donne tant de bonheur qu'elle peut compter pour une douzaine. Pauvre cherie! comme je voudrais toujours reussir a rendre ta vie douce et agreable! Depuis que je ne vis plus pour moi, mais pour toi et les enfants, j'ai goute moi-meme un nouveau genre de bonheur mele de nouvelles tristesses.