From The Wit and Humor of America, edited by Marshall P. Wilder, Volume III, New York and London: Funk and Wagnalls and Company, 1911; p. 546.
THE TWO LADIES
BY CAROLYN WELLS
Once on a Time there were Two Ladies at a Shop where Gorgeous and Expensive Silks were temptingly displayed. “Only Six Dollars a Yard, Madam,” said the Shopman to One of the Ladies, as he held up the Lustrous Breadths in those Tempting Fan-shaped Folds peculiar to Shopmen.
The Lady hesitated, and looked Dubiously at the Silk, for she knew it was Beyond her Means.
The Shopman Continued: “Very Cheap at the Price, and I have Only this One Dress Pattern remaining. You will Take it? Yes? Certainly, I will Send it at Once.”
The Lady went away filled with Deep Regret because she had squandered her Money so Foolishly, and wished she had been Firm in her Refusal to buy the Goods.
The Other Lady saw a similar Silk. She felt it Between her Fingers, Measured its Width with her Eye, and then said Impulsively, “Oh, That is just What I Want. I will take Twenty Yards.”
No Sooner was the Silk cut off than the Lady felt Sharp Twinges of Remorse, for she knew she must Pay for it with the Money she had Saved Up for a new Dining-Room Carpet.
This Fable teaches that the Woman Who Deliberates is Lost, and That We Should Think Twice Before We Speak Once.