December 16, 2020
Today Oisille gives us another tale fit for the season, as the Franciscan in it first gains admiration for his preaching for the Count of Angoulême during Advent. As reprehensible a man as he is a fine preacher, the Franciscan falls in love with a woman who has heard him speak, and he tries to pursue her up to an attic one day, but she shoves him down the stairs. The frustrated friar later rapes a girl asleep in her bed (ascending a staircase for this conquest, too) after persuading her mother he has gone up to discipline her for missing his sermons.
The moral of this story, says Oisille, is that we should avoid placing blind trust in people in positions of power, particularly those “who have charge over men, women, towns, and states.”
Here’s a detail from a copy of Evrart de Conty’s Livre des échecs amoureux moralisés (BnF Ms fr 143, fol. 1r) illustrated between 1496 and 1498 by Robinet Testard, an illuminator in the service of Louise de Savoie. Some identify the figures at left as the Count and Countess of Angoulême (Charles d’Angoulême and Louise de Savoie).