December 18, 2020
“Shall we never cease hearing stories about these tiresome Franciscans?” asks Oisille after today’s tale. The lustful friar in it, excluded from wedding festivities at an inn where he is lodging, decides to help himself to the bride, coming to her room twice—again, under cover of darkness, as we have seen in so many stories—after she has gone to bed but while her new husband is still dancing. When the husband and his friends find out what has happened, they track down the friar and his companion, who kept watch at the inn, in a vineyard, beat them, cut off their arms and legs, and leave them “in the care of Bacchus and Venus, for they were better disciples of the god of wine and the goddess of love than of Saint Francis.”
Our storytellers do not comment on this punishment but, rather, continue their discussion of the nature of Franciscans. Ennasuite observes that it is no surprise that these men misbehave as they do, since they are “cut off from ordinary life,” and she suggests that it is a far better form of piety “to do all in one’s power to be charitable to one’s neighbour.”
For this December day, here is a photo of a vineyard in the Périgord (again, in southwestern France) in winter.