Story 31

December 1, 2020

A new month begins for us, and a new day begins for our storytellers. Be sure to read Michael Meere’s introduction to the fourth day of storytelling!

The day begins with what is perhaps the Heptameron’s most horrifying tale (although some of the next few are near-rivals…). Here, Geburon tells of a Franciscan friar from a monastery “highly esteemed by all” who, after slaying three of her servants, abducts the wife of a gentleman who lives nearby. He cuts her hair, strips her down to her underclothes, dresses her in a habit, and begins to lead her back to the monastery. As they walk, however, they encounter the gentleman, who is returning home with another servant. The monk kills this servant, too, but the “well-built and powerful” gentleman and his wife manage to overcome him, and he is taken to court, where it is revealed that the “esteemed” monastery is filled with noble women and girls held captive for the monks’ pleasure. In the end, the women are set free and the monks are locked inside, and the monastery and all the monks within are burned to the ground.

Our storytellers barely comment on this punishment, but focus instead on the character of the monk. Ever attentive to human psychology, Marguerite de Navarre has Parlamente make the insightful remark that “a violent man is always a scared man.” Geburon appoints Oisille to tell the next story, and she says she will pick up on the theme of punishment.

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