Story 36

December 6, 2020

We have reached the midpoint of our journey through the Heptameron today! Ennasuite tells about a President of the Parlement of Grenoble who is informed by a long-serving and loyal servant that another servant, Nicolas, is having an affair with his wife. Finding Nicolas in bed with her but wanting to save his family’s honor, the President sends the longtime servant away (telling him he is mistaken but giving him five or six years’ severance pay), sends Nicolas away two weeks later, waits a while longer, and then kills his wife by serving her a salad of poisonous herbs he has gathered from their garden. Our storytellers’ discussion focuses on whether sins of passion and impulse are more forgivable than premeditated ones, and whether love is justification for sin. When Saffredent quotes Scripture in support of the latter claim, Oisille scolds him, saying, “take care lest, like the spider, you turn wholesome meat into poison.”The President would have worked here, at the Palais du Parlement du Dauphiné, which served as the Palais de Justice in Grenoble from the end of the fifteenth century until 2002!

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