November 9, 2020
Dagoucin tells the story of a man whose devotion is so perfect that he persists in loving even though he knows he has no chance with the girl he loves, who will marry another. Only when his true and constant love brings him to the brink of death is he able to embrace his beloved, thanks to her compassionate mother’s intervention, but by then it is too late. Even though, after kissing “his cold pale lips,” the girl decides that she loves him, he dies. She must then be “pulled from the corpse’s embrace.”
This tale prompts Hircan and Saffredent to express some of the most misogynist views in the Heptameron, as Hircan calls the devoted lover a fool for not having forced himself upon the girl, declaring that “women are made solely for [men’s] benefit” and men are “very stupid to be afraid of women, when it’s women who should be afraid of them!” Saffredent agrees wholeheartedly, explaining “you’ve only got to attack your fortress in the right way, and you can’t fail to take it in the end!”
This discussion serves especially to set up the next novella, the longest one in the Heptameron (put on a pot of coffee, dear readers!). It will be the first time we hear from Parlamente, the storyteller identified most often with Marguerite de Navarre herself. In preparation, enjoy this portrait of Marguerite de Navarre, attributed to François Clouet, which hangs in the Musée Condé at the Château de Chantilly.