November 7, 2020
In this brief story, one of the shortest in the collection, Hircan tells us about a quick-thinking merchant in Paris who, when interrupted by the arrival of the mother of the girl he is seducing, saves the girl from her mother’s wrath by immediately throwing “the poor old woman” on the couch and redirecting his amorous attentions to her.
True to form, Hircan tries to use this story as a tool of further seduction, suggesting it should convince women they need never fear for their reputations, as men will always find a way to cover things up. Nomerfide calls him out, saying he wouldn’t really want a woman he loved to play such games, to which he replies that if he didn’t know about it, he wouldn’t mind a bit! His wife, Parlamente, then offers a pointed commentary on human nature, observing “It’s impossible for men who do wrong themselves not to be suspicious of others. But it’s a happy man who gives no cause for others to be suspicious of him.”
Her observation leads our storytellers to discuss jealousy, a topic Longarine will take up in the next tale.