December 27, 2020
Today, Parlamente tells us about an English lord who, unable to get closer to the lady he loves than, once, to press her hand against his heart, keeps the glove she was wearing on this occasion, adorns it with diamonds, rubies, emeralds, and pearls, affixes it to his cloak, and wears it wherever he goes. Although Parlamente presents this man as an admirable lover “who was happy with nothing more than a lady’s glove,” her story suggests that he was only satisfied because he had no other choice, as he tells the lady he hopes “for mercy, for pardon, and for life,” grips her hand when she tries to pull it away, calls her hand “cruel,” and refers to his “wounded heart.” Guillaume de Montmorency, who brings this story back to France, finds the English lord ridiculous and mocks him without his realizing it.
Our storytellers discuss what it is like to touch a dead body, as Simontaut says the lady probably withdrew her hand because she was alarmed by the man’s pounding heart and thought he was about to die, prompting Ennasuite to remind him that it is usually women, rather than men, who lay out the bodies of the dead in hospitals. They then discuss kisses, holy and otherwise, and it falls to Dagoucin to tell the next tale.
Here is a portrait of Guillaume, Baron de Montmorency (ca. 1450-1531) at the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Lyon (B441). He was the father of Anne de Montmorency (1493-1561), a close friend of François I, a leading military and diplomatic figure during his reign, and a correspondent of Marguerite de Navarre. Incidentally, in this portrait, Guillaume de Montmorency is holding a pair of gloves!