Story 27

November 27, 2020

Today, Ennasuite tells of a secretary employed by “a certain princess” who visits his friend in Amboise, a chamberlain employed by the same princess, and proceeds to pursue the friend’s wife, only to have the woman trick him into waiting for her in the attic so that she can reveal his intentions to her husband. Unlike the women in some previous tales, this one, Ennasuite says, “decided to expose his vicious ways [. . .] rather than cover them up.” Still, content with his wife’s handling of the situation, the chamberlain judges that his mortified friend “has been punished enough.”

The story includes some vivid imagery, such as the description of the secretary’s passion that burned “not with the pure bright flame you get from juniper wood, more like a smouldering coal from a smoky old forge!”

Salminen notes that in early versions of this tale, which was the third one in the ten-story first draft, Marguerite de Navarre identifies herself as the princess in question, indicating that the story features “two of my people” (“deux de mes gens”) whom she then calls “One of my own” (“L’un des miens”) and “one of my secretaries” (“l’un de mes secretaires”).

Marguerite de Navarre and her brother spent much of their childhood at the Château d’Amboise.

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