November 16, 2020
Geburon, asked to tell the story of a virtuous woman, relates a Frenchman’s pursuit of a beautiful Milanese widow who resists him for three years but finally—after testing his valor by having her chambermaids rattle swords at the door to her room—falls in love with him. Just like story 14, also set in Milan during the governorship (1507-1510) of Charles d’Amboise, Seigneur de Chaumont, this one ends with an assertion of love’s fleeting nature. “They solemnly swore,” Geburon says, “as if the will of man were immutable, an oath that they could never keep. Perpetual love was what they promised one another, perpetual love that can neither have birth in the hearts of men, nor have its abode therein.”
Have we seen any lasting love yet in the Heptameron??
Here’s a photo of Milan’s Duomo, consecrated in 1418 but still under construction when our stories take place.