November 18, 2020
Today, Hircan tells us about a noble lord tested twice by the lady he loves, who first requires him to go to bed with her but receive only “her discourse and chaste kisses,” and then tricks him into getting into bed with an attractive young girl who “[flings] her arms around his neck” and speaks passionate words that “would have been enough to put the holiest hermit off his paternosters!” The lord passes both tests, demonstrating the constancy of his love, and receives the lady’s favors in the end.
As our storytellers discuss this man’s constancy and virtue and consider which trial was the most difficult for him, Simontaut declares that he “acted like an idiot the first time, and like a madman the second,” and Saffredant insists that he must have been impotent, going on to say that “when a man desires that sort of thing from a woman, the greatest honour he can do her is to take her by force.”
By their tales and comments, we are getting to know our storytellers’ characters well by now, especially this misogynist trio! For a reminder of who these ten storytellers are,and how they have come together, be sure to read Nora Martin Peterson’s excellent introduction to the Prologue to the Heptameron!