Kelly. Margaret's Heptameron

Today's free book is The Heptameron of Margaret, Queen of Navarre, translated by Walter K. Kelly. You can find out more about this book in the Heptameron unit of the Myth-Folklore UnTextbook.

For the table of contents, check at the bottom of this post below the image.

The book is available at Internet Archive, Hathi Books, and Google Books. There is also a lovely edition online as part of A Celebration of Women Writers at the University of Pennsylvania's Digital Library.




FIRST DAY. 
TALE I. The pitiful history of a Proctor of Alençon, named St. Aignan, and of his wife, who caused her husband to assassinate her lover, the son of the Lieutenant-General
II. The fate of the wife of a muleteer of Amboise, who suffered herself to be killed by her servant, rather than to sacrifice her chastity
III. The revenge taken by the Queen on Naples, wife to King Alfonso, for her husband's infidelity with a gentleman's wife
IV. The ill success of a Flemish gentleman who was unable to obtain, either by persuasion or force, the love of a great Princess
V. How a boatwoman of Coulon, near Nyort, contrived to escape from the vicious designs of two Grey Friars
VI. How the wife of an old valet of the Duke of Alençon's succeeded in saving her lover from her husband, who was blind of one eye
VII. The craft of a Parisian merchant, who saved the reputation of the daughter by offering violence to the mother
VIII. The misadventures of Bornet, who, planning with a friend of his that both should lie with a serving-woman, discovers too late that they had to do with his own wife
IX. The evil fortune of a gentleman of Dauphine, who dies of despair because he cannot marry a damsel nobler and richer than himself
X. The Spanish story of Florida, who, after withstanding the love of a gentleman named Amadour for many years, eventually becomes a nun 

SECOND DAY. 
PROLOGUE 
TALE XI. (A.) Mishap of the Lady de Roncex in the Grey Friar's Convent at Thouars
XI. (B.) Facetious discourse of a Friar of Touraine
XII. Story of Alexander de' Medici, Duke of Florence, whom his cousin, Lorenzio de' Medici, slew in order to save his sister's honour
XIII. Praiseworthy artifice of a lady to whom a sea captain sent a letter and diamond ring, and who, by forwarding them to the captain's wife as though they had been intended for her, united husband and wife once more in all affection
XIV. The Lord of Bonivet after furthering the love entertained by an Italian gentleman for a lady of Milan, finds means to take the other's place and so supplant him with the lady who had formerly rejected himself
XV. The troubles and evil fortune of a virtuous lady, who, after being long neglected by her husband, becomes the object of his jealousy
XVI. Story of a Milanese Countess, who, after long rejecting the love of a French gentleman, rewards him at last for his faithfulness, but not until she has put his courage to the proof
XVII. The noble manner in which King Francis the First shows Count WIlliam of Furstemberg that he knows of the plans laid by him against his life, and so compels him to do justice upon himself and to leave France
XVIII. A young gentleman scholar at last wins a lady's love, after enduring successfully two trials that she had made of him
XIX. The honourable love of a gentleman, who, when his sweetheart is forbidden to speak with him, in despair becomes a monk of the Observance, while the lady, following in his footsteps, becomes a nun of St. Clara
XX. How the Lord of Riant is cured of his love for a beautiful widow through surprising her in the arms of a groom 

THIRD DAY. 
PROLOGUE 
TALE XXI. The affecting history of Rolandine, who, debarred from marriage by her father's greed, betroths herself to a gentleman to whom, despite his faithlessness, she keeps her plighted word, and does not marry until after his death
XXII. How Sister Marie Heroet virtuously escapes the attempts of the Prior of St. Martin-in-the-Fields
XXIII. The undeserved confidence which a gentleman of Périgord places in the monks of the Order of St. Francis, causes the death of himself, his wife and their little child 
TALE XXIV. Concerning the unavailing love borne to the Queen of Castile by a gentleman named Elisor, who in the end becomes a hermit
XXV. How a young prince found means to conceal his intrigue with the wife of a lawyer of Paris
XXVI. How the counsels of a discreet lady happily withdrew the young Lord of Avannes from the perils of his foolish love for a lady of Pampeluna
XXVII. How the wife of a man who was valet to a Princess rid herself of the solicitations of one who was among the same Princess's servants, and at the same time her husband's guest
XXVIII. How a Gascon merchant named Bernard du Ha, while sojourning at Paris, deceived a Secretary to the Queen of Navarre, who had thought to obtain a pasty from him
XXIX. How the Priest of Carrelles, in Maine, when surprised with the wife of an old husbandman, gets out of the difficulty by pretending to return him a winnowing fan
XXX. How a gentleman marries his own daughter and sister unawares 

FOURTH DAY. 
PROLOGUE 
TALE XXXI. Punishment of the wickedness of a Friar who sought to lie with a gentleman's wife
XXXII. How an ambassador of Charles VIII., moved by the repentance of a German lady, whom her husband compelled to drink out of her lover's skull, reconciled husband and wife together
XXXIII. The hypocrisy of a priest who, under the cloak of sanctity, had lain with his own sister, is discovered and punished by the wisdom of the Count of Angoulême
XXXIV. The terror of two Friars who believed that a butcher intended to murder them, whereas the poor man was only speaking of his pigs
XXXV. How a husband's prudence saves his wife from the risks she incurred while thinking to yield to merely a spiritual love
XXXVI. The story of the President of Grenoble, who saves the honour of his house by poisoning his wife with a salad
XXXVII. How the Lady of Loué regained her husband's affection
XXXVIII. The kindness of a townswoman of Tours to a poor farmwoman who is mistress to her husband, makes the latter so ashamed of his faithlessness that he returns to his wife
XXXIX. How the Lord of Grignaulx rid one of his houses of a pretended ghost
XL. The unhappy history of the Count de Jossebelin's sister, who shut herself up in a hermitage because her brother caused her husband to be slain 

FIFTH DAY. 
PROLOGUE 
TALE XLI. Just punishment of a Grey Friar for the unwonted penance that he would have laid upon a maiden
XLII. The virtuous resistance made by a young woman of Touraine causes a young Prince that is in love with her, to change his desire to respect, and to bestow her honourably in marriage
XLIII. How a little chalk-mark revealed the hypocrisy of a lady called Jambicque, who was wont to hide the pleasures she indulged in, beneath the semblance of austerity
XLIV. (A.) Through telling the truth, a Grey Friar receives as alms from the Lord of Sedan two pigs instead of one
XLIV. (B.) Honourable conduct of a young citizen of Paris, who, after suddenly enjoying his sweetheart, at last happily marries her
XLV. Cleverness of an upholsterer of Touraine, who, to hide that he has given the Innocents to his serving-maid, contrives to give them afterwards to his wife
XLVI. (A.) Wicked acts of a Grey Friar of Angoulême called De Vale who fails in his purpose with the wife of the Judge of the Exempts, but to whom a mother in blind confidence foolishly abandons her daughter
XLVI. (B.) Sermons of the Grey Friar De Valles, at first against and afterwards on behalf of husbands that beat their wives
XLVII. The undeserved jealousy of a gentleman of Le Perche towards another gentleman, his friend, leads the latter to deceive him
XLVIII. Wicked act of a Grey Friar of Périgord, who, while a husband was dancing at his wedding, went and took his place with the bride
XLIX. Story of a foreign Countess, who, not content with having King Charles as her lover, added to him three lords, to wit, Astillon, Durassier, and Valnebon
L. Melancholy fortune of Messire John Peter, a gentleman of Cremona, who dies just when he is winning the affection of the lady he loves 

SIXTH DAY. 
PROLOGUE 
TALE LI. Cruelty of the Duke of Urbino, who, contrary to the promise he had given to the Duchess, hanged a poor lady that had consented to convey letters to his son's sweetheart, the sister of the Abbot of Farse
LII. Merry tricks played by the varlet of an apothecary at Alençon on the Lord de la Tireliere and the lawyer Anthony Bacheré, who, thinking to breakfast at his expense, find that they have stolen from him something very different from a loaf of sugar
LIII. Story of the Lady of Neufchâtel, a widow at the Court of Francis I., who, through not admitting that she has plighted her troth to the Lord des Cheriots, plays him an evil trick through the means of the Prince of Belhoste
LIV. Merry adventure of a serving-woman and a gentleman named Thogas, whereof his wife had no suspicion
LV. The widow of a merchant of Saragossa not wishing to lose the value of a horse, the price of which her husband had ordered to be given to the poor, devises the plan of selling the horse for one ducat only, adding, however, to the bargain a cat at ninety-nine
LVI. Notable deception practised by an old Grey Friar of Padua, who being charged by a widow to find a husband for her daughter, did, for the sake of getting the dowry, cause her to marry a young Grey Friar, his comrade, whose condition, however, was before long discovered
LVII. Singular behaviour of an English lord, who is content merely to keep and wear upon his doublet the glove of a lady whom he loves
LVIII. A lady at the court of Francis I., wishing to prove that she has no commerce with a certain gentleman who loves her, gives him a pretended tryst and causes him to pass for a thief
LIX. Story of the same lady, who, learning that her husband is in love with her waiting-woman, contrives to surprise him and impose her own terms upon him
LX. A man of Paris, thinking his wife to be well and duly deceased, marries again, but at the end of fifteen years is forced to take his first wife back, although she has been living meantime with one of the chanters of Louis XII 

SEVENTH DAY. 
PROLOGUE 
TALE LXI. Great kindness of a husband, who consents to take back his wife twice over spite of her wanton love for a Canon of Autun
LXII. How a lady while telling a story as of another, let her tongue trip in such a way as to show that what she related had happened to herself
LXIII. How the honourable behaviour of a young lord, who feigns sickness in order to be faithful to his wife, spoils a party in which he was to have made one with the King, and in this way saves the honour of three maidens of Paris
LXIV. Story of a gentleman of Valencia in Spain, whom a lady drove to such despair that he became a monk, and whom afterwards she strove in vain to win back to herself
LXV. Merry mistake of a worthy woman, who in the church of St. John of Lyons mistakes a sleeping soldier for one of the statues on a tomb, and sets a lighted candle on his forehead
LXVI. How an old serving-woman, thinking to surprise a Prothonotary with a lady, finds herself insulting Anthony de Bourbon and his wife Jane d'Albret
LXVII. How the Sire de Robertval, granting a traitor his life at the prayers of the man's wife, set them both down on a desert island, and how, after the husband's death, the wife was rescued and brought back to La Rochelle
LXVIII. The wife of an apothecary at Pau, hearing her husband give some powder of cantharides to a woman who was godmother with himself, secretly administered to him such a dose of the same drug that he nearly died
LXIX. How the wife of one of the King's Equerries surprised her husband muffled in the hood of their serving-maid and bolting meal in her stead
LXX. Of the love of a Duchess of Burgundy for a gentleman who rejects her advances, for which reason she accuses him to the Duke her husband, and the latter does not believe his oaths till assured by him that he loves the Lady du Vergier. Then the Duchess, having drawn the knowledge of this amour from her husband, addresses to the Lady du Vergier in public, an allusion that causes the death of both lovers; and the Duke, in despair at his own lack of discretion, stabs the Duchess himself 

EIGHTH DAY. 
PROLOGUE 
TALE LXXI. The wife of a saddler of Amboise is saved on her deathbed through a fit of anger at seeing her husband fondle a servant-maid
LXXII. Kindness of the Duchess of Alençon to a poor nun whom she meets at Lyons, on her way to Rome, there to confess to the Pope how a monk had wronged her, and to obtain his Holiness's pardon

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