The Heptameron

The Heptameron - Day 1

Heptameron Day 1
Heptameron Day 1

What Stories Are Told on the First Day of the Heptameron?

The First Day of the Heptameron recounts stories of the ill-turns and dirty tricks done by Women to Men and by Men to Women.

Heptameron Day 1 Summary
Heptameron Day 1 Summary

The Stories Told on the First Day of Heptameron

  • The FIRST Tale, of the First Day -- 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

  • The SECOND Tale, of the First Day -- The fate of the wife of a muleteer of Amboise, who suffered herself to be killed by her servant rather than sacrifice her chastity

  • The THIRD Tale, of the First Day -- The revenge taken by the Queen of Naples, wife to King Alfonso, for her husband's infidelity with a gentleman's wife

  • The FOURTH Tale, of the First Day -- The ill success of a Flemish gentleman who was unable to obtain, either by persuasion or force, the love of a great Princess

  • The FIFTH Tale, of the First Day -- How a boatwoman of Coulon, near Nyort, contrived to escape from the vicious designs of two Grey Friars

  • The SIXTH Tale, of the First Day -- 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

  • The SEVENTH Tale, of the First Day -- The craft of a Parisian merchant, who saved the reputation of the daughter by offering violence to the mother

  • The EIGHT Tale, of the First Day -- A certain Bornet, less loyal to his wife than she to him, desired to lie with his maidservant, and made his enterprise known to a friend, who, hoping to share in the spoil, so aided and abetted him, that whilst the husband thought to lie with his servant he in truth lay with his wife. Unknown to the latter, he then caused his friend to participate in the pleasure which rightly belonged to himself alone, and thus made himself a cuckold without there being any guilt on the part of his wife. St. Clara

  • The NINTH Tale, of the First Day -- The evil fortune of a gentleman of Dauphiné, who dies of despair because he cannot marry a damsel nobler and richer than himself.

  • The TENTH Tale, of the First Day -- The Spanish story of Florida, who, after withstanding the love of a gentleman named Amadour for many years, eventually becomes a nun.

The Theme of the First Day
The Theme of the First Day

The First Day

Though it was yet early when the company entered the hall on the morrow, they found Madame Oisille there before them. She had been meditating for more than half-an-hour upon the lesson that she was going to read; and if she had contented them on the first and second days, she assuredly did no less on the third; indeed, but that one of the monks came in search of them they would not have heard high mass, for so intent were they upon listening to her that they did not even hear the bell.

When they had piously heard mass, and had dined with temperance to the end that the meats might in no sort hinder the memory of each from acquitting itself as well as might be when their several turns came, they withdrew to their apartments, there to consult their note-books until the wonted hour for repairing to the meadow was come. When it had arrived they were not slow to make the pleasant excursion, and those who were prepared to tell of some merry circumstance already showed mirthful faces that gave promise of much laughter. When they were seated, they asked Saffredent to whom he would give his vote for the beginning of the Third Day.

"I think," said he, "that since my offence yesterday was as you say very great, and I have knowledge of no story that might atone for it, I ought to give my vote to Parlamente, who, with her sound understanding, will be able to praise the ladies sufficiently to make you forget such truth as you heard from me."

"I will not undertake," said Parlamente, "to atone for your offences, but I will promise not to imitate them. Wherefore, holding to the truth that we have promised and vowed to utter, I propose to show you that there are ladies who in their loves have aimed at nought but virtue. And since she of whom I am going to speak to you came of an honourable line, I will just change the names in my story but nothing more; and I pray you, ladies, believe that love has no power to change a chaste and virtuous heart, as you will see by the tale I will now begin to tell."

The FIRST Tale, of the First Day