|Day 8 of the Heptameron
When morning was come they inquired whether their bridge (1) were being
well advanced, and found that it might be finished in two or three days.
These were not welcome tidings to some among the company, for they
would gladly have had the work last a longer time, so as to prolong
the happiness that they enjoyed in this pleasant mode of life. Finding,
however, that only two or three such days were left, they resolved to
turn them to account, and begged the Lady Oisille to give them their
spiritual nourishment as had been her wont. This she forthwith did,
but she detained them longer than usual, for before setting forth she
desired to finish reading the canonical writings of St. John; and so
well did she acquit herself of this, that it seemed as if the Holy
Spirit in all His love and sweetness spoke by her mouth. Glowing with
this heavenly flame, they went to hear high mass, and afterwards dined
together, again speaking of the past day, and doubting whether they
could make another as fair.
1 The allusion is to the bridge over the Gave spoken of in
the General Prologue (ante, vol. i. p. 25-6).—M.
In order to set about it, they retired to their own rooms until it was
time to repair to their Chamber of Accounts on the Board of Green Grass,
where they found the monks already arrived and in their places.
When all were seated, the question was put, who should begin; and
"You did me the honour to have me begin on two days. Methinks we should
act wrongly towards the ladies if one of them did not also begin on
"It were then needful," said the Lady Oisille, "either that we should
continue here for a great while, or else that a gentleman and a lady of
the company should forego the beginning of a day."
"For my part," said Dagoucin, "had I been chosen, I would have given my
place to Saffredent."
"And I," said Nomerfide, "to Parlamente, for I have been so wont to
serve that I know not how to command."
To this all agreed, and Parlamente thus began—
"Ladies, the days that are past have been filled with so many tales of
wisdom, that I would beg you to fill this one with the greatest (yet
most real) follies that we can remember. So, to lead the way, I will