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Margaret of Navarre (Sicilian queen)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 145 pages of information about The Tales Of The Heptameron, Vol. III. (of V.).
5 Little masks hiding only the upper part of the face, and called tourets-de-nez, were then frequently worn by ladies of rank.  Some verses by Christine de Pisan show them to have been in vogue already in the fourteenth century.  In the MS. copy of Margaret’s poem of La Coche presented to the Duchess of Etampes, the ladies in the different miniatures are frequently shown wearing masks of the kind referred to.  Some curious particulars concerning these tourets will be found in M. Leon do Laborde’s Le Palais Mazarin et les grandes habitations de ville et de campagne au XVIIe Siecle, Paris, 1846, 8vo, p. 314.—­L.

The monks, indeed, had heard that the company assembled in the meadow to tell the pleasantest tales imaginable, and being fonder of pleasure than of their prayers, they had gone and hidden themselves in a ditch, where they lay flat on their bellies behind a very thick hedge; and they had there listened so eagerly to the stories that they had not heard the ringing of the monastery bell, as was soon clearly shown, for they returned in such great haste that they almost lacked breath to begin the saying of vespers.

After the service, when they were asked why they had been so late and had chanted so badly, they confessed that they had been to listen to the tales; whereupon, since they were so desirous of hearing them, it was granted that they might sit and listen at their ease every day behind the hedge.

Supper-time was spent joyously in discoursing of such matters as they had not brought to an end in the meadow.  And this lasted through the evening, until Oisille begged them to retire so that their minds might be the more alert on the morrow, after a long, sound sleep, one hour of which before midnight was, said she, better than three after it.  Accordingly the company parted one from another, betaking themselves to their respective rooms; and in this wise ended the Second Day.

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THIRD DAY.

On the Third Day are recounted Tales of the Ladies who have only sought what was honourable in Love, and of the hypocrisy and wickedness of the Monks.

PROLOGUE.

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.

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