“Yet,” said Ennasuite, “she died of true love, for her steadfast and loyal heart could not endure to be so deceived.”
“It was her jealousy,” said Simontault, “which would not yield to reason, so that she believed evil of her lover of which he was not guilty at all. Moreover, her death was matter of necessity, for she could not prevent it, whilst her lover’s death was voluntary, after he had recognised his own wrongdoing.”
“Still,” said Nomerfide, “the love must needs be great that causes such deep sorrow.”
“Have no fear of it,” said Hircan, “for you will never die of that kind of fever.”
“Nor,” said Nomerfide, “will you ever kill yourself after recognising your error.”
Here Parlamente, who suspected that the dispute was being carried on at her own expense, said, laughing—
“’Tis enough that two persons should have died of love, without two others fighting for the same cause. And there is the last bell sounding for vespers, which will have us gone whether you be willing or not.”
By her advice the whole company then rose and went to hear vespers, not forgetting in their fervent prayers the souls of those true lovers, for whom, also, the monks, of their charity, said a De profundis. As long as supper lasted there was no talk save of the Lady du Vergier, and then, when they had spent a little time together, they withdrew to their several apartments, and so brought to an end the Seventh Day.
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On the Eighth Day relation is made of the greatest yet truest follies that each can remember.
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.