Thursday, April 22, 2010

"The Chaste Lover." Anonymous.

Review: Middle-aged man has finally decides to marry. But after a time of domesticity, decides to resume his life as a merchant in foreign climes. Recognizing that his wife will have natural desires, he cautions her only to be as chaste as possible while he is gone, but says if she must have a lover it should be only one and a wise one.

He leaves. She is tormented by temptation. She selects a young clerk to be her lover as directed by her husband. What a wonderful idea, says the clerk when invited to be her lover. But there is one problem, he says. He made a promise to our Lord when he feared for his life that he would fast by going without food for for a year without committing a sin. The time for his fast is almost up, but he invites the lady to help him with the fast. He can double the days if she will fast too and she agrees.

Well, she fasts for days, grows weak, loses her desire, and thus, thanks to the wise clerk, remains chaste for her husband.

Great French Short Stories. Ed. Germaine Brée. New York: Dell Publishing Co., Inc. 1969.

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