Noverca and filia

from French Version L

too literally translated”


Hans R. Runte


(Source: Le Roux de Lincy, Antoine-Jean-Victor. Roman des sept sages de Rome […].

Paris: Techener, 1838 [AB 496])



Jessé’s, the sixth sage’s story


[p. 65] “Sire,” he goes, “emperor, it happened that a knight [who was] rich [p. 66] of land loved a damsel, the most beautiful being that ever was. And he loved her so much that nobody could love a woman more. So much did they affirm their love that it was very deep-rooted, but the damsel was very proud, and so much so that it happened that he had his pleasure with her. And the damsel conceived and had a child from him, and it was male. The child was born and grew much and developed, and became such a handsome being that it was a marvel to see. It happened that the boy’s mother died, and the knight was much aggrieved about it. And he remained for a long time without a wife, and all along the child developed and grew. The knight took another wife. She took to hating the boy much, because of his beauty, and thought that, if the had a child from the knight, it would be lord over everyone. And she began to put blame on that child and said often to the knight that he had done her damage with respect to his men and other things. The knight was smitten with his wife [so] that he believed whatever she said, and took to hating his son because of the love [he had] for his wife. The [older] boy had two very handsome cousins from the sister of his mother who had died, but they were far away from [their] land. The knight had a golden cup from which he drank, which was well worth forty pounds. His son had a cabin by his house where he put his things. The stepmother thought of [an act of] great treason: one night, [when] the boy had gone to bed and fallen asleep, the stepmother comes to the boy’s bed[room in the house], to which she had the key, and takes the key to his cabin and puts the cup inside [the cabin] and puts the key back under his pillow. Night went and day came; and when it came to dinner [time] and one asked for the lord’s cup, one could not find any trace of it. The knight was angry and said: ‘Search everywhere.’ ‘Sire,’ said the lady and the household [staff], ‘we searched everywhere, not at all [p. 67] do we find [it].’ ‘Ask,’ said the lady, ‘your son whether he knows any news about it.’ And he asks him; and he says that [he knows] nothing, may God help him. ‘Sire,’ said the lady, ‘look in his room.’ ‘Open,’ said the knight, ‘your cabin.’ ‘Sire, willingly,’ goes the boy. He opened the cabin and the cup was found all hidden away. ‘Sire,’ said the lady, ‘now you can see your son’s pretty child [tricks]. You did not want to believe me about it just before.’ ‘By my head,’ goes the knight, ‘I like better that he be destroyed early than late. Go,’ he goes [saying] to three of his servants, ‘drown my son, for I can do without a thief.’ They take him and led him away [so] that they never let go of [?] his word, and lead him to a great ditch of a river and tie two stones to [his] neck and drown him. They returned much frightened [because] of the sin they had done. It happened that the drowned one had two nephews by his mother’s sister who came to see him; they met the three sergeants who had done the evil [deed], and they believed that [the three] should have seen him. One of them jumps into the river, out of fear, and was drowned, and the other two turned [away] in flight. Those [nephews] took them and asked them; ‘What [matters] do you have who are so frightened?’ They draw the[ir] swords and say: ‘Tell the truth!’ One of them said: ‘I will never lie about it; we have done dirty deeds, for we drowned, by the knight’s order, his son for his stepmother who hated him and always accused him to his father.’ ‘He spoke truthfully,’ said the other. Do not ask at all whether these [two nephews] were aggrieved about their cousin who had been drowned; they killed the two sergeants and the third one had drowned. They go from there to the castle and ascend the steps of the hall; and they find the knight and his wife and killed the one and the other and returned to their country; thus they avenged the drowned one.”




The empress’s seventh story


[p. 68] “It happened that a city man had a very beautiful daughter and let her do at her will, he did not at all chastise [her] for anything; and so much so that several young men went around her; and one of them did his pleasure with her. And so much so that she […] was pregnant. When the father knew this, he beats her and takes her […]. It gained him nothing; she thought of [an act of] great treason, like a bad schemer and a bad[ly] taught one; and she comes to her friend and said to him: ‘Handsome friend, I am by you pregnant; if my father were dead, his great holdings would come (back) to us. Either you never [more] speak to me or you do [what I] want.’ ‘Of what [do you speak]?’ goes her [p. 69] friend. ‘My father will tomorrow go to the market and will die before day[break]; and [so] be you prepared in this bush and kill him: thus we will have everything, I and you; and one will say that criminals will have done this.’ ‘There is nothing,’ goes her friend, ‘that I would not do for you.’ He spied on him in the morning and killed him.”