Morehead State University

ART HISTORY 362
HISTORY OF MEDIEVAL ART

THE LADY OF VERGI (excerpt)

There are certain people
who seem to be sincere
and keep secrets so well
that it is rather easy to trust them.
And when it happens that someone reveals to them enough
so that they know about a love affair,
then these people spread the rumor throughout the country
making it the object of jokes and ridicule.
It happens that he who has divulged the secret loses his happiness,
because the greater the love,
the more "fins amants" are afflicted,
when one of them thinks that the other
revealed something which he should have concealed.
And often such a misunderstanding takes place
that it entails love to die
in sadness and in shame.
In Bourgogne this is what happened
to a brave and courageous knight
and the lady of Vergi.
The knight was so persistent with her
that she awarded him her love
on the condition that he know that he would instantaneously lose
her love and the gift she made of herself
if ever their love was revealed by him.
So that this love could flourish,
They decided that the knight would come
to the enclosed garden every day
at the time she would indicate to him,
and he would not move from his little spot
until he saw a little dog run across the garden,
then without hesitation he could come into her room,
knowing then that there would be no one else there besides the lady.
Thus, this arrangement continued for a long time,
and their love was kept secret so well
that no one except for the two of them knew anything of it.

"The Lady of Vergi" in Art




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