« PreviousContinue »
OF RICHES, WHICH ARE NOT TO BE
A CERTAIN king had two daughters, one of whom was extremely beautiful, and very much beloved. The other, however, was of a dark, unprepossessing complexion, and hated, as much as her sister was esteemed. This difference in their appearance caused the king to give them characteristic names. He called the first Rosamunda*, that is, the fragrant rose; and the second, Gratiaplena, or the full
* Or Rosa mundi, rose of the world. There are two monkish Latin verses inscribed over the unfortunate paramour of Henry II. wbich may find a place here :
“ Hic jacet in tumba ROSA MUNDI, non ROSAMUNDA;
A herald was commanded to proclaim, , that whosoever would marry either of the two daughters, should do so upon the following conditions. First, that they should be the worthiest of the candidates; secondly, that whoever chose the beautiful girl, should have nothing but her beauty ; but he who selected the dark girl should succeed him to the throne. Multitudes flocked to the summons; but every one still clung to the fair lady, and not even the temptation of a kingdom could induce any one to espouse the other. Gratiaplena wept bitterly at her unhappy fate ; " My daughter,” said the king," why are you so grievously afflicted ?" Oh, my father,” returned she, “no one visits or speaks kindly
all pay their attentions to my sister, and despise me.” “Why, my
Why, my dear daughter," said the father, “ do you not know, that whosoever marries
the crown ?” This was touching the right string ; the lady dried her tears, and was marvellously comforted.
Not long after a king entered the royal palace, and seeing the great beauty of Rosa
to me ;
munda, desired her in marriage. The fatherking consented, and she was espoused with great joy. But the other daughter remained many years unbetrothed. At last, a certain poor nobleman very wisely reflecting, that though the girl was abominably ugly, yet she was rich, determined to marry her.
her. He therefore went to the king, and solicited his consent; who, glad enough at the proposal, cheerfully bestowed her upon him; and after his decease, bequeathed him the kingdom.
My beloved, the king is our Lord Jesus Christ; Rosamunda is the world, which every one loves. The other daughter, Gratiaplena, so abhorred by the world, is poverty. But the poor in spirit will receive the kingdom of heaven.
OF THE CONSTANCY OF LOVE.
The beautiful daughter of a certain king was betrothed to a noble duke, by whom she had very handsome children. The duke died, and was greatly bewailed by the whole state. After his death her friends earnestly solicited the lady to marry a second time, alleging that her youth and beauty required it. But she answered, " I will never marry again. My departed lord was so good and kind; he loved me so truly, that when he died I thought I could not survive him. And if it were possible that I could forget what he has been, where shall I find another? Admitting that I should marry, perhaps my second husband would also precede me to the grave? Why then, my grief would be awakened a second time, and my afflictions be as heavy as before! Moreover, if he were a bad man; it would, indeed, be torture to remember him who was good, while one so inferior had succeeded him. I am therefore determined to remain as I am.” *
My beloved, the king is God ; the daughter the soul, betrothed to our Lord Jesus Christ.
There was a certain king who had a singular partiality for little dogs that barked loudly ; so much so, indeed, that they usually rested
* See Tale LXXV. which is similar both in structure and reasoning