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XIV

Spoken: Story and Dialogue

When Aucassin heard Nicolette say that she wanted to go to another country, a profound sickness overcame his soul:

"My sweet friend," he said, "you can't leave, it would kill me. The first man you see who finds an opportunity would take you away and put you in his bed, making you his mistress. And once you slept in another man's bed, don't think I will hesitate to find a knife to stab and kill myself. No, no, I wouldn't wait at all, but, far away as I may be, I will find a wall or a granite stone, I'll throw myself at it and smash my head with such force that my eyes will fall out and my brains will turn to jelly. I would rather die this horrible death rather than learn that you have slept in another man's bed."

"Ah!" she said, "I don't believe you love me as much as you say; but I love you more than you love me."

"Come now!" responded Aucassin, "my sweet friend, it isn't possible that you love me more than I love you. Woman can't love man as much as man loves woman; because woman's love is contained in her eye, and in the very back of her breast, and in the very back of her little toe, but man's love is set in the front of his heart where it can't be moved."

While Aucassin and Nicolette spoke together, the bowmen on watch came up the street, swords looking bad under their capes, because Count Garin had given them the order to kill her on sight. The night watchman, on the top of the tower, saw them coming; he heard them speak about Nicolette among themselves and threaten to kill her.

"God," he said, "what a great loss if they killed such a beautiful young girl! It would be a truly charitable deed if I could turn them aside without them realizing, and so she could protect herself from her enemies; because, if they kill her, Aucassin my young lord would die from it and that would be a great loss!"

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