Aucassin and Nicolette
Spoken: Story and Dialogue
As you have heard, Nicolette was imprisoned in the room. In the whole region and in the whole country the rumor spread, the news that Nicolette was lost; some said she fled the region, others said that the Count de Beaucaire had her killed. If there was anyone made joyous by the rumor, Aucassin was not one of them, but he went to the village viscount's house and shouted out to him:
"Sir viscount, what have you done with Nicolette, my very sweet friend, the being I love most in the world? Have you taken her from me and escaped? Be assured that, if I die from it, he will demand compensation, and this will only be just, since you will have killed me with your own two hands in taking away from me the being I love most in the world.
"Dear lord, responded the viscount, "renounce your love. Nicolette is a captive that I brought back from a foreign land; I bought her with my own money from the Saracens; I became her godfather and baptized her: she became my goddaughter; I brought her up and I was counting on, one of these days, marrying her to a young man who could earn his living honorably: this does not concern you. But marry the daughter of a king or a count soon. Moreover, what gain do you imagine you would get, if you were to make her your mistress and your concubine? It would have been a very poor profit for you, since, for all eternity, your soul would dwell in hell, without ever entering paradise.
"What do I have to do in paradise? I do not seek to enter there, on the condition that I had Nicolette my very sweet friend whom I love so much, because only some I could list go to paradise. Those who do go, they are old priests, old lame people, armless people who, all day and all night, stay crouching in front of altars and in old crypts, and those who wear old threadbare capes and old rags, who are naked, without shoes or hose, who starve to death, die of thirst, cold, and misery. Such are those who go to paradise: I don't have anything to do with those people. But I wish to go to hell, because you find handsome scholars, handsome knights killed in tournament or in dazzling wars, valiant men of arms and nobles are going to hell: I want to go with them, on the condition that I had Nicolette my very sweet friend with me.
"In truth," responded the viscount, "I speak to you in vain, because you will never see her; and if you speak with her and your father finds out, he will burn her and myself at the stake, and you can also fear for your own life.
"What pain I am in!" said Aucassin who, in the clutches of despair, left the viscount.
Contributed by: Kristen Lawson