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Gesta Romanorum Vol. II (1871)/Of ecclesiastical Blindness




A certain knight went to gather grapes in his vineyard. His wife, imagining that he delayed longer than he ought to have done, sent hastily for her gallant. While they were together the knight returned; for it seems, while plucking down a bunch of grapes, he had struck out an eye, and come home in great agony. The lady hearing his knock at the gate, was much perturbed, and immediately concealed her lover. The knight entering, complained of his wounded eye, and directed a bed to be prepared, that he might lie down. But the wife, fearing lest the gallant who was hidden in the hall, should be detected by her injured husband, said, "Why would you go to bed? tell me what has happened." He told her: "My dear lord," cried she, "permit me to strengthen the uninjured eye, by medicinal applications[1]; or the diseased part may communicate with the sound, and thereby both be irremediably injured." The knight made no objection, and his wife spreading a large plaster so as completely to obstruct his sight, beckoned to her gallant, who escaped. Satisfied with her successful stratagem, the lady observed to the husband, "There, dear! now I am secure: your sound eye will take no injury. Go into your bed, and sleep."[2]


My beloved, the knight is a prelate of the church; the adulterous wife is the soul. The prelate's eye is struck out as often as it is blinded with gifts.


  1. The ladies, it is well known, were in former days, the best, indeed, the only chirurgeons.
  2. This tale is in Alphonsus, and many of the Italian Novelists.