How The Nun Paid For The Pears

By Monseigneur De Thianges (*).

_Of a Jacobin and a nun, who went secretly to an orchard to enjoy

pleasant pastime under a pear-tree; in which tree was hidden one who

knew of the assignation, and who spoiled their sport for that time, as

you will hear._

(*) The name of the author of this story is spelled in four

different ways in different editions of these tales--Viz,

Thieurges, Thienges, Thieuges and Thianges.

It is no means unusual for monks to run after nuns. Thus it happened

formerly that a Jacobin so haunted, visited, and frequented a nunnery in

this kingdom, that his intention became known,--which was to sleep with

one of the ladies there.

And God knows how anxious and diligent he was to see her whom he loved

better than all the rest of the world, and continued to visit there so

often, that the Abbess and many of the nuns perceived how matters stood,

at which they were much displeased. Nevertheless, to avoid scandal, they

said not a word to the monk, but gave a good scolding to the nun, who

made many excuses, but the abbess, who was clear-sighted, knew by her

replies and excuses that she was guilty.

So, on account of that nun, the Abbess restrained the liberty of all,

and caused the doors of the cloisters and other places to be closed,

so that the poor Jacobin could by no means come to his mistress. That

greatly vexed him, and her also, I need not say, and you may guess that

they schemed day and night by what means they could meet; but could

devise no plan, such a strict watch did the Abbess keep on them.

It happened one day, that one of the nieces of the Abbess was married,

and a great feast was made in the convent. There was a great assemblage

of people from the country round, and the Abbess was very busy receiving

the great people who had come to do honour to her niece.

The worthy Jacobin thought that he might get a glimpse of his mistress,

and by chance be lucky enough to find an opportunity to speak to her. He

came therefore, and found what he sought; for, because of the number of

guests, the Abbess was prevented from keeping watch over the nun, and

he had an opportunity to tell his mistress his griefs, and how much he

regretted the good time that had passed; and she, who greatly loved him,

gladly listened to him, and would have willingly made him happy. Amongst

other speeches, he said;

"Alas! my dear, you know that it is long since we have had a quiet talk

together such as we like; I beg of you therefore, if it is possible,

whilst everyone is otherwise engaged than in watching us, to tell me

where we can have a few words apart."

"So help me God, my friend," she replied, "I desire it no less than you

do. But I do not know of any place where it can be done; for there are

so many people in the house, and I cannot enter my chamber, there are so

many strangers who have come to this wedding; but I will tell you what

you can do. You know the way to the great garden; do you not?"

"By St. John! yes," he said.

"In the corner of the garden," she said, "there is a nice paddock

enclosed with high and thick hedges, and in the middle is a large

pear-tree, which makes the place cool and shady. Go there and wait for

me, and as soon as I can get away, I will hurry to you."

The Jacobin greatly thanked her and went straight there. But you must

know there was a young gallant who had come to the feast, who was

standing not far from these lovers and had heard their conversation,

and, as he knew the paddock, he determined that he would go and hide

there, and see their love-making.

He slipped out of the crowd, and as fast as his feet could carry him,

ran to this paddock, and arrived there before the Jacobin; and when

he came there, he climbed into the great pear-tree--which had large

branches, and was covered with leaves and pears,--and hid himself so

well that he could not be easily seen.

He was hardly ensconced there when there came trotting along the worthy

Jacobin, looking behind him to see if his mistress was following; and

God knows that he was glad to find himself in that beautiful spot, and

never lifted his eyes to the pear-tree, for he never suspected that

there was anyone there, but kept his eyes on the road by which he had


He looked until he saw his mistress coming hastily, and she was soon

with him, and they rejoiced greatly, and the good Jacobin took off his

gown and his scapulary, and kissed and cuddled tightly the fair nun.

They wanted to do that for which they came thither, and prepared

themselves accordingly, and in so doing the nun said;

"Pardieu, Brother Aubrey, I would have you know that you are about

to enjoy one of the prettiest nuns in the Church. You can judge for

yourself. Look what breasts I what a belly! what thighs! and all the


"By my oath," said Brother Aubrey, "Sister Jehanne, my darling, you also

can say that you have for a lover one of the best-looking monks of our

Order, and as well furnished as any man in this kingdom," and with these

words, taking in his hand the weapon with which he was about to fight,

he brandished it before his lady's eyes, and cried, "What do you say?

What do you think of it? Is it not a handsome one? Is it not worthy of a

pretty girl?"

"Certainly it is," she said.

"And you shall have it."

"And you shall have," said he who was up in the pear-tree, "all the best

pears on the tree;" and with that he took and shook the branches with

both hands, and the pears rattled down on them and on the ground, at

which Brother Aubrey was so frightened that he hardly had the sense to

pick up his gown, but ran away as fast as he could without waiting, and

did not feel safe till he was well away from the spot.

The nun was as much, or more, frightened, but before she could set off,

the gallant had come down out of the tree, and taking her by the hand,

prevented her leaving, and said; "My dear, you must not go away thus:

you must first pay the fruiterer."

She saw that a refusal would appear unseasonable, and was fain to let

the fruiterer complete the work which Brother Aubrey had left undone.