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
"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.