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  • Il Novellino

    XXVIII
    Here it is told of a custom that existed in the kingdom of France

    It was the custom in the kingdom of France that a man who deserved to be dishonoured and condemned should go in a cart.

    And if it happened that he was condemned to death, never was found anyone willing to converse with him or stay with him for any reason.

    Lancelot1 when he became mad for love of Queen Guinevre went in the cart, and was driven to many places.

    And from that day on the cart was no more despised, and ladies and knights of fine birth go in it now for their disport.

    Alas! errant world and ignorant and discourteous people, how much greater was Our Lord who made the heaven and earth, than Lancelot who was made a knight2 and changed and upset so great a usance in the kingdom of France, which was not his kingdom.

    And Jesus Christ, Our Lord, pardoning His own enemies could not make men pardon theirs.

    And this He did and willed in His kingdom to those who crucified Him.

    He pardoned them, and prayed to His Father for them.

    1 Lancelot of the Lake.
    2 cavaliere di scudo in the original. Sacchetti says cavalieri di scudo were those made knights by lords or by the people.

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    Il Novellino : The Hundred Old Tales
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    Storer, Edward, trans. Il Novellino: The Hundred Old Tales. London: G. Routledge & Sons Ltd.; New York: E. P. Dutton & Co., [1925]. 91-92

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