The Cornerstone

By Zoé Oldenbourg; Edward Hyams | Go to book overview

ERNAUT, OR THE HEAVY HEART

ERNAUT was the son of a peasant girl of Bernon, Gauchère by name. At the time when Herbert had known her she was a handsome girl with thick hair and flat lips. She had loved the excessively fair, gently born youth who had seduced her, with the strong and simple love of a decent and virtuous girl. She suffered both blows and shame and ended by seeking help from the lady of Linnières; she was about to be brought to bed and swore that the child was Herbert's indeed; she did not want to abandon it but knew that her parents would not let her keep it. The lady had had almost enough of girls who complained of having been seduced by Herbert, but Gauchère had pleased her; she had made her welcome at the castle and had consented to be the child's godmother. Herbert's wife had as yet borne him only a daughter, and he was not a little proud of having a son: of what is one not proud, at sixteen? The lady, who was not fond of her daughter-in-law, hoped that Gauchère's influence might help her son to settle down. After the men had departed for the crusade Gauchère remained at the castle, counting the hours and making her novenas like any crusader's wife. Then Bertrade, Herbert's wife, bore a son--Haguenier--and the lady changed her attitude to Gauchère: she even sent her away to the farmhouse at Bernon, to please Bertrade: but she did not forget little Ernaut who was still, after all, the eldest of her grandsons.

After an absence of three years Herbert returned, tall and strong, arrogant as a captain of free-lances. The death of his elder brother had made him the heir of Linnières; the death of his wife's brothers made him the future master of Hervi. And now everyone feared him, for he was known to bear malice. He began by relegating Bertrade to the servants' quarters: she had been disfigured by the smallpox and he claimed that the mere sight of her froze his blood; but his aversion to her was older than that--he had been married against his inclination and could not forget it. For Ernaut's sake he brought Gauchère back to the castle. But his current companion was Isabeau, one of the castle girls, whom he had also got with child--Pierre--before the crusade;

-43-

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The Cornerstone
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Part One 1
  • Farewell 3
  • A Bitter Love 7
  • Haguenier: I. First Encounter 14
  • The Feast of Wolves 19
  • Auberi 24
  • The Lady of Beauty 28
  • Haguenier: Ii. a Father and a Brother 32
  • Eglantine 38
  • Ernaut, or the Heavy Heart 43
  • Noble Youths and Maidens 48
  • The Bitter Cup 50
  • Arabesque 56
  • The Arrows of the Sun 62
  • Haguenier: Iii. First Rift 63
  • Devil in the Heart 71
  • The Body's Darkness 76
  • The Songbird 83
  • The Festival 92
  • Misunderstood 96
  • Pity 99
  • Haguenier's Marriage 103
  • Departure 107
  • A Lady's Game 109
  • Part Two 117
  • Misfortunes of War 119
  • The Burning Roads 126
  • Fear 140
  • Mélusine 144
  • Crow's Field 151
  • Reflections Upon the End of the World 158
  • The Heart of Diamond 162
  • Part Three 173
  • Bitter Blood 175
  • Crusade 179
  • Haguenier: Iv. the Widening Rift 182
  • Songs and Reveries 185
  • Obstacles 189
  • The Inheritance 195
  • Marie: Portraits 200
  • Ferret Heart 204
  • Haguenier: First Trial. the Oath 209
  • The Broken Body 213
  • Joceran Again 220
  • Haguenier: the Second Trial. A Taste of Paradise 224
  • The Black Mere 226
  • Haguenier: the Third Trial. Harshness 229
  • The World Turned Upside Down 234
  • Haguenier: the Fourth Trial. the Cup Withdrawn 236
  • Family Troubles 245
  • Haguenier: the Fifth Trial. Sacrifice 247
  • Nightmare 252
  • Herbert 258
  • Malediction 260
  • Haguenier: the Sixth Trial. Life Parts Lovers 271
  • The Fairies 281
  • The Storm 288
  • The Wolf 294
  • The Other Stricken Bird 300
  • Part Four 307
  • Marseilles 309
  • The Promised Land 335
  • A Masterless House 362
  • Herbert's Wife 369
  • The Bad Steward 373
  • The Stricken Man 378
  • Death Unwelcomed 391
  • Still Life 400
  • Pity 407
  • The Seventh Trial or Marie Crowned 413
  • Part Five 425
  • The End of Auberi's Service 427
  • Jerusalem 434
  • Brother Ernaut 445
  • The Last Pilgrimage 462
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