Beauty and the beast
A bizarre tale about this rare castle for sale
Over 500 years, strange things are bound to occur in a château. Of the episodes related about the Château de Piquecos (now for sale), this one stands out the most in my mind. In spite of her appeals, the painter's model and lady of the house, Suzanne de Gramont, did not have any children. She, therefore, sought to leg the château to her niece with the one condition that she marry one of the nephews of her late husband. Well, there were 12 of them and they were ready to kill each other as she was apparently a beauty of exquisite humor. Her choice went to the Marquis de Saint-Chamond, Ambassador to Italy and England, General Lieutenant of the King's Army. It turns out that he was so desperately jealous of his young bride that he confined her for the rest of his life in a tower room of the château. After the Marquis' death, she vowed her devotion to his memory until her own death 30 years later. How is this conceivable? A notebook with the following cryptic inscription was found hidden in a wall some twenty years ago:
"Il n'est que d'accueillir une bribe de cette souffrance noire dans son propre cœur, de l'y bercer, de l'y soigner. Et d'espérer qu'y oeuvre l'alchimie d'amour. Tout le reste est du vent.
All you must do is welcome only a few words of the black suffering in your own heart, to cuddle it and care for it. And to desire that the alchemy of love will transform it. The rest is wind. "
To make this story even more bizarre, similar events were already the subject of a short story written by Marguerite de Navarre a hundred years earlier. The story in a modified form would again surface in the lives of a certain Sigismund d'Ehrenburg and his young bride Albe in a more distant land.
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