Summary (Masterplots, Definitive Revised Edition)
Somewhere in the Bohemian countryside there lived a nobleman, Acasto, who had served the emperor well before his retirement from military service and the life of the court. In his household were his twin sons, Castalio and Polydore, and his daughter Serina, as well as a young noblewoman, Monimia, who had been left as his ward upon the death of her parents. It was Acasto’s purpose to keep his sons at home, for he had seen enough of the intrigues and disappointments of court life. The two sons, however, restless and unoccupied, had both fallen in love with Monimia.
Previously they had been close friends and sharers of each other’s secrets, but now their love for the same woman came between them. Castalio, whose weakness was an excessive scrupulousness, made the great mistake of minimizing his passion for Monimia when talking with his brother; he claimed that he had no desire for marriage and that he would not object to watching Polydore press his own suit. This conversation was repeated to Monimia by a page. Since she genuinely loved Castalio, she misunderstood his attitude and really believed that his love had cooled. Thus it was that Castalio, in his desire to be fair with Polydore, allowed him and Monimia to be alone together under circumstances which allowed the less scrupulous Polydore to make dishonorable proposals to her.
A short time later Chamont, Monimia’s brother, returned from the wars in which he had been engaged for many...
(The entire section is 979 words.)
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