A girl was betrothed by her father to a man whom she had never met. Her mind shone with an uncommon light and she was ever seeking out tales of love: chaste and reckless, rich and unrequited.

Into her house she called the most upstanding matrons and the lowest whores, regal queens and barren slaves. To each she said, simply: “Tell me of the men you have loved.”

This intense interest worried her father. Though he had found a most suitable bridegroom for his dearly loved daughter, he feared such tales would influence her against any future husband.

She reassured him: “Father, please do not worry. I trust in you that I will live happily with whomever you have chosen for me. I seek these stories so that I may separate the qualities in him that are exceptional from those that are mundane. Knowing this, I can love him.”