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Walter, however, in a recent and thorough study of Robert of
Arbrissel (_Die Ersten Wanderprediger Frankreichs_, Theil I),
shows that there is no reason whatever to doubt the authentic and
reliable character of the impugned letters.
The early Christian legends of chastity had, however, their successors.
_Aucassin et Nicolette_, which was probably written in Northern France
towards the end of the twelfth century, is above all the descendant of the
stories in the _Acta Sanctorum_ and elsewhere. It embodied their spirit
and carried it forward, uniting their delicate feeling for chastity and
purity with the ideal of monogamic love. _Aucassin et Nicolette_ was the
death-knell of the primitive Christian romance of chastity. It was the
discovery that the chaste refinements of delicacy and devotion were
possible within the strictly normal sphere of sexual love.
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