There is a fine ending to the first chapter of The Return of Martin Guerre by Natalie Zemon Davis. It underplays the ironies to come.
After an evening of banqueting, the couple was escorted to Bertrande’s marriage bed. Into their room at midnight burst the young village revellers […] carrying their “resveil.” Heavily seasoned with herbs and spices, the drink would ensure the newlyweds ardent mating and a fertile marriage.
It’s a marriage that produced a very long lived story, a fecundity of sorts.
Later when one considers the comment closing a later chapter one can appreciate further the imbricated ironies:
Here one can approve the cockolding of the once impotent and now faraway husband. Here Arnaud du Tilh becomes a kind of hero, a more real Martin Guerre than the hard-hearted man with the wooden leg. The tragedy is more in his unmasking than in his imposture.
And so for day 248