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Title: The Decameron (Day 6 to Day 10) - Containing an hundred pleasant Novels
Author: Boccaccio, Giovanni
Language: English
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An hundred pleasant Novels.

_Wittily discoursed, betweene seven Honourable Ladies, and three Noble

The last Five Dayes.

London, Printed by
Isaac Jaggard,

Sherland, Earle of Montgomery, and Knight of the most Noble order of
the Garter.

_Having (by your Honourable command) translated this_ Decameron, _or_
Cento Novelle, _sirnamed_ Il Principe Galeotto, _of ten dayes severall
discourses, grounded on variable and singuler Arguments, happening
betweene seaven Noble Ladies, and three very Honourable Gentlemen:
Although not attyred in such elegantcy of phrase, or nice curiosity of
stile, as a quicker and more sprightly wit could have performed, but
in such home-borne language, as my ability could stretch unto; yet it
commeth (in all duty) to kisse your Noble hand, and to shelter it selfe
under your Gracious protection, though not from the leering eye, and
over-lavish tongue of snarling Envy; yet from the power of his blasting
poyson, and malice of his machinations._

_To the Reader._

Bookes (Courteous Reader) may rightly be compared to _Gardens_;
wherein, let the painfull Gardiner expresse never so much care and
diligent endeavour; yet among the very fairest, sweetest, and freshest
Flowers, as also Plants of most precious Vertue; ill favouring and
stinking Weeds, fit for no use but the fire or mucke-hill, will spring
and sprout up. So fareth it with Bookes of the very best quality, let
the Author bee never so indulgent, and the Printer vigilant: yet both
may misse their ayme, by the escape of Errors and Mistakes, either in
sense or matter, the one fault ensuing by a ragged Written Copy; and
the other thorough want of wary Correction. If then the best Bookes
cannot be free from this common infirmity; blame not this then, of
farre lighter argument, wherein thy courtesie may helpe us both: His
blame, in acknowledging his more sufficiency, then to write so grosse
and absurdly: And mine, in pardoning unwilling Errours committed, which
thy judgement finding, thy pen can as easily correct.


 The Table


 To the Reader.

       *       *       *       *       *

 THE SIXT DAY, Governed under Madame Eliza.

 _Wherein the Discourses or Novels there to bee recounted, doe concerne
 such persons; who by some witty words (when any have taunted them)
 have revenged themselves, in a sudden, unexpected and discreet
 answere, thereby preventing losse, danger, scorne and disgrace,
 retorting them on the busi-headed Questioners._

 The Argument of the first Novell.

 _A Knight requested Madame_ Oretta, _to ride behinde him on
 horsebacke, and promised, to tell her an excellent Tale by the way.
 But the Lady perceiving, that his discourse was idle, and much worse
 delivered: entreated him to let her walke on foote againe._

 _The Morall._

 Reprehending the folly of such men, as undertake to report discourses,
 which are beyond their wit and capacity, and gaine nothing but blame
 for their labour.

 The Argument of the second Novell.

 Cistio _a Baker, by a witty answere which he gave unto_ Messer Geri
 Spina, _caused him to acknowledge a very indiscreet motion, which he
 had made to the said_ Cistio.

 _The Morall._

 Approving, that a request ought to be civill, before it should be
 granted to any one whatsoever.

 The Argument of the third Novell.

 Madam Nonna de Pulci, _by a sodaine answere, did put to silence a
 Bishop of_ Florence, _and the Lord Marshall: having mooved a question
 to the said Lady, which seemed to come short of honesty._

 _The Morall._

 Wherein is declared, that mockers doe sometimes meet with their
 matches in mockery, and to their owne shame.

 The Argument of the fourth Novell.

 Chichibio, _the Cooke to_ Messer Currado Gianfiliazzi, _by a sodaine
 pleasant answere which he made to his Master; converted his anger into
 laughter, and thereby escaped the punishment, that_ Messer _meant to
 impose on him._

 _The Morall._

 Whereby plainely appeareth, that a sodaine witty, and merry answere,
 doth oftentimes appease the furious choller of an angry man.

 The Argument of the fift Novell.

 Messer Forese da Rabatte, _and Maister_ Giotto, _a Painter by his
 profession, comming together from_ Mugello, _scornefully reprehended
 one another for their deformity of body._

 _The Morall._

 Whereby may be observed, that such as will speake contemptibly of
 others, ought (first of all) to looke respectively on their owne

 The Argument of the sixt Novell.

 _A yong and ingenious Scholler, being unkindly reviled and smitten
 by his ignorant Father, and through the procurement of an unlearned
 Vicare; afterward attained to bee doubly revenged on him._

 _The Morall._

 Serving as an advertisment to unlearned Parents, not to be over-rash,
 in censuring on Schollers imperfections, through any bad or
 unbeseeming perswasions.

 The Argument of the seaventh Novell.

 Madame Phillippa, _being accused by her Husband_ Rinaldo de Pugliese,
 _because he tooke her in Adultery, with a yong Gentleman named_
 Lazarino de Guazzagliotori: _caused her to bee cited before a Judge.
 From whom she delivered her selfe, by a sodaine, witty, and pleasant
 answere, and moderated a severe strict Statute, formerly made against

 _The Morall._

 Wherein is declared, of what worth it is to confesse a truth, with a
 facetious and witty excuse.

 The Argument of the eighth Novell.

 Fresco da Celatico, _counselled and advised his Neece_ Cesca: _That if
 such as deserved to bee looked on, were offensive to her eyes (as she
 had often told him;) she should forbeare to looke on any._

 _The Morall._

 In just scorne of such unsightly and ill-pleasing surly Sluts, who
 imagine none to bee faire or well-favoured, but themselves.

 The Argument of the ninth Novell.

 Signior Guido Cavalcante, _with a sodaine and witty answere,
 reprehended the rash folly of certaine Florentine Gentlemen, that
 thought to scorne and flout him._

 _The Morall._

 Notably discovering the great difference that is betweene learning and
 ignorance, upon Judicious apprehension.

 The Argument of the tenth Novell.

 _Frier_ Onyon _promised certaine honest people of the Country, to shew
 them a Feather of the same Phoenix, that was with_ Noah _in his Arke.
 In sted whereof, he found Coales, which he avouched to be those very
 coales, wherewith the same Phoenix was roasted._

 _The Morall._

 Wherein may be observed, what palpable abuses doe many times passe,
 under the counterfeit Cloake of Religion.

       *       *       *       *       *

 THE SEAVENTH DAY, Governed under the Regiment of DIONEUS.

 _Wherein the Discourses are directed, for the discovery of such
 policies and deceits, as women have used for beguiling of their
 Husbands, either in respect of their love, or for the prevention
 of some blame or scandall; escaping without sight, knowledge, or

 The Argument of the first Novell.

 John _of_ Lorraine _heard one knocke at his doore in the night time,
 whereupon he awaked his Wife_ Monna Tessa. _Shee made him beleeve, that
 it was a Spirit which knocked at the doore, and so they arose, going
 both together to conjure the Spirit with a charme; and afterwards,
 they heard no more knocking._

 _The Morall._

 Reprehending the simplicity of some sottish Husbands: And discovering
 the wanton subtilties of some women, to compasse their unlawfull

 The Argument of the second Novell.

 Peronella _hid a yong man her Friend and Lover, under a great brewing
 Fat, uppon the sodaine returning home of her Husband; who tolde her,
 that he had sold the saide Fat, and brought him that bought it, to
 carry it away._ Peronella _replyed, That shee had formerly solde it
 unto another, who was now underneath it, to see whether it were whole
 and sound, or no. Whereupon, he being come forth from under it; shee
 caused her Husband to make it neate and cleane, and so the last buyer
 carried it away._

 _The Morall._

 Wherein is declared, what hard and narrow shifts and distresses, such
 as be seriously linked in Love, are many times enforced to undergoe:
 according as their owne wit, and capacity of their surprizers, drive
 them to extremities.

 The Argument of the third Novell.

 _Friar_ Reynard, _falling in love with a Gentlewoman, Wife to a man
 of good account; found the meanes to become her Gossip. Afterward,
 he being conferring closely with her in her Chamber, and her Husband
 comming sodainely thither: she made him beleeve, that he came thither
 for no other ende; but to cure his God-sonne by a charme, of a
 dangerous disease which he had by wormes._

 _The Morall._

 Serving as a friendly advertisement to married Women, that Monks,
 Friars, and Priests may be none of their Gossips, in regard of
 unavoydable perils ensuing thereby.

 The Argument of the fourth Novell.

 Tofano _in the night season, did locke his Wife out of his house, and
 she not prevailing to get entrance againe, by all the entreaties shee
 could possibly use: made him beleeve that shee had throwne her selfe
 into a Well, by casting a great stone into the same Well._ Tofano
 _hearing the fall of the stone into the Well, and being perswaded
 that it was his Wife indeede; came forth of his house, and ranne to
 the Welles side. In the meane while, his Wife gotte into the house,
 made fast the doore against her Husband, and gave him many reprochfull

 _The Morall._

 Wherein is manifested, that the malice and subtilty of a woman,
 surpasseth all the Art or wit in man.

 The Argument of the fift Novell.

 _A jealous man, clouded with the habite of a Priest, became the
 Confessour to his owne Wife; who made him beleeve, that she was
 deepely in love with a Priest, which came every night, and lay with
 her. By meanes of which confession, while her jealous Husband watched
 the doore of his house; to surprise the Priest when he came: she that
 never meant to doe amisse, had the company of a secret friend who came
 over the toppe of the house to visite her, while her foolish Husband
 kept the doore._

 _The Morall._

 In just scorne and mockery of such jealous Husbands, that wil be idle
 headed upon no occasion. And yet when they have good reason for it,
 doe least of all suspect any such injury.

 The Argument of the sixth Novell.

 _Madame_ Isabella, _delighting in the company of her affected
 friend, named_ Lionello, _and she being likewise beloved by_ Signior
 Lambertuccio: _At the same time as shee had entertained_ Lionello,
 _she was also visited by_ Lambertuccio. _Her Husband returning home
 in the very instant; she caused_ Lambertuccio _to runne foorth with
 a drawne sword in his hand, and (by that meanes) made an excuse
 sufficient for_ Lionello _to her Husband._

 _The Morall._

 Wherein is manifestly discerned, that if Love be driven to a narrow
 straite in any of his attempts; yet hee can accomplish his purpose by
 some other supply.

 The Argument of the seaventh Novell.

 Lodovico _discovered to his Mistresse Madame_ Beatrix, _how amourously
 he was affected to her. She cunningly sent_ Egano _her Husband into
 his garden, in all respects disguised like herselfe; while (friendly)_
 Lodovico _conferred with her the meane while. Afterward,_ Lodovico
 _pretending a lascivious allurement of his Mistresse, thereby to wrong
 his honest Master, instead of her, beateth_ Egano _soundly in the

 _The Morall._

 Whereby is declared, that such as keepe many honest seeming servants,
 may sometime finde a knave among them, and one that proves to bee
 over-sawcy with his Master.

 The Argument of the Eight Novell.

 Arriguccio Berlinghieri, _became immeasurably jealous of his Wife_
 Simonida, _who fastened a thred about her great toe, for to serve
 as a signall, when her amourous friend should come to visite her._
 Arriguccio _findeth the fallacy, and while he pursueth the amorous
 friend, shee causeth her Maide to lie in her bed against his returne:
 whom he beateth extreamly, cutting away the lockes of her haire
 (thinking he had done all this violence to his Wife_ Simonida:) _and
 afterward fetcheth her Mother and Brethren, to shame her before them,
 and so be rid of her. But they finding all his speeches to be false;
 and reputing him to be a drunken jealous foole; all the blame and
 disgrace falleth on himselfe._

 _The Morall._

 Whereby appeareth, that an Husband ought to be very well advised,
 when he meaneth to discover any wrong offered by his Wife; except he
 himselfe doe rashly run into all the shame and reproch.

 The Argument of the Ninth Novell.

 Lydia, _a Lady of great beauty, birth, and honor, being Wife to_
 Nicostratus, _Governor of_ Argos, _falling in love with a Gentleman,
 named_ Pyrrhus; _was requested by him (as a true testimony of her
 unfeigned affection) to performe three severall actions of her selfe.
 She did accomplish them all, and imbraced and kissed_ Pyrrhus _in the
 presence of_ Nicostratus; _by perswading him, that whatsoever he saw,
 was meerely false._

 _The Morall._

 Wherein is declared, that great Lords may sometime be deceived by
 their wives, as well as men of meaner condition.

 The Argument of the tenth Novell.

 _Two Citizens of_ Sienna, _the one named_ Tingoccio Mini, _and the
 other_ Meucio di Tora, _affected both one woman, called_ Monna Mita,
 _to whom the one of them was a Gossip. The Gossip dyed, and appeared
 afterward to his companion, according as he had formerly promised him
 to doe, and told him what strange wonders he had seene in the other

 _The Morall._

 Wherein such men are covertly reprehended, who make no care or
 conscience at all of those things that should preserve them from sinne.

        *       *       *       *       *

 THE EIGHTH DAY, Governed under Madame LAURETTA.

 _Whereon all the Discourses, is, Concerning such Witty deceivings, as
 have, or may be put in practise, by Wives to their Husbands, Husbands
 to their Wives, Or one man towards another._

 The Argument of the First Novell.

 Gulfardo _made a match or wager, with the wife of_ Gasparuolo, _for
 the obtaining of her amorous favour, in regard of a summe of money
 first to be given her. The money he borrowed of her Husband, and
 gave it in payment to her, as in case of discharging him from her
 Husbands debt. After his returne home from_ Geneway, _he told him in
 the presence of his wife, how hee had payde the whole summe to her,
 with charge of delivering it to her Husband, which she confessed to be
 true, albeit greatly against her will._

 _The Morall._

 Wherein is declared, That such women as will make sale of their
 honestie, are sometimes over-reached in their payment, and justly
 served as they should be.

 The Argument of the second Novell.

 _A lusty Priest of_ Varlungo, _fell in love with a prety woman, named_
 Monna Belcolore. _To compasse his amorous desire, hee left his cloake
 (as a pledge of further payment) with her. By a subtile sleight
 afterward, he borrowed a morter of her, which when hee sent home
 againe in the presence of her husband, he demanded to have his Cloake
 sent him, as having left it in pawne for the Morter. To pacifie her
 Husband, offended that she did not lend the Priest the Morter without
 a pawne: she sent him backe his Cloake againe, albeit greatly against
 hir will._

 _The Morall._

 Approving, that no promise is to be kept with such women as will make
 sale of their honesty for Coine.

 The Argument of the Third Novell.

 Calandrino, Bruno, _and_ Buffalmaco, _being Painters by profession,
 travailed to the Plaine of_ Mugnone, _to finde the precious stone
 called Helitropium._ Calandrino _perswading himselfe to have found it,
 returned home to his house heavy loaden with stones. His wife rebuking
 him for his absence, he groweth into anger, and shrewdly beates her.
 Afterward, when the case is debated by his other friends_ Bruno _&_
 Buffalmaco, _all is found to be meere folly._

 _The Morall._

 Reprehending the simplicity of such men, as are too much addicted to
 credulity, and will give credit to every thing they heare.

 The Argument of the Fourth Novell.

 _The Provost belonging to the Cathedrall Church of_ Fiesola, _fell
 in love with a Gentlewoman, being a widdow, and named_ Piccarda, _who
 hated him as much as he loved her. He immagining that he lay with her:
 by the Gentlewomans Brethren, and the Bishop under whom he served, was
 taken in bed with her Mayde, an ugly, foule, deformed Slut._

 _The Morall._

 Wherein is declared, how love oftentimes is so powerfull in aged men,
 and driveth them to such doating, that it redoundeth to their great
 disgrace and punishment.

 The Argument of the fift Novell.

 _Three pleasant companions, plaid a merry prank with a Judge
 (belonging to the Marquesate of_ Ancona) _at_ Florence, _at such time
 as he sat on the bench, & hearing criminall causes._

 _The Morall._

 Giving admonition, that for the managing of publike affaires, no other
 persons are or ought to bee appointed, but such as be honest, and meet
 to sit on the seate of Authority.

 The Argument of the sixt Novell.

 Bruno _and_ Buffalmaco _stole a yong Brawne from_ Calandrino, _and
 for his recovery thereof, they used a kinde of pretended conjuration,
 with Pils made of Ginger and strong Malmesey. But insted of this
 application, they gave him two pils of a Dogges dates or dousets,
 confected in Alloes, by meanes whereof they made him beleeve, that hee
 had robd himselfe. And for feare they should report this theft to his
 Wife, they made him to buy another Brawne._

 _The Morall._

 Wherein is declared, how easily a plaine and simple man may bee made a
 foole, when he dealeth with crafty companions.

 The Argument of the seaventh Novell.

 _A yong Gentleman being a Scholler, fell in love with a Ladie, named_
 Helena, _she being a woman, and addicted in affection unto another
 Gentleman. One whole night in cold winter, she caused the Scholler to
 expect her comming, in an extreame frost and snow. In revenge whereof,
 by his imagined Art and skill, he made her to stand naked on the top
 of a Tower, the space of a whole day, and in the hot moneth of July,
 to be Sun-burnt and bitten with Waspes and Flies._

 _The Morall._

 Serving as an admonition to all Gentlewomen, not to mocke Gentlemen
 Schollers, when they make meanes of love to them, except they intend
 to seeke their owne shame by disgracing them.

 The Argument of the eighth Novell.

 _Two neere dwelling Neighbours, the one beeing named_ Spinelloccio
 Tavena, _and the other_ Zeppa di Mino, _frequenting each others
 company daily together;_ Spinelloccio _Cuckolded his Friend and
 Neighbour. Which happening to the knowledge of_ Zeppa, _hee prevailed
 so well with the Wife of_ Spinelloccio, _that he being lockt up in a
 Chest, hee revenged his wrong at that instant, so that neyther of them
 complained of his misfortune._

 _The Morall._

 Wherein is approved, that hee which offereth shame and disgrace to his
 neighbour, may receive the like injury (if not worse) by the same man.

 The Argument of the Ninth Novell.

 _Maestro_ Simone, _an idle headed Doctor of Physicke, was thrown by_
 Bruno _and_ Buffalmaco _into a common Leystall of filth: the Physitian
 fondly beleeving, that (in the night time) he should be made one of a
 new created company, who usually went to see wonders at_ Corsica, _and
 there in the Leystall they left him._

 _The Morall._

 Approving, that titles of honour, learning, and dignity, are not
 alwayes bestowne on the wisest men.

 The Argument of the tenth Novell.

 _A Cicilian Curtezan, named Madam_ Biancafiore, _by her subtle policy
 deceived a yong Merchant called_ Salabetto, _of all his mony he had
 taken for his wares at_ Palermo. _Afterward, he making shew of coming
 thither againe with far richer Merchandises then before: made the
 meanes to borrow a great summe of money, leaving her so base a pawne,
 as well requited her for her former cousenage._

 _The Morall._

 Approving, that such as meet with cunning Harlots, suffering them
 selves to be deceyved, must sharpen their wits, to make them requitall
 in the same kind.

        *       *       *       *       *

 THE NINTH DAY, Governed under Madame Æmillia.

 Whereon, the Argument of each severall Discourse, is not limited to
 any one peculiar subject: but everie one remaineth at liberty, to
 speake of whatsoever themselves best pleaseth.

 The Argument of the first Novell.

 _Madam_ Francesca, _a Widdow of_ Pistoya, _being affected by two
 Florentine Gentlemen, the one named_ Rinuccio Palermini, _and the
 other_ Alessandro Chiarmontesi, _and she bearing no good will
 to either of them, ingeniously freed her selfe from both their
 importunate suites. One of them shee caused to lye as dead in a
 grave, and the other to fetch him from thence: so neither of them
 accomplishing what they were enjoyned, failed of their expectation._

 _The Morall._

 Approving, that chast and honest women, ought rather to deny
 importunate suiters, by subtle and ingenious means, then fall into the
 danger of scandall and slander.

 The Argument of the second Novell.

 _Madame_ Usimbalda, _Lady Abbesse of a Monastery of Nuns in_
 Lombardie, _arising hastily in the night time without a Candle,
 to take one of her Daughter Nunnes in bed with a yong Gentleman,
 whereof she was enviously accused, by certaine of her other Sisters:
 The Abbesse her selfe (being at the same time in bed with a Priest)
 imagining to have put on her head her plaited vayle, put on the
 Priests breeches. Which when the poore Nunne perceyved; by causing the
 Abbesse to see her owne error, she got her selfe to be absolved, and
 had the freer liberty afterward, to be more familiar with her frend,
 then formerly she had bin._

 _The Morall._

 Whereby is declared, that whosoever is desirous to reprehend sinne in
 other men, should first examine himselfe, that he be not guiltie of
 the same crime.

 The Argument of the third Novell.

 _Master_ Simon _the Physitian, by the perswasions of_ Bruno,
 Buffalmaco, _and a third Companion, named_ Nello, _made_ Calandrino
 _to beleeve, that he was conceived great with childe. And having
 Physicke ministred to him for the disease: they got both good fatte
 Capons and money of him, and so cured him, without any other manner of

 _The Morall._

 Discovering the simplicity of some silly witted men, and how easie a
 matter it is to abuse and beguile them.

 The Argument of the Fourth Novell.

 Francesco Fortarigo, _played away all that he had at_ Buonconvento,
 _and likewise the money of_ Francesco Aniolliero, _being his Master:
 Then running after him in his shirt, and avouching that hee had robbed
 him: he caused him to be taken by Pezants of the Country, clothed
 himselfe in his Masters wearing garments, and (mounted on his horse)
 rode thence to_ Sienna, _leaving_ Aniolliero _in his shirt, and walked

 _The Morall._

 Serving as an admonition to all men, for taking Gamesters and
 Drunkards into their service.

 The Argument of the fifte Novell.

 Calandrino _became extraordinarily enamoured of a young Damosell,
 named_ Nicholetta. Bruno _prepared a Charme or writing for him,
 avouching constantly to him, that so soone as he touched the Damosell
 therewith, she should follow him whithersoever hee would have her. She
 being gone to an appointed place with him, hee was found there by his
 wife, and dealt withall according to his deserving._

 _The Morall._

 In just reprehension of those vaine-headed fooles, that are led and
 governed by idle perswasions.

 The Argument of the Sixth Novell.

 _Two yong Gentlemen, the one named_ Panuccio, _and the other_ Adriano,
 _lodged one night in a poore Inne, whereof one of them went to bed to
 the Hostes daughter, and the other (by mistaking his way in the darke)
 to the Hostes wife. He which lay with the daughter, hapned afterward
 to the Hostes bed, and told him what he had done, as thinking he spake
 to his owne companion. Discontentment growing betweene them, the
 mother perceiving her errour, went to bed to her daughter, and with
 discreete language, made a generall pacification._

 _The Morall._

 Wherein is manifested, that an offence committed ignorantly, and by
 mistaking; ought to be covered with good advise, and civill discretion.

 The Argument of the seaventh Novell.

 Talano de Molese _dreamed, That a Wolfe rent and tore his wives face
 and throate. Which dreame he told to her, with advise to keep her
 selfe out of danger; which she refusing to doe, received what followed._

 _The Morall._

 Whereby (with some indifferent reason) it is concluded, that Dreames
 do not alwayes fall out to be leasings.

 The Argument of the Eight Novell.

 Blondello _(in a merry manner) caused_ Guiotto _to beguile himselfe of
 a good dinner: for which deceit,_ Guiotto _became cunningly revenged,
 by procuring_ Blondello _to be unreasonably beaten and misused._

 _The Morall._

 Whereby plainly appeareth, that they which take delight in deceiving
 others, do well deserve to be deceived themselves.

 The Argument of the Ninth Novell.

 _Two yong Gentlemen, the one named_ Melisso, _borne in the City of_
 Laiazzo: _and the other_ Giosefo _of_ Antioch, _travailed together
 unto_ Salomon, _the famous King of_ Great Britaine. _The one desiring
 to learne what he should do, whereby to compasse and winne the love
 of men. The other craved to be enstructed, by what meanes hee might
 reclaime an headstrong and unruly wife. And what answeres the wise
 King gave unto them both, before they departed away from him._

 _The Morall._

 Containing an excellent admonition, that such as covet to have the
 love of other men, must first learne themselves, how to love: Also, by
 what meanes such women as are curst and self willed, may be reduced to
 civill obedience.

 The Argument of the tenth Novell.

 John de Barolo, _at the instance and request of his Gossip_ Pietro
 da Trefanti, _made an enchantment, to have his Wife become a Mule.
 And when it came to the fastening on of the taile, Gossip_ Pietro _by
 saying she should have no taile at all, spoyled the whole enchantment._

 _The Morall._

 In just reproofe of such foolish men, as will be governed by
 over-light beleefe.

        *       *       *       *       *

 THE TENTH DAY, Governed under Pamphilus.

 _Whereon the severall Arguments doe Concerne such persons, as other
 by way of Liberality, or in Magnificent manner, performed any worthy
 action, for love, favor, friendship, or any other honourable occasion._

 The Argument of the First Novell.

 _A Florentine knight, named Signior_ Rogiero de Figiovanni, _became
 a servant to_ Alphonso, _King of_ Spaine, _who (in his owne opinion)
 seemed but sleightly to respect and reward him. In regard whereof, by
 a notable experiment, the King gave him a manifest testimony, that it
 was not through any defect in him, but onely occasioned by the Knights
 ill fortune; most bountifully recompensing him afterward._

 _The Morall._

 Wherein may evidently be discerned, that Servants to Princes and great
 Lords, are many times recompenced, rather by their good fortune, then
 in any regard of their dutifull services.

 The Argument of the second Novell.

 Ghinotto di Tacco; _tooke the Lord Abbot of_ Clugni _as his prisoner,
 and cured him of a grievous disease, which he had in his stomacke, and
 afterward set him at liberty. The same Lord Abbot, when hee returned
 from the Court of Rome, reconciled_ Ghinotto _to Pope_ Boniface; _who
 made him a Knight, and Lord Prior of a goodly Hospitall._

 _The Morall._

 Wherein is declared that good men doe sometimes fall into bad
 conditions, onely occasioned thereto by necessity: And what meanes are
 to be used, for their reducing to goodnesse againe.

 The Argument of the third Novell.

 Mithridanes _envying the life and liberality of_ Nathan, _and
 travelling thither, with a setled resolution to kill him: chaunceth to
 conferre with_ Nathan _unknowne. And being instructed by him, in what
 manner he might best performe the bloody deede, according as hee gave
 direction, hee meeteth with him in a small Thicket or Woode, where
 knowing him to be the same man, that taught him how to take away his
 life: Confounded with shame, hee acknowledgeth his horrible intention,
 and becommeth his loyall friend._

 _The Morall._

 Shewing in an excellent and lively demonstration, that any especiall
 honourable vertue, persevering and dwelling in a truly noble soule,
 cannot be violenced or confounded, by the most politicke attemptes of
 malice and envy.

 The Argument of the fourth Novell.

 Signior Gentile de Carisendi, _being come from_ Modena, _tooke a
 Gentlewoman, named Madam_ Catharina, _forth of a grave, wherein she
 was buried for dead; which act he did, in regard of his former honest
 affection to the said Gentlewoman. Madame_ Catharina _remaining
 there afterward, and delivered of a goodly Sonne: was (by_ Signior
 Gentile) _delivered to her owne Husband; named_ Signior Nicoluccio
 Caccianimico, _and the yong infant with her._

 _The Morall._

 Wherein is shewne, That true love hath alwayes bin, and so still is,
 the occasion of many great and worthy courtesies.

 The Argument of the Fift Novell.

 _Madame_ Dianora, _the Wife of Signior_ Gilberto, _being immodestly
 affected by Signior_ Ansaldo, _to free herselfe from his tedious
 importunity, she appointed him to performe (in her judgement) an
 act of impossibility; namely, to give her a Garden, as plentifully
 stored with fragrant Flowers in January, as in the flourishing moneth
 of_ May. Ansaldo, _by meanes of a bond which he made to a Magitian,
 performed her request. Signior_ Gilberto, _the Ladyes Husband, gave
 consent, that his Wife should fulfill her promise made to_ Ansaldo.
 _Who hearing the bountifull mind of her Husband; released her of
 her promise: And the Magitian likewise discharged Signior_ Ansaldo,
 _without taking any thing of him._

 _The Morall._

 Admonishing all Ladies and Gentlewomen, that are desirous to preserve
 their chastity, free from all blemish and taxation: to make no promise
 of yeelding to any, under a compact or covenant, how impossible soever
 it may seeme to be.

 The Argument of the Sixt Novell.

 _Victorious_ King Charles, _sirnamed the Aged, and first of that Name,
 fell in love with a yong Maiden, named_ Genevera, _daughter to an
 Ancient Knight, called Signior_ Neri degli Uberti. _And waxing ashamed
 of his Amorous folly, caused both_ Genevera, _and her fayre Sister_
 Isotta, _to be joyned in marriage with two Noble Gentlemen; the one
 named_ Signior Maffeo da Palizzi, _and the other,_ Signior Gulielmo
 della Magna.

 _The Morall._

 Sufficiently declaring, that how mighty soever the power of Love is:
 yet a magnanimous and truly generous heart, it can by no meanes fully

 The Argument of the seaventh Novell.

 Lisana, _the Daughter of a Florentine Apothecary, named_ Bernardo
 Puccino, _being at_ Palermo, _and seeing_ Piero, _King of_ Aragon
 _run at the Tilt; fell so affectionately enamored of him, that she
 languished in an extreame and long sickenesse. By her owne devise,
 and means of a Song, sung in the hearing of the King: he vouchsafed
 to visite her, and giving her a kisse, terming himselfe also to bee
 her Knight for ever after, hee honourably bestowed her in marriage on
 a young Gentleman, who was called_ Perdicano, _and gave him liberall
 endowments with her._

 _The Morall._

 Wherein is covertly given to understand, that howsoever a Prince may
 make use of his absolute power and authority, towards Maides or Wives
 that are his Subjects: yet he ought to deny and reject all things, as
 shall make him forgetfull of himselfe, and his true honour.

 The Argument of the Eight Novell.

 Sophronia, _thinking her selfe to be the maried wife of_ Gisippus,
 _was (indeed) the wife of_ Titus Quintus Fulvius, _& departed thence
 with him to Rome. Within a while after,_ Gisippus _also came thither
 in very poore condition, and thinking that he was despised by_ Titus,
 _grew weary of his life, and confessed that he had murdred a man, with
 full** intent to die for the fact. But_ Titus _taking knowledge of him,
 and desiring to save the life of_ Gisippus, _charged himself to have
 done the bloody deed. Which the murderer himself (standing then among
 the multitude) seeing, truly confessed the deed. By meanes whereof,
 all three were delivered by the Emperor_ Octavius; _and_ Titus _gave
 his Sister in mariage to_ Gisippus, _giving them also the most part of
 his goods & inheritances._

 _The Morall._

 Declaring, that notwithstanding the frownes of Fortune, diversity of
 occurrences, and contrary accidents happening: yet love and friendship
 ought to be preciously preserved among men.

 The Argument of the Ninth Novell.

 Saladine, _the great_ Soldan _of_ Babylon, _in the habite of a
 Merchant, was honourably received and welcommed, into the house of
 Signior_ Thorello d'Istria. _Who travelling to the Holy Land, prefixed
 a certaine time to his Wife, for his returne backe to her againe,
 wherein, if he failed, it was lawfull for her to take another Husband.
 By clouding himselfe in the disguise of a Faulkner, the_ Soldan _tooke
 notice of him, and did him many great honours. Afterward,_ Thorello
 _falling sicke, by Magicall Art, he was conveighed in one night to_
 Pavia, _when his Wife was to be married on the morrow: where making
 himselfe knowne to her, all was disappointed, and shee went home with
 him to his owne house._

 _The Morall._

 Declaring what an honourable vertue Courtesie is, in them that truely
 know how to use them.

 The Argument of the tenth Novell.

 _The Marquesse of_ Saluzzo, _named_ Gualtiero, _being constrained
 by the importunate solliciting of his Lords, and other inferiour
 people, to joyne himselfe in marriage; tooke a woman according to his
 owne liking, called_ Grizelda, _she being the daughter of a poore
 Countriman, named_ Janiculo, _by whom he had two children, which he
 pretended to be secretly murdered. Afterward, they being grown to
 yeres of more stature, and making shew of taking in marriage another
 wife, more worthy of his high degree and Calling: made a seeming
 publique liking of his owne daughter, expulsing his wife_ Grizelda
 _poorely from him. But finding her incomparable patience; more dearely
 (then before) hee received her into favour againe, brought her home to
 his owne Pallace, where (with her children) hee caused her and them to
 be respectively honoured, in despight of all her adverse enemies._

 _The Morall._

 Set downe as an example or warning to all wealthie men, how to have
 care of marrying themselves. And likewise** to poore and meane women, to
 be patient in their fortunes, and obedient to their husbands.


_Governed under the Authority of Madam Eliza, and the Argument of the
Discourses or Novels there to be recounted, doe concerne such persons;
who by some witty words (when any have checkt or taunted them) have
revenged themselves, in a sudden, unexpected and discreet answere,
thereby preventing loss, danger, scorne and disgrace, retorting them on
the busi-headed Questioners._

The Induction.

The Moone having past the heaven, lost her bright splendour, by the
arising of a more powerfull light, and every part of our world began
to looke cleare: when the Queene (being risen) caused all the Company
to be called, walking forth afterward upon the pearled dewe (so farre
as was supposed convenient) in faire and familiar conference together,
according as severally they were disposed, & repetition of divers the
passed Novels, especially those which were most pleasing, and seemed so
by their present commendations. But the Sunne beeing somewhat higher
mounted, gave such a sensible warmth to the ayre, as caused their
returne backe to the Pallace, where the Tables were readily covered
against their comming, strewed with sweet hearbes and odoriferous
flowers, seating themselves at the Tables (before the heat grew more
violent) according as the Queene commanded.

After dinner, they sung divers excellent Canzonnets, and then some went
to sleepe, others played at the Chesse, and some at the Tables: But
_Dioneus_ and Madam _Lauretta_, they sung the love-conflict betweene
_Troylus_ and _Cressida_. Now was the houre come, of repairing to
their former Consistory or meeting place, the Queene having thereto
generally summoned them, and seating themselves (as they were wont
to doe) about the faire fountaine. As the Queene was commanding to
begin the first Novell, an accident suddenly happened, which never had
befalne before: to wit, they heard a great noyse and tumult, among the
houshold servants in the Kitchin. Whereupon, the Queene caused the
Master of the Houshold to be called, demaunding of him, what noyse it
was, and what might be the occasion thereof? He made answere, that
_Lacisca_ and _Tindaro_ were at some words of discontentment, but what
was the occasion thereof, he knew not. Whereupon, the Queene commanded
that they should be sent for, (their anger and violent speeches still
continuing) and being come into her presence, she demaunded the reason
of their discord; and _Tindaro_ offering to make answere, _Lacisca_
(being somewhat more ancient then he, and of a fiercer fiery spirit,
even as if her heart would have leapt out of her mouth) turned her
selfe to him, and with a scornefull frowning countenance, said. See how
this bold, unmannerly and beastly fellow, dare presume to speake in
this place before me: Stand by (saucy impudence) and give your better
leave to answere; then turning to the Queene, thus shee proceeded.

Madam, this idle fellow would maintaine to me, that Signior
_Sicophanto_ marrying with _Madama della Grazza_, had the victory
of her virginity the very first night: and I avouched the contrary,
because shee had been a mother twise before, in very faire adventuring
of her fortune. And he dared to affirme beside, that yong Maides are
so simple, as to loose the flourishing Aprill of their time, in meere
feare of their parents, and great prejudice of their amourous friends.
Onely being abused by infinite promises, that this yeare and that
yeare they shall have husbands, when, both by the lawes of nature and
reason, they are not tyed to tarry so long, but rather ought to lay
hold upon opportunity, when it is fairely and friendly offered, so that
seldome they come maides to marriage. Beside, I have heard, and know
some married wives, that have played divers wanton prancks with their
husbands, yet carried all so demurely and smoothly; that they have
gone free from publique detection. All which this woodcocke will not
credit, thinking me to be so yong a Novice, as if I had been borne but

While _Lacisca_ was delivering these speeches, the Ladies smiled on one
another, not knowing what to say in this case: And although the Queene
(five and or severall times) commaunded her to silence; yet such was
the earnestnes of her spleen, that she gave no attention, but held on
still even untill she had uttered all that she pleased. But after she
had concluded her complaint, the Queene (with a smiling countenance)
turned towards _Dioneus_ saying. This matter seemeth most properly to
belong to you; and therefore I dare repose such trust in you, that when
our Novels (for this day) shall be ended, you will conclude the case
with a definitive sentence. Whereto _Dioneus_ presently thus replyed.
Madam, the verdict is already given, without any further expectation:
and I affirme, that _Lacisca_ hath spoken very sensibly, because shee
is a woman of good apprehension, and _Tindaro_ is but a puny, in
practise and experience, to her.

When _Lacisca_ heard this, she fell into a lowd Laughter, and turning
her selfe to _Tindaro_, sayde: The honour of the day is mine, and thine
owne quarrell hath overthrowne thee in the fielde. Thou that (as yet)
hath scarsely learned to sucke, wouldest thou presume to know so much
as I doe? Couldst thou imagine mee, to be such a trewant in losse of
my time, that I came hither as an ignorant creature? And had not the
Queene (looking verie frowningly on her) strictly enjoyned her to
silence; shee would have continued still in this triumphing humour. But
fearing further chastisement for disobedience, both shee and _Tindaro_
were commanded thence, where was no other allowance all this day, but
onely silence and attention, to such as should be enjoyned speakers.

And then the Queene, somewhat offended at the folly of the former
controversie, commanded Madame _Philomena_, that she should give
beginning to the dayes Novels: which (in dutifull manner) shee
undertooke to doe, and seating her selfe in formall fashion, with
modest and very gracious gesture, thus she began.

_A Knight requested Madam_ Oretta, _to ride behinde him on horse-backe,
and promised, to tell her an excellent Tale by the way. But the Lady
perceiving, that his discourse was idle, and much worse delivered:
entreated him to let her walke on foote againe._

The First Novell.

_Reprehending the folly of such men, as undertake to report discourses,
which are beyond their wit and capacity, and gaine nothing but blame
for their labour._

Gracious Ladies, like as in our faire, cleere, and serene seasons, the
Starres are bright ornaments to the heavens, and the flowry fields
(so long as the spring time lasteth) weare their goodliest Liveries,
the Trees likewise bragging in their best adornings: Even so at
friendly meetings, short, sweet, and sententious words, are the beauty
& ornament of any discourse, savouring of wit and sound judgement,
worthily deserving to be commended. And so much the rather, because
in few and witty words, aptly suting with the time and occasion,
more is delivered then was expected, or sooner answered, then rashly
apprehended: which, as they become men verie highly, yet do they shew
more singular in women.

True it is, what the occasion may be, I know not, either by the
badnesse of our wittes, or the especiall enmitie betweene our
complexions and the celestiall bodies: there are scarsely any, or very
few Women to be found among us, that well knowes how to deliver a word,
when it should and ought to be spoken; or, if a question bee mooved,
understands to suite it with an apt answere, such as conveniently is
required, which is no meane disgrace to us women. But in regard, that
Madame _Pampinea_ hath already spoken sufficiently of this matter, I
meane not to presse it any further: but at this time it shall satisfie
mee, to let you know, how wittily a Ladie made due observation of
opportunitie, in answering of a Knight, whose talke seemed tedious and
offensive to her.

No doubt there are some among you, who either do know, or (at the
least) have heard, that it is no long time since, when there dwelt
a Gentlewoman in our Citie, of excellent grace and good discourse,
with all other rich endowments of Nature remaining in her, as pitty
it were to conceale her name: and therefore let me tell ye, that shee
was called Madame _Oretta_, the Wife to Signior _Geri Spina_. She
being upon some occasion (as now we are) in the Countrey, and passing
from place to place (by way of neighbourly invitations) to visite her
loving Friends and Acquaintance, accompanied with divers Knights and
Gentlewomen, who on the day before had dined and supt at her house,
as now (belike) the selfe-same courtesie was intended to her: walking
along with her company upon the way; and the place for her welcome
beeing further off then she expected: a Knight chanced to overtake
this faire troop, who well knowing Madam _Oretta_, using a kinde and
courteous salutation, spake thus unto her.

Madam, this foot travell may bee offensive to you, and were you so
well pleased as my selfe, I would ease your journey behinde mee on my
Gelding, even so farre as you shall command me: and beside, will shorten
your wearinesse with a Tale worth the hearing. Courteous Sir (replyed
the Lady) I embrace your kinde offer with such acceptation, that I pray
you to performe it; for therein you shall doe me an especiall favour.
The Knight, whose Sword (perhappes) was as unsuteable to his side,
as his wit out of fashion for any readie discourse, having the Lady
mounted behinde him: rode on with a gentle pace, and (according to his
promise) began to tell a Tale, which indeede (of it selfe) deserved
attention, because it was a knowne and commendable History, but yet
delivered so abruptly, with idle repetitions of some particulars three
or foure severall times, mistaking one thing for another, and wandering
erroneously from the essentiall subject, seeming neere an end, and then
beginning againe: that a poore Tale could not possibly be more mangled,
or worse tortured in telling, then this was; for the persons therein
concerned, were so abusively nicke-named, their actions and speeches so
monstrously misshapen,** that nothing could appeare to be more ugly.

Madame _Oretta_, being a Lady of unequalled ingenuitie, admirable in
judgement, and most delicate in her speech, was afflicted in soule,
beyond all measure; overcome with many colde sweates, and passionate
heart-aking qualmes, to see a Foole thus in a Pinne-fold, and unable
to get out, albeit the doore stood wide open to him, whereby shee
became so sicke; that, converting her distaste to a kinde of pleasing
acceptation, merrily thus she spake. Beleeve me Sir, your horse trots
so hard, & travels so uneasily; that I entreate you to let me walke on
foot againe.

The Knight, being (perchance) a better understander, then a Discourser;
perceived by this witty taunt, that his Bowle had run a contrarie bias,
and he as farre out of Tune, as he was from the Towne. So, lingering
the time, untill her company was neerer arrived: hee lefte her with
them, and rode on as his Wisedome could best direct him.

Cistio _a Baker, by a wittie answer which he gave unto_ Messer Geri
Spina, _caused him to acknowledge a very indiscreete motion, which he
had made to the said_ Cistio.

The Second Novell.

_Approving, that a request ought to be civill, before it should be
granted to any one whatsoever._

The words of Madame _Oretta_, were much commended by the men and
women; and the discourse being ended, the Queene gave command to Madam
_Pampinea_, that shee should follow next in order, which made her to
begin in this manner.

Worthy Ladies, it exceedeth the power of my capacitie, to censure in
the case whereof I am to speake, by saying, who sinned most, either
Nature, in seating a Noble soule in a vile body, or Fortune, in
bestowing on a body (beautified with a noble soule) a base or wretched
condition of life. As we may observe by _Cistio_, a Citizen of our
owne, and many more beside; for, this _Cistio_ beeing endued with a
singular good spirit, Fortune hath made him no better then a Baker.
And beleeve me Ladies, I could (in this case) lay as much blame on
Nature, as on Fortune; if I did not know Nature to be most absolutely
wise, & that Fortune hath a thousand eyes, albeit fooles have figured
her to bee blinde. But, upon more mature and deliberate consideration,
I finde, that they both (being truly wise and judicious) have dealt
justly, in imitation of our best advised mortals, who being uncertaine
of such inconveniences, as may happen unto them, do bury (for their own
benefit) the very best and choisest things of esteeme, in the most vile
and abject places of their houses, as being subject to least suspition,
and where they may be sure to have them at all times, for supply of any
necessitie whatsoever, because so base a conveyance hath better kept
them, then the very best chamber in the house could have done. Even
so these two great commanders of the world, do many times hide their
most precious Jewels of worth, under the clouds of Arts or professions
of worst estimation, to the end, that fetching them thence when neede
requires, their splendour may appeare to be the more glorious. Nor
was any such matter noted in our homely Baker _Cistio_, by the best
observation of _Messer Geri Spina_, who was spoken of in the late
repeated Novell, as being the husband to Madame _Oretta_; whereby this
accident came to my remembrance, and which (in a short Tale) I will
relate unto you.

Let me then tell ye, that Pope _Boniface_ (with whom the fore-named
_Messer Geri Spina_ was in great regard) having sent divers Gentlemen
of his Court to _Florence_ as Ambassadors, about very serious and
important businesse: they were lodged in the house of _Messer Geri
Spina_, and he employed (with them) in the saide Popes negotiation.
It chanced, that as being the most convenient way for passage, every
morning they walked on foot by the Church of Saint _Marie d'Ughi_,
where _Cistio_ the Baker dwelt, and exercised the trade belonging to
him. Now although Fortune had humbled him to so meane a condition,
yet shee added a blessing of wealth to that contemptible quality, and
(as smiling on him continually) no disasters at any time befell him,
but still he flourished in riches, lived like a jolly Citizen, with
all things fitting for honest entertainment about him, and plenty of
the best Wines (both White and Claret) as _Florence_, or any part
thereabout yeelded.

Our frolicke Baker perceiving, that _Messer Geri Spina_ and the other
Ambassadors, used every morning to passe by his doore, and afterward
to returne backe the same way: seeing the season to be somewhat hot &
soultry, he tooke it as an action of kindnesse and courtesie, to make
them an offer of tasting his white wine. But having respect to his own
meane degree, and the condition of _Messer Geri_; hee thought it farre
unfitting for him, to be so forward in such presumption; but rather
entred into consideration of some such meanes, whereby _Messer Geri_
might bee the inviter of himselfe to taste his Wine. And having put on
him a trusse or thin doublet, of very white and fine Linnen cloath, as
also breeches, and an apron of the same, and a white cap upon his head,
so that he seemed rather to be a Miller, then a Baker: at such times as
_Messer Geri_ and the Ambassadors should daily passe by, hee set before
his doore a new Bucket of faire water, and another small vessell of
_Bologna_ earth (as new and sightly as the other) full of his best and
choisest white Wine, with two small Glasses, looking like silver, they
were so cleare. Downe he sate, with all this provision before him, and
emptying his stomacke twice or thrice, of some clotted flegmes which
seemed to offend it: even as the Gentlemen were passing by, he dranke
one or two rouses of his Wine so heartily, and with such a pleasing
appetite, as might have moved a longing (almost) in a dead man.

_Messer Geri_ well noting his behaviour, and observing the verie same
course in him two mornings together; on the third day (as he was
drinking) he said unto him. Well done _Cistio_, what, is it good, or
no? _Cistio_ starting up, forthwith replyed: Yes Sir, the wine is good
indeed, but how can I make you to beleeve me, except you taste of it?
_Messer Geri_, eyther in regard of the times quality, or by reason of
his paines taken, perhaps more then ordinary, or else, because hee
saw _Cistio_ had drunke so sprightly, was very desirous to taste of
the Wine, and turning unto the Ambassadors, in merriment he saide. My
Lords, me thinks it were not much amisse, if we tooke a taste of this
honest mans Wine, perhaps it is so good, that we shall not neede to
repent our labour.

Heereupon, he went with them to _Cistio_, who had caused an handsome
seate to be fetched forth of his house, whereon he requested them to
sit downe, and having commanded his men to wash cleane the Glasses,
he saide. Fellowes, now get you gone, and leave me to the performance
of this service; for I am no worse a skinker, then a Baker, and tarry
you never so long, you shall not drinke a drop. Having thus spoken,
himselfe washed foure or five small glasses, faire and new, and causing
a Viall of his best wine to be brought him: hee diligently filled it
out to _Messer Geri_ and the Ambassadours, to whom it seemed the very
best Wine, that they had drunke of in a long while before. And having
given _Cistio_ most hearty thankes for his kindnesse, and the Wine his
due commendation: many dayes afterwardes (so long as they continued
there) they found the like courteous entertainment, and with the good
liking of honest _Cistio_.

But when the affayres were fully concluded, for which they were thus
sent to _Florence_, and their parting preparation in due readinesse:
_Messer Geri_ made a very sumptuous Feast for them, inviting thereto
the most part of the honourablest Citizens, and _Cistio_ to be one
amongst them; who (by no meanes) would bee seene in an assembly of such
State and pompe, albeit he was thereto (by the saide _Messer Geri_)
most earnestly entreated.

In regard of which deniall, _Messer Geri_ commaunded one of his
servants, to take a small Bottle, and request _Cistio_ to fill it with
his good Wine; then afterward, to serve it in such sparing manner to
the Table, that each Gentleman might be allowed halfe a glasse-full
at their down-sitting. The Serving-man, who had heard great report
of the Wine, and was halfe offended, because he could never taste
thereof: tooke a great Flaggon Bottle, containing foure or five
Gallons at the least, and comming there-with unto _Cistio_, saide
unto him. _Cistio_, because my Master cannot have your companie among
his friends, he prayes you to fill this Bottle with your best Wine.
_Cistio_ looking uppon the huge Flaggon, replied thus. Honest Fellow,
_Messer Geri_ never sent thee with such a Message to me: which although
the Servingman very stoutly maintained, yet getting no other answer, he
returned backe therewith to his Master.

_Messer Geri_ returned the Servant backe againe unto _Cistio_, saying:
Goe, and assure _Cistio_, that I sent thee to him, and if hee make
thee any more such answeres, then demaund of him, to what place else I
should send thee? Being come againe to _Cistio_, hee avouched that his
Maister had sent him, but _Cistio_ affirming, that hee did not: the
Servant asked, to what place else hee should send him? Marrie (quoth
_Cistio_) unto the River of _Arno_, which runneth by _Florence_, there
thou mayest be sure to fill thy Flaggon. When the Servant had reported
this answer to _Messer Geri_, the eyes of his understanding beganne
to open, and calling to see what Bottle hee had carried with him:
no sooner looked he on the huge Flaggon, but severely reproving the
sawcinesse of his Servant, hee sayde. Now trust mee, _Cistio_ told thee
nothing but trueth, for neither did I send thee with any such dishonest
message, nor had the reason to yeeld or grant it.

Then he sent him with a bottle of more reasonable competencie, which so
soone as _Cistio_ saw: Yea mary my friend, quoth he, now I am sure that
thy Master sent thee to me, and he shall have his desire with all my
hart. So, commaunding the Bottle to be filled, he sent it away by the
Servant, and presently following after him, when he came unto _Messer
Geri_, he spake unto him after this manner. Sir, I would not have you to
imagine, that the huge flaggon (which first came) did any jotte dismay
mee; but rather I conceyved, that the small Viall whereof you tasted
every morning, yet filled many mannerly Glasses together, was fallen
quite out of your remembrance; in plainer tearmes, it beeing no Wine
for Groomes or Peazants, as your selfe affirmed yesterday. And because
I meane to bee a Skinker no longer, by keeping Wine to please any other
pallate but mine owne: I have sent you halfe my store, and heereafter
thinke of mee as you shall please. _Messer Geri_ tooke both his guifte
and speeches in most thankefull manner, accepting him alwayes after,
as his intimate Friend, because he had so graced him before the

Madame Nonna de Pulci, _by a sodaine answere, did put to silence a
Byshop of_ Florence, _and the Lord Marshall: having moved a question to
the said Lady, which seemed to come short of honesty._

The Third Novell.

_Wherein is declared, that mockers do sometimes meete with their
matches in mockery, and to their owne shame._

When Madame _Pampinea_ had ended her Discourse, and (by the whole
company) the answere and bounty of _Cistio_, had past with deserved
commendation: it pleased the Queene, that Madame _Lauretta_ should next
succeed: whereupon verie chearefully thus she beganne.

Faire assembly, Madame _Pampinea_ (not long time since) gave beginning,
and Madam _Philomena_ hath also seconded the same argument, concerning
the slender vertue remaining in our sexe, and likewise the beautie of
wittie words, delivered on apt occasion, and in convenient meetings.
Now, because it is needlesse to proceede any further, then what hath
beene already spoken: let mee onely tell you (over and beside) and
commit it to memorie, that the nature of meetings and speeches are
such, as they ought to nippe or touch the hearer, like unto the Sheepes
nibling on the tender grasse, and not as the sullen Dogge byteth. For,
if their biting be answereable to the Dogges, they deserve not to be
termed witty jests or quips, but foule and offensive language: as
plainly appeareth by the words of Madame _Oretta_, and the merry, yet
sensible answer of _Cistio_.

True it is, that if it be spoken by way of answer, and the answerer
biteth doggedly, because himselfe was bitten in the same manner before:
he is the lesse to bee blamed, because hee maketh payment but with
coine of the same stampe. In which respect, an especiall care is to bee
had, how, when, with whom, and where we jest or gibe, whereof very many
proove too unmindfull, as appeared (not long since) by a Prelate of
ours, who met with a byting, no lesse sharpe and bitter, then had first
come from himselfe before, as verie briefely I intend to tell you how.

_Messer Antonio d'Orso_, being Byshoppe of _Florence_, a vertuous,
wise, and reverend Prelate; it fortuned that a Gentleman of
_Catalogna_, named _Messer Diego de la Ratta_, and Lord Marshall to
King _Robert_ of _Naples_, came thither to visite him. Hee being a man
of very comely personage, and a great observer of the choysest beauties
in Court: among all the other _Florentine_ Dames, one proved to bee
most pleasing in his eye, who was a verie faire Woman indeede, and
Neece to the Brother of the saide _Messer Antonio_.

The Husband of this Gentlewoman (albeit descended of a worthie Family)
was, neverthelesse, immeasurably covetous, and a verie vile harsh
natured man. Which the Lord Marshall understanding, made such a madde
composition with him, as to give him five hundred Ducates of Gold, on
condition, that hee would let him lye one night with his wife, not
thinking him so base minded as to give consent. Which in a greedy
avaritious humour he did, and the bargaine being absolutely agreed
on; the Lord Marshall prepared to fit him with a payment, such as it
should be. He caused so many peeces of silver to be cunningly guilded,
as then went for currant mony in _Florence_, and called _Popolines_, &
after he had lyen with the Lady (contrary to her will and knowledge,
her husband had so closely carried the businesse) the money was duely
paid to the cornuted Coxcombe. Afterwards, this impudent shame chanced
to be generally knowne, nothing remaining to the wilfull Wittoll, but
losse of his expected gaine, and scorne in every place where he went.
The Bishop likewise (beeing a discreete and sober man) would seeme to
take no knowledge thereof; but bare out all scoffes with a well setled

Within a short while after, the Bishop and the Lord Marshall (alwaies
conversing together) it came to passe, that upon Saint _Johns_ day,
they riding thorow the City, side by side, and viewing the brave
beauties, which of them might best deserve to win the prize; the Byshop
espied a yong married Lady (which our late greevous pestilence bereaved
us of) she being named Madame _Nonna de Pulci_, and Cousine to _Messer
Alexio Rinucci_, a Gentleman well knowne unto us all. A very goodly
beautifull yong woman she was, of delicate language, and singular
spirite, dwelling close by S. _Peters_ gate. This Lady did the Bishop
shew to the Marshall, and when they were come to her, laying his hand
uppon her shoulder, he said. Madam _Nonna_, What thinke you of this
Gallant? Dare you adventure another wager with him?

Such was the apprehension of this witty Lady, that these words seemed
to taxe her honour, or else to contaminate the hearers understanding,
whereof there were great plenty about her, whose judgement might be as
vile, as the speeches were scandalous. Wherefore, never seeking for any
further purgation of her cleare conscience, but onely to retort taunt
for taunt, presently thus she replied. My Lord, if I should make such a
vile adventure, I would looke to bee payde with better money.

These words being heard both by the Bishop and Marshall, they felt
themselves touched to the quicke, the one, as the Factor or Broker, for
so dishonest a businesse, to the Brother of the Bishop; and the other,
as receiving (in his owne person) the shame belonging to his Brother.
So, not so much as looking each on other, or speaking one word together
all the rest of that day, they rode away with blushing cheekes. Whereby
we may collect, that the yong Lady, being so injuriously provoked, did
no more then well became her, to bite their basenesse neerely, that so
abused her openly.

Chichibio, _the Cooke to_ Messer Currado Gianfiliazzi, _by a sodaine
pleasant answer which he made to his Master; converted his anger into
laughter, and thereby escaped the punishment, that_ Messer _meant to
impose on him._

The Fourth Novell.

_Whereby plainly appeareth, that a sodaine witty and merry answer, doth
oftentimes appease the furious choller of an angry man._

Madam _Lauretta_ sitting silent, and the answer of Lady _Nonna_ having
past with generall applause: the Queene commanded Madame _Neiphila_
to follow next in order; who instantly thus began. Although a ready
wit (faire Ladies) doth many times affoord worthy and commendable
speeches, according to the accidents happening to the speaker: yet
notwithstanding, Fortune (being a ready helper divers wayes to the
timorous) doth often tippe the tongue with such a present reply, as the
partie to speake, had not so much leysure as to thinke on, nor yet to
invent; as I purpose to let you perceive, by a prety short Novell.

_Messer Currado Gianfiliazzi_ (as most of you have both seene and
knowen) living alwayes in our Citie, in the estate of a Noble Citizen,
beeing a man bountifull, magnificent, and within the degree of
Knighthoode: continually kept both Hawkes and Hounds, taking no meane
delight in such pleasures as they yeelded, neglecting (for them) farre
more serious imployments, wherewith our present subject presumeth not
to meddle. Upon a day, having kilde with his Faulcon a Crane, neere to
a Village called _Peretola_, and finding her to be both young and fat,
he sent it to his Cooke, a _Venetian_ borne, and named _Chichibio_,
with command to have it prepared for his supper. _Chichibio_, who
resembled no other, then (as he was indeede) a plaine, simple, honest
merry fellow, having drest the Crane as it ought to bee, put it on the
spit, and laide it to the fire.

When it was well neere fully roasted, and gave forth a very delicate
pleasing savour; it fortuned that a young Woman dwelling not far off,
named _Brunetta_, and of whom _Chichibio_ was somewhat enamored,
entred into the Kitchin, and feeling the excellent smell of the Crane,
to please her beyond all savours, that ever she had felt before: she
entreated _Chichibio_ verie earnestly, that hee would bestow a legge
thereof on her. Whereto _Chichibio_ (like a pleasant companion, and
evermore delighting in singing) sung her this answer.

    _My_ Brunetta, _faire and feat a,
            Why should you say so?
    The meate of my Master,
    Allowes you for no Taster,
            Go from the Kitchin go._

Many other speeches past betweene them in a short while, but in the
end, _Chichibio_, because hee would not have his Mistresse _Brunetta_
angrie with him; cut away one of the Cranes legges from the spit, and
gave it to her to eate. Afterward, when the Fowle was served up to
the Table before _Messer Currado_, who had invited certain strangers
his friends to sup with him, wondering not a little, he called for
_Chichibio_ his Cook; demanding what was become of the Cranes other
legge? Whereto the _Venetian_ (being a lyar by Nature) sodainely
answered: Sir, Cranes have no more but one legge each Bird. _Messer
Currado_, growing verie angry, replyed. Wilt thou tell me, that a
Crane hath no more but one legge? Did I never see a Crane before this?
_Chichibio_ persisting resolutely in his deniall, saide. Beleeve me
Sir, I have told you nothing but the truth, and when you please, I will
make good my wordes, by such Fowles as are living.

Messer _Currado_, in kinde love to the strangers that hee had invited
to supper, gave over any further contestation; onely he said. Seeing
thou assurest me, to let me see thy affirmation for truth, by other
of the same Fowles living (a thing which as yet I never saw, or heard
of) I am content to make proofe thereof to morrow morning, till then
I shall rest satisfied: but, upon my word, if I finde it otherwise,
expect such a sound payment, as thy knavery justly deserveth, to make
thee remember it all thy life time. The contention ceassing for the
night season, Messer _Currado_, who though he had slept well, remained
still discontented in his minde: arose in the morning by breake of
day, and puffing & blowing angerly, called for his horses, commanding
_Chichibio_ to mount on one of them; so riding on towards the River,
where (earely every morning) he had seene plenty of Cranes, he sayde to
his man; We shall see anon Sirra, whether thou or I lyed yesternight.

_Chichibio_ perceiving, that his Masters anger was not (as yet)
asswaged, and now it stood him upon, to make good his lye; not knowing
how he should do it, rode after his Master, fearfully trembling all
the way. Gladly he would have made an escape, but hee could not by any
possible meanes, and on every side he looked about him, now before,
and after behinde, to espy any Cranes standing on both their legges,
which would have bin an ominous sight to him. But being come neere to
the River, he chanced to see (before any of the rest) upon the banke
thereof, about a dozen Cranes in number, each of them standing but upon
one legge, as they use to do when they are sleeping. Whereupon, shewing
them quickly to Messer _Currado_, he said. Now Sir your selfe may see,
whether I told you true yesternight, or no: I am sure a Crane hath but
one thigh, and one leg, as all here present are apparant witnesses, and
I have bin as good as my promise.

Messer _Currado_ looking on the Cranes, and well understanding the
knavery of his man, replyed: Stay but a little while sirra, & I will
shew thee, that a Crane hath two thighes, and two legges. Then riding
somwhat neerer to them, he cryed out aloud, Shough, shough, which
caused them to set downe their other legs, and all fled away, after
they had made a few paces against the winde for their mounting. So
going unto _Chichibio_, he said: How now you lying Knave, hath a Crane
two legs, or no? _Chichibio_ being well-neere at his wits end, not
knowing now what answer hee should make; but even as it came sodainly
into his minde, said: Sir, I perceive you are in the right, and if you
would have done as much yesternight, and had cryed Shough, as here you
did: questionlesse, the Crane would then have set down the other legge,
as these heere did: but if (as they) she had fled away too, by that
meanes you might have lost your Supper.

This sodaine and unexpected witty answere, comming from such a
logger-headed Lout, and so seasonably for his owne safety: was so
pleasing to _Messer Currado_, that he fell into a hearty laughter, and
forgetting all anger, saide. _Chichibio_, thou hast quit thy selfe
well, and to my contentment: albeit I advise thee, to teach mee no
more such trickes heereafter. Thus _Chichibio_, by his sodaine and
merry answer, escaped a sound beating, which (otherwise) his master had
inflicted on him.

Messer Forese da Rabatte, _and Maister_ Giotto, _a Painter by his
profession, comming together from_ Mugello, _scornfully reprehended one
another for their deformity of body._

The Fift Novell.

_Whereby may bee observed, that such as will speake contemptibly of
others, ought (first of all) to looke respectively on their owne

So soone as Madame _Neiphila_ sate silent (the Ladies having greatly
commended the pleasant answer of _Chichibio_) _Pamphilus_, by command
from the Queene, spake in this manner. Woorthy Ladies, it commeth to
passe oftentimes, that like as Fortune is observed divers wayes, to
hide under vile and contemptible Arts, the most great and unvalewable
treasures of vertue (as, not long since, was well discoursed unto us
by Madam _Pampinea_:) so in like manner hath appeared; that Nature
hath infused very singular spirits into most misshapen and deformed
bodies of men. As hath beene noted in two of our owne Citizens, of
whom I purpose to speake in fewe words. The one of them was named
_Messer Forese de Rabatte_, a man of little and low person, but yet
deformed in body, with a flat face, like a Terrier or Beagle, as if no
comparison (almost) could bee made more ugly. But notwithstanding all
this deformity, he was so singularly experienced in the Lawes, that all
men held him beyond any equall, or rather reputed him as a Treasury of
civill knowledge.

The other man, being named _Giotto_, had a spirit of so great
excellency, as there was not any particular thing in Nature, the
Mother and Worke-mistresse of all, by continuall motion of the
heavens; but hee by his pen and pensell could perfectly portrait;
shaping them all so truly alike and resemblable, that they were taken
for the reall matters indeede; and, whether they were present or no,
there was hardly any possibility of their distinguishing. So that
many times it happened, that by the variable devises he made, the
visible sence of men became deceived, in crediting those things to be
naturall, which were but meerly painted. By which meanes, hee reduced
that singular Art to light, which long time before had lyen buried,
under the grosse error of some; who, in the mysterie of painting,
delighted more to content the ignorant, then to please the judicious
understanding of the wise, he justly deserving thereby, to be tearmed
one of the _Florentines_ most glorious lights. And so much the rather,
because he performed all his actions, in the true and lowly spirit of
humility: for while he lived, and was a Master in his Art, above all
other Painters: yet he refused any such title, which shined the more
majestically in him, as appeared by such, who knew much lesse then he,
or his Schollers either: yet his knowledge was extreamly coveted among

Now, notwithstanding all this admirable excellency in him: he was not
(thereby) a jot the handsommer man (either in person or countenance)
then was our fore-named Lawyer _Messer Forese_, and therefore my
Novell concerneth them both. Understand then, (faire Assemblie) that
the possessions and inheritances of _Messer Forese_ and _Giotto_, lay
in _Mugello_; wherefore, when Holy-dayes were celebrated by Order
of Court, and in the Sommer time, upon the admittance of so apt a
vacation; _Forese_ rode thither upon a very unsightly Jade, such as a
man can can seldome meet with worse. The like did _Giotto_ the Painter,
as ill fitted every way as the other; and having dispatched their
busines there, they both returned backe towards _Florence_, neither of
them being able to boast, which was the best mounted.

Riding on a faire and softly pace, because their Horses could goe
no faster: and they being well entred into yeeres, it fortuned (as
oftentimes the like befalleth in Sommer) that a sodaine showre of raine
over-tooke them; for avoyding whereof, they made all possible haste
to a poore Countrey-mans Cottage, familiarly knowne to them both.
Having continued there an indifferent while, and the raine unlikely to
cease: to prevent all further protraction of time, and to arrive at
_Florence_ in due season: they borrowed two old cloakes of the poore
man, of over-worn and ragged Country gray, as also two hoodes of the
like Complexion, (because the poore man had no better) which did more
mishape them, then their owne ugly deformity, and made them notoriously
flouted and scorned, by all that met or overtooke them.

After they had ridden some distance of ground, much moyled and bemyred
with their shuffling Jades, flinging the dirt every way about them,
that well they might be termed two filthy companions: the raine gave
over, and the evening looking somwhat cleare, they began to confer
familiarly together. _Messer Forese_, riding a lofty _French_ trot,
everie step being ready to hoise him out of his saddle, hearing
_Giottos_ discreete answers to every ydle question he made (for indeede
he was a very elegant speaker) began to peruse and surveigh him, even
from the foote to the head, as we use to say. And perceiving him to
be so greatly deformed, as no man could be worse, in his opinion:
without any consideration of his owne misshaping as bad, or rather more
unsightly then hee; in a scoffing laughing humour, hee saide. _Giotto_,
doest thou imagine, that a stranger, who had never seene thee before,
and should now happen into our companie, would beleeve thee to bee the
best Painter in the world, as indeede thou art? Presently _Giotto_
(without any further meditation) returned him this answere. Signior
_Forese_, I think he might then beleeve it, when (beholding you) hee
could imagine that you had learned your A. B. C. Which when _Forese_
heard, he knew his owne error, and saw his payment returned in such
Coine, as he sold his Wares for.

_A yong and ingenious Scholler, being unkindly reviled and smitten
by his ignorant Father, and through the procurement of an unlearned
Vicare: afterward attained to be doubly revenged on him._

The Sixth Novell.

_Serving as an advertisement to unlearned Parents, not to bee
over-rash, in censuring on Schollers perfections, through any badde or
unbeseeming perswasions._

The Ladies smiled very heartily, at the ready answer of _Giotto_;
untill the Queene charged Madam _Fiammetta_, that shee should next
succeed in order: whereupon, thus she began. The verie greatest
infelicity that can happen to a man, and most insupportable of all
other, is Ignorance; a word (I say) which hath bin so generall, as under
it is comprehended all imperfections whatsoever. Yet notwithstanding,
whosoever can cull (graine by graine) the defects incident to humane
race; will and must confesse, that wee are not all borne to knowledge:
but onely such, whom the heavens illuminating by their bright radiance
(wherein consisteth the sourse and well-spring of all science) by
little & little, do bestow the influence of their bounty, on such
and so manie as they please, who are to expresse themselves the more
thankfull for such a blessing. And although this grace doth lessen
the misfortune of many, which were over-mighty to bee in all; yet
some there are, who by sawcie presuming on themselves, doe bewray
their ignorance by theyr owne speeches; setting such behaviour on each
matter, and soothing every thing with such gravity, even as if they
would make comparison: or (to speake more properly) durst encounter in
the Listes with great _Salomon_ or _Socrates_. But let us leave them,
and come to the matter of our purposed Novell.

In a certaine Village of _Piccardie_, there lived a Priest or Vicar,
who beeing meerely an ignorant blocke, had yet such a peremptorie
presuming spirite: as, though it was sufficiently discerned, yet hee
beguiled many thereby, untill at last he deceyved himselfe, and with
due chastisement to his folly.

A plaine Husbandman dwelling in the same Village, possessed of much
Land and Living, but verie grosse and dull in understanding; by the
entreaty of divers his Friends and Well-willers, some-thing more
intelligable then himselfe: became incited, or rather provoked, to send
a Sonne of his to the University of _Paris_, to study there as was
fitting for a Scholler. To the end (quoth they) that having but this
Son onely, and Fortunes blessings abounding in store for him: hee might
like wise have the riches of the minde, which are those true treasures
indeede, that _Aristippus_ giveth us advice to be furnished withall.

His Friends perswasions having prevailed, and hee continued at _Paris_
for the space of three yeares: what with the documents he had attayned
to, before his going thither, and by meanes of a happie memory in the
time of his being there, wherewith no young man was more singularly
endued (in so short a while) he attained and performed the greater part
of his Studies.

Now, as oftentimes it commeth to passe, the love of a Father
(surmounting all other affections in man) made the olde Farmer desirous
to see his Sonne: which caused his sending for him with all convenient
speede, and obedience urged his as forward willingnesse thereto. The
good olde man, not a little joyfull to see him in so good condition
and health, and encreased so much in stature since his parting thence:
familiarly told him, that he earnestly desired to know, if his minde
and body had attained to a competent and equall growth, which within
three or foure dayes he would put in practise.

No other helpe had he silly simple man, but Master Vicar must bee
the questioner and poser of his son: wherein the Priest was very
unwilling to meddle, for feare of discovering his owne ignorance, which
passed under better opinion then he deserved. But the Farmer beeing
importunate, and the Vicar many wayes beholding to him, durst not
returne deniall, but undertooke it very formally, as if he had bene an
able man indeede.

But see how Fooles are borne to be fortunate, and where they least
hope, there they find the best successe; the simplicitie of the Father,
must be the meanes for abusing his Schollerly Son, and a skreene to
stand betweene the Priest and his ignorance. Earnest is the olde man to
know, what and how farre his Sonne had profited at Schoole, and by what
note he might best take understanding of his answeres: which jumping
fit with the Vicars vanity, and a warrantable cloake to cover his
knavery; he appoints him but one word onely, namely _Nescio_, wherewith
if he answered to any of his demands, it was an evident token, that
hee understood nothing. As thus they were walking and conferring in
the Church, the Farmer very carefull to remember the word _Nescio_: it
came to passe upon a sodaine, that the young man entred into them, to
the great contentment of his Father, who prayed Master Vicar, to make
approbation of his Sonne, whether he were learned, or no, and how hee
had benefited at the University?

After the time of the daies salutations had past betweene them, the
Vicar being subtle and crafty, as they walked along by one of the
tombs in the Church; pointing with his finger to the Tombe, the Priest
uttered these words to the Scholler.

 _Quis hic est sepultus?_

The yong Scholler (by reason it was erected since his departure, and
finding no inscription whereby to informe him) answered, as well hee
might, _Nescio_. Immediately the Father, keeping the word perfectly in
his memorie, grewe verie angerly passionate; and, desiring to heare no
more demaunds: gave him three or foure boxes on the eares; with many
harsh and injurious speeches, tearming him an Asse and Villaine, and
that he had not learned any thing. His Sonne was pacient, and returned
no answer, but plainly perceived, that this was a tricke intended
against him, by the malicious treachery of the Priest, on whom (in
time) he might be revenged.

Within a short while after, the Suffragane of those parts (under whom
the Priest was but a Deputy, holding the benefice of him, with no great
charge to his conscience) being abroad in his visitation, sent word to
the Vicar, that he intended to preach there on the next Sunday, and hee
to prepare in a readinesse, _Bonum & Commodum_, because hee would have
nothing else to his dinner. Heereat Master Vicar was greatly amazed,
because he had never heard such words before, neither could hee finde
them in all his _Breviarie_. Hereupon, he went to the yong scholler,
whom he had so lately before abused, and crying him mercy, with many
impudent and shallow excuses, desired him to reveale the meaning of
those words, and what he should understand by _Bonum & Commodum_.

The Scholler (with a sober and modest countenance) made answere; That
he had bin over-much abused, which (neverthelesse) he tooke not so
impaciently, but hee had already both forgot and forgiven it, with
promise of comfort in this his extraordinary distraction, and greefe of
minde. When he had perused the Suffraganes Letter, well observing the
blushlesse ignorance of the Priest: seeming (by outward appearance) to
take it strangely, he cryed out alowd, saying; In the name of Vertue,
what may be this mans meaning? How? (quoth the Priest) What manner
of demand do you make? Alas, replyed the Scholler, you have but one
poore Asse, which I know you love deerely, and yet you must stew his
genitories very daintily, for your Patron will have no other meat to
his dinner. The genitories of mine Asse, answered the Priest? Passion
of me, who then shall carrie my Corne to the Mill? There is no remedie,
sayde the Scholler, for he hath so set it downe for an absolute

After that the Priest had considered thereon a while by himselfe,
remembring the yearely revennewes, which clearely hee put up into
his purse, to be ten times of farre greater worth then his Asse: he
concluded to have him gelded, what danger soever should ensue thereon,
preparing them in readinesse against his comming. So soone as the
Suffragan was there arrived, heavily hee complained to him for his
Asse: which kinde of Language he not understanding, knew not what
he meant, nor how he should answer. But beeing (by the Scholler)
acquainted with the whole History, he laughed heartily at the Priests
ignorant folly, wishing that all such bold Bayards (from time to time)
might be so served. Likewise, that all ignorant Priests, Vicars, and
other Grashoppers of Townes or Villages, who sometimes have onely seene
_Partes orationis quod sunt_, not to stand over-much on their owne
sufficiency, grounded soly upon their Grammar; but to beware whom they
jest withall, without medling with Schollers, who take not injuries as
dullards doe, least they prove infamous by their disputations.

Madam Phillippa, _being accused by her Husband_ Rinaldo de Pugliese,
_because he tooke her in Adulterie, with a yong Gentleman named_
Lazarino de Guazzagliotori: _caused her to bee cited before the Judge.
From whom she delivered her selfe, by a sodaine, witty and pleasant
answer, and moderated a severe strict Statute, formerly made against

The Seventh Novell.

_Wherein is declared, of what worth it is to confesse a trueth, with a
facetious and witty excuse._

After that Madame _Fiammetta_ had given over speaking, and all the
Auditory had sufficiently applauded the Schollers honest revenge, the
Queene enjoyned _Philostratus_, to proceede on next with his Novell,
which caused him to begin thus. Beleeve me Ladies, it is an excellent
& most commendable thing, to speak well, and to all purposes: but I
hold it a matter of much greater worth, to know how to do it, and
when necessity doth most require it. Which a Gentlewoman (of whom I
am now to speake) was so well enstructed in, as not onely it yeelded
the hearers mirthfull contentment, but likewise delivered her from the
danger of death, as (in few words) you shall heare related.

In the Citie of _Prato_, there was an Edict or Statute, no lesse
blameworthy (to speake uprightly) then most severe and cruell, which
(without making any distinction) gave strict command; That everie Woman
should be burned with fire, whose husband found her in the acte of
Adultery, with any secret or familiar friend, as one deserving to bee
thus abandoned, like such as prostituted their bodies to publike sale
or hire. During the continuance of this sharpe Edict, it fortuned that
a Gentlewoman, who was named _Phillippa_, was found in her Chamber
one night, in the armes of a yong Gentleman of the same City, named
_Lazarino de Guazzagliotori_, and by her owne husband, called _Rinaldo
de Pugliese_, shee loving the young Gallant, as her owne life, because
hee was most compleate in all perfections, and every way as deerely
addicted to her.

This sight was so irkesome to _Rinaldo_, that, being overcom with
extreame rage, hee could hardly containe from running on them, with a
violent intent to kill them both: but feare of his owne life caused his
forbearance, meaning to be revenged by some better way. Such was the
heate of his spleene and fury, as, setting aside all respect of his
owne shame: he would needs prosecute the rigour of the deadly Edict,
which he held lawfull for him to do, although it extended to the death
of his Wife. Heereupon, having witnesses sufficient, to approove the
guiltinesse of her offence: a day being appointed (without desiring any
other counsell) he went in person to accuse her, and required justice
against her.

The Gentlewoman, who was of an high and undauntable spirite, as all
such are, who have fixed their affection resolvedly, and love uppon
a grounded deliberation: concluded, quite against the counsell and
opinion of her Parents, Kindred, and Friends; to appeare in the Court,
as desiring rather to dye, by confessing the trueth with a manly
courage, then by denying it, and her love unto so worthy a person
as he was, in whole arms she chanced to be taken; to live basely in
exile with shame, as an eternall scandall to her race. So, before the
Potestate, shee made her apparance, worthily accompanied both with men
and women, all advising her to deny the acte: but she, not minding them
or their perswasions, looking on the Judge with a constant countenance,
and a voyce of setled resolve, craved to know of him, what hee
demaunded of her?

The Potestate well noting her brave carriage, her singular beautie and
praise-worthy parts, her words apparantly witnessing the heighth of
her minde: beganne to take compassion on her, and doubted, least shee
would confesse some such matter, as should enforce him to pronounce the
sentence of death against her. But she boldly scorning all delayes,
or any further protraction of time; demanded again, what was her
accusation? Madame, answered the Potestate, I am sorry to tel you,
what needs I must, your husband (whom you see present heere) is the
complainant against you, avouching, that he tooke you in the act of
adultery with another man: and therefore he requireth, that, according
to the rigour of the Statute heere in force with us, I should pronounce
sentence against you, and (consequently) the infliction of death.
Which I cannot do, if you confesse not the fact, and therefore be well
advised, how you answer me, and tell me the truth, if it be as your
Husband accuseth you, or no.

The Lady, without any dismay or dread at all, pleasantly thus replied.
My Lord, true it is, that _Rinaldo_ is my Husband, and that he found
me, on the night named, betweene the Armes of _Lazarino_, where many
times heeretofore he hath embraced mee, according to the mutuall love
re-plighted together, which I deny not, nor ever will. But you know
well enough, and I am certaine of it, that the Lawes enacted in any
Countrey, ought to be common, and made with consent of them whom they
concerne, which in this Edict of yours is quite contrarie. For it is
rigorous against none, but poore women onely, who are able to yeeld
much better content and satisfaction generally, then remaineth in the
power of men to do. And moreover, when this Law was made, there was not
any woman that gave consent to it, neither were they called to like or
allow thereof: in which respect, it may deservedly be termed, an unjust
Law. And if you will, in prejudice of my bodie, and of your owne soule,
be the executioner of so unlawfull an Edict, it consisteth in your
power to do as you please.

But before you proceede to pronounce any sentence, may it please you
to favour me with one small request, namely, that you would demand of
my Husband, if at all times, and whensoever he tooke delight in my
company, I ever made any curiosity, or came to him unwillingly. Whereto
_Rinaldo_, without tarrying for the Potestate to moove the question,
sodainly answered; that (undoubtedly) his wife at all times, and oftner
then he could request it, was never sparing of her kindnesse, or put
him off with any deniall. Then the Lady, continuing on her former
speeches, thus replyed. Let me then demand of you my Lord, being our
Potestate and Judge, if it be so, by my Husbands owne free confession,
that he hath alwaies had his pleasure of me, without the least refusall
in me, or contradiction; what should I doe with the over-plus remaining
in mine owne power, and whereof he had no need? Would you have mee cast
it away to the Dogges? Was it not more fitting for me, to pleasure
therewith a worthy Gentleman, who was even at deaths doore for my love,
then (my husbands surfetting, and having no neede of me) to let him lye
languishing, and dye?

Never was heard such an examination before, and to come from a woman of
such worth, the most part of the honourable _Pratosians_ (both Lords
and Ladies) being there present, who hearing her urge such a necessary
question, cryed out all aloud together with one voice (after they had
laughed their fill) that the Lady had saide well, and no more then she
might. So that, before they departed thence, by comfortable advice
proceeding from the Potestate: the Edict (being reputed overcruell) was
modified, and interpreted to concerne them onely, who offered injurie
to their Husbands for money. By which meanes, _Rinaldo_ standing as one
confounded, for such a foolish and unadvised enterprize, departed from
the Auditorie: and the Ladie, not a little joyfull to bee thus freed
and delivered from the fire, returned home with victorie to her owne

Fresco da Celatico, _counselled and advised his Neece_ Cesca: _That if
such as deserved to be looked on, were offensive to her eyes, as she
had often told him; she should forbeare to looke on any._

The Eighth Novell.

_In just scorne of such unsightly and ill-pleasing surly Sluts, who
imagine none to be faire or well-favoured, but themselves._

All the while as _Philostratus_ was re-counting his Novell; it seemed,
that the Ladies (who heard it) found themselves much mooved thereat, as
by the wanton blood monting up into their cheekes, it plainly appeared.
But in the end, looking on each other with strange behaviour, they
could not forbeare smiling: which the Queene interrupting by a command
of attention, turning to Madame _Æmillia_, willed her to follow next.
When she, puffing and blowing, as if she had bene newly awaked from
sleepe, began in this manner.

Faire Beauties; My thoughts having wandred a great distance hence, and
further then I can easily collect them together againe; in obedience
yet to our Queene, I shall report a much shorter Novell, then otherwise
(perhappes) I should have done, if my minde had beene a little neerer
home. I shall tell you the grosse fault of a foolish Damosell, well
corrected by a witty reprehension of her Uncle; if shee had bin endued
but with so much sence, as to have understood it.

An honest man, named _Fresco da Celatico_, had a good fulsom wench to
his Neece, who for her folly and squemishnes, was generally called
_Cesca_, or nice _Francesca_. And althogh she had stature sufficient,
yet none of the handsomest, & a good hard favourd countenance, nothing
nere such Angelical beauties as we have seen: yet she was endued with
such height of minde, and so proud an opinion of her selfe, that it
appeared as a custome bred in hir, or rather a gift bestowed on hir
by nature (though none of the best) to blame and despise both men and
women, yea whosoever she lookt on; without any consideration of her
self, she being as unsightly, ill shaped, and ugly faced, as a worse
was very hardly to be found.

Nothing could be done at any time, to yeilde her liking or content:
moreover, she was so waspish, nice, & squemish, that when she cam into
the royall Court of _France_, it was hatefull & contemptible to hir.
Whensoever she went through the streets, every thing stunke and was
noisome to her; so that she never did any thing but stop her nose; as
if all men or women she met withall; and whatsoever else she lookt on,
were stinking and offensive. But let us leave all further relation
of her ill conditions, being every way (indeed) so bad, and hardly
becomming any sensible body, that we cannot condemne them so much as we

It chanced upon a day, that shee comming home to the house where her
Uncle dwelt, declared her wonted scurvy and scornfull behaviour;
swelling, puffing, and pouting extreamly, in which humour she sat downe
by her Uncle, who desiring to know what had displeased her, said. Why
how now _Francesca_? what may the meaning of this bee? This being a
solemne festivall day, what is the reason of your so soone returning
home? She coily biting the lip, and brideling her head, as if she had
bene some mans best Gelding, sprucely thus replyed.

Indeede you say true Uncle, I am come home verie earely, because, since
the day of my birth, I never saw a City so pestered with unhandsome
people, both men and women, and worse this high Holyday then ever I
did observe before. I walked thorow some store of streetes, and I
could not see one proper man: and as for the women, they are the most
misshapen and ugly creatures, that, if God had made me such an one,
I should be sorry that ever I was borne. And being no longer able to
endure such unpleasing sights; you will not thinke (Uncle) in what an
anger I am come home. _Fresco_, to whome these stinking qualities of
his Neece seemed so unsufferable, that hee could not (with patience)
endure them any longer, thus short and quickely answered. _Francesca_,
if all people of our Citie (both men and women) be so odious in thy
eyes, and offensive to thy nose, as thou hast often reported to me: bee
advised then by my counsell. Stay still at home, and look upon none but
thy selfe onely, and then thou shalt be sure that they cannot displease
thee. But she, being as empty of wit as a pith-lesse Cane, and yet
thought her judgement to exceed _Salomons_, could not understand the
lest part of hir Uncles meaning, but stood as senselesse as a sheepe.
Onely she replyed, that she would resort to some other parts of the
country, which if shee found as weakly furnished of handsome people, as
heere shee did, shee would conceive better of her selfe, then ever she
had done before.

Signior Guido Cavalcante, _with a sodaine and witty answer, reprehended
the rash folly of certaine Florentine Gentlemen, that thought to scorne
and flout him._

The Ninth Novell.

_Notably discovering the great difference that is betweene learning and
ignorance, upon judicious apprehension._

When the Queene perceived, that Madame _Æmillia_ was discharged of her
Novell, and none remained now to speake next, but onely her selfe, his
priviledge alwayes remembred, to whom it belonged to be the last, she
began in this manner.

Faire Company, you have this day disappointed me of two Novells at the
least, whereof I had intended to make use. Neverthelesse, you shall
not imagine mee so unfurnished, but that I have left one in store;
the conclusion whereof, may minister such instruction, as will not
bee reputed for ydle and impertinent: but rather of such materiall
consequence, as better hath not this day past among us.

Understand then (most faire Ladies) that in former times long since
past, our Cittie had many excellent and commendable customes in it;
whereof (in these unhappy dayes of ours) we cannot say that poore
one remaineth, such hath beene the too much encrease of Wealth and
Covetousnesse, the onely supplanters of all good qualities whatsoever.
Among which lawdable and friendly observations, there was one well
deserving note, namely, that in divers places of _Florence_, men of the
best houses in every quarter, had a sociable and neighbourly assemblie
together, creating their company to consist of a certaine number, such
as were able to supply their expences as this day one, and to morrow
another: and thus in a kinde of friendly course, each daily furnished
the Table, for the rest of the company. Oftentimes, they did honour to
divers Gentlemen and strangers, upon their arrivall in our Citty, by
inviting them into their assembly, and many of our worthiest Citizens
beside; so that it grew to a customary use, and one especially day in
the yeare appointed, in memory of this so loving a meeting, when they
would ride (triumphally as it were) on horsebacke thorow the Cittie,
sometimes performing Tilts, Tourneyes, and other Martiall exercises,
but they were reserved for Feastivall dayes.

Among which company, there was one called, _Signior Betto Bruneleschi_,
who was earnestly desirous, to procure _Signior Guido Cavalcante de
Cavalcanti_, to make one in this their friendly society. And not
without great reason: for, over and beside his being one of the best
Logitians as those times could not yeeld a better: He was also a most
absolute naturall Philosopher (which worthy qualities were little
esteemed among these honest meeters) a very friendly Gentleman,
singularly well spoken, and whatsoever else was commendable in any man,
was no way wanting in him, being wealthy withall, and able to returne
equall honors, where he found them to be duly deserved, as no man
therein could go beyond him. But _Signior Betto_, notwithstanding his
long continued importunitie, could not draw him into their assembly,
which made him and the rest of his company conceive, that the solitude
of _Guido_, retiring himselfe alwaies from familiar conversing with
men: provoked him to many curious speculations: and because he retained
some part of the _Epicurean_ Opinion, their vulgare judgement passed on
him, that his speculations tended to no other end, but onely to finde
out that which was never done.

It chanced upon a day, that _Signior Guido_ departing from the Church
of Saint _Michaell d'Horta_, and passing along by the _Adamari_, so
farre as to Saint _Johns_ Church, which evermore was his customarie
Walke: many goodly Marble Tombes were then about the saide Church,
as now adayes are at Saint _Reparata_, and divers more beside. He
entring among the Collumbes of Porphiry, and the other Sepulchers being
there, because the doore of the Church was shut: _Signior Betto_ & his
companie, came riding from S. _Reparata_, & espying _Signior Guido_
among the graves and tombes, said. Come, let us go make some jests
to anger him. So putting the spurs to their horses, they rode apace
towards him: and being upon him before he perceived them, one of them
said. _Guido_ thou refusest to be one of our society, & seekest for
that which never was: when thou hast found it, tell us, what wilt thou
do with it?

_Guido_ seeing himselfe round engirt with them, sodainly thus replyed:
Gentlemen, you may use mee in your owne house as you please. And
setting his hand on one of the Tombes (which was some-what great) he
tooke his rising, and leapt quite over it on the further side, as being
of an agile and sprightly body, and being thus freed from them, he went
away to his owne lodging. They stoode all like men amazed, strangely
looking one upon another, and began afterward to murmure among
themselves: That _Guido_ was a man without any understanding, and the
answer which he had made unto them, was to no purpose, neither savoured
of any discretion, but meerely came from an empty brain because they
had no more to do in the place where now they were, then any of the
other Citizens, and Signior _Guido_ (himselfe) as little as any of
them; whereto Signior _Betto_ thus replyed.

Alas Gentlemen, it is you your selves that are void of understanding:
for, if you had but observed the answer which he made unto us: hee did
honestly, and (in verie few words) not onely notably expresse his owne
wisedome, but also deservedly reprehend us. Because, if wee observe
things as we ought to doe, Graves and Tombes are the houses of the
dead, ordained and prepared to be their latest dwellings. He tolde us
moreover, that although we have heere (in this life) other habitations
and abidings; yet these (or the like) must at last be our houses. To
let us know, and all other foolish, indiscreete, and unlearned men,
that we are worse then dead men, in comparison of him, and other men
equall to him in skill and learning. And therefore, while wee are heere
among these Graves and Monuments, it may well be said, that we are not
farre from our owne houses, or how soone we shall be possessors of
them, in regard of the frailty attending on us.

Then every one could presently say, that Signior _Guido_ had spoken
nothing but the truth, and were much ashamed of their owne folly, and
shallow estimation which they had made of _Guido_, desiring never more
after to meddle with him so grossely, and thanking Signior _Betto_, for
so well reforming their ignorance, by his much better apprehension.

_Fryer_ Onyon, _promised certaine honest people of the Countrey, to
shew them a Feather of the same Phoenix, that was with_ Noah _in his
Arke. In sted whereof, he found Coales, which he avouched to be those
very coals, wherewith the same Phoenix was roasted._

The Tenth Novell.

_Wherein may be observed, what palpable abuses do many times passe,
under the counterfeit Cloake of Religion._

When all of them had delivered their Novels, _Dioneus_ knowing that
it remained in him to relate the last for this day: without attending
for any solemne command (after he had imposed silence on them, that
could not sufficiently commend the witty reprehension of _Guido_)
thus he began. Wise and worthy Ladies, although by the priviledge you
have granted, it is lawfull for me to speake any thing best pleasing
to my self: yet notwithstanding, it is not any part of my meaning, to
varrie from the matter and method, whereof you have spoken to very
good purpose. And therefore, following your footsteppes, I entend to
tell you, how craftily, and with a Rampiar sodainly raised in his owne
defence: a Religious Frier of Saint _Anthonies_ Order, shunned a shame,
which two wily companions had prepared for him. Nor let it offend
you, if I run into more large discourse, then this day hath bene used
by any, for the apter compleating of my Novell: because, if you well
observe it, the Sun is as yet in the middest of heaven, and therefore
you may the better forbeare me.

_Certoldo_, as (perhaps) you know, or have heard, is a Village in
the Vale of _Elsa_, and under the authority and commaund of our
_Florence_, which although it be but small: yet (in former times) it
hath bin inhabited with Gentlemen, and people of especiall respect. A
religious Friar of S. _Anthonies_ Order, named Friar _Onyon_, had long
time used to resort thither, to receive the benevolent almes, which
those charitably affected people in simplicity gave him, & chiefly at
divers daies of the year, when their bounty and devotion would extend
themselves more largely then at other seasons. And so much the rather,
because they thought him to be a good Pastor of holy life in outward
appearance, & carried a name of much greater matter, then remained
in the man indeed; beside, that part of the country yeilded far more
plentifull abundance of Onyons, then all other in _Tuscany_ elsewhere,
a kinde of foode greatly affected by those Friars, as men alwaies
of hungry & good appetite. This Friar _Onyon_ was a man of little
stature, red haire, a chearfull countenance, and the world afforded
not a more crafty companion, then he. Moreover, albeit he had very
little knowledge or learning, yet he was so prompt, ready & voluble of
speech, uttering often he knew not what himselfe: that such as were
not wel acquainted with his qualities, supposed him to be a singular
Rhetoritian, excelling _Cicero_ or _Quintilian_ themselves; & he was
a gossip, friend, or deerely affected, by every one dwelling in those
parts. According to his wonted custome, one time he went thither in
the month of August, and on a Sunday morning, when all the dwellers
thereabout, were present to heare Masse, and in the chiefest Church
above all the rest: when the Friar saw time convenient for his purpose,
he advanced himselfe, and began to speake in this manner.

Gentlemen and Gentlewomen, you know you have kept a commendable custom,
in sending yeerly to the poore brethren of our Lord Baron S. _Anthony_,
both of your Corne and other provision, some more, some lesse, all
according to their power, means, and devotion, to the end that
blessed S. _Anthony_ should be the more carefull of your oxen, sheep,
asses, swine, pigs, and other cattle. Moreover, you have used to pay
(especially such as have their names registred in our Fraternity) those
duties which annually you send unto us. For the collection whereof,
I am sent by my Superior, namely our L. Abbot, & therefore (with Gods
blessing) you may come after noone hither, when you shal heare the Bels
of the Church ring: then will I make a predication to you; you shall
kisse the Crosse, and beside, because I know you al to be most devout
servants to our Lord Baron S. _Anthony_, in especiall grace and favor,
I will shew you a most holy and goodly Relique, which I my selfe (long
since) brought from the holy Land beyond the seas. If you desire to
know what it is, let me tell you, that it is one of the Feathers of the
same _Phoenix_, which was in the Arke with the Patriarch _Noah_. And
having thus spoken, he became silent, returning backe to heare Masse.
While hee delivered these and the like speeches, among the other people
then in the church, there were two shrewde and crafty Companions; the
one, named _John de Bragoniero_, and the other, _Biagio Pizzino_. These
subtile Fellowes, after they had heard the report of Fryer _Onyons_
Relique: althogh they were his intimate friends, and came thither
in his company; yet they concluded betweene themselves, to shew him
a tricke of Legierdumaine, and to steale the Feather from him. When
they had intelligence of Friar _Onyons_ dining that day at the Castle,
with a worthy Friend of his: no sooner was he set at the Table, but
away went they in all haste, to the Inne where the Fryar frequented,
with this determination, that _Biagio_ should hold conference with the
Friars boy, while his fellow ransackt the Wallet, to finde the Feather,
and carry it away with him, for a future observation, what the Friar
would say unto the people, when he found the losse of the Feather, and
could not performe his promise to them.

The Fryars Boy, whom some called _Guccio Balena_, some _Guccio
Imbrata_, and others _Guccio Porco_, was such a knavish Lad, and had so
many bad qualities, as _Lippo Topo_ the cunning Painter, or the most
curious Poeticall wit, had not any ability to describe them. Friar
_Onyon_ himself did often observe his behaviour, and would make this
report among his Friends. My Boy (quoth he) hath nine rare qualities
in him, and such they are, as if _Salomon, Aristotle,_ or _Seneca_ had
onely but one of them: it were sufficient to torment and trouble all
their vertue, all their senses, & all their sanctity. Consider then,
what manner of man he is like to be, having nine such rarities, yet
voide of all vertue, wit, or goodnes. And when it was demaunded of
Friar _Onyon_, what these nine rare conditions were: hee having them
all readie by heart, and in rime, thus answered:

    _Boyes I have knowne, and seene,
             And heard of many:_
    _For Lying, Loytring, Lazinesse,
    For Facing, Filching, Filthinesse;
    For Carelesse, Gracelesse, all Unthriftinesse,
             My Boy excelleth any._

Now, over and beside all these admirable qualities, hee hath manie
more such singularities, which (in favour towards him) I am faine to
conceale. But that which I smile most at in him, is that he would have
a Wife in every place where he commeth, yea, and a good house to boot
too: for, in regard his beard beginneth to shew it selfe, rising thicke
in haire, blacke and amiable, he is verily perswaded, that all Women
will fall in love with him; and if they refuse to follow him, he will
in all hast run after them. But truly, he is a notable servant to mee,
for I cannot speake with any one, and in never so great secrecy, but he
will be sure to heare his part; and when any question is demanded of
me, he standes in such awe and feare of my displeasure: that he will
bee sure to make the first answer, yea or no, according as he thinketh
most convenient.

Now, to proceede where we left, Friar _Onyon_ having left this
serviceable youth at his lodging, to see that no bodie should
meddle with his commodities, especially his Wallet, because of the
sacred things therein contained: _Guccio Imbrata_, who as earnestly
affected to be in the Kitchin, as Birds to hop from branch to branch,
especially, when anie of the Chamber-maides were there, espyed one of
the Hostesses Female attendants, a grosse fat Trugge, low of stature,
ill faced, and worse formed, with a paire of brests like two bumbards,
smelling loathsomely of grease and sweate; downe shee descended into
the Kitchin, like a Kite upon a peece of Carion. This Boy, or Knave,
chuse whither you will style him, having carelesly left Fryar _Onyons_
Chamber doore open, and all the holy things so much to be neglected,
although it was then the moneth of August, when heate is in the highest
predominance, yet hee would needs sit downe by the fire, and began to
conferre with this amiable creature, who was called by the name of

Being set close by her, he told her, that he was a Gentleman by
Atturniship, and that he had more millions of Crownes, then all his
life time would serve him to spend; beside those which he payed
away dayly, as having no convenient imployment for them. Moreover,
he knew how to speake, and do such things, as were beyond wonder or
admiration. And, never remembring his olde tatterd Friars Cowle,
which was so snottie and greazie, that good store of kitchin stuffe
might have beene boiled out of it; as also a foule slovenly Trusse
or halfedoublet, all baudied with bowsing, fat greazie lubberly
sweating, and other drudgeries in the Convent Kitchin, where he was an
Officer in the meanest credite. So that to describe this sweet youth
in his lively colours, both for naturall perfections of body, and
artificiall composure of his Garments; never came the fowlest silks out
of _Tartaria_ or _India_, more ugly or unsightly to bee lookt upon.
And for a further addition to his neate knavery, his breeches were so
rent betweene his legges, his shooes and stockings had bin at such a
mercilesse massacre: that the gallantest _Commandador_ of _Castile_
(though he had never so lately bin releast out of slavery) could have
wisht for better garments, then he; or make larger promises, then he
did to his _Nuta_. Protesting to entitle her as his onely, to free her
from the Inne and Chamber thraldomes, if she would live with him, be
his Love, partaker of his present possessions, and so to succeed in his
future Fortunes. All which bravadoes, though they were belcht foorth
with admirable insinuations: yet they converted into smoke, as all such
braggadochio behaviours do, and he was as wise at the ending, as when
he began.

Our former named two craftie Companions, seeing _Guccio Porco_ so
seriously employed about _Nuta_, was there-with not a little contented,
because their intended labour was now more then halfe ended. And
perceiving no contradiction to crosse their proceeding, into Friar
_Onyons_ chamber entred they, finding it ready open for their purpose:
where the first thing that came into their hand in search, was the
wallet. When they had opened it, they found a small Cabinet, wrapped in
a great many foldings of rich Taffata; and having unfolded it, a fine
formall Key was hanging thereat: wherewith having unlockt the Cabinet,
they found a faire Feather of a Parrots taile, which they supposed to
bee the verie same, that he meant to shew the people of _Certaldo_.
And truly (in those dayes) it was no hard matter to make them beleeve
anything, because the idle vanities of _Ægypt_ and those remoter parts,
had not (as yet) bin seene in _Tuscany_, as since then they have bin in
great abundance, to the utter ruine (almost) of _Italy_.

And although they might then be knowne to very few, yet the inhabitants
of the Country generally, understoode little or nothing at all of
them. For there, the pure simplicitie of their ancient predecessours
still continuing; they had not seene any Parrots, or so much as heard
any speech of them. Wherefore the two crafty consorts, not a little
joyfull of finding the Feather, tooke it thence with them, and because**
they would not leave the Cabinet empty, espying Char-coales lying in a
corner of the Chamber, they filled it with them, wrapping it up againe
in the Taffata, and in as demure manner as they found it. So, away came
they with the Feather, neither seene or suspected by any one, intending
now to heare what Friar _Onyon_ would say, uppon the losse of his
precious Relique, and finding the Coales there placed insted thereof.

The simple men and women of the country, who had bin at morning Masse
in the Church, and heard what a wonderfull Feather they should see
in the after noone; returned in all hast to their houses, where one
telling this newes to another, and gossip with gossip consulting
thereon; they made the shorter dinner, and afterward flocked in maine
troopes to the Castle, contending who shold first get entrance, such
was their devotion to see the holy feather. Friar _Onyon_ having
dined, and reposed a little after his wine, he arose from the table to
the window, where beholding what multitudes came to see the feather,
he assured himselfe of good store of mony. Hereupon, he sent to his
Boy _Guccio Imbrata_, that uppon the Bels ringing, he should come and
bring the wallet to him. Which (with much ado) he did, so soone as
his quarrell was ended in the kitchin, with the amiable Chamber-maid
_Nuta_, away then he went with his holy commodities: where he was no
sooner arrived, but because his belly was readie to burst with drinking
water, he sent him to the Church to ring the bels, which not onely
would warme the cold water in his belly, but likewise make him run as
gaunt as a Grey-hound.

When all the people were assembled in the Church together, Friar
_Onyon_ (never distrusting any injurie offered him, or that his close
commodities had bin medled withall) began his predication, uttering a
thousand lies to fit his purpose. And when he came to shew the feather
of the Phoenix (having first in great devotion finisht the confession)
he caused two goodly torches to be lighted, & ducking downe his head
three severall times, before hee would so much as touch the Taffata, he
opened it with much reverence. So soone as the Cabinet came to be seen,
off went his Hood, lowly he bowed downe his body, and uttering especial
praises of the Phoenix, and sacred properties of the wonderfull
Relique, the Cover of the Cabinet being lifted uppe, he saw the same
to bee full of Coales. He could not suspect his Villaine boy to do
this deede, for he knew him not to be endued with so much wit, onely
hee curst him for keeping it no better, and curst himselfe also, for
reposing trust in such a careles knave, knowing him to be slothfull,
disobedient, negligent, and void of all honest understanding or grace.
Sodainly (without blushing) lest his losse should be discerned, he
lifted his lookes and hands to heaven, speaking out so loude, as every
one might easily heare him, thus: O thou omnipotent providence, for
ever let thy power be praised. Then making fast the Cabinet againe, and
turning himselfe to the people, with lookes expressing admiration, he
proceeded in this manner.

Lords, Ladies, and you the rest of my worthy Auditors: You are to
understand, that I (being then very young) was sent by my Superiour,
into those parts, where the Sun appeareth at his first rising. And
I had received charge by expresse command, that I should seeke for
(so much as consisted in my power to do) the especiall vertues and
priviledges belonging to Porcellane, which although the boyling
thereof bee worth but little, yet it is very profitable to any but
us. In regard whereof, being upon my journey, and departing from
_Venice_, passing along the _Borgo de Grecia_, I proceeded thence (on
horseback) through the Realme of _Garbo_, so to _Baldacca_, till I came
to _Parione_; from whence, not without great extremity of thirst, I
arrived in _Sardignia_.

But why do I trouble you with the repetition of so many countries?
I coasted on still, after I had past Saint _Georges Arme_, into
_Trussia_, and then into _Bussia_, which are Countries much inhabited,
and with great people. From thence I went into the _Land of Lying_,
where I found store of the Brethren of our Religion, and many other
beside, who shunned all paine and labour, onely for the love of God,
and cared as little, for the paines and travailes which others tooke,
except some benefit arised thereby to them; nor spend they any money
in this Country, but such as is without stampe. Thence I went into the
Land of _Abruzzi_, where the men and women goe in Galoches over the
Mountaines, and make them garments of their Swines guts. Not farre from
thence, I found people, that carried bread in their staves, and wine
in Satchels, when parting from them, I arrived among the Mountaines of
_Bacchus_, where all the waters run downe with a deepe fall, and in
short time, I went on so far, that I found my selfe to be in _India
Pastinaca_; where I swear to you by the holy habit which I weare on my
body, that I saw Serpents flye, things incredible, and such as were
never seene before.

But because I would be loth to lye, so soone as I departed thence, I
met with _Maso de Saggio_, who was a great Merchant there, and whom I
found cracking Nuts, and selling Cockles by retale. Neverthelesse, al
this while I could not finde what I sought for, and therefore I was
to passe from hence by water, if I intended to travaile thither, and
so in returning back, I came into the _Holy Land_, where coole fresh
bread is sold for fourepence, and the hot is given away for nothing.
There I found the venerable Father (blame me not I beseech you) the
most woorthie Patriarch of _Jerusalem_, who for the reverence due to
the habite I weare, and love to our Lord Baron Saint _Anthony_, would
have me to see al the holy Reliques, which he had there under his
charge: whereof there were so many, as if I should recount them all to
you, I never could come to a conclusion. But yet, not to leave you
discomforted, I will relate some few of them to you.

First of all, he shewed me the finger of the holy Ghost, so whole and
perfect, as ever it was. Next, the nose of the Cherubin, which appeared
to Saint _Frances_; with the payring of the naile of a Seraphin; and
one of the ribbes of _Verbum caro_, fastened to one of the Windowes,
covered with the holy garments of the Catholique Faith. Then he tooke
me into a darke Chappel, where he shewed me divers beames of the
Starre that appeared to the three Kings in the East. Also a Violl of
Saint _Michaels_ sweate, when he combatted with the divell: And the
jaw-bone of dead _Lazarus_, with many other precious things beside.
And because I was liberall to him, giving him two of the Plaines of
_Monte Morello_, in the Vulgare Edition, and some of the Chapters _del
Caprezio_, which he had long laboured in search of; he bestowed on me
some of his Reliques.

First, he gave me one of the eye-teeth of _Santa Crux_; and a little
Violl, filled with some part of the sound of those Belles, which hung
in the sumptuous Temple of _Salomon_. Next, he gave mee the Feather
of the Phoenix, which was with _Noah_ in the Arke, as before I told
you. And one of the Woodden Pattens, which the good Saint _Gerrard de
Magnavilla_ used to weare in his travailes, and which I gave (not long
since) to _Gerrardo di Bousy_ at _Florence_, where it is respected with
much devotion. Moreover, he gave me a few of those Coales, wherewith the
Phoenix of _Noah_ was roasted; all which things I brought away thence
with me. Now, most true it is, that my Superiour would never suffer mee
to shew them any where, untill he was faithfully certified, whether
they were the same precious Reliques, or no. But perceyving by sundrie
Myracles which they have wrought, and Letters of sufficient credence
receyved from the reverend Patriarch, that all is true, he hath
graunted me permission to shew them, and because I wold not trust any
one with matters of such moment, I my selfe brought them hither with me.

Now I must tell you, that the Feather of the same Phoenix, I conveyed
into a small Cabinet or Casket, because it should not be bent or
broken. And the Coales wherewith the said Phoenix was roasted, I put
into another Casket, in all respects so like to the former, that many
times I have taken one for another. As now at this instant it hath bin
my fortune: for, imagining that I brought the Casket with the feather,
I mistooke my self, & brought the other with the coales. Wherein
doubtles I have not offended, because I am certaine, that we of our
Order do not any thing, but it is ordred by divine direction, and our
blessed Patron the Lorde Baron Saint _Anthony_. And so much the rather,
because about a senight hence, the Feast of Saint _Anthony_ is to bee
solemnized, against the preparation whereof, and to kindle your zeale
with the greater fervencie: he put the Casket with the Coales into
my hand, meaning, to let you see the Feather, at some more fitting
season. And therefore my blessed Sonnes and Daughters, put off your
Bonnets, and come hither with devotion to looke upon them. But first
let me tell you, whosoever is marked by any of these Coales, with the
signe of the Crosse: he or she shall live all this yeare happily, and no
fire whatsoever shall come neere to touch or hurt them. So, singing a
solemne Antheme in the praise of S. _Anthony_, he unveyled the Casket,
and shewed the Coales openly.

The simple multitude, having (with great admiration and reverence)
a long while beheld them, they thronged in crouds to Fryar _Onyon_,
giving him farre greater offerings, then before they had, and
entreating him to marke them each after other. Whereupon, he taking
the coales in his hand, began to marke their garments of white, and
the veyles on the Womens heads, with Crosses of no meane extendure:
affirming to them, that the more the Coales wasted with making those
great crosses, the more they still encreased in the Casket, as often
before hee had made triall.

In this manner, having crossed all the _Certaldanes_ (to his great
benefit) and their abuse: he smiled at his sodaine and dexterious
devise, in mockery of them, who thought to have made a scorne of him,
by dispossessing him of the Feather. For _Bragoniero_ and _Pizzino_,
being present at his Learned predication, and having heard what
a cunning shift he found, to come off cleanly, without the least
detection, and all delivered with such admirable protestations: they
were faine to forsake the Church, least they should have burst with

But when all the people were parted and gone, they met Friar _Onyon_
at his Inne, where closely they discovered to him, what they had done,
delivering him his Feather againe: which the yeare following, did yeeld
him as much money, as now the Coales had done.

       *       *       *       *       *

This Novell affoorded equall pleasing to the whole companie, Friar
_Onyons_ Sermon being much commended, but especially his long
Pilgrimage, and the Reliques he had both seene, and brought home
with him. Afterward, the Queene perceiving, that her reigne had now
the full expiration, graciously she arose, and taking the Crowne
from off her owne head, placed on the head of _Dioneus_, saying. It
is high time _Dioneus_, that you should taste part of the charge &
paine, which poore women have felt and undergone in their soveraigntie
and government: wherefore, be you our King, and rule us with such
awefull authority, that the ending of your dominion may yeelde us all
contentment. _Dioneus_ being thus invested with the Crowne, returned
this answer.

I make no doubt (bright Beauties) but you many times have seene as
good, or a better King among the Chesse-men, then I am. But yet of a
certainty, if you would be obedient to me, as you ought in dutie unto
a true King: I should grant you a liberall freedome of that, wherein
you take the most delight, and without which, our choisest desires can
never be compleate. Neverthelesse, I meane, that my government shall be
according to mine owne minde. So, causing the Master of the Houshold to
be called for, as all the rest were wont to do for conference with him:
he gave him direction, for al things fitting the time of his Regiment,
and then turning to the Ladies, thus he proceeded.

Honest Ladies, we have alreadie discoursed of variable devises, and
so many severall manners of humane industry, concerning the busines
wherewith _Licisca_ came to acquaint us: that her very words, have
ministred me matter, sufficient for our morrowes conference, or else I
stand in doubt, that I could not have devised a more convenient Theame
for us to talke on. She (as you have all heard) saide, that shee had
not anie neighbour, who came a true Virgin to her Husband, and added
moreover, that she knew some others, who had beguiled their Husbandes,
in very cunning and crafty manner. But setting aside the first part,
concerning the proofe of children, I conceive the second to bee more
apte for our intended argument. In which respect, my will is (seeing
_Licisca_ hath given us so good an occasion) that our discoursing to
morrow,** may onely concerne such slye cunning and deceits, as women have
heeretofore used, for satisfying their owne appetites, and beguiling
their Husbands, without their knowledge, or suspition, and cleanly
escaping with them, or no.

This argument seemed not very pleasing to the Ladies, and therefore
they urged an alteration thereof, to some matter better suting with the
day, and their discoursing: whereto thus he answered. Ladies, I know as
well as your selves, why you would have this instant argument altered:
but, to change me from it you have no power, considering the season
is such, as shielding all (both men and women) from medling with any
dishonest action; it is lawfull for us to speake of what wee please.
And know you not, that through the sad occasion of the time, which now
over-ruleth us, the Judges have forsaken their venerable benches, the
Lawes (both divine and humane) ceasing, granting ample license to every
one, to do what best agreeth with the conservation of life? Therefore,
if your honesties doe straine themselves a little, both in thinking
and speaking, not for prosecution of any immodest deede, but onely for
familiar and blamelesse entercourse: I cannot devise a more convenient
ground, at least that carrieth apparant reason, for reproofe of perils,
to ensue by any of you. Moreover, your company, which hath bin most
honest, since the first day of our meeting, to this instant: appeareth
not any jot to be disgraced, by any thing either said or done, neither
shall be (I hope) in the meanest degree.

And what is he, knowing your choise and vertuous dispositions, so
powerfull in their owne prevailing, that wanton words cannot misguide
your wayes, no nor the terror of death it selfe, that dare insinuate a
distempred thought? But admit, that some slight or shallow judgements,
hearing you (perhaps sometimes) talke of such amorous follies, should
therefore suspitiously imagine you to be faulty, or else you would bee
more sparing of speech? Their wit and censure are both alike, favouring
rather of their owne vile nature, who would brand others with their
basebred imperfections. Yet there is another consideration beside, of
some great injury offered to mine honor, and whereof I know not how you
can acquit your selves.

I that have bin obedient to you all, and borne the heavy load of your
businesse, having now (with full consent) created mee your King, you
would wrest the law out of my hands, and dispose of my authoritie as
you please. Forbeare (gentle Ladies) all frivolous suspitions, more fit
for them that are full of bad thoughts, then you, who have true Vertue
shining in your eyes; and therefore, let every one freely speake their
minde, according as their humours best pleaseth them.

When the Ladies heard this, they made answer, that all should bee
answerable to his minde. Whereupon, the King gave them all leave
to dispose of themselves till supper time. And because the Sun
was yet very high, in regard all the re counted Novels had bin so
short: _Dioneus_ went to play at the Tables with another of the yong
Gentlemen, & Madame _Eliza_, having withdrawne the Ladies aside, thus
spake unto them. During the time of our being heere, I have often bene
desirous to let you see a place somwhat neere at hand, and which I
suppose you have never seene, it being called _The Valley of Ladies_.
Till now, I could not finde any convenient time to bring you thither,
the Sunne continuing still aloft, which fitteth you with the apter
leysure, and the sight (I am sure) can no way discontent you.

The Ladies replyed, that they were all ready to walk with her thither:
and calling one of their women to attend on them, they set on, without
speaking a word to any of the men. And within the distance of halfe
a mile, they arrived at the _Valley of Ladies_, whereinto they entred
by a strait passage at the one side, from whence there issued forth a
cleare running River. And they found the saide Valley to bee so goodly
and pleasant, especially in that season, which was the hottest of all
the yeare; as all the world was no where able to yeeld the like. And,
as one of the said Ladies (since then) related to mee, there was a
plaine in the Valley so directly round, as if it had beene formed by a
compasse, yet rather it resembled the Workmanship of Nature, then to be
made by the hand of man: containing in circuite somewhat more then the
quarter of a mile, environed with sixe small hils, of no great height,
and on each of them stood a little Palace, shaped in the fashion of

The ground-plots descending from those hils or mountaines, grew lesse
and lesse by variable degrees, as wee observe at entering into our
Theaters, from the highest part to the lowest, succinctly to narrow
the circle by order. Now, concerning these ground-plottes or little
Meadowes, those which the Sun Southward looked on, were full of Vines,
Olive-trees, Almond-trees, Cherry-trees, and Figge-trees, with divers
other Trees beside, so plentifully bearing fruites, as you could not
discerne a hands bredth of losse. The other Mountaines, whereon the
Northerne windes blow, were curiously covered with small Thickets or
Woods of Oakes, Ashes, and other Trees so greene and straite, as it was
impossible to behold fairer. The goodly plaine it selfe, not having any
other entrance, but where the Ladies came in, was planted with Trees of
Firre, Cipresse, Laurell, and Pines; so singularly growing in formall
order, as if some artificiall or cunning hand had planted them, the Sun
hardly piercing through their branches, from the top to the bottome,
even at his highest, or any part of his course.

All the whole field was richly spred with grasse, and such variety of
delicate Flowers, as Nature yeilded out of her plenteous Store-house.
But that which gave no lesse delight then any of the rest, was a small
running Brooke, descending from one of the Vallies, that divided two
of the little hils, and fell through a Veine of the intire Rocke it
selfe, that the fall and murmure thereof was most delightfull to heare,
seeming all the way in the descent, like Quicke-silver, weaving it
selfe into artificiall workes, and arriving in the plaine beneath, it
was there receyved into a small Channell, swiftly running through the
midst of the plaine, to a place where it stayed, and shaped it selfe
into a Lake or Pond, such as our Citizens have in their Orchards or
Gardens, when they please to make use of such a commodity.

This Pond was no deeper, then to reach the breast of a man, and having
no mud or soyle in it, the bottome thereof shewed like small beaten
gravell, with prety pibble stones intermixed, which some that had
nothing else to do, would sit downe and count them as they lay, as
very easily they might. And not onely was the bottome thus apparantly
seene, but also such plenty of Fishes swimming every way, as the mind
was never to be wearied in looking on them. Nor was this water bounded
in with any bankes, but onely the sides of the plain Medow, which
made it appeare the more sightly, as it arose in swelling plenty. And
alwayes as it super-abounded in his course, least it should overflow
disorderly: it fell into another Channell, which conveying it along the
lower Valley, ran forth to water other needfull places.

When the Ladies were arrived in this goodly valley, and upon advised
viewing it, had sufficiently commended it: in regard the heat of the
day was great, the place tempting, and the Pond free from sight of
any, they resolved there to bathe themselves. Wherefore they sent
the waiting Gentlewoman to have a diligent eye on the way where they
entered, least any one should chance to steale upon them. All seven
of them being stript naked, into the water they went, which hid their
delicate white bodies, like as a cleare Glasse concealeth a Damask
Rose within it. So they being in the Pond, and the water nothing
troubled by their being there, they found much prety pastime together,
running after the Fishes, to catch them with their hands, but they were
over-quicke and cunning for them. After they had delighted themselves
there to their owne contentment, and were cloathed with their garments,
as before: thinking it fit time for their returning backe againe, least
their over-long stay might give offence, they departed thence in an
easie pace, dooing nothing else all the way as they went, but extolling
the _Valley of Ladies_ beyond all comparison.

At the Palace they arrived in a due houre, finding the three Gentlemen
at play, as they left them, to whom Madame _Pampinea_ pleasantly thus
spake. Now trust me Gallants, this day wee have very cunningly beguiled
you. How now? answered _Dioneus_, begin you first to act, before you
speake? Yes truly Sir, replyed Madame _Pampinea_: Relating to him at
large, from whence they came, what they had done there, the beautie
of the place, and the distance thence. The King (upon hir excellent
report) being very desirous to see it; sodainely commaunded Supper
to be served in, which was no sooner ended, but they and their three
servants (leaving the Ladies) walked on to the _Valley_, which when
they had considered, no one of them having ever bin there before; they
thought it to be the Paradise of the World.

They bathed themselves there likewise, as the Ladies formerlie had
done, and being re-vested, returned backe to their Lodgings, because
darke night drew on apace: but they found the Ladies dauncing, to a
Song which Madame _Fiammetta_ sung. When the dance was ended, they
entertained the time with no other discourse, but onely concerning the
_Valley of Ladies_, whereof they all spake liberally in commendations.
Whereupon, the King called the Master of the Houshold, giving him
command, that (on the morrow) dinner should be readie betimes, and
bedding to be thence carried, if any desired rest at mid-time of the

All this being done, variety of pleasing Wines were brought,
Banquetting stuffe, and other dainties; after which they fell to
Dauncing. And _Pamphilus_, having receyved command, to begin an
especial dance, the King turned himselfe unto Madame _Eliza_, speaking
thus. Faire Lady, you have done me so much honour this day, as to
deliver mee the Crowne: in regard whereof, be you this night the
Mistresse of the song: and let it be such as best may please your
selfe. Whereunto Madam _Eliza_, with a modest blush arising in her
face, replyed; That his will should be fulfilled, and then (with a
delicate voyce) she beganne in this manner.

    _The Song._

    The CHORUS sung by all.

    _Love, if I can scape free from forth thy holde,
                Beleeve it for a truth,
    Never more shall thy falshoode me enfolde._

    _When I was yong, I entred first thy fights,
    Supposing there to finde a solemne peace:
    I threw off all my Armes, and with delights
    Fed my poore hopes, as still they did encrease.
    But like a Tyrant, full of rancorous hate
             Thou tookst advantage:
    And I sought refuge, but it was too late.
      Love, if I can scape free, &c._

    _But being thus surprized in thy snares,
    To my misfortune, thou madst me her slave;
    Was onely borne to feede me with despaires,
    And keepe me dying in a living grave.
    For I saw nothing dayly fore mine eyes,
            But rackes and tortures:
    From which I could not get in any wise.
      Love, if I can scape free, &c._

    _My sighes and teares I vented to the winde,
    For none would heare or pittie my complaints;
    My torments still encreased in this kinde,
    And more and more I felt these sharpe restraints.
    Release me now at last from forth this hell.
            Asswage thy rigour,
    Delight not thus in cruelty to dwell,
      Love, if I can scape free, &c._

    _If this thou wilt not grant, be yet so kinde,
    Release me from these worse then servile bands,
    Which new vaine hopes have bred, wherein I finde;
    Such violent feares, as comfort quite withstands.
    Be now (at length) a little moov'd to pittie,
            Be it nere so little:
    Or in my death listen my Swan-like Dittie._

    _Love, if I can scape free from forth thy holde,
               Beleeve it for a truth,
    Never more shall thy falshood me enfolde._

After that Madame _Eliza_ had made an end of her Song, which shee
sealed up with an heart-breaking sigh: they all sate amazedly wondering
at her moanes, not one among them being able to conjecture, what should
be the reason of her singing in this manner. But the King being in a
good and pleasing temper, calling _Tindaro_, commaunded him to bring
his Bagge-pipe, by the sound whereof they danced divers daunces: And a
great part of the night being spent in this manner, they all gave over,
and departed to their Chambers.

_The End of the Sixth Day._

The Seventh Day.

_When the Assembly being met together, and under the Regiment of_
Dioneus: _the Discourses are directed, for the discoverie of such
policies and deceites, as women have used for beguiling of their
Husbandes, either in respect of their love, or for the prevention of
some blame or scandal, escaping without sight, knowledge or otherwise._

The Induction to the Dayes Discourses.

All the Starres were departed out of the East, but onely that, which
we commonly cal bright _Lucifer_, or the Day-Star, gracing the morning
very gloriously: when the Master of the household, being risen, went
with all the provision, to the _Valley of Ladies_, to make everie
thing in due and decent readines, according as his Lord over-night had
commanded him. After which departure of his, it was not long before the
King arose, beeing awaked with the noise which the carriages made; and
when he was up, the other two Gentlemen and the Ladies were quickly
readie soone after. On they set towards the _Valley_, even as the
Sunne was rising: and all the way as they went, never before had they
heard so many sweete Nightingales, and other pretty Birds melodiously
singing, as they did this morning, which keeping them company
thoroughout the journey, they arrived at the _Valley of Ladies_, where
it seemed to them, that infinit Quires of delicate Nightingales, and
other Birds, had purposely made a meeting, even as it were to give them
a glad welcome thither.

Divers times they walked about the _Valley_, never satisfied with
viewing it from one end to the other; because it appeared farre
more pleasing unto them, then it had done the precedent day: and
because the dayes splendour was much more conforme to the beauty
thereof. After they had broken their fast, with excellent Wines and
Banquetting stuffe, they began to tune their instruments and sing;
because (therein) the sweet Birds should not excell them, the _Valley_
(with delicate Echoes) answering all their notes. When dinner time
drew neere, the Tables were covered under the spreading trees, and
by the goodly Ponds side, where they sate downe orderly by the Kings
direction: and all dinner while, they saw the Fishes swimme by huge
shoales in the Pond, which sometimes gave them occasion to talke, as
well as gaze on them.

When dinner was ended, and the Tables withdrawne, in as jocond manner
as before, they renewed againe their hermonious singing. In divers
places of this pleasant _Valley_, were goodly field-Beds readily
furnished, according as the Master of the Houshold gave enstruction,
enclosed with Pavillions of costly stuffes, such as are sometimes
brought out of _France_. Such as were so disposed, were licensed by the
King to take their rest: and they that would not, he permitted them to
their wonted pastimes, each according to their minds. But when they
were risen from sleepe, and the rest from their other exercises, it
seemed to be more then high time, that they should prepare for talke
and conference. So, sitting downe on Turky Carpets, which were spred
abroad on the green grasse, and close by the place where they had
dined: the King gave command, that Madam _Æmillia_ should first begin,
whereto she willingly yeelding obedience, and expecting such silent
attention, as formerly had bin observed, thus she began.

John _of_ Lorraine _heard one knocke at his doore in the night time,
whereuppon he awaked his Wife_ Monna Tessa. _She made him beleeve, that
it was a Spirit which knocked at the doore, and so they arose, going
both together to conjure the Spirit with a prayer; and afterwardes,
they heard no more knocking._

The First Novell.

_Reprehending the simplicity of some sottish Husbands: And discovering
the wanton subtilties of some women, to compasse their unlawfull

My Gracious Lord (quoth Madame _Æmillia_) it had bene a matter highly
pleasing to mee, that any other (rather than my selfe) should have
begun to speake of this argument, which it hath pleased you to apoint.
But seeing it is your Highnesse pleasure, that I must make a passage of
assurance for all the rest; I will not be irregular, because obedience
is our cheefe Article. I shall therefore (Gracious Ladies) strive,
to speake something, which may bee advantageable to you heereafter,
in regard, that if other women bee as fearfull as we, especially of
Spirits, of which all our sexe have generally bin timorous (although,
upon my credite, I know not what they are, nor ever could meete with
any, to tell me what they be) you may by the diligent observation of
my Novell: learne a wholesome and holy prayer, very availeable, and of
precious power, to conjure and drive them away, whensoever they shall
presume to assault you in any place.

There dwelt sometime in _Florence_, and in the street of Saint
_Brancazio_, a woollen Weaver, named _John_ of _Lorrayne_; a man
more happy in his Art, then wise in any thing else beside: because,
favouring somewhat of the _Gregorie_, and (in very deede) little lesse
then an Ideot; Hee was many times made Captain of the Woollen-Weavers,
in the quarters belonging to _Santa Maria Novella_, and his house was
the Schoole or receptacle, for all their meetings and assemblies. He
had divers other petty Offices beside, by the dignity and authority
whereof, hee supposed himselfe much exalted or elevated, above the
common pitch of other men. And this humour became the more tractable
to him, because he addicted himselfe oftentimes (as being a man of an
easie inclination) to be a benefactor to the holy Fathers of _Santa
Maria Novella_, giving (beside his other charitable Almes) to someone
a paire of Breeches, to another a Hood, and to another a whole habit.
In reward whereof, they taught him (by heart) many wholesome prayers, as
the _Pater noster_ in the vulgar tongue; the Song of Saint _Alexis_;
the Lamentations of Saint _Bernard_, the Hymne of Madame _Matilda_,
and many other such like matters, which he kept charily, and repeated
usually, as tending to the salvation of his soule.

This man, had a very faire and lovely wife, named _Monna Tessa_, the
daughter of _Manuccio della Cuculia_, wise and well advised; who
knowing the simplicity of her Husband, and affecting _Frederigo di
Neri Pegolotti_, who was a comely yong Gentleman, fresh, and in the
floure of his time, even as she was, therefore they agreed the better
together. By meanes of her Chamber-maid, _Frederigo_ and shee met often
together, at a Countrie Farme of _John_ of _Lorraynes_, which hee had
neere to _Florence_, and where she used to lodge all the Summer time,
called _Camerata_, whether _John_ resorted somtimes to Supper, and
lodge for a night, returning home againe to his City house the next
morning; yet often he would stay there longer with his owne companions.

_Frederigo_, who was no meane man in his Mistresses favor, and
therefore these private meetings the more welcome to him; received a
summons or assignation from her, to be there on such a night, when hir
husband had no intent of comming thither. There they supped merrily
together, and (no doubt) did other things, nothing appertaining to
our purpose, she both acquainting, and well instructing him, in a
dozen (at the least) of her Husbands devout prayers. Nor did shee
make any account, or _Frederigo_ either, that this should be the last
time of their meeting, because (indeede) it was not the first: and
therefore they set down an order and conclusion together (because the
Chambermaide must be no longer the messenger) in such manner as you
shall heare.

_Frederigo_ was to observe especially, that alwayes when hee went
or came from his owne house, which stood much higher then _John_ of
_Lorraynes_ did, to looke upon a Vine, closely adjoyning to her house,
where stood the scull of an Asses head, advanced upon an high pole; &
when the face thereof looked towards _Florence_, he might safely come,
it being an assured signe, that _John_ kept at home. And if he found
the doore fast shut, he should softly knocke three severall times, and
thereon bee admitted entrance. But if the face stood towards _Fiesola_;
then he might not come, for it was the signe of _Johns_ being there,
and then there might be no medling at all.

Having thus agreed upon this conclusion, and had many merry meetings
together: one night above the rest, where _Frederigo_ was appointed to
suppe with _Monna Tessa_, who had made ready two fat Capons, drest in
most dainty and delicate manner: it fell out so unfortunately, that
_John_ (whose Kue was not to come that night) came thither
very late, yet before _Frederigo_, wherewith she being not a little
offended, gave _John_ a slight supper, of Lard, Bacon, and such like
coarse provision, because the other was kept for a better guest. In
the meane time, and while _John_ was at supper, the Maide (by her
Mistresses direction) had conveighed the two Capons, with boyled Egges,
Bread and a Bottle of Wine (all folded up in a faire cleane table
cloth) into her Garden, that had a passage to it, without entering into
the house, and where shee had divers times supt with _Frederigo_. She
further willed the Maide, to set all those things under a Peach-tree,
which adjoyned to the fields side: but, so angry she was at her
husbands unexpected comming, that shee forgot to bid her tarrie there,
till _Frederigoes_ comming; and to tell him of _Johns_ being there: as
also, to take what he found prepared readie for his Supper.

_John_ and she being gone to bed together, and the Maide likewise, it
was not long after, before _Frederigo_ came, and knocking once softly
at the doore, which was very neere to their lodging Chamber, _John_
heard the noise, and so did his wife. But to the end, that _John_
might not have the least scruple of suspition, she seemed to be fast
asleepe; and _Frederigo_ pausing a while, according to the order
directed, knockt againe the second time. _John_ wondering thereat very
much, jogd his wife a little, and saide to her: _Tessa_, hearest thou
nothing? Me thinkes one knocketh at our doore. _Monna Tessa_, who was
better acquainted with the knocke, then plaine honest meaning _John_
was, dissembling as if shee awaked out of a drowsie dreame, saide:
Alas Husband, dost thou know what this is? In the name of our blessed
Ladie, be not affraid, this is but the Spirit which haunts our Countrey
houses, whereof I have often told thee, and it hath many times much
dismayed me, living heere alone without thy comfort. Nay, such hath bin
my feare, that in divers nights past, so soone as I heard the knockes:
I was feigne to hide my selfe in the bedde over-head and eares (as we
usually say) never daring to be so bold, as to looke out, untill it
was broad open day. Arise good wife (quoth _John_) and if it be such
a Spirit of the Countrey, as thou talkest of, never be affraid; for
before we went to bed, I said the _Telucis_, the _Intemerata_, with
many other good prayers beside. Moreover, I made the signe of the
Crosse at every corner of our bed, in the name of the Father, Son, and
holy Ghost, so that no doubt at all needs to be made, of any power it
can have to hurt or touch us.

_Monna Tessa_, because (perhaps) _Frederigo_ might receive some other
suspition, and so enter into distaste of her by anger or offence:
determined to arise indeede, and to let him covertly understand, that
_John_ was there, and therefore saide to her husband. Beleeve me
_John_, thy counsell is good, and every one of thy words hath wisedome
in it: but I hold it best for our owne safety, thou being heere; that
wee should conjure him quite away, to the end he may never more haunt
our house. Conjure him Wife? Quoth _John_, By what meanes? and how?
Bee patient good man (quoth _Tessa_) and I will enstruct thee. I have
learned an excellent kinde of conjuration; for, the last weeke, when
I went to procure the pardons at _Fiesola_, one of the holy recluse
Nuns, who (indeede _John_) is my indeered Sister and Friend, and the
most sanctimonius in life of them all; perceiving me to be troubled
and terrified by Spirits; taught me a wholesome and holy prayer, and
protested withall, that shee had often made experiment thereof, before
she became a Recluse, & found it (alwayes) a present helpe to her.
Yet never durst I adventure to essay it, living heere by my selfe all
alone: but honest _John_, seeing thou art heere with me, we will go
both together, and conjure this Spirit. _John_ replyed, that he was
very willing; and being both up, they went fayre and softly to the
doore, where _Frederigo_ stoode still without, and was growne somewhat
suspitious of his long attendance.

When they were come to the doore, _Monna Tessa_ said to _John_: Thou
must cough and spet, at such time as I shall bid thee. Well (quoth
_John_) I will not faile you. Immediately she beganne her prayer in
this manner.

    _Spirit, that walkst thus in the night,
    Poore Countrey people to affright:
    Thou hast mistane thy marke and ayme,
    The head stood right, but_ John _home came,
    And therefore thou must packe away,
    For I have nothing else to say:
    But to my Garden get the gone,
    Under the Peach-tree stands alone,
    There shalt thou finde two Capons drest,
    And Egges laide in mine owne Hennes nest,
    Bread, and a Bottle of good wine,
    All wrapt up in a cloath most fine.
    Is not this good Goblins fare?
    Packe and say you have your share;
    Not doing harme to_ John _or me,
    Who this night keepes me companie._

No sooner had she ended her devoute conjuring prayer, but she saide
to her husband: Now _John_, cough and spet: which _John_ accordingly
did. And _Frederigo_, being all this while without, hearing her witty
conjuration of a Spirit, which he himselfe was supposed to be, being
ridde of his former jealous suspition: in the middst of all his
melancholy, could very hardly refraine from laughing, the jest appeared
so pleasing to him: But when _John_ cought and spet, softly he said to
himselfe: When next thou spetst, spet out all thy teeth.

The woman having three severall times conjured the Spirite, in such
manner you have already heard; returned to bed againe with her
husband: and _Frederigo_, who came as perswaded to sup with her, being
supperlesse all this while; directed by the words of _Monna Tessa_ in
hir praier, went into the Garden. At the foot of the Peach-tree, there
he found the linnen cloth, with the two hot Capons, Bread, Egges, and a
Bottle of Wine in it, all which he carried away with him, and went to
Supper at better leysure. Oftentimes afterward, upon other meetings of
_Frederigo_ and she together, they laughed heartily at her enchantment,
and the honest beleefe of silly _John_.

I cannot deny, but that some do affirme, that the Woman had turned
the face of the Asses head towards _Fiesola_, and a Country Travailer
passing by the Vine, having a long piked staffe on his necke; the
staffe, (by chance) touched the head, and made it turne divers
times about, & in the end faced _Florence_, which being the cal for
_Frederigoes_ comming, by this meanes he was disappointed. In like
manner some say, that _Monna Tessaes_ prayer for conjuring the Spirit,
was in this order.

    _Spirit, Spirit, go thy way,
    And come againe some other day,
    It was not I that turnd the head,
    But some other. In our Bed
    Are John and I: Go from our dore,
    And see thou trouble us no more._

So that _Frederigo_ departed thence, both with the losse of his labour
& supper. But a neighbour of mine, who is a woman of good yeares, told
me, that both the one and other were true, as she her selfe heard, when
she was a little Girle. And concerning the latter accident, it was
not to _John_ of _Lorrayne_, but to another, named _John de Nello_,
that dwelt at S. _Peters_ Gate, and of the same profession as _John_
of _Lorrayne_ was. Wherefore (faire Ladies) it remaineth in your owne
choice, to entertain which of the two prayers you please, or both
together if you will: for they are of extraordinary vertue in such
strange occurrences, as you have heeretofore heard, and (upon doubt)
may prove by experience. It shall not therefore be amisse for you, to
learne them both by hart, for (peradventure) they may stand you in good
sted, if ever you chance to have the like occasion.

Peronella _hid a yong man her friend and Lover, under a great brewing
Fat, upon the sodaine returning home of her Husband; who told her, that
hee had solde the saide Fat, and brought him that bought it, to carry
it away._ Peronella _replyed, that shee had formerly solde it unto
another, who was nowe underneath it, to see whether it were whole and
sound, or no. Whereupon, he being come forth from under it; she caused
her Husband to make it neate and cleane, and so the last buyer carried
it away._

The Second Novell.

_Wherein is declared, what hard and narrow shifts and distresses, such
as bee seriously linked in Love, are many times enforced to undergo:
According as their owne wit, and capacitie of their surprizers, drive
them to in extremities._

Not without much laughter and good liking, was the Tale of Madame
_Æmillia_ listened unto, and both the prayers commended to be sound and
soveraigne: but it being ended, the King commaunded _Philostratus_,
that hee should follow next in order, whereupon thus he began.

Deare Ladies, the deceites used by men towards your sexe, but
especially Husbands, have bene so great and many, as when it hath
sometime happened, or yet may, that husbands are requited in the
self-same kinde: you need not finde fault at any such accident, either
by knowledge thereof afterward, or hearing the same reported by any
one; but rather you should referre it to generall publication, to
the end, that immodest men may know, and finde it for trueth, that
if they have apprehension and capacity; women are therein not a jote
inferiour to them. Which cannot but redound to your great benefite,
because, when any one knoweth, that another is as cunning and subtile
as himselfe; he will not be so rashly adventurous in deceite. And who
maketh any doubt, that if those sleights and trickes, whereof this
dayes argument may give us occasion to speake, should afterwardes
be put in execution by men: would it not minister just reason, of
punishing themselves for beguiling you, knowing, that (if you please)
you have the like abilitie in your owne power? Mine intent therefore
is to tell you, what a woman (though but of meane quality) did to her
husband, upon a sodaine, and in a moment (as it were) for her owne

Not long since, there lived in _Naples_, an honest meane man, who did
take to Wife, a fayre and lustie young Woman, being named _Peronella_.
He professing the Trade of a Mason, and shee Carding and Spinning,
maintained themselves in a reasonable condition, abating and abounding
as their Fortunes served. It came to passe, that a certayne young
man, well observing the beauty and good parts of _Peronella_, became
much addicted in affection towardes her: and by his often and secret
sollicitations, which he found not to be unkindly entertayned; his
successe proved answerable to his hope, no unindifferencie appearing in
their purposes, but where her estate seemed weakest, his supplies made
an addition of more strength.

Now, for their securer meeting, to stand cleare from all matter of
scandal or detection, they concluded in this order between themselves.
_Lazaro_, for so was _Peronellaes_ Husband named, being an earely
riser every morning, either to seeke for worke, or to effect it being
undertaken: this amorous friend being therewith acquainted, and
standing in some such convenient place, where hee could see _Lazaroes_
departure from his house, and yet himselfe no way discerned; poore
_Lazaro_ was no sooner gone, but presently he enters the house, which
stood in a verie solitarie street, called the _Avorio_. Many mornings
had they thus met together, to their no meane delight and contentation,
till one especiall morning among the rest, when _Lazaro_ was gone
forth to worke, and _Striguario_ (so was the amorous young man named)
visiting _Peronella_ in the house: upon a very urgent occasion,
_Lazaro_ returned backe againe, quite contrary to his former wont,
keeping foorth all day, and never comming home till night.

Finding his doore to be fast lockt, and he having knockt softlie once
or twice, he spake in this manner to himselfe. Fortune I thanke thee,
for albeit thou hast made mee poore, yet thou hast bestowed a better
blessing on me, in matching me with so good, honest, & loving a Wife.
Behold, though I went early out of my house, her selfe hath risen in
the cold to shut the doore, to prevent the entrance of theeves, or
any other that might offend us. _Peronella_ having heard what her
husband sayde, and knowing the manner of his knocke, said fearfully to
_Striguario_. Alas deare friend, what shall wee doe? I am little lesse
then a dead Woman: For, _Lazaro_ my Husband is come backe again, and
I know not what to do or say. He never returned in this order before
now, doubtlesse, hee saw when you entred the doore; and for the safety
of your honour and mine: creepe under this brewing Fat, till I have
opened the doore, to know the reason of his so soone returning.

_Striguario_ made no delaying of the matter, but got himselfe closelie
under the Fat, and Peronella opening the doore for her husbands
enterance, with a frowning countenance, spake thus unto him. What
meaneth this so early returning home againe this morning? It seemeth,
thou intendest to do nothing to day, having brought backe thy tooles in
thy hands. If such be thine intent, how shall we live? Where shall we
have bread to fill our bellies? Dooest thou thinke, that I will suffer
thee to pawne my gowne, and other poore garments, as heeretofore thou
hast done? I that card and spinne both night and day, till I have worne
the flesh from my fingers; yet all will hardly finde oyle to maintaine
our Lampe. Husband, husband, there is not one neighbour dwelling by us,
but makes a mockerie of me, and tels me plainly, that I may be ashamed
to drudge and moyle as I do; wondering not a little, how I am able to
endure it; and thou returnest home with thy hands in thy hose, as if
thou hadst no worke at all to do this day.

Having thus spoken, she fell to weeping, and then thus began again.
Poore wretched woman as I am, in an unfortunate houre was I borne, and
in a much worse, when I was made thy Wife. I could have had a proper,
handsome yong man; one, that would have maintained mee brave and
gallantly: but, beast as I was, to forgoe my good, and cast my selfe
away on such a beggar as thou art, and whom none wold have had, but
such an Asse as I. Other women live at hearts ease, and in jollity,
have their amorous friends and loving Paramours, yea, one, two, three
at once, making their husbands looke like a Moone cressent, whereon
they shine Sun-like, with amiable lookes, because they know not how to
helpe it: when I (poore foole) live heere at home a miserable life, not
daring once to dreame of such follies, an innocent soule, heartlesse
and harmelesse.

Many times, sitting and sighing to my selfe: Lord, thinke I, of what
mettall am I made? Why should not I have a Friend in a corner, as
well as others have? I am flesh and blood, as they are, not made of
brasse or iron, and therefore subject to womens frailty. I would thou
shouldest know it husband, and I tell it thee in good earnest; That if
I would doe ill, I could quickely finde a friend at a neede. Gallants
there are good store, who (of my knowledge) love me dearely, and have
made me very large and liberall promises, of Golde, Silver, Jewels, and
gay Garments, if I would extend them the least favour. But my heart
will not suffer me, I never was the daughter of such a mother, as had
so much as a thought of such matters: no, I thanke our blessed Ladie,
and S. _Friswid_ for it: and yet thou returnest home againe, when thou
shouldst be at Worke.

_Lazaro_, who stoode all this while like a well-beleeving Logger-head,
demurely thus answered. Alas good Wife! I pray you bee not so angry, I
never had so much as an ill thought of you, but know wel enough what
you are, and have made good proofe thereof this morning. Understand
therefore patiently (sweet Wife) that I went forth to my work as
dayly I use to do, little dreaming (as I thinke you doe not) that it
had bene Holy-day. Wife, this is the Feast day of Saint _Galeone_;
whereon we may in no wise worke, and this is the reason of my so soone
returning. Neverthelesse (deare Wife) I was not carelesse of our
Houshold provision: For, though we worke not, yet we must have foode,
which I have provided for more then a moneth. Wife, I remembred the
brewing Fat, whereof wee have little or no use at all, but rather it is
a trouble to the house, then otherwise. I met with an honest Friend,
who stayeth without at the doore, to him I have sold the Fat for ten
_Gigliatoes_, and he tarrieth to take it away with him.

How Husband? replied _Peronella_, Why now I am worse offended then
before. Thou that art a man, walkest every where, and shouldst be
experienced in worldly affaires: wouldst thou bee so simple, as to
sell such a brewing Fat for ten _Gigliatoes_? Why, I that am a poore
ignorant woman, a house-Dove, sildome going out of my doore: have sold
it already for twelve _Gigliatoes_, to a very honest man, who (even a
little before thy comming home) came to me, we agreed on the bargaine,
and he is now underneath the Fat, to see whether it be sound or no.
When credulous _Lazaro_ heard this, he was better contented then ever,
and went to him that taried at the doore, saying. Good man, you may goe
your way, for, whereas you offered me but ten _Gigliatoes_ for the Fat,
my loving wife hath sold it for twelve, and I must maintaine what shee
hath done: so the man departed, and the variance ended.

_Peronella_ then saide to her husband. Seeing thou art come home so
luckily, helpe me to lift up the Fat, that the man may come foorth, and
then you two end the bargaine together. _Striguario_, who though he was
mewed up under the tubbe, had his eares open enough; and hearing the
witty excuse of _Peronella_, tooke himselfe free from future feare:
and being come from under the Fat, pretending also, as if he had herd
nothing, nor saw _Lazaro_, looking round about him, said. Where is this
good woman? _Lazaro_ stepping forth boldly like a man, replyed: Heere
am I, what wold you have Sir? Thou? quoth _Striguario_, what art thou?
I ask for the good wife, with whom I made my match for the Fat. Honest
Gentleman (answered _Lazaro_) I am that honest Womans Husband, for
lacke of a better, and I will maintaine whatsoever my Wife hath done.

I crie you mercie Sir, replyed _Striguario_, I bargained with your Wife
for this brewing Fat, which I finde to be whole and sound: only it is
uncleane within, hard crusted with some dry soile upon it, which I know
not well how to get off, if you will be the meanes of making it cleane,
I have the money heere ready for it. For that Sir (quoth _Peronella_)
take you no care, although no match at all had beene made, what serves
my Husband for, but to make it cleane? Yes forsooth Sir, answered sily
_Lazaro_, you shall have it neate and cleane before you pay the mony.

So, stripping himselfe into his shirt, lighting a Candle, and taking
tooles fit for the purpose; the Fat was whelmed over him, and he being
within it, wrought untill he sweated, with scraping and scrubbing. So
that these poore Lovers, what they could not accomplish as they wold,
necessity enforced them to performe as they might. And _Peronella_,
looking in at the vent-hole, where the Liquor runneth forth for the
meshing; seemed to instruct her husband in the businesse, as espying
those parts where the Fat was fowlest, saying: There, there _Lazaro_,
tickle it there, the Gentleman payes well for it, and is worthy to have
it: but see thou do thy selfe no harme good Husband. I warrant thee
Wife, answered _Lazaro_, hurt not your selfe with leaning your stomacke
on the Fat, and leave the cleansing of it to me. To be breefe, the
Brewing Fat was neatly cleansed, _Peronella_ and _Striguario_ both well
pleased, the money paide, and honest meaning _Lazaro_ not discontented.

_Friar_ Reynard, _falling in love with a Gentlewoman, Wife to a man
of good account; found the meanes to become her Gossip. Afterward,
he being conferring closely with her in her Chamber, and her Husband
coming sodainly thither: she made him beleeve, that he came thither for
no other end; but to cure his God-sonne by a charme, of a dangerous
disease which he had by Wormes._

The Third Novell.

_Serving as a friendly advertisement to married women, that Monks,
Friars, and Priests may be none of their Gossips, in regard of
unavoydable perilles ensuing thereby._

_Philostratus_ told not this Tale so covertly, concerning _Lazaros_
simplicity, and _Peronellaes_ witty policy; but the Ladies found a
knot in the rush, and laughed not a little, at his queint manner of
discoursing it. But upon the conclusion, the King looking upon Madam
_Eliza_, willed her to succeede next, which as willingly she granted,
and thus began. Pleasant Ladies, the charme or conjuration wherewith
Madam _Æmillia_ laid her night-walking Spirit, maketh me remember
a Novell of another enchantment; which although it carrieth not
commendation equall to the other, yet I intend to report it, because it
suteth with our present purpose, and I cannot sodainly be furnisht with
another, answerable thereto in nature.

You are to understand then, that there lived in _Siena_, a proper yong
man, of good birth and well friended, being named _Reynard_. Earnestly
he affected his neere dwelling neighbour, a beautifull Gentlewoman,
and wife to a man of good esteeme: of whom hee grew halfe perswaded,
that if he could (without suspition) compasse private conference with
her, he should reach the height of his amorous desires. Yet seeing no
likely meanes wherewith to further his hope, and shee being great with
childe, he resolved to become a Godfather to the childe, at such time
as it should be brought to Christening. And being inwardly acquainted
with her Husband, who was named _Credulano_; such familiar entercourses
passed betweene them, both of _Reynards_ kinde offer, and _Credulanoes_
as courteous acceptance, that hee was set downe for a Gossippe.

_Reynard_ being thus embraced for Madam _Agnesiaes_ Gossip, and this
proving the onely colourable meanes, for his safer permission of
speech with her, to let her now understand by word of mouth, what long
before she collected by his lookes and behaviour: it fell out no way
beneficiall to him, albeit _Agnesia_ seemed not nice or scrupulous
in hearing, yet she had a more precious care of her honor. It came
to passe, within a while after (whether by seeing his labour vainly
spent, or some other urgent occasion moving him thereto, I know not)
_Reynard_ would needs enter into Religion, and whatsoever strictnesse
or austeritie hee found to be in that kinde of life, yet he determined
to persevere therein, whether it were for his good or ill. And although
within a short space, after he was thus become a Religious Monke, hee
seemed to forget the former love which he bare to his gossip _Agnesia_,
and divers other enormous vanities beside: yet let me tell you,
successe of time tutord him in them againe; and, without any respect
to his poore holy habite, but rather in contempt thereof (as it were)
he tooke an especiall delight, in wearing garments of much richer
esteeme, yet favoured by the same Monasticall profession, appearing
(in all respects) like a Court-Minion or Favourite, of a sprightly and
Poeticall disposition, for composing Verses, Sonnets, and Canzons,
singing them to sundry excellent instruments, and yet not greatly
curious of his company, so they were some of the best, and Madame
_Agnesia_ one, his former Gossip.

But why doe I trouble my selfe, in talking thus of our so lately
converted Friar, holy Father _Reynard_, when they of longer standing,
and reputed meerely for Saints in life, are rather much more vile
then hee? Such is the wretched condition of this world, that they
shame not (fat, soggie, and nastie Abbey-lubbers) to shew how full
fedde they live in their Cloysters, with cherry cheekes, and smooth
shining lookes, gay and gaudy garments, far from the least expression
of humility, not walking in the streets like Doves: but high-crested
like Cockes, with well cramd gorges. Nay, which is worse, if you did
but see their Chambers furnished with Gally-pots of Electuaries,
precious Unguents, Apothecary Boxes, filled with various Confections,
Conserves, excellent Perfumes, and other goodly Glasses of artificiall
Oyles and Waters: beside Rundlets and small Barrels full of Greeke
Wine, _Muscatella, Lachrime Christi,_ and other such like most precious
Wines, so that (to such as see them) they seeme not to bee Chambers
of Religious men; but rather Apothecaries Shoppes, or appertaining to
Druggists, Grocers, or Perfumers.

It is no disgrace to them to be Gowty; because when other men
know it not, they alledge, that strict fasting, feeding on grosse
meates (though never so little,) continuall studying, and such like
restraints from the bodies freer exercise, maketh them subject to
many infirmities. And yet, when any one of them chanceth to fall
sicke, the Physitian must minister no such counsell to them, as
Chastity, Abstinence from voluptuous meats, Discipline of the body,
or any of those matters appertaining to a modest religious life.
For, concerning the plaine, vulgar, and Plebeian people, these holy
Fathers are perswaded, that they know nothing really belonging to a
sanctimonious life; as long watching, praying, discipline and fasting,
which (in themselves) are not able, to make men look leane, wretched,
and pale. Because Saint _Dominicke_, Saint _Fraunces_, and divers
other holy Saints beside, observed the selfesame religious orders
and constitutions, as now their carefull successors do. Moreover, in
example of those fore-named Saints, who went wel cloathed, though
they had not three Garments for one, nor made of the finest Woollen
excellent cloath: but rather of the very coarsest of all other, and of
the common ordinary colour, to expell cold onely, but not to appear
brave or gallant, deceyving thereby infinite simple credulous soules,
whose purses (neverthelesse) are their best pay-masters.

But leave we this, and returne wee backe to vertuous Fryar _Reynard_,
who falling againe to his former appetites; became an often visitant
of his Gossip _Agnesia_, and now hee had learned such a blushlesse
kinde of boldnesse; that he durst be more instant with her (concerning
his privie sute) then ever formerly he had bin, yea, even to solicite
the enjoying of his immodest desires. The good Gentlewoman, seeing
her selfe so importunately pursued, and Fryar _Reynard_ appearing
now (perhappes) of sweeter and more delicate complexion, then at his
entrance into Religion: at a set time of his secret communing with
her; she answered him in as apt tearmes, as they use to do, who are not
greatly squeamish, in granting matters demanded of them.

Why how now Friar _Reynard_? quoth shee, Doe God-fathers use to move
such questions? Whereto the Friar thus replyed. Madam, when I have
laide off this holy habite (which is a matter very easie for mee to
do) I shall seeme in your eye, in all respects made like another man,
quite from the course of any Religious life. _Agnesia_, biting the lip
with a prety smile, said, O my faire Starres! You will never bee so
unfriendly to me. What? You being my Gossip, would you have me consent
unto such a sinne? Our blessed Lady shield mee, for my ghostly Father
hath often told me, that it is utterly unpardonable: but if it were,
I feare too much confiding on mine owne strength. Gossip, Gossip,
answered the Friar, you speake like a Foole, and feare (in this case)
is wholly frivolous, especially, when the motions mooved by such an one
as my selfe, who (upon repentance) can grant you pardon and indulgence
presently. But I pray you let mee aske you one question, Who is the
neerest Kinsman to your Son; either I, that stood at the Font for his
Baptisme, or your Husband that begot him? The Lady made answere, that
it was her Husband. You say very true Gossip, replyed the Friar, and
yet notwithstanding, doth not your Husband (both at boord and bed)
enjoy the sweet benefit of your company? Yes, said the Lady, why shold
he not? Then Lady (quoth _Reynard_) I, who am not so neere a Kinsman
to your Sonne, as your Husband is, why may ye not afford mee the like
favour, as you do him? _Agnesia_, who was no Logitian, and therefore
could not stand on any curious answer, especially being so cuningly
moved; beleeved, or rather made shew of beleeving, that the Godfather
said nothing but truth, and thus answered. What woman is she (Gossip)
that knoweth how to answer your strange speeches? And, how it came to
passe, I know not, but such an agreement passed betweene them, that,
for once onely (so it might not infrindge the league of Gossip-ship,
but that title to countenance their further intent) such a favour
should be affoorded, so it might stand cleare from suspition.

An especiall time being appointed, when this amorous Combate should be
fought in loves field, Friar _Reynard_ came to his Gossips house, where
none being present to hinder his purpose, but onely the Nursse which
attended on the child, who was an indifferent faire & proper woman:
his holy brother that came thither in his company (because Friars were
not allowed to walke alone) was sent aside with her into the Pigeon
loft, to enstruct her in a new kinde of _Pater noster_, lately devised
in their holy Convent. In the meane while, as Friar _Reynard_ and
_Agnesia_ were entring into hir chamber, she leading her little son by
the hand, and making fast the doore for their better safety: the Friar
laide by his holie habit, Cowle, Hood, Booke, and Beads, to bee (in
all respects) as other men were. No sooner were they thus entred the
Chamber, but her husband _Credulano_, being come into the house, and
unseen of any, staid not till he was at the Chamber doore, where hee
knockt, and called for his Wife.

She hearing his voice: Alas Gossip (quoth she) what shall I do? My
Husband knocketh at the doore, and now he will perceive the occasion
of our so familiar acquaintance. _Reynard_ being stript into his
Trusse and straite Strouses, began to tremble and quake exceedingly.
I heare your Husbands tongue Gossip, said he, and seeing no harme as
yet hath bin done, if I had but my garments on againe; wee would have
one excuse or other to serve the turne, but till then you may not
open the doore. As womens wits are sildome gadding abroad, when any
necessitie concerneth them at home: even so _Agnesia_, being sodainly
provided of an invention, both how to speake and carry her selfe in
this extreamitie, saide to the Friar. Get on your garments quickely,
and when you are cloathed, take your little God-son in your armes,
and listning wel what I shall say, shape your answeres according to
my words, and then refer the matter to me. _Credulano_ had scarsely
ended his knocking, but _Agnesia_ stepping to the doore said: Husband,
I come to you. So she opened the doore, and (going forth to him) with
a chearefull countenance thus spake. Beleeve me Husband, you could not
have come in a more happy time, for our yong Son was sodainly extreamly
sicke, and (as good Fortune would have it) our loving Gossip _Reynard_
chanced to come in; and questionlesse, but by his good prayers and
other religious paynes, we had utterly lost our childe, for he had no
life left in him.

_Credulano_, being as credulous as his name imported, seemed ready
to swoune with sodaine conceit: Alas good wife (quoth he) how hapned
this? Sit downe sweet Husband said she, and I will tell you al. Our
child was sodainly taken with a swouning, wherein I being unskilful,
did verily suppose him to be dead, not knowing what to doe, or say.
By good hap, our Gossip _Reynard_ came in, and taking the childe up
in his armes, said to me. Gossip, this is nothing else but Wormes in
the bellie of the childe, which ascending to the heart, must needs
kill the child, without all question to the contrary. But be of good
comfort Gossip, and feare not, for I can charme them in such sort, that
they shall all die, and before I depart hence, you shall see your Son
as healthfull as ever. And because the manner of this charm is of such
nature, that it required prayer and exorcising in two places at once:
Nurse went up with his Holye Brother into our Pigeon loft, to exercise
their devotion there, while we did the like heere. For none but the
mother of the childe must bee present at such a mystery, nor any enter
to hinder the operation of the charme; which was the reason of making
fast the Chamber doore. You shall see Husband anon the Childe, which is
indifferently recovered in his armes, and if Nurse and his holy Brother
were returned from theyr meditations; he saith, that the charme would
then be fully effected: for the child beginneth to looke chearefull and

So deerely did _Credulano_ love the childe, that hee verily beleeved,
what his Wife had saide, never misdoubting any other treachery: and,
lifting up his eyes, with a vehement sigh, said. Wife, may not I goe in
and take the child into my armes? Oh no, not yet good husband (quoth
she) in any case, least you should overthrow all that is done. Stay but
a little while, I will go in againe, and if all bee well, then will I
call you. In went _Agnesia_ againe, making the doore fast after her,
the Fryar having heard all the passed speeches, by this time he was
fitted with his habite, and taking the childe in his armes, he said to
_Agnesia_. Gossip methought I heard your Husbands voice, is hee at your
Chamber doore? Yes Gossip _Reynard_ (quoth _Credulano_ without, while
_Agnesia_ opened the doore, and admitted him entrance) indeede it is
I. Come in Sir, I pray you, replyed the Friar, and heere receive your
childe of mee, who was in great danger, of your ever seeing him any
more alive. But you must take order, to make an Image of waxe, agreeing
with the stature of the childe, to be placed on the Altar before the
Image of S. _Frances_, by whose merites the childe is thus restored to

The childe, beholding his Father, made signes of comming to him,
rejoycing merrily, as yong infants use to do; and _Credulano_ clasping
him in his armes, wept with conceite of joy, kissing him infinitely,
and heartily thanking his Gossip _Reynard_, for the recovery of his
God-son. The Friars brotherly Companion, who had given sufficient
enstructions to the Nurse, and a small purse full of Sisters white
thred, which a Nunne (after shrift) had bestowed on him, upon the
husbands admittance into the Chamber (which they easily heard) came in
also to them, and seeing all in very good tearmes, they holpe to make
a joyfull conclusion, the Brother saying to Friar Reynard: Brother, I
have finished all those foure Jaculatory prayers, which you commanded

Brother, answered _Reynard_, you have a better breath then I, and your
successe hath prooved happier then mine, for before the arrivall of
my Gossip _Credulano_, I could accomplish but two Jaculatory prayers
onely. But it appeareth, that we have both prevailed in our devout
desires, because the childe is perfectly cured. _Credulano_ calling for
Wine and good cheare, feasted both the Friars very jocondly, and then
conducting them forth of his house, without any further intermission,
caused the childs Image of waxe to be made, and sent it to be placed on
the Altar of Saint _Frances_, among many other the like oblations.

Tofano _in the night season, did locke his wife out of his house, and
shee not prevailing to get entrance againe, by all the entreaties she
could possiblie use: made him beleeve that she had throwne her selfe
into a Well, by casting a great stone into the same Well_. Tofano
_hearing the fall of the stone into the Well, and being perswaded that
it was his Wife indeed; came forth of his house, and ran to the Welles
side. In the meane while, his wife gotte into the house, made fast the
doore against her Husband, and gave him many reproachfull speeches._

The Fourth Novell.

_Wherein is manifested, that the malice and subtilty of a Woman,
surpasseth all the Art or Wit in man._

So soone as the King perceyved, that the Novell reported by Madame
_Eliza_ was finished: hee turned himselfe to Madame _Lauretta_, and
told her it was his pleasure, that she should now begin the next,
whereto she yeelded in this manner. O Love: What, and how many are thy
prevailing forces? How straunge are thy foresights? And how admirable
thine attempts? Where is, or ever was the Philosopher or Artist, that
could enstruct the wiles, escapes, preventions, and demonstrations,
which sodainly thou teachest such, as are thy apt and understanding
Schollers indeede? Certaine it is, that the documents and eruditions of
all other whatsoever, are weak, or of no worth, in respect of thine: as
hath notably appeared, by the remonstrances already past, and whereto
(worthy Ladies) I will adde another of a simple woman, who taught her
husband such a lesson, as shee never learned of any, but Love himselfe.

There dwelt sometime in _Arezzo_ (which is a faire Village of
_Tuscany_) a rich man, named _Tofano_, who enjoyed in marriage a young
beautifull woman, called _Cheta_: of whom (without any occasion given,
or reason knowne to himselfe) he became exceeding jealous. Which his
wife perceyving, she grew much offended thereat, and tooke it in great
scorne, that she should be servile to so vile and slavish a condition.
Oftentimes, she demanded of him, from whence this jealousie in him
received originall, he having never seene or heard of any; he could
make her no other answer, but what his owne bad humour suggested, and
drove him every day (almost) to deaths doore, by feare of that which no
way needed. But, whether as a just scourge for this his grosse folly,
or a secret decree, ordained to him by Fortune and the Fates, I am not
able to distinguish: It came so to passe, that a young Gallant made
meanes to enjoy her favour, and she was so discreetly wise in judging
of his worthinesse; that affection passed so farre mutually betweene
them, as nothing wanted, but effects to answere words, suited with time
and place convenient, for which order was taken as best they might, yet
to stand free from all suspition.

Among many other evill conditions, very frequent and familiar in her
husband _Tofano_; he tooke a great delight in drinking, which not
only he held to be a commendable quality, but was alwaies so often
solicited thereto: that _Cheta_ her selfe began to like and allow it
in him, feeding his humour so effectually, with quaffing and carowsing,
that (at any time when she listed) she could make him bowsie beyonde
all measure: and leaving him sleeping in this drunkennesse, would
alwayes get her selfe to bed. By helpe heereof, she compassed the first
familiarity with her friend, yea, divers times after, as occasion
served: and so confidently did she builde on her husbands drunkennesse,
that not onely shee adventured to bring her friend home into her owne
house; but also would as often go to his, which was some-what neere at
hand, and abide with him there, the most part of the night season.

While _Cheta_ thus continued on these amorous courses, it fortuned,
that her slye suspitious husband, beganne to perceive, that though shee
drunke very much with him, yea, untill he was quite spent and gone:
yet she remained fresh and sober still, and thereby imagined strange
matters, that he being fast asleepe, his wife then tooke advantage of
his drowsinesse, and might ---- and so forth. Beeing desirous to make
experience of this his distrust, hee returned home at night (not having
drunke any thing all the whole day) dissembling both by his words and
behaviour, as if he were notoriously drunke indeede. Which his Wife
constantly beleeving, saide to her selfe: That hee had now more neede
of sleepe, then drinke; getting him immediately into his warme bed; and
then going downe the staires againe, softly went out of doores unto her
Friends house, as formerly she had used to do, and there shee remained
untill midnight.

_Tofano_ perceiving that his Wife came not to bed, and imagining to
have heard his doore both open and shut: arose out of his bed, and
calling his Wife _Cheta_ divers times, without any answere returned:
hee went downe the staires, and finding the doore but closed too, made
it fast and sure on the inside, and then got him up to the window, to
watch the returning home of his wife, from whence shee came, and then
to make her conditions apparantly knowne. So long there he stayed,
till at the last she returned indeede, and finding the doore so surely
shut, shee was exceeding sorrowfull, essaying how she might get it
open by strength: which when _Tofano_ had long suffered her in vaine
to approove, thus hee spake to her. _Cheta, Cheta,_ all thy labour is
meerely lost, because heere is no entrance allowed for thee; therefore
return to the place from whence thou camest, that all thy friends may
judge of thy behaviour, and know what a night-walker thou art become.

The woman hearing this unpleasing language, began to use all humble
entreaties, desiring him (for charities sake) to open the doore and
admit her entrance, because she had not bin in any such place, as his
jelous suspition might suggest to him: but onely to visit a weak &
sickly neighbour, the nights being long, she not (as yet) capable of
sleepe, nor willing to sit alone in the house. But all her perswasions
served to no purpose, he was so setled in his owne opinion, that all
the Town should now see her nightly gading, which before was not
so much as suspected. _Cheta_ seeing, that faire meanes would not
prevaile, shee entred into roughe speeches and threatnings, saying: If
thou wilt not open the doore and let me come in, I will so shame thee,
as never base man was. As how I pray thee? answered _Tofano_, what
canst thou do to me?

The woman, whom love had inspired with sprightly counsell, ingeniously
enstructing her what to do in this distresse, stearnly thus replyed.
Before I will suffer any such shame as thou intended towards mee,
I will drowne my selfe heere in this Well before our doore, where
being found dead, and thy villanous jealousie so apparantly knowne,
beside thy more then beastly drunkennesse: all the neighbours will
constantly beleeve, that thou didst first strangle me in the house,
and afterwardes threw me into this Well. So either thou must flie upon
the supposed offence, or lose all thy goodes by banishment, or (which
is much more fitting for thee) have thy head smitten off as a wilfull
murtherer of thy wife; for all will judge it to be no otherwise.
All which wordes, mooved not _Tofano_ a jot from his obstinat
determination: but he still persisting therein, thus she spake. I
neither can nor will longer endure this base Villanie of thine: to the
mercy of heaven I commit my soul, and stand there my wheele, a witnesse
against so hard-hearted a murtherer.

No sooner had she thus spoke, but the night being so extreamly dark,
as they could not discerne one another; Cheta went to the Well, where
finding a verie great stone, which lay loose upon the brim of the Well,
even as if it had beene layde there on purpose, shee cried out aloud,
saying. Forgive me faire heavens, and so threw the stone downe into the
Well. The night being very still & silent, the fall of the great stone
made such a dreadfull noise in the Well; that he hearing it at the
Windowe, thought verily she had drowned her selfe indeede. Whereupon,
running downe hastily, and taking a Bucket fastened to a strong Cord:
he left the doore wide open, intending speedily to helpe her. But she
standing close at the doores entrance, before he could get to the Wels
side; she was within the house, softly made the doore fast on the
inside, and then went up to the Window, where _Tofano_ before had stood
talking to her.

While he was thus dragging with his Bucket in the Well, crying and
calling _Cheta_, take hold good _Cheta_, and save thy life: she stood
laughing in the Window, saying. Water should bee put into Wine before a
man drinkes it, and not when he hath drunke too much already. _Tofano_
hearing his Wife thus to flout him out of his Window, went back to the
doore, and finding it made fast against him: he willed hir to grant him
entrance. But she, forgetting all gentle Language, which formerly she
had used to him: in meere mockery and derision (yet intermixed with
some sighes and teares, which women are saide to have at command) out
aloud (because the Neighbours should heare her) thus she replyed.

Beastly drunken Knave as thou art, this night thou shalt not come
within these doores, I am no longer able to endure thy base behaviour,
it is more then high time, that thy course of life should bee
publiquely known, and at what drunken houres thou returnest home to thy
house. _Tofano_, being a man of very impatient Nature, was as bitter
unto her in words on the other side, which the Neighbours about them
(both men and Women) hearing; looked forth of their Windowes, and
demaunding a reason for this their disquietnesse, _Cheta_ (seeming as
if she wept) sayde.

Alas my good Neighbours, you see at what unfitting houres, this bad
man comes home to his house, after hee hath lyen in a Taverne all
day drunke, sleeping and snorting like a Swine. You are my honest
witnesses, how long I have suffered this beastlinesse in him, yet
neyther your good counsell, nor my too often loving admonitions, can
worke that good which wee have expected. Wherefore, to try if shame can
procure any amendment, I have shut him out of doores, until his drunken
fit be over-past, and so he shall stand to coole his feet.

_Tofano_ (but in very uncivill manner) told her being abroad that night,
and how she had used him: But the Neighbours seeing her to be within
the house, and beleeving her, rather then him, in regard of his too
wellknowne ill qualities; very sharpely reproved him, gave him grosse
speeches, pittying that any honest Woman should be so continually
abused. Now my good Neighbours (quoth she) you see what manner of man
he is. What would you thinke of me, if I should walk the streets thus
in the night time, or be so late out of mine owne house, as this dayly
Drunkard is? I was affraid least you would have given credit to his
dissembling speeches, when he told you, that I was at the Welles side,
and threw something into the Well: but that I know your better opinion
of me, and how sildome I am to be seene out of doores, although he
would induce your sharper judgement of me, and lay that shame upon me,
wherein he hath sinned himselfe.

The Neighbours, both men and Women, were all very severely incensed
against _Tofano_, condemning him for his great fault that night
committed, and avouching his wife to be vertuous and honest. Within a
little while, the noise passing from Neighbour to Neighbour, at the
length it came to the eares of her Kindred, who forthwith resorted
thither, and hearing how sharpely the Neighbours reprehended _Tofano_:
they tooke him, soundly bastanadoed him, and hardly left any bone
of him unbruised. Afterward, they went into the house, tooke all
such things thence as belonged to hir, taking hir also with them to
their dwelling, and threatning _Tofano_ with further infliction of
punishment, both for his drunkennesse, and causlesse jealousie.

_Tofano_ perceyving how curstly they had handled him, and what crooked
meanes might further be used against him, in regard her Kindred &
Friends were very mightie: thought it much better, patiently to suffer
the wrong alreadie done him, then by obstinate contending, to proceed
further, and fare worse. He became a suter to her Kindred, that al
might be forgotten and forgiven, in recompence whereof; he would not
onely refraine from drunkennesse, but also, never more be jelous of
his wife. This being faithfully promised, and _Cheta_ reconciled to
her Husband, all strife was ended, she enjoyed her friends favour, as
occasion served, but yet with such discretion, as it was not noted.
Thus the Coxcombe foole, was faine to purchase his peace, after a
notorious wrong sustained, and further injuries to bee offered.

_A jealous man, clouded with the habite of a Priest, became the
Confessour to his owne Wife; who made him beleeve, that she was deepely
in love with a Priest, which came every night, and lay with her. By
meanes of which confession, while her jealous Husband watched the doore
of his house; to surprize the Priest when he came: she that never meant
to do amisse, had the company of a secret Friend, who came over the
toppe of the house to visite her, while her foolish Husband kept the

The fift Novell.

_In just scorne and mockery of such jealous Husbands, that will be so
idle headed upon no occasion. And yet when they have good reason for
it, do least of all suspect any such injury._

Madam _Lauretta_ having ended her Novell, and every one commended
the Woman, for fitting _Tofano_ in his kinde; and, as his jealousie
and drunkennesse justly deserved: the King (to prevent all losse of
time) turned to Madame _Fiammetta_, commaunding her to follow next:
whereuppon, very graciously, shee beganne in this manner.

Noble Ladies, the precedent Novell delivered by Madame _Lauretta_,
maketh me willing to speake of another jealous man; as being halfe
perswaded, that whatsoever is done to them by their Wives, and
especially upon no occasion given, they doe no more then well becommeth
them. And if those grave heads, which were the first instituters of
lawes, had diligently observed all things; I am of the minde, that they
would have ordained no other penalty for Women, then they appointed
against such, as (in their owne defence) do offend any other. For
jealous husbands, are meere insidiators of their Wives lives, and most
diligent pursuers of their deaths, being lockt up in their houses all
the Weeke long, imployed in nothing but domesticke drudging affayres:
which makes them desirous of high Festivall dayes, to receive some
little comfort abroad, by an honest recreation or pastime, as Husbandmen
in the fields, Artizans in our Citie, or Governours in our judiciall
Courtes; yea, or as our Lord himselfe, who rested the seaventh day from
all his travailes. In like manner, it is so willed and ordained by the
Lawes, as well divine as humane, which have regard to the glory of God,
and for the common good of every one; making distinction betweene those
dayes appointed for labour, and the other determined for rest. Whereto
jealous persons (in no case) will give consent, but all those dayes
(which for other women are pleasing and delightfull) unto such, over
whom they command, are most irksome, sadde and sorrowfull, because then
they are lockt up, and very strictly restrained. And if question were
urged, how many good women do live and consume away in this torturing
hel of affliction: I can make no other answere, but such as feele it,
are best able to discover it. Wherefore to conclude the proheme to my
present purpose, let none be over rash in condemning women: for what
they do to their husbands, being jealous without occasion; but rather
commend their wit and providence.

Somtime (faire Ladies) there lived in _Arimino_, a Merchant, very rich
in wealth and worldly possessions, who having a beautifull Gentlewoman
to his wife, he became extreamly jelous of her. And he had no other
reason for this foolish conceit; but, like as he loved hir dearly,
and found her to be very absolutely faire: even so he imagined, that
althogh she devised by her best meanes to give him content; yet
others would grow enamored of her, because she appeared so amiable
to al. In which respect, time might tutor her to affect some other
beside himselfe: the onely common argument of every bad minded man,
being weake and shallow in his owne understanding. This jelous humour**
increasing in him more and more, he kept her in such narrow restraint:
that many persons condemned to death, have enjoyed larger libertie in
their imprisonment. For, she might not bee present at Feasts, Weddings,
nor goe to Church, or so much as to be seen at her doore: Nay, she
durst not stand in her Window, nor looke out of her house, for any
occasion whatsoever. By means whereof, life seemed most tedious and
offensive to her, and she supported it the more impatiently, because
shee knew her selfe not any way faulty.

Seeing her husband still persist in this shamefull course towards her;
she studied, how she might best comfort her selfe in this desolate
case: by devising some one meane or other (if any at all were to bee
founde) whereby he might be requited in his kind, and wear that badge
of shame whereof he was now but onely affraid. And because she could
not gain so small a permission, as to be seene at any window, where
(happily) she might have observed some one passing by in the street,
discerning a little parcell of her love: she remembred at length, that,
in the next house to her Husbands (they both joyning close together)
there dwelt a comely yong proper Gentleman, whose perfections carried
correspondencie with her desires. She also considered with her selfe,
that if there were any partition wall; such a chinke or cranny might
easily be made therein, by which (at one time or other) she should
gaine a sight of the young Gentleman, and finde an houre so fitting,
as to conferre with him, and bestow her lovely favour on him, if he
pleased to accept it. If successe (in this case) proved answerable to
her hope, then thus she resolved to outrun the rest of her wearisome
dayes, except the frensie of jealousie did finish her husbands loathed
life before.

Walking from one roome to another, thorough every part of the house;
and no wall escaping without diligent surveying; on a day, when her
Husband was absent from home, she espyed in a corner very secret, an
indifferent cleft in the Wall, which though it yeelded no full view on
the other side, yet she plainly perceived it to be an handsome Chamber,
and grew more then halfe perswaded, that either it might be the Chamber
of _Philippo_ (for so was the neighbouring yong Gentleman named) or
else a passage guiding thereto. A Chambermaid of hers, who compassioned
her case very much; made such observance, by her Mistresses direction,
that she found it to be _Philippoes_ bed Chamber, and where alwayes he
used to lodge alone. By often visiting this rift or chinke in the Wall,
especially when the Gentleman was there; and by throwing in little
stones, flowers, and such like things, which fell still in his way as
he walked: so farre she prevailed, that he stepping to the chinke, to
know from whence they came; shee called softly to him, who knowing her
voyce, there they had such private conference together, as was not
any way displeasing to either. So that the chinke being made a little
larger; yet so, as it could not be easily discerned: their mouthes
might meete with kisses together, and their hands folded each in other;
but nothing else to be performed, for continuall feare of her jelous

Now the Feast of Christmasse drawing neere, the Gentlewoman said to
her Husband; that, if it stood with his liking: she would do such
duty as fitted with so solemne a time, by going earely in a morning
unto Church, there to be confessed, and receive her Saviour, as other
Christians did. How now? replied the jealous Asse, what sinnes have
you committed, that should neede confession? How Husband? quoth she,
what do you thinke me to be a Saint? Who knoweth not, I pray you, that
I am as subject to sinne, as any other Woman living in the world? But
my sins are not to be revealed to you, because you are no Priest.
These words enflamed his jealousie more violently then before, and
needes must he know what sinnes she had committed, & having resolved
what to do in this case, made her answer: That hee was contented with
her motion, alwaies provided, that she went to no other Church, then
unto their owne Chappel, betimes in a morning; and their own Chaplaine
to confesse her, or some other Priest by him appointed, but not any
other: and then she to returne home presently againe. She being a
woman of acute apprehension, presently collected his whole intention:
but seeming to take no knowledge thereof, replyed, that she would not
swerve from his direction.

When the appointed day was come, she arose very earely, and being
prepared answerable to her owne liking, to the Chappell shee went
as her Husband had appointed, where her jealous Husband (being much
earlier risen than she) attended for her comming: having so ordred the
matter with his Chaplaine, that he was cloathed in his Cowle, with a
large Hood hanging over his eyes, that she should not know him, and
so he went and sate downe in the Confessors place. Shee being entred
into the Chappell, and calling for the Priest to heare her confession,
he made her answer: that he could not intend it, but would bring her
to another holy Brother, who was at better leysure than hee. So to
her Husband he brought her, that seemed (in all respects) like the
Confessor himselfe: save onely his Hood was not so closely veyled, but
shee knew his beard, and said to her selfe. What a mad world is this,
when jealousie can metamorphose an ordinary man into a Priest? But, let
me alone with him, I meane to fit him with that which he lookes for.

So, appearing to have no knowledge at all of him, downe she fell at
his feete, and he had conveyed a few Cherry stones into his mouth,
to trouble his speech from her knowledge; for, in all things else, he
thought himselfe to be sufficiently fitted for her. In the course of her
confession, she declared, that she was married to a most wicked jealous
Husband, and with whom she lead a very hatefull life. Neverthelesse
(quoth she) I am indifferently even with him, for I am beloved of an
Holie Fryar, that every night commeth and lyeth with me. When the
jealous Husband heard this, it stabbed him like a dagger to the heart,
and, but for this greedy covetous desire to know more; he would faine
have broke off confession, and got him gone. But, perceiving that it
was his wisest course, he questioned further with his wife, saying: Why
good Woman, doth not your husband lodge with you? Yes Sir, quoth she.
How is it possible then (replyed the Husband) that the Friar can lodge
there with you too?

She, dissembling a farre fetcht sigh, thus answered. Reverend Sir, I
know not what skilfull Art the Fryar useth, but this I am sure, every
doore in our house will flye open to him, so soone as he doth but touch
it. Moreover, he told me, that when he commeth unto my Chamber doore,
he speaketh certaine words to himselfe, which immediately casteth my
Husband into a dead sleepe, and, understanding him to bee thus sleepily
entranced: he openeth the doore, entreth in, lieth downe by me, and
this every night he faileth not to do. The jealous Coxcomb angerly
scratching his head, and wishing his wife halfe hangd, said: Mistresse,
this is very badly done, for you should keepe your selfe from all men,
but your husband onely. That shall I never doe, answered shee, because
(indeed) I love him dearely. Why then (quoth our supposed Confessor)
I cannot give you any absolution. I am the more sorry Sir, said she, I
came not hither to tell you any leasings, for if I could, yet I would
not, because it is not good to fable with such Saint-like men as you
are. You do therein (quoth hee) the better, and surely I am very sorry
for you, because in this dangerous condition, it will bee the utter
losse of your soule: neverthelesse, both for your husbands sake and
your owne, I will take some paines, and use such especiall prayers in
your name, which may (perchance) greatly avayle you. And I purpose now
and then, to send you a Novice or young Clearke of mine, whom you may
safely acquaint with your minde, and signifie to me, by him, whether
they have done you good, or no: and if they prove helpefull, then will
we further proceed therein. Alas Sir, said she, never trouble your
selfe, in sending any body to our house; because, if my Husband should
know it, he is so extreamly jelous, as all the world cannot otherwise
perswade him, but that he commeth thither for no honest intent, and so
I shall live worse then now I do. Fear not that, good woman, quoth he,
but beleeve it certainly, that I will have such a care in this case, as
your Husband shall never speake thereof to you. If you can doe so Sir,
sayde she, proceed I pray you, and I am well contented.

Confession being thus ended, and she receiving such pennance as hee
appointed, she arose on her feete, and went to heare Masse; while our
jealous Woodcocke (testily puffing and blowing) put off his Religious
habite, returning home presently to his house, beating his braines
al the the way as he went, what meanes he might best devise, for
the taking of his wife and the Friar together, whereby to have them
both severely punished. His wife being come home from the Chappell,
discerned by her Husbands lookes, that he was like to keepe but a
sorry Christmasse: yet he used his utmost industry, to conceale what
he had done, & which she knew as well as himself. And he having fully
resolved, to watch his own street doore the next night ensuing in
person, in expectation of the Friars comming, saide to his Wife. I have
occasion both to suppe and lodge out of my house this night, wherefore
see you the streete doore to be surely made fast on the inside, and the
doore at the middest of the staires, as also your own Chamber doore,
and then (in Gods name) get you to bed. Whereto she answered, that all
should be done as hee had appointed.

Afterward, when she saw convenient time, she went to the chink in the
Wall, and making such a signe as shee was woont to doe: _Phillippo_
came thither, to whom she declared all her mornings affayres, & what
directions her husband had given her. Furthermore she saide, certaine
I am, that he will not depart from the house, but sit and watch the
doore without, to take one that comes not heere. If therefore, you can
climbe over the house top, and get in at our gutter Window, you and I
may conferre more familiarly together. The young Gentleman being no
dullard, had his lesson quickly taught him; and when night was come,
_Geloso_ (for so must wee tearme the Cocke-braind husband) armes
himselfe at all points, with a browne Bill in his hand, and so he
sits to watch his owne doore. His Wife had made fast all the doores,
especially that on the midst of the stayres, because he should not (by
any means) come to her Chamber; and so, when the houre served, the
Gentleman adventured over the house top, found the gutter Window, and
the way conducting him to her Chamber, where I leave them to their
further amorous conference.

_Geloso_, more then halfe mad with anger, first, because hee had
lost his supper: next, having sitten almost all the night (which was
extreamely cold and windie) his Armor much molesting him, and yet he
could see no Friar come: when day drew neere, and hee ashamed to watch
there any longer; conveighed himselfe to some more convenient place,
where putting off his Armes, and seeming to come from the place of
his Lodging; about the ninth houre, he found his doore open, entred
in, & went up the stayres, going to dinner with his Wife. Within a
while after, according as _Geloso_ had ordred the businesse, a youth
came thither, seeming to be the Novice sent from the Confessor, and he
being admitted to speake with her, demanded, whether shee were troubled
or molested that night passed, as formerly she had bin, and whether
the partie came or no? The Woman, who knew well enough the Messenger
(notwithstanding all his formall disguise) made answer: That the party
expected, came not: but if hee had come, it was to no purpose; because
her minde was now otherwise altred, albeit she changed not a jote from
her amorous conclusion.

What should I now further say unto you? _Geloso_ continued his
watch many nights afterward, as hoping to surprize the Friar at his
entrance, and his wife kept still her contented quarter, according
as opportunitie served. In the conclusion, _Geloso_ being no longer
able to endure his bootlesse watching, nor some (more then ordinary)
pleasing countenance in his wife: one day demaunded of her (with a very
stearne and frowning brow) what secret sinnes shee had revealed to the
ghostly Father, upon the day of her shrift? The Woman replyed, that
she would not tell him, neyther was it a matter reasonable, or lawfull
for her to doe. Wicked Woman, answered _Geloso_: I knowe them all well
enough, even in despight of thee, and every word that thou spakest unto
him. But Huswife, now I must further know, what the Fryar is, with whom
you are so farre in love, and (by meanes of his enchantments) lyeth
with you every night; tell me what and who he is, or else I meane to
cut your throate.

The Woman immediately made answer, it was not true, that she was in
love with any Fryar. How? quoth _Geloso_, didst thou not thou confesse
so much to the Ghostly Father, the other day when thou wast at shrift?
No Sir, sayde she, but if I did, I am sure he would not disclose it to
you, except hee suffered you to bee there present, which is an Article
beyonde his dutie. But if it were so, then I confesse freely, that I
did say so unto him. Make an end then quickely Wife (quoth _Geloso_)
and tell mee who the Friar is. The Woman fell into a hearty laughter,
saying. It liketh me singularly well, when a wise man will suffer
himselfe to be ledde by a simple Woman, even as a Sheepe is to the
slaughter, and by the hornes. If once thou wast wise, that wisedome
became utterly lost, when thou felst into that divellish frensie of
jealousie, without knowing anie reason for it: for, by this beastlike
and no manly humour, thou hast eclipsed no meane part of my glory, and
womanly reputation.

Doest thou imagine Husband, that if I were so blinded in the eyes of
my head, as thou art in them which should informe thine understanding;
I could have found out the Priest, that would needs bee my Confessor?
I knew thee Husband to be the man, and therefore I prepared my wit
accordingly, to fit thee with the foolish imagination which thou
soughtest for, and (indeed) gave it thee. For, if thou hadst beene
wise, as thou makest the world to beleeve by outward apparance, thou
wouldest never have expressed such a basenesse of minde, to borrow
the coulour of a sanctified cloake, thereby to undermine the secrets
of thine honest meaning Wife. Wherefore, to feede thee in thy fond
suspition, I was the more free in my Confession, and tolde thee truely,
with whom, and how heinously I had transgressed. Did I not tell thee,
that I loved a Fryar? And art not thou he whom I love, being a Fryar,
and my ghostly Father, though (to thine owne shame) thou madst thy
selfe so? I said moreover, that there is not any doore in our house,
that can keepe it selfe shut against him, but (when he pleaseth) he
comes and lies with me. Now tell me Husband, What doore in our house
hath (at any time) bin shut against thee, but they are freely thine
owne, & grant thee entrance? Thou art the same Friar that confest me,
and lieth every night with me, and so often as thou sentst thy yong
Novice or Clearke to me, as often did I truly returne thee word, when
the same Fryar lay with me. But (by jealousie) thou hast so lost thine
understanding, that thou wilt hardly beleeve all this.

Alas good man, like an armed Watchman, thou satst at thine owne doore
all a cold Winters night, perswading mee (poore silly credulous woman)
that, upon urgent occasions, thou must needs suppe and lodge from
home. Remember thy selfe therefore better heereafter, become a true
understanding man, as thou shouldst bee, and make not thy selfe a
mocking stocke to them, who knoweth thy jealous qualities, as well as
I do, and be not so watchfull over me, as thou art. For I sweare by my
true honesty, that if I were but as willing, as thou art suspitious: I
could deceive thee, if thou hadst an hundred eyes, as Nature affords
thee but two, and have my pleasures freely, yet thou be not a jot the
wiser, or my credit any way impaired.

Our wonderfull wise _Geloso_, who (very advisedly considred) that he
had wholly heard his wives secret confession, and dreamed now on no
other doubt beside, but (perceiving by her speeches) how hee was become
a scorne to al men: without returning other answer, confirmed his wife
to bee both wise and honest, and now when he hadde just occasion to
be jealous indeede, hee utterly forsware it, and counted them all
Coxcombes that would be so misguided. Wherefore, she having thus wisely
wonne the way to her owne desires, and he reduced into a more humane
temper: I hope there was no more neede, of clambring over houses in the
night time like Cats, nor walking in at gutter Windowes, but all abuses
were honestly reformed.

_Madame_ Isabella, _delighting in the company of her affected
Friend, named_ Lionello, _and she being likewise beloved by_ Signior
Lambertuccio: _At the same time as shee had entertained_ Lionello,
_shee was also visited by_ Lambertuccio. _Her Husband returning home in
the very instant: shee caused_ Lambertuccio _to run forth with a drawne
sword in his hand, and (by that meanes) made an excuse sufficient for_
Lionello _to her husband._

The Sixth Novell.

_Wherein is manifestly discerned, that if Love be driven to a narrow
straite in any of his attempts, yet hee can accomplish his purpose by
some other supply._

Wondrously pleasing to all the company, was the reported Novell of
Madame _Fiammetta_, every one applauding the Womans wisedome, and that
she had done no more, then as the jealous foole her husband justly
deserved. But shee having ended, the King gave order unto Madame
_Pampinea_, that now it was her turne to speake, whereupon, thus she
began. There are no meane store of people who say (though very false
and foolishly,) that Love maketh many to be out of their wits, and that
such as fall in Love, do utterly loose their understanding. To mee
this appeareth a very ydle opinion, as already hath beene approved by
the related discourses, and shall also bee made manifest by another of
mine owne.

In our City of _Florence_, famous for some good, though as many
bad qualities, there dwelt (not long since) a Gentlewoman, endued
with choice beauty and admirable perfections, being wife to Signior
_Beltramo_, a very valiant Knight, and a man of great possessions. As
oftentimes it commeth to passe, that a man cannot alwayes feede on
one kind of bread, but his appetite will be longing after change: so
fared it with this Lady, named _Isabella_, she being not satisfied
with the delights of her Husband; grew enamoured of a young Gentleman,
called _Lionello_, compleate of person and commendable qualities,
albeit not of the fairest fortunes, yet his affection every way
sutable to hers. And full well you know (faire Ladies) that where the
mindes irreciprocally accorded, no dilligence wanteth for the desires
execution: so this amorous couple, made many solemne protestations,
untill they should bee friended by opportunity.

It fortuned in the time of their hopefull expectation a Knight, named
Signior _Lambertuccio_, fell likewise in love with _Isabella_: but
because he was somewhat unsightly of person, and utterly unpleasing
in the eye, she grew regardlesse of his frequent solicitings, and
would not accept either tokens, or letters. Which when hee saw, (being
very rich and of great power) hee sought to compasse his intent by
a contrary course, threatning her with scandall and disgrace to her
reputation, and with his associates to bandie against her best friends.
She knowing what manner of man he was, and how able to abuse any with
infamous imputations, wisely returned him hopefull promises, though
never meaning to performe any, but onely (Lady-like) to flatter and
foole him therewith.

Some few miles distant from _Florence, Beltramo_ had a Castle of
pleasure, and there his Lady _Isabella_ used to live all Summer, as
all other doe the like, being so possessed. On a day, _Beltramo_ being
ridden from home, and she having sent for _Lionello_, to take the
advantage of her Husbands absence; accordingly he went, not doubting
but to winne what he had long expected. Signior _Lambertuccio_ on the
other side, meeting _Beltramo_ riding from his Castle, and _Isabella_
now fit to enjoy his company: gallops thither with all possible speede,
because hee would bee no longer delayed. Scarcely was _Lionello_
entred the Castle, and receiving directions by the waiting woman, to
her Ladies Chamber: but _Lambertuccio_ gallopped in at the Gate, which
the woman perceiving, ranne presently and acquainted her Lady with the
comming of _Lambertuccio_.

Now was shee the onely sorrowfull woman of the world; for nothing was
now to bee feared, but stormes and tempests, because _Lambertuccio_,
spake no other, then Lightning and Thunder, and _Lionello_, (being no
lesse affraide then shee) by her perswasion crept behind the bed,
where he hid himselfe very contentedly. By this time _Lambertuccio_ was
dismounted from his Courser, which he fastened (by the bridle) to a
ring in the wall, and then the waiting woman came to him, to guide him
to her Lady and Mistresse: who stood ready at the staires head, graced
him with a very acceptable welcome, yet marvelling much at his so
sodaine comming. Lady (quoth he) I met your Husband upon the way, which
granting mine accesse to see you; I come to claime your long delayed
promise, the time being now so favourable for it.

Before he had uttered halfe these words, _Beltramo_, having forgot
an especiall evidence in his Study, which was the onely occasion of
his journey, came gallopping backe againe into the Castell Court,
and seeing such a goodly Gelding stand fastened there, could not
redily imagine who was the owner thereof. The waiting woman, upon
the sight of her Masters entring into the Court, came to her Lady,
saying: My Master _Beltramo_ is returned backe, newly alighted, and
(questionlesse) comming up the staires. Now was our Lady _Isabella_,
ten times worse affrighted then before, (having two severall amourous
suters in her house, both hoping, neither speeding, yet her credite
lying at the stake for either) by this unexpected returne of her
Husband. Moreover, there was no possible meanes, for the concealing of
Signior _Lambertuccio_, because his Gelding stood in the open Court,
and therefore made a shrewde presumption against her, upon the least
doubtfull question urged.

Neverthelesse, as womens wits are alwayes best upon sudden constraints,
looking forth of her window, and espying her Husband preparing to come
up: she threw her selfe on her day Couch, speaking thus (earnestly)
to _Lambertuccio_. Sir, if ever you loved mee, and would have me
faithfully to beleeve it, by the instant safety both of your owne
honour, and my life, doe but as I advise you. Forth draw your Sword,
and, with a stearne countenance, threatning death and destruction: run
downe the staires, and when you are beneath, say. I sweare by my best
fortunes, although I misse of thee now heere, yet I will be sure to
finde thee some where else. And if my Husband offer to stay you, or
moove any question to you: make no other answere, but what you formerly
spake in fury. Beside, so soone as you are mounted on horsebacke,
have no further conference with him, upon any occasion whatsoever; to
prevent all suspition in him, of our future intendments.

_Lambertuccio_ sware many terrible oathes, to observe her directions
in every part, and having drawne forth his Sword, grasping it naked in
his hand, and setting worse lookes one the businesse, then ever nature
gave him, because he had spent so much labour in vaine; he failed not
in a jot of the Ladies injunction. _Beltramo_ having commanded his
horse to safe custody, and meeting _Lambertuccio_ discending downe the
staires, so armed, swearing, and most extreamely storming, wondring
extraordinarily as his threatning words, made offer to imbrace him,
and understand the reason of his distemper. _Lambertuccio_ repulsing
him rudely, and setting foote in the stirrup, mounted on his Gelding,
and spake nothing else but this. I sweare by the fairest of all my
fortunes, although I misse of thee heere: yet I will be sure to find
thee some where else, and so he gallopped mainely away.

When _Beltramo_ was come up into his wives Chamber, hee found her cast
downe upon her Couch, weeping, full of feare, and greatly discomforted;
wherefore he said unto her, What is hee that Signior _Lambertuccio_
is so extreamely offended withall, and threatneth in such implacable
manner? The Lady arising from her Couch, and going neere to the Beds,
because _Lionello_ might the better heare her; returned her Husband
this answere. Husband (quoth she) never was I so dreadfully affrighted
till now; for, a young Gentleman, of whence, or what he is, I know
not, came running into our Castle for rescue, being pursued by Signior
_Lambertuccio_; with a weapon ready drawne in his hand. Ascending up
our stayres, by what fortune, I know not, he found my chamber doore
standing open, finding me also working on my Sampler, and in wonderfull
feare and trembling.

Good Madame (quoth hee) for Gods sake helpe to save my life, or else
I shall be slaine heere in your Chamber. Hearing his pittious cry,
and compassionating his desperate case; I arose from my worke, and
in my demaunding of whence, and what he was, that durst presume so
boldly into my bed-chamber: presently came up Signior _Lambertuccio_
also, in the same uncivill sorte, as before I tolde you, swaggering
and swearing, where is this traiterous villaine? Heereupon, I stept
(somewhat stoutly) to my Chamber doore, and as hee offered to enter,
with a womans courage I resisted him, which made him so much enraged
against mee, that when hee saw mee to debarre his entrance; after many
terrible and vile oathes and vowes, hee ranne downe the stayres againe,
in such like manner as you chaunced to meete him.

Now trust mee deare wife (said _Beltramo_) you behaved your selfe very
well and worthily: for, it would have beene a most notorious scandall
to us, if a man should bee slaine in your bed-chamber: and Signior
_Lambertuccio_ carryed himselfe most dishonestly, to pursue any man so
outragiously, having taken my Castle as his Sanctuary. But alas wife,
what is become of the poore affrighted Gentleman? Introth Sir (quoth
she) I know not, but (somewhere or other) heereabout hee is hidden.
Where art thou honest friend? said plaine meaning _Beltramo_; Come
forth and feare not, for thine enemy is gone.

_Lionello_, who had heard all the fore-passed discourse, which shee had
delivered to her Husband _Beltramo_, came creeping forth amazedly (as
one now very fearefully affrighted indeede) from under the further side
of the bedde, and _Beltramo_ saide to him, What a quarrell was this,
between thee and furious _Lambertuccio_? Not any at all Sir, replyed
_Lionello_, to my knowledge, which verily perswadeth me; that either
he is not well in his wits, or else he mistaketh me for some other;
because, so soone as he saw me on the way, somewhat neere to this your
Castle, he drew forth his Sword, and swearing an horrible oath, said.
Traitor thou art a dead man. Upon these rough words, I stayed not to
question the occasion of mine offending him: but fled from him so fast
as possibly I could; but confesse my selfe (indeede) over-bold, by
presuming into your Ladies bed chamber, which yet (equalled with her
mercie) hath bin the onely meanes at this time, of saving my life.

She hath done like a good Lady, answered _Beltramo_, and I do verie
much commend her for it. But, recollect thy dismayed spirits together,
for I will see thee safely secured hence, afterward, looke to thy
selfe so well as thou canst. Dinner being immediately made ready,
and they having merrily feasted together: he bestowed a good Gelding
on _Lionello_, and rode along with him to _Florence_, where he left
him quietly in his owne lodging. The selfe-same Evening (according
as _Isabella_ had given enstruction) _Lionello_ conferred with
_Lambertuccio_: and such an agreement passed betweene them, that though
some rough speeches were noised abroad, to set the better colour on
the businesse; yet al matters were so cleanly carried, that _Beltramo_
never knew this queint deceitfull policy of his Wife.

Lodovico _discovered to his Mistresse Madame_ Beatrix, _how amorously
he was affected to her. She cunningly sent_ Egano _her Husband into
his garden, in all respects disguised like herselfe, while (friendly)_
Lodovico _conferred with her in the meane while. Afterward,_ Lodovico
_pretending a lascivious allurement of his Mistresse, thereby to wrong
his honest Master, insted of her, beateth_ Egano _soundly in the

The Seventh Novell.

_Whereby is declared, that such as keepe many honest seeming servants,
may sometime finde a knave among them, and one that proves to be
over-sawcy with his Master._

This so sodaine dexterity of wit in _Isabella_, related in verie modest
manner by Madame _Pampinea_, was not onely admired by all the company;
but likewise passed with as generall approbation. But yet Madam
_Philomena_ (whom the King had commanded next to succeede) peremptorily
sayde. Worthy Ladies, if I am not deceived; I intend to tell you
another Tale presently; as much to be commended as the last.

You are to understand then, that it is no long while since, when there
dwelt in _Paris_ a _Florentine_ Gentleman, who falling into decay of
his estate, by over-bountifull expences; undertooke the degree of a
Merchant, and thrived so well by his trading, that he grew to great
wealth, having one onely sonne by his wife, named _Lodovico_. This
Sonne, partaking somewhat in his Fathers former height of minde, and
no way inclineable to deale in Merchandize, had no meaning to be a
Shop-man, and therefore accompanied the Gentlemen of _France_, in
sundry services for the King; among whom, by his singular good carriage
and qualities, he happened to be not meanly esteemed. While thus he
continued in the Court, it chanced, that certaine Knights, returning
from _Jerusalem_, having there visited the holy Sepulcher, and comming
into company where _Lodovico_ was: much familiar discourse passed
amongst them, concerning the faire women of _France, England,_ and
other parts of the world where they had bin, and what delicate beauties
they had seene.

One in the company constantly avouched, that of all the Women by
them so generally observed, there was not any comparable to the Wife
of _Egano de Galluzzi_, dwelling in _Bologna_, and her name Madam
_Beatrix_, reputed to be the onely faire woman of the world. Many of
the rest maintained as much, having bin at _Bologna_, and likewise
seene her. _Lodovico_ hearing the woman to be so highly commended,
and never (as yet) feeling any thought of amorous inclination; became
sodainely toucht with an earnest desire of seeing her, and his minde
could entertaine no other matter, but onely of travailing thither to
see her, yea, and to continue there, if occasion so served. The reason
for his journey urged to his Father, was to visit _Jerusalem_, and the
holy Sepulcher, which with much difficulty, at length he obtained his

Being on his journey towards _Bologna_, by the name of _Anichino_, and
not of _Lodovico_, and being there arrived; upon the day following,
and having understood the place of her abiding: it was his good happe,
to see the Lady at her Window; she appearing in his eye farre more
faire, then all reports had made her to be. Heereupon, his affection
became so enflamed to her, as he vowed, never to depart from _Bologna_,
untill he had obtained her love. And devising by what meanes he might
effect his hopes, he grew perswaded (setting all other attempts aside)
that if he could be entertained into her Husbands service, and undergo
some businesse in the house, time might tutor him to obtaine his
desire. Having given his attendants sufficient allowance, to spare his
company, and take no knowledge of him, selling his Horses also, and
other notices which might discover him: he grew into acquaintance with
the Hoste of the house where he lay, revealing an earnest desire in
himselfe, to serve some Lord or worthy Gentleman, if any were willing to
give him entertainment.

Now beleeve me Sir (answered the Hoste) you seeme worthy to have a good
service indeede, and I know a Noble Gentleman of this Cittie, who is
named _Egano_: he will (without all question) accept your offer, for
hee keepeth many men of verie good deserving, and you shall have my
furtherance therein so much as may be. As he promised, so he performed,
and taking _Anichino_ with him unto _Egano_: so farre he prevailed by
his friendly protestations, and good opinion of the young Gentleman;
that _Anichino_ was (without more ado) accepted into _Eganoes_ service,
then which, nothing could be more pleasing to him. Now had he the
benefit of dayly beholding his hearts Mistresse, and so acceptable
proved his service to _Egano_, that he grew very farre in love with
him: not undertaking any affayres whatsoever, without the advice and
direction of _Anichino_, so that he reposed his most especiall trust in
him, as a man altogether governed by him.

It fortuned upon a day, that _Egano_ being ridden to flye his Hawke at
the River, and _Anichino_ remaining behinde at home, Madame _Beatrix_,
who (as yet) had taken no notice of _Anichinoes_ love to her (albeit
her selfe, observing his fine carriage and commendable qualities, was
highly pleased to have so seeming a servant) called him to play at the
Chesse with her: and _Anichino_, coveting nothing more then to content
her, carried himselfe so dexteriously in the game, that he permitted
hir still to win, which was no little joy to her. When all the
Gentle-women, and other friends there present, as spectators to behold
their play, had taken their farewell, and were departed, leaving them
all alone, yet gaming still: _Anichino_ breathing forth an intire sigh,
Madame _Beatrix_ looking merrily on him, said. Tell me _Anichino_, art
not thou angrie, to see me win? It should appeare so by that solemne
sigh. No truly Madame, answered _Anichino_, a matter of farre greater
moment, then losse of infinite games at the Chesse, was the occasion
why I sighed. I pray thee (replyed the Lady) by the love thou bearest
me, as being my Servant (if any love at all remain in thee towards me)
give me a reason for that harty sigh.

When he heard himselfe so severely conjured, by the love he bare to
her, and loved none else in the world beside: he gave a farre more
hart-sicke sigh, then before. Then his Lady and Mistresse entreated
him seriously, to let her know the cause of those two deepe sighes:
whereto _Anichino_ thus replyed. Madam, if I should tell you, I stand
greatly in feare of offending you: and when I have told you, I doubt
your discovery thereof to some other. Beleeve me _Anichino_ (quoth she)
therein thou neither canst, or shalt offend me. Moreover, assure thy
selfe, that I will never disclose it to any other, except I may do it
with thy consent. Madame (saide hee) seeing you have protested such a
solemne promise to mee, I will reveale no meane secret unto you.

So, with teares standing in his eyes, he told her what he was; where he
heard the first report of her singular perfections, and instantly became**
enamored of her, as the maine motive of his entring into her service.
Then, most humbly he entreated her, that if it might agree with her
good liking, she would be pleased to commisserate his case; and grace
him with her private favours. Or, if shee might not be so mercifull
to him; that yet she would vouchsafe, to let him live in the lowly
condition as he did, and thinke it a thankefull duty in him, onely to
love her. O singular sweetnesse, naturally living in faire feminine
blood! How justly art thou worthy of praise in the like occasions? Thou
couldst never be wonne by sighes and teares; but hearty imprecations
have alwayes prevailed with thee, making thee apt and easie to amorous
desires. If I had praises answerable to thy great and glorious
deservings, my voice should never faint, nor my pen waxe weary, in the
due and obsequious performance of them.

Madam _Beatrix_, well observing _Anichino_ when he spake, and giving
credit to his so solemne protestations; they were so powerfull in
prevailing with her, that her senses (in the same manner) were
enchanted; and sighes flew as violently from her, as before he had
vented them: which stormy tempest being a little over-blowne, thus
she spake. _Anichino_, my hearts deere affected Friend, live in hope,
for I tell thee truly, never could gifts, promises, nor any Courtings
used to me by Lords, Knights, Gentlemen, or other (although I have
bin solicited by many) winne the lest grace or favour at my hand, no,
nor move me to any affection. But thou, in a minute of time (compared
with their long and tedious suing) hast expressed such a soveraigne
potency in thy sweet words, that thou hast made me more thine, then
mine owne: and beleeve it unfeinedly, I hold thee to be worthy of my
love. Wherefore, with this kisse I freely give it thee, and make thee a
further promise, that before this night shall be fully past, thou shalt
in better manner perceive it. Adventure into my Chamber about the houre
of midnight, I will leave the doore open: thou knowest, on which side
of the bed I use to rest, come thither and feare not: if I sleep, the
least gentle touch of thy hand will wake me, and then thou shalt see
how much I love thee. So, with a kinde kisse or two, the bargaine was
concluded, she licensing his departure for that time, and he staying
in hope of his hearts happinesse, till when, he thought every houre a

In the meane while, _Egano_ returned home from Hawking, and so soone
as he had supt (being very weary) he went to bed, and his Ladie
likewise with him, leaving her Chamber doore open, according as she had
promised. At the houre appointed, _Anichino_ came, finding the doore
but easily put too, which (being entred) softly he closed againe, in
the same manner as he found it. Going to the beds side where the Lady
lay, and gently touching her brest with his hand, he found her to be
awake, and perceiving he was come according unto promise, shee caught
his hand fast with hers, and held him very strongly. Then, turning
(as she could) towards _Egano_, she made such meanes, as hee awaked,
whereupon she spake unto him as followeth.

Sir, yesternight I would have had a fewe speeches with you: but, in
regard of your wearinesse and early going to bed, I could not have any
opportunity. Now, this time and place being most convenient, I desire
to bee resolved by you: Among all the men retained into your service;
which of them you do thinke to be the best, most loyall, and worthiest
to enjoy your love? _Egano_ answered thus: Wife, why should you move
such a question to me? Do not you know, that I never had any servant
heeretofore, or ever shall have heereafter, in whom I reposed the like
trust as I have done, and do in _Anichino_? But to what end is this
motion of yours? I will tell you Sir (quoth she) and then be Judge
yourself, whether I have reason to move this question, or no. Mine
opinion every way equalled yours, concerning _Anichino_, & that he
was more just and faithfull to you, then any could be amongest all the
rest: But Husband, like as where the water runneth stillest, the Foord
is deepest, even so, his smooth lookes have beguiled both you and me.
For, no longer agoe, then this verie day, no sooner were you ridden
foorth on Hauking, but he (belike purposely) tarrying at home, watching
such a leysure as best fitted his intent: was not ashamed to solicite
mee, both to abuse your bed, and mine owne spotlesse honor.

Moreover, he prosecuted his impious purpose with such alluring
perswasions: that being a weake woman, and not willing to endure over
many Amorous proofes (onely to acquaint you with his most sawcie
immodestie, and to revenge your selfe uppon him as best you may; your
selfe beeing best able to pronounce him guiltie) I made him promise,
to meete him in our Garden, presently after midde-night, and to finde
mee sitting under the Pine-Tree, never meaning (as I am vertuous) to
be there. But, that you may know the deceite and falshoode of your
Servant, I would have you to put on my Night-gowne, my head Attire,
and Chinne-cloath, and sitting but a short while there underneath the
Pine-Tree: such is his insatiate desire, as he will not faile to come,
and then you may proceede, as you finde occasion.

When _Egano_ heard these Words, sodainely hee started out of Bed,
saying. Doe I foster such a Snake in mine owne bosome? Gramercie Wife
for this politicke promise of thine, and beleeve mee, I meane to follow
it effectually. So, on he put his Ladies Night-gown, her formall head
Attire and Chin-cloth, going presently downe into the Garden, to expect
_Anichinoes_ comming to the Pine-Tree. But before the matter grew to
this issue, let me demand of you faire Ladies, in what a lamentable
condition (as you may imagine) was poore _Anichino_; to bee so strongly
detained by her, heare all his amorous suite discovered, and likely
to draw very heavy afflictions on him? Undoubtedly, he looked for
immediate apprehension by _Egano_, imprisonment and publike punishment
for his so malapert presumption: and had it proved so, she had much
renowned her selfe, and dealt with him but as he had justlie deserved.

But frailtie in our feminine sex is too much prevalent, and makes us
wander from vertuous courses, when we are wel onward in the way to
them. Madam _Beatrix_, whatsoever passed betweene her and _Anichino_, I
know not, but, either to continue this new begunne league for further
time, or, to be revenged on her husbands simplicity, in over-rashlie
giving credit to so smooth a ly; this was her advise to him. _Anichino_
quoth she, Take a good Cudgell in thy hand, then go into the Garden so
farre as the Pine; and there, as if formerly thou hadst solicited mee
unto this secret meeting, only but by way of approving my honestie:
in my name, revile thy master so bitterly as thou canst, bestowing
manie sound blowes on him with thy cudgell; yet urge the shame still (as
it were) to mee, and never leave him, till thou hast beaten him out
of the garden, to teach him keepe his bed another time. Such an apt
Scholler as _Anichino_ was in this kind, needs no tuturing, but a word
is enough to a ready Wit. To the Garden goes he, with a good willow
cudgell in his hand, and comming neere to the Pine-tree, there he found
_Egano_ disguised like to his Lady, who arising from the place where
he sate, went with chearefull gesture to welcome him; but _Anichino_
(in rough and stearne manner) thus spake unto him. Wicked, shamelesse,
and most immodest Woman, Art thou come, according to thine unchaste
and lascivious promise? Couldest thou so easily credite, (though I
tempted thee, to trie the vertue of thy continencie) I would offer such
a damnable wrong to my worthy Master, that so deerely loves me, and
reposeth his especiall confidence in me? Thou art much deceived in me,
and shalt finde, that I hate to be false to him.

So lifting up the Cudgell, he gave him therewith halfe a score good
bastinadoes, laying them on soundly, both on his armes and shoulders:
and _Egano_ feeling the smart of them, durst not speake one Worde, but
fled away from him so fast as hee could, _Anichino_ still following,
and multiplying many other injurious speeches against him, with the
Epithites of Strumpet, lustfull and insatiate Woman. Go thou lewde
beast (quoth he) most unworthy the title of a Lady, or to be Wife unto
so good a natured man, as my Mayster is, to whom I will reveale thy
most ungracious incivility to Morrow, that he may punish thee a little
better then I have done.

_Egano_ being thus well beaten for his Garden walke, got within the
doore, and so went up to his Chamber againe: his Lady there demanding
of him, whether _Anichino_ came according to his promise, or no? Come?
quoth Egano, Yes Wife, he came, but deerely to my cost: for hee verily
taking me for thee, hath beaten me most extreamly, calling me an
hundred Whores and Strumpets, reputing thee to bee the wickedest Woman
living. In good sadnesse _Beatrix_, I wondred not a little at him,
that he would give thee any such vile speeches, with intent to wrong
mee in mine honour. Questionlesse, because hee saw thee to be joviall
spirited, gracious and affable towardes all men; therefore hee intended
to make triall of thine honest carriage. Well Sir (sayde shee) twas
happy that hee tempted mee with words, and let you taste the proofe
of them by deeds: and let him thinke, that I brooke those words as
distastably, as you do or can, his ill deeds. But seeing he is so just,
faithfull, and loyall to you, you may love him the better, and respect
him as you finde occasion.

Whereto _Egano_ thus replyed. Now trust me wife, thou hast said very
well: And drawing hence the argument of his setled perswasion; that he
had the chastest Woman living to his wife, and so just a Servant, as
could not be fellowed: there never was any further discoverie of this
Garden-night accident. Perhaps, Madame _Beatrix_ and _Anichino_ might
subtilly smile thereat in secret, in regard that they knew more then
any other else beside did. But, as for honest meaning _Egano_, hee
never had so much as the verie least mistrust of ill dealing, either
in his Lady, or _Anichino_; whom hee loved and esteemed farre more
respectively uppon this proofe of his honestie towards him, then hee
would or could possibly have done, without a triall so playne and

Arriguccio Berlinghieri, _became immeasurably jelous of his Wife_
Simonida, _who fastened a thred about her great toe, for to serve as a
signall, when her amorous friend should come to visite her._ Arriguccio
_findeth the fallacie, and while he pursueth the amorous friend, shee
causeth her Maide to lye in her bed against his returne: whom he
beateth extreamly, cutting away the lockes of her haire (thinking he
had doone all this violence to his wife_ Simonida:) _and afterward
fetcheth her Mother & Brethren, to shame her before them, and so be
rid of her. But they finding all his speeches to be utterly false; and
reputing him to bee a drunken jealous foole; all the blame and disgrace
falleth on himselfe._

The Eight Novell.

_Whereby appeareth, that an Husband ought to be very well advised, when
he meaneth to discover any wrong offered his wife; except hee himselfe
do rashly run into all the shame and reproach._

It seemed to the whole assembly, that Madam _Beatrix_, dealte somewhat
strangely, in the manner of beguiling her husband; and affirmed also,
that _Anichino_ had great cause of fear, when she held him so strongly
by her beds side, and related all his amorous temptation. But when the
King perceyved, that Madame _Philomena_ sate silent, he turned to Madam
_Neiphila_, willing her to supply the next place; who modestly smiling,
thus began.

Faire Ladies, it were an heavy burthen imposed on me, and a matter
much surmounting my capacity, if I should vainely imagine, to content
you with so pleasing a Novell, as those have already done, by you so
singularly reported: neverthelesse, I must discharge my dutie, and take
my fortune as it fals, albeit I hope to finde you mercifull.

You are to know then, that sometime there lived in our Citie, a
very welthy Merchant, named _Arriguccio Berlinghieri_, who (as many
Merchants have done) fondly imagined, to make himselfe a Gentleman by
marriage. Which that he might the more assuredly do, he took to wife
a Gentlewoman, one much above his degree or element, she being named
_Simonida_. Now, in regard that he delighted (as it is the usuall life
of a Merchant) to be often abroad, and little at home, whereby shee
had small benefit of his company; shee grew very forward in affection
with a young Gentleman, called Signior _Roberto_, who had solicited
hir by many amorous meanes, and (at length) prevailed to win her
favor. Which favour being once obtained; affection gaddes so farre
beyond al discretion, and makes Lovers so heedelesse of their private
conversations: that either they are taken tardy in their folly, or else
subjected to scandalous suspition.

It came to passe, that _Arriguccio_, either by rumour, or some other
more sensible apprehension, had received such intelligence concerning
his Wife _Simonida_, as he grew into extraordinarie jealousie of
her, refraining travaile abroad, as formerly he was wont to doe, and
ceassing from his verie ordinary affayres, addicting all his care
and endeavour, onely to be watchfull of his Wife; so that he never
durst sleepe, untill she were by him in the bed, which was no meane
molestation to her, being thus curbd from her familiar meetings with
_Roberto_. Neverthelesse, having a long while consulted with her
wittes, to find some apte meanes for conversing with him, being thereto
also very earnestlie still solicited by him; you shall heare what
course she undertooke.

Her Chamber being on the streete side, and somewhat juttying over it,
she observed the disposition of her Husband, that every night it was
long before he fell asleepe: but beeing once falne into it, no noyse
whatsoever, could easily wake him. This his solemne and sound sleeping,
emboldned her so farre, as to meete with _Roberto_ at the streete
doore, which (while her Husband slept) softly she would open to him,
and there in private converse with him.

But, because shee would know the certaine houre of his comming, without
the least suspition of any: she hung a thred forth of her Chamber
Window, descending downe, within the compasse of _Robertoes_ reach
in the street, and the other end thereof, guided from the Window to
the bed, being conveyed under the cloathes, and shee being in bed,
she fastned it about her left great Toe, wherewith _Roberto_ was
sufficiently acquainted, and thus enstructed withall; that at his
comming, he should plucke the thred, & if her husband was in his dead
sleep, she would let go the thred, and come downe to him: but if he
slept not, she would hold it strongly, and then his tarrying would
prove but in vaine; there could be no meeting that night.

This devise was highly pleasing both to _Roberto_ and _Simonida_, being
the intelligencer of their often meeting, and many times also advising
the contrary. But in the end, as the quaintest cunning may faile at one
time or another; so it fortuned one night, that _Simonida_ being in a
sound sleepe, and _Arriguccio_ waking, because his drowsie houre was
not as yet come: as he extended forth his legge in the bed, he found
the thred, which feeling in his hand, and perceiving it was tyed to his
wives great toe; it prooved apt tinder to kindle further Jealousie,
and now hee suspected some treachery indeede, and so much the rather
because the thred guided (under the cloathes) from the bed to the
window, and there hanging downe into the streete, as a warning to some
further businesse.

Now was _Arriguccio_ so furiously enflamed, that hee must needes bee
further resolved in this apparant doubt: and because therein hee would
not be deceived, softly he cut the thred from his wives toe, and made
it fast about his owne; to trye what successe would ensue thereon. It
was not long before _Roberto_ came, and according as hee used to doe,
hee pluckt the thred, which _Arriguccio_ felt, but because hee had
not tyed it fast, and _Roberto_ pulling it over-hardly, it fell downe
from the window into his hand, which he understood as his lesson, to
attend her comming, and so hee did. _Arriguccio_ stealing softly out
of bed from his wife, and taking his Sword under his arme, went downe
to the doore, to see who it was, with full intent of further revenge.
Now, albeit he was a Merchant, yet he wanted not courage, and boldnesse
of spirit, and opening the doore without any noyse, onely as his wife
was wont to doe: _Roberto_, there waiting his entrance, perceived by
the doores unfashionable opening, that it was not _Simonida_, but her
Husband, whereupon he betooke himselfe to flight, and _Arriguccio_
fiercely followed him. At the length, _Roberto_ perceiving that flight
avayled him not, because his enemy still pursued him: being armed also
with a Sword, as _Arriguccio_ was; he returned backe upon him, the one
offering to offend, as the other stood upon his defence, and so in the
darke they fought together.

_Simonida_ awaking, even when her Husband went foorth of the Chamber,
and finding the thred to be cut from her toe; conjectured immediately,
that her subtle cunning was discovered, and supposing her Husband in
pursuite of _Roberto_, presently she arose; and, considering what
was likely to ensue thereon, called her Chamber-maide (who was not
ignorant in the businesse) and by perswasions prevailed so with her,
that she lay downe in her place in the bed, upon solemne protestations
and liberall promises, not to make her selfe knowne, but to suffer all
patiently, either blowes, or other ill usage of her Husband, which
shee would recompence in such bountifull sort, as she should have no
occasion to complaine. So, putting out the watch-light, which every
night burned in the Chamber, she departed thence, and sate downe in
a close corner of the house, to see what would be the end of all this
stirre, after her Husbands comming home.

The fight (as you have formerly heard) continuing betweene _Roberto_
and _Arriguccio_, the neighbours hearing of the clashing of their
Swords in the streets; arose out of their beds, and reproved them in
very harsh manner. In which respect _Arriguccio_, fearing to be knowne,
and ignorant also what his adversary was (no harme being as yet done
on either side) permitted him to depart; and extreamely full of anger,
returned backe againe to his house. Being come up into his bed-chamber,
Thus he began; Where is this lewde and wicked woman? what? hast thou
put out the light, because I should not finde thee? that shall not
avayle thee, for I can well enough finde a drab in the darke. So,
groping on to the beds side, and thinking hee had taken hold on his
wife, he grasped the Chamber-maide, so beating her with his fists, and
spurning her with his feet, that all her face was bloody & bruised.
Next, with his knife he cut off a great deal of her haire: giving her
the most villanous speeches as could be devised: swearing, that he
would make her a shame to all the world.

You need make no doubt, but the poore maide wept exceedingly, as she
had good occasion to doe: and albeit many times she desired mercy,
and that hee would not bee so cruell to her: yet notwithstanding, her
voyce was so broken with crying, and his impacience so extreame, that
rage hindered all power of distinguishing, or knowing his wives tongue
from a strangers. Having thus madly beaten her, and cut the lockes off
from her head, thus he spake to her. Wicked woman, and no wife of mine,
be sure I have not done with thee yet; for, although I meane not now
to beate thee any longer: I will goe to thy brethren, and they shall
understand thy dishonest behaviour. Then will I bring them home with
me, and they perceiving how much thou hast abused both their honour
and thine owne; let them deale with thee as they finde occasion, for
thou art no more a companion for me. No sooner had he uttered these
angry words, but hee went forth of the Chamber, bolting it fast on the
outward side, as meaning to keepe her safely inclosed, & out of the
house he went alone by himselfe.

_Simonida_, who had heard all this tempestuous conflict, perceiving
that her Husband had lockt the streete doore after him, and was
gone whether he pleased: unbolted the Chamber doore, lighted a waxe
candle, and went in to see her poore maide, whom she found to be most
pittifully misused. She comforted her as well as she could, brought her
into her owne lodging Chamber, where washing her face and hurts in very
soveraigne waters, and rewarding her liberally with _Arriguccioes_ owne
Gold; she held her selfe to bee sufficiently satisfyed. So, leaving the
maide in her lodging, and returning againe to her owne Chamber: she
made up the bed in such former manner, as if no body had lodged therein
that night. Then hanging up her Lampe fresh fild with oyle, and clearly
lighted, she deckt her selfe in so decent sort, as if she had bin in no
bed all that night.

Then taking sowing worke in her hand, either shirts or bands of her
Husbands; hanging the Lampe by her, and sitting downe at the stayres
head, she fell to worke in very serious manner, as if shee had
undertaken some imposed taske.

On the other side, _Arriguccio_ had travelled so farre from his
house, till he came at last to the dwelling of _Simonidaes_ brethren:
where hee knockt so soundly, that he was quickely heard, and (almost
as speedily) let in. _Simonidaes_ brethren, and her mother also,
hearing of _Arriguccioes_ comming thither so late. Rose from their
beds, and each of them having a Waxe Candle lighted came presently to
him, to understand the cause of this his so unseasonable visitation.
_Arriguccio_, beginning at the originall of the matter, the thred found
tyed about his wives great toe, the fight and houshold conflict after
following: related every circumstance to them. And for the better
proofe of his words, he shewed them the thred it selfe, the lockes
supposed of his wives haire, and adding withall; that they might now
dispose of _Simonida_ as themselves pleased, because she should remaine
no longer in his house.

The brethren to _Simonida_ were exceedingly offended at this relation,
in regard they beleeved it for truth, and in this fury, commanded
Torches to be lighted, preparing to part thence with _Arriguccio_ home
to his house, for the more sharpe reprehension of their Sister. Which
when their mother saw, she followed them weeping, first entreating
one, and then the other, not to be over rash in crediting such a
slander, but rather to consider the truth thereof advisedly: because
the Husband might be angry with his Wife upon some other occasion,
and having outraged her, made this the meanes in excuse of himselfe.
Morever she said, that she could not chuse but wonder greatly, how this
matter should thus come to passe; because she had good knowledge of
her daughter, during the whole course of her education, faultlesse and
blamelesse in every degree; with many other good words of her beside,
as proceeding from naturall affection of a mother.

Being come to the house of _Arriguccio_, entring in, and ascending up
the stayres: they heard _Simonida_ sweetly singing at her working; but
pausing, upon hearing their rude trampling, shee demaunded, who was
there. One of the angry brethren presently answered: Lewde woman as
thou art, thou shalt know soone enough who is heere: Our blessed Lady
be with us (quoth _Simonida_) and sweet Saint Frances helpe to defend
me, who dare use such unseemely speeches? Starting up and meeting them
on the staire head: Kinde brethren, (said she) is it you? What, and
my loving mother too? For sweet Saint Charities sake, what may be the
reason of your comming hither in this manner. Shee being set downe
againe to her worke, so neatly apparelled, without any signe of outrage
offered her, her face unblemished, her haire comely ordered, and
differing wholly from the former speeches of her Husband: the Brethren
marvelled thereat not a little; and asswaging somewhat the impetuous
torrent of their rage; began to demaund in coole blood, (as it were)
from what ground her Husbands complaints proceeded, and threatning her
roughly, if she would not confesse the truth intirely to them.

Ave Maria (quoth _Simonida_, crossing her selfe) Alas deare Brethren,
I know not what you say, or meane, nor wherein my Husband should bee
offended, or make any complaint at all of me. _Arriguccio_ hearing
this, looked on her like a man that had lost his Senses: for well he
remembred, how many cruell blowes he had given her on the face, beside
scratches of his nailes, and spurnes of his feet, as also the cutting
of her haire, the the least shew of all which misusage, was not now
to be seene. Her brethren likewise briefly told her, the whole effect
of her Husbands speeches, shewing her the thred, and in what cruell
manner he sware hee did beate her. _Simonida_, turning then to her
Husband, and seeming as confounded with amazement, said. How is this
Husband? what doe I heare? would you have me supposed (to your owne
shame and disgrace) to be a bad woman, and your selfe a cruell curst
man, when (on either side) there is no such matter? When were you this
night heere in the house with mee? Or when should you beate mee, and I
not feele nor know it. Beleeve me (sweete heart) all these are meerely
miracles to me.

Now was _Arriguccio_ ten times more mad in his minde, then before,
saying. Divell, and no woman, did wee not this night goe both together
to bed? Did not I cut this thred from thy great toe, tyed it to mine,
and found the craftie compact betweene thee and thy Minnion? Did not
I follow and fight with him in the streets? Came I not backe againe,
and beate thee as a Strumpet should be? And are not these the locks of
haire, which I my selfe did cut from thy head?

Alas Sir (quoth she) where have you been? doe you know what you say?
you did not lodge in this house this night, neither did I see you all
the whole day and night, till now.

But leaving this, and come to the matter now in question, because I
have no other testimony then mine owne words. You say, that you did
beate me, and cut those lockes of haire from my head. Alas Sir, why
should you slander your selfe? In all your life time you did never
strike me. And to approve the truth of my speeches, doe you your selfe,
and all else heere present, looke on me advisedly, if any signe of blow
or beating is to be seene on me. Nor were it an easie matter for you
to doe either to smite, or so much as lay your hand (in anger) on me,
it would cost dearer then you thinke for. And whereas you say, that
you did cut those lockes of haire from my head; it is more then either
I know, or felt, nor are they in colour like to mine: but, because my
Mother and brethren shall be my witnesses therein, and whether you did
it without my knowledge; you shall all see, if they be cut, or no. So,
taking off her head attyre, she displayed her hayre over her shoulders,
which had suffered no violence, neither seemed to bee so much as
uncivilly or rudely handled.

When the mother and brethren saw this, they began to murmure against
_Arriguccio_, saying, What thinke you of this Sir? you tell us of
strange matters which you have done, and all proving false, we wonder
how you can make good the rest. _Arriguccio_ looked wilde, and
confusedly, striving still to maintaine his accusation: but seeing
every thing to bee flatly against him, he durst not attempt to speake
one word. _Simonida_ tooke advantage of this distraction in him, and
turning to her brethren, saide. I see now the marke whereat he aymeth,
to make me doe what I never meante: Namely, that I should acquaint you
with his vile qualities, and what a wretched life I leade with him,
which seeing hee will needes have me to reveale; beare with me if I doe
it upon compulsion.

Mother and Brethren, I am verily perswaded, that those accidents which
he disclosed to you, hath doubtlesse (in the same manner) happened to
him, and you shall heare how. Very true it is, that this seeming honest
man, to whom (in a lucklesse houre) you married me, stileth himselfe
by the name of a Merchant, coveting to be so accounted and credited,
as holy in outward appearance, as a Religious Monke, and as demure in
lookes, as the modestest Maide: like a notorious common drunkard, is a
Taverne hunter, where making his luxurius matches, one while with one
Whore, then againe with another; hee causeth mee every night to sit
tarrying for him, even in the same sort as you found me: sometimes till
midnight, and otherwhiles till broad day light in the morning.

And questionlesse, being in his wounted drunken humour, hee hath lyen
with one of his sweet Consorts, about whose toe he found the thred, and
finding her as false to him, as he hath alwayes been to me: Did not
onely beat her, but also cut the haire from her head. And having not
yet recovered his sences, is verily perswaded, and cannot be altered
from it; but that hee performed all this villany to me. And if you doe
but advisedly observe his countenance, he appeareth yet to be more then
halfe drunke.

But whatsoever he hath said concerning me, I make no account at all
thereof, because he spake it in his drunkennesse, and as freely as I
forgive him, even so (good Mother and kinde Brethren) let mee entreate
you to do the like.

When the Mother had heard these words, and confidently beleeved her
Daughter: she began to torment her selfe with anger, saying. By the
faith of my body Daughter, this unkindnesse is not be endured, but
rather let the dogge be hanged, that his qualities may be knowne, he
being utterly unworthy, to have so good a woman to his wife, as thou
art. What could he have done more, if he had taken thee in the open
streete, and in company of some wanton Gallants? In an unfortunate
houre wast thou married to him, base jealous Coxecombe as he is, and it
is quite against sense, or reason, that thou shouldest be subject to
his fooleries. What was hee, but a Merchant of Eale-skinnes or Orenges;
bred in some paltry countrey village; taken from Hogge-rubbing; clothed
in Sheepes-Sattin, with Clownish Startops, Leather stockings, and
Caddies garters: His whole habite not worth three shillings: And yet he
must have a faire Gentlewoman to his Wife, of honest fame, riches and
reputation; when, comparing his pedegree with hers, hee is farre unfit
to wipe her shooes.

Oh my deare Sonnes, I would you had followed my counsell, and permitted
her to match in the honourable family of _Count Guido_, which was much
mooved, and seriously pursued. But you would needs bestow her on this
goodly Jewell; who, although shee is one of the choysest beauties
in Florence, chaste, honest and truely vertuous: Is not ashamed at
midnight, to proclaime her for a common whore, as if we had no better
knowledge of her. But by the blessed mother of Saint _John_, if you
would be ruled by mine advise; our law should make him dearely smart
for it.

Alas my sonnes, did I not tell you at home in our owne house, that his
words were no way likely to prove true? Have not your eyes observed his
unmannerly behaviour to your Sister? If I were as you are, hearing what
he hath said, and noting his drunken carriage beside; I should never
give over, as long as he had any life left in him. And were I a man,
as I am a woman; none other then my selfe should revenge her wrongs,
making him a publike spectacle to all drabbing drunkards.

When the brethren had heard and observed all these occurrences; in
most bitter manner they railed on _Arriguccio_, bestowing some good
bastinadoes on him beside, concluding thus with him in the end. Quoth
one of them, Wee will pardon this shamefull abusing of our Sister,
because thou art a notorious drunkard: but looke to it (on perill of
thy life) that we have no more such newes hereafter; for, beleeve it
unfainedly, if any such impudent rumours happen to our eares, or so
much as a flying fame thereof; thou shalt surely be paide for both
faults together.

So home againe went they, and _Arriguccio_ stood like one that had
neither life or motion, not knowing (whether what he had done) was
true, or no, or if he dreamed all this while, and so (without uttering
any word) he left his Wife, and went quietly to bed. Thus by her
wisdome, she did not onely prevent an imminent perill: but also made a
free and open passage, to further contentment with her amourous friend,
yet dreadlesse of any distaste or suspition in her Husband.

Lydia, _a Lady of great beauty, birth, and honor, being wife to_
Nicostratus, _Governour of_ Argos, _falling in love with a Gentleman,
named_ Pyrrhus; _was requested by him (as a true testimony of her
unfeigned affection) to performe three severall actions of her selfe.
She did accomplish them all, and imbraced and kissed_ Pyrrhus _in the
presence of_ Nicostratus; _by perswading him, that whatsoever he saw,
was meerely false._

The Ninth Novell.

_Wherein is declared, that great Lords may sometime be deceived by
their Wives, as well as men of meaner condition._

The Novell delivered, by Madame _Neiphila_ seemed so pleasing to all
the Ladies; as they could not refraine from hearty laughter, beside
much liberality of speech. Albeit the King did oftentimes urge silence,
and commanded _Pamphilus_ to follow next. So, when attention was
admitted, _Pamphilus_ began in this order. I am of opinion, faire
Ladies, that there is not any matter, how uneasie or doubtfull soever
it may seeme to be; but the man or woman that affecteth fervently,
dare boldly attempt, and effectually accomplish. And this perswasion
of mine, although it hath beene sufficiently approved, by many of our
passed Novels: Yet notwithstanding, I shall make it much apparent to
you, by a present discourse of mine owne. Wherein I have occasion to
speake of a Lady, to whom Fortune was more favourable, then either
reason or judgement, could give direction. In which regard, I would
not advise any of you, to entertaine so high an imagination of minde,
as to tracke her footsteps of whom I am now to speake: because Fortune
containeth not alwayes one and the same disposition, neither can all
mens eyes be blinded after one manner. And so proceed we to our Tale.

In _Argos_, a most ancient Citie of _Achaya_, much more renowned by
her precedent Kings, then wealth, or any other great matter of worth:
there lived as Lieutenant or Governour thereof, a Noble Lord, named
_Nicostratus_, on whom (albeit hee was well stept into yeares) Fortune
bestowed in a marriage a great Lady, no lesse bold of spirit, then
choisely beautifull. _Nicostratus_, abounding in treasure and wealthy
possessions, kept a goodly trains of Servants, Horses, Houndes, Hawkes,
and what else not, as having an extraordinary felicity in all kinds of
game, as singular exercises to maintaine his health.

Among his other Servants and Followers, there was a yong Gentleman,
gracefull of person, excellent in speech, and every way as active
as no man could be more: his name _Pyrrhus_, highly affected of
_Nicostratus_, and more intimately trusted then all the rest. Such
seemed the perfections of this _Pyrrhus_, that _Lydia_ (for so was
the Lady named) began to affect him very earnestly, and in such sort,
as day or night shee could take no rest, but devised all meanes to
compasse her harts desire. Now, whether he observed this inclination of
her towards him, or else would take no notice thereof, it could not be
discerned by any outward apprehension: which moved the more impatiency
in her, & drove her hopes to dispairing passions. Wherein to finde some
comfort and ease, she called an ancient Gentlewoman of her Chamber, in
whom shee reposed especiall confidence, and thus she spake to her.

_Lesca_, The good turnes and favours thou hast received from me, should
make thee faithfull and obedient to me: and therefore set a locke
uppon thy lippes, for revealing to any one whatsoever, such matters as
now I shall impart to thee; except it be to him that I command thee.
Thou perceivest _Lesca_, how youthfull I am, apt to all sprightly
recreations, rich, and abounding in all that a woman can wish to
have, in regard of Fortunes common & ordinary favours: yet I have one
especiall cause of complaint: namely, the inequality of my Mariage, my
Husband being over-ancient for me; in which regard, my youth finds it
selfe too highly wronged, being defeated of those duties and delights,
which women (farre inferiour to me) are continuallie cloyed withall,
and I am utterly deprived of. I am subject to the same desires they
are, and deserve to taste the benefit of them, in as ample manner, as
they do or can.

Hitherto I have lived with the losse of time, which yet (in some
measure) may be releeved and recompenced: For, though Fortune were mine
enemy in Mariage, by such a disproportion of our conditions: yet she
may befriend in another nature, and kindely redeeme the injury done me.
Wherefore _Lesca_, to be as compleate in this case, as I am in all the
rest beside; I have resolved upon a private Friend, and one more worthy
then any other; Namely, my Servant _Pyrrhus_, whose youth carieth some
correspondency with mine; and so constantly have I setled my love
to him, as I am not well, but when I thinke on him, or see him: and
(indeede) shall dye, except the sooner I may enjoy him. And therefore,
if my life and well-fare be respected by thee, let him understand the
integrity of mine affection, by such good means as thou findest it most
expedient to be done: entreating him from me, that I may have some
conference with him, when he shall thereto be solicited by me.

The Chamber-Gentlewoman _Lesca_, willingly undertooke the Ladies
Embassie; and so soone as opportunity did favor her: having withdrawne
_Pyrrhus_ into an apt and commodious place, shee delivered the Message
to him, in the best manner she could devise. Which _Pyrrhus_ hearing,
did not a little wonder thereat, never having noted any such matter;
and therefore sodainly conceyved, that the Lady did this onely to
try him; whereupon, somewhat roundly and roughly, hee returned this
answere. _Lesca_, I am not so simple, as to credite any such Message
to be sent from my Lady, and therefore be better advised of thy words.
But admit that it should come from her, yet I cannot be perswaded, that
her soule consented to such harsh Language, far differing from a forme
so full of beauty**. And yet admit againe, that her hart and tongue herein
were relatives: My Lord and Master hath so farre honoured mee, and so
much beyond the least part of merite in mee: as I will rather dye, then
any way offer to disgrace him: And therefore I charge thee, never more
to move mee in this matter.

_Lesca_, not a jot danted at his stearne words, presently she saide.
_Pyrrhus_, Both in this and all other Messages my Lady shall command
me, I will speake to thee whensoever shee pleaseth, receive what
discontent thou canst thereby; or make presumption of what doubts
thou maist devise. But as I found thee a senselesse fellow, dull,
and not shaped to any understanding, so I leave thee: And in that
anger parted from him, carrying backe the same answer to her Lady.
She no sooner heard it, but instantly shee wished her selfe to be
dead; and within some few dayes after, she conferred againe with her
Chamber-woman, saying. _Lesca_, thou knowest well enough, that the Oxe
falleth not at the first blow of the Axe, neither is the victory won,
upon a silly and shallow adventure: Wherefore, I thinke it convenient,
that once more thou shouldst make another tryall of him, who (in
prejudice to me) standeth so strictly on his loyalty, and choosing
such an houre as seemeth most commodious, soundly possesse him with my
tormenting passions. Bestirre thy Wittes, and tippe thy tongue with a
Womans eloquence, to effect what I so earnestly desire: because, by
languishing in this love-sicke affliction, it well bee the danger of my
death, and some severe detriment to him, to be the occasion of so great
a losse.

_Lesca_, comforted her Lady, so much as lay in her power to doe, and
having sought for _Pyrrhus_, whom she found at good leysure; and, in
a pleasing humour, thus she beganne. _Pyrrhus_, some few dayes since I
tolde thee, in what extreame Agonies thy Lady and mine was, onely in
regarde of her love to thee: and now againe I come once more, to give
thee further assurance thereof: Wherefore, beleeve it unfeignedly,
that if thy obstinacie continue still, in like manner as the other day
it did, expect very shortly to heare the tydings of her death.

It is my part therefore, to entreat thee, to comfort her long
languishing desires: but if thou persist in thy harsh opinion, in stead
of reputing thee a wise and fortunate yong man, I shall confesse thee
to bee an ignoraunt Asse. What a glorie is it to thee, to be affected
of so faire and worthy a Lady, beyond all men else whatsoever? Next to
this, tell me, how highly maist thou confesse thy selfe beholding to
Fortune, if thou but duly consider, how shee hath elected thee as sole
soveraigne of her hopes, which is a crowne of honour to thy youth, and
a sufficient refuge against all wants and necessities? Where is any to
thy knowledge like thy selfe, that can make such advantage of his time,
as thou maist do, if thou wert wise? Where canst thou find any one to
go beyond thee in Armes, Horses, sumptuous garments, and Gold, as will
be heaped on thee, if _Lydia_ may be the Lady of thy love? Open then
thine understanding to my words, returne into thine owne soule, and bee
wise for thy selfe.

Remember (_Pyrrhus_) that Fortune presents her selfe but once before
any one, with cheerefull lookes, and her lappe wide open of richest
favours, where if choice be not quickely made, before she folde it
up, and turn her backe: let no complaint afterward be made of her,
if the Fellow that had so faire an offer, proove to be miserable,
wretched, and a Beggar, only thorow his owne negligence. Beside, what
else hath formerly bin saide, there is now no such neede of loyaltie
in servants to their Ladies, as should be among deare Friends and
Kindred: but servants ought rather (as best they may) be such to their
Masters, as they are to them. Doest thou imagine, that if thou hadst
a faire Wife, Mother, Daughter, or Sister, pleasing in the eye of our
_Nicostratus_; he would stand on such nice tearmes of duty or Loyaltie,
as now thou doest to his Ladie? Thou wert a verie foole to rest so
perswaded. Assure thy selfe, that if entreaties and faire meanes might
not prevaile, force, and compulsion (whatsoever ensued thereon) woulde
winne the masterie. Let us then use them, and the commodities unto them
belonging, as they would us and ours. Use the benefit of thy Fortune,
& beware of abusing her favour. She yet smiles on thee; but take heede
least she turne her backe, it will then be over-late to repent thy
folly. And if my Ladie die through thy disdaine, be assured, that thou
canst not escape with life, beside open shame and disgrace for ever.

_Pyrrhus_, who had often considered on _Lescaes_ first message,
concluded with himselfe; that if any more she moved the same matter:
hee would returne her another kinde of answere, wholly yeelding to
content his Lady; provided, that he might remaine assured, concerning
the intyre truth of the motion, and that it was not urged onely to
trie him, wherefore, thus he replyed. _Lesca_, do not imagine mee so
ignorant, as not to know the certaintie of all thy former allegations,
confessing them as freely as thou doest, or canst. But yet let mee
tell thee withall, that I knowe my Lord to be wise and judicious, and
having committed all his affaires to my care and trust: never blame mee
to misdoubt; least my Ladie (by his counsell and advice) make thee the
messenger of this motion, thereby to call my Fidelitie in question.

To cleare which doubt, and for my further assurance of her well meaning
toward me; if she will undertake the performance of three such things
as I must needes require in this case: I am afterward her owne, in any
service she can command me. The first of them, is, that in the presence
of my Lord and Master, she kill his faire Faulcon, which so dearly hee
affecteth. The second, to send me a locke or tuft of his beard, being
puld away with her owne hand. The third and last, with the same hand
also, to pluck out one of his best and soundest teeth, and send it
mee as her loves true token. When I finde all these three effectually
performed, I am wholly hers, & not before.

These three strict impositions, seemed to _Lesca_, and her Ladie
likewise, almost beyond the compasse of all possibility. Nevertheles
Love, being a powerfull Oratour in perswading, as also adventurous even
on the most difficult dangers; gave her courage to undertake them all:
sending _Lesca_ backe againe to him, with full assurance, of these
more then _Herculean_ labours. Moreover, her selfe did intend to adde
a fourth taske, in regard of his strong opinion concerning the great
Wisedome of his Lord and Maister. After she had effected all the other
three, she would not permit him to kisse her, but before his Lords
face: which yet should be accomplished in such sort, as _Nicostratus_
himselfe should not beleeve it, although apparantly he saw it. Well,
(quoth _Pyrrhus_) when all these wonders are performed, assure my
Ladie, that I am truelie hers.

Within a short while after, _Nicostratus_ made a solemne Feastivall
(according as yearely he used to doe) in honour of his birth day,
inviting many Lords and Ladies thereto. On which rejoycing day, so
soone as dinner was ended, and the Tables withdrawne: _Lydia_ came
into the great Hall, where the Feast was solemnly kept; very rich and
costly apparrelled; and there, in presence of _Pyrrhus_, and the whole
assemblie, going to the Perch whereon the Faulcone sate, wherein her
Husband tooke no little delight, and having untyed her, as if shee
meant to beare her on her Fist: tooke her by the Jesses, and beating
her against the wal, killed her. _Nicostratus_ beholding this, called
out aloud unto her, saying. Alas Madame! what have you done? She making
him no answere, but turning to the Lords and Ladies, which had dined
there, spake in this manner.

Ill should I take revenge on a King, that had offended me, if I had not
so much heart, as to wreake my spleene on a paltry Hawke. Understand
then, worthy Lords and Ladies, that this Faulcone hath long time
robbed me of those delights, which men (in meere equitie) ought to
have with their wives: because continually, so soone as breake of day
hath appeared, my Husband, starting out of bed, makes himselfe readie,
presently to Horsse, and with this Faulcon on his Fist, rides abroad
to his recreation in the Fields. And I, in such forsaken sort as you
see, am left all alone in my bed, discontented and despised: often
vowing to my selfe, to bee thus revenged as now I am, being with-held
from it by no other occasion, but onely want of a fit and apt time, to
do it in the presence of such persons, as might bee just Judges of my
wrongs, and as I conceive you all to be.

The Lords and Ladies hearing these words, and beleeving this deed
of hers to be done no otherwise, but out of her entire affection to
_Nicostratus_, according as her speeches sounded: compassionately
turning towards him (who was exceedingly displeased) and all smiling,
said. Now in good sadnesse Sir; Madame _Lydia_ hath done well, in
acting her just revenge upon the Hawke, that bereft her of her Husbands
kinde companie; then which nothing is more precious to a loving wife,
and a hell it is to live without it. And _Lydia_, being sodainly
withdrawne into her chamber; with much other friendly and familiar
talke, they converted the anger of _Nicostratus_ into mirth and smiling.

_Pyrrhus_, who had diligently observed the whole cariage of this
businesse, saide to himselfe. My Ladie hath begun well, and proceeding
on with no worse successe, will (no doubt) bring her love to an happy
conclusion. As for the Lady her selfe, she having thus kild the
Hawke, it was no long while after, but being in the Chamber with her
husband, and they conversing familiarly together: she began to jest
with him, & hee in the like manner with her, tickling and toying each
the other, till at the length she played with his beard, and now she
found occasion aptly serving, to effect the second taske imposed by
_Pyrrhus_. So, taking fast hold on a small tuft of his beard, she gave
a sodaine snatch, and plucked it away quite from his chin. Whereat
_Nicostratus_ beeing angerly moved, she (to appease his distaste)
pleasantly thus spake. How now my Lord? Why do you looke so frowningly?
What? Are you angry for a few loose haires of your beard? How then
should I take it, when you plucke mee by the haire of my head, and yet
I am not a jot discontented, because I know you do it but in jesting
manner? These friendly speeches cut off all further contention, and
she kepte charily the tuft of her Husbands beard, which (the verie
selfe-same day) shee sent to _Pyrrhus_ her hearts chosen friend.

But now concerning the third matter to be adventured, it drove her
to a much more serious consideration, then those two which shee had
already so well and exactly performed. Notwithstanding, like a Ladie of
unconquerable spirit, and (in whom) Love enlarged his power more and
more: she sodainly conceited, what course was best to bee kept in this
case, forming her attempt in this manner. Upon _Nicostratus_ wayted
two young Gentlemen, as Pages of his Chamber, whose Fathers had given
them to his service, to learne the manners of honourable Courtship, and
those qualities necessarily required in Gentlemen. One of them, when
_Nicostratus_ sate downe to dinner or supper, stood in Office of his
Carver, delivering him all the meats whereon he fed. The other (as
Taster) attended on his Cup, and he dranke no other drinke, but what
hee brought him, and they both were highly pleasing unto him.

On a day, _Lydia_ called these two youths aside; and, among some other
speeches, which served but as an induction to her intended policy; she
perswaded them, that their mouths yeelded an unsavoury & ill-pleasing
smell, whereof their Lord seemed to take dislike. Wherefore she advised
them, that at such times as they attended on him in their severall
places: they should (so much as possibly they could) withdraw their
heads aside from him, because their breath might not be noyous unto
him. But withall, to have an especiall care, of not disclosing to
any one, what she had told them; because (out of meere love) she
had acquainted them therewith: which very constantly they beleeved,
and followed the same direction as she had advised, being loath to
displease, where service bound them to obey. Choosing a time fitting
for her purpose, when _Nicostratus_ was in private conference with her,
thus she began. Sir, you observe not the behaviour of your two pages,
when they wait on you at the Table? Yes but I do wife (quoth he) how
squemishly they turn their heads aside from me, and it hath often bin
in my minde, to understand a reason why they do so.

Seating herselfe by him, as if shee had some weighty matter to tell
him; she proceeded in this manner. Alas my Lord, you shall not need
to question them, because I can sufficiently resolve you therein:
which (neverthelesse) I have long concealed, because I would not be
offensive to you. But in regard, it is now manifestly apparant, that
others have tasted, what (I immagined) none but my selfe did, I will
no longer hide it from you. Assuredly Sir, there is a most strange and
unwonted ill-savour, continually issuing from your mouth, smelling most
noysomely, and I wonder what should be the occasion. In former times,
I never felt any such foule breathing to come from you: and you, who
do daily converse with so many worthy persons, should seeke meanes to
be rid of so great an annoyance. You say verie true wife (answered
_Nicostratus_) and I protest to you on my Credite, I feele no such ill
smell, neither know what should cause it, except I have some corrupted
tooth in my mouth. Perhaps Sir (quoth she) it may be so, and yet you
feele not the savour which others do, yea, very offensively.

So, walking with her to a Window, he opened wide his mouth, the which
nicely shee surveyed on either side, and, turning her head from him,
as seeming unable to endure the savour: starting, and shrieking out
alowd, she said. Santa Maria! What a sight is this? Alas my good Lord,
How could you abide this, and for so long a while? Heere is a tooth on
this side, which (so farre as I can perceive) is not onely hollow and
corrupted: but also wholly putrified and rotten, and if it continue
still in your head, beleeve it for a truth, that it will infect and
spoile all the rest neere it. I would therefore counsell you, to let
it be pluckt out, before it breede your further danger. I like your
counsell well _Lydia_, replyed _Nicostratus_, and presently intend
to follow it; Let therefore my Barber be sent for, and, without any
longer delay, he shall plucke it forth instantly.

How Sir? (quoth she,) your Barber? Uppon mine Honour, there shall come
no Barber heere. Why Sir, it is such a rotten Tooth, and standeth so
fairely for my hand: that, without helpe or advice of any Barber, let
mee alone for plucking it forth, without putting you to any paine at
all. Moreover, let me tell you Sir, those Tooth-drawers are so rude and
cruell, in performing such Offices, as my heart cannot endure, that you
should come within compasse of their currish courtesie, neither shall
you Sir, if you will be ruled by me. If I should faile in the manner of
their facilitie, yet love & duty hath enstructed me, to forbeare your
least paining, which no unmannerly Barber will do.

Having thus spoken, and he well contented with her kinde offer, the
instruments were brought, which are used in such occasions, all being
commanded forth of the Chamber, but onely _Lesca_, who evermore kept
still in her company. So, locking fast the doore, and _Nicostratus_
being seated, as she thought fittest for her purpose, she put the
Tanacles into his mouth, catching fast hold on one of his soundest
teeth: which, notwithstanding his loud crying, _Lesca_ held him so
strongly, that forth she pluckt it, and hid it, having another tooth
readie made hot & bloody, very much corrupted and rotten, which she
helde in the Tanacles, and shewed to him, who was well-neere halfe dead
with anguish. See Sir (quoth she) was this Tooth to be suffered in your
head, and to yeeld so foule a smell as it did? He verily beleeving what
she said, albeit hee had endured extreame paine, and still complained
on her harsh and violent pulling it out: rejoyced yet, that he was now
ridde of it, and she comforting him on the one side, and the anguish
asswaging him on the other, he departed forth of the Chamber.

In the mean while, by _Lesca_ she sent the sound tooth to _Pyrrhus_,
who (wondering not a little at her so many strange attempts; which hee
urged so much the rather, as thinking their performance impossible,
and, in meere loyall duty to his Lord) seeing them all three to be
notably effected; he made no further doubt of her intire love towardes
him, but sent her assurance likewise, of his readinesse and serviceable
diligence, whensoever she would command him.

Now, after the passage of all these adventures, hardly to bee
undertaken by any other Woman: yet she held them insufficient for
his security, in the grounded perswasion of her love to him, except
shee performed another of her owne, and according as shee had boldly
promised. Houres do now seeme dayes, and dayes multiplicitie of
yeeres, till the kisse may be given, and receyved in the presence of
_Nicostratus_, yet hee himselfe to avouch the contrary.

Madam _Lydia_ (upon a pretended sicknesse) keepeth her chamber, and
as women can hardly be exceeded in dissimulation: so, shee wanted no
wit, to seeme exquisitely cunning, in all the outwarde apparances of
sicknesse. One day after dinner, shee being visited by _Nicostratus_,
and none attending on him but _Pyrrhus_ onely: she earnestly entreated,
that as a mitigation, to some inward afflictions which she felt, they
would helpe to guide her into the Garden.

Most gladly was her motion graunted, and _Nicostratus_ gently taking
her by one arme, and _Pyrrhus_ by the other, so they conducted her into
the Garden, seating her in a faire floury Grasse-plot, with her backe
leaning to a Peare-tree. Having sitten there an indifferent while,
and _Pyrrhus_, being formerly enstructed, in the directions which she
had given him, thus shee spake, some-what faintly. _Pyrrhus_, I have
a kinde of longing desire upon a sodaine, to taste of these Peares:
Wherefore, climbe up into the Tree, and cast me downe one or two; which
instantly hee did. Being aloft in the Tree, and throwing downe some of
the best and ripest Peares; at length (according to his premeditated
Lesson) looking downe, he said.

Forbeare my Lord, Do you not see, in how weake and feeble condition my
Ladie is, being shaken with so violent a sicknesse? And you Madam, how
kinde and loving soever you are to my Lord, Are you so little carefull
of your health, being but now come forth of your sicke Chamber, to be
ruffled and tumbled in such rough manner? Though such dalliances are
not amisse in you both; being fitter for the private Chamber, then
an open garden, and in the presence of a servant: yet time and place
should alwaies bee respectively considered, for the avoiding of ill
example, and better testimonie of your owne Wisedomes, which ever
should be like your selves. But if so soone, and even in the heate of
a yet turbulent sickenesse, your equall love can admit these kisses
and embraces: your private Lodginges were much more convenient, where
no Servants eye can see such Wantonnesse, nor you be reproved of
indiscretion, for being too publique in your Familiaritie.

Madame _Lydia_, sodainely starting, and turning unto her Husband,
sayde. What doth _Pyrrhus_ prate? Is he well in his wittes? Or is
he franticke? No Madame, replyed _Pyrrhus_, I am not franticke. Are
you so fond as to thinke that I do not see your folly? _Nicostratus_
wondering at his Words, presently answered. Now trust me _Pyrrhus_,
I think thou dreamest. No my Lord, replyed _Pyrrhus_, I dreame not a
jot, neither do you, or my Ladie: but if this Tree could affoord the
like kindnesse to me, as you do to her, there would not a Peare bee
left uppon it. How now _Pyrrhus_? (quoth _Lydia_) this language goeth
beyond our understanding, it seemeth thou knowest not what thou saist.
Beleeve me husband, if I were as well as ever I have bin, I would climb
this tree, to see those idle wonders which hee talketh of: for, while
he continueth thus above, it appeareth, hee can finde no other prattle,
albeit he taketh his marke amisse.

Heereupon, he commanded _Pyrrhus_ to come downe, and being on the
ground: Now _Pyrrhus_ (quoth he) tell me what thou saydst. _Pyrrhus_,
pretending an alteration into much amazement, straungely looking about
him, saide; I know not verie well (my Lord) what answere I should make
you, fearing least my sight hath bin abused by error: for when I was
aloft in that Tree, it seemed manifestly to me: that you embraced my
Lady (though somewhat rudely, in regard of her perillous sicknesse,
yet lovingly) and as youthfully as in your yonger daies, with infinite
kisses, and wanton dalliances, such as (indeede) deserved a far more
private place in my poore opinion. But in my descending downe, mee
thought you gave over that amorous familiaritie, and I found you seated
as I left you. Now trust mee _Pyrrhus_, answered _Nicostratus_, Thy
tongue and wit have very strangely wandred, both from reason and all
reall apprehension: because we never stirred from hence, since thou
didst climbe up into the Tree, neither mooved otherwise, then as now
thou seest us. Alas my Lord (saide _Pyrrhus_) I humbly crave pardon for
my presumption, in reprooving you for medling with your owne: which
shall make me hereafter better advised, in any thing what soever I heare
or see.

Mervaile and amazement, encreased in _Nicostratus_ far greater then
before, hearing him to avouch still so constantly what he had seene,
no contradiction being able to alter him, which made him rashly sweare
and say. I will see my selfe, whether this Peare-tree bee enchanted,
or no: and such wonders to be seene when a man is up in it, as thou
wouldst have us to beleeve. And being mounted up so hy, that they were
safe from his sodaine comming on them, _Lydia_ had soone forgotten her
sicknes, and the promised kisse cost her above twenty more, beside
verie kinde and hearty embraces, as lovingly respected and entertained
by _Pyrrhus_. Which _Nicostratus_ beholding aloft in the tree; cryed
out to her, saying. Wicked woman, What doest thou meane? And thou
villain _Pyrrhus_, Darst thou abuse thy Lord, who hath reposed so much
trust in thee? So, descending in haste downe againe, yet crying so to
them still: _Lydia_ replyed, Alas my Lord, Why do you raile and rave in
such sort? So, hee found her seated as before, and _Pyrrhus_ waiting
with dutifull reverence, even as when he climbed up the Tree: but yet
he thought his sight not deceyved, for all their demure and formall
behaviour, which made him walke up and downe, extreamely fuming and
fretting unto himselfe, and which in some milder manner to qualifie,
_Pyrrhus_ spake thus to him.

I deny not (my good Lord) but freely confesse, that even as your selfe,
so I, being above in the Tree, had my sight most falsely deluded: which
is so apparantly confirmed by you, and in the same sort, as there
needeth no doubt of both our beguiling; in one and the same suspitious
nature. In which case to be the more assuredly resolved, nothing can
be questioned, but whether your beleefe do so farre misleade you, as
to thinke, that my Ladie (who hath alwayes bene most wise, loyall,
and vertuous,) would so shamefullie wrong you: yea, and to performe
it before your face, wherein I dare gadge my life to the contrary.
Concerning my selfe, it is not fit for mee, to argue or contest in
mine owne commendation: you that have ever knowne the sincerity of my
service, are best able to speake in my behalfe: and rather wold I be
drawne in peeces with foure wilde horses, then bee such an injurious
slave to my Lord and Master.

Now then, it can be no otherwise, but we must needs rest certainely
perswaded, that the guile and offence of this false appearance, was
occasioned by thee onely. For all the world could not make me otherwise
beleeve, but that I saw you kisse and most kindely imbrace my Lady:
if your owne eyes had not credited the like behaviour in me to her,
of which sinne, I never conceived so much as a thought. The Lady (on
the other side) seeming to be very angerly incensed, starting faintly
upon her feet, yet supporting her selfe by the tree, said. It appeareth
Sir, that you have entertained a goodly opinion of me as, if I were so
lewde and lasciviously disposed, or addicted to the very least desire
of wantonnesse: that I would bee so forgetfull of mine owne honour, as
to adventure it in your sight, and with a servant of my house? Oh Sir,
such women as are so familiarly affected, need learne no wit of men in
amourous matters; their private Chambers shall be better trusted, then
an open blabing and tell-tale Garden.

_Nicostratus_, who verily beleeved what they had both said, and that
neither of them would adventure such familiarity before his face:
would talke no more of the matter, but rather studyed of the rarity of
such a miracle, not seene, but in the height of the tree, and changing
againe upon the descent. But _Lydia_, containing still her collourable
kinde of impatience, and angerly frowning upon _Nicostratus_, stearnely
saide. If I may have my will, this villanous and deceiving tree, shall
never more shame me, or any other woman: and therefore _Pyrrhus_, runne
for an Axe, and by felling it to the ground, in an instant, revenge
both thy wrong and mine. Doest not thou serve a worthy Lord? And have
not I a wise Husband, who, without any consideration, will suffer the
eye of his understanding to be so dazeled, with a foolish imagination
beyond all possibility? For, although his eyes did apprehend such a
folly, and it seemed to be a truth indeed: yet, in the depth of setled
judgement, all the world should not perswade him, that it was so.

_Pyrrhus_ had quickely brought the Axe, and hewing downe the tree, so
soone as the Lady saw it fall; turning her selfe to _Nicostratus_, she
said. Now that I have seene mine honour and honesties enemy laid along;
mine anger is past, and Husband, I freely pardon you: intreating you
heartily henceforward, not to presume or imagine, that my love eyther
is, or can bee altred from you.

Thus the mocked and derided _Nicostratus_, returned in againe with his
Lady and _Pyrrhus_; where perhaps (although the Peare-tree was cut
downe) they could find as cunning meanes to over-reach him.

_Two Citizens of_ Siena, _the one named_ Tingoccio Mini, _& the other_
Meucio di Tora, _affected both one woman, called_ Monna Mita, _to whom
the one of them was a Gossip. The Gossip dyed, and appeared afterward
to his companion, according as he had formerly promised him to doe, and
tolde him what strange wonders he had seene in the other world._

The Tenth Novell.

_Wherein such men are covertly reprehended, who make no care or
conscience at all of those things that should preserve them from sinne._

Now there remained none but the King himselfe, last of all to recount
his Novell; who, after hee heard the Ladies complaints indifferently
pacified, for the rash felling downe of such a precious Peare-tree;
thus he began. Faire Ladies, it is a case more then manifest, that
every King, who will be accounted just and upright: should first of
all, and rather then any other, observe those Lawes which he himselfe
hath made; otherwise he ought to be reputed as a servant, worthy of
punishment, and no King. Into which fault and reprehension, I your
King, shall well neere be constrained to fall; for yesterday I enacted
a Law, upon the forme of our discoursing, with full intent, that this
day I would not use any part of my priviledge; but being subject (as
you all are) to the same Law, I should speake of that argument, which
already you have done.

Wherein, you have not onely performed more then I could wish, upon a
subject so sutable to my minde: but in every Novell, such variety of
excellent matter, such singular illustrations, and delicate eloquence
hath flowne from you all; as I am utterly unable to invent any thing
(notwithstanding the most curious search of my braine) apt or fit
for the purpose, to paragon the meanest of them already related.
And therefore seeing I must needs sinne in the Law established by
my selfe; I tender my submission, as worthy of punishment, or what
amends else you please to enjoyne mee. Now, as returned to my wonted
priviledge, I say, that the Novell recounted by Madame _Eliza_, of the
Fryar Godfather and his Gossip _Agnesia_, as also the sottishnesse
of the _Senese_ her Husband, hath wrought in me (worthy Ladies) to
such effect; as, forbearing to speake any more of these wily prancks,
which witty wives exercise on their simple Husbands; I am to tell you
a pretty short Tale; which, though there is matter enough in it, not
worthy the crediting, yet partly it will bee pleasing to heare.

Sometime there lived in _Sienna_ two popular men; the one being named
_Tingoccio Mini_ and the other _Meucio de Tora_; Men simple, and of
no understanding, both of them dwelling in _Porta Salaia_. These two
men lived in such familiar conversation together, and expressed such
cordiall affection each to other, as they seldome walked asunder; but
(as honest men use to doe) frequented Churches and Sermons, oftentimes
hearing, both what miseries and beatitudes were in the world to come,
according to the merits of their soules that were departed out of this
life, and found their equall repaiment in the other. The manifold
repetition of these matters, made them very earnestly desirous to know,
by what meanes they might have tydings from thence, for their further
confirmation. And finding all their endeavours utterly frustrated, they
made a solemne vow and promise (each to other under oath) that hee
which first dyed of them two, should returne backe againe (so soone
as possibly he could) to the other remaining alive, and tell him such
tydings as hee desired to heare.

After the promise was thus faithfully made, and they still keeping
company, as they were wont to doe: It fortuned, that _Tingoccio_ became
Gossip to one, named _Ambrosito Anselmino_, dwelling in _Camporeggio_,
who by his wife, called _Monna Mita_, had a sweet and lovely Sonne.
_Tingoccio_ often resorting thither, and consorted with his companion
_Meucio_; the she-Gossip, being a woman worthy the loving, faire and
comely of her person: _Tingoccio_, notwithstanding the Gossipship
betweene them, had more then a moneths minde to his Godchilds Mother.
_Meucio_ also fell sicke of the same disease, because shee seemed
pleasing in his eye, and _Tingoccio_ gave her no meane commendations;
yet, carefully they concealed their love to themselves, but not for one
& the same occasion. Because _Tingoccio_ kept it closely from _Meucio_,
lest he should hold it disgracefull in him, to beare amourous affection
to his Gossip, and thought it unfitting to bee knowne. But _Meucio_
had no such meaning, for hee knew well enough that _Tingoccio_ loved
her, and therefore conceived in his minde, that if he discovered any
such matter to him: He will (quoth he) be jealous of me, and being
her Gossip, which admitteth his conference with her when himselfe
pleaseth; he may easily make her to distaste me, and therefore I must
rest contented as I am.

Their love continuing on still in this kinde, _Tingoccio_ prooved
so fortunate in the businesse, that having better meanes then his
companion, and more prevayling courses, when, where, and how to Court
his Mistresse, which seemed to forward him effectually. All which
_Meucio_ plainely perceived, and though it was tedious and wearisome
to him, yet hoping to finde some successe at length: he would not
take notice of any thing, as fearing to infringe the amity betweene
him and _Tingoccio_, and so his hope to be quite supplanted. Thus the
one triumphing in his loves happinesse, and the other hoping for his
felicity to come; a lingaring sickenesse seazed on _Tingoccio_, which
brought him to so low a condition, as at the length he dyed.

About some three or foure nights after, _Meucio_ being fast asleepe
in his bed, the ghoste of _Tingoccio_ appeared to him, and called so
loude, that _Meucio_ awaking, demanded who called him? I am thy friend
_Tingoccio_, replied the ghoste, who according to my former promise
made, am come again in vision to thee, to tell thee tidings out of the
nether world. _Meucio_ was a while somewhat amazed; but, recollecting
his more manly spirits together, boldly he said. My brother and friend,
thou art heartily welcome: but I thought thou hadst beene utterly lost.
Those things (quoth _Tingoccio_) are lost, which cannot be recovered
againe, and if I were lost, how could I then be heere with thee? Alas
_Tingoccio_, replyed _Meucio_, my meaning is not so: but I would be
resolved, whether thou art among the damned soules, in the painefull
fire of hell torments, or no? No (quoth _Tingoccio_) I am not sent
thither, but for divers sinnes by mee committed I am to suffer very
great and grievous paines. Then _Meucio_ demaunded particularly, the
punishments inflicted there, for the severall sinnes committed heere:
Wherein _Tingoccio_ fully resolved him. And upon further question, what
hee would have to be done for him here, made answere, That _Meucio_
should cause Masses, Prayers and Almes deeds to be performed for him,
which (he said) were very helpefull to the soules abiding there, and
_Meucio_ promised to see them done.

As the ghost was offering to depart, _Meucio_ remembred _Tingoccioes_
Gossip _Monna Mita_, and raysing himselfe higher upon his pillowe,
said. My memorie informeth me, friend _Tingoccio_, of your kinde Gossip
_Monna Mita_, with whom (when you remained in this life) I knew you to
be very familiar: let me intreat you then to tell me, what punishment
is inflicted on you there, for that wanton sinne committed heere? Oh
Brother _Meucio_, answered _Tingoccio_, so soone as my soule was landed
there, one came immediately to me, who seemed to know all mine offences
readily by heart, and forthwith commanded, that I should depart thence
into a certaine place, where I must weepe for my sinnes in very
grievous paines. There I found more of my companions, condemned to
the same punishment as I was, and being among them, I called to minde
some wanton dalliances, which had passed betweene my Gossip and me,
and expecting therefore farre greater afflictions, then as yet I felt
(although I was in a huge fire, and exceedingly hot) yet with conceite
of feare, I quaked and trembled wondrously.

One of my other Consorts being by me, and perceiving in what an
extreame agony I was; presently said unto me. My friend, what hast
thou done more, then any of us here condemned with thee, that thou
tremblest and quakest, being in so hot a fire? Oh my friend (quoth I)
I am in feare of a greater judgement then this, for a grievous offence
by mee heretofore committed while I lived. Then hee demaunded of mee
what offence it was, whereto thus I answered. It was my chance in the
other world, to be Godfather at a childs Christning, and afterward I
grew so affectionate to the childs mother, as (indeed) I kissed her
twice or thrise. My companyon laughing at me in mocking manner, replyed
thus. Goe like an Asse as thou art, and be no more afraid hereafter,
for here is no punishment inflicted, in any kinde whatsoever, for such
offences of frailty committed, especially with Gossips, as I my selfe
can witnesse.

Now day drew on, and the Cockes began to crow, a dreadfull hearing
to walking spirits, when _Tingoccio_ said to _Meucio_. Farewell my
friendly companion, for I may tarry no longer with thee, and instantly
hee vanished away. _Meucio_ having heard this confession of his friend,
and verily beleeving it for a truth, that no punishment was to be
inflicted in the future world, for offences of frailty in this life,
and chiefly with Gossips: began to condemne his owne folly, having bin
a Gossip to many wives, yet modesty restrained him from such familiar
offending. And therefore being sorry for this grosse ignorance, hee
made a vowe to be wiser hereafter. And if Fryar _Reynard_ had been
acquainted with this kind of shrift (as doubtlesse he was, though his
Gossip _Agnesia_ knew it not) he needed no such Syllogismes, as he
put in practise, when he converted her to his lustfull knavery, in
the comparison of kinred by him moved, concerning her husband, the
childe and himselfe. But, these are the best fruits of such Fryerly
Confessions, to compasse the issue of their inordinate appetites; yet
clouded with the cloake of Religion, which hath beene the overthrow of
too many.

       *       *       *       *       *

By this time the gentle blast of _Zephirus_ began to blow, because the
Sunne grew neere his setting, wherewith the King concluded his Novell,
and none remaining more to be thus imployed: taking the Crowne from off
his owne head, he placed it on Madame _Laurettaes_, saying, Madame, I
Crowne you with your owne Crowne, as Queene of our Company. You shall
henceforth command as Lady and Mistresse, in such occasions as shall
be to your liking, and for the contentment of us all; With which words
he set him downe. And Madame _Lauretta_ being now created Queene, shee
caused the Master of the houshold to bee called, to whom she gave
command, that the Tables should be prepared in the pleasant vally, but
at a more convenient houre, then formerly had beene, because they might
(with better ease) returne backe to the Pallace. Then shee tooke order
likewise, for all such other necessary matters, as should bee required
in the time of her Regiment: and then turning her selfe to the whole
Company, she began in this manner.

It was the Will of _Dioneus_ yesternight, that our discourses for this
day, should concerne the deceits of wives to their Husbands. And were
it not to avoyde taxation, of a spleenitive desire to be revenged,
like the dog being bitten, biteth againe: I could command our to
morrows conference, to touch mens treacheries towards their wives. But
because I am free from any such fiery humour, let it be your generall
consideration, to speake of such queint beguylings, as have heretofore
past, either of the woman to the man, the man to the woman, or of one
man to another: and I am of opinion, that they will yeeld us no lesse
delight, then those related (this day) have done. When she had thus
spoken, she rose; granting them all liberty, to goe recreate themselves
untill Supper time.

The Ladies being thus at their owne disposing, some of them bared their
legges and feete, to wash them in the coole current. Others, not so
minded, walked on the greene grasse, and under the goodly spreading
trees. _Dioneus_ and Madame _Fiammetta_, they sate singing together,
the love-warre betweene _Arcit_ and _Palemon_. And thus with diversity
of disports, in choice delight and much contentment, all were imployed,
till Supper drew neere. When the houre was come, and the Tables covered
by the Ponds side: we need not question their dyet and dainties,
infinite Birds sweetly singing about them, as no musicke in the world
could be more pleasing; beside calme windes, fanning their faces from
the neighbouring hilles (free from flyes, or the least annoyance) made
a delicate addition to their pleasure.

No sooner were the Tables withdrawne, and all risen: but they fetcht a
few turnings about the vally, because the Sunne was not (as yet) quite
set. Then in the coole evening, according to the Queenes appointment:
in a soft and gentle pace, they walked homeward: devising on a thousand
occasions, as well those which the dayes discourses had yeelded, as
others of their owne inventing beside. It was almost darke night,
before they arrived at the Pallace; where, with variety of choice
Wines, and abounding plenty of rare Banquetting, they out-wore the
little toile and wearinesse, which the long walke had charged them
withall. Afterward, according to their wonted order, the Instruments
being brought and played on, they fell to dancing about the faire
Fountaine; _Tindaro_ intruding (now and then) the sound of his Bagpipe,
to make the musicke seeme more melodious. But in the end, the Queene
commanded Madame _Philomena_ to sing; whereupon the Instruments being
tuned fit for the purpose, thus she began.

    The Song.

    The Chorus Sung by the whole Company.

           _Wearisome is my life to me,
    Because I cannot once againe returne;
    Unto the place which made me first to mourne._

    _Nothing I know, yet feele a powerfull fire,
           Burning within my brest,
           Through deepe desire;
    To be once more where first I felt unrest,
           Which cannot be exprest.
    O my sole good! O my best happinesse!
           Why am I thus restrainde?
    Is there no comfort in this wretchednesse?
    Then let me live content, to be thus painde.
           Wearisome is my life to me, &c._

    _I cannot tell what was that rare delight,
           Which first enflamde my soule,
           And gave command in spight,
    That I should find no ease by day or night,
           But still live in controule.
    I see, I heare, and feele a kinde of blisse,
           Yet find no forme at all:
    Other in their desire, finde blessednesse,
    But I have none, nor thinke I ever shall.
           Wearisome is my life to me, &c._

    _Tell me if I may hope in following dayes,
           To have but one poore sight,
           Of those bright Sunny rayes,
    Dazeling my sence, did o'recome me quite,
           Bequeath'd to wandring wayes.
    If I be posted off and may not prove.
           To have the smallest grace:
    Or but to know, that this proceeds from love,
    Why should I live despisde in every place?
           Wearisome is my life to me, &c._

    _Me thinkes milde favour whispers in mine eare,
           And bids me not despaire;
           There will a time appeare
    To quell and quite confound consuming care,
           And joy surmount proud feare.
    In hope that gracious time will come at length,
           To cheare my long dismay:
    My spirits reassume your former strength,
    And never dread to see that joyfull day.
           Wearisome is my life to me,
    Because I cannot once againe returne;
    Unto the place which made me first to mourne._

This Song gave occasion to the whole Company, to imagine, that some new
and pleasing apprehension of Love, constrained Madame _Philomena_ to
sing in this manner. And because (by the discourse thereof) it plainely
appeared, that shee had felt more then shee saw, shee was so much the
more happy, and the like was wished by all the rest. Wherefore, after
the Song was ended; the Queene remembring, that the next day following
was Friday, turning her selfe graciously to them all, thus she spake.

You know noble Ladies, and you likewise most noble Gentlemen, that to
morrow is the day consecrated to the Passion of our blessed Lord and
Saviour, which (if you have not forgotten it, as easily you cannot)
we devoutly celebrated, Madame _Neiphila_ being then Queene, ceasing
from all our pleasant discoursing, as we did the like on the Saturday
following, sanctifying the sacred Sabboth, in due regard of it selfe.
Wherefore, being desirous to imitate precedent good example, which
in worthy manner shee began to us all: I hold it very decent and
necessary, that we should asttaine to morrow, and the day ensuing, from
recounting any of our pleasant Novels, reducing to our memories, what
was done (as on those dayes) for the salvation of our soules. This holy
and Religious motion made by the Queene, was commendably allowed by
all the assembly, and therefore, humbly taking their leave of her, and
an indifferent part of the night being already spent; severally they
betooke themselves to their Chambers.

_The end of the Seaventh day._


Whereon all the Discourses, passe under the Rule and Government, of the
Honourable Ladie LAURETTA. And the Argument imposed, is, Concerning
such Wittie deceyvings; as have, or may be put in practise, by Wives to
their Husbands; Husbands to their Wives: Or one man towards another.

The Induction.

Earely on the Sonday Morning, _Aurora_ shewing her selfe bright and
lovely; the Sunnes Golden beames beganne to appeare, on the toppes
of the neere adjoyning Mountaines; so, that Hearbes, Plants, Trees,
and all things else, were verie evidently to be discerned. The Queene
and her Companie, being all come foorth of their Chambers, and having
walked a while abroad, in the goodly greene Meadowes, to taste the
sweetnesse of the fresh and wholesome ayre, they returned backe againe
into the Palace, because it was their dutie so to do.

Afterward, betweene the houres of seaven and eight, they went to heare
Masse, in a faire Chappell neere at hand, and thence returned to their
Lodgings. When they had dined merrily together, they fell to their
wonted singing and dauncing: Which beeing done, such as were so pleased
(by License of the Queene first obtained) went either to their rest,
or such exercises as they tooke most delight in. When midday, and the
heate thereof was well over-past, so that the aire seemed mild and
temperate: according as the Queene had commanded; they were all seated
againe about the Fountaine, with intent to prosecute their former
pastime. And then Madame _Neiphila_, by the charge imposed on her, as
first speaker for this day, beganne as followeth.

Gulfardo _made a match or wager, with the Wife of_ Gasparuolo, _for the
obtaining of her amorous favour, in regard of a summe of money first
to be given her. The money hee borrowed of her Husband, and gave it in
payment to her, as in case of discharging him from her Husbands debt.
After his returne home from_ Geneway, _hee told him in the presence
of his wife, how he had payde the whole summe to her, with charge of
delivering it to her Husband, which she confessed to be true, albeit
greatly against her will._

The First Novell.

_Wherein is declared, that such women as will make sale of their
honestie, are sometimes over-reached in their payment, and justly
served as they should be._

Seeing it is my fortune, Gracious Ladies, that I must give beginning to
this dayes discoursing, by some such Novel which I thinke expedient; as
duty bindeth me, I am therewith well contented. And because the deceits
of Women to men, have beene at large and liberally related; I will tell
you a subtile tricke of a man to a Woman. Not that I blame him for the
deede, or thinke the deceyte not well fitted to the woman: but I speake
it in a contrarie nature, as commending the man, and condemning the
woman very justly, as also to shew, how men can as well beguile those
crafty companions, which least beleeve any such cunning in them, as
they that stand most on their artificiall skill.

Howbeit, to speake more properly, the matter by me to be reported,
deserveth not the reproachfull title of deceite, but rather of a
recompence duly returned: because women ought to be chaste and
honest, & to preserve their honour as their lives, without yeelding
to the contamination thereof, for any occasion whatsoever. And yet
(neverthelesse, in regard of our frailty) many times we proove not so
constant as we should be: yet I am of opinion, that she which selleth
her honestie for money, deserveth justly to be burned. Whereas on the
contrary, she that falleth into the offence, onely through intire
affection (the powerfull lawes of Love beeing above all resistance) in
equity meriteth pardon, especially of a Judge not over-rigorous: as not
long since wee heard from _Philostratus_, in revealing what hapned to
Madam _Phillippa de Prato_, upon the dangerous Edict.

Understand then, my most worthy Auditors, that there lived sometime in
_Millaine_ an _Almaigne_ Soldiour, named _Gulfardo_, of commendable
carriage in his person, and very faithfull to such as he served, a
matter not common among the _Almaignes_. And because he made just
repayment, to every one which lent him monies; he grew to such
especiall credit, and was so familiar with the very best Marchants;
as (manie times) he could not be so ready to borrow, as they were
willing alwaies to lend him. He thus continuing in the Cittie of
_Millaine_, fastened his affection on a verie beautifull Gentlewoman,
named Mistresse _Ambrosia_, Wife unto a rich Merchant, who was called
Signior _Gasparuolo Sagastraccio_, who had good knowledge of him, and
respectively used him. Loving this Gentlewoman with great discretion,
without the least apprehension of her husband: he sent upon a day to
entreate conference with her, for enjoying the fruition of her love,
and she should find him ready to fulfill whatsoever she pleased to
command him, as, at any time he would make good his promise.

The Gentlewoman, after divers of these private solicitings, resolutely
answered, that she was as ready to fulfill the request of _Gulfardo_,
provided, that two especiall considerations might ensue thereon.
First, the faithfull concealing thereof from any person living. Next,
because she knew him to be rich, and she had occasion to use two
hundred Crowns, about businesse of important consequence: he should
freely bestow so many on her, and (ever after) she was to be commanded
by him. _Gulfardo_ perceiving the covetousnesse of this woman, who
(notwithstanding his doting affection) he thought to be intirely honest
to her Husband: became so deepely offended at her vile answere, that
his fervent love converted into as earnest loathing her; determining
constantlie to deceive her, and to make her avaritious motion, the only
means whereby to effect it.

He sent her word, that he was willing to performe her request, or any
farre greater matter for her: in which respect, he onely desired for
to know, when she would be pleased to have him come see her, and to
receive the money of him? No creature hee acquainted with his setled
purpose, but onely a deere friend and kinde companion, who alwayes
used to keepe him company, in the neerest occasions that concerned
him. The Gentlewoman, or rather most disloyall wife, uppon this answer
sent her, was extraordinarily jocond and contented, returning him a
secret Letter, wherein she signified: that _Gasparuolo_ her husband,
had important affaires which called him to _Geneway_: but he should
understand of his departure, and then (with safety) he might come see
her, as also his bringing of the Crownes.

In the meane while, _Gulfardo_ having determined what he would do,
watched a convenient time, when he went unto _Gasparuolo_, and sayde:
Sir, I have some businesse of maine importance, and shall neede to use
but two hundred Crownes onely: I desire you to lend me so many Crownes,
upon such profite as you were wont to take of mee, at other times when
I have made use of you, and I shall not faile you at my day.

_Gasparuolo_ was well contented with the motion, and made no more adoe,
but counted downe the Crownes: departing thence (within few dayes
after) for _Geneway_, according** to his Wives former message; she giving
_Gulfardo_ also intelligence of his absence, that now (with safety) hee
might come see her, and bring the two hundred Crownes with him.

_Gulfardo_, taking his friend in his company, went to visite Mistresse
_Ambrosia_, whom he found in expectation of his arrivall, and the first
thing he did, he counted downe the two hundred Crownes; and delivering
them to her in the presence of his friend, saide: Mistresse _Ambrosia_,
receive these two hundred Crownes, which I desire you to pay unto your
Husband on my behalfe, when he is returned from _Geneway. Ambrosia_,
receyved the two hundred Crownes, not regarding wherefore _Gulfardo_
used these words: because shee verily beleeved, that hee spake in such
manner, because his friend should take no notice, of his giving them
to her, upon any covenant passed betweene them; whereuppon, she sayde.
Sir, I will pay them to my Husband for you; and cause him to give you a
sufficient discharge: but first I will count them over my selfe, to see
whether the summe be just, or no. And having drawne them over upon the
Table, the summe containing truly two hundred Crownes (wherewith she
was most highly contented) she lockt them safe uppe in her Cuppe-boord,
and _Gulfardoes_ Friend being gone (as formerly it was compacted
betweene them) shee came to converse more familiarly with him, having
provided a banquet for him. What passed between them afterward, both
then, and oftentimes beside, before her Husbande returned home, is
a matter out of my element, and rather requires my ignorance then

When _Gasparuolo_ was come from _Geneway, Gulfardo_ observing a
convenient time, when he was sitting at the doore with his Wife; tooke
his Friend with him, and comming to _Gasparuolo_, said. Worthy Sir, the
two hundred Crownes which you lent me, before your journy to _Geneway_,
in regard they could not serve my turne, to compasse the businesse for
which I borrowed them: within a day or two after, in the presence of
this Gentleman my friend, I made repayment of them to your wife, and
therefore I pray you crosse me out of your booke.

_Gasparuolo_ turning to his Wife, demanded; Whether it was so, or no?
She beholding the witnesse standing by, who was also present at her
receyving them: durst not make deniall, but thus answered. Indeede
Husband, I received two hundred Crownes of the Gentleman, and never
remembred, to acquaint you therewith since your comming home: but
hereafter I will be made no more your receiver, except I carried a
quicker memory.

Then saide _Gasparuolo_: Signior _Gulfardo_, I finde you alwaies a most
honest Gentleman, and will be readie at any time, to doe you the like,
or a farre greater kindnesse; depart at your pleasure, and feare not
the crossing of my Booke. So _Gulfardo_ went away merrily contented, and
_Ambrosia_ was served as she justly merited; she paying the price of
her owne leudnesse to her Husband, which she had a more covetous intent
to keepe, questionlesse, not caring how many like lustfull matches shee
coulde make, to be so liberally rewarded, if this had succeeded to her
minde: whereas he shewed himselfe wise and discreete, in paying nothing
for his pleasure, and requiting a covetous queane in her kinde.

_A lustie youthfull Priest of_ Varlungo, _fell in love with a pretty
woman, named_ Monna Belcolore. _To compasse his amorous desire, hee
lefte his Cloake (as a pledge of further payment) with her. By a
subtile sleight afterward, he made meanes to borrow a Morter of her,
which when hee sent home againe in the presence of her Husband; he
demaunded to have his Cloake sent him, as having left it in pawne for
the Morter. To pacifie her Husband, offended that shee did not lend
the Priest the Morter without a pawne: she sent him backe his Cloake
againe, albeit greatly against her will._

The Second Novell.

_Approving, that no promise is to be kept with such Women as will make
sale of their honesty for coyne. A warning also for men, not to suffer
Priests to be over familiar with their wives._

Both the Gentlemen and Ladies gave equall commendations, of
_Gulfardoes_ queint beguiling the _Millaine_ Gentlewoman _Ambrosia_,
and wishing all other (of her minde) might alwaies be so served. Then
the Queene, smiling on _Pamphilus_, commaunded him to follow next:
whereupon, thus he began.

I can tell you (faire Ladies) a short Novell, against such as are
continually offensive to us, yet we being no way able to offend him;
at least, in the same manner as they do injurie us. And for your better
understanding what and who they be, they are our lusty Priests, who
advance their Standard, and make their publike predications against
our wives, winning such advantage over them, that they can pardon them
both of the sinne and punishment, whensoever they are once subjected
unto theyr perswasions, even as if they brought the Soldane bound and
captived, from _Alexandria_ to _Avignon_. Which imperious power, we
(poore soules) cannot exercise on them, considering, we have neither
heart nor courage, to do our devoire in just revenge on their Mothers,
Sisters, Daughters, and Friends, with the like spirit as they rise in
armes against our wives. And therefore, I meant to tell you a tale of
a Country mans wife, more to make you laugh at the conclusion thereof;
then for any singularity of words or matter: yet this benefite you may
gaine thereby, of an apparant proofe that such Sinamon, amorous and
perswading Priests, are not alwayes to be credited on their words or

Let me then tell you, that at _Varlungo_, which you know to bee not
farre distant hence, there dwelt an youthfull Priest, lustie, gallant,
and proper of person (especially for Womens service) commonly called
by the name of sweet Sir _Simon_. Now, albeit he was a man of slender
reading, yet notwithstanding, he had store of Latine sentences by
heart; some true, but twice so many maimed and false, Saint-like
shewes, holy speeches, and ghostly admonitions, which hee would preach
under an Oake in the fields, when he had congregated his Parishioners
together. When women lay in childe-bed, hee was their daily comfortable
visitant, and would man them from their houses, when they had any
occasion to walke abroad: carrying alwaies a bottle of holy water about
him, wherewith he would sprinkle them by the way, peeces of hallowed
Candles, and Chrisome Cakes, which pleased women extraordinarily, and
all the Country affoorded not such another frolicke Priest, as this our
nimble and active sweet Sir _Simon_.

Among many other of his feminine Parishioners, all of them being
hansome and comely Women: yet there was one more pleasing in his wanton
eye, then any of the rest, named _Monna Belcolore_, and wife to a
plaine mecanicke man, called _Bentivegna del Mazzo_. And, to speake
uprightly, few Countrey Villages yeelded a Woman, more fresh and lovely
of complexion, although not admirable for beauty, yet sweete Sir
_Simon_ thought her a Saint, and faine would be offering at her shrine.
Divers prety pleasing qualities she had, as sounding the Cymball,
playing artificially on the Timbrill, and singing thereto as it had
beene a Nightingale, dancing also so dexteriously, as happy was the
man that could dance in her company. All which so enflamed sweet Sir
_Simon_, that he lost his wonted sprightly behaviour, walked sullen,
sad and melancholly, as if he had melted all his mettall, because hee
could hardly have a sight of her. But on the Sonday morning, when hee
heard or knew that she was in the Church, hee would tickle it with a
_Kyrie_ and a _Sanctus_, even as if hee contended to shewe his singular
skill in singing, when it had beene as good to heare an Asse bray.
Whereas on the contrary, when she came not to Church, Masse, and all
else were quicklie shaken uppe, as if his devotion waited onely on
her presence. Yet he was so cunning in the carriage of his amorous
businesse, both for her credite and his owne; as _Bentivegna_ her
husband could not perceive it, or any neighbour so much as suspect it.

But, to compasse more familiar acquaintance with _Belcolore_, hee sent
her sundry gifts and presents, day by day, as sometime a bunch of
dainty greene Garlicke, whereof he had plenty growing in his Garden,
which he manured with his owne hands, and better then all the countrey
yeelded; otherwhiles a small basket of Pease or Beanes, and Onyons or
Scallions, as the season served. But when he could come in place where
she was; then he darted amourous wincks and glances at her, with becks,
nods, and blushes, Loves private Ambassadours, which shee (being but
countrey-bred) seeming by outward appearance, not to see, retorted
disdainefully, and forthwith would absent her selfe, so that sweet Sir
_Simon_ laboured still in vaine, and could not compasse what he coveted.

It came to passe within a while after, that on a time, (about
high noone) Sir _Simon_ being walking abroad, chanced to meete
with _Bentivegna_, driving an Asse before him, laden with divers
commodities, and demaunding of him, whither he went, _Bentivegna_, thus
answered. In troth Sir _Simon_, I am going to the City, about some
especiall businesse of mine owne, and I carry these things to Signior
_Bonacorci da Cinestreto_, because he should helpe me before the Judge,
when I shall be called in question concerning my patrimony. Sir _Simon_
looking merrily on him, said. Thou doest well _Bentivegna_, to make a
friend sure before thou need him; goe, take my blessing with thee, and
returne againe with good successe. But if thou meet with _Laguccio_,
or _Naldino_, forget not to tell them, that they must bring me my
shooe-tyes before Sunday. _Bentivegna_ said, hee would discharge his
errand, and so parted from him, driving his Asse on towards _Florence_.

Now began Sir _Simon_ to shrug, and scratch his head, thinking this
to be a fit convenient time, for him to goe visite _Belcolore_, and
to make triall of his fortune: wherefore, setting aside all other
businesse, he stayed no where till he came to the house, whereinto
being entred, he saide: All happinesse be to them that dwell heere.
_Belcolore_ being then above in the Chamber, when she heard his tongue,
replyed. Sweet Sir _Simon_! you are heartely welcome, whether are you
walking, if the question may bee demaunded? Beleeve me dainty Ducke,
answered Sir _Simon_, I am come to sit a while with thee, because I met
thy Husband going to the Citie. By this time, _Belcolore_ was descended
downe the stayres, and having once againe given welcome to Sir _Simon_,
she sate downe by him, cleansing of Colewort seeds from such other
course chaffe, which her Husband had prepared before his departure.

Sir _Simon_ hugging her in his armes, and fetching a vehement sigh,
said. My _Belcolore_, how long shall I pine and languish for thy love?
How now Sir _Simon_? answered she, is this behaviour fitting for an
holy man? Holy-men _Belcolore_, (quoth Sir _Simon_) are made of the
same matter as others be, they have the same affections, and therefore
subject to their infirmities. Santa Maria, answered _Belcolore_, Dare
Priests doe such things as you talke of? Yes _Belcolore_ (quoth he) and
much better then other men can, because they are made for the very best
businesse, in which regard they are restrained from marriage. True
(quoth _Belcolore_) but much more from medling with other mens wives.
Touch not that Text _Belcolore_, replyed Sir _Simon_, it is somewhat
above your capacity: talke of that I come for, namely thy love, my
Ducke, and my Dove. Sir _Simon_ is thine, I pray thee be mine.

_Belcolore_ observing his smirking behaviour, his proper person, pretty
talke, and queint insinuating; felt a motion to female frailty, which
yet she would withstand so long as she could, and not be over-hasty in
her yeelding. Sir _Simon_ promiseth her a new paire of shoes, garters,
ribbands, girdles, or what else she would request. Sir _Simon_ (quoth
she) all these things which you talke of, are fit for women: but if
your love to mee be such as you make choice of, fulfill what I will
motion to you, and then (perhaps) I shall tell you more. Sir _Simons_
heate made him hasty to promise whatsoever she would desire; whereupon,
thus shee replyed. On Saturday, said she, I must goe to _Florence_,
to carry home such yarne as was sent me to spinne, and to amend my
spinning wheele: if you will lend mee ten Florines, wherewith I know
you are alwayes furnished, I shall redeeme from the Usurer my best
petticote,** and my wedding gowne (both well neere lost for lacke of
repaiment) without which I cannot be seene at Church, or in any other
good place else, and then afterward other matters may be accomplished.

Alas sweet _Belcolore_ answered Sir _Simon_, I never beare any such
sum about me, for men of our profession, doe seldome carry any money
at all: but beleeve me on my word, before Saturday come, I will not
faile to bring them hither. Oh Sir (quoth _Belcolore_) you men are
quicke promisers, but slow performers. Doe you thinke to use me, as
poore _Billezza_ was, who trusted to as faire words, and found her
selfe deceived? Now Sir _Simon_, her example in being made scandall to
the world, is a sufficient warning for me: if you be not so provided,
goe and make use of your friend, for I am not otherwise to be moved.
Nay _Belcolore_ (quoth he) I hope you will not serve me so, but my
word shall be of better worth with you. Consider the conveniency of
time, wee being so privately here alone: whereas at my returning hither
againe, some hinderance may thwart me, and the like opportunity be
never obtained. Sir, Sir, (said she) you have heard my resolution;
if you will fetche the Florines, doe; otherwise, walke about your
businesse, for I am a woman of my word.

Sir _Simon_ perceiving, that she would not trust him upon bare words,
nor any thing was to be done, without _Salvum me fac_, whereas his
meaning was _Sine custodia_; thus answered. Well _Belcolore_, seeing
you dare not credit my bringing the tenne Florines, according to my
promised day: I will leave you a good pawne, my very best cloake, lyned
quite thorough with rich Silke, and made up in the choysest manner.

_Belcolore_ looking on the Cloake, said. How much may this Cloake bee
worth? How much? quoth Sir _Simon_, upon my word _Belcolore_, it is
of a right fine Flanders Serdge, and not above eight dayes since, I
bought it thus (ready made) of _Lotto_ the Fripperer, and payed for it
sixe and twenty Florines, a pledge then sufficient for your ten. Is it
possible, said shee, that it should cost so much? Well, Sir _Simon_,
deliver it me first, I will lay it up safe for you against Saturday,
when if you fetch it not; I will redeeme mine owne things with it, and
leave you to release it your selfe.

The Cloake is laid up by _Belcolore_, and Sir _Simon_ so forward in his
affection; that (in briefe) he enjoyed what hee came for; and departed
afterward in his light tripping Cassocke, but yet thorow by-Lanes,
and no much frequented places, smelling on a Nosegay, as if hee had
beene at some wedding in the Countrey, and went thus lightly without
his Cloake, for his better ease. As commonly after actions of evill,
Repentance knocketh at the doore of Conscience, and urgeth a guilty
remembrance, with some sence of sorrow: so was it now with sweet Sir
_Simon_, who survaying over all his Vailes of offering Candles, the
validity of his yearely benefits, and all comming nothing neere the
summe of (scarce halfe) sixe and twenty Florines; he began to repent
his deed of darkenesse, although it was acted in the day-time, and
considered with himselfe, by what honest (yet unsuspected meanes) hee
might recover his Cloake againe, before it went to the Broaker, in
redemption of _Belcolores_ pawned apparrell, and yet to send her no
Florines neither.

Having a cunning reaching wit, especially in matters for his owne
advantage, and pretending to have a dinner at his lodging, for a few
of some invited friends: he made use of a neighbours Boy, sending him
to the house of _Belcolore_, with request of lending him her Stone
Morter, to make Greene-sawce in for his guests, because hee had meate
required such sawce. _Belcolore_ suspecting no treachery, sent him the
Stone Morter with the Pestell, and about dinner time, when he knew
_Bentivegna_ to bee at home with his wife, by a spye which was set for
the purpose; hee called the Clearke (usually attending on him) and
said. Take this Morter and Pestell, beare them home to _Belcolore_,
and tell her: Sir _Simon_ sends them home with thankes, they having
sufficiently served his turne, and desire her likewise, to send me my
Cloake, which the Boy left as a pledge for better remembrance, and
because she would not lend it without a pawne.

The Clearke comming to the house of _Belcolore_, found her sitting at
dinner with her Husband, and delivering her the Pestell and Morter,
performed the rest of Sir _Simons_ message. _Belcolore_ hearing the
Cloake demaunded, stept up to make answere: But _Bentivegna_, seeming
(by his lookes) to be much offended, roughly replyed. Why how now wife?
Is not Sir _Simon_ our especiall friend, and cannot be be pleasured
without a pawne? I protest upon my word, I could find in my heart to
smite thee for it. Rise quickely thou wert best, and send him backe his
Cloake; with this warning hereafter, that whatsoever he will have, be
it your poore Asse, or any thing else being ours, let him have it: and
tell him (Master Clearke) he may command it. _Belcolore_ rose grumbling
from the Table, and fetching the Cloake forth of the Chest, which stood
neere at hand in the same roome; shee delivered it to the Clearke,
saying. Tell Sir _Simon_ from me, and boldly say you heard me speake
it: that I made a vow to my selfe, he shall never make use of my Morter
hereafter, to beat any more of his sawcinesse in, let my Husband say
whatsoever he will, I speake the word, and will performe it.

Away went the Clearke home with the Cloake, and told Sir _Simon_ what
she had said, whereto he replyed. If I must make use of her Morter no
more; I will not trust her with the keeping of my Cloake, for feare it
goe to gage indeed.

_Bentivegna_ was a little displeased at his wives words, because hee
thought she spake but in jest; albeit _Belcolore_ was so angry with Sir
_Simon_, that she would not speake to him till vintage time following.
But then Sir _Simon_, what by sharpe threatenings of her soule to be
in danger of hell fire, continuing so long in hatred of a holy Priest,
which words did not a little terrifie her; besides daily presents to
her, of sweet new Wines, roasted Chesse-nuts, Figges and Almonds: all
unkindnesse became converted to former familiarity; the garments were
redeemed; he gave her Sonnets which she would sweetly sing to her
Cimbale, and further friendship increased betweene her and sweet Sir

Calandrino, Bruno, _and_ Buffalmaco, _all of them being Painters by
profession, travelled to the Plaine of_ Mugnone, _to finde the precious
Stone called_ Helitropium. Calandrino _perswaded himselfe to have found
it; returned home to his house heavily loaden with stones. His Wife
rebuking him for his absence, hee groweth into anger, and shrewdly
beateth her. Afterward, when the case is debated among his other
friends_ Bruno _and_ Buffalmaco, _all is found to be meere foolery._

The Third Novell.

_Justly reprehending the simplicity of such men, as are too much
addicted to credulitie, and will give credit to every thing they heare._

_Pamphilus_ having ended his Novell, whereat the Ladies laughed
exceedingly, so that very hardly they could give over: The Queene gave
charge to Madame _Eliza_, that shee should next succeed in order; when,
being scarcely able to refraine from smyling, thus she began.

I know not (Gracious Ladies) whether I can move you to as hearty
laughter, with a briefe Novell of mine owne, as _Pamphilus_ lately did
with his: yet I dare assure you, that it is both true and pleasant, and
I will relate it in the best manner I can.

In our owne Citie, which evermore hath contained all sorts of people,
not long since there dwelt, a Painter, named _Calandrino_, a simple
man; yet as much addicted** to matters of novelty, as any man whatsoever
could be. The most part of his time, he spent in the company of two
other Painters, the one called _Bruno_, and the other _Buffalmaco_,
men of very recreative spirits, and of indifferent good capacity;
often resorting to the said _Calandrino_, because they tooke delight
in his honest simplicity, and pleasant order of behaviour. At the same
time likewise, there dwelt in _Florence_, a yong Gentleman of singular
disposition, to every generous and witty conceite, as the world did
not yeeld a more pleasant companion, he being named _Maso del Saggio_,
who having heard somwhat of _Calandrinos_ sillinesse: determined to
jest with him in merry manner, and to suggest his longing humours after
Novelties, with some conceit of extraordinary nature.

He happening (on a day) to meete him in the Church of Saint _John_,
and seeing him seriously busied, in beholding the rare pictures, and
the curious carved Tabernacle, which (not long before) was placed on
the high Altar in the said Church: considered with himselfe, that he
had now fit place and opportunity, to effect what hee had long time
desired. And having imparted his minde to a very intimate friend, how
he intended to deale with simple _Calandrino_: they went both very
neere him, where he sate all alone, and making shew as if they saw
him not; began to consult between themselves, concerning the rare
properties of precious stones; whereof _Maso_ discoursed as exactly,
as he had beene a most skilfull Lapidarie; to which conference of
theirs, _Calandrino_ lent an attentive eare, in regard it was matter of
singular rarity.

Soone after, _Calandrino_ started up, and perceiving by their loude
speaking, that they talked of nothing which required secret Counsell:
he went into their company (the onely thing which _Maso_ desired) and
holding on still the former Argument; _Calandrino_ would needs request
to know, in what place these precious stones were to be found, which
had such excellent vertues in them? _Maso_ made answere, that the most
of them were to be had in _Berlinzona_, neere to the City of _Bascha_,
which was in the Territory of a Countrey, called _Bengodi_, where the
Vines were bound about with Sawcidges, a Goose was sold for a penny,
and the Goslings freely given in to boote. There was also an high
mountaine, wholly made of _Parmezane_, grated Cheese, whereon dwelt
people, who did nothing else but make _Mocharones_ and _Raviuolies_,
boiling them with broth of Capons, and afterward hurled them all about,
to whosoever can or will catch them. Neere to this mountaine runneth a
faire River, the whole streame being pure white Bastard, none such was
ever sold for any money, and without one drop of water in it.

Now trust me Sir, (said _Calandrino_) that is an excellent Countrey to
dwell in: but I pray you tell me Sir, what doe they with the Capons
after they have boyld them? The _Baschanes_ (quoth _Maso_) eate them
all. Have you Sir, said _Calandrino_, at any time beene in that
Countrey? How? answered _Maso_, doe you demaund if I have beene there?
Yes man, above a thousand times, at the least. How farre Sir, I pray
you (quoth _Calandrino_) is that worthy Countrey, from this our City?
In troth replyed _Maso_, the miles are hardly to be numbred, for the
most part of them we travell when we are nightly in our beddes, and if
a man dreame right; he may be there upon a sudden.

Surely Sir, said _Calandrino_, it is further hence, then to _Abruzzi_?
Yes questionlesse, replyed _Maso_; but, to a willing minde, no travell
seemeth tedious.

_Calandrino_ well noting, that _Maso_ delivered all these speeches,
with a stedfast countenance, no signe of smyling, or any gesture to
urge the least mislike: he gave such credit to them, as to any matter
of apparent and manifest truth, and upon this assured confidence, he

Beleeve me Sir, the journey is over-farre for mee to undertake, but if
it were neerer; I could affoord to goe in your Company; onely to see
how they make these _Macherones_, and to fill my belly with them.

But now wee are in talke Sir, I pray you pardon mee to aske, whether
any such precious stones, as you spake off, are to be found in that
Countrey, or no? Yes indeed, replyed _Maso_, there are two kinds of
them to be found in those Territories, both being of very great vertue.
One kind, are gritty stones, of _Settignano_, and of _Montisca_, by
vertue of which places, when any Mill-stones or Grind-stones are to
bee made, they knede the sand as they use to doe meale, and so make
them of what bignesse they please. In which respect, they have have a
common saying there: that Nature maketh common stones, but _Montisca_
Mill-stones. Such plenty are there of these Mill-stones, so slenderly
here esteemed among us, as Emeralds are with them, whereof they have
whole mountaines, farre greater then our _Montemorello_, which shine
most gloriously at midnight. And how meanly soever we account of their
Mill-stones; yet there they drill them, and enchase them in Rings,
which afterward they send to the great Soldane, and have whatsoever
they will demaund for them.

The other kinde is a most precious Stone indeede, which our best
Lapidaries call the _Helitropium_, the vertue whereof is so admirable;
as whosoever beareth it about him, so long as he keepeth it, it is
impossible for any eye to discerne him, because he walketh meerely
invisible. O Lord Sir (quoth _Calandrino_) these stones are of rare
vertue indeede: but where else may a man finde that _Helitropium_?
Whereto _Maso_ thus answered: That Countrey onely doth not containe
the _Helitropium_; for they be many times found upon our plaine of
_Mugnone_. Of what bignesse Sir (quoth _Calandrino_) is the Stone, and
what coulour? The _Helitropium_, answered _Maso_, is not alwayes of one
quality, because some are bigge, and others lesse; but all are of one
coulour, namely blacke.

_Calandrino_ committing all these things to respective memory, and
pretending to be called thence by some other especiall affaires;
departed from _Maso_, concluding resolvedly with himselfe, to finde
this precious stone, if possibly hee could: yet intending to doe
nothing, untill hee had acquainted _Bruno_ and _Buffalmaco_ therewith,
whom he loved dearly: he went in all hast to seeke them; because,
(without any longer trifling the time) they three might bee the first
men, that should find out this precious stone, spending almost the
whole morning, before they were all three met together. For they were
painting at the Monastery of the Sisters of _Faenza_, where they had
very serious imployment, and followed their businesse diligently:
where having found them, and saluting them in such kinde manner, as
continually he used to doe, thus he began.

Loving friends, if you were pleased to follow mine advise, wee three
will quickely be the richest men in _Florence_; because, by information
from a Gentleman (well deserving to be credited) on the Plaine of
_Mugnone_: there is a precious stone to be found, which whosoever
carrieth it about him, walketh invisible, and is not to be seene by
any one. Let us three be the first men to goe and finde it, before any
other heare thereof, and goe about it, and assure our selves that we
shall finde it, for I know it (by discription) so soone as I see it.
And when wee have it, who can hinder us from bearing it about us. Then
will we goe to the Tables of our Bankers, or money changers, which we
see daily charged with plenty of gold and silver, where we may take so
much as wee list, for they (nor any) are able to descrie us. So, (in
short time) shall wee all be wealthy, never needing to drudge any more,
or paint muddy walles, as hitherto we have done; and, as many of our
poore profession are forced to doe.

_Bruno_ and _Buffalmaco_ hearing this, began to smile, and looking
merrily each on other, they seemed to wonder thereat, and greatly
commended the counsell of _Calandrino. Buffalmaco_ demaunding how the
stone was named. Now it fortuned, that _Calandrino_ (who had but a
grosse and blockish memory) had quite forgot the name of the stone, and
therefore said. What neede have wee of the name, when we know, and are
assured of the stones vertue? Let us make no more adoe, but (setting
aside all other businesse) goe seeke where it is to be found. Well my
friend (answered _Bruno_) you say wee may find it, but how, and by what

There are two sorts of them (quoth _Calandrino_) some bigge, others
smaller, but all carry a blacke colour: therefore (in mine opinion) let
us gather all such stones as are blacke, so shall we be sure to finde
it among them, without any further losse of time.

_Buffalmaco_ and _Bruno_, liked and allowed the counsell of
_Calandrino_, which when they had (by severall commendations) given him
assurance of, _Bruno_ saide. I doe not thinke it a convenient time now,
for us to go about so weighty a businesse: for the Sun is yet in the
highest degree, and striketh such a heate on the plaine of _Mugnone_,
as all the stones are extreamly dryed, and the very blackest will
nowe seeme whitest. But in the morning, after the dew is falne, and
before the Sunne shineth forth, every stone retaineth his true colour.
Moreover, there be many Labourers now working on the plaine, about such
businesse as they are severally assigned, who seeing us in so serious
a search:** may imagine what we seeke for, & partake with us in the same
inquisition, by which meanes they may chance to speed before us, and so
wee may lose both our trot and amble. Wherefore, by my consent, if your
opinion jumpe with mine, this is an enterprise onely to be perfourmed
in an early morning, when the blacke stones are to be distinguisht from
the white, and a Festivall day were the best of all other, for then
there will be none to discover us.

_Buffalmaco_ applauded the advice of _Bruno_, and _Calandrino_
did no lesse, concluding all together; that Sunday morning (next
ensuing) should be the time, and then they all three would go seeke
the Stone. But _Calandrino_ was verie earnest with them, that they
shold not reveale it to any living body, because it was tolde him as
an especiall secret: disclosing further to them, what hee had heard
concerning the Countrey of _Bengodi_, maintaining (with solemn oaths
and protestations) that every part thereof was true. Uppon this
agreement, they parted from _Calandrino_, who hardly enjoyed anie rest
at all, either by night or day, so greedie he was to bee possessed of
the stone. On the Sonday morning, hee called up his Companions before
breake of day, and going forth at S. _Galls_ Port, they stayed not,
till they came to the plaine of _Mugnone_, where they searched all
about to finde this strange stone.

_Calandrino_ went stealing before the other two, and verilie perswaded
himselfe, that he was borne to finde the _Helitropium_, and looking
on every side about him, hee rejected all other Stones but the
blacke, whereof first he filled his bosome, and afterwards, both
his Pockets. Then he tooke off his large painting Apron, which he
fastened with his girdle in the manner of a sacke, and that he filled
full of stones likewise. Yet not so satisfied, he spred abroad his
Cloake, which being also full of stones, hee bound it up carefully,
for feare of loosing the very least of them. All which _Buffalmaco_
and _Bruno_ well observing (the day growing on, and hardly they could
reach home by dinner time) according as merrily they had concluded,
and pretending not to see _Calandrino_, albeit he was not farre from
them: What is become of _Calandrino_? saide _Buffalmaco. Bruno_ gazing
strangely every where about him, as if hee were desirous to finde him,
replyed. I saw him not long since, for then he was hard by before us;
questionlesse, he hath given us the slippe, is privilie gone home to
dinner, and making starke fooles of us, hath lefte us to picke up
blacke stones, upon the parching plaines of _Mugnone_. Well (quoth
_Buffalmaco_) this is but the tricke of an hollow-hearted friend, and
not such as he protested himselfe to be, to us. Could any but wee
have bin so sottish, to credit his frivolous perswasions, hoping to
finde any stones of such vertue, and here on the fruitlesse plains of
_Mugnone_? No, no, none but we would have beleeved him.

_Calandrino_ (who was close by them) hearing these wordes, and seeing
the whole manner of their wondering behaviour: became constantly
perswaded, that hee had not onely founde the precious stone; but also
had some store of them about him, by reason he was so neere to them,
and yet they could not see him, therefore he walked before them. Now
was his joy beyond all compasse of expression, and being exceedingly
proud of so happy an adventure: did not meane to speake one word to
them, but (heavily laden as hee was) to steale home faire and softly
before them, which indeede he did, leaving them to follow after, if
they would. _Bruno_ perceiving his intent, said to _Buffalmaco_: What
remaineth now for us to doe? Why should not we go home, as well as hee?
And reason too, replyed _Bruno_, It is in vaine to tarry any longer
heere: but I solemnly protest, _Calandrino_ shall no more make an Asse
of me: and were I now as neere him, as not long since I was, I would
give him such a remembrance on the heele with this Flint stone, as
should sticke by him this moneth, to teach him a lesson for abusing his

Hee threw the stone, and hit him shrewdly on the heele therewith; but
all was one to _Calandrino_, whatsoever they saide, or did, as thus
they still followed after him. And although the blow of the stone was
painfull to him; yet he mended his pace so wel as he was able, in
regard of beeing over-loaden with stones, and gave them not one word
all the way, because he tooke himselfe to bee invisible, and utterly
unseene of them. _Buffalmaco_ taking uppe another Flint-stone, which
was indifferent heavie and sharp, said to _Bruno_. Seest thou this
Flint? Casting it from him, he smote _Calandrino_ just in the backe
therewith, saying. Oh that _Calandrino_ had bin so neere, as I might
have hit him on the backe with the stone. And thus all the way on the
plaine of _Mugnone_, they did nothing else but pelt him with stones,
even so farre as the Port of S. _Gall_, where they threwe downe what
other stones they had gathered, meaning not to molest him any more,
because they had done enough already.

There they stept before him unto the Port, and acquainted the Warders
with the whole matter, who laughing heartily at the jest, the better to
upholde it; would seeme not to see _Calandrino_ in his passage by them,
but suffered him to go on, sore wearied with his burthen, and sweating
extreamly. Without resting himselfe in any place, he came home to his
house, which was neere to the corner of the Milles, Fortune being so
favourable to him in the course of this mockery, that as he passed
along the Rivers side, and afterward through part of the City; he was
neither met nor seen by any, in regard they were all in their houses at

_Calandrino_, every minute ready to sinke under his weightie burthen,
entred into his owne house, where (by great ill luck) his wife, being
a comely and very honest woman, and named _Monna Trista_, was standing
aloft on the stayres head. She being somewhat angry for his so long
absence, and seeing him come in grunting and groaning, frowningly said.
I thought that the divell would never let thee come home, all the
whole Citie have dined, and yet wee must remaine without our dinner.
When _Calandrino_ heard this, & perceived that he was not invisible to
his Wife: full of rage and wroth, hee began to raile, saying. Ah thou
wicked woman, where art thou? Thou hast utterly undone me: but (as I
live) I will pay thee soundly for it. Up the staires he ascended into
a small Parlour, where when he hadde spred all his burthen of stones
on the floore: he ran to his wife, catching her by the haire of the
head, and throwing her at his feete; giving her so many spurns and
cruel blowes, as shee was not able to moove either armes or legges,
notwithstanding all her teares, and humble submission.

Now _Buffalmaco_ and _Bruno_, after they had spent an indifferent
while, with the Warders at the Port in laughter; in a faire & gentle
pace, they followed _Calandrino_ home to his house, and being come to
the doore, they heard the harsh bickering betweene him and his Wife,
and seeming as if they were but newly arrived, they called out alowd
to him. _Calandrino_ being in a sweate, stamping and raving still at
his Wife: looking forth of the window, entreated them to ascend up to
him, which they did, counterfetting greevous displeasure against him.
Being come into the roome, which they saw all covered over with stones,
his Wife sitting in a corner, all the haire (well-neere) torne off her
head, her face broken and bleeding, and all her body cruelly beaten; on
the other side, _Calandrino_ standing unbraced and ungirded, strugling
and wallowing, like a man quite out of breath: after a little pausing,
_Bruno_ thus spake.

Why how now _Calandrino_? What may the meaning of this matter be?
What, art thou preparing for building, that thou hast provided such
plenty of stones? How sitteth thy poore wife? How hast thou misused
her? Are these the behaviours of a wise or honest man? _Calandrino_,
utterly over-spent with travaile, and carrying such an huge burthen
of stones, as also the toylesome beating of his Wife, (but much more
impatient and offended, for that high good Fortune, which he imagined
to have lost:) could not collect his spirits together, to answer them
one ready word, wherefore hee sate fretting like a mad man. Whereupon,
_Buffalmaco_ thus began to him. _Calandrino_, if thou be angry with any
other, yet thou shouldest not have made such a mockery of us, as thou
hast done: in leaving us (like a couple of coxcombes) to the plaine of
_Mugnone_, whether thou leddest us with thee, to seeke a precious stone
called _Helitropium_. And couldst thou steale home, never bidding us so
much as farewell? How can we but take it in very evill part, that thou
shouldest so abuse two honest neighbours? Well, assure thy selfe, this
is the last time that ever thou shalt serve us so.

_Calandrino_ (by this time) being somewhat better come to himselfe,
with an humble protestation of courtesie, returned them this answer.
Alas my good friends, be not you offended, the case is farre otherwise
then you immagine. Poore unfortunate man that I am, I found the rare
precious stone that you speake of: and marke me well, if I do not tell
you the truth of all. When you asked one another (the first time) what
was become of me; I was hard by you: at the most, within the distance
of two yards length; and perceiving that you saw mee not, (being still
so neere, and alwaies before you:) I went on, smiling to my selfe, to
heare you brabble and rage against me.

So, proceeding on in his discourse, he recounted every accident as
it hapned, both what they had saide and did unto him, concerning
the severall blowes, with the two Flint-stones, the one hurting him
greevously in the heele, and the other paining him as extreamly in the
backe, with their speeches used then, and his laughter, notwithstanding
hee felt the harme of them both, yet beeing proud that he did so
invisibly beguile them. Nay more (quoth he) I cannot forbeare to tell
you, that when I passed thorow the Port, I saw you standing with the
Warders; yet, by vertue of that excellent Stone, undiscovered of
you all. Beside, going along the streets, I met many of my Gossips,
friends, and familiar acquaintance, such as used daylie to converse
with me, and drinking together in every Tavern: yet not one of them
spake to me, neyther used any courtesie or salutation; which (indeede)
I did the more freely forgive them, because they were not able to see

In the end of all, when I was come home into mine owne house, this
divellish and accursed woman, being aloft uppon my stayres head, by
much misfortune chanced to see me; in regard (as it is not unknowne
to you) that women cause all things to lose their vertue. In which
respect, I that could have stild my selfe the onely happy man in
_Florence_, am now made most miserable. And therefore did I justly
beate her, so long as she was able to stand against mee, and I know no
reason to the contrary, why I should not yet teare her in a thousand
peeces: for I may well curse the day of our mariage, to hinder and
bereave me of such an invisible blessednesse.

_Buffalmaco_ and _Bruno_ hearing this, made shew of verie much
mervailing thereat, and many times maintained what _Calandrino_ had
said; being well neere ready to burst with laughter; considering, how
confidently he stood upon it, that he had found the wonderfull stone,
and lost it by his wives speaking onely to him. But when they saw him
rise in fury once more, with intent to beat her againe: then they stept
betweene them; affirming, That the woman had no way offended in this
case, but rather he himself: who knowing that women cause all things
to lose their vertue, had not therefore expresly commanded her, not to
be seene in his presence all that day, untill he had made full proofe
of the stones vertue. And questionles, the consideration of a matter
so availeable and important, was quite taken from him, because such
an especiall happinesse, should not belong to him only; but (in part)
to his friends, whom he had acquainted therewith, drew them to the
plaine with him in companie, where they tooke as much paines in search
of the stone, as possibly he did, or could; and yet (dishonestly) he
would deceive them, and beare it away covetously, for his owne private

After many other, as wise and wholesome perswasions, which he
constantly credited, because they spake them, they reconciled him to
his wife, and she to him: but not without some difficulty in him; who
falling into wonderfull greefe and melancholy, for losse of such an
admirable precious stone, was in danger to have dyed, within lesse then
a month after.

_The Provost belonging to the Cathedrall Church of_ Fiesola, _fell in
love with a Gentlewoman, being a widdow, and named_ Piccarda, _who
hated him as much as he loved her. He imagining, that he lay with her:
by the Gentlewomans Bretheren, and the Byshop under whom he served, was
taken in bed with her Mayde, an ugly, foule, deformed Slut._

The Fourth Novell.

_Wherein is declared, how love oftentimes is so powerfull in aged men,
and driveth them to such doating, that it redoundeth to their great
disgrace and punishment._

Ladie _Eliza_ having concluded her Novell, not without infinite
commendations of the whole company: the Queen turning her lookes to
Madame _Æmillia_, gave her such an expresse signe, as she must needs
follow next after Madame _Eliza_, whereupon she began in this manner.

Vertuous Ladies, I very well remember (by divers Novels formerly
related) that sufficient hath beene sayde, concerning Priests and
Religious persons, and all other carrying shaven Crownes, in their
luxurious appetites and desires. But because no one can at any time say
so much, as thereto no more may be added: beside them alreadie spoken
of, I will tel you another concerning the Provost of a Cathedrall Church,
who would needes (in despight of all the world) love a Gentlewoman
whether she would or no: and therefore, in due chastisement both
unto his age and folly, she gave him such entertainment as he justly

It is not unknowne unto you all, that the Cittie of _Fiesola_, the
mountaine whereof we may very easily hither discerne, hath bene (in
times past) a very great and most ancient City: although at this day it
is well-neere all ruined: yet neverthelesse, it alwaies was, and yet
is a Byshops See, albeit not of the wealthiest. In the same Citie, and
no long while since, neere unto the Cathedrall Church, there dwelt a
Gentlewoman, being a Widdow, and commonlie there stiled by the name of
Madame _Piccarda_, whose house and inheritance was but small, wherewith
yet she lived very contentedly (having no wandering eye, or wanton
desires) and no company but her two Brethren, Gentlemen of especiall
honest and gracious disposition.

This Gentlewoman, being yet in the flourishing condition of her time,
did ordinarily resort to the Cathedrall Church, in holie zeale, and
religious devotion; where the Provost of the place, became so enamored
of her, as nothing (but the sight of her) yeelded him any contentment.
Which fond affection of his, was forwarded with such an audacious and
bold carriage, as hee dared to acquaint her with his love, requiring
her enterchange of affection, and the like opinion of him, as he had of
her. True it is, that he was very farre entred into yeares, but yong
and lustie in his own proud conceite, presuming strangely beyond his
capacity, and thinking as well of his abilitie, as the youthfullest
gallant in the World could doe. Whereas (in verie deede) his person was
utterly displeasing, his behaviour immodest and scandalous, and his
usuall Language, favouring of such sensualitie, as, very fewe or none
cared for his company. And if any Woman seemed respective of him, it
was in regard of his outside and profession, and more for feare, then
the least affection, and alwayes as welcome to them, as the head-ake.

His fond and foolish carriage still continuing to this Gentlewoman;
she being wise and vertuously advised, spake thus unto him. Holy Sir,
if you love me according as you protest, & manifest by your outward
behaviour: I am the more to thanke you for it, being bound in dutie
to love you likewise. But if your Love have any harshe or unsavourie
taste, which mine is no way able to endure, neyther dare entertaine in
anie kinde whatsoever: you must and shall hold mee excused, because I
am made of no such temper. You are my ghostly and spirituall Father, an
Holy Priest. Moreover, yeares have made you honorably aged; all which
severall weighty considerations, ought to confirme you in continency
& chastity. Remember withall (good sir) that I am but a child to you
in years, & were I bent to any wanton appetites, you shold justly
correct me by fatherly counsell, such as most beautifieth your sacred
profession. Beside, I am a Widdow, and you are not ignorant, how
requisite a thing honestie is in widdowes. Wherefore, pardon mee (Holy
Father:) for, in such manner as you make the motion: I desire you not
to love mee, because I neither can or will at any time so affect you.

The Provoste gaining no other grace at this time, would not so give
over for this first repulse, but pursuing her still with unbeseeming
importunity; many private meanes he used to her by Letters, tokens,
and insinuating ambassages; yea, whensoever shee came to the Church,
he never ceased his wearisome solicitings. Whereat she growing greatly
offended, and perceyving no likelyhood of his desisting; became so
tyred with his tedious suite, that she considered with her selfe,
how she might dispatch him as he deserved, because she saw no other
remedy. Yet shee would not attempte anie thing in this case, without
acquainting her Bretheren first therewith. And having tolde them, how
much shee was importuned by the Provost, and also what course she meant
to take (wherein they both counselled and encouraged her:) within a few
daies after, shee went to Church as she was wont to do; where so soone
as the Provost espyed her: forthwith he came to her, and according to
his continued course, he fell into his amorous courting. She looking
upon him with a smiling countenance, and walking aside with him out
of any hearing: after he had spent many impertinent speeches, shee
(venting foorth manie a vehement sighe) at length returned him this

Reverend Father, I have often heard it saide: That there is not any
Fort or Castle, how strongly munited soever it bee; but by continuall
assayling, at length (of necessity) it must and will be surprized.
Which comparison, I may full well allude to my selfe. For, you having
so long time solicited me, one while with affable language, then againe
with tokens and entisements, of such prevailing power: as have broken
the verie barricado of my former deliberation, and yeelded mee uppe as
your prisoner, to be commanded at your pleasure, for now I am onely
devoted yours.

Well may you (Gentle Ladies) imagine, that this answere was not a
little welcome to the Provost; who, shrugging with conceyte of joy,
presently thus replyed. I thanke you Madame _Piccarda_, and to tell
you true, I held it almost as a miracle, that you could stand upon
such long resistance, considering, it never so fortuned to mee with
anie other. And I have many times saide to my selfe, that if women
were made of silver, they hardly could be worth a pennie, because
there can scarsely one be found of so good allay, as to endure the
test and essay. But let us breake off this frivolous conference, and
resolve upon a conclusion; How, when and where we may safely meete
together. Worthy Sir, answered _Piccarda_, your selfe may appoint the
time whensoever you please, because I have no Husband, to whom I should
render any account of my absence, or presence: but I am not provided of
any place.

A pretty while the Provoste stood musing, and at last saide. A place
Madame? where can be more privacie, then in your owne house? Alas
Sir (quoth she) you know that I have two Gentlemen my brethren who
continually are with me, & other of their friends beside: My house also
is not great, wherefore it is impossible to be there, except you could
be like a dumbe man, without speaking one word, or making the very
least noyse; beside, to remaine in darkenesse, as if you were blinde,
and who can be able to endure all these? And yet (without these) there
is no adventuring, albeit they never come into my Chamber: but their
lodging is so close to mine, as there cannot any word be spoken, be it
never so low or in whispering manner, but they heare it very easily.
Madame said the Provoste, for one or two nights, I can make hard shift.
Why Sir (quoth she) the matter onely remaineth in you, for if you be
silent and suffering, as already you have heard, there is no feare at
all of safty. Let me alone Madame, replyed the Provoste, I will bee
governed by your directions: but, in any case, let us begin this night.
With all my heart, saide shee. So appointing him how and when hee
should come; hee parted from her, and shee returned home to her house.

Heere I am to tell you, that this Gentlewoman had a servant, in the
nature of an old maide, not indued with any well featured face, but
instead thereof, she had the ugliest and most counterfeit countenance,
as hardly could be seene a worse. She had a wrie mouth, huge great
lippes, foule teeth, great and blacke, a monstrous stinking breath, her
eyes bleared, and alwayes running, the complexion of her face betweene
greene and yellow, as if shee had not spent the Summer season in the
Citie, but in the parching Countrey under a hedge; and beside all
these excellent parts, shee was crooke backt, poult footed, and went
like a lame Mare in Fetters. Her name was _Ciuta_, but in regard of
her flat nose, lying as low as a Beagles, shee was called _Ciutazza_.
Now, notwithstanding all this deformity in her, yet she had a singuler
opinion of her selfe, as commonly all such foule Sluts have: in regard
whereof, Madame _Piccarda_ calling her aside, Thus began.

_Ciutazza_, if thou wilt doe for me one nights service, I shall bestow
on thee a faire new Smocke. When _Ciutazza_ heard her speake of a
new Smocke, instantly she answered. Madame, if you please to bestow
a new Smocke on me, were it to runne thorow the fire for you, or any
businesse of farre greater danger, you onely have the power to command
me, and I will doe it. I will not (said _Piccarda_) urge thee to any
dangerous action, but onely to lodge in my bed this night with a man,
and give him courteous entertainement, who shall reward thee liberally
for it. But have an especiall care that thou speake not one word, for
feare thou shouldst be heard by my Brethren, who (as thou knowest)
lodge so neere by: doe this, and then demaund thy Smocke of me. Madame
(quoth _Ciutazza_) if it were to lye with sixe men, rather then one; if
you say the word, it shall be done.

When night was come, the Provoste also came according to appointment,
even when the two brethren were in their lodging, where they easily
heard his entrance, as _Piccarda_ (being present with them) had
informed them. In went the Provoste without any candle, or making the
least noise to be heard, & being in _Piccardaes_ Chamber, went to
bed: _Ciutazza_ tarrying not long from him, but (as her Mistresse had
instructed her) she went to bed likewise, not speaking any word at
all, and the Provoste, imagining to have her there, whom he so highly
affected, fell to imbracing and kissing _Ciutazza_, who was as forward
in the same manner to him, and there for a while I intend to leave them.

When _Piccarda_ had performed this hot piece of businesse, she referred
the effecting of the remainder to her Brethren, in such sort as it was
compacted betweene them. Faire and softly went the two brethren forth
of their Chamber, and going to the Market place, Fortune was more
favourable to them then they could wish, in accomplishing the issue
of their intent. For the heat being somwhat tedious, the Lord Bishop
was walking abroad very late, with purpose to visit the Brethren at
the Widdowes house, because he tooke great delight in their company,
as being good Schollers, and endued with other singular parts beside.
Meeting with them in the open Market place, he acquainted them with his
determination; whereof they were not a little joyfull, it jumping so
justly with their intent.

Being come to the Widdowes house, they passed through a small nether
Court, where lights stood ready to welcome him thither; and entring
into a goodly Hall, there was store of good wine and banquetting, which
the Bishop accepted in very thankefull manner: and courteous complement
being overpassed, one of the Brethren, thus spake. My good Lord, seeing
it hath pleased you to honour our poore Widdowed Sisters house with
your presence, for which wee shall thanke you while we live: We would
intreate one favour more of you, onely but to see a sight which we will
shew you. The Lord Bishop was well contented with the motion: so the
Brethren conducting him by the hand, brought him into their Sisters
Chamber, where the the Provoste was in bed with _Ciutazza_, both
soundly sleeping, but enfolded in his armes, as wearied (belike) with
their former wantonning, and whereof his age had but little need.

The Courtaines being close drawne about the bed, although the season
was exceeding hot, they having lighted Torches in their hands; drew
open the Curtaines, and shewed the Bishop his Provoste, close snugging
betweene the armes of _Ciutazza_. Upon a sudden the Provoste awaked,
and seeing so great a light, as also so many people about him: shame
and feare so daunted him, that hee shrunke downe into the bed, and hid
his head. But the Bishop being displeased at a sight so unseemely, made
him to discover his head againe, to see whom he was in bed withall. Now
the poore Provoste perceiving the Gentlewomans deceite, and the proper
hansome person so sweetly embracing him: it made him so confounded with
shame, as he had not the power to utter one word: but having put on his
cloathes by the Bishops command, hee sent him (under sufficient guard)
to his Pallace, to suffer due chastisement for his sinne committed; and
afterward he desired to know, by what meanes hee became so favoured of
_Ciutazza_, the whole Historie whereof, the two brethren related at
large to him.

When the Bishop had heard all the discourse, highly he commended the
wisedome of the Gentlewoman, and worthy assistance of her brethren,
who contemning to soile their hands in the blood of a Priest, rather
sought to shame him as hee deserved. The Bishop enjoyned him a pennance
of repentance for forty dayes after, but love and disdaine made him
weepe nine and forty: Moreover, it was a long while after, before he
durst be seene abroad. But when he came to walke the streets, the Boyes
would point their fingers at him, saying. Behold the Provoste that
lay with _Ciutazza_: Which was such a wearisome life to him, that he
became (well neere) distracted in his wits. In this manner the honest
Gentlewoman discharged her dutie, and rid her selfe of the Provosts
importunity: _Ciutazza_ had a merry night of it, and a new Smocke also
for her labour.

_Three pleasant Companions, plaide a merry pranke with a Judge
(belonging to the Marquesate of_ Ancona) _at_ Florence, _at such time
as he sate on the Bench, and hearing criminall causes._

The Fift Novell.

_Giving admonition, that for the mannaging of publique affaires, no
other persons are or ought to be appointed, but such as be honest, and
meet to sit on the seate of Authority._

No sooner had Madam _Æmillia_ finished her Novell, wherein, the
excellent wisedome of _Piccarda_, for so worthily punishing the
luxurious old Provoste, had generall commendations of the whole
Assembly: but the Queene, looking on _Philostratus_, said. I command
you next to supply the place: whereto he made answere, that hee was
both ready and willing, and then thus began. Honourable Ladies, the
merry Gentleman, so lately remembred by Madame _Eliza_, being named
_Maso del Saggio_; causeth me to passe over an intended Tale, which I
had resolved on when it came to my turne: to report another concerning
him, and two men more, his friendly Companions, which although it may
appeare to you somewhat unpleasing, in regard of a little grosse and
unmannerly behavior: yet it will move merriment without any offence,
and that is the maine reason why I relate it.

It is not unknowne to you, partly by intelligence from our reverend
predecessours, as also some understanding of your owne, that many time
have resorted to our City of _Florence_, Potestates and Officers,
belonging to the Marquesate of _Anconia_; who commonly were men of
lowe spirit, and their lives so wretched and penurious, as they rather
deserved to be tearmed Misers, then men. And in regard of this their
naturall covetousnesse and misery, the Judges would bring also in
their company, such Scribes or Notaries, as being paralelde with their
Masters: they all seemed like Swaines come from the Plough, or bred up
in some Coblers quality, rather then Schollers, or Students of Law.

At one time (above all the rest) among other Potestates and Judges,
there came an especiall man, as pickt out of purpose, who was named
_Messer Niccolao da San Lepidio_, who (at the first beholding) looked
rather like a Tinker, then any Officer in authority. This hansome
man (among the rest) was deputed to heare criminall causes. And, as
often it happeneth, that Citizens, although no businesse inviteth
them to Judiciall Courts, yet they still resort thither, sometimes
accidentally: So it fortuned, that _Maso del Saggio_, being one morning
in search of an especiall friend, went to the Court-house, and being
there, observed in what manner _Messer Niccolao_ was seated; who
looking like some strange Fowle, lately come forth of a farre Countrey;
he began to survay him the more seriously, even from the head to the
foot, as we use to say.

And albeit he saw his Gowne furred with Miniver, as also the hood about
his necke, a Penne and Inkehorne hanging at his girdle, and one skirt
of his Garment longer then the other, with more misshapen sights about
him, farre unfitting for a man of so civill profession: yet he spyed
one errour extraordinary, the most notable (in his opinion) that ever
he had seene before. Namely, a paultry paire of Breeches, wickedly
made, and worse worne, hanging downe so lowe as halfe his legge,
even as he sate upon the Bench, yet cut so sparingly of the Cloath,
that they gaped wide open before, as a wheele-barrow might have full
entrance allowed it. This strange sight was so pleasing to him; as
leaving off further search of his friend, and scorning to have such a
spectacle alone by himselfe: hee went upon another Inquisition; Namely,
for two other merry Lads like himselfe, the one being called _Ribi_,
and the other _Matteuzzo_, men of the same mirth-full disposition as he
was, and therefore the fitter for his Company.

After he had met with them, these were his salutations: My honest
Boyes, if ever you did me any kindnesse, declare it more effectually
now, in accompanying me to the Court-house, where you shall behold
such a singular spectacle, as (I am sure) you never yet saw the
like. Forthwith they went along altogether, and being come to the
Court-house, he shewed them the Judges hansome paire of Breeches,
hanging down in such base and beastly manner; that (being as yet farre
off from the Bench) their hearts did ake with extreamity of laughter.
But when they came neere to the seat whereon _Messer Niccolao_ sate,
they plainely perceived, that it was very easie to be crept under, and
withall, that the board whereon he set his feet, was rotten and broken,
so that it was no difficult matter, to reach it, and pull it downe as
a man pleased, and let him fall bare Breecht to the ground. Cheare up
your spirits (my hearts) quoth _Maso_, and if your longing be like to
mine; we will have yonder Breeches a good deale lower, for I see how it
may be easily done.

Laying their heads together, plotting and contriving severall wayes,
which might be the likelyest to compasse their intent: each of them had
his peculiar appointment, to undertake the businesse without fayling,
and it was to be performed the next morning. At the houre assigned,
they met there againe, and finding the Court well filled with people,
the Plaintiffes and Defendants earnestly pleading: _Matteuzzo_ (before
any body could descry him) was cunningly crept under the Bench, and
lay close by the board whereon the Judge placed his feete. Then stept
in _Maso_ on the right hand of _Messer Niccolao_, and tooke fast hold
on his Gowne before; the like did _Ribi_ on the left hand, in all
respects answerable to the other. Oh my Lord Judge (cryed _Maso_ out
aloud) I humbly intreat you for charities sake, before this pilfering
knave escape away from hence; that I may have Justice against him, for
stealing my drawing-over stockeings, which he stoutly denyeth, yet mine
owne eyes beheld the deed, it being now not above fifteene dayes since,
when first I bought them for mine owne use.

Worthy Lord Judge (cryed _Ribi_, on the other side) doe not beleeve
what he saith, for he is a paltry lying fellow, and because hee knew I
came hither to make my complaint for a Male or Cloakebag which he stole
from me: hee urgeth this occasion for a paire of drawing Stockeings,
which he delivered me with his owne hands. If your Lordship will not
credit me, I can produce as witnesses, _Trecco_ the Shoemaker, with
_Monna Grassa_ the Souse-seller, and he that sweepes the Church of
_Santa Maria a Verzaia_, who saw him when he came posting hither.
_Maso_ haling and tugging the Judge by the sleeve, would not suffer him
to heare _Ribi_, but cryed out still for Justice against him, as he did
the like on the contrary side.

During the time of this their clamourous contending, the Judge being
very willing to heare either party: _Matteuzzo_, upon a signe received
from the other, which was a word in _Masoes_ pleading, laide holde
on the broken boord, as also on the Judges low-hanging Breech,
plucking at them both so strongly, that they fell downe immediately,
the Breeches being onely tyed but with one Poynt before. He hearing
the boards breaking underneath him, and such maine pulling at his
Breeches; strove (as he sate) to make them fast before, but the Poynt
being broken, and _Maso_ crying in his eare on the one side, as _Ribi_
did the like in the other; hee was at his wits end to defend himselfe.
My Lord (quoth _Maso_) you may bee ashamed that you doe me not
Justice, why will you not heare mee, but wholly lend your eare to mine
Adversary? My Lord (said _Ribi_) never was Libell preferd into this
Court, of such a paltry trifling matter, and therefore I must, and will
have Justice.

By this time the Judge was dismounted from the Bench, and stood on
the ground, with his slovenly Breeches hanging about his heeles;
_Matteuzzo_ being cunningly stolne away, and undiscovered by anybody.
_Ribi_, thinking he had shamed the Judge sufficiently, went away,
protesting, that he would declare his cause in the hearing of a
wiser Judge. And _Maso_ forbearing to tugge his Gowne any longer, in
his departing, said. Fare you well Sir, you are not worthy to be a
Magistrate, if you have no more regard of your honour and honesty, but
will put off poore mens suites at your pleasure. So both went severall
wayes, and soone were gone out of publike view.

The worshipfull Judge _Messer Niccolao_ stood all this while on the
ground; and, in presence of all the beholders, trussed up his Breeches,
as if hee were new risen out of his bed: when better bethinking
himselfe on the matters indifference, he called for the two men, who
contended for the drawing stockings and the Cloake-bag; but no one
could tell what was become of them. Whereupon, he rapt out a kinde
of Judges oath, saying: I will know whether it be Law or no heere in
_Florence_, to make a Judge sit bare Breecht on the Bench of Justice,
and in the hearing of criminall Causes; whereat the chiefe Potestate,
and all the standers by laughed heartily.

Within fewe dayes after, he was informed by some of his especiall
Friends, that this had never happened to him, but onely to testifie,
how understanding the _Florentines_ are, in their ancient constitutions
and customes, to embrace, love and honour, honest, discreet worthy
Judges and Magistrates; Whereas on the contrary, they as much condemne
miserable knaves, fooles, and dolts, who never merit to have any better
entertainment. Wherefore, it would be best for him, to make no more
enquiry after the parties; lest a worse inconvenience should happen to

Bruno _and_ Buffalmaco, _did steale a young Brawne from_ Calandrino,
_and for his recovery thereof, they used a kinde of pretended
conjuration, with Pilles made of Ginger and strong Malmesey. But
instead of this application, they gave him two Pilles of a Dogges
Dates, or Dowsets, confected in Alloes, which he received each after
the other; by meanes whereof they made him beleeve, that hee had robde
himselfe. And for feare they should report this theft to his wife; they
made him to goe buy another Brawne._

The Sixt Novell.

_Wherein is declared, how easily a plaine and simple man may be made a
foole, when he dealeth with crafty companions._

_Philostratus_ had no sooner concluded his Novell, and the whole
Assembly laughed heartily thereat: but the Queen gave command to Madame
_Philomena_, that shee should follow next in order; whereupon thus shee
began. Worthy Ladies, as _Philostratus_, by calling to memorie the name
of _Maso del Saggio_, hath contented you with another merry Novell
concerning him: in the same manner must I intreat you, to remember once
againe _Calandrino_ and his subtle Consorts, by a pretty tale which I
meane to tell you; how, and in what manner they were revenged on him,
for going to seeke the invisible Stone.

Needlesse were any fresh relation to you, what manner of people those
three men were, _Calandrino, Bruno,_ and _Buffalmaco,_ because already
you have had sufficient understanding of them. And therefore, as an
induction to my discourse, I must tell you, that _Calandrino_ had
a small Country-house, in a Village some-what neere to _Florence_,
which came to him by the marriage of his Wife. Among other Cattle and
Poultry, which he kept there in store, hee had a young Boare readie
fatted for Brawne, whereof yearly he used to kill one for his owne
provision; and alwaies in the month of December, he and his wife
resorted to their village house, to have a Brawne both killed and

It came to passe at this time concerning my Tale, that the Woman being
somewhat crazie and sickly, by her Husbands unkinde usage, whereof you
heard so lately; _Calandrino_ went alone to the killing of his Boare,
which comming to the hearing of _Bruno_ and _Buffalmaco_, and that the
Woman could by no meanes be there: to passe away the time a little in
merriment, they went to a friendlie Companion of theirs, an honest
joviall Priest, dwelling not farre off from _Calandrinoes_ Countrey

The same morning as the Boare was kilde, they all three went thither,
and _Calandrino_ seeing them in the Priests companie: bad them all
heartily welcome; and to acquaint them with his good Husbandry, hee
shewed them his house, and the Boare where it hung. They perceyving
it to be faire and fat, knowing also, that _Calandrino_ intended to
salt it for his owne store, _Bruno_ saide unto him: Thou art an Asse
_Calandrino_, sell thy Brawne, and let us make merrie with the money:
then let thy wife know no otherwise, but that it was stolne from thee,
by those theeves which continually haunt country houses, especially in
such scattering Villages.

Oh mine honest friends, answered _Calandrino_, your counsell is not
to be followed, neither is my wife so easie to be perswaded: this were
the readiest way to make your house a hell, and she to become the
Master-Divell: therefore talke no further, for flatly I will not doe
it. Albeit they laboured him very earnestly, yet all proved not to anie
purpose: onely he desired them to suppe with him, but in so colde a
manner, as they denyed him, and parted thence from him. As they walked
on the way, _Bruno_ saide to _Buffalmaco_. Shall we three (this night)
rob him of his Brawne? Yea marry (quoth _Buffalmaco_) how is it to be
done? I have (saide _Bruno_) alreadie found the meanes to effect it,
if he take it not from the place where last we saw it. Let us doe it
then (answered _Buffalmaco_) why should we not do it? Sir Domine heere
and we, will make good cheare with it among our selves. The nimble
Priest was as forward as the best; and the match being fully agreed
on, _Bruno_ thus spake. My delicate Sir Domine, Art and cunning must
be our maine helps: for thou knowest _Buffalmaco_, what a covetous
wretch _Calandrino_ is, glad and readie to drink alwaies on other mens
expences: let us go take him with us to the Tavern, where the Priest
(for his owne honour and reputation) shall offer to make paiment of the
whole reckoning, without receiving a farthing of his, whereof he will
not be a little joyfull, so shall we bring to passe the rest of the
businesse, because there is no body in the house, but onely himselfe:
for he is best at ease without company.

As _Bruno_ had propounded, so was it accordingly performed, & when
_Calandrino_ perceyved, that the Priest would suffer none to pay, but
himselfe, he dranke the more freely; and when there was no neede at
all, tooke his Cuppes couragiously, one after another. Two or three
houres of the night were spent, before they parted from the Taverne,
_Calandrino_ going directly home to his house, and instantly to bed,
without any other supper, imagining that he had made fast his doore,
which (indeede) he left wide open: sleeping soundly, without suspition
of any harme intended unto him. _Buffalmaco_ and _Bruno_ went and supt
with the Priest, and so soone as supper was ended, they tooke certaine
Engines, for their better entering into _Calandrinoes_ house, and so
went on to effect theyr purpose. Finding the doore standing readie
open, they entered in, tooke the Brawne, carried it with them to the
Priests house, and afterward went all to bed.

When _Calandrino_ had well slept after his Wine, he arose in the
morning, and being descended downe the staires, finding the street
doore wide open, he looked for the Brawne, but it was gone. Enquiring
of the neighbours dwelling neere about him, hee could heare no tydings
of his Brawne, but became the wofullest man in the world, telling every
one that his Brawne was stolne. _Bruno_ and _Buffalmaco_ being risen in
the morning, they went to visite _Calandrino_, to heare how he tooke
the losse of his Brawne: and hee no sooner had a sight of them, but
he called them to him; and with the teares running downe his cheekes,
sayde: Ah my deare friendes, I am robde of my Brawne. _Bruno_ stepping
closely to him, sayde in his eare: It is wonderfull, that once in thy
life time thou canst bee wise. How? answered _Calandrino_, I speake to
you in good earnest. Speake so still in earnest (replied _Bruno_) and
cry it out so loud as thou canst, then let who list beleeve it to be

_Calandrino_ stampt and fretted exceedingly, saying: As I am a true
man to God, my Prince, and Countrey, I tell thee truly, that my Brawne
is stolne. Say so still I bid thee (answered _Bruno_) and let all the
world beleeve thee, if they list to do so, for I will not. Wouldst
thou, (quoth _Calandrino_) have me damne my selfe to the divell? I see
thou dost not credit what I say: but would I were hanged by the necke,
if it be not true, that my Brawne is stolne. How can it possible be,
replyed _Bruno_? Did not I see it in thy house yesternight? Wouldst
thou have me beleeve, that it is flowne away? Although it is not flowne
away (quoth _Calandrino_) yet I am certain, that it is stolne away: for
which I am weary of my life, because I dare not go home to mine owne
house, in regard my wife will never beleeve it; and yet if she should
credite it, we are sure to have no peace for a twelvemonths space.

_Bruno_, seeming as if he were more then halfe sorrowfull, yet
supporting still his former jesting humour, saide: Now trust mee
_Calandrino_, if it be so; they that did it are much too blame.
If it be so? answered _Calandrino_, Belike thou wouldst have mee
blaspheme Heaven, and all the Saints therein: I tell thee once againe
_Bruno_, that this last night my Brawne was stolne. Be patient good
_Calandrino_, replyed _Buffalmaco_, and if thy Brawne be stolne from
thee, there are means enow to get it againe. Meanes enow to get it
againe? said _Calandrino_, I would faine heare one likely one, and let
all the rest go by. I am sure _Calandrino_, answered _Buffalmaco_, thou
art verily perswaded, that no Theefe came from _India_, to steale thy
Brawne from thee: in which respect, it must needes then be some of thy
Neighbours: whom if thou couldst lovingly assemble together, I knowe
an experiment to be made with Bread and Cheese, whereby the party that
hath it, will quickly be discovered.

I have heard (quoth _Bruno_) of such an experiment, and helde it to
be infallible; but it extendeth onely unto persons of Gentilitie,
whereof there are but few dwelling heere about, and in the case of
stealing a Brawne, it is doubtfull to invite them, neither can there
be any certainty of their comming. I confesse what you say, aunswered
_Buffalmaco_, to be very true: but then in this matter, so nerely
concerning us to be done, and for a deare Friend, what is your advice?
I would have Pilles made of Ginger, compounded with your best and
strongest _Malmesey_,** then let the ordinary sort of people be invited
(for such onely are most to be mistrusted) and they will not faile to
come, because they are utterly ignorant of our intention. Besides, the
Pilles may as well bee hallowed and consecrated, as bread and cheese on
the like occasion. Indeede you say true (replyed _Buffalmaco_) but what
is the opinion of _Calandrino_? Is he willing to have this tryall made,
or no? Yes, by all meanes, answered _Calandrino_, for gladly I would
know who hath stolne my Brawne, and your good words have (more then
halfe) comforted me already in this case.

Well then (quoth _Bruno_) I will take the paines to go to _Florence_,
to provide all things necessarie for this secret service; but I must
bee furnished with money to effect it. _Calandrino_ had some forty
shillings then about him, which he delivered to _Bruno_, who presently
went to _Florence_, to a frend of his an Apothecarie, of whom he
bought a pound of white Ginger, which hee caused him to make uppe
in small Pilles: and two other beside of a Dogges-dates or Dowsets,
confected all over with strong Aloes, yet well moulded in Sugare,
as all the rest were: and because they should the more easily bee
knowne from the other, they were spotted with Gold, in verie formall
and Physicall manner. He bought moreover, a big Flaggon of the best
Malmesey, returning backe with all these things to _Calandrino_, and
directing him in this order.

You must put some friend in trust, to invite your Neighbours (especially
such as you suspect) to a breakfast in the morning: and because it is
done as a feast in kindnesse, they will come to you the more willingly.
This night will I and _Buffalmaco_ take such order, that the Pilles
shall have the charge imposed on them, and then wee will bring them
hither againe in the morning: and I my selfe (for your sake) will
deliver them to your guests, and performe whatsoever is to bee sayde
or done. On the next morning, a goodly company being assembled, under
a faire Elme before the Church; as well young _Florentynes_ (who
purposely came to make themselves merry) as neighbouring Husbandmen
of the Village: _Bruno_ was to begin the service, with the Pils in a
faire Cup, and _Buffalmaco_ followed him with another Cup, to deliver
the wine out of the Flaggon, all the company beeing set round, as in
a circle; and _Bruno_ with _Buffalmaco_ being in the midst of them,
_Bruno_ thus spake.

Honest friends, it is fit that I should acquaint you with the occasion,
why we are thus met together, and in this place: because if anie thing
may seeme offensive to you; afterward you shall make no complaint of
me. From _Calandrino_ (our loving friend heere present) yesternight
there was a new-kild fat Brawne taken, but who hath done the deede,
as yet he knoweth not; and because none other, but some one (or more)
heere among us, must needs offend in this case: he, desiring to
understand who they be, would have each man to receive one of these
Pilles, and afterward to drinke of this Wine; assuring you all, that
whosoever stole the Brawne hence, cannot be able to swallow the Pill:
for it will be so extreme bitter in his mouth, as it will enforce him
to Coughe and spet extraordinarily. In which respect, before such a
notorious shame be received, and in so goodly an assembly, as now
are heere present: it were much better for him or them that have the
Brawne, to confesse it in private to this honest Priest, and I will
abstaine from urging anie such publike proofe.

Every one there present answered, that they were well contented both to
eate and drinke, and let the shame fall where it deserved; whereupon,
_Bruno_ appointing them how they should sit, and placing _Calandrino_
as one among them: he began his counterfeite exorcisme, giving each
man a Pill, and _Buffalmaco_ a Cup of Wine after it. But when he came
to _Calandrino_, hee tooke one of them, which was made of the Dogges
dates or Dowsets, and delivering it into his hand, presently hee put
it into his mouth and chewed it. So soone as his tongue tasted the
bitter Aloes, he began to coughe and spet extreamly, as being utterly
unable, to endure the bitternesse and noysome smell. The other men
that had receyved the Pils, beganne to gaze one upon another, to see
whose behaviour should discover him; and _Bruno_ having not (as yet)
delivered Pils to them all, proceeded on still in his businesse, as
seeming not to heare any coughing, till one behinde him, saide. What
meaneth _Calandrino_ by this spetting and coughing?

_Bruno_ sodainely turning him about, and seeing _Calandrino_ to cough
and spet in such sort, saide to the rest. Be not too rash (honest
Friends) in judging of any man, some other matter (then the Pille) may
procure this Coughing, wherefore he shall receive another, the better to
cleare your beleefe concerning him. He having put the second prepared
Pill into his mouth, while _Bruno_ went to serve the rest of the
Guests: if the first was exceeding bitter to his taste, this other made
it a great deale worse, for teares streamed forth of his eyes as bigge
as Cherry-stones, and champing and chewing the Pill, as hoping it would
overcome his coughing; he coughed and spette the more violently, and in
grosser manner then he did before, nor did they give him any wine to
helpe it.

_Buffalmaco, Bruno,_ and the whole company, perceiving how he continued
still his coughing and spetting; saide all with one voyce, That
_Calandrino_ was the Theefe to himselfe: and gave him manie grosse
speeches beside, all departing home into their houses, very much
displeased and angry with him. After they were gone, none remained
with him but the Priest, _Bruno_ and _Buffalmaco_, who thus spake to
_Calandrino_. I did ever thinke, that thou wast the theefe thy selfe,
yet thou imputedst thy robbery to some other, for feare we should once
drinke freely of thy purse, as thou hast done many times of ours.
_Calandrino_, who had not yet ended his coughing and spetting, sware
many bitter Oathes, that his Brawne was stolne from him. Talke so long
as thou wilt, quoth _Buffalmaco_, thy knavery is both knowne and seene,
and well thou mayst be ashamed of thy selfe. _Calandrino_ hearing this,
grew desperately angry; and to incense him more, _Bruno_ thus pursued
the matter.

Hear me _Calandrino_, for I speake to thee in honest earnest, there
was a man in the company, who did eate and drinke heere among thy
neighbours, and plainly told me, that thou keptst a young Lad heere to
do thee service, feeding him with such victuals as thou couldst spare,
by him thou didst send away thy Brawne, to one that bought it of thee
for foure Crownes, onely to cousen thy poore wife and us. Canst thou
not yet learne to leave thy mocking and scorning? Thou hast forgotte,
how thou broughtst us to the plaine of _Mugnone_, to seeke for black
invisible stones: which having found, thou concealedst them to thy
selfe, stealing home invisibly before us, and making us follow like
fooles after thee.

Now likewise, by horrible lying Oathes, and perjured protestations,
thou wouldst make us to beleeve, that the Brawne (which thou hast
cunningly sold for ready money) was stolne from thee out of thy house,
when thou art onely the Theefe to thy selfe, as by that excellent rule
of Art (which never faileth) hath plainly, to thy shame, appeared.
Wee being so well acquainted with thy delusions, and knowing them
perfectly; now do plainly tell thee, that we mean not to be foold any
more. Nor is it unknowne to thee, what paines wee have taken, in making
this singular peece of proofe. Wherefore we inflict this punishment on
thee, that thou shalt bestow on this honest Priest and us, two couple
of Capons, and a Flaggon of Wine, or else we will discover this knavery
of thine to thy Wife.

_Calandrino_ perceiving, that all his protestations could winne no
credit with them, who had now the Law remaining in their owne hands,
and purposed to deale with him as they pleased: apparently saw, that
sighing and sorrow did nothing availe him. Moreover, to fall into his
wives tempestuous stormes of chiding, would bee worse to him then
racking or torturing: he gladly therefore gave them money, to buy the
two couple of Capons and Wine, being heartily contented likewise, that
hee was so well delivered from them. So the merry Priest, _Bruno_, and
_Buffalmaco_, having taken good order for salting the Brawne; closely
carried it with them to _Florence_, leaving _Calandrino_ to complaine
of his losse, and well requited, for mocking them with the invisible

_A young Gentleman being a Scholler, fell in love with a Ladie, named_
Helena, _she being a Widdow, and addicted in affection to another
Gentleman. One whole night in cold winter, she caused the Scholler to
expect her comming, in an extreame frost and snow. In revenge whereof,
by his imagined Art and skill, he made her to stand naked on the top of
a Tower, the space of a whole day, and in the hot moneth of July, to be
Sun-burnt and bitten with Waspes and Flies._

The Seventh Novell.

_Serving as an admonition to all Ladies and Gentlewomen, not to mock
or scorne Gentlemen-Schollers, when they make meanes of love to them;
Except they intend to seeke their owne shame, by disgracing them._

Greatly did the Ladies commend Madame _Philomenaes_ Novell, laughing
heartily at poore _Calandrino_, yet grieving withall, that he should
be so knavishly cheated, not onely of his Brawne, but two couple of
Capons, and a Flaggon of Wine beside. But the whole discourse being
ended; the Queene commanded Madame _Pampinea_, to follow next with her
Novell, and presently she thus began. It hapneth oftentimes, (bright
beauties) that mockery falleth onto him, that intended the same unto
another: And therefore I am of opinion, that there is very little
wisedom declared on him or her, who taketh delight in mocking any
person. I must needs confesse, that we have smiled at many mockeries
and deceits, related in those excellent Novels, which we have already
heard; without any due revenge returned, but onely in this last of
silly _Calandrino_. Wherefore, it is now my determination, to urge
a kind of compassionate apprehension, upon a very just retribution,
happening to a Gentlewoman of our Citie, because her scorne fell
deservedly upon her selfe, remaining mocked, and to the perill of her
life. Let me then assure you, that your diligent attention may redound
to your benefit, because if you keepe your selves (henceforward) from
being scorned by others: you shall expresse the greater wisedome, and
be the better warned by their mishaps.

As yet there are not many yeares over-past, since there dwelt in
_Florence_, a yong Lady, descended of Noble parentage, very beautifull,
of sprightly courage, and sufficiently abounding in the goods of
Fortune, she being named Madame _Helena_. Her delight was to live in
the estate of Widdow-hood, desiring to match her selfe no more in
marriage, because she bare affection to a gallant young Gentleman,
whom she had made her private election of, and with whom (having
excluded all other amorous cares and cogitations) by meanes of her
Waiting-woman, she had divers meetings, and kinde conferences.

It chanced at the verie same time, another young Gentleman of our
Citie, called _Reniero_, having long studied in the Schooles at
_Paris_, returned home to _Florence_, not to make sale of his Learning
and experience, as many doe: but to understand the reason of things,
as also the causes and effects of them, which is mervailously fitting
for any Gentleman. Being greatly honoured and esteemed of everyone, as
well for his courteous carriage towards all in generall, as for his
knowledge and excellent parts: he lived more like a familiar Citizen,
then in the nature of a Courtly Gentleman, albeit he was choisely
respected in either estate.

But, as oftentimes it commeth to passe, that such as are endued with
the best judgement and understanding in naturall occasions, are soonest
caught and intangled in the snares of Love: so fel it out with our
Scholler _Reniero_, who being invited to a solemne Feast, in company of
other his especiall Friends; this Lady _Helena_, attyred in her blacke
Garments (as Widdowes commonly use to wear) was likewise there a Guest.
His eye observing her beauty and gracious demeanour, she seemed in his
judgement, to be a Woman so compleate and perfect, as he had never
seene her equall before: & therefore, he accounted the man more then
fortunate, that was worthy to embrace her in his armes. Continuing this
amorous observation of her from time to time, and knowing withall, that
rare and excellent things are not easily obtained, but by painefull
study, labour, and endeavour: hee resolved with himselfe constantly,
to put in practise all his best parts of industry, onely to honour and
please her, and attaining to her contentation, it would be the means to
winne her love, and compasse thereby his hearts desire.

The yong Lady, who fixed not her eyes on inferiour subjects (but
esteemed her selfe above ordinary reach or capacity) could moove them
artificially, as curious women well know how to doe, looking on every
side about her, yet not in a gadding or grosse manner; for she was
not ignorant in such darting glaunces, as proceeded from an enflamed
affection, which appearing plainely in _Reniero_; with a pretty smile,
shee said to her selfe. I am not come hither this day in vaine; for, if
my judgement faile me not, I thinke I have caught a Woodcocke by the
Bill. And lending him a cunning looke or two, queintly caried with the
corner of her eye; she gave him a kinde of perswading apprehension,
that her heart was the guide to her eye. And in this artificiall**
Schoole-tricke of hers, shee carryed therewith another consideration,
to wit, that the more other eyes fedde themselves on her perfections,
and were (well-neere) lost in them beyond recovery: so much the greater
reason had he to account his fortune beyond comparison, that was the
sole master of her heart, and had her love at his command.

Our witty Scholler having set aside his Philosophicall considerations,
strove how he might best understand her carriage toward him, and
beleeving that she beheld him with pleasing regards; hee learned to
know the house where shee dwelt, passing daily by the doore divers
times, under colour of some more serious occasions: wherein the Lady
very proudly gloried, in regard of the reasons before alleadged, and
seemed to affoord him lookes of good liking. Being led thus with a
hopefull perswasion, hee founde the meanes to gaine acquaintance with
her waiting-woman, revealing to her his intire affection, desiring her
to worke for him in such sort with her Lady, that his service might be
gracious in her acceptance. The Gentlewoman made him a very willing
promise, and immediately did his errand to her Lady; who heard her with
no small pride and squemishnesse, and breaking forth into a scornefull
laughter, thus she spake.

_Ancilla_ (for so she was named) dost thou not observe, how this
Scholler is come to lose all the wit heere, which he has studyed so
long for in the University of _Paris_? Let us make him our onely Table
argument, and seeing his folly soareth so high, we will feed him with
such a dyet as hee deserveth. Yet when thou speakest next with him,
tell him, that I affect him more then he can doe me: but it becommeth
me to be carefull of mine honour, and to walke with an untainted brow,
as other Ladies and Gentlewomen doe: which he is not to mislike, if he
be so wise as he maketh shew of, but rather will the more commend me.
Alas good Lady lack-wit, little did she understand (faire assembly) how
dangerous a case it is to deale with Schollers.

At his next meeting with the waiting woman, shee delivered the message,
as her Lady had command her, whereof poore _Reniero_ was so joyfull:
that hee pursued his love-suite the more earnestly, and began to write
letters, send gifts, and tokens, all which were still received, yet
without any other answere to give hope, but onely in generall, and
thus shee dallied with him a long while. In the end, she discovered
this matter to her secret chosen friend, who fell suddenly sicke of
the head-ake, onely through meere conceit of jealousie: which she
perceiving, and grieving to be suspected without any cause, especially
by him whom shee esteemed above all other; shee intended to rid him
quickely of that Idle disease. And being more and more solicited by the
Scholler, she sent him word by her maide _Ancilla_, that (as yet) she
could find no convenient opportunity, to yeeld him such assurance, as
hee should not any way be distrustfull of her love.

But the Feast of Christmas was now neere at hand, which afforded
leisures much more hopefull, then any other formerly passed. And
therefore, the next night after the first Feasting day, if he pleased
to walke in the open Court of her house: she would soone send for
him, into a place much better beseeming, and where they might freely
converse together.

Now was our Scholler the onely jocond man of the world, and failed
not the time assigned him, but went unto the Ladies house, where
_Ancilla_ was ready to give him entertainment, conducting him into the
base Court, where she lockt him up fast, untill her Lady should send
for him. This night shee had privately sent for her friend also, and
sitting merrily at supper with him, told him, what welcome she had
given the Scholler, and how she further meant to use him, saying. Now
Sir, consider with yourselfe, what hot affection I beare to him, of
whom you became so fondly jealous. The which words were very welcome
to him, and made him extraordinarily joyfull; desiring to see them as
effectually performed, as they appeared to him by her protestations.

Heere you are to understand (Gracious Ladies) that according to the
season of the yeare, a great snow had falne the day before, so as
the whole Court was covered therewith, and being an extreame frost
upon it, our Scholler could not boast of any warme walking, when the
teeth quivered in his head with cold, as a Dog could not be more
discourteously used: yet hope of enjoying Loves recompence at length,
made him to support all this injury with admirable patience.

Within a while after, Madame _Helena_ said to her friend. Walke with
me (deare heart) into my Chamber, and there at a secret little window,
I shall shew thee what he doth, that drove thee to such a suspition
of me, and we shall heare beside, what answere he will give my maide
_Ancilla_, whom I will send to comfort him in his coldnesse.

When she had so said, they went to the appointed chamber window,
where they could easily see him, but he not them: and then they heard
_Ancilla_ also, calling to him forth of another windowe, saying.
Signior _Reniero_, my Lady is the wofullest woman in the world,
because (as yet) she cannot come to you, in regard that one of her
brethren came this evening to visite her, and held her with much longer
discourse then she expected: whereby she was constrained to invite him
to sup with her, and yet he is not gone; but shortly I hope hee will,
and then expect her comming presently; till when, she entreateth your
gentle sufferance.

Poore _Reniero_, our over-credulous Scholler, whose vehement affection
to Madame _Helena_, so hood-winkt the sight of his understanding, as
he could not be distrustfull of any guilt; returned this answere to
_Ancilla_. Say to your Lady that I am bound in duty, to attend the good
houre of her leisure, without so much as the very least prejudicate
conceite in me: Neverthelesse, entreat her, to let it bee so soone as
she possibly may, because here is miserable walking, and it beginneth
againe to snow extreamely. _Ancilla_ making fast the Casement, went
presently to bed; when _Helena_ spake thus to her amorous friend.
What saist thou now? Doest thou thinke that I loved him, as thou wast
afraid of? if I did, he should never walke thus in the frost and snow.
So, away went they likewise from their close gazing window, and spent
wanton dalliances together, laughing, and deriding (with many bitter
taunts and jests) the lamentable condition of poore _Reniero_.

About the Court walked hee numberlesse times, finding such exercises
as he could best devise, to compasse warmth in any manner: no seate or
shelter had he any where, either to ease himselfe by sitting downe a
while, or keepe him from the snow, falling continually on him, which
made him bestow many curses on the Ladies Brother, for his so long
tarrying with her, as beleeving him verily to be in the house, else she
would (long before) have admitted his entrance, but therein his hope
was meerely deceived. It grew now to be about the houre of midnight,
and _Helena_ had delighted her selfe with her friend extraordinarily,
till at last she spake to him. What is thine opinion of my amourous
Scholler? Which dost thou imagine to be the greatest, either his sense
and judgement, or the affection I beare to him? Is not this cold
sufferance of this, able to quench the violent heate of his loves
extremitie, and having so much snow broth to helpe it? Beleeve me
(sweet Lady) quoth her friend, as hee is a man, and a learned Scholler,
I pitty that he should bee thus ungently dealt withall: but as he is
my rivall and loves enemy, I cannot allow him the least compassion,
resting the more confidently assured of your love to me, which I will
alwayes esteeme most precious.

When they had spent a long while in this or the like conference, with
infinite sweet kisses and embraces intermixed; then she began againe
in this manner. Deare love (quoth she) cast thy Cloake about thee, as
I intend to doe with my night mantle, and let us step to the little
window once more, to see whether the flaming fire, which burned in the
Schollers brest (as daily avouched to me in his love letters) be as
yet extinct or no. So going to the window againe, and looking downe
into the Court; there they saw the Scholler dancing in the snow, to
the cold tune of his teeths quivering and chattering, and clapping his
armes about his body, which was no pleasing melody to him. How thinkest
thou now sweet heart (saide shee) cannot I make a man daunce without
the sound of a Taber, or of a Bagpipe? Yes beleeve me Lady (quoth he)
I plaine perceive you can, and would be very lothe, that you should
exercise your cunning on me. Nay, said shee, we will yet delight our
selves a little more; let us softly descend downe the stayres, even so
farre as to the Court doore; thou shalt not speake a word, but I will
talke to him, and heare some part of his quivering language, which
cannot choose but bee passing pleasing for us to heare.

Out of the Chamber went they, and descended downe the stayres to the
Court doore; where, without opening it, she laide her mouth to a small
cranny, and in a low soft kinde of voyce, called him by his name:
which the Scholler hearing, was exceeding joyfull, as beleeving verily,
that the houre of his deliverance was come, and entrance now should be
admitted him. Upon the hearing of her voyce, hee stept close to the
doore, saying. For charities sake, good Lady, let me come in, because
I am almost dead with cold; whereto thus she answered in mocking
manner. I make no doubt (my deare friend _Reniero_) but the night is
indifferent colde, and yet somewhat the warmer by the Snowes falling:
and I have heard that such weather as this, is tenne-times more
extreame at _Paris_, then heere in our warmer Countrey. And trust me, I
am exceeding sorrowfull, that I may not (as yet) open the door, because
mine unhappy brother, who came (unexpected) yester-night to suppe with
mee, is not yet gone, as within a short while (I hope) he will, and
then shall I gladly set open the doore to you, for I made an excuse to
steale a little from him, onely to cheare you with this small kind of
comfort, that his so long tarrying might be the lesse offensive to you.

Alas sweet Madame, answered quaking and quivering _Reniero_, bee
then so favourable to me, as to free me from forth this open Court,
where there is no shelter or helpe for me, the snow falling still so
exceedingly, as a man might easily be more then halfe buried in it:
let me be but within your doore, and there I will wait your own good
leisure. Alas deare _Reniero_ (answered _Helena_) I dare not doe it,
because the doore maketh such a noyse in the opening, as it will be
too easily heard by my Brother: but I will goe and use such meanes,
as shortly hee shall get him gone, and then I dare boldly give you
entrance. Doe so good Madame, replyed _Reniero_, and let there be a
faire fire made ready, that when I am within, I may the sooner warme my
selfe; for I am so strangely benummed with colde, as well neere I am
past all sence of feeling.

Can it be possible (quoth _Helena_) that you should be so benummed
with colde? Then I plainely perceive, that men can lye in their love
letters, which I can shew under your own hand, how you fryed in
flames, and all for my love, and so have you written to me in every
letter. Poore credulous women are often thus deluded, in beleeving
what men write and speake out of passion: but I will returne backe to
my Brother, and make no doubt of dispatch, because I would gladly have
your Company.

The amourous Friend to _Helena_, who stood by all this while, laughing
at the Schollers hard usage, returned up againe with her to her
Chamber, where they could not take a jote of rest, for flouting and
scorning the betrayed Scholler. As for him poore man, hee was become
like the Swanne, coldly chattering his teeth together, in a strange new
kinde of harmony to him. And perceiving himselfe to be meerely mocked,
he attempted to get open the doore, or how he might passe forth at any
other place: but being no way able to compasse it, he walked up and
downe like an angry Lyon, cursing the hard quality of the time, the
discourtesie of the Lady, the over-tedious length of the night; but
(most of all) his owne folly and simplicity, in being so basely abused
and gulde. Now began the heat of his former affection to _Helena_,
altered into as violent a detestation of her; Yea, extremity of hatred
in the highest degree; beating his braines, and ransacking every corner
of invention, by what meanes he might best be revenged on her, which
now he more earnestly desired to effect, then to enjoy the benefit of
her love, or to be embraced betweene her armes.

After that the sad and discomfortable night had spent it selfe, & the
break of day was beginning to appeare; _Ancilla_ the waiting-woman,
according as she was instructed by her Lady, went downe and opened the
Court doore, and seeming exceedingly to compassionate the Schollers
unfortunate night of sufferance, saide unto him.

Alas courteous Gentleman, in an unblessed houre came my Ladyes brother
hither yester-night, inflicting too much trouble upon us, and a
grievous time of affliction to you. But I am not ignorant, that you
being vertuous, and a judicious Scholler, have an invincible spirit of
pacience, and sufficient understanding withall; that what this night
could not affoord, another may make a sound amends for. This I can and
dare sufficiently assure you, that nothing could be more displeasing
to my Lady, neither can she well be quieted in her mind: untill she
have made a double and treble requitall, for such a strange unexpected
inconvenience, whereof she had not the very least suspition.

_Reniero_ swelling with discontentment, yet wisely clouding it from
open apprehension, and knowing well enough, that such golden speeches
and promises, did alwaies favour of what intemperate spleene would more
lavishly have vented foorth, and therefore in a modest dissembling
manner; without the least shew of any anger, thus he answered.

In good sadnesse _Ancilla_, I have endured the most miserablest night
of colde, frost and snow, that ever any poore Gentleman suffered; but
I know well enough, your Lady was not in any fault thereof, neither
meriteth to be blamed, for in her owne person (as being truely
compassionate of my distresse) she came so farre as the doore of this
Court, to excuse her selfe, and comfort mee. But as you saide, and
very well too, what hath failed this night, another hereafter may more
fortunately performe: in hope whereof, commend my love and duteous
service to her, and (what else remaineth mine) to your gentle selfe.

So our halfe frozen Scholler, scarcely able to walke upon his legges,
returned home, (so well as hee could) to his owne lodging; where, his
Spirits being grievously out of order, and his eyes staring gastly
through lacke of sleepe: he lay downe on his bed, and after a little
rest, he found himselfe in much worse condition then before, as meerely
taken lame in his armes and his legges. Whereupon he was inforced
to send for Phisitions, to be advised by their councell, in such an
extremity of cold received. Immediately, they made provision for his
healthes remedie (albeit his nerves and sinewes could very hardly
extend themselves) yet in regard he was yong, & Summer swiftly drawing
on; they had the better hope of affecting his safty, out of so great
and dangerous a cold.

But after he was become almost well and lusty againe, hee used to be
seldome seene abroad for an indifferent while; concealing his intended
revenge secret to himselfe, yet appearing more affectionate to Madame
_Helena_, then formerly he had beene.

Now, it came to passe (within no long while after) that Fortune being
favourable to our injured Scholler, prepared a new accident, whereby
he might fully effect his harts desire. For the lusty yong Gallant,
who was Madame _Helenaes_ deare darling and delight, and (for whose
sake) she dealt so inhumanely with poore _Reniero_: became weary of her
amourous service, and was falne in liking of another Lady, scorning
and disdaining his former Mistresse; whereat shee grew exceedingly
displeased, and began to languish in sighes and teares.

But _Ancilla_ her waiting-woman, compassionating the perilous condition
of her Lady, and knowing no likely meanes whereby to conquer this
oppressing melancholly, which shee suffered for the losse of her hearts
chosen friend: at length she began to consider, that the Scholler still
walked daily by the doore, as formerly hee was wont to doe, and (by
him) there might some good be done.

A fond and foolish opinion overswayed her, that the Scholler was
extraordinarily skilfull in the Art of Nigromancy, and could thereby
so over-rule the heart of her lost friend, as hee should bee compelled
to love her againe, in as effectuall manner as before; herewith
immediately she acquainted her Lady, who being as rashly credulous, as
her maide was opinionative (never considring, that if the Scholler had
any experience in Negromancy, hee would thereby have procured his owne
successe) gave releefe to her surmise, in very Joviall and comfortable
manner, and entreated her in all kindnes, to know of him, whether he
could worke such a businesse, or no, and (upon his undertaking to
effect it) shee would give absolute assurance, that (in recompence
thereof) he should unfainedly obtaine his hearts desire. _Ancilla_ was
quicke and expeditious, in delivering this message to discontented
_Reniero_, whose soule being ready to mount out of his body, onely by
conceit of joy; chearefully thus he said within himselfe. Gracious
Fortune! how highly am I obliged to thee for this so great a favour?
Now thou hast blest me with a happy time, to be justly revenged on so
wicked a woman, who sought the utter ruine of my life, in recompence of
the unfaigned affection I bare her. Returne to thy Lady (quoth he) and
saluting her first on my behalfe, bid her to abandon all care in this
businesse; for, if her amourous Friend were in India, I would make him
come (in meere despight of his heart) and crave mercy of her for his
base transgression. But concerning the meanes how, and in what manner
it is to bee done, especially on her owne behalfe: I will impart it to
her so soone as she pleaseth: faile not to tell her so constantly from
me, with all my utmost paines at her service.

_Ancilla_ came jocondly home with her answere, and a conclusion was
set downe for their meeting together at _Santa Lucia del prato_, which
accordingly was performed, in very solemne conference between them.
Her fond affection had such power over her, that shee had forgot, into
what peril she brought his life, by such an unnatural night-walke:
but disclosed all her other intention to him, how loth she was to lose
so deare a friend, and desiring him to exercise his utmost height of
skil, with large promises of her manifold favours to him, whereto our
Scholler thus replyed.

Very true it is Madam, that among other studies at _Paris_, I learned
the Art of Negromancy, the depth whereof I am as skilful in, as anie
other Scholler whatsoever. But, because it is greatly displeasing
unto God, I made a vow never to use it, either for my selfe, or anie
other. Neverthelesse, the love I beare you is of such power, as I
know not well how to denie, whatsoever you please to command me: in
which respect, if in doing you my very best service, I were sure to
bee seized on by all the divels: I will not faile to accomplish your
desire, you onely having the power to command me. But let me tell you
Madame, it is a matter not so easie to be performed, as you perhaps may
rashly imagine, especially, when a Woman would repeale a man to love
her, or a man a woman: because, it is not to be done, but by the person
whom it properly concerneth. And therefore it behoveth, that such would
have this businesse effected, must be of a constant minde, without the
least scruple of feare: because it is to be accomplished in the darke
night season, in which difficulties I doe not know, how you are able
to warrant your selfe, or whether you have such courage of spirit, as
(with boldnes) to adventure.

Madame _Helena_, more hot in pursuite of her amorous contentment, then
any way governed by temperate discretion, presently thus answered. Sir,
Love hath set such a keene edge on my unconquerable affection, as there
is not any daunger so difficult, but I dare resolutely undertake it,
for the recovery of him, who hath so shamefully refused my kindnesse:
wherefore (if you please) shew mee, wherein I must be so constant and
dreadlesse. The Scholler, who had (more then halfe) caught a right
Ninny-hammer by the beake; thus replyed. Madame, of necessity I must
make an image of Tin, in the name of him whom you desire to recall.
Which when I have sent you, the Moone being then in her full, and your
selfe stript starke naked: immediately after your first sleepe, seaven
times you must bathe your selfe with it in a swift running River.
Afterward, naked as you are, you must climbe up upon some tree, or else
upon an uninhabited house top, where standing dreadlesse of any perill,
and turning your face to the North, with the Image in your hand, seaven
times you must speake such wordes, as I will deliver to you in writing.

After you have so often spoken them, two goodly Ladies (the very
fairest that ever you beheld) will appeare unto you, very graciously
saluting you, and demanding what you would have them to performe for
you. Safely you may speake unto them, and orderly tel them what you
desire: but be very carefull, that you name not one man insted of
another. When you have uttered your mind, they will depart from you,
and then you may descend againe, to the place where you did leave
your garments, which having putte on, then returne to your house. And
undoubtedly, before the midst of the next night following, your friend
will come in teares to you, and humbly crave your pardon on his knees;
beeing never able afterward to be false to you, or leave your Love for
any other whatsoever.

The Lady hearing these words, gave very setled beleefe to them,
imagining unfainedly, that shee had (more then halfe) recovered her
friend already, and held him embraced betweene her armes: in which
jocond perswasion, the chearfull** blood mounted up into hir cheekes,
and thus she replyed. Never make you any doubt Sir, but that I can
sufficiently performe whatsoever you have said, and am provided of
the onely place in the world, where such a weighty businesse is to be
effected. For I have a Farme or dairy house, neere adjoyning to the
vale of _Arno_, & closely bordering upon the same River. It beeing now
the moneth of July, the most convenientest time of all the yeare to
bathe in; I can bee the easier induced thereunto.

Moreover, there is hard by the Rivers side a small Tower or Turret
uninhabited; whereinto few people do sildome enter, but onely Heardsmen
or Flocke-keepers, who ascend uppe (by the helpe of a wodden Ladder) to
a Tarrasse on the top of the saide Tower, to looke all about for their
beasts, when they are wandred astray: it standing in a solitary place,
and out of the common way or resort. There dare I boldly adventure
to mount up, and with the invincible courage of a wronged Lady (not
fearing to looke death himself in the face) do al that you have
prescribed, yea, and much more, to recover my deare lost Lover againe,
whom I value equal with my owne Life.

_Reniero_, who perfectly knew both the Dairy Farme, and the old smal
Turret, not a little joyfull, to heare how forward shee was to shame her
selfe, answered in this manner. Madame, I was never in those parts of
the Country, albeit they are so neere to our City, & therefore I must
needs be ignorant, not onely of your Farme, but the Turret also. But
if they stand in such convenient manner as you have described, all the
world could not yeelde the like elsewhere, so apt and sutable to your
purpose: wherefore, with such expedition as possibly I can use, I will
make the Image, and send it you, as also the charme, verie fairely
written. But let me entreate you, that when you have obtayned your
hearts desire, and are able to judge truely of my love and service: not
to be unmindfull of me, but (at your best leysure) to performe what
you have with such protestations promised; which shee gave him her hand
and faith to do, without any impeach or hindrance: and so parting, she
returned home to her house.

Our over-joyed Scholler, applauding his happy Starres, for furthering
him with so faire a way to his revenge; immagining that it was already
halfe executed, made the Image in due forme, & wrote an old Fable,
in sted of a Charme; both which he sent to the Lady, so soone as he
thought the time to be fitting: and this admonition withall, that the
Moone being entering into the full, without any longer delay, she
might venter on the businesse the next night following, and remaine
assured to repossesse her friend. Afterward for the better pleasing
of himselfe, he went secretly attended, onely by his servant, to the
house of a trusty frend of his, who dwelt somwhat neere to the Turret,
there to expect the issue of this Lady-like enterprize. And Madam
_Helena_ accompanied with none but _Ancilla_, walked on to her dairy
Farme, where the night ensuing, pretending to take her rest sooner
then formerly she used to doe, she commanded _Ancilla_ to go to bed,
referring her selfe to her best liking.

After she had slept her first sleepe (according to the Schollers
direction) departing softly out of her chamber, she went on towards
the ancient Tower, standing hard by the river of _Arno_, looking every
way heedfully about hir, least she should be spied by any person. But
perceiving hir selfe to be so secure as she could desire; putting off
all her garments, she hid them in a small brake of bushes: afterward,
holding the Image in hir hand, seven times she bathd hir body in the
river, and then returned back with it to the Tower. The Scholler, who
at the nights closing up of day, had hid himselfe among the willowes
& other trees, which grew very thick about the Tower, saw both hir
going and returning from the River, and as she passed thus naked by
him, he plainly perceyved, that the nights obscurity could not cloud
the delicate whitenes of hir body, but made the Starres themselves
to gaze amorously on her, even as if they were proud to behold her
bathing, and (like so many twinkling Tapers) shewed hir in emulation of
another _Diana_. Now, what conflicts this sight caused in the mind of
our Scholler, one while, quenching his hatefull spleen towards hir, al
coveting to imbrace a piece of such perfection: another while, thinking
it a purchase fit for one of _Cupids_ soldiers, to seize and surprize
hir uppon so faire an advantage, none being neere to yeild her rescue:
in the fiery triall of such temptations, I am not able to judge, or to
say, what resistance flesh and blood could make, being opposed with
such a sweet enemy.

But he well considering what she was, the greatnes of his injury, as
also how, and for whom: he forgot all wanton allurements of Love,
scorning to entertaine a thought of compassion, continuing constant
in his resolution, to let her suffer, as he himselfe had done. So,
_Helena_ being mounted up on the Turret, and turning her face towards
the North; she repeated those idle frivolous words (composed in
the nature of a charme) which shee had received from the Scholler.
Afterward, by soft and stealing steps, hee went into the old Tower, and
tooke away the Ladder, whereby she ascended to the Tarras, staying and
listening, how shee proceeded in her amorous exorcisme.

Seven times she rehearsed the charme to the Image, looking still
when the two Ladies would appeare in their likenesse, and so long
she held on her imprecations (feeling greater cold, then willinglie
she would have done) that breake of day began to shew it selfe, and
halfe despairing of the Ladies comming, according as the Scholler had
promised, she said to her selfe: I much misdoubt, that _Reniero_ hath
quitted me with such another peece of night-service, as it was my lucke
to bestow on him: but if he have done it in that respect, hee was but
ill advised in his revenge, because the night wants now three parts
of the length, as then it had: and the cold which he suffered, was
far superior in quality to mine, albeit it is more sharp now in the
morning, then all the time of night it hath bin.

And, because day-light should not discover her on the Tarrasse, she
went to make her descent downe againe: but finding the Ladder to be
taken away, & thinking how her publike shame was now inevitable, her
heart dismayed, and shee fell downe in a swoune on the Tarras: yet
recovering her senses afterward, her greefe and sorrow** exceeded all
capacity of utterance. For, now she became fully perswaded, that this
proceeded from the Schollers malice, repenting for her unkinde usage
towards him, but much more condemning her selfe, for reposing any trust
in him, who stood bound (by good reason) to be her enemy.

Continuing long in this extreame affliction, and surveighing all likely
meanes about her, whereby she might descend from the Tarras, whereof
she was wholly disappointed: she began to sighe and weepe exceedingly,
and in this heavy perplexity of spirit, thus shee complained to her
selfe. Miserable and unfortunate _Helena_, what will be saide by
thy Bretheren, Kindred, Neighbours, and generallie throughout all
_Florence_, when they shall know, that thou wast founde heere on this
Turret, starke naked? Thine honourable carriage, and honesty of life,
heeretofore free from a thought of suspition, shall now be branded with
detestation; and if thou wouldst cloud this mishappe of thine, by such
lies and excuses, as are not rare amongst women: yet _Reniero_ that
wicked Scholler, who knoweth all thy privy compacting, will stand as a
thousand witnesses against thee, and shame thee before the whole City,
so both thine honor and loved friend are lost for ever.

Having thus consulted with her selfe, many desperate motions entred her
minde, to throw her selfe headlong from off the Tarras; till better
thoughts wone possession of her soule. And the Sunne being risen, shee
went to every corner of the Tarras, to espye any Lad come abroad with
his beasts, by whom she might send for her waiting-woman. About this
instant, the Scholler who lay sleeping (all this while) under a bush,
suddenly awaking; saw her looke over the wall, and she likewise espyed
him; whereupon hee said unto her. Good morrow Madame _Helena_, What?
are the Ladies come yet or no? _Helena_ hearing his scorning question,
and grieving that hee should so delude her; in teares and lamentations,
she intreated him to come neere the Tower, because she desired to
speake with him. Which courtesie he did not deny her, and she lying
groveling upon her brest on the Tarras, to hide her body that no part
thereof might be seene, but her head; weeping, she spake thus to him.

_Reniero_, upon my credit, if I gave thee an ill nights rest, thou hast
well revenged that wrong on me; for, although wee are now in the moneth
of _July_, I have beene plagued with extremity of colde (in regard of
my nakednesse) even almost frozen to death: beside my continuall teares
and lamenting, that folly perswaded me to beleeve thy protestations,
wherein I account it well-neere miraculous, that mine eyes should be
capable of any sight. And therefore I pray thee, not in respect of any
love which thou canst pretend to beare me; but for regard of thine owne
selfe, being a Gentleman and a Scholler, that this punishment which
thou hast already inflicted upon me, may suffise for my former injuries
towards thee, and to hold thy selfe revenged fully, as also permit
my garments to be brought me, that I may descend from hence, without
taking that from me, which afterward (although thou wouldst) thou canst
never restore me, I meane mine honour. And consider with thy selfe,
that albeit thou didst not injoy my company that unhappy night, yet
thou hast power to command me at any time whensoever, with making many
diversities of amends, for one nights offence only committed. Content
thy selfe then good _Reniero_, and as thou art an honest Gentleman, say
thou art sufficiently revenged on me, in making me dearely confesse
mine owne errour. Never exercise thy malice upon a poore weake woman,
for the Eagle disdaineth to pray on the yeelding Dove: and therefore in
meere pitty, and for manhoods sake, be my release from open shame and

The Scholler, whose envious spleene was swolne very great, in
remembring such a malicious cruelty exercised on him, beholding her
to weepe and make such lamentations; found a fierce conflict in his
thoughts, betweene content and pitty. It did not a little joy and
content him, that the revenge which hee so earnestly desired to
compasse, was now by him so effectually inflicted. And yet (in meere
humanity) pitty provoked him to commisserate the Ladies distressed
condition: but clemency being over-weake to withstand his rigor, thus
he replied. Madame _Helena_, if my entreaties (which, to speake truly,
I never knew how to steepe in tears, nor wrap up my words in sugar
Candie, so cuningly as you women know how to do) could have prevailed,
that miserable night, when I was well-neere frozen to death with cold,
and meerly buried with snow in your Court, not having anie place of
rescue or shelter; your complaints would now the more easily over-rule
me. But if your honor in estimation, bee now more precious to you then
heretofore, and it seemeth so offensive to stand there naked: convert
your perswasions & prayers to him, in whose armes you were that night
imbraced, both of your triumphing in my misery, when poor I, trotted
about your Court, with the teeth quivering in my head, and beating mine
armes about my body, finding no compassion in him, or you. Let him
bring thee thy Garments, let him come helpe thee down with the Ladder,
and let him have the care of thine honour, on whom thou hast bene so
prodigall heretofore in bestowing it, and now hast unwomanly throwne
thy selfe in perill, onely for the maintenance of thine immodest

Why dost thou not call on him to come helpe thee? To whom doeth it more
belong, then to him? For thou art his, and he thine, why then shold any
other but he help thee in this distresse? Call him (foole as thou art)
and try, if the love he beareth thee, and thy best understanding joyned
with his, can deliver thee out of my sottish detaining thee. I have
not forgot, that when you both made a pastime of my misery, thou didst
demand of him, which seemed greatest in his opinion, either my sottish
simplicity, or the love thou barest him. I am not now so liberall or
courteous, to desire that of thee, which thou wouldst not grant, if I
did request it: No, no, reserve those night favours for thy amorous
friend, if thou dost escape hence alive to see him againe. As for my
selfe, I leave thee freely to his use and service: because I have
sufficiently payde for a womans falshood, & wise men take such warning,
that they scorne to bee twice deceived, & by one woman. Proceed on
still in thy flattering perswasions, terming me to be a Gentleman and
a Scholler, thereby to win such favor from me, that I should think
thy villany toward me, to be already sufficiently punished. No,
trecherous _Helena_, thy blandishments cannot now hoodwink the eies of
my understanding, as when thou didst out-reach me with thy disloyall
promises and protestations. And let me now tell thee plainely, that all
the while I continued in the Universitie of _Paris_, I never attained
unto so perfect an understanding of my selfe, as in that one miserable
night thou diddest enstruct mee. But admit, that I were enclined unto a
mercifull and compassionate minde, yet thou art none of them, on whome
milde and gracious mercy should any way declare her effects. For, the
end of pennance among savage beasts, such as thou art, and likewise
of due vengeance, ought to be death: whereas among men, it should
suffice according to thine owne saying. Wherefore, in regard that I am
neither an Eagle, nor thou a Dove, but rather a most venomous Serpent:
I purpose with my utmost hatred, and as an ancient enemy to all such as
thou art, to make my revenge famous on thee.

I am not ignorant, that whatsoever I have already done unto thee,
cannot properly be termed revenge, but rather chastisement; because
revenge ought alwayes to exceede the offence, which (as yet) I am farre
enough from. For, if I did intend to revenge my wrongs, and remembred
thy monstrous cruelty to me: thy life, if I tooke it from thee, and an
hundred more such as thy selfe, were farre insufficient, because in
killing thee, I should kill but a vile inhumane beast, yea, one that
deserved not the name of a Woman. And, to speake truely, Art thou any
more, or better (setting aside thy borrowed haire, and painted beauty,
which in few yeares will leave thee wrinkled and deformed) then the
basest beggarly Chamber-stuffe that can bee? Yet thou soughtest the
death of a Gentleman and Scholler as (in scorne) not long since, thou
didst terme me: whose life may hereafter be more beneficiall unto
the world, then millions of such as thou art, to live in the like
multiplicity of ages. Therefore, if this anguish be sensible to thee,
learne what it is to mocke men of apprehension, and (amongst them
especially) such as are Schollers: to prevent thy falling hereafter
into the like extremity, if it be thy good lucke to escape out of this.

It appeareth to me, that thou art verie desirous to come downe hither
on the ground; the best counsell that I can give thee, is to leape
downe headlong, that by breaking thy necke (if thy fortune be so faire)
thy life and lothsome qualities ending together, I may sit and smile
at thy deserved destruction. I have no other comfort to give thee, but
only to boast my happinesse, in teaching thee the way to ascend that
Tower, and in thy descending downe (even by what means thy wit can best
devise) make a mockery of me, and say thou hast learned more, then all
my Schollership could instruct thee.

All the while as _Reniero_ uttered these speeches, the miserable
Lady sighed and wept very grievously, the time running on, and the
Sunne amending higher and higher; but when she heard him silent, thus
she answered. Unkinde and cruell man, if that wretched night was so
greevous to thee, and mine offence appeared so great, as neither my
youth, beautie, teares, and humble intercessions, are able to derive
any mercy from thee; yet let the last consideration moove thee to
some remorse: namely, that I reposed new confidence in thee (when
I had little or no reason at all to trust thee) and discovered the
integritie of my soule unto thee, whereby thou didst compasse the
meanes, to punish me thus deservedly for my sinne. For, if I had not
reposed confidence in thee, thou couldst not (in this manner) have
wrought revenge on me, which although thou didst earnestly covet, yet
my rash credulitie was thy onely helpe. Asswage then thine anger, and
graciously pardon me, wherein if thou wilt be so mercifull to me, and
free me from this fatall Tower: I do heere faithfully promise thee, to
forsake my most false and disloyall friend, electing thee as my Lord
and constant Love for ever.

Moreover, although thou condemnest my beauty greatly, esteeming it
as a trifle, momentary, and of slender continuance; yet, such as it
is (being comparable with any other womans whatsoever) I am not so
ignorant, that were there no other reason to induce liking thereof:
yet men in the vigour of their youth (as I am sure you think yourselfe
not aged) do hold it for an especiall delight, ordained by nature
for them to admire and honour. And notwithstanding all thy cruelty
extended to mee, yet I cannot be perswaded, that thou art so flinty
or Iron-hearted, as to desire my miserable death, by casting my selfe
headlong downe (like a desperate madde woman) before thy face so to
destroy that beauty, which (if thy Letters lyed not) was once so highly
pleasing in thine eyes. Take pitty then on mee for charities sake,
because the Sunne beginneth to heate extreamely: and as over-much colde
(that unhappy night) was mine offence, so let not over-violent warmth
be now my utter ruine and death.

The Scholler, who (onely to delight himselfe) maintained this long
discoursing with her, returned her this answere. Madame, you did not
repose such confidence in me, for any good will or affection in you
towards me, but in hope of recovering him whom you had lost; wherein
you merit not a jot of favour, but rather the more sharpe and severe
infliction. And whereas you inferre, that your over-rash credulity,
gave the onely meanes to my revenge: Alas! therein you deceive your
selfe; for I have a thousand crochets working continually in my brain,
whereby to entrap a wiser creature then a woman, yet veiled all under
the cunning cloake of love, but sauced with the bitter Wormewood of
hate. So that, had not this hapned as now it doth, of necessity you
must have falne into another: but, as it hath pleased my happy stars to
favour mee therein, none could proove more to your eternall scandall
and disgrace, then this of your owne devising, which I made choise of,
not in regard of any ease to you, but onely to content my selfe.

But if all other devises els had failed, my pen was and is my
prevayling Champion, where-with I would have written such and so many
strange matters, concerning you in your very dearest reputation; that
you should have curst the houre of your conception, & wisht your birth
had bin abortive. The powers of the pen are too many & mighty, whereof
such weake wits as have made no experience, are the lesse able to
use any relation. I sweare to you Lady, by my best hopes, that this
revenge which (perhappes) you esteeme great and dishonourable, is no
way compareable to the wounding Lines of a Penne, which can carracter
downe so infinite infamies (yet none but guilty and true taxations)
as will make your owne hands immediate instruments, to teare the eyes
from forth your head, and so bequeath your after dayes unto perpetuall

Now, concerning your lost lover, for whose sake you suffer this
unexpected pennance; although your choise hath proved but bad, yet
still continue your affection to him: in regard that I have another
Ladie and Mistresse, of higher and greater desert then you, and to
whome I will continue for ever constant. And whereas you thinke, the
warme beames of the Sunne, will be too hot and scorching for your nice
bodie to endure: remember the extreame cold which you caused mee to
feele, and if you can intermixe some part of that cold with the present
heat, I dare assure you, the Sun (in his highest heate) will be far
more temperate for your feeling.

The disconsolate Lady perceiving, that the Schollers wordes favoured of
no mercy, but rather as coveting her desperate ending; with the teares
streaming downe her cheekes, thus she replied. Wel Sir, seeing there
is no matter of worth in me, whereby to derive any compassion from
you: yet for that Ladies sake, whom you have elected worthy to enjoy
your love, and so farre excelleth mee in Wisedome; vouchsafe to pardon
mee, and suffer my garments to be brought me, wherewith to cover my
nakednesse, and so to descend downe from this Tower, if it may stand
with your gentle Nature to admit it.

Now beganne _Reniero_ to laughe very heartily, and perceiving how
swiftly the day ran on in his course, he saide unto her. Beleeve me
Madame _Helena_, you have so conjured me by mine endeered Ladie and
Mistresse, that I am no longer able to deny you; wherefore, tell me
where your garments are, and I will bring them to you, that you may
come downe from the Turret. She beleeving his promise, tolde him where
she had hid them, and _Reniero_ departing from the Tower, commanded his
servant, not to stirre thence: but to abide still so neere it, as none
might get entrance there till his returning. Which charge was no sooner
given to his man, but hee went to the house of a neere neighbouring
friend, where he dined well, and afterward laid him downe to sleepe.

In the meane while, Madame _Helena_ remaining still on the Tower,
began to comfort her selfe with a little vaine hope, yet sighing and
weeping incessantly, seating her selfe so well as shee could, where
any small shelter might yeelde the least shade, in expectation of the
Schollers returning: one while weeping, then againe hoping, but most
of all despairing, by his so long tarrying away with her Garments; so
that beeing over-wearied with anguish and long watching, she fell into
a little slumbering. But the Sunne was so extreamly hot, the houre of
noone being already past, that it meerly parched her delicate body,
and burnt her bare head so violently: as not onely it seared all the
flesh it touched; but also cleft & chinkt it strangely, beside blisters
and other painfull scorchings in the flesh which hindred her sleeping,
to help her self (by all possible means) waking. And the Turret being
covered with Lead, gave the greater addition to her torment; for, as
she removed from one place to another, it yeelded no mitigation to the
burning heate, but parched and wrinkled the flesh extraordinarily, even
as when a piece of parchment is throwne into the fire, and recovered
out againe, can never be extended to his former forme.

Moreover, she was so grievously payned with the head-ake, as it seemed
to split in a thousand pieces, whereat there needed no great marvaile,
the Lead of the Turret being so exceedingly hot, that it affoorded not
the least defence against it, or any repose to qualifie the torment:
but drove her still from one place to another, in hope of ease, but
none was there to be found.

Nor was there any winde at all stirring, whereby to asswage the Sunnes
violent scalding, or keepe away huge swarmes of Waspes, Hornets, and
terrible byting Flyes, which vexed her extreamely, feeding on those
parts of her body, that were rifte and chinkt, like crannies in a
mortered wall, and pained her like so many points of pricking Needles,
labouring still with her hands to beate them away, but yet they fastned
on one place or other, and afflicted her in grievous manner, causing
her to curse her owne life, hir amorous friend, but (most of all) the
Scholler, that promised to bring her Garments, and as yet returned not.
Now began she to gaze upon every side about her, to espy some labouring
Husbandmen in the fields, to whom she might call or cry out for helpe,
not fearing to discover her desperate condition: but Fortune therein
also was adverse to her, because the heats extreamity, had driven all
the village out of the fields, causing them to feede their Cattle about
theyr owne houses, or in remote and shadie Valleyes: so that shee
could see no other creatures to comfort her, but Swannes swimming in
the River of _Arno_, and wishing her selfe there a thousand times with
them, for to coole the extreamity of her thirst, which so much the more
encreased, onely by the sight thereof, and utterly disabled of having

She saw beside in many places about her, goodly Woods, fayre coole
shades, and Country houses here and there dispersed; which added the
greater violence to hir affliction, that her desires (in all these)
could no way be accomplished. What shall I say more concerning this
disastrous Lady? The parching beames of the Sunne above her, the
scalding heat of the Lead beneath her, the Hornets and Flyes everie
way stinging her, had made such an alteration of her beautifull bodie:
that, as it checkt and controlled the precedent nights darkenesse, it
was now so metamorphosed with rednesse, yea, and blood issuing forth
in infinite places, as she seemed (almost) loathsome to looke on,
continuing still in this agonie of torment, quite voyde of all hope,
and rather expecting death, then any other comfort.

_Reniero_, when some three houres of the afternoone were overpast,
awaked from sleeping: and remembring Madame _Helena_, he went to see
in what estate she was; as also to send his servant unto dinner,
because he had fasted all that day. She perceyving his arrivall, being
altogether weake, faint, and wonderously over-wearied, she crept on
her knees to a corner of the Turret, and calling to him, spake in this
manner. _Reniero_, thy revenge exceedeth al manhoode and respect: For,
if thou wast almost frozen in my Court, thou hast roasted me all day
long on this Tower, yea, meerly broyled my poore naked bodie, beside
starving mee thorough want of Food and drinke. Be now then so mercifull
(for manhoods sake) as to come uppe hither, and inflict that on me,
which mine owne hands are not strong enough to do, I meane the ending
of my loathed and wearisome life, for I desire it beyond all comfort
else, and I shall honour thee in the performance of it. If thou deny me
this gracious favour; at least send me uppe a glasse of Water, onely to
moisten my mouth, which my teares (being all meerly dried up) are not
able to doe, so extreame is the violence of the Sunnes burning heate.

Well perceived the Scholler, by the weaknesse of her voyce, and
scorching of her body by the Suns parching beames, that shee was
brought now to great extremity: which sight, as also her humble
intercession, began to touch him with some compassion, nevertheles,
thus he replied. Wicked woman, my hands shall be no means of thy death,
but make use of thine owne, if thou be so desirous to have it: and as
much water shalt thou get of me to asswage thy thirst, as thou gavest
me fire to comfort my freezing, when thou wast in the luxurious heat of
thy immodest desires, and I wel-neere frozen to death with extremity of
cold. Pray that the Evening may raine downe Rose-water on thee, because
that in the River of _Arno_ is not good enough for thee: for as little
pitty doe I take on thee now, as thou didst extend compassion to me

Miserable Woman that I am, answered _Helena_; Why did the heavens
bestow beautie on mee, which others have admired and honoured, and yet
(by thee) is utterly despised? More cruell art thou then any savage
Beast; thus to vexe and torment mee in such mercilesse manner. What
greater extreamity couldst thou inflict on me, if I had bin the
destruction of all thy Kindred, and lefte no one man living of thy
race? I am verily perswaded, that more cruelty cannot be used against
a Traitor, who was the subversion of a whole Cittie, then this tyranny
of thine, roasting me thus in the beames of the Sun, and suffering my
body to be devoured with Flies, without so small a mercie; as to give
mee a little coole water, which murtherers are permitted to have, being
condemned by Justice, and led to execution: yea Wine also, if they
request it.

But, seeing thou art so constant in thy pernitious resolve, as neither
thine owne good Nature, nor this lamentable sufferance in me, are able
to alter thee: I will prepare my self for death patiently, to the
end, that Heaven may be mercifull to my soul, and reward thee justly,
according to thy cruelty. Which words being ended, she withdrew her
selfe towards the middest of the Tarras, despairing of escaping (with
life) from the heates violence; and not once onely, but infinite times
beside (among her other grievous extreamities) she was ready to dye
with drought, bemoaning incessantly her dolorous condition.

By this time the day was well neere spent, and night beganne to
hasten on apace: when the Scholler (immagining that he afflicted her
sufficiently) tooke her Garments, and wrapping them up in his mans
Cloake, went thence to the Ladies house, where he found _Ancilla_ the
Waiting-woman sitting at the doore, sad and disconsolate for her Ladies
long absence, to whom thus he spake. How now _Ancilla_? Where is thy
Lady and Mistris? Alas Sir (quoth she) I know not. I thought this
morning to have found her in her bed, as usually I was wont to do, and
where I left her yesternight at our parting: but there she was not, nor
in any place else of my knowledge, neyther can I imagine what is become
of her, which is to me no meane discomfort.

But can you (Sir) say any thing of her? _Ancilla_, said he, I would
thou hadst bin in her company, and at the same place where now she is,
that some punishment for thy fault might have falne uppon thee, as
already it hath done on her. But beleeve it assuredly, that thou shalt
not freely escape from my fingers, till I have justly paide thee for
thy paines, to teach thee to abuse any Gentleman, as thou didst me.

Having thus spoken, hee called to his servant, saying. Give her the
Garments, and bid her go looke her Lady, if she will. The Servingman
fulfilled his Masters command, and _Ancilla_ having receyved her Ladies
cloaths, knowing them perfectly, and remembring (withall) what had
bin said: she waxed very doubtfull, least they had slaine her, hardly
refraining from exclaiming on them, but that greefe and heavie weeping
overcame her; so that uppon the Schollers departing, she ranne in all
hast with the garments towardes the Tower.

Upon this fatall and unfortunate day to Madame _Helena_, it chanced,
that a Clowne or Countrey Peazant belonging to her Farme or Dairy
house, having two of his young Heyfers wandred astray, and he
labouring in diligent search to finde them: within a while after the
Schollers departure, came to seeke them in Woods about the Tower, and,
notwithstanding all his crying and calling for his beasts, yet he
heard the Ladies greevous moanes and lamentations. Wherefore, he cryed
out so lowd as he could, saying: Who is it that mourneth so aloft on
the Tower? Full well she knew the voyce of her peazant, and therefore
called unto him, and sayd in this manner.

Go (quoth she) I pray thee for my Waiting-woman _Ancilla_, and bid her
make some meanes to come up hither to me. The Clowne knowing his Lady,
sayde. How now Madame? Who hath carried you up there so high? Your
Woman _Ancilla_ hath sought for you all this day, yet no one could ever
have immagined you to bee there. So looking about him, he espyed the
two sides of the Ladder, which the Scholler had pulled in sunder; as
also the steppes, which he had scattered thereabout; placing them in
due order againe as they should bee, and binding them fast with Withies
and Willowes.

By this time _Ancilla_ was come thither, who so soone as shee was
entred into the Tower, could not refrain from teares & complaints,
beating her hands each against other, and crying out. Madam, Madam, my
deare Lady and Mistresse! Alas, Where are you? So soone as she heard
the tongue of _Ancilla_, she replyed (so well as she could) saying: Ah
my sweet Woman, I am heere aloft uppon the Tarras; weepe not, neyther
make any noyse, but quickely bring me some of my Garments. When shee
heard her answer in such comfortable manner, she mounted up the Ladder,
which the peazant had made very firme and strong, holding it fast
for her safer ascending; by which meanes she went upon the Tarras.
Beholding her Ladie in so strange a condition, resembling no humane
body, but rather the trunke of a Tree halfe burned, lying flat on her
face, naked, scorched and strangely deformed: shee beganne to teare the
lockes of her owne hayre, raving and raging in as pittifull manner,
as if her Ladie had beene quite dead. Which storming tempest, Madame
_Helena_ soone pacified, entreating her to use silence, and helpe to
put on her garments.

Having understood by her, that no one knew of her being there, but such
as brought her cloathes, and the poore peazant, attending there still
to do her any service: shee became the better comforted, entreating
them by all meanes, that it might bee concealed from any further
discovery, which was on eyther side, most faithfullie protested.

The poore Clowne holpe to beare downe his Lady uppon his backe, because
the Ladder stood not conveniently enough for her descending, neither
were her limbes plyable for her owne use, by reason of their rifts and
smarting. _Ancilla_ following after, and being more respective of her
Lady, then her owne security in descending; missing the step in the
midst of the Ladder, fell downe to the ground, and quite brake her
legge in the fall, the paine whereof was so greevous to her, that she
cried and roared extraordinarily, even like a Lyon in the desert.

When the Clowne had set his Lady safe on a faire green banke, he
returned to see what the waiting woman ayled, and finding her leg to
be quite broken: he caried her also to the same banke, & there seated
her by her Lady: who perceiving what a mischance had hapned, and she,
from whom she expected her onely best helpe, to bee now in far greater
necessity her selfe: shee lamented exceedingly, complaining on Fortunes
cruel malice toward her, in thus heaping one misery upon another, and
never ceasing to torment her, especially now in the conclusion of all,
and when shee thought all future perils to be past.

Now was the Sun upon his setting, when the poore honest country-man,
because darke night should not overtake them, conducted the Lady home
to his owne house: and gaining the assistance of his two brethren and
wife, setting the waiting-woman in a Chaire, thither they brought
her in like manner. And questionles, there wanted no diligence and
comfortable language, to pacifie the Ladyes continuall lamentations.
The good wife, led the Lady into hir own poore lodging, where (such
cates as they had to feede on) lovingly she set before her: conveying
her afterward into her owne bed, and taking such good order, that
_Ancilla_ was carried in the night time to _Florence_, to prevent all
further ensuing danger, by reason of her legs breaking.

Madame _Helena_, to colour this misfortune of her owne: as also the
great mishap of her woman: forged an artificiall and cunning tale, to
give some formall apparance of hir being in the Tower, perswading the
poore simple Country people, that in a straunge accident of thunder and
lightning, and by the illusions of wicked spirits, all this adventure
hapned to her. Then Physitians were sent for; who, not without much
anguish and affliction to the Ladie (by reason of her fleshes flaying
off, with the Medicines and Emplaysters applyed to the body) was glad
to suffer whatsoever they did, beside falling into a very dangerous
Feaver; out of which she was not recovered in a long while after, but
continued in daily dispayre of her life; beside other accidents hapning
in her time of Physicke, utterly unavoydable in such extreamities: and
hardly had _Ancilla_ her legge cured.

By this unexpected pennance imposed on Madame _Helena_, she utterly
forgot her amorous friend, and (from thence forward) carefully kept
her selfe from fond loves allurements, and such scornfull behaviour,
wherein she was most disorderly faulty. And _Reniero_ the Scholler,
understanding that _Ancilla_ had broken her leg, which he reputed as a
punishment sufficient for her, held himselfe satisfyed, because neither
the Mistresse nor her Maide, could now make any great boast, of his
nights hard entertainment, and so concealed all matters else.

Thus a wanton-headed Lady, could finde no other subject to worke her
mocking folly on, but a learned Scholler, of whom shee made no more
respect, then any other ordinary man. Never remembring, that such men
are expert (I cannot say all, but the greater part of them) to helpe
the frenzie of foolish Ladies, that must injoy their loose desires, by
Negromancy, and the Divelles meanes. Let it therefore (faire Ladies)
be my loving admonition to you, to detest all unwomanly mocking and
scorning, but more especiallie to Schollers.

_Two neere dwelling Neighbours, the one beeing named_ Spinelloccio
Tavena, _and the other_ Zeppa di Mino, _frequenting each others company
daily together;_ Spinelloccio _Cuckolded his Friend and Neighbour.
Which happening to the knowledge of_ Zeppa, _he prevailed so well with
the Wife of_ Spinelloccio, _that he being lockt up in a Chest, he
revenged his wrong at that instant, so that neither of them complained
of his misfortune._

The Eight Novell.

_Wherein is approved, that he which offereth shame and disgrace to his
Neighbour; may receive the like injury (if not in worse manner) by the
same man._

Greevous, and full of compassion, appeared the hard Fortunes of Madame
_Helena_ to be, having much discontented, and (well-neere) wearied all
the Ladies in hearing them recounted. But because they were very justly
inflicted upon her, and according as (in equity) shee had deserved,
they were the more moderate in their commisseration: howbeit, they
reputed the Scholler not onely over-obstinate, but also too strict,
rigorous and severe. Wherefore, when Madame _Pampinea_ had finished hir
Novell, the Queene gave command to Madame _Fiammetta_, that she should
follow next with her discourse; whereto shee shewing obedience, thus

Because it appeareth in my judgement (faire Ladyes) that the Schollers
cruelty hath much displeased you, making you more melancholly then
this time requireth: I holde it therefore very convenient, that your
contristed spirits should be chearfully revived, with matter more
pleasing and delightfull. And therefore, I mean to report a Novell of a
certaine man, who tooke an injury done him, in much milder manner, and
revenged his wrong more moderately, then the furious incensed Scholler
did. Whereby you may comprehend, that it is sufficient for any man, and
so he ought to esteeme it, to serve another with the same sawce, which
the offending party caused him first to taste of: without coveting any
stricter revenge, then agreeth with the quality of the injury received.

Know then (Gracious assembly) that, as I have heretofore heard, there
lived not long since in _Sienna_, two young men, of honest parentage
and equall condition, neither of the best, nor yet the meanest calling
in the City: the one being named _Spinelloccio Tavena_, and the other
tearmed _Zeppa di Mino_, their houses Neighbouring together in the
streete _Camollia_. Seldome the one walked abroade without the others
Company, and their houses allowed equall welcome to them both; so that
by outward demonstrations, & inward mutuall affection, as far as humane
capacity had power to extend, they lived and loved like two Brethren,
they both beeing wealthy, and married unto two beautifull women.

It came to passe, that _Spinelloccio_, by often resorting to the
house of _Zeppa_, as well in his absence, as when he abode at home;
beganne to glance amorous looks on _Zeppaes_ wife, and pursued his
unneighbourly purpose in such sort: that hee being the stronger
perswader, and she (belike) too credulous in beleeving, or else
over-feeble in resisting; from private imparlance, they fell to action;
and continued their close fight a long while together, unseene and
without suspition, no doubt to their equall joy and contentment.

But, whether as a just punishment, for breaking so loving a league of
friendship and neighbour-hood, or rather a fatall infliction, evermore
attending on the closest Cuckoldry, their felicity still continuing
in this kinde: it fortuned on a day, _Zeppa_ abiding within doors,
contrary to the knowledge of his wife, _Spinelloccio_ came to enquire
for him, and she answering (as she verily supposed) that he was gon
abroad: uppe they went both together into the Hall, and nobodie
being there to hinder what they intended, they fell to their wonted
recreation without any feare, kissing and embracing as Lovers use to do.

_Zeppa_ seeing all this, spake not one word, neither made any noise at
all; but kept himselfe closely hidden, to observe the yssue of this
amorous conflict. To be briefe, he saw _Spinelloccio_ goe with his wife
into the Chamber, and make the doore fast after them, whereat he could
have beene angry, which he held to be no part of true wisedome. For he
knew well enough, that to make an out crie in this case, or otherwise
to reveale this kinde of injury, it could no way make it lesse, but
rather give a greater addition of shame and scandall: he thought this
no course for him to take; wiser considerations entred his braine, to
have this wrong fully revenged, yet with such a discreete and orderly
carriage, as no neighbours knowledge should by any meanes apprehend it,
or the least signe of discontent in himselfe blabbe it, because they
were two daungerous evils.

Many notable courses wheeled about his conceit, every one promising
fairely, and ministring meanes of formall apparance, yet one (above
the rest) wonne his absolute allowance, which he intended to prosecute
as best he might. In which resolution, he kept still very close, so
long as _Spinelloccio_ was with his Wife; but hee being gone, he went
into the Chamber, where he found his wife, amending the forme of her
head attyre, which _Spinelloccio_ had put into a disordred fashion.
Wife (quoth he) what art thou doing? Why? Do you not see Husband?
answered she. Yes that I do wife, replied _Zeppa_, and something else
happened to my sight, which I could wish that I had not seene. Rougher
Language growing betweene them, of his avouching, and her as stout
denying, with defending her cause over-weakely, against the manifest
proofes both of eye and eare; at last she fell on her knees before
him, weeping incessantly, and no excuses now availing, she confest her
long acquaintance with _Spinelloccio_, and most humbly entreated him
to forgive her. Uppon the which penitent confession and submission,
_Zeppa_ thus answered.

Wife, if inward contrition be answerable to thy outward seeming sorrow,
then I make no doubt, but faithfully thou dost acknowledge thine owne
evill dooing: for which, if thou expectest pardon of me; determine
then to fulfill effectually, such a busines as I must enjoyne, and
thou performe. I command thee to tell _Spinelloccio_, that to morrow
morning, about nine of the clocke, we being both abroad walking, he
must finde some apt occasion to leave my company, and then come hither
to visit thee. When he is here, sodainly will I returne home; and upon
thy hearing of my entraunce: to save his owne credite, and thee from
detection, thou shalt require him to enter this Chest, untill such time
as I am gone forth againe; which he doing, for both your safeties, so
soon as he is in the chest, take the key and locke him up fast. When
thou hast effected this, then shall I acquaint thee with the rest
remaining, which also must be done by thee, without dread of the least
harme to him or thee, because there is no malicious meaning in me, but
such as (I am perswaded) thou canst not justly mislike. The wife, to
make some satisfaction for her offence committed, promised that she
would performe it, and so she did.

On the morrow morning, the houre of nine being come, when _Zeppa_
and _Spinelloccio_ were walking abroad together, _Spinelloccio_
remembring his promise unto his Mistresse, and the clocke telling him
the appointed houre, hee saide to _Zeppa_. I am to dine this day with
an especiall friend of mine, who I would be loath should tarry for my
comming; and therefore holde my departure excused. How now? answered
_Zeppa_, the time for dinner is yet farre enough off, wherefore then
should we part so soone? Yea but _Zeppa_, replied _Spinelloccio_, wee
have weighty matters to confer on before dinner, which will require
three houres space at the least, and therefore it behoveth me to
respect due time.

_Spinelloccio_ being departed from Zeppa (who followed faire and softly
after him) being come to the house, and kindly welcommed by the wife:
they were no sooner gone up the staires, and entering in at the Chamber
doore; but the Woman heard her Husband cough, and also his comming up
the staires. Alas deare _Spinelloccio_ (quoth she) what shall we do? My
Husband is comming uppe, and we shall be both taken tardie, step into
this Chest, lye downe there and stirre not, till I have sent him forth
againe, which shall be within a very short while. _Spinelloccio_ was
not a little joyfull for her good advice; downe in the Chest lay he,
and she lockt him in: by which time _Zeppa_ was entred the Chamber.
Where are you Wife? said he, (speaking so loud, as hee in the Chest
might heare him) What, is it time to go to dinner? It will be anon Sir,
answered she, as yet it is overearly; but seeing you are come, the more
hast shall be made, and every thing will be ready quickly.

_Zeppa_, sitting downe upon the Chest, wherein _Spinelloccio_ lay not a
little affrighted, speaking still aloud, as formerly he did: Come hither
Wife (quoth he) how shall we do for some good companie to dine with
us? Mine honest kinde neighbour _Spinelloccio_ is not at home, because
he dineth forth to day with a deare friend of his, by which meanes,
his wife is left at home alone: give her a call out at our Window, and
desire her to come dine with us: for we two can make no merry Musicke,
except some more come to fill up the consort.

His Wife being very timorous, yet diligent to doe whatsoever he
commanded, so prevailed with the Wife of _Spinelloccio_: that she came
to them quickely, and so much the rather, because her Husband dined
abroad. Shee being come up into the Chamber, _Zeppa_ gave her most
kinde entertainment, taking her gently by the hand, and winking on his
Wife, that she should betake her selfe to the kitchin, to see dinner
speedily prepared, while he sat conversing with his neighbour in the

His wife being gone, he shut the doore after her, which the new-come
Neighbour perceyving, she sayde. Our blessed Lady defend me. _Zeppa_,
What is your meaning in this? Have you caused me to come hither to
this intent? Is this the love you beare to _Spinelloccio_, and your
professed loyalty in friendshippe? _Zeppa_, seating her downe on the
Chest, wherein her Husband was inclosed, entreating her patience, thus
began. Kinde and loving Neighbour, before you adventure too farre in
anger, vouchsafe to heare what I shall tell you.

I have loved, and still doe love, _Spinelloccio_ as my brother, but
yesterday (albeit he knoweth it not) I found, the honest trust I
reposed in him, deserved no other, or better recompence, but even to be
bold with my wife, in the selfesame manner as I am, and as hee ought
to do with none but you. Now, in regard of the love which I beare him,
I intend to be no otherwise revenged on him, but in the same kinde as
the offence was committed. He hath bin more then familiar with my wife,
I must borrow the selfe-same courtesie of you, which in equity you
cannot deny mee, weighing the wrong you have sustained by my wife. Our
injuries are alike, in your Husband to me, and in my wife to you: let
then their punishment and ours be alike also, as they, so we; for in
this case there can be no juster revenge.

The Woman hearing this, and perceiving the manifolde confirmations
thereof, protested (on solemne oath) by _Zeppa_; hir beliefe grew
setled, and thus she answered. My loving neighbour** _Zeppa_, seeing this
kinde of revenge is (in meere justice) imposed on mee, and ordained as
a due scourge, as well to the breach of friendship and neighbour-hood,
as abuse of his true and loyall wife: I am the more willing to consent:
alwaies provided, that it be no imbarrement of love betweene your wife
and mee, albeit I have good reason to alledge, that she began the
quarrell first: and what I do is but to right my wrong, as any other
woman of spirit would do: Afterwards, we may the more easily pardon one
another. For breach of peace (answered _Zeppa_) between my wife and
you, take my honest word for your warrant. Moreover, in requitall of
this favour to mee, I will bestowe a deare and precious Jewell on you,
excelling all the rest which you have beside.

In delivering these words, he sweetly kissed and embraced her, as
she sat on the Chest wherein her husband lay: now, what they did
else beside, in recompence of the wrong received, I leave to your
imagination, as rather deserving silence, then immodest blabbing.
_Spinelloccio_, being all this while in the Chest, hearing easily all
the words which _Zeppa_ had uttered, the answer of his wife, as also
what Musicke they made over his head: you may guesse in what a case
he was, his heart being ready to split with rage, and, but that hee
stood in feare of _Zeppa_, he would have railde and exclaimed on his
wife, as thus hee lay shut up in the Chest. But entering into better
consideration, that so great an injury was first begun by himselfe, &
_Zeppa_ did no more, then in reason and equity he might well do (having
evermore carried himselfe like a kinde neighbour and frend towards him,
without the least offer of distaste) he faithfully resolved, to be a
firmer friend to _Zeppa_ then formerly hee had bin, if it might be
embraced and accepted on the other side.

Delights and pleasures, be they never so long in contenting and
continuance, yet they come to a period and conclusion at last: So
_Zeppa_, having ended his amorous combate, and over the head of
his perfidious friend, thought himselfe sufficiently revenged. But
now, in consideration of a further promise made on the bargaine;
_Spinelloccioes_ wife challengeth the Jewell, then which kind of
recompence, nothing can be more welcome to women. Heereupon, _Zeppa_
calling for his owne wife, commanded her to open the Chest; which shee
did, and he merrily smiling, saide. Well wife, you have given mee
a Cake insted of bread, and you shall lose nothing for your labour.
So _Spinelloccio_ comming forth of the Chest, it requireth a better
witte then mine, to tell you, which of them stood most confounded with
shame, either _Spinelloccio_ seeing _Zeppa_, and knowing well enough
what he had done: or the woman beholding her husband, who easily heard
all their familiar conference, and the action thereupon so deservedly

See neighbour, is not this your dearest Jewell? Having kept it awhile
in my wives custody; according to my promise, here I deliver it you.
_Spinelloccio_ being glad of his deliverance out of the Chest, albeit
not a little ashamed of himselfe; without using many impertinent
words, saide. _Zeppa_, our wrongs are equally requited on each other,
and therefore I allow thy former speeches to my Wife, that thou wast
my friend, as I am the like to thee, and so I pray thee let us still
continue. For nothing else is now to bee divided betweene us, seeing
we have shared alike in our wives, which none knowing but our selves,
let it be as closely kept to our selves. _Zeppa_ was wel pleased with
the motion, and so all foure dined lovingly together, without any
variance or discontentment. And thence forward, each of the Women had
two Husbands, as either Husband enjoyed two Wives, without further
contention or debate.

_Maestro_ Simone, _an ydle-headed Doctor of Physicke, was throwne by_
Bruno _and_ Buffalmaco, _into a common Leystall of Filth: The Physitian
fondly beleeving, that (in the night time) he should bee made one of a
new created Company, who usually went to see wonders, at_ Corsica; _and
there in the Leystall they left him._

The Ninth Novell.

_Wherein is approved, that Titles of Honour, Learning, and Dignity, are
not alwayes bestowne on the wisest men._

After that the Ladies had a while considered, on the communication
betweene the two Wives of _Sienna_, and the falshood in friendship of
their Husbands: the Queene, who was the last to recount her Novell,
without offering injurie to _Dioneus_, began to speake thus.

The reward for a precedent Wrong committed, which _Zeppa_ retorted upon
_Spinelloccio_, was answerable to his desert, and no more then equity
required, in which respect, I am of opinion, that such men ought not to
be over-sharpely reproved, as do injurie to him, who seeketh for it,
and justly should have it, althogh Madam _Pampinea_ (not long since)
avouched the contrary. Now, it evidently appeareth, that _Spinelloccio_
well deserved what was done to him, and I purpose to speake of another,
who needs would seeke after his owne disgrace. The rather to confirme
my former speeches, that they which beguile such wilfull foolish men;
are not to bee blamed, but rather commended. And he unto whom the shame
was done, was a Physitian, which came from _Bologna_ to _Florence_; and
returned thither againe like unto a Beast, notoriously baffulled and

It is a matter well knowne to us, and (almost) observed day by day,
that divers of our Citizens, when they returne from their studying
at _Bologna_: one becommeth an Advocate, another a Physitian, and a
third a Notarie, with long & large gowns, some of Scarlet, and hoods
furred with Minever, beside divers other great apparances, succeeding
effectually daily in their severall kinds. Among whom, there returned
(not long since) thence, one Master _Simon da Villa_, more rich in
possessions left him by his parents, then anie knowledge thereto
obtained: yet cloathed in Scarlet, with his Miniver hood, and styled
a Doctor of Physicke, which title hee onely bestowed on himselfe, and
tooke a goodly house for his dwelling, in the street which wee commonly
call _La via del Cocomero_. This Master Doctor _Simon_, being thus
newly come thither, among other notable qualities in him, had one more
especial then any of the rest, namely, to know the names and conditions
of such persons, as daily passed by his doore, and what professions
they were of, whereby any likelyhood might be gathered of needing his
helpe, and being his patients, observing them all with very vigilant

But, among all the rest by him thus warily noted, he most observed
two Painters, of whom we have heeretofore twice discoursed, _Bruno_
and _Buffalmaco_, who walked continually together, and were his neere
dwelling neighbours. The matter which most of al he noted in them,
was; that they lived merrily, and with much lesse care, then any else
in the Cittie beside, and verily they did so in deede. Wherefore, he
demanded of divers persons, who had good understanding of them both,
of what estate and condition they were. And hearing by every one,
that they were but poore men & Painters: he greatly mervailed, how it
could be possible for them, that they should live so jocondly, and in
such poverty. It was related to him further beside, that they were
men of a quicke and ingenious apprehension, whereby hee politikely
imagined, that theyr poore condition could not so well maintaine them;
without some courses else, albeit not publiquely knowne unto men, yet
redounding to their great commoditie and profite. In which regard, he
grew exceeding desirous, by what meanes he might become** acquainted, and
grow into familiarity with them both, or any of them, at the least;
wherein (at the length) he prevailed, and _Bruno_ proved to be the man.

Now _Bruno_ plainly perceiving (within a short while of this new
begun acquaintance) that the Physitian was a Logger-head, and meerely
no better then a _Gregorian_ Animall: he beganne to have much good
pastime with him, by telling him strange and incredible Tales, such
as none but a Coxcombe would give credit too; yet they delighted
Doctor Dunce extraordinarily, and _Brunoes_ familiarity was so highly
pleasing to him, that he was a daily guest at dinner and supper with
him, and hee was not meanly proud of enjoying his company. One day,
as they sate in familiar conference together, he told _Bruno_ that he
wondred not a little at him and _Buffalmaco_, they being both so poore
people, yet lived far more jovially then Lords, and therefore desired
to understand, by what secret meanes they compassed such mirthfull
maintenance. _Bruno_, hearing the Doctors demaund, & perceiving that it
favoured more of the foole, then any the very least taste of wisedome:
smiled unto himselfe, and determined to returne him such an answere, as
might be fitting for his folly, whereupon, thus he replied.

Beleeve me Master Doctor, I would not impart to many people, what
private helpes we have for our maintenance: but yet I dare boldly
acquaint you therewith, in regard you are one of our most intimate
friends, and of such secrecie, as (I know) you will not reveale it to
any. True it is, that mine honest neighbour and my selfe, do leade our
lives in such merry manner as you see, and better then all the world
is aware of, for I cannot imagine you to bee so ignorant, but are
certainly perswaded: that if we had no better means, then our poore
manuall trade and profession; we might sit at home with bread and
water, and be nothing so lively spirited as wee are. Yet Sir, I would
not have you to conceive, that wee do eyther rob or steale, or use any
other unlawfull courses: onely we travayle to _Corsica_, from whence we
bring (without the least prejudice to anie other) all things we stand
in need of, or whatsoever wee can desire. Thus do we maintaine our
selves well and honestly, and live in this mirthfull disposition.

Master Doctor hearing this Discourse, and beleeving it constantly,
without any further instruction or intelligence: became possessed with
verie much admiration, and had the most earnest desire in the world, to
know what this Travailing to _Corsica_ might meane: entreating _Bruno_
with very great instances, to tell him what it was, and made many
protestations never to disclose it to anie one. How now Master Doctor?
answered _Bruno_, What a strange motion do you make to mee? It is too
great a secret, which you desire to know, yea, a matter of mine owne
ruine, and an utter expulsion out of this Worlde, with condemnation
into the mouth of _Lucifer da San Gallo_, if any man whatsoever should
know it from me, wherefore I pray you to urge it no more. O my deer and
honest neighbour _Bruno_ (quoth the Doctor) assure thy selfe upon my
soul, that whatsoever thou revealest to me, shall be under seale from
all, but onely our selves. Fie, fie Master Doctor, answered _Bruno_,
you are too pressing and importunate. So sitting smiling to himselfe,
shaking his head, and beating his breast, as if hee were in some
straunge distraction of minde, stamping with his feete, and beating his
Fiste oftentimes on the Table, at last he started uppe, and spake in
this manner.

Ah Master Doctor, the love I beare to your capricious and rarely
circumcised experience, and likewise the confidence I repose in your
scrutinous taciturnitie, are both of such mighty and prevailing power;
as I cannot conceale any thing from you, which you covet to know. And
therefore, if you will sweare unto me by the crosse of _Monteson_, that
never (as you have already faithfully promised) you will disclose a
secret so admirable; I will relate it unto you, and not otherwise. The
Doctor sware, and sware againe, and then _Bruno_ thus began.

Know then my learned and judicious Doctor, that it is not long time
since, when there lived in this Citie of ours, a man very excellent in
the Art of Nigromancie, who named himselfe _Michale Scoto_, because he
was a Scottishman borne, of many woorthy Gentlemen (very few of them
being now living) hee was much honoured and respected. When he grew
desirous to depart from hence, upon their earnest motion and entreaty;
he left here two of his Schollers behinde him, men of absolute skill
and experience: giving them especial charge and command, to do all
possible services they could devise, for those Gentlemen who had so
highly honoured him. The two famous Schollers, were very helpefull to
those Gentlemen, in divers of their amorous occasions, and verie many
other matters besides.

Not long after, they finding the Citie, and behaviour of the people
sufficiently pleasing to them; they resolved on their continuance
heere, entering into a league of love and friendshippe with divers,
never regarding, whether they were Gentlemen, or no, or distinguishing
the poore from the rich: but only in being conforme to their
complexions, sociable and fit for friendship.

They created a kinde Society, consisting of about five and twenty men,
who should meete together twice in a moneth, & in a place reputed
convenient for them: where being so assembled, every man uttered his
minde to those two Schollers, in such cases as they most desired, to
have wherewith they were all satisfied the self-same night. It came so
to passe, that _Buffalmaco_ and I, grew into acquaintance with those
two worthy Schollers, and our private familiarity together proved
so prosperous, that we were admitted into the same Society, and so
have ever since continued. Now Sir, I am to tell you matter deserving
admiration, & which (in very good judgements) would seeme to exceed all

For, at every time when we were assembled together: you are not able
to imagine, what sumptuous hangings of Tapistrie, did adorne the Hall
where we sate at meate, the Tables covered in such Royall manner,
waited on by numberlesse Noble and goodly attendants, both Women and
Men, serving readily, at each mans command of the company. The Basins,
Ewers, Pots, Flaggons, & all the vessels else which stood before, and
for the service of our diet, being composed onely of Gold and Silver,
and out of no worse did we both eate and drinke: the viands being very
rare and dainty, abounding in plenty and variety, according to the
appetite of everie person, as nothing could be wished for, but it was
instantly obtained.

In good sadnesse Sir, I am not able to remember and tell you (within
the compasse of a thousand yeares) what, and how manie severall
kindes of Musicall Instruments, were continually played on before us;
what multiplicity of Waxe lights burned in all partes of the roomes;
neither the excessive store of rich Drugs, Marchpanes, Comfites, and
rare Banquetting stuffe, consumed there at one Feasting, wherein there
wanted no bounty of the best and purest wines. Nor do I (Master Doctor)
repute you so weakly witted, as to think, that in the time of our
being thus assembled there, any of us al were cloathed in such simple
and meane Garments, as ordinarily are worne in the streets on mens
bodies, or any so silly as the verie best you have: No Sir, not any one
man among us, but appeared by his apparrell, equall to the greatest
Emperour on the earth, his robe most sumptuously imbroidered with
precious stones, Pearles, and Carbuncles, as all the world affoordeth
not the like. But above all the rest, the delights and pleasures there,
are beyond my capacity to expresse, or (indeede) any comparison: as
namely, store of goodly and beautifull women, brought thither from all
parts of the world; alwayes provided, if men bee desirous of their
company: but for your easier comprehension, I will make some briefe
relation of them to you, according as I heard them there named.

There is the great Lady of _Barbanicchia_; the Queene of _Baschia_;
the Wife to the great _Soldane_, the Empresse of _Osbeccho_; the
_Ciancianfera_ of _Norniera_; the _Bemistante_ of _Berlinzona_;** and the
_Scalpedra_ of _Narsia_. But why do I breake my braine, in numbering up
so many to you? All the Queenes of the world are there, even so farre
as to the _Schinchimurra_ of _Prester John_, that hath a horne in the
midst of her posteriores, albeit not visible to every eye.

Now I am further to tell you, that after we have tasted a Cup of
precious Wine, fed on a few delicate Comfits, and danced a dance or two
to the rare Musicke: every one taketh a Lady by the hand, of whom he
pleaseth to make his election, and she conducteth him to her Chamber,
in very grave and gracious manner. Concerning the Chambers there,
each of them resembleth a Paradise to looke on, they are so faire and
goodly; and no lesse odorifferous in smell, then the sweetest perfumes
in your Apothecaries shoppes, or the rare compounds of Spices, when
they are beaten in an open Morter. And as for the Beds, they are
infinitely richer, then the verie costliest belonging to the Duke of
_Venice_: yet (in such) each man is appointed to take his rest, the
Musicke of rare Cymbals lasting all night long, much better to be by
you considered, then in my rude eloquence expressed.

But of all those rich and sumptuous Beds (if pride of mine owne
opinion do not deceive me) them two provided for _Buffalmaco_ and me,
had hardly any equall: he having the Queene of _France_ as his Lady
and Mistresse, and I, the renowned Queene of _England_, the onely
two choise beauties of the whole World, and wee appeared so pleasing
in their eyes, as they would have refused the greatest Monarkes on
the earth, rather then to bee rejected by us. Now therefore, you may
easily consider with your selfe, what great reason we have to live more
merrily, then any other men can doe: in regard we enjoy the gracious
favour of two such Royall Queenes, receyving also from them (whensoever
wee please to commaund them) a thousand or two thousand Florines at the
least, which are both truly and duly sent us. Enjoying thus the benefit
of this high happinesse, we that are companions of this Society, do
tearme it in our vulgar Language, _The Pyrats voyage to Corsica_.
Because, as Rovers or Pyrats robbe and take away the goodes of such as
they meete withall, even so do we: only there remaineth this difference
betweene us, that they never restore what they have taken: which we do
immediately afterward, whether it be required or no. And thus Master
Doctor, as to my most endeered friend, I have now revealed the meaning
of sayling to _Corsica_, after the manner of our private Pyracie,
and how important the close retention of the voiage is, you are best
able your selfe to judge: In which regarde, remember your Oathes and
faithfull promises, or else I am undone forever.

Our worthy wise Doctor, whose best skill scarsely extended so farre, as
to cure the itch in Children; gave such sound beleefe to the relation
of _Bruno_, as any man could doe, to the most certaine truth of life or
death: having his desire immeasurably enflamed, to bee made a member of
this straunge Societie, which hee more coveted, then any thing in the
world beside, accounting it a felicity farre beyond all other.

Whereupon he answered _Bruno_, that it was no great matter of mervaile,
if he lived so merrily as he did, having such a singular supply, to
avoide all necessities whatsoever: and very hardly could he refraine
from immediate request, to be accepted into the company. But yet he
thought fit to deferre it further, untill he had made _Bruno_ more
beholding to him, by friendly entertainments and other courtesies, when
he might (with better hope) be bold to move the motion.

Well may you conceive, that nothing more hammerd in the Doctors head,
then this rare voyage to _Corsica_, and _Bruno_ was his daily guest
at dinner and supper, with such extraordinary apparances of kindnesse
and courtesie, as if the Physitian could not live, except he had the
company of _Bruno_. Who seeing himselfe to bee so lovingly respected,
and hating ingratitude, for favours so abundantly heaped on him:
hee painted the whole story of Lent about his Hall, and an _Agnus
Dei_ fairely gilt, on the portall of his Chamber, as also a goodly
Urinall on his street doore, to the end, that such as had neede of his
counsell, might know where so judicious a Doctour dwelt. In a Gallery
likewise by his Garden, he painted the furious Battaile betweene the
Rats and Cats, which did (not a little) delight Master Doctor.

Moreover, at such times as Bruno had not supt with our Physitian, he
would bee sure to tell him on the morrow, that the night passed, he
had bin with the Company which he did wot of. And there (quoth he) the
Queene of _England_ having somewhat offended mee, I commanded, that
the _Gomedra_, belonging to the _Grand Cham_ of _Tartaria_, should
be brought me, and instantly shee was. What may be the meaning of
_Gomedra_ be? saide the Doctor, I understand not those difficult names.
I beleeve you Sir, answered _Bruno_, nor do I need to marvaile thereat:
and yet I have heard _Porcograsso_ speake, and also _Vannacenna_, and
both unexperienced in our Language. You would say (replyed the Doctour)
_Hippocrates_ and _Avicenna_, who were two admirable Physitians. It may
be so (said _Bruno_) & as hardly do I understand your names, as you
mine: but _Gomedra_, in the _Grand Chams_ language, signifies Empresse
in ours. But had you once seene her Sir, she would make you forget
all Physicall observations, your arguments, receits and medicines,
onely to be in her heavenly presence, which words he used (perceiving
his forward longing) to enflame him the more. Not long after, as the
doctor was holding the candle to _Bruno_, at the perfecting the bloody
Battayle of the Cattes and Rattes, because he could never bee wearied
in his Companie, and therefore was the more willing, to undergoe the
office of the Candle-holder: he resolved to acquaint him with his
minde, and being all alone by themselves, thus he began.

_Bruno_, as heaven knoweth, there is not this day any creature living,
for whom I would gladly do more, then for thee, and the very least word
of thy mouth, hath power to commaund mee to goe bare-footed, even from
hence so farre as to _Peretola_, and account my labour well employed
for thy sake: wherefore, never wonder at my continuall kindnesse
towards thee, using thee as my Domesticke companion, and embracing
thee as my bosome friend, and therefore I am the bolder in mooving one
request unto thee. As thou well knowest, it is no long while since,
when thou diddest acquaint me with the behaviour of the _Corsicane_
Roving Company, to be one in so rare and excellent a Society, such hath
bin my earnest longing ever since, as day nor night have I enjoyed anie
rest, but should thinke my felicity beyond all compare, if I could be
entertained in fellowship among you.

Nor is this desire of mine but upon great occasion, as thou thy selfe
shalt perceive, if I prove accepted into your Societie, and let me then
be made a mocking stocke for ever, if I cause not to come thither, one
of the most delicate young women, that ever anie eye beheld, and which
I my selfe saw (not above a yeare since) at _Cacavinciglia_, on whom I
bestowed my intirest affection, and (by the best Urinall that ever I
gazed on) would have given her tenne faire _Bologninaes_, to yeeld the
matter I moved to her, which yet I could not (by any meanes) compasse.
Therefore, with all the flowing faculties of my soule I entreate
thee, and all the very uttermost of my all indeede; to instruct me
in those wayes and meanes, whereby I may hope to be a member of you.
Which if thou dooest accomplish for me, and I may finde it effectually
performed: I shall not onely be thy true and loyall friend for ever,
but will honour thee beside, beyond all men living.

I know thee to bee a man of judgement, deepely informed in all
well-grounded experience: thou seest what a propper, portly, and comely
man I am, how fitly my legges are answerable to my body, my lookes
amiable, lovely, and of Rosie colour; beside I am a Doctor of Physicke,
of which profession (being only most expedient) I thinke you have not
one in your Society. I have many commendable qualities in me, as,
playing on divers instruments, exquisite in singing, and composing rare
ditties, whereof I will instantly sing thee one. And so he began to

_Bruno_ was swolne so bigge with desire of laughter, that hee had
scarsely any power to refraine from it: neverthelesse, he made the
best meanes he could devise: and the Song being ended, the Physition
saide. How now _Bruno_? What is thine Opinion of my singing? Beleeve
me Sir, replyed _Bruno_, the Vialles of _Sagginali_, will loose their
very best tunes, in contending against you, so mirilifficially are the
sweet accents of your voice heard. I tell thee truly _Bruno_ (answered
Master Doctor) thou couldst not by any possibility have beleeved it, if
thou hadst not heard it. In good sadness Sir (said _Bruno_) you speake
most truly. I could (quoth the Doctor) sing thee infinite more beside,
but at this time I must forbeare them. Let mee then further informe
thee _Bruno_, that beside the compleat perfections thou seest in me, my
father was a Gentleman, althogh he dwelt in a poore Country village,
and by my mothers side, I am derived from them of _Vallecchio_.
Moreover, as I have formerly shewn thee, I have a goodly Library of
Bookes, yea, and so faire and costly garments, as few Physitians in
_Florence_ have the like. I protest to thee upon my faith, I have one
gowne, which cost me (in readie money) almost an hundred poundes in
_Bagattinoes_, and it is not yet above ten yeares old. Wherefore let
me prevaile with thee, good _Bruno_, to worke so with the rest of thy
friends, that I may bee one of your singular Society; and, by the
honest trust thou reposest in mee, bee boldly sick whensoever thou
wilt, my paines and Physicke shall be freely thine, without the payment
of one single peny. _Bruno_ hearing his importunate words, and knowing
him (as all men else did beside) to be a man of more words then wit,
saide. Master Doctor, snuffe the candle I pray you, and lend me a
little more light with it hitherward, until I have finished the tailes
of these Rats, and then I will answer you.

When the Rats tailes were fully finished, _Bruno_ declaring by outward
behaviour, that he greatly distasted the matter mooved, thus answered.
Worthy Master Doctor, the courtesies you have already extended towards
me, and the bountifull favours promised beside, I know to be exceeding
great, and farre beyond the compasse of any merit in me. But concerning
your request, albeit in respect of your admired braine and Wisedome, it
is of little or no moment at all; yet it appeareth over-mighty to mee,
and there is not any man now living in the world, that hath the like
Authoritie over me, and can more commaund me, then you (with one poore
syllable) easily may doe: as well in regarde of my Love and Dutie, as
also your singular and sententious speeches, able not onelie to make me
breake a sound and setled resolution, but (almost) to move Mountaines
out of their places, and the more I am in your Learned company, so much
the faster am I lincked unto you, in immooveable affection, so farre
am I in love with your admirable qualities. And had I no other reason,
to affect you in such endeared manner, as I doe; yet because you are
enamoured of so rare a beauty, as you have already related to me, it
onely were a motive sufficient to compell me. But indeed I must needs
tel you, that I have not so much power in this case, as you (perhaps)
do imagine, which barreth me from such forward readines, as otherwise
needed not to be urged. Neverthelesse, having so solemnly ingaged your
faith to me, and no way misdoubting your faithfull secrecy, I shall
instruct you in some meanes to be observed; and it appeareth plainly
to me, that being furnished with such plenty of Bookes, as you are,
and other rich endowments, as you have before rehersed, you cannot but
attaine to the full period of your longing desire.

Speake boldly thy minde _Bruno_, answered the Doctour: for, I perceive
thou hast no perfect knowledge of me as yet, neither what an especiall
gift I have of secrecy. _Messer Gasparino da Salicete_, when he was
Judge and Potestat over the people of _Forlini_, made choise of mee
(among infinite of his dearest friends) to acquaint with a secret of no
meane moment. And such a faithfull Secretary he found me, as I was the
onely man, that knew his mariage with _Bergamino_; why then should any
distrust be made of me? If it be so as you say Sir (answered _Bruno_)
your credit is the sounder, and I dare the better adventure on your
fidelity: the meanes then which you are to worke by, I shall now direct
you in.

We have alwayes in this noble Society of ours, a Captaine, and two
Counsellors, which are changed at every six months end. And now at
Christmas next (so neere drawing on) _Buffalmaco_ shall be elected
Captaine, and my selfe one of the Counsellers, for so it is already
agreed on, and orderly set downe. Now, he that is Captain, may doe much
more then any other can, and appoint matters as himselfe pleaseth.
Wherefore I thinke it very expedient, that so soone as possibly you
may, you procure acquaintance with _Buffalmaco_, entreating him with
all respective courtesie. Hee is a man, who when he perceyveth you
to be so wonderfully Wise and discreete, he will be immediatly in
love with you: so, when you have your best senses about you, and your
richest wearing Garments on (alwayes remembred, that your acquaintance
first be fully confirmed) then never feare to urge your request, for he
can have no power at all to denie you; because I have already spoken
of you to him, and find him to stand affected unto you verie intirely:
thus when you have begunne the businesse, leave me to deale with him in
the rest.

Now trust me kinde friend _Bruno_, replyed the Physitian, I like your
advice exceeding well. For, if hee be a man, that taketh delight to
converse with men of skill and judgement, and you have made the way
for his knowing me: he will then thirst, and long to follow after mee,
to understand the incredible eloquence flowing from me, and the rare
composition of my Musicall Ditties, out of which he may learne no meane
wisedome. When the matter was thus agreed on betweene them, _Bruno_
departed thence, & acquainted _Buffalmaco_ with everie circumstance:
which made him thinke everie day a yeare, untill he might joyne in the
fooling of Mayster Doctour, according to his owne fancie. Who beeing
also as desirous on the other side, to make one in the _Corsicane_
Voyage; could take no manner of rest either by day or night, till he
was linked in friendship with _Buffalmaco_, which very quickely after
hee compassed.

For now there wanted no costly dinners and suppers, with al delicates
could be devised, for the entertainement of _Buffalmaco_ and _Bruno_;
who, like Guests very easie to be invited, where rich wines and good
cheare are never wanting, needed little sending for, because his
house was as familiar to them, as their owne. In the end, when the
Physitian espyed an opportunitie apt for the purpose, he made the same
request to _Buffalmaco_, as formerly hee had done to _Bruno_. Whereat
_Buffalmaco_, sodainly starting, and looking frowningly on _Bruno_,
as if he were extraordinarily incensed against him: clapping his
hand furiously on the Table, he sayde. I sweare by the great God of
_Pasignano_, that I can hardly refrayne from giving thee such a blow on
the face, as should make thy Nose to fall at thy heeles: vile Traitor
as thou art: for none beside thy selfe, could discover so rare and
excellent a secret unto this famous Physitian. The Doctour, with verie
plausible and pleasing tearmes, excused the matter verie artificially;
protesting, that another had revealed it unto him: and after many wise
circumstantiall Allegations, at length hee prevailed so farre, that
_Buffalmaco_ was pacified; who afterwardes turning in kinde manner,
thus hee beganne.

Master Doctour, you have lived both at _Bologna_, and heere in these
partes with us, having (no doubt) sufficiently understoode, what it is
to carry a close mouth, I meane the true Charracter of taciturnitie.
Questionlesse, you never learned the A. B. C. as now foolish Ideots
do, blabbing their lessons all about the towne, which is much better
apprehended by rumination; and surely (if I be not much deceyved) your
Nativity happened on a Sonday morning, Sol being at that time, Lord of
the ascendent, joyned with _Mercurie_ in a fierie Triplicitie. By such
conference as I have had with _Bruno_, I conceyved (as he himselfe also
did) that you were verie singular in Physicke onely: but it seemeth,
your Studies reached a higher straine, for you have learned, and know
verie skilfullie, how to steale mens hearts from them, yea, to bereave
them of their verie soules, which I perceyve that you can farre better
doe, then any man else living to my knowledge, only by your wise,
witty, judicious, and more then meere _Mercurian_ eloquence, such as I
never heard before.

The Physitian interrupting him bashfully, turned himselfe unto _Bruno_,
saying. Did not I tell thee this before? Observe what a notable thing
it is, to speake well, and to frequent the company of the Wise. A
thousand other, meerely blockes and dullardes by Nature, could never
so soone comprehend all the particularities of my knowledge, as this
honest and apprehensive man hath done. Thou didst not search into it
halfe so soone, nor (indeed) did I expresse a quarter of my ingenuity
to thee, as (since his comming) hath prodigally flowne from me.

Well do I remember thy words, that _Buffalmaco_ delighted to be among
men of Wisedome: and have I not now fitted him unto his owne desire?
How thinkest thou _Bruno_? The best (quoth _Bruno_) that any man living
in the World could do. Ah worthy _Buffalmaco_, answered the Physitian:
What wouldst thou then have sayde, if thou hadst seene me at _Bologna_,
where there was neyther great nor small, Doctor nor Scholler, but
thought themselves happy by being in my company? If I ought any debts,
I discharged them with my very wittie words; and whensoever I spake,
I could set them al on a hearty laughter, so much pleasure they tooke
in hearing mee. And when I departed thence, no men in the world could
bee more sorrowfull then they, as desiring nothing more then my
remayning among them, which they expressed so apparantly, that they
made humble suite and intercession to me, to bee cheefe Reader of the
Physicke-Lecture, to all the Schollers studying our profession. But I
could not be so perswaded, because my minde was wholly addicted hither,
to enjoy those Goods, Landes, and Inheritances, belonging lineally to
them of our house, and accordingly I did performe it.

How now _Buffalmaco_ (quoth _Bruno_) what is thine opinion now? Thou
wouldst not beleeve me when I told thee, that there is not a Doctor in
all these parts, more skilfull in distinguishing the Urine of an Asse,
from any other, then this most expert and singular man: and I dare
boldly maintaine it, that his fellow is not to bee found, from hence
to the very gates of _Paris_. Go then, and doe the uttermost endeavour
that thou canst, to grant the request which he hath made.

Beleeve me _Buffalmaco_, saide the Doctor, _Bruno_ hath spoken nothing
but truth, for I am scarsely knowne heere in this City, where (for
the most part) they are all grosse-witted people, rather then any jot
judicious; but I would thou hadst seene me among the Doctors, in manner
as I was wont to be. Introth Sire, replyed _Buffalmaco_, you are my
much more Learned then ever I imagined, in which respect, speaking unto
you as it becommeth me, to a man so excellent in wit and understanding:
I dare assure you that (without any faile) I will procure you to be one
of our Company.

After this promise thus made, the good cheare, favors and kindnesses
done by the Doctor to them, was beyond the compasse of all relation:
whereof they made no more then a meere mockery, flouting him to his
face, and yet his Wisedome could not discerne it. Moreover, they
promised, that they would give him to Wife, the faire Countesse _di
Civillari_, who was the onely goodliest creature to be found in the
whole _Culattario_ of humane generation. The Doctor demanded, what
Countesse that was? Oh Sir, answered _Buffalmaco_, she is a great
Lady, one worthy to have issue by; and few houses are there in the
world, where she hath not some jurisdiction and command: so that not
meane people onely, but even the greatest Lords, at the sound of her
Trumpets, do very gladlie pay her tribute. And I dare boldly affirme,
that whensoever shee walketh to any place, shee yeeldeth a hot and
sensible favour, albeit she keepeth most of all close. Yet once every
night, shee duely observeth it (as a Custome) to passe from her owne
house, to bathe her feete in the River of _Arno_, and take a little
of the sweeter Ayre: albeit her continuall residencie, is within the
Kingdome of _Laterino_.

She seldome walketh abroad, but goeth with her attending Officers about
her, who (for more demonstration of her greatnesse) do carry the Rod
and plummet of Lead. Store of her Lords and Barons are every where to
be seene; as the _Tamagaino della porta, Don Meta di Sirropa; Manico di
Scopa; Signior Squacchera,_ and others beside, who are (as I suppose)
oftentimes your daily visitants, when of necessity they must be
remembred. All our care and courtesie shall extend so farre (if we doe
not faile in our enterprize) to leave you in the armes of so Majestick
a Ladie, quite forgetting hir of _Cacavinciglia_.

The Physitian, who was borne and brought up at _Bologna_, and therefore
understoode not these _Florentine_ tearmes: became fully contented
to enjoy the Ladie; and, within some few dayes following, the
Painters brought him tydings, that they had prepared the way for his
entertainment into the Societie of Rovers. The day being come, when the
supposed assembly was to be made the night following: the Physitian
invited them both to dinner; when he demanding, what provision he shold
make for his entrance into their company, _Buffalmaco_ returned him
this answer, whereto he gave very heedfull attention.

Master Doctor, you must be first of all, strongly armed with resolution
and confidence: for if you be not, you may not only receyve hindrance,
but also do us great harme beside: and now you shall heare, in what
manner, and how you are to be bold and constant. You must procure the
meanes, this instant night, when all the people are in their soundest
sleepe, to stand upon one of those high exalted Tombs or Monuments,
which are in the Churchyard of _Santa Maria Novella_, with the very
fairest gowne you have about you, because you may appeare in the more
honorable condition, before the assembly seated together, and likewise
to make good our speeches already delivered of you, concerning your
qualitie & profession: that the Countesse, perceyving you to bee a
woorthie Gentlemen, may have you first honoured with the Bathe, and
afterward Knighted at her owne cost and charge. But you must continue
still upon the Tombe (dreadlesse of nightly apparitions & visions)
untill such time as we send for you.

And for your better information in every particulare; a Beast, blacke
and horned, but of no great stature, will come to fetch you: perhaps he
will use some gastly noises, straunge leapes, and loftie trickes, onely
to terrifie and affright you: but when he perceiveth that he cannot
daunt you, hee will gently come neere you, which when he hath done,
you may descend from off the Tombe; and, without naming or thinking
on God, or any of his Saintes, mount boldly on his backe, for he will
stand ready to receive you. Being so seated, crosse your armes over
your brest, without presuming to touch or handle the Beast, for he will
carry you thence softly, and so bring you along to the company. But if
in all this time of your travaile, you call on heaven, any Saint, or
bee possessed with the least thought of feare: I must plainely tell
you, that either hee will cast you dangerously, or throw you into some
noysom place. And therefore, if you know your selfe, not to be of a
constant courage, and sprightly bold, to undertake such an adventure as
this: never presume any further, because you may doe us a great deale
of injurie, without any gaine or benefite to your selfe, but rather
such wrong, as we would be very sorry should happen unto so deere a

Alas honest _Buffalmaco_, answered the Physitian, thou art not
halfe acquainted with me as yet: because I walke with gloves upon
my hands, and in a long Gowne, thou perhappes doest imagine mee a
faint-hearted fellow. If thou didst know, what I have heeretofore done
at _Bologna_ in the night time, when I and my Consorts went to visite
pretty wenches, thou wouldst wonder at my couragious attempts. As I
am a Gentleman, one night, we met with a young _Bona Roba_, a paltry
greene-sicknesse baggage, scarsely above a Cubite in height, & because
she refused to go with us willingly, I gave her a kicke on the bum,
and spurnde her more then a Crosse-bowe shoote in distance from me,
and made her walke with us whether she would, or no. Another time I
remember, when having no other company but my boy, I went thorow the
Churchyard of the Fryars Minors, after the sounding of _Ave Maria_: a
woman hadde beene buried there the very same day, and yet I was not a
jotte affraid.

Wherefore, never be distrustfull of mee, but resolvedly builde upon my
courage. And in regard of my more honourable entertainment, I will then
weare my Scarlet Gowne and Hood, wherein I receyved my graduation; and
then do both of you observe, what a rejoycing will be among the whole
company, at the entertaining of such as a man as I am, enough to create
me Captaine immediatly. You shall perceive also how the case will go,
after I have beene there but a while, in regard that the Countesse
(having as yet never seene me) is so deepely enamored of mee: she
cannot choose but bestow the Bathe and Knight-hood on me, which shee
shall have the more honour of, in regard I am well able to maintaine
it, therefore referre all the rest to mee, and never misdoubt your
injurie or mine.

Spoken like a Gallant, replyed _Buffalmaco_, and I feare not now, but
we shall winne credite by your company. But be carefull I pray you,
that you make not a mockery of us, and come not at all, or fayle to be
there, when the Beast shall be sent for you; I speake it the rather,
because it is cold weather, and you Gentlemen Physitians can hardly
endure it. You are carefull of mee (quoth the Doctor) and I thanke
you for it, but I applaud my faire Starres, I am none of your nice or
easie-frozen fellowes, because cold weather is very familiar to me.
I dare assure you, when I arise in the night time for that naturall
office whereto all men are subject, I weare no warmer defence, then my
thin wastcoat over my shirt, and finde it sufficient for the coldest
weather at any time.

When _Bruno_ and _Buffalmaco_ had taken their leave, the Physitian, so
soone as night drew neere, used many apt excuses to his wife, stealing
forth his Scarlet Gowne and Hood unseene of any, wherewith being
clothed: at the time appointed, he got upon one of the Marble Tombes,
staying there (quaking with cold) awaiting when the Beast should come.
_Buffalmaco_, being a lusty tall man of person, had got an ugly masking
suite, such as are made use of in Tragedies and Playes, the out-side
being of black shagged haire, wherewith being cloathed, he seemed like
a strange deformed Beare, and a Divels vizard over his face, with two
gastly horrible hornes, and thus disguised, _Bruno_ following him, they
went to behold the issue of the businesse, so farre as the new Market
place, closely adjoining to _Santa Maria Novella_.

Having espyed Master Doctor uppon the Tombe, _Buffalmaco_ in his
misshapen habite, began to bound, leape, and carriere, snuffling and
blowing in mad and raging manner: which when the Physitian saw, his
haire stood on end, he quaked and trembled, as being more fearfull then
a Woman, wishing himselfe at home againe in his house, rather then to
behold a sight so dreadfull. But because he was come forth, and had
such an earnest desire, to see the wonders related to him; he made
himselfe so coragious as possibly he could, and bare all out in formall
manner. After that _Buffalmaco_ had (an indifferent while) plaide his
horse-trickes, ramping and stamping somewhat strangely: seeming as
become of much milder temper, he went neere to the Tomb whereon the
Physitian stood, and there appeared to stay contentedly.

Master Doctor, trembling and quaking still extreamely, was so farre
dismayed, as he knew not what was best to be done, either to mount
on the beasts backe, or not to mount at all. In the end, thinking no
harme could happen to him, if he were once mounted, with the second
feare, hee expelled the former, and descending downe softly from the
Tombs, mounted on the beast, saying out alowde: God, Saint Dominicke,
and my good Angell helpe to defend mee. Seating himselfe so well as he
could, but trembling still exceedingly; he crossed his armes over his
stomacke, according to the Lesson given him.

Then did _Buffalmaco_ shape his course in milde manner, toward _Santa
Maria della Scala_, and groping to finde his way in the darke, went
on so farre as the Sisters of _Ripole_, commonly called the _Virgin
Sanctuary_. Not farre off from thence, were divers trenches & ditches,
wherein such men as are imployed in necessary night-services, used
to empty the Countesse _di Civillari_, and afterward imployed it for
manuring Husbandmens grounds. _Buffalmaco_, being come neere one of
them, he stayed to breath himselfe awhile, and then catching fast hold
on one of the Doctours feete, raysed him somewhat higher on his back,
for the easier discharging of his burthen, and so pitched him (with his
head forwardes) into the Lay-stall.

Then began he to make a dreadfull kinde of noise, stamping and trampling
with his feete, passing backe againe to _Santa Maria della Scala_,
and to _Prato d'Ognissanti_, where hee met with _Bruno_, who was
constrained to forsake him, because he could not refraine from lowde
Laughter, then both together went backe once more, to see how the
Physitian would behave himselfe, being so sweetely embrued.

Master Doctor, seeing himselfe to bee in such an abhominable stinking
place, laboured with all his utmost endeavour, to get himself released
thence: but the more he contended and strove for getting forth, he
plunged himselfe the further in, being most pitifully myred from head
to foot, sighing and sorrowing extraordinarily, because much of the
foule water entred in at his mouth. In the end, being forced to leave
his hood behinde him, scrambling both with his hands and feet, he got
landing out of his stinking Labyrinth, & having no other means, home
he returned to his own house, where knocking at the doore, he was at
length admitted entrance. The doore being scarse made fast againe after
his letting in, _Buffalmaco_ and _Bruno_ were there arrived, listning
how M. Doctor should bee welcomd home by his angry wife: who scolding
and railing at him with wonderfull impatience, gave him most hard and
bitter speeches, terming him the vilest man living.

Where have you bin Sir? quoth she. Are you becom** a night-walker after
other Women? And could no worse garments serve your turne, but your
Doctors gown of Scarlet? Am I to suffer this behaviour? Or am not I
sufficient to content you, but you must be longing after change? I
would thou hadst bin stifled in that foule filth, where thy fouler life
did justly cast thee. Behold goodly Master Doctor of the Leystall,
who being maried to an honest woman must yet go abroad in the night
time, insatiatly lusting after whores and harlots. With these and the
like intemperate speeches, she ceased not to afflict and torment him,
till the night was almost spent, and the Doctor brought into a sweeter

The next morning, _Bruno_ and _Buffalmaco_, having colourd their bodyes
with a strange kinde of painting, resembling blisters, swellings, and
bruises, as if they had bin extreamly beaten; came to the Physitians
house, finding him to be newly up, al the house yet smelling of his
foule savour (although it had bin very well perfumed) and being
admitted to him in the Garden, hee welcommed them with the mornings
salutations. But _Bruno_ and _Buffalmaco_ (being otherwise provided for
him) delivering stearne and angry lookes, stamping and chafing, _Bruno_
thus replyed.

Never speake so faire and flattering to us, for we are moved beyond all
compasse of patience. All misfortunes in the worlde fall upon you, and
an evill death may you dye, like the most false and perfidious Traitor
living on the earth. We must beate our braines, and move all our most
endeared friends, onely for your honor and advancement: while wee were
well neere starved to death in the cold like Dogs, and, by your breach
of promise, have bin this night so extreamly beaten, as if (like Asses)
we should have beene driven to _Rome_.

But that which is most greevous of all, is danger of excluding out of
the Society, where wee tooke good order for your admittance, and for
your most honourable entertainment. If you will not credit us, behold
our bodies, and let your owne eyes be witnesses, in what cruell manner
we have bin beaten. So taking him aside under the Gallery, where they
might not be discovered by over-much light, they opened their bosomes,
shewed him their painted bodies, and sodainly closed them up againe.

The Physitian laboured to excuse himselfe, declaring his misfortunes at
large, and into what a filthy place he was throwne. It maketh no matter
(answered _Buffalmaco_) I would you had bin throwen from off the Bridge
into _Arno_, where you might have beene recommended to the Divell, and
all his Saints. Did not I tell you so much before. In good sadnesse
(quoth the Doctor) I neyther commended my selfe to God, nor any of
his Saints. How? sayde _Buffalmaco_, I am sure you will maintaine an
untrueth, you used a kinde of recommendation: for our messenger told
us, that you talked of God, S. _Dominicke_, and your good Angell, whom
you desired to assist you, being so affrighted with feare, that you
trembled like a leafe upon a tree, not knowing indeede where you were.
Thus have you unfaithfully dealt with us, as never any man shall doe
the like againe, in seeking honour, and losing it through your own

Master Doctor humbly entreated pardon, and that they would not revile
him any more, labouring to appease them by the best words he could use,
as fearing least they should publish this great disgrace of him. And
whereas (before) he gave them gracious welcomes; now he redoubled them
with farre greater courtesies, feasting them daily at his own table,
and evermore delighting in their company. Thus (as you have heard) two
poore Painters of _Florence_, taught Master Doctor better Wit, then all
the Learned at _Bologna_.

_A Cicilian Courtezane, named Madame_ Biancafiore, _by her craftie wit
and policie, deceived a young Merchant, called_ Salabetto, _of all the
money he had taken for his Wares at_ Palermo. _Afterward, he making
shew of comming hither againe, with farre richer Merchandises then hee
brought before: made the meanes to borrow a great summe of Money of
her, leaving her so base a pawne, as well requited her for her former

The Tenth Novell.

_Whereby appeareth, that such as meet with cunning Harlots, and suffer
themselves to be deceived by them: must sharpen their Wits, to make
them requitall in the selfesame kinde._

Needlesse it were to question, whether the Novell related by the
Queene, in divers passages thereof, mooved the Ladies to hearty
laughter, and likewise to compassionate sighes and teares; as pittying
Madame _Helena_ in her hard misfortune, and yet applauding the Scholler
for his just revenge. But the discourse being ended, _Dioneus_, who
knew it was his Office to be the last speaker every day, after silence
was commanded, he began in this manner.

Worthy Ladies, it is a matter very manifest, that deceits do appeare
so much the more pleasing, when (by the selfe-same meanes) the subtle
deceyver is artificially deceived. In which respect, though you all
have reported very singular deceits: yet I meane to tel you one, that
may prove as pleasing to you, as any of your owne. And so much the
rather, because the woman deceived, was a great and cunning Mistris
in beguiling others; equalling (if not excelling) any of your former

It hath bene observed heretofore, and (happily) at this very day it is
as frequent, that in all Cities and Townes upon the Sea-coasts, having
Ports for the benefit and venting Merchandises; Merchants use to bring
their wealthy laden Vessels thither. And when they unlade any Ship of
great fraught, there are prepared Store-houses, which in many places
are called _Magazines_ or _Doganaes_, at the charge of the Communalty,
or Lord of the Towne or City, for the use whereof, they receive yearly
gain and benefit. Into those warehouses, they deliver (under writing,
and to the owners of them in especiall charge) all their goods and
merchandises, of what price or valew soever they are.

Such as be the Owners of these Magazines, when the Wares are thus
stored uppe in them, doe safely locke them up there with their keyes,
having first registred downe truly all the goods, in the Register
belonging to the Custome-house, that the Merchant may have a just
account rendred him, and the rights payed to the Custome-house,
according to the Register, and as they are either in part, or in all
made sale of.

Brokers are continually there attending, being informed in the quality
of the Merchandises stored, and likewise to what Merchants they
appertaine: by meanes of these men, and according as the goods come
to their hands, they devise to have them exchaunged, trucked, vented,
and such other kinds of dispatches, answerable to the mens minds, and
worth of the Commodities. As in many other Kingdomes and Countries, so
was this custome observed at _Palermo_ in _Sicily_, where likewise then
were, and (no doubt) now a-dayes are, store of Women, faire and comely
of person, but yet vowed enemies to honesty.

Neverthelesse, by such as know them not, they are held and reputed to
be blamelesse Women, and by yeilding their bodyes unto generall use,
are the occasion of infinite misfortunes to men. For so soone as they
espy a Merchant-stranger there arrived, they win information from the
Booke belonging to the Magazin, what wares are therein stored, of what
valew they bee, and who is the Owner of them. Afterwards, by amorous
actions, and affable speeches, they allure yong Merchants to take
knowledge of them, to bee familiar in their company, till from some
they get most part of their wealth, from others all. Nay, divers have
gone so farre, as to make Port-sale of Ship, Goods, and Person, so
cunningly they have bene shaven by these Barbers, and yet without any

It came to passe, and no long time since, that a young _Florentine_ of
ours, named _Niccolo da Cignano_, but more usually called _Salabetto_,
imployed as Factor for his Maister, arrived at _Palermo_; his Ship
stored with many Woollen Cloathes, a remainder of such as had bin sold
at the Mart of _Salerno_, amounting in valew to above five hundred
Florines of Gold. When he had given in his packet to the Custome-house,
and made them up safe in his Ware-house; without making shew of
desiring any speedy dispatch, he delighted to view all parts of the
City, as mens minds are continuallie addicted to Novelties. He being
a very faire and affable yong man, easie to kindle affection in a
very modest eie: it fortuned, that a Courtezane, one of our before
remembred shavers, who termed hir selfe Madame _Biancafiore_, having
heard somewhat concerning his affairs, beganne to dart amorous glances
at him. Which the indiscreete youth perceyving, and thinking her to be
some great Lady: began also to grow halfe perswaded, that his comely
person was pleasing to her, and therefore he would carrie this good
fortune of his somewhat cautelously.

Without imparting his mind unto any one, he would daily passe too and
fro before her doore; which she observing, and having indifferently
wounded him with her wanton piercing lookes: she began to use the first
tricke of her Trade, by pretending her enflamed affection towards him,
which made her pine and consume away in care, except he might be moved
to pitty her. Whereupon, she sent one of her _Pandoraes_ unto him,
perfectly instructed in the Art of a _Maquerella_, who (after many
cunning counterfetted sighes, and teares, which she had alwayes ready
at command) told him; that his comely person and compleate perfections,
had so wounded the very soule of her Mistresse, as she could enjoy
no rest in any place, either by day or night. In regard whereof, she
desired (above all things else) to meete with him privately in a Bathe:
with which Wordes, she straightway tooke a Ring forth of her pursse,
and in most humble manner, delivered it unto him, as a token from her

_Salabetto_ having heard this Message, was the onely joyfull man that
could be: and having receyved the Ring, looking on it advisedly; first
kissed it, and then put it upon his finger. Then in answer to the
Messenger, he sayd: That if her Mistresse _Biancafiore_ affected him,
she sustained no losse thereby, in regard he loved her as fervently,
and was ready to be commanded by her, at any time whensoever she

She having delivered this message to her Mistresse, was presently
returned backe againe to him, to let him understand, in which of the
Bathes she meant to meet him, on the next morrow in the evening. This
being counsell for himselfe onely to keepe, he imparted it not to any
friend whatsoever; but when the houre for their meeting was come, he
went unto the place where he was appointed, a Bathe (belike) best
agreeing with such businesse.

Not long had he taried there, but two Women slaves came laden to him,
the one bearing a Mattresse of fine Fustian on hir head, and the other
a great Basket filled with many things. Having spred the Mattresse in
a faire Chamber on a Couch-bed, they covered it with delicate white
Linnen sheets, all about embroidred with faire Fringes of gold, then
laid they on costly quilts of rich Silkes, artificially wrought with
gold and silver knots, having pearles and precious stones interwoven
among them, and two such rich pillowes, as sildome before had the
like bin seene. _Salabetto_ putting off his garments, entred the Bath
prepared for him, where the two Slaves washed his body very neatly.
Soone after came _Biancafiore_ hirselfe, attended on by two other
women slaves, and seeing _Salabetto_ in the Bathe; making him a lowly
reverence, breathing forth infinite dissembled sighes, and teares
trickling downe her cheekes, kissing and embracing him, thus she spake.

I know not what man else in the worlde, beside thy selfe, could have
the power to bring me hither: the fire flew from thy faire eies (O thou
incompareable lovely _Tuscane_) that melted my soule, and makes me
onely live at thy command. Then hurling off her light wearing garment
(because she came prepared for the purpose) shee stept into the bathe
to him, and, not permitting the Slaves a-while to come neere, none
but her selfe must now lave his body, with Muske compounded Sope and
Gilly-floures. Afterward, the slaves washed both him and her, bringing
two goodly sheetes, softe and white, yeelding such a delicate smell of
Roses, even as if they had bene made of Rose-leaves. In the one, they
folded _Salabetto_, and her in the other, and so conveyed them on their
shoulders unto the prepared Bed-Couch, where because they should not
sweate any longer, they tooke the sheets from about them, and laid them
gently in the bed.

Then they opened the Basket, wherein were divers goodly Silver bottles,
some filled with Rosewaters, others with flowers of Orenges, and Waters
distilled of Gelsomine, Muske, and Amber-Greece, wherewith (againe) the
slaves bathed their bodyes in the bed, & afterward presented them with
variety of Comfites, as also very precious Wines, serving them in stead
of a little Collation. _Salabetto_ supposed himself to be in Paradise:
for this appeared to be no earthly joy, bestowing a thousand gladsome
gazes on her, who (questionlesse) was a most beautifull creature, and
the tarrying of the Slaves, seemed millions of yeares to him, that
hee might more freely embrace his _Biancafiore_. Leaving a Waxe Taper
lighted in the Chamber, the slaves departed, and then shee sweetly
embracing _Salabetto_, bestowed those further favours on him, which hee
came for, and she was not squeamish in the affoording; whereof he was
exceedingly joyfull, because he imagined, that they proceeded from the
integrity of her affection towards him.

When she thought it convenient time to depart thence, the slaves
returned; they cloathed themselves, and had a Banquet standing ready
prepared for them; where-with they cheared their wearyed spirits, after
they had first washed in odorifferous waters. At parting: _Salabetto_
(quoth she) whensoever thy leysures shall best serve thee, I will
repute it as my cheefest happinesse, that thou wilt accept a Supper
and Lodging in my house, which let it be this instant night, if thou
canst. He being absolutely caught, both by hir beauty and flattering
behaviour: beleeved faithfully, that he was as intirely beloved of her,
as the heart is of the body: whereuppon hee thus answered. Madame,
whatsoever pleaseth you, must needes be much more acceptable unto
mee: and therefore, not onely may command my service this night, but
likewise the whole employment of my life, to be onely yours in my very
best studies and endeavours.

No sooner did she heare this answer, but she returned home to her
owne house, which she decked in most sumptuous manner, and also made
ready a costly Supper, expecting the arrivall of _Salabetto_: who
when the darke night was indifferently well entred, went thither, and
was welcommed with wonderfull kindnesse, wanting no costly Wines and
Delicates all the Supper while. Being afterward conducted into a goodly
Chamber, he smelt there admirable sweete senting savours, such as might
well beseeme a Princes Pallace. He beheld a most costly Bed, and very
rich furniture round about the roome: which when he had duly considered
to himself, he was constantly perswaded, that she was a Lady of infinit
wealth. And although he had heard divers flying reports concerning her
life, yet hee would not credite any thing amisse of her, for albeit
she might (perhappes) beguile some other; yet shee affected him (he
thought) in better manner, and no such misfortune could happen to him.

Having spent all the night with her in wanton dalliances, & being risen
in the morning; to enflame his affection more and more towards her,
and to prevent any ill opinion he might conceyve of her, she bestowed
a rich and costly Girdle on him, as also a pursse most curiously
wrought, saying to him. My sweet _Salabetto_, with these testimonies of
my true affection to thee, I give thee faithfully to understand, that
as my person is onely subjected thine; so this house and all the riches
in it, remaineth absolutely at thy disposition, or whatsoever hereafter
shall happen within the compasse of my power.

He being not a little proud of this her bountifull offer (having never
bestowed any gift on her, because by no meanes shee would admit it)
after many sweet kisses and embraces; departed thence, to the place
where the Merchants usually frequented: resorting to her (from time to
time) as occasion served, and paying not one single peny for all his
wanton pleasure, by which cunning baytes (at length) she caught him.

It came to passe, that having made sale of all his Clothes, whereby
hee had great gaines, and the moneyes justly payed him at the times
appointed: _Biancafiore_ got intelligence thereof; yet not by him, but
from one of the Brokers. _Salabetto_ comming one night to sup with
her, she embraced and kissed him as she was wont to doe, and seemed
so wonderfully addicted in love to him, even as if shee would have
dyed with delight in his armes. Instantly, shee would needs bestow two
goodly gilt standing Cuppes on him, which _Salabetto_ by no meanes
would receive, because she had formerly bin very bountifull to him,
to above the value of an hundred Crowns, and yet she would not take
of him so much as a mite. At length, pressing still more tokens of
her love and bounty on him, which he as courteously denied, as she
kindly offered: one of her Women-slaves (as shee had before cunningly
appointed) sodainely calling her, forthwith she departed out of her
Chamber. And when she had continued a pretty while absent, she returned
againe weeping; and throwing her selfe downe upon her Pallet, breathed
forth such sighes and wofull lamentations, as no Woman could possibly
doe the like.

_Salabetto_ amazedly wondering thereat, tooke her in his Armes, and
weeping also with her, said. Alas my deare Love, what sodain accident
hath befalne you, to urge this lamentable alteration? If you love me,
hide it not from me. After he had often entreated her in this manner,
casting her armes about his necke, and sighing as if her heart would
breake, thus she replyed.

Ah _Salabetto_, the onely Jewell of my joy on earth, I knowe not what
to do, or say, for (even now) I received Letters from _Messina_,
wherein my Brother writes to me, that although it cost the sale of
all my goods, or whatsoever else I have beside, I must (within eight
dayes space) not faile to send him a thousand Florins of gold, or else
he must have his head smitten off, and I know not by what meanes to
procure them so soone. For, if the limitation of fifteene dayes might
serve the turne; I could borrow them in a place, where I can command a
farre greater summe, or else I would sell** some part of our Lands. But
beeing no way able to furnish him so soone, I would I had died before
I heard these dismall tydings. And in the uttering of these words, she
graced them with such cunning dissembled sorrow, as if she had meant
truly indeed.

_Salabetto_, in whom the fury of his amorous flames, had consumed
a great part of his necessary understanding; beleeving these
counterfetted tears and complaints of hers, to proceed from an honest
meaning soule; rashly and foolishly thus replied. Deare _Biancafiore_,
I cannot furnish you with a thousand golden Florines, but am able to
lend you five hundred, if I were sure of their repayment at fifteene
dayes, wherein you are highly beholding to Fortune, that I have made
sale of all my Cloathes; which if they had lyen still on my hand, my
power could not stretch to lend you five Florines. Alas deare heart
(quoth she) would you be in such want of money, and hide it from her
that loves you so loyally? Why did you not make your need knowne to
me? Although I am not furnished of a thousand Florines; yet I have
alwaies ready three or foure hundred by me, to do any kinde office for
my friend. In thus wronging me, you have robd me of all boldnes, to
presume upon your offer made me. _Salabetto_, far faster inveigled by
these words then before, said. Let not my folly (bright _Biancafiore_)
cause you to refuse my friendly offer, in such a case of extreme
necessity: I have them ready prepared for you, and am heartily sorry,
that my power cannot furnish you with the whole summe.

Then catching him fast in her armes, thus she answered. Now I plainly
perceive, my dearest _Salabetto_, that the love thou bearest me is true
and perfect; when, without expectation of being requested, thou art
readie to succour me in such an urgent neede, & with so faire a summe
of Florines. Sufficiently was I thine owne before, but now am much more
ingaged by so high deserving; with this particular acknowledgement
for ever, that my Brothers head was redeemed by thy goodnesse onely.
Heaven beareth me record, how unwilling I am to be beholding in this
kind, considring that you are a Merchant, & Merchants furnish al their
affairs with ready monis: but seeing necessity constraineth me, and
I make no doubt of repaiment at the time appointed: I shall the more
boldly accept your kindnes, with this absolute promise beside, that I
will rather sell all the houses I have, then breake my honest word with

Counterfeit teares still drayning downe her cheeks, and _Salabetto_
kindly comforting her; he continued there with hir all that night, to
expresse himselfe her most liberall servant. And, without expecting
any more requesting, the next morning he brought her the five hundred
Florines, which she received with a laughing heart, but outward
dissembled weeping eies; _Salabetto_ never demanding any other
security, but onely her single promise.

_Biancafiore_, having thus received the five hundred Florines, the
indiction of the Almanacke began to alter: and whereas (before)
_Salabetto_ could come see her whensoever he pleased, many occasions
now happened, whereby he came seven times for once, and yet his
entrance was scarsely admitted, neither was his entertainment so
affable, or his cheare so bountifull, as in his former accesses
thither. Moreover, when the time for repaiment was come, yea a moneth
or two over-past, and he demanded to have his money; hee could have
nothing but words for paiment. Now he began to consider on the
craft and cunning of this wicked Woman, as also his owne shallow
understanding, knowing he could make no proofe of his debt, but what
her selfe listed to say, having neither witnes, specialty, bill or bond
to shew: which made his folly so shamefull to him, that he durst not
complaine to any person, because he had received some advertisements
before, whereto he wold by no means listen, and now should have no
other amends, but publike infamie, scorne and disgrace, which made him
almost weary of his life, and much to bemoane his owne unhappinesse. He
received also divers Letters from his Master, to make returne of the
500. Florines over by way of banke, according as he had used to do: but
nowe could performe no such matter.

Hereupon, because his error should not be discovered, he departed
in a small vessell thence, not making for _Pisa_, as he should have
done, but directly for _Naples_ hee shaped his course. At that instant
lodged there, _Don Pietro della Canigiano_, Treasurer of the Empresse
of _Constantinople_, a man of great wisedome and understanding, as
also very ingenious and politike, he being an especiall Favourer of
_Salabetto_ and all his friendes, which made him presume the more
boldly (being urged thereto by meere necessity, the best corrector of
wandering wits) to acquaint him with his lamentable misfortune, in
every particular as it had hapned, requesting his aid and advice, how
he might best weare out the rest of his dayes, because hee never meant
to visit _Florence_ any more.

_Canigiano_ being much displeased at the repetition of his Follie,
sharply reproved him, saying. Thou hast done leudly, in carying thy
selfe so loosely, and spending thy Masters goods so carelesly, which
though I cannot truly tearme spent, but rather art meerely cousened
and cheated of them, yet thou seest at what a deere rate thou hast
purchased pleasure, which yet is not utterly helplesse, but may by
one meanes or other be recovered. And being a man of woonderfull
apprehension, advised him instantly what was to bee done, furnishing
him also with a summe of money, wherewith to adventure a second losse,
in hope of recovering the first againe: he caused divers Packes to
be well bound up, with the Merchants markes orderly made on them,
and bought about twenty Buttes or Barrelles, all filled (as it were)
with Oyle, and these pretended commodities being shipt, _Salabetto_
returned with them to _Palermo_. Where having given in his packets to
the Custome-house, and entred them all under his owne name, as being
both owner and factor: all his Wares were lockt up in his _Magazine_,**
with open publication, that he would not vent any of them, before other
merchandises (which he daily expected) were there also arrived.

_Biancafiore_ having heard thereof, and understanding withall, that he
had brought Merchandises now with him, amounting to above two thousand
Florins, staying also in expectation of other commodities, valewing
better then three thousand more, she beganne to consider with her
selfe, that she had not yet gotten money enough from him, and therefore
would cast a figure for a farre bigger booty. Which that she might the
more fairely effect, without so much as an imagination of the least
mistrust: she would repay him backe his five hundred Florines, to winne
from him a larger portion of two or three thousand at the least, and
having thus setled her determination, she sent to have him come speake
with her. _Salabetto_, having bene soundly bitten before, and therefore
the better warranted from the like ranckling teeth; willingly went to
her, not shewing any signe of former discontent: & she, seeming as if
she knew nothing of the wealth he brought with him; gracing him in as
loving manner as ever she had done, thus she spake.

I am sure _Salabetto_, you are angry with mee, because I restored
not your Florines at my promised day. _Salabetto_ smiling, presently
answered. Beleeve me Lady (quoth he) it did a little distast me, even
as I could have bin offended with him, that should plucke out my heart
to bestow it on you, if it would yeelde you any contentment. But to
let you know unfainedly, how much I am incensed with anger against
you: such and so great is the affection I beare you, that I have solde
the better part of my whole estate, converting the same into Wealthy
Merchandises, which I have alreadie brought hither with mee, and
valewing above two thousand Florines, all which are stored up in in my
_Magazine_. There must they remaine, till another Ship come forth of
the Western parts, wherein I have a much greater adventure, amounting
unto more then three thousand Florines. And my purpose is, to make
my aboade heere in this City, which hath won the sole possession
of my heart, onely in regard of my _Biancafiore_, to whom I am so
intirely devoted, as both my selfe, and whatsoever else is mine (now or
hereafter) is dedicated onely to her service; whereto thus she replyed.

Now trust me _Salabetto_, whatsoever redoundeth to thy good and
benefite, is the cheefest comfort of my soule, in regard I prize thy
love dearer then mine owne life, and am most joyfull of thy returne
hither againe; but much more of thy still abiding heere, because I
intend to live onely with thee, so soone as I have taken order for
some businesse of import. In the meane while, let me entreate thee
to hold me excused, because before thy departure hence, thou camest
sometimes to see me, without thy entrance admitted; and other-whiles
againe, found not such friendly entertainement, as formerly had bene
affoorded. But indeede, and above all the rest, in not re-paying thy
money according to my promise. But consider good _Salabetto_, in what
great trouble and affliction of minde I then was, both in regard of
my Brothers danger, and other important occurrences beside, which
molestations do much distract the senses, and hinder kinde courtesies,
which otherwise would bee extended liberally.

Last of all consider also, how difficult a thing it is for a woman, so
sodainly to raise the summe of a thousand golden Florines, when one
friend promiseth, and performeth not; another protesteth, yet hath
no such meaning; a third sweareth, and yet proveth a false Lyar: so
that by being thus ungently used, a breach is made betweene the best
friends** living. From hence it proceeded, and no other defect else,
that I made not due returne of your five hundred Florins. No sooner
were you departed hence, but I had them readie, and as many more, and
could I have knowne whither to send them, they had bene with you long
time since, which because I could not (by any meanes) compasse, I kept
them still for you in continuall readinesse, as hoping of your comming
hither againe. So causing a purse to be brought, wherein the same
Florines were, which hee had delivered her; she gave it into his hand,
and prayed him to count them over, whether there were so many, or no.

Never was _Salabettoes_ heart halfe so joyfull before; and having
counted them, found them to be his owne five hundred Florines: then,
putting them up into his pocket, he saide. Comfort of my life, Full
well I know that whatsoever you have saide, is most certaine; but
let us talke no more of falshood in friendship, or casuall accidents
happening unexpected: you have dealt with mee like a most loyall
Mistresse, and heere I protest unfainedly to you, that as well
in respect of this kinde courtesie, as also the constancy of mine
affection to you, you cannot request hereafter a far greater summe of
me, to supply any necessarie occasion of yours; but (if my power can
performe it) you shall assuredly finde it certaine: make proofe thereof
whensoever you please, after my other goods are Landed, and I have
established my estate here in your City.

Having in this manner renewed his wonted amity with her, and with words
farre enough off from all further meaning: _Salabetto_ began againe
to frequent her company, she expressing all former familiarity, and
shewing her selfe as lavishly bountifull to him, in all respects as
before she had done, nay, many times in more magnificent manner.

But he intending to punish her notorious trechery towards him, when
she left him as an open scorne to the World, wounded with disgrace,
and quite out of credit with all his friends: she having (on a day)
solemnly invited him, to suppe and lodge in her house all night;
he went, both with sad and melancholly lookes, seeming as overcome
with extreamity of sorrow. _Biancafiore_ mervayling at this strange
alteration in him, sweetly kissing and embracing him: would needs know
the reason of his passionate affliction, & he permitting her to urge
the question oftentimes together, without returning any direct answere;
to quit her in her kind, and with coine of her owne stampe, after a few
dissembled sighes, he began in this manner.

Ah my dearest Love, I am utterly undone, because the Shippe containing
the rest of mine expected Merchandises, is taken by the Pyrates of
_Monago_, and put to the ransome of tenne thousand Florines of Gold,
and my part particularly, is to pay one thousand. At this instant I am
utterly destitute of money, because the five hundred Florines which I
received of you, I sent hence the next daie day following to _Naples_,
to buy more cloathes, which likewise are to be sent hither. And if I
should now make sale of the Merchandizes in my Magazine (the time of
generall utterance being not yet come) I shall not make a pennyworth
for a penny. And my misfortune is the greater, because I am not so well
knowne heere in your City, as to find some succour in such an important
distresse; wherefore I know not what to do or say. Moreover, if the
money be not speedily sent, our goods will be carried into _Monago_,
and then they are past all redemption utterly.

_Biancafiore_ appearing greatly discontented, as one verily perswaded,
that this pretended losse was rather hers, then his, because she aymed
at the mainest part of all his wealth: began to consider with her
selfe, which was the likeliest course to be taken, for saving the
goods from carriage to _Monago_: whereupon thus she replied. Heaven
knoweth (my dearest _Salabetto_) how thy love maketh me sorrowfull for
this misfortune, and it greeveth me to see thee any way distressed: for
if I had mony lying by mee (as many times I have) thou shouldst finde
succour from my selfe onely, but indeede I am not able to helpe thee.
True it is, there is a friend of mine, who did lend me five hundred
Florines in my need, to make uppe the other summe which I borrowed of
thee: but he demandeth extreme interest, because he will not abate any
thing of thirty in the hundred, and if you should bee forced to use
him, you must give him some good security. Now for my part, the most of
my goods here I will pawne for thee: but what pledge can you deliver in
to make up the rest? Wel did _Salabetto_ conceive, the occasion why she
urged this motion, and was so diligent in doing him such a pleasure:
for it appeared evidently to him, that herselfe was to lend the mony,
whereof he was not a little joyfull, seeming very thankfull to hir. Then he
told her, that being driven to such extremity, how unreasonable soever
the usury was, yet he would gladly pay for it. And for her Friends
further security, hee would pawne him all the goods in his _Magazine_,
entering them downe in the name of the party, who lent the money.
Onely he desired to keepe the Keyes of the Ware-house, as well to shew
his Merchandises, when any Merchant should bee so desirous: as also
to preserve them from ill using, transporting or changing, before his
redemption of them.

She found no fault with his honest offer, but sayde, hee shewed
himselfe a well-meaning man, and the next morning shee sent for a
Broker, in whom she reposed especiall trust; and after they had
privately consulted together, shee delivered him a thousand Golden
Florines, which were caried by him presently to _Salabetto_, and
the Bond made in the Brokers name, of all the goods remaining in
_Salabettoes_ ware-house, with composition and absolute agreement,
for the prefixed time of the monies repaiment. No sooner was this
tricke fully accomplished, but _Salabetto_ seeming as if he went to
redeeme his taken goods: set saile for _Naples_ towards _Pietro della
Canigiano_, with fifteene hundred Florines of Gold: from whence also
he sent contentment to his Master at _Florence_ (who imployd him as
his Factor at _Palermo_) beside his owne packes of Cloathes. He made
repayment likewise to _Canigiano_, for the monies which furnished
him in this last voyage, and any other to whom hee was indebted. So
there he stayed awhile with _Canigiano_, whose counsell thus holpe
him to out-reach the _Sicillian_ Courtezane: and meaning to deale in
Merchandise no more, afterward he returned to _Florence_ and there
lived in good reputation.

Now as concerning _Biancafiore_, when she saw that _Salabetto_ returned
not againe to _Palermo_, she beganne to grow somewhat abashed, as halfe
suspecting that which followed. After she had tarried for him above
two moneths space, and perceived hee came not, nor any tydings heard
of him: shee caused the Broker to breake open the Magazine, casting
forth the Buttes or Barrels, which shee beleeved to bee full of good
Oyles. But they were all filled with Sea-Water, each of them having
a small quantity of Oyle floating on the toppe, onely to serve when
a tryall should bee made. And then unbinding the Packes, made up in
formall and Merchantable manner: there was nothing else in them, but
Logges and stumpes of Trees; wrapt handsomely in hurdles of Hempe and
Tow; onely two had Cloathes in them. So that (to bee briefe) the whole
did not value two hundred Crownes: which when she saw, and observed
how cunningly she was deceived: a long while after shee sorrowed,
for repaying backe the five hundred Florines, and folly in lending
a thousand more, using it as a Proverbe alwaies after to hir selfe:
_That whosoever dealt with a Tuscane, had neede to have found sight
and judgement._ So remaining contented (whither she would or no) with
her losse: she plainly perceyved, that although she lived by cheating
others, yet now at the length she had mette with her match.

       *       *       *       *       *

So soone as _Dioneus_ had ended his Novell, Madame _Lauretta_ also
knew, that the conclusion of her Regiment was come; whereupon, when
the counsell of _Canigiano_ had past with generall commendation, and
the wit of _Salabetto_ no lesse applauded, for fitting it with such
an effectuall prosecution; shee tooke the Crowne of Laurell from her
owne head, and set it upon Madame _Æmilliaes_, speaking graciously in
this manner. Madam, I am not able to say, how pleasant a Queene we
shall have of you, but sure I am, that we shall enjoy a faire one: let
matters therefore be so honourably carried; that your government may be
answerable to your beautifull perfections; which words were no sooner
delivered, but she sate downe in her mounted seate.

Madame _Æmillia_ being somewhat bashfull, not so much of hir being
created Queene, as to heare her selfe thus publikely praysed, with that
which Women do most of all desire: her face then appearing, like the
opening of the Damaske Rose, in the goodlyest morning. But after she
had a while dejected her lookes, and the Vermillion blush was vanished
away: having taken order with the Master of the houshold, for all
needefull occasions befitting the assembly, thus she began.

Gracious Ladies, wee behold it daily, that those Oxen which have
laboured in the yoake most part of the day, for their more convenient
feeding, are let forth at liberty, and permitted to wander abroad in
the Woods. We see moreover, that Gardens and Orchards, being planted
with variety of the fairest fruit Trees, are equalled in beauty by
Woods and Forrests, in the plentifull enjoying of as goodly spreading
branches. In consideration whereof, remembring how many dayes wee have
already spent (under the severitie of Lawes imposed) shaping all our
discourses to a forme of observation: I am of opinion, that it will not
onely well become us, but also prove beneficiall for us, to live no
longer under such restraint, and like enthralled people, desirous of
liberty, wee should no more be subjected to the yoke, but recover our
former strength in walking freely.

Wherefore, concerning our pastime purposed for to morrow, I am
not minded to use any restriction, or tye you unto any particular
ordination: but rather do liberally graunt, that every one shall devise
and speake of arguments agreeing with your owne dispositions.

Besides, I am verily perswaded, that variety of matter uttered so
freely, will be much more delightfull, then restraint to one kinde of
purpose onely. Which being thus granted by me, whosoever shall succeede
me in the government may (as being of more power and preheminence)
restraine all backe againe to the accustomed lawes. And having thus
spoken, she dispensed with their any longer attendance, untill it
should be Supper time.

Every one commended the Queenes appointment, allowing it to rellish of
good wit and judgement; and being all risen, fell to such exercises
as they pleased. The Ladies made Nosegaies and Chaplets of Flowers,
the men played on their Instruments, singing divers sweete Ditties to
them, and thus were busied untill Supper time. Which beeing come, and
they supping about the beautifull Fountains: after Supper, they fell
to singing and dauncing. In the end, the Queene, to imitate the order
of her predecessors, commanded _Pamphilus_, that notwithstanding all
the excellent songs formerly sung: he should now sing one, whereunto
dutifully obeying, thus he began.


    The Chorus sung by all.

    _Love, I found such felicitie,
    And joy, in thy captivitie:
    As I before did never prove,
    And thought me happy, being in Love._

    _Comfort abounding in my hart,
           Joy and Delight
           In soule and spright
    I did possesse in every part;
    O Soveraigne Love by thee.
           Thy Sacred fires,
           Fed my desires,
           And still aspires,
    Thy happy thrall to bee.
           Love, I found such felicity, &c._

    _My Song wants power to relate,
           The sweets of minde
           Which I did finde
    In that most blissefull state,
    O Soveraigne Love by thee.
           No sad despaire,
           Or killing care
           Could me prepare;
    Still thou didst comfort me.
           Love, I found such felicity, &c._

    _I hate all such as do complaine,
           Blaspheming thee
           With Cruelty,
    And sleights of coy disdaine.
    O Soveraigne Love, to mee
           Thou hast bene kinde:
           If others finde.
           Thee worse inclinde,
    Yet I will honour thee._

    _LOVE, I found such felicitie,
    And joy in thy Captivitie:
    As I before did never prove,
    But thought me happie, being in Love._

Thus the Song of _Pamphilus_ ended, whereto all the rest (as a Chorus)
answered with their Voyces, yet every one particularly (according
as they felt their Love-sicke passions) made a curious construction
thereof, perhaps more then they needed, yet not Divining what
_Pamphilus_ intended. And although they were transported with variety
of imaginations; yet none of them could arrive** at his true meaning
indeed. Wherefore the Queene, perceiving the Song to be fully ended,
and the Ladies, as also the young Gentlemen, willing to go take their
rest: she commaunded them severally to their Chambers.

_The End of the Eight Day._


_Whereon, under the Government of Madame_ ÆMILLIA, _the Argument of
each severall Discourse, is not limitted to any one peculiar subject:
but every one remaineth at liberty, to speak of whatsoever themselves
best pleaseth._

The Induction.

Faire _Aurora_, from whose bright and chearefull lookes, the duskie
darke night flyeth as an utter enemy, had already reached so high
as the eight Heaven, converting it all into an Azure colour, and
the pretty Flowrets beganne to spred open their Leaves: when Madame
_Æmillia_, beeing risen, caused all her female attendants, and
the yong Gentlemen likewise, to be summoned for their personall
appearance. Who being all come, the Queen leading the way, and they
following her Majesticke pace, walked into a little Wood, not farre off
distant from the Palace.

No sooner were they there arrived, but they beheld store of Wilde
Beasts, as Hindes, Hares, Goats, and such like; so safely secured from
the pursuite of Huntsmen (by reason of the violent Pestilence then
reigning) that they stood gazing boldly at them, as dreadlesse of any
danger, or as if they were become tame and Domesticke.

Approaching neerer them, first to one, then unto another, as if they
purposed to play gently with them, they then beganne to skippe and
runne, making them such pastime with their pretty tripping, that they
conceyved great delight in beholding of them.

But when they beheld the Sunne to exalt itselfe, it was thought
convenient to return back again, shrouding themselves under the Trees
spreading armes, their hands full of sweete Flowers and Odorifferous
Hearbes, which they had gathered in their Walking. So that such as
chanced to meete them, could say nothing else: but that death knew not
by what meanes to conquer them, or els they had set down an absolute
determination, to kill him with their Joviall disposition.

In this manner, singing, dancing, or prettily pratling, at length they
arrived at the Palace, where they found all things readily prepared,
and their Servants duly attending for them. After they hadde reposed
themselves awhile, they would not (as yet) sit downe at the Table,
untill they had sung halfe a dozen of Canzonets, some more pleasant
then another, both the women and men together.

Then they fell to washing hands, and the Maister of the Houshold caused
them to sit downe, according as the Queene had appointed, and Dinner
was most sumptuously served in before them. Afterward, when the Tables
were with-drawne, they all tooke handes to dance a Roundelay; which
being done, they plaied on their Instruments a while; and then, such as
so pleased, tooke their rest. But when the accustomed houre was come,
they all repaired to the place of discoursing, where the Queen, looking
on Madam _Philomena_, gave her the honor of beginning the first Novell
for that day: whereto shee dutifully condiscending, began as followeth.

_Madam_ Francesca, _a Widdow of_ Pistoya, _being affected by two_
Florentine _Gentlemen, the one named_ Rinuccio Palermini, _and the
other_ Alessandro Chiarmontesi, _and she bearing no good will to eyther
of them; ingeniously freed her selfe from both their importunate
suites. One of them she caused to lye as dead in a grave, and the other
to fetch him from thence: so neither of them accomplishing what they
were enjoyned, fayled of obtaining his hoped expectation._

The First Novell.

_Approving, that chaste and honest Women, ought rather to deny
importunate suiters, by subtile and ingenious meanes, then fall into
the danger of scandall and slander._

Madame, it can no way discontent mee (seeing it is your most gracious
pleasure) that I should have the honour, to breake the first staffe of
freedome in this faire company (according to the injunction of your
Majesty) for liberty of our own best liking arguments: wherein I dismay
not (if I can speake well enough) but to please you all as well, as any
other that is to follow me. Nor am I so oblivious (worthy Ladies) but
full well I remember, that many times hath bene related in our passed
demonstrations, how mighty and variable the powers of love are: and yet
I cannot be perswaded, that they have all bene so sufficiently spoken
of, but something may bee further added, and the bottome of them never
dived into, although we should sit arguing a whole yeare together. And
because it hath beene alreadie approved, that Lovers have bene led
into divers accidents, not onely inevitable dangers of death, but also
have entred into the verie houses of the dead, thence to convey their
amorous friends: I purpose to acquaint you with a Novell, beside them
which have bene discoursed; whereby you may not onely comprehend the
power of Love, but also the wisedome used by an honest Gentlewoman, to
rid her selfe of two importunate suiters, who loved her against her
owne liking, yet neither of them knowing the others affection.

In the City of _Pistoya_, there dwelt sometime a beautifull
Gentlewoman, being a Widdow, whom two of our _Florentines_ (the one
named _Rinuccio Palermini_, and the other _Alessandro Chiarmontesi_),
having withdrawne themselves to _Pistoya_ desperately affected, the
one ignorant of the others intention, but each carrying his case
closely, as hoping to be possessed of her. This Gentlewoman, named
Madame _Francesca de Lazzari_, being often solicited by their messages,
and troublesomely pestered with their importunities: at last (lesse
advisedly then she intended) shee granted admittance to heare either of
them speake. Which she repenting, and coveting to be rid of them both,
a matter not easie to be done: she wittily devised the onely meanes,
namely, to move such a motion to them, as neither would willingly
undertake, yet within the compasse of possibility; but they failing in
the performance, shee might have the more honest occasion, to bee free
from all further molestation by them, and her politike intention was
thus projected.

On the same day, when she devised this peece of service, a man was
buried in _Pistoya_, and in the Church-yard belonging unto the gray
Friars, who being descended of good and worthie parentage: yet himselfe
was very infamous, and reputed to be the vilest man living, not onely
there in _Pistoya_, but throughout the whole World beside. Moreover,
while he lived, he had such a strange misshapen body, and his face so
ugly deformed, that such as knew him not, would stand gastly affrighted
at the first sight of him. In regarde whereof, shee considered with her
selfe, that the foule deformitie of this loathed fellow, would greatly
avayle in her determination, and consulting with her Chamber-maid, thus
she spake.

Thou knowest (my most true and faithfull servant) what trouble and
affliction of minde I suffer dayly, by the messages and Letters of
the two _Florentines, Rinuccio_ and _Alessandro,_ how hatefull their
importunity is to me, as being utterly unwilling to hear them speake,
or yeeld to any thing which they desire. Wherefore, to free my selfe
from them both together, I have devised (in regard of their great
and liberall offers) to make triall of them in such a matter, as I am
assured they will never performe.

It is not unknowne to thee, that in the Church-yard of the Gray
Friars, and this instant morning, _Scannadio_ (for so was the ugly
fellow named) was buried; of whom, when he was living, as also now
being dead, both men, women, and children, doe yet stand in feare, so
gastly and dreadfull alwayes was his personall appearance to them.
Wherefore, first of all go thou to _Alessandro_, and say to him thus.
My Mistris _Francesca_ hath sent me to you, to tell you, that now the
time is come, wherein you may deserve to enjoy her love, and gaine the
possession of her person, if you will accomplish such a motion as she
maketh to you. For some especiall occasion, wherewith hereafter you
shall bee better acquainted, a neere Kinsman of hers, must needs have
the body of _Scannadio_ (who was buried this morning) brought to her
house. And she, being as much affraid of him now he is dead, as when he
was living, by no meanes would have his body brought thither.

In which respect, as a Token of your unfeigned love to her, and the
latest service you shall ever do for her: shee earnestly entreateth
you, that this night, in the very deadest time thereof, you would go to
the grave, where _Scannadio_ lyeth yet uncovered with earth untill to
morrow, and attyring your selfe in his garments, even as if you were
the man himselfe, so to remaine there untill her kinsman doe come.

Then, without speaking any one word, let him take you foorth of the
grave, & bring you thence (insted of _Scannadio_) to hir house: where
she will give you gentle welcome, and disappoint her Kinsman in his
hope, by making you Lord of her, and all that is hers, as afterward
shall plainly appeare. If he say he will do it, it is as much as I
desire: but if hee trifle and make deniall, then boldly tell him, that
he must refraine all places wheresoever I am, and forbeare to send me
any more Letters, or messages.

Having done so, then repaire to _Rinuccio Palermini_, and say. My
Mistresse _Francesca_ is ready to make acceptance of your love;
provided, that you will do one thing for her sake. Namely, this ensuing
night, in the midst & stillest season thereof, to go to the grave where
_Scannadio_ was this morning buried, & (without making any noise) or
speaking one word, whatsoever you shall heare or see: to take him forth
of the grave, and bring him home to her house, where you shall know
the reason of this strange businesse, and enjoy her freely as your
owne for ever. But if he refuse to do it, then I commaund him, never
hereafter to see me, or move further suite unto mee, by any meanes

The Chamber-maide went to them both, and delivered the severall
messages from her Mistresse, according as she had given her in charge;
whereunto each of them answered, that they woulde (for her sake) not
onely descend into a Grave, but also into hell, if it were her pleasure.

She returning with this answer unto her Mistresse, _Francesca_ remained
in expectation, what the issue of these fond attemptes in them, would
sort unto. When night was come, and the middle houre thereof already
past, _Alessandro Chiarmontesi_, having put off all other garments
to his doublet and hose, departed secretly from his lodging, walking
towards the Church-yard, where _Scannadio_ lay in his grave: but by the
way as he went, hee became surprized with divers dreadfull conceites
and imaginations, and questioned with himselfe thus.

What a beast am I? What a businesse have I undertaken? And whither am I
going? What do I know, but that the Kinsman unto this Woman, perhappes
understanding mine affection to her, and crediting some such matter,
as is nothing so; hath laide this politicke traine for me, that he
may murther me in the grave? Which (if it should so happen) my life
is lost, and yet the occasion never knowne whereby it was done. Or
what know I, whether some secret enemy of mine (affecting her in like
manner, as I do) have devised this stratagem (out of malice) against
mee, to draw my life in danger, and further his owne good Fortune?
Then, contrary motions, overswaying these suspitions, he questioned his
thoughts in another nature.

Let me (quoth he) admit the case, that none of these surmises are
intended, but her Kinsman (by and in this manner devised) must bring
me into her house: I am not therefore perswaded, that he or they do
covet, to have the body of _Scannadio_, either to carry it thither,
or present it to her, but rather do aime at some other end. May not I
conjecture, that my close murthering is purposed, and this way acted,
as on him that (in his life time) had offended them? The Maid hath
straitly charged me, that whatsoever is said or done unto me, I am not
to speake a word. What if they pul out mine eies, teare out my teeth,
cut off my hands, or do me any other mischiefe: Where am I then? Shall
all these extremities barre me of speaking? On the other side, if I
speake, then I shall be knowne, and so much the sooner (perhaps) be
abused. But admit that I sustaine no injurie at all, as being guilty of
no transgression: yet (perchance) I shall not be carried to her house,
but to some other baser place, and afterward she shall reprove me,
that I did not accomplish what shee commanded, and so all my labour is
utterly lost.

Perplexed with these various contradicting opinions, he was willing
divers times to turne home backe againe: yet such was the violence
of his love, and the power thereof prevailing against all sinister
arguments; as he went to the grave, and removing the boordes covering
it, whereinto he entred; and having despoiled _Scannadio_ of his
garments, cloathed himselfe with them, & so laid him down, having
first covered the grave againe. Not long had hee tarryed there, but he
began to bethinke him, what manner of man _Scannadio_ was, and what
strange reports had bene noised of him, not onely for ransicking dead
mens graves in the night season, but many other abhominable Villanies
committed by him, which so fearfully assaulted him; that his haire
stoode on end, every member of him quaked, and every minute he imagined
_Scannadio_ rising, with intent to strangle him in the grave. But his
fervent affection overcoming all these idle feares, and lying stone
still, as if he had beene the dead man indeede; he remained to see the
end of his hope.

On the contrary side, after midnight was past, _Rinuccio Palermini_
departed from his lodging, to do what hee was enjoyned by his hearts
Mistresse, and as hee went along, divers considerations also ran in
his minde, concerning occasions possible to happen. As, falling into
the hands of Justice, with the body of _Scannadio_ upon his backe, and
being condemned for sacriledge, in robbing graves of the dead; either
to be burned, or otherwise so punished, as might make him hatefull to
his best friends, and meerely a shame to himselfe.

Many other the like conceits molested him, sufficient to alter his
former determination: but affection was much more prevayling in him,
and made him use this consultation. How now _Rinuccio_? Wilt thou dare
to deny the first request, being mooved to thee by a Gentlewoman, whom
thou dearly lovest, and is the onely meanes, whereby to gaine assurance
of her gracious favour? Undoubtedly, were I sure to die in the attempt,
yet I will accomplish my promise. And so he went on with courage to the

_Alessandro_ hearing his arrivall, and also the removall of the bords,
although he was exceedingly affraid; yet he lay quietly still, and
stirred not, and _Rinuccio_ beeing in the grave, tooke _Alessandro_ by
the feete, haling him forth, and (mounting him uppon his backe) went on
thus loden, towards the house of Madam _Francesca_. As he passed along
the streets, unseene or unmet by any, _Alessandro_ suffered many shrewd
rushings and punches, by turnings at the streets corners, and jolting
against bulkes, poasts, and stalles, which _Rinuccio_ could not avoyd,
in regard the night was so wonderfully darke, as hee could not see
which way he went.

Being come somewhat neere to the Gentlewomans house, and she standing
readie in the Window with her Maide, to see when _Rinuccio_ should
arrive there with _Alessandro_, provided also of an apt excuse, to send
them thence like a couple of Coxcombes; it fortuned, that the Watchmen,
attending there in the same streete, for the apprehension of a banished
man, stolne into the City contrarie to order; hearing the trampling
of _Rinuccioes_ feete, directed their course as they heard the noise,
having their Lanthorne and light closely covered, to see who it should
be, and what he intended, and beating their weapons against the ground,
demanded, Who goes there? _Rinuccio_ knowing their voyces, and that now
was no time for any long deliberation: let fall _Alessandro_, and ran
away as fast as his legs could carry him.

_Alessandro_ being risen againe (although he was cloathed in
_Scannadioes_ Garments, which were long and too bigge for him) fledde
away also as _Rinuccio_ did. All which Madame _Francesca_ easily
discerned by helpe of the Watchmens Lanthorne, and how _Rinuccio_
carried _Alessandro_ on his backe, beeing attired in the Garments of
_Scannadio_: whereat she mervailed not a little, as also the great
boldnesse of them both. But in the midst of her mervailing, she
laughed very heartily, when she saw the one let the other fall, and
both to runne away so manfully. Which accident pleasing her beyond
all comparison, and applauding her good Fortune, to bee so happily
delivered from their daily molestation: she betooke herselfe to hir
Chamber with the Maide, avouching solemnly to her, that (questionlesse)
they both affected her dearely, having undertaken such a straunge
imposition, and verie neere brought it to a finall conclusion.

_Rinuccio_, being sadly discontented, and curssing his hard fortune,
would not yet returne home to his Lodging: but, when the watch was
gone forth of that streete, came backe to the place where he let fall
_Alessandro_, purposing to accomplish the rest of his enterprize.
But not finding the body, and remaining fully perswaded, that the
Watchmen were possessed thereof; hee went away, greeving extreamly. And
_Alessandro_, not knowing now what should become of him: confounded
with the like griefe and sorrow, that all his hope was thus utterly
overthrowne, retired thence unto his owne house, not knowing who was
the Porter which carried him.

The next morning, the grave of _Scannadio_ being found open, & the
body not in it, because _Alessandro_ had thrown it into a deep ditch
neere adjoyning: all the people of _Pistoya_ were possessed with
sundry opinions, some of the more foolish sort verily beleeving, that
the divell had caried away the dead body. Neverthelesse, each of the
Lovers, severally made knowne to Madam _Francesca_, what he had done,
and how disappointed, either excusing himselfe, that though her command
had not bin fully accomplished, yet to continue her favour towards
him. But she, like a wise and discreet Gentlewoman, seeming not to
credit either the one or other: discharged her selfe honestly of them
both, with a cutting answere, That shee would never (afterward) expect
any other service from them, because they had fayled in their first

_Madame_ Usimbalda, _Lady Abbesse of a Monastery of Nuns in_ Lombardie,
_arising hastily in the night time without a Candle, to take one of her
Daughter Nunnes in bed with a yong Gentleman, whereof she was enviously
accused, by certaine of her other Sisters: The Abbesse her selfe (being
at the same time in bed with a Priest) imagining to have put on her
head her plaited vayle, put on the Priests breeches. Which when the
poore Nunne perceyved; by causing the Abbesse to see her owne error,
she got her selfe to be absolved, and had the freer liberty afterward,
to be more familiar with her frend, then formerly she had bin._

The Second Novell.

_Whereby is declared, that whosoever is desirous to reprehend sinne in
other men, should first examine himselfe, that he be not guiltie of the
same crime._

By this time, Madame _Philomena_ sate silent, and the wit of
_Francesca_, in freeing her selfe from them whom she could not fancie,
was generally commended: as also on the contrary, the bold presumption
of the two amorous suiters, was reputed not to be love, but meerely
folly. And then the Queene, with a gracious admonition, gave way for
Madam Eliza to follow next; who presently thus began.

Worthy Ladies, Madame _Francesca_ delivered her selfe discreetly from
trouble, as already hath bin related: but a yong Nun, by the helpe and
favour of Fortune, did also free her selfe (in speaking advisedly) from
an inconvenience sodainly falling on her. And as you well know, there
wants none of them, who (like bold Bayards) will be very forward in
checking other mens misdemeanours, when themselves, as my Novell will
approve, deserve more justly to bee corrected. As hapned to a Lady
Abbesse, under whose governement the same young Nunne was, of whom I am
now to speake.

You are then to understand (Gracious Auditors) that in _Lombardie_
there was a goodly Monastery, very famous for Holinesse and Religion,
where, among other sanctified Sisters, there was a yong Gentlewoman,
endued with very singular beautie, being named _Isabella_, who on
a day, when a Kinsman of hers came to see her at the grate, became
enamored of a young Gentleman, being then in his company.

He likewise, beholding her to be so admirably beautifull, & conceyving
by the pretty glances of her eye, that they appeared to bee silent
intelligencers of the hearts meaning, grew also as affectionately
inclined towards her, and this mutuall love continued thus concealed
a long while, but not without great affliction unto them both. In
the end, either of them being circumspect and provident enough, the
Gentleman contrived a meanes, whereby he might secretly visite his
Nunne, wherewith she seemed no way discontented: and this visitation
was not for once or twice, but verie often, and closely concealed to

At length it came to passe, that either through their owne indiscreete
carriage, or jelous suspition in some others: it was espied by one of
the Sisters, both the Gentlemans comming and departing, yet unknowne
to him or _Isabella_. The saide Sister, disclosing the same to two or
three more: they agreed together, to reveale it to the Lady Abbesse,
who was named Madame _Usimbalda_, a holy and devout Lady, in common
opinion of all the Nunnes, and whosoever else knew her.

They further concluded (because _Isabella_ should not deny theyr
accusation) to contrive the businesse so cunningly: that the Ladie
Abbesse should come her selfe in person, and take the yong Gentleman in
bed with the Nun. And uppon this determination, they agreed to watch
nightly by turnes, because by no meanes they wold be prevented: so to
surprise poore _Isabella_, who beeing ignorant of their treachery,
suspected nothing. Presuming thus still on this secret felicitie, and
fearing no disaster to befall her: it chaunced (on a night) that the
yong Gentleman being entred into the Nuns Dorter, the Scowts had
descried him, & intended to be revenged on her.

After some part of the night was overpast, they divided themselves into
two bands, one to guard _Isabellaes_ Dorter doore, the other to carry
newes to the Abbesse, and knocking at her Closet doore, saide. Rise
quickely Madame, and use all the hast you may, for we have seene a man
enter our Sister _Isabellaes_ Dorter, and you may take her in bed with
him. The Lady Abbesse, who (the very same night) had the company of a
lusty Priest in bed with her selfe, as oftentimes before she had, and
he being alwayes brought thither in a Chest: hearing these tidings,
and fearing also, lest the Nunnes hastie knocking at her doore, might
cause it to fly open, and so (by their entrance) have her owne shame
discovered: arose very hastily, and thinking she had put on her plaited
vaile, which alwayes she walked with in the night season, and used to
tearme her Psalter; she put the Priests breeches upon her head, and
so went away in all hast with them, supposing them verily to be her
Psalter: but making fast the Closet doore with her keye, because the
Priest should not be discovered.

Away shee went in all haste with the Sisters, who were so forward in
the detection of poore _Isabella_, as they never regarded what manner
of vaile the Lady Abbesse wore on her head. And being come to the
Dorter doore, quickly they lifted it off from the hookes, and being
entred, found the two Lovers sweetly imbracing: but yet so amazed at
this sudden surprisall, as they durst not stirre, nor speake one word.
The young Nunne _Isabella_, was raised forthwith by the other Sisters,
and according as the Abbesse had commaunded, was brought by them into the
Chapter-house: the young Gentleman remaining still in the Chamber, where
he put on his garments, awaiting to see the issue of this businesse,
and verily intending to act severe revenge on his betrayers, if any
harme were done to _Isabella_, and afterward to take her thence away
with him, as meaning to make her amends by marriage.

The Abbesse being seated in the Chapter house, and all the other Nunnes
then called before her, who minded nothing else but the poore offending
Sister: she began to give her very harsh and vile speeches, as never
any transgressor suffered the like, and as to her who had (if it should
be openly knowne abroad) contaminated by her lewde life and actions,
the sanctity and good renowne of the whole Monastery, and threatned her
with very severe chastisement. Poore _Isabella_, confounded with feare
and shame, as being no way able to excuse her fault, knew not what
answer to make, but standing silent, made her case compassionable to
all the rest, even those hard-hearted Sisters which betrayed her.

And the Abbesse still continuing her harsh speeches, it fortuned,
that _Isabella_, raising her head, which before she dejected into hir
bosome, espied the breeches on her head, with the stockings hanging on
either side of her; the sight whereof did so much encourage her, that
boldly she said. Madam, let a poore offender advise you for to mend
your veile, and afterward say to me what you will.

The Abbesse being very angry; and not understanding what she meant,
frowningly answered. Why how now saucy companion? What vaile are you
prating of? Are you so malapert, to bee chatting already? Is the deed
you have done, to be answered in such immodest manner? _Isabella_ not
a jot danted by her sterne behaviour, once againe said. Good Madam let
me perswade you to sette your vaile right, and then chide me as long
as you will. At these words, all the rest of the Nunnes exalted their
lookes, to behold what vaile the Abbesse wore on her head, wherewith
_Isabella_ should finde such fault, and she her selfe lift up her
hand to feele it: and then they all perceyved plainly, the reason of
_Isabellas_ speeches, and the Abbesse saw her owne error.

Hereupon, when the rest observed, that she had no help to cloud this
palpable shame withall, the tide began to turne, and hir tongue found
another manner of Language, then her former fury to poore _Isabella_,
growing to this conclusion, that it is impossible to resist against
the temptations of the flesh. And therefore she saide: Let all of you
take occasion, according as it offereth it selfe, as both we and our
predecessors have done: to be provident for your selves, take time
while you may, having this sentence alwaies in remembrance, _Si non
caste, tamen caute_.

So, having granted the yong Nunne _Isabella_ free absolution: the Lady
Abbesse returned backe againe to bed to the Priest, and _Isabella_ to
the Gentleman. As for the other Sisters, who (as yet) were without the
benefit of friends; they intended to provide themselves so soone as
they could, being enduced thereto by so good example.

_Master_ Simon _the Physitian, by the perswasions of_ Bruno,
Buffalmaco, _and a third Companion, named_ Nello, _made_ Calandrino
_to beleeve, that he was conceived great with childe. And having
Physicke ministred to him for the disease: they got both good fatte
Capons and money of him, and so cured him, without any other manner of

The Third Novell.

_Discovering the simplicity of some silly witted men, and how easie a
matter it is to abuse and beguile them._

After that Madame _Eliza_ had concluded her Novell, and every one of
the company given thankes to Fortune, for delivering poore _Isabella_
the faire young Nunne, from the bitter reprehensions of the as faulty
Abbesse, as also the malice of her envious Sisters: the Queene gave
command unto _Philostratus_, that he should be the next in order, and
hee (without expecting anie other warning) began in this manner.

Faire Ladies, the paltry Judge of the Marquisate, whereof yesterday I
made relation to you; hindred mee then of another Novell, concerning
silly _Calandrino_, wherewith I purpose now to acquaint you. And
because whatsoever hath already bin spoken of him, tended to no other
end but matter of meriment, hee and his companions duly considered: the
Novel which I shall now report, keepeth within the selfesame compasse,
and aimeth also at your contentment, according to the scope of imposed

You have already heard what manner of man _Calandrino_ was, and
likewise the rest of his pleasant Companions, who likewise are now
againe to be remembred, because they are actors in our present
discourse. It came so to passe, that an Aunt of _Calandrinoes_ dying,
left him a legacy of two hundred Florines, wherewith he purposed to
purchase some small Farme-house in the countrey, or else to enlarge
the other, whereof he was possessed already. And, as if hee were to
disburse some ten thousand Florines, there was not a Broker in all
_Florence_, but understood what he intended to doe; and all the worst
was, that the strings of his purse could stretch no higher. _Bruno_,
and _Buffalmaco_ (his auncient Confederates) who heard of this good
Fortune befalne him, advised him in such manner as they were wont to
do; allowing it much better for him, to make merrie with the money in
good cheare among them, then to lay it out in paltry Land, whereto
he would not by any meanes listen, but ridde himselfe of them with a
dinners cost, as loath to bee at anie further charge with them.

These merry Laddes meant not to leave him so; but sitting one day in
serious consultation, and a third man in their companie, named _Nello_;
they all three layde their braines in steep, by what means to wash
their mouths well, and _Calandrino_ to bee at the cost thereof.

And having resolved what was to bee done, they met togither the next
morning, even as _Calandrino_ was comming foorth of his house, and
sundering themselves, to avoyd all suspition, yet beeing not farre
distant each from other; _Nello_ first met him, and saide unto him,
Good Morrow _Calandrino_: which he requited backe agayne with the same
salutation. But then _Nello_ standing still, looked him stedfastly in
the face: whereat _Calandrino_ mervailing, sayd: _Nello_, why dost thou
behold me so advisedly? Whereunto _Nello_ answered, saying Hast thou
felt any paine this last night past? Thou lookest nothing so well, as
thou didst yesterday. _Calandrino_ began instantly to wax doubtfull,
and replyed thus. Dost thou see any alteration in my face, whereby to
imagine, I should feele some paine? In good faith _Calandrino_ (quoth
_Nello_) me thinks thy countenance is strangely changed, and surely it
proceedeth from some great cause, and so he departed away from him.

_Calandrino_ being very mistrustfull, scratched his head, yet felte
he no grievance at all; and going still on; _Buffalmaco_ sodainely
encountred him, upon his departure from _Nello_, and after salutations
passing betweene them; in a manner of admiration, demanded what he

Truly (quoth _Calandrino_) well enough to mine owne thinking, yet
notwithstanding, I met with _Nello_ but even now; and he told me, that
my countenance was very much altred; Is it possible that I should bee
sicke, and feele no paine or distaste in any part of me? _Buffalmaco_
answered; I am not so skilfull in judgement, as to argue on the Nature
of distemper in the body: but sure I am, that thou hast some daungerous
inward impediment, because thou lookst (almost) like a man more then
halfe dead.

_Calandrino_ began presently to shake, as if hee had had a Feaver
hanging on him, and then came _Bruno_ looking fearefully on him, and
before he would utter any words, seemed greatly to bemoane him, saying
at length. _Calandrino_? Art thou the same man, or no? How wonderfully
art thou changed since last I saw thee, which is no longer then yester
day? I pray thee tell mee, How dooest thou feele thy health?

_Calandrino_ hearing, that they all agreed in one opinion of him;
he beganne verily to perswade himselfe, that some sodaine sicknes,
had seised upon him, which they could discerne, although hee felt no
anguish at all: and therefore, like a man much perplexed in minde,
demanded of them, What he should do? Beleeve mee _Calandrino_ (answered
_Bruno_) if I were worthy to give thee counsell, thou shouldst returne
home presently to thy house, and lay thee downe in thy warme Bedde,
covered with so many cloathes as thou canst well endure. Then to Morrow
morning, send thy Water unto Learned Mayster Doctor the Physitian, who
(as thou knowest) is a man of most singular skill and experience: he
will instruct thee presently what is the best course to be taken, and
we that have ever beene thy loving friends, will not faile thee in any
thing that lieth in our power.

By this time, _Nello_ being come againe unto them, they all returned
home with _Calandrino_ unto his owne house, whereinto he entering very
faintly, hee saide to his Wife: Woman, make my Bed presently ready,
for I feele my selfe to be growne extreamely sicke, and see that thou
layest cloathes enow upon me. Being thus laide in his Bedde, they left
him for that night, and returned to visite him againe the verie next
morning, by which time, he had made a reservation of his Water, and
sent it by a young Damosell unto Maister Doctor, who dwelt then in
the olde market place, at the signe of the Muske Mellone. Then saide
_Bruno_ unto his Companions; Abide you heere to keepe him company, and
I will walke along to the Physitian, to understand what he will say:
and if neede be, I can procure him to come hither with me. _Calandrino_
very kindely accepted his offer, saying withall. Well _Bruno_, thou
shewst thy selfe a friend in the time of necessity, I pray thee know of
him, how the case stands with me, for I feele a very strange alteration
within mee, far beyond all compasse of my conceite.

_Bruno_ being gone to the Physitian, he made such expedition, that he
arrived there before the Damosell, who carried the Water, and informed
Master _Simon_ with the whole tricke intended: wherefore, when the
Damosell was come, and hee had passed his judgement concerning the
water, he said to her.

Maide, go home againe, and tell _Calandrino_, that he must keepe
himselfe very warme: and I my selfe will instantly be with him, to
enstruct him further in the quality of his sicknesse.

The Damosell delivered her message accordingly, and it was not long
before Mayster Doctor _Simon_ came, with _Bruno_ also in his company,
and sitting downe on the beds side by _Calandrino_, hee began to taste
his pulse, and within a small while after, his Wife being come into the
Chamber, he said. Observe me well _Calandrino_, for I speake to thee in
the nature of a true friend; thou hast no other disease, but only thou
art great with child.

So soone as _Calandrino_ heard these words, in dispairing manner he
beganne to rage, and cry out aloud, saying to his wife. Ah thou wicked
woman, this is long of thee, and thou hast done me this mischeefe:
for alwayes thou wilt be upon me, ever railing at mee, and fighting,
untill thou hast gotten me under thee. Say thou divellish creature,
do I not tell thee true? The Woman, being of verie honest and civill
conversation, hearing her husband speake so foolishly: blushing with
shame, and hanging downe her head in bashfull manner; without returning
any answer, went forth of her Chamber.

_Calandrino_ continuing still in his angry humour, wringing his hands,
and beating them upon his brest, said: Wretched man that I am, What
shall I do? How shall I be delivered of this child? Which way can it
come from me into the world? I plainly perceyve, that I am none other
then a dead man, and all through the wickednesse of my Wife: heaven
plague her with as many mischiefes, as I am desirous to finde ease.
Were I now in as good health, as heeretofore I have beene, I would rise
out of my bed, and never cease beating her, untill I had broken her
in a thousand peeces. But if Fortune will be so favourable to me, as
to helpe mee out of this dangerous agony: hang me, if ever she get me
under her againe, or make me such an Asse, in having the mastery over
mee, as divers times she hath done.

_Bruno, Buffalmaco_ and _Nello_, hearing these raving speeches of
_Calandrino_, were swolne so bigge with laughter, as if their ribbes
would have burst in sunder; neverthelesse, they abstained so well as
they were able; but Doctor _Simon_ gaped so wide with laughing as one
might easily have pluckt out all his teeth. In the end, because he
could tarry there no longer, but was preparing to depart: _Calandrino_
thanked him for his paines, requesting that hee would be carefull of
him, in aiding him with his best advise and counsell, and he would
not be unmindfull of him. Honest neighbour _Calandrino_, answered the
Phisition, I would not have you to torment your selfe, in such an
impatient and tempestuous manner, because I perceive the time so to
hasten on, as we shall soone perceive (and that within very few dayes
space) your health well restored, and without the sense of much paine;
but indeed it will cost expences. Alas Sir, said _Calandrino_, mak not
any spare of my purse, to procure that I may have safe deliverance.
I have two hundred Florines, lately falne to me by the death of mine
Aunt, wherewith I intended to purchase a Farme in the Countrey: take
them all if need be, onely reserving some few for my lying in Childbed.
And then Master Doctor, Alas, I know not how to behave my selfe, for
I have heard the grievous complaint of women in that case, oppressed
with bitter pangs and throwes; as questionlesse they will bee my death,
except you have the greater care of me.

Be of good cheere neighbour _Calandrino_, replyed Doctor _Simon_,
I will provide an excellent distilled drinke for you, marvellously
pleasing in taste, and of soveraigne vertue, which will resolve
all in three mornings, making you as whole and as sound as a Fish
newly spawned. But you must have an especiall care afterward, being
providently wise, least you fall into the like follies againe.
Concerning the preparation of this precious drinke, halfe a dozen
of Capons, the very fairest and fattest, I must make use of in the
distillation: what other things shall bee imployed beside, you may
deliver forty Florines to one of these your honest friends, to see all
the necessaries bought, and sent me home to my house. Concerning my
businesse, make you no doubt thereof, for I will have all distilled
against to morrow, and then doe you drinke a great Glasse full every
morning, fresh and fasting next your heart. _Calandrino_ was highly
pleased with his words, returning master Doctor infinite thankes, and
referring all to his disposing. And having given forty Florines to
_Bruno_, with other money beside, to buy the halfe dozen of Capons:
he thought himselfe greatly beholding to them all, and protested to
requite their kindenesse.

Master Doctor being gone home to his house, made ready a bottel of
very excellent Hypocrasse, which he sent the next day according to his
promise: and _Bruno_ having bought the Capons, with other junkets, fit
for the turne, the Phisitian and his merry Companions, fed on them
hartely for the givers sake. As for _Calandrino_, he liked his dyet
drinke excellently well, quaffing a large Glassefull off three mornings
together: afterward Master Doctor and the rest came to see him, and
having felt his pulse, the Phisition said. _Calandrino_, thou art now
as sound in health, as any man in all _Florence_ can be: thou needest
not to keepe within doores any longer, but walke abroad boldly, for all
is well and the childe gone.

_Calandrino_ arose like a joyfull man, and walked daily through the
streets, in the performance of such affaires as belonged to him: and
every acquaintance he met withall, he told the condition of his sudden
sickenesse; and what a rare cure Master Doctor _Simon_ had wrought on
him, delivering him (in three dayes space) of a childe, and without
the feeling of any paine. _Bruno, Buffalmaco,_ and _Nello,_ were not a
little jocond, for meeting so well with covetous _Calandrino_: but how
the Wife liked the folly of her Husband, I leave to the judgement of
all good Women.

Francesco Fortarigo, _played away all that he had at_ Buonconvento,
_and likewise the money of_ Francesco Aniolliero, _being his Master.
Then running after him in his shirt, and avouching that hee had robbed
him: he caused him to be taken by Pezants of the Country, clothed
himselfe in his Masters wearing garments, and (mounted on his horse)
rode thence to_ Sienna, _leaving_ Aniolliero _in his shirt, and walked

The fourth Novell.

_Serving as an admonition to all men, for taking Gamesters and
Drunkards into their service._

The ridiculous words given by _Calandrino_ to his Wife, all the whole
company hartily laughed at: but _Philostratus_ ceassing, Madame
_Neiphila_ (as it pleased the Queene to appoint) began to speake thus.
Vertuous Ladies, if it were not more hard and uneasie for men, to make
good their understanding and vertue, then apparant publication of their
disgrace and folly; many would not labour in vaine, to curbe in their
idle speeches with a bridle, as you have manifestly observed by the
weake wit of _Calandrino_. Who needed no such fantastick circumstance,
to cure the strange disease, which he imagined (by sottish perswasions)
to have: had hee not been so lavish of his tongue, and accused his
Wife of over-mastering him. Which maketh me remember a Novell, quite
contrary to this last related, namely, how one man may strive to
surmount another in malice; yet he to sustaine the greater harme, that
had (at the first) the most advantage of his enemy, as I will presently
declare unto you.

There dwelt in _Sienna_, and not many yeeres since, two young men
of equall age, both of them bearing the name of _Francesco_: but
the one was descended of the _Aniollieri_, and the other likewise
of the _Fortarigi_; so that they were commonly called _Aniolliero_,
and _Fortarigo_, both Gentlemen, and well derived. Now, although
in many other matters, their complexions did differ very much: Yet
notwithstanding, they varied not in one bad qualitie, namely too
great neglect of their Fathers, which caused their more frequent
conversation, as very familiar and respective friends. But _Aniolliero_
(being a very goodly and faire conditioned young Gentleman) apparently
perceiving, that he could not maintaine himselfe at _Sienna_, in such
estate as he liked, and upon the pension allowed him by his Father,
hearing also, that at the Marquisate of _Ancona_, there lived the Popes
Legate, a worthy Cardinall, his much indeared good Lord and friend: he
intended to goe visite him, as hoping to advance his fortunes by him.

Having acquainted his Father with this determination, he concluded
with him, to have that from him in a moment which might supply his
wants for many moneths, because he would be clothed gallantly, and
mounted honourably. And seeking for a servant necessary to attend on
him, it chanced that _Fortarigo_ hearing thereof, came presently to
_Aniolliero_, intreating him in the best manner he could, to let him
waite on him as his serving man, promising both dutifull and diligent
attendance: yet not to demaund any other wages, but onely payment of
his ordinary expences. _Aniolliero_ made him answere, that he durst
not give him entertainment, not in regard of his insufficiency, and
unaptnesse for service: but because he was a great Gamester, and divers
times would be beastly drunke? whereto _Fortarigo_ replyed that hee
would refraine from both those foule vices, and addict all his endeavour
wholly to please him, without just taxation of any grosse errour;
making such solemne vowes and protestations beside, as conquered
_Aniolliero_, and won his consent.

Being entred upon his journey, and arriving in a morning at
_Buonconvento_, there _Aniolliero_ determined to dine, and afterward,
finding the heate to be unfit for travaile; he caused a bed to be
prepared, wherein being laid to rest by the helpe of _Fortarigo_, he
gave him charge, that after the heates violence was overpast, hee
should not faile to call and awake him. While _Aniolliero_ slept
thus in his bed, _Fortarigo_, never remembring his solemne vowes and
promises: went to the Taverne, where having drunke indifferently, and
finding company fit for the purpose, he fell to play at the dice with
them. In a very short while, he had not onely lost his money, but all
the cloathes on his backe likewise, and coveting to recover his losses
againe; naked in his shirt, he went to _Aniollieroes_ Chamber, where
finding him yet soundly sleeping, he tooke all the money he had in his
purse, and then returned backe to play, speeding in the same manner as
hee did before, not having one poore penny left him.

_Aniolliero_ chancing to awake, arose and made him ready, without any
servant to helpe him; then calling for _Fortarigo_, and not hearing any
tydings of him: he began immediately to imagine, that he was become
drunke, and so had falne asleepe in one place or other, as very often
he was wont to doe. Wherefore, determining so to leave him, he caused
the male and Saddle to be set on his horse; & so to furnish himselfe
with a more honest servant at _Corsignano_.

But when hee came to pay his hoste, hee found not any penny left him:
whereupon (as well he might) he grew greatly offended, and raised much
trouble in the house, charged the hoasts people to have robde him, and
threatening to have them sent as prisoners to _Sienna_. Suddenly entred
_Fortarigo_ in his shirt, with intent to have stolne _Aniollieroes_
garments, as formerly hee did the money out of his purse, and seeing
him ready to mount on horsebacke, hee saide.

How now _Aniolliero_? What shall we goe away so soone? I pray you Sir
tarry a little while, for an honest man is comming hither, who hath my
Doublet engaged for eight and thirty shillings; and I am sure that he
will restore it me back for five and thirty, if I could presently pay
him downe the money.

During the speeches, an other entred among them, who assured
_Aniolliero_, that _Fortarigo_ was the Thiefe which robde him of
his money, shewing him also how much hee had lost at the Dice:
Wherewith _Aniolliero_ being much mooved, very angerly reprooved
_Fortarigo_, and, but for feare of the Law, would have offered him
outrage, thretning to have him hangd by the neck, or else condemned
to the Gallies belonging to _Florence_, and so mounted on his horse.
_Fortarigo_ making shew to the standers by, as if _Aniolliero_ menaced
some other body, and not him, said. Come _Aniolliero_, I pray thee
let us leave this frivilous prating, for (indeede) it is not worth a
Button, and minde a matter of more importance: my Doublet will bee had
againe for five and thirty shillings, if the money may bee tendered
downe at this very instant, whereas if we deferre it till to morrow,
perhaps hee will then have the whole eight and thirty which he lent
me, and he doth me this pleasure, because I am ready (at another time)
to affoord him the like courtesie; why then should we loose three
shillings, when they may so easily be saved.

_Aniolliero_ hearing him speake in such confused manner, and perceiving
also, that they which stood gazing by, beleeved (as by their lookes
appeared) that _Fortarigo_ had not played away his Masters mony at
the Dice, but rather that he had some stocke of _Fortarigoes_ in his
custody; angerly answered; Thou sawcy companion, what have I to doe
with thy Doublet? I would thou wert hangd, not only for playing away
my money, but also by delaying thus my journey, and yet boldly thou
standest out-facing mee, as if I were no better then thy fellow.
_Fortarigo_ held on still his former behaviour, without using any
respect or reverence to _Aniolliero_, as if all the accusations did
not concerne him, but saying, Why should wee not take the advantage
of three shillings profit? Thinkest thou, that I am not able to doe
as much for thee? why, lay out so much money for my sake, and make no
more haste then needs we must, because we have day-light enough to
bring us (before night) to _Torreniero_. Come, draw thy purse, and pay
the money, for upon mine honest word, I may enquire throughout all
_Sienna_, and yet not find such another Doublet as this of mine is. To
say then, that I should leave it, where it now lyeth pawned, and for
eight and thirty shillings, when it is richly more worth then fifty, I
am sure to suffer a double endammagement thereby.

You may well imagine, that _Aniolliero_ was now enraged beyond all
patience, to see himselfe both robde of his money, and overborne
with presumptuous language: wherefore, without making any more
replications, he gave the spurre to his horse, and rode away towards
_Torreniero_. Now fell _Fortarigo_ into a more knavish intention
against _Aniolliero_, and being very speedy in running, followed apace
after him in his shirt, crying out still aloude to him all the way, to
let him have his Doublet againe. _Aniolliero_ riding on very fast, to
free his eares from this idle importunity, it fortuned that _Fortarigo_
espied divers countrey Pezants, labouring in the fields about their
businesse, and by whom _Aniolliero_ (of necessity) must passe: To them
he cryed out so loude as he could; Stay the Thiefe, Stop the Thiefe, he
rides away so fast, having robde me.

They being provided, some with Prongges, Pitchforkes and Spades, and
others with the like weapons fit for Husbandry, stept into the way
before _Aniolliero_: and beleeving undoubtedly, that he had robde
the man which pursued him in his shirt, stayed and apprehended him.
Whatsoever _Aniolliero_ could doe or say, prevailed not any thing with
the unmannerly Clownes, but when _Fortarigo_ was arrived among them, he
braved _Aniolliero_ most impudently, saying.

What reason have I to spoile thy life (thou traiterous Villaine) to
rob and spoyle thy Master thus on the high way? Then turning to the
Countrey Boores: How much deare friends (quoth he) am I beholding to
you for this unexpected kindnesse? You behold in what manner he left me
in my Lodging, having first playd away all my money at the Dice, and
then deceiving me of my horse and garments also: but had not you (by
great good lucke) thus holpe mee to stay him; a poore Gentleman had bin
undone for ever, and I should never have found him againe.

_Aniolliero_ avouched the truth of his wrong received, but the base
peazants, giving credite onely to _Fortarigoes_ lying exclamations:
tooke him from his horse, despoyled him of all his wearing apparrell,
even to the very Bootes from off his Legges: suffered him to ride away
from him in that manner, and _Aniolliero_ left so in his shirt, to
dance a bare-foote Galliard after him, either towards _Sienna_, or any
place else.

Thus _Aniolliero_, purposing to visite his Cousin the Cardinal like
a Gallant, and at the Marquisate of _Ancona_, returned backe poorly
in his shirt unto _Buonconvento_, and durst not (for shame) repaire
to _Sienna_. In the end, he borrowed money on the other horse which
_Fortarigo_ rode on, and remained there in the Inne, whence riding to
_Corsignano_, where he had divers Kinsmen and Friends, he continued
there so long with them, till he was better furnished from his Father.

Thus you may perceive, that the cunning Villanies of _Fortarigo_,
hindred the honest intended enterprise of _Aniolliero_, howbeit in fit
time and place, nothing afterward was left unpunished.

Calandrino _became extraordinarily enamoured of a young Damosell,
named_ Nicholetta. Bruno _prepared a Charme or writing for him,
avouching constantly to him, that so soone as he touched the Damosell
therewith, she should follow him whithersoever hee would have her. She
being gone to an appointed place with him, hee was found there by his
wife, and dealt withall according to his deserving._

The fift Novell.

_In just reprehension of those vaine-headed fooles, that are led and
governed by idle perswasions._

Because the Novell reported by Madame _Neiphila_ was so soone
concluded, without much laughter, or commendation of the whole Company:
the Queene turned hir selfe towards Madam _Fiammetta_, enjoyning her to
succeed in apt order; & she being as ready as sodainly commanded, began
as followeth. Most gentle Ladies, I am perswaded of your opinion in
judgement with mine, that there is not any thing, which can bee spoken
pleasingly, except it be conveniently suited with apt time and place:
in which respect, when Ladies and Gentlewomen are bent to discoursing,
the due election of them both are necessarily required. And therefore I
am not unmindfull, that our meeting heere (ayming at nothing more, then
to out-weare the time with our generall contentment) should tye us to
the course of our pleasure and recreation, to the same conveniency of
time and place, not sparing, though some have bin nominated oftentimes
in our passed arguments; yet, if occasion serve, and the nature of
variety be well considered, wee may speake of the selfsame persons

Now, notwithstanding the actions of _Calandrino_ have been
indifferently canvazed among us; yet, remembring what _Philostratus_
not long since saide, That they intended to nothing more then matter of
mirth: I presume the boldlier, to report another Novell of him, beside
them already past. And, were I willing to conceale the truth, and
cloath it in more circumstantiall manner: I could make use of contrary
names, and paint it in a poeticall fiction, perhaps more probable,
though not so pleasing. But because wandring from the truth of things,
doth much diminish (in relation) the delight of the hearers: I will
build boldly on my fore-alledged reason, and tel you truly how it

_Niccholao Cornocchini_ was once a Citizen of ours, and a man of great
wealth; who, among other his rich possessions in _Camerata_, builded
there a very goodly house, which being perfected ready for painting:
he compounded with _Bruno_ and _Buffalmaco_, who because** their worke
required more helpe then their owne, they drew _Nello_ and _Calandrino_
into their association, and began to proceed in their businesse. And
because there was a Chamber or two, having olde moveables in them, as
Bedding, Tables, and other Houshold stuffe beside, which were in the
custody of an old Woman that kepte the house, without the helpe of any
other servants else, a Son unto the saide _Niccholao_, beeing named
_Phillippo_, resorted thither divers times, with one or other prety
Damosell in his company (in regard he was unmarried) where he would
abide a day or two with her, & then convey her home againe.

At one time among the rest, it chanced that he brought a Damosell
thither named _Nicholetta_, who was maintained by a wily companion,
called _Magione_, in a dwelling which hee had at _Camaldoli_, and
(indeed) no honester then she should be. She was a very beautifull
young woman, wearing garments of great value, and (according to her
quality) well spoken, and of commendable carriage. Comming forth of
her Chamber one day, covered with a White veyle, because her haire
hung loose about her, which shee went to wash at a Well in the middle
Court, bathing there also her face and hands: _Calandrino_ going (by
chance) to the same Well for water, gave her a secret salutation.
She kindly returning the like courtesie to him, began to observe him
advisedly: more, because he looked like a man newly come thither, then
any handsomnesse she perceyved in him.

_Calandrino_ threw wanton glances at her, and seeing she was both
faire and lovely, began to finde some occasion of tarrying, so that
he returned not with water to his other associates, yet neither
knowing her, or daring to deliver one word. She, who was not to
learn her lesson in alluring, noting what affectionate regards (with
bashfulnesse) he gave her: answered him more boldly with the like; but
meerly in scorning manner, breathing forth divers dissembled sighs
among them: so that _Calandrino_ became foolishly inveigled with her
love, and would not depart out of the Court, untill _Phillippo_,
standing above in his Chamber window called her thence.

When _Calandrino_ was returned backe to his businesse, he could do
nothing else, but shake the head, sigh, puffe, and blowe, which being
observed by _Bruno_ (who alwayes fitted him according to his folly, as
making a meer mockery of his very best behaviour) sodainly he said. Why
how now _Calandrino_? Sigh, puff, and blow man? What may be the reason
of these unwonted qualities? _Calandrino_ immediately answered, saying:
My friendly Companion _Bruno_, if I had one to lend me a little helpe,
I should very quickely become well enough. How? quoth _Bruno_, doth
any thing offend thee, and wilt thou not reveale it to thy friends?
Deare _Bruno_, said _Calandrino_, there is a proper handsome woman here
in the house, the goodliest creature that every any eye beheld, much
fairer then the Queen of Fairies her selfe, who is so deeply falne in
love with mee, as thou wouldst thinke it no lesse then a wonder; and
yet I never sawe her before, till yet while when I was sent to fetch
water. A very strange case, answered _Bruno_, take heede _Calandrino_,
that shee bee not the lovely friend to _Phillippo_, our yong Master,
for then it may prove a dangerous matter.

_Calandrino_ stood scratching his head an indifferent while, and then
sodainly replyed thus. Now trust me _Bruno_, it is to bee doubted,
because he called her at his Window, and she immediatly went up to his
Chamber. But what doe I care if it be so? Have not the Gods themselves
bene beguiled of their Wenches, who were better men then ever
_Phillippo_ can be, and shall I stand in feare of him? _Bruno_ replied:
Be patient _Calandrino_, I will enquire what Woman she is, and if she
be not the wife or friend to our young master _Phillippo_, with faire
perswasions I can over-rule the matter, because shee is a familiar
acquaintance of mine. But how shall wee doe, that _Buffalmaco_ may not
know heereof? I can never speake to her, if hee be in my company. For
_Buffalmaco_ (quoth _Calandrino_) I have no feare of all, but rather
of _Nello_, because he is a neer Kinsman to my wife, and he is able to
undo me quite, if once it should come to his hearing. Thou saist well,
replyed _Bruno_, therefore the matter hath neede to be very cleanly

Now let me tell you, the Woman was well enough knowne to _Bruno_, as
also her quality of life, which _Phillippo_ had acquainted him withall,
and the reason of her resorting thither. Wherefore, _Calandrino_ going
forth of the roome where they wrought, onely to gaine another sight
of _Nicholetta, Bruno_ revealed the whole history to _Buffalmaco_ and
_Nello_; they all concluding together, how this amorous fit of the
foole was to be followed. And when _Calandrino_ was returned backe
againe; in whispering manner _Bruno_ said to him. Hast thou once more
seene her? Yes, yes _Bruno_, answered _Calandrino_: Alas, she hath
slaine me with her very eye, and I am no better then a dead man. Be
patient said _Bruno_, I will goe and see whether she be the same woman
which I take her for, or no: and if it prove so, then never feare, but
refer the businesse unto me.

_Bruno_ descending downe the staires, found _Phillippo_ and
_Nicholetta_ in conference together, and stepping unto them, discoursed
at large, what manner of man _Calandrino_ was, and how farre he was
falne in love with her: so that they made a merry conclusion, what
should be performed in this case, onely to make a pastime of his hot
begun love. And being come backe againe to _Calandrino_, he saide. It
is the same woman whereof I told thee, and therefore wee must worke
wisely in the businesse: for if _Phillippo_ perceive any thing, all the
water in _Arno_ will hardly serve to quench his fury. But what wouldst
thou have me say to her on thy behalfe, if I compasse the meanes to
speake with her? First of all (quoth _Calandrino_) and in the prime
place, tell her, that I wish infinite bushels of those blessings, which
makes Maides Mothers, and begetteth children. Next, that I am onely
hers, in any service she will command me. Dooest thou understand me what
I say? Sufficiently answered _Bruno_, leave all to me.

When supper time was come, that they gave over working, and were
descended downe into the Court: there they found _Phillippo_ and
_Nicholetta_ readily attending to expect some beginning of amorous
behaviour, and _Calandrino_ glanced such leering lookes at her,
coughing and spetting with hummes and haes, yea in such close and
secret manner, that a starke blinde sight might verie easily have
perceyved it.

She also on the other side, returned him such queint and cunning
carriage, as enflamed him farre more furiously, even as if hee were
ready to leape out of himselfe. In the meane while, _Phillippo,
Buffalmaco_ and the rest that were there present, seeming as if they
were seriouslie consulting together, and perceived nothing of his
fantastick behavior, according as _Bruno_ had appointed, could scarse
refraine from extremity of laughter, they noted such antick trickes in

Having spent an indifferent space in this foppish folly, the houre of
parting came, but not without wonderfull affliction to _Calandrino_;
and as they were going towards _Florence, Bruno_ saide closely to
_Calandrino_. I dare assure thee, that thou hast made her to consume
and melt, even like ice against the warme Sunne. On my word, if thou
wouldst bring thy Gitterne, and sit downe by us, singing some few
amorous songs of thine owne making, when we are beneath about our
businesse in the Court: shee would presently leape out of the Window,
as being unable to tarry from thee.

I like thy counsell well _Bruno_, answered _Calandrino_; but shall I
bring my Gitterne thither indeed? Yes, in any case, replied _Bruno_,
for Musicke is a matter of mighty prevailing. Ah _Bruno_ (quoth
_Calandrino_) thou wouldst not credit me in the morning, when I tolde
thee, how the very sight of my person had wounded her: I perceived it
at the very first looke of her owne, for shee had no power to conceale
it. Who but my selfe could so soone have enflamed her affection, and
being a woman of such worth and beauty as shee is? There are infinite
proper handsome fellowes, that daily haunt the company of dainty
Damosels, yet are so shallow in the affayres of love, as they are not
able to win one wench of a thousand, no, not with all the wit they
have, such is their extreame follie and ill fortune.

Then pausing a while, and sodainely rapping out a Lovers Oath or
two, thus he proceeded. My dearest _Bruno_, thou shalt see how I can
tickle my Gitterne, and what good sport will ensue thereon. If thou
dost observe me with judgement, why man, I am not so old as I seeme
to be, and she could perceive it at the very first view; yea, and she
shall finde it so too, when we have leysure to consult upon further
occasions: I finde my selfe in such a free and frolicke jocunditie of
spirit, that I will make her to follow me, even as a fond woman doth
after her child.

But beware, saide _Bruno_, that thou do not gripe her over-hard, and in
kissing, bee carefull of biting, because the teeth stand in thy head
like the pegges of a Lute, yet make a comely shew in thy faire wide
mouth, thy cheekes looking like two of our artificiall Roses, swelling
amiably, when thy jawes are well fild with meat. _Calandrino_ hearing
these hansome commendations, thought himselfe a man of action already,
going, singing, and frisking before his companie so lively, as if he
had not bin in his skin.

On the morrow, carrying his Gitterne thither with him, to the no
little delight of his companions, hee both played and sung a whole
Bed-role of Songs, not addicting himselfe to any worke all the day: but
loitering fantastically, one while he gazed out at the window, then
ran to the gate, and oftentimes downe into the Court, onely to have
a sight of his Mistresse. She also (as cunningly) encountred all his
follies, by such directions as _Bruno_ gave her, and many more beside
of her owne devising, to quicken him still with new occasions; _Bruno_
plaid the Ambassador betweene them, in delivering the messages from
_Calandrino_, and then returning her answers to him. Sometimes when she
was absent thence (which often hapned as occasions called her) then he
would write letters in her name, & bring them, as if they were sent by
her, to give him hope of what hee desired, but because she was then
among her kindred, yet she could not be unmindfull of him.

In this manner, _Bruno_ and _Buffalmaco_ (who had the managing of this
amorous businesse) made a meere Gregory of poore _Calandrino_, causing
him somtimes to send her, one while a pretty peece of Ivory, then a
faire wrought purse, and a costly paire of knives, with other such like
friendly tokens: bringing him backe againe, as in requitall of them,
counterfetted Rings of no valew, Bugles and bables, which he esteemed
as matters of great moment. Moreover, at divers close and sodain
meetings, they made him pay for many dinners & suppers, amounting to
indifferent charges, onely to be carefull** in the furtherance of his
love-suit, and to conceale it from his wife.

Having worne out three or foure months space in this fond and frivolous
manner, without any other successe then as hath bene declared; and
_Calandrino_ perceiving, that the works undertaken by him and his
fellowes, grew very neere uppon the finishing, which would barre him
of any longer resorting thither: hee began to solicite _Bruno_ more
importunately, then all the while before he hadde done. In regard
whereof, _Nicholetta_ being one day come thither, & _Bruno_ having
conferred both with her and _Phillippo_, with full determination what
was to be done, he began with _Calandrino_, saying. My honest Neighbour
and Friend, this Woman hath made a thousand promises, to graunt what
thou art so desirous to have, and I plainly perceive that she hath
no such meaning, but meerely plaies with both our noses. In which
respect, seeing she is so perfidious, and will not perfourme one of all
her faithfull-made promises: if thou wilt content to have it so, she
shall be compelled to do it whether she will or no. Yea marry _Bruno_,
answered _Calandrino_, that were an excellent course indeede, if it
could be done, and with expedition.

_Bruno_ stood musing awhile to himselfe, as if he had some strange
stratagem in his braine, & afterward said. Hast thou so much corage
_Calandrino_, as but to handle a peece of written parchment, which I
will give thee? Yes, that I have answered _Calandrino_, I hope that
needed not to be doubted. Well then, saide _Bruno_, procure that I
may have a piece of Virgin Parchment brought mee, with a living Bat
or Reremouse; three graines of Incense, and an hallowed Candle, then
leave me to effect what shall content thee. _Calandrino_ watched all the
next night following, with such preparation as he could make, onely
to catch a Bat; which being taken at the last, he broght it alive to
_Bruno_ (with all the other materials appointed) who taking him alone
into a backer Chamber, there hee wrote divers follies on the Parchment,
in the shape of strange and unusuall Charracters, which he delivered
to _Calandrino_, saying: Be bold _Calandrino_, and build constantly
uppon my wordes, that if thou canst but touch her with this sacred
Charractred charme, she will immediately follow thee, and fulfil
whatsoever thou pleasest to command hir. Wherefore, if _Phillippo_ do
this day walke any whither abroad from this house, presume to salute
her, in any manner whatsoever it be, & touching her with the written
lines, go presently to the barn of hay, which thou perceivest so neere
adjoyning, the onely convenient place that can be, because few or none
resort thither. She shall (in despight of her blood) follow thee; and
when thou hast her there, I leave thee then to thy valiant victory.
_Calandrino_ stood on tiptoe, like a man newly molded by Fortune, and
warranted _Bruno_ to fulfil all effectually.

_Nello_, whom _Calandrino_ most of all feared and mistrusted, had a
hand as deepe as any of the rest in this deceite, and was as forward
also to have it performed, by _Brunoes_ direction, hee went unto
_Florence_, where being in company with _Calandrinoes_ Wife, thus hee

Cousine, thine unkinde usage by thine husband, is not unknown to me,
how he did beate thee (beyond the compasse of all reason) when he
brought home stones from the plain of _Mugnone_; in which regard, I
am very desirous to have thee revenged on him: which if thou wilt not
do; never repute me heereafter for thy Kinsman and Friend. He is falne
in love with a Woman of the common gender, one that is to be hired
for money: he hath his private meetings with her, and the place is
partly knowne to me, as by a secret appointment (made very lately) I am
credibly given to understand; wherefore walke presently along with me,
and thou shalt take him in the heat of his knavery.

All the while as these words were uttering to her, shee could not
dissemble her inward impatience, but starting up as halfe franticke
with fury, she said. O notorious villaine! Darest thou abuse thine
honest wife so basely? I sweare by blessed Saint _Bridget_, thou shalt
be paid with coyne of thine owne stampe. So casting a light wearing
Cloake about her, and taking a yong woman in her company; shee went
away with _Nello_ in no meane haste. _Bruno_ seeing her comming a farre
off, said to _Phillippo_: You Sir, you know what is to be done, act
your part according to your appointment. _Phillippo_ went immediately
into the roome, where _Calandrino_ and his other Consorts were at
worke, and said to them. Honest friends, I have certaine occasions
which command mine instant being at _Florence_: worke hard while I am
absent, and I will not be unthankefull for it. Away hee departed from
them, and hid himselfe in a convenient place, where he could not be
descryed, yet see whatsoever _Calandrino_ did: who when he imagined
_Phillippo_ to be farre enough off, descended downe into the Court,
where he found _Nicholetta_ sitting alone, and going towards her, began
to enter into discoursing with her.

She knowing what remained to bee done on her behalfe, drew somewhat
neere him, and shewed her selfe more familiar then formerly she had
done: by which favourable meanes, he touched her with the charmed
Parchment, which was no sooner done; but without using any other kinde
of language, hee went to the hay-Barne, whither _Nicholetta_ followed
him, and both being entred, he closed the Barne doore, and then stood
gazing on her, as if hee had never seene her before. Standing still as
in a study, or bethinking himselfe what he should say: she began to
use affable gesture to him, and taking him by the hand, made shew as
if shee meant to kisse him, which yet she refrained, though he (rather
then his life) would gladly have had it. Why how now deare _Calandrino_
(quoth she) jewell of my joy, comfort of my heart, how many times have
I longed for thy sweet Company? And enjoying it now, according to mine
owne desire, dost thou stand like a Statue, or man _alla morte_? The
rare tunes of the Gitterne, but (much more) the melodious accents of
thy voyce, excelling _Orpheus_ or _Amphion_, so ravished my soule, as I
know not how to expresse the depth of mine affection; and yet hast thou
brought me hither, onely to looke babies in mine eyes, and not so much
as speake one kinde word to me?

_Bruno_ and _Buffalmaco_, having hid themselves close behinde
_Phillippo_, they both heard and saw all this amourous conflict, and
as _Calandrino_ was quickning his courage, and wiping his mouth, with
intent to kisse her: his wife and _Nello_ entred into the Barne, which
caused _Nicholetta_ to get her gone presently, sheltring her self where
_Phillippo_ lay scouting. But the enraged woman ranne furiously upon
poore daunted _Calandrino_, making such a pitiful massacre with her
nailes, and tearing the haire from his head, as hee meerely looked
like an infected Anatomy. Fowle loathsome dog (quoth she) must you be
at your minions, and leave mee hunger-starved at home? An olde knave
with (almost) never a good tooth in thy head, and yet art thou neighing
after young wenches? hast thou not worke enough at home, but must bee
gadding in to other mens grounds? Are these the fruites of wandring

_Calandrino_ being in this pittifull perplexity, stood like one neither
alive nor dead, nor daring to use any resistance against her; but fell
on his knees before his Wife, holding up his hands for mercy, and
entreating her (for charities sake) not to torment him any more: for
he had committed no harme at all, and the Gentlewoman was his Masters
Wife, who came with no such intent thither, as shee fondly imagined.
Wife, or wife not (quoth she) I would have none to meddle with my
Husband, but I that have the most right to him.

_Bruno_ and _Buffalmaco_, who had laughed all this while heartily at
this pastime, with _Phillippo_ and _Nicholetta_; came running in haste
to know the reason of this loude noise, and after they had pacified
the woman with gentle perswasions: they advised _Calandrino_ to walke
with his Wife to _Florence_, and returne no more to worke there againe,
least _Phillippo_ hearing what had hapned, should be revenged on him
with some outrage. Thus poore _Calandrino_ miserably misused and
beaten, went home to _Florence_ with his Wife, scoulded and raild at
all the way, beside his other molestations** (day and night) afterward:
his Companions, _Phillippo_ and _Nicholetta_, making themselves merry
at his mis-fortune.

_Two yong Gentlemen, the one named_ Panuccio, _and the other_ Adriano,
_lodged one night in a poore Inne, where one of them went to bed to the
Hostes Daughter, and the other (by mistaking his way in the darke) to
the Hostes wife. He which lay with the daughter, happened afterward to
the Hostes bed, and told him what he had done, as thinking he spake to
his owne companyon. Discontentment growing betweene them, the Mother
perceiving her errour, went to bed to her daughter, and with discreete
language, made a generall pacification._

The Sixt Novell.

_Wherein is manifested, that an offence committed ignorantly, and by
mistaking; ought to be covered with good advise, and civill discretion._

_Calandrino_, whose mishaps had so many times made the whole assembly
merry, and this last passing among them with indifferent commendations:
upon a generall silence commanded, the Queene gave order to
_Pamphilus_, that hee should follow next, as indeed he did, beginning
thus. Praise-worthy Ladies, the name of _Nicholetta_, so fondly affected
by _Calandrino_, putteth mee in minde of a Novell, concerning another
_Nicholetta_, of whom I purpose to speake: to the ende you may observe
how by a sudden wary fore-sight, a discreet woman compassed the meanes
to avoyde a notorious scandall.

On the plaine of _Mugnone_, neere to _Florence_, dwelt (not long since)
an honest meane man, who kept a poore Inne or Ostery for travellers,
where they might have some slender entertainement for their money. As
he was but a poore man, so his house affoorded but very small receit
of guests, not lodging any but on necessity, and such as he had some
knowledge of. This honest poore hoste had a woman (sufficiently faire)
to his wife, by whom hee had also two children, the one a comely young
maiden, aged about fifteene yeares, and the other a sonne, not fully
(as yet) a yeare old, and sucking on the mothers brest.

A comely youthfull Gentleman of our City, became amorously affected to
the Damosell, resorting thither divers times as hee travelled on the
way, to expresse how much he did respect her. And she accounting her
fortune none of the meanest, to bee beloved by so youthfull a Gallant,
declared such vertuous and modest demeanour, as might deserve his best
opinion of her: so that their love grew to an equall simpathy, and
mutuall contentment of them both, in expectation of further effects; he
being named _Panuccio_, and she _Nicholetta_.

The heate of affection thus encreasing day by day, _Panuccio_ grew
exceedingly desirous to enjoy the fruits of his long continued liking,
and divers devises mustred in his braine, how he might compasse one
nights lodging in her fathers house, whereof hee knew every part and
parcell, as not doubting to effect what hee desired, yet undiscovered
by any, but the maide her selfe.

According as his intention aymed, so he longed to put it in execution,
and having imparted his mind to an honest loyall friend, named
_Adriano_, who was acquainted with the course of his love: hyring
two horses, and having Portmantues behind them, filled with matters
of no moment, they departed from _Florence_, as if they had some
great journey to ride. Having spent the day time where themselves
best pleased, darke night being entred, they arrived on the plaine of
_Mugnone_, where, as if they were come from the parts of _Romanio_,
they rode directly to this poore Inne, and knocking at the doore, the
honest Hoste (being familiar and friendly to all commers) opened the
doore, when _Panuccio_ spake in this manner to him. Good man, we must
request one nights lodging with you, for we thought to have reached
so farre as _Florence_, but dark night preventing us, you see at what
a late houre wee are come hither. Signior _Panuccio_, answered the
hoste, it is not unknowne to you, how unfitting my poore house is, for
entertaining such guests as you are: Neverthelesse, seeing you are
overtaken by so unseasonable an houre, and no other place is neere for
your receite; I will gladly lodge you so well as I can.

When they were dismounted from their horses, and entred into the simple
Inne: having taken order for feeding their horses, they accepted such
provision, as the place and time afforded, requesting the Hoste to
suppe with them. Now I am to tell you, that there was but one small
Chamber in the house, wherein stood three beds, as best the Hoste had
devised to place them, two of them standing by the walles side, and
the third fronting them both, but with such close and narrow passage,
as very hardly could one step betweene them. The best of these three
beds was appointed for the Gentlemen, and therein theyd lay them down
to rest, but sleepe they could not, albeit they dissembled it very
formally. In the second Bed was _Nicholetta_ the daughter, lodged by
her selfe, and the father and mother in the third, and because she was
to give the child sucke in the night time, the Cradle (wherein it lay)
stood close by their beds side, because the childes crying or any other
occasion concerning it, should not disquiet the Gentlemen.

_Panuccio_ having subtily observed all this, and in what manner they
went to bed; after such a space of time, as he imagined them to be
all fast asleepe, he arose very softly, and stealing to the bed of
_Nicholetta_, lay downe gently by her. And albeit she seemed somewhat
afraid at the first, yet when she perceived who it was, shee rather
bad him welcome, then shewed her selfe any way discontented. Now while
_Panuccio_ continued thus with the maide, it fortuned that a Cat threw
down somewhat in the house, the noise whereof awaked the wife, and
fearing greater harme, then (indeed) had hapned, she arose without a
Candle, and went groping in the darke, towards the place where shee
heard the noyse. _Adriano_, who had no other meaning but well, found
occasion also to rise, about some naturall necessity, and making his
passage in the darke, stumbled on the childes Cradle (in the way) where
the woman had set it, and being unable to passe by, without removing
it from the place: tooke and set it by his owne beds side, and having
done the businesse for which he rose, returned to his bed againe, never
remembring to set the Cradle where first he found it.

The Wife having found the thing throwne downe being of no value or
moment, cared not for lighting any candle; but rating the Cat, returned
backe, feeling for the bed where her Husband lay, but finding not the
Cradle there, she said to her selfe. What a foolish woman am I, that
cannot well tell my selfe what I doe? Instead of my Husbands bed, I am
going to both my guests.

So, stepping on a little further, she found the childes Cradle, and
laid her selfe downe by _Adriano_, thinking shee had gone right to her
Husband. _Adriano_ being not yet falne asleepe, feeling the hostesse
in bed with him: tooke advantage of so faire an occasion offered, and
what he did, is no businesse of mine, (as I heard) neither found the
woman any fault. Matters comming to passe in this strange manner, and
_Panuccio_ fearing, lest sleepe seazing on him, he might disgrace the
maides reputation: taking his kinde farewell of her, with many kisses
and sweet imbraces: returned againe to his owne Bed, but meeting with
the Cradle in his way, and thinking it stood by the hostes Bed, (as
truely it did so at the first) went backe from the Cradle, and stept
into the hostes Bed indeed, who awaked upon his very entrance, albeit
he slept very soundly before.

_Panuccio_ supposing that he was laid downe by his loving friend
_Adriano_, merrily said to the Hoste. I protest to thee, as I am a
Gentleman, _Nicholetta_ is a dainty delicate wench, and worthy to be
a very good mans wife: this night shee hath given mee the sweetest
entertainement, as the best Prince in the world can wish no better,
and I have kist her most kindly for it. The Hoste hearing these newes,
which seemed very unwelcome to him, said first to himself: What make
such a devill heere in my Bedde? Afterward being more rashly angry,
then well advised, hee said to _Panuccio_. Canst thou makes vaunt of
such a mounstrous villany? Or thinkest thou, that heaven hath not due
vengeance in store, to requite all wicked deeds of darkenesse? If all
should sleepe, yet I have courage sufficient to right my wrong, and yet
as olde as I am thou shalt be sure to finde it.

Our amorous _Panuccio_ being none of the wisest young men in the world,
perceiving his errour; sought not to amend it, (as well he might have
done) with some queint straine of wit, carried in quicke and cleanly
manner, but angerly answered. What shall I find that thou darst doe to
me? am I any way afraid of thy threatnings? The Hostes imagining she
was in bed with her Husband, said to _Adriano_: Harke Husband, I thinke
our Guests are quarrelling together, I hope they will doe no harme to
one another. _Adriano_ laughing outright, answered. Let them alone, and
become friends againe as they fell out: perhaps they dranke too much

The woman perceiving that it was her husband that quarrelled, and
distinguishing the voyce of _Adriano_ from his: knew presently where
shee was, and with whom; wherefore having wit at will, and desirous
to cloude an error unadvisedly committed, and with no willing consent
of her selfe: without returning any more words, presently she rose,
and taking the Cradle with the child in it, removed it thence to her
daughters bed side, although shee had no light to helpe her, and
afterward went to bed to her, where (as if she were but newly awaked)
she called her Husband, to understand what angry speeches had past
betweene him and _Panuccio_. The Hoste replyed, saying. Didst thou not
heare him wife, brag & boast, how he hath lyen this night with our
daughter _Nicholetta_? Husband (quoth she) he is no honest Gentleman;
if hee should say so, and beleeve me it is a manifest lye, for I am in
bed with her my selfe, and never yet closed mine eyes together, since
the first houre I laid me downe: it is unmannerly done of him to speake
it, and you are little lesse then a logger-head, if you doe beleeve
it. This proceedeth from your bibbing and swilling yesternight, which
(as it seemeth) maketh you to walke about the roome in your sleepe,
dreaming of wonders in the night season: it were no great sinne if you
brake your necks, to teach you keepe a fairer quarter; and how commeth
it to passe, that Signior _Panuccio_ could not keepe himselfe in his
owne bed?

_Adriano_ (on the other side) perceiving how wisely the woman excused
her owne shame and her daughters; to backe her in a businesse so
cunningly begun, he called to _Panuccio_, saying. Have not I tolde
thee an hundred times, that thou art not fit to lye any where; out of
thine owne lodging? What a shame is this base imperfection to thee, by
rising and walking thus in the night-time, according as thy dreames
doe wantonly delude thee, and cause thee to forsake thy bed, telling
nothing but lies and fables, yet avouching them for manifest truthes?
Assuredly this will procure no meane perill unto thee: Come hither, and
keepe in thine owne bedde for meere shame.

When the honest meaning Host heard, what his own Wife and _Adriano_ had
confirmed: he was verily perswaded, that _Panuccio_ spake in a dreame
all this while: And to make it the more constantly apparant, _Panuccio_
(being now growne wiser by others example) lay talking and blundring
to himselfe, even as if dreames or perturbations of the minde did much
molest him, with strange distractions in franticke manner. Which the
Hoste perceiving, and compassionating his case, as one man should do
anothers: he tooke him by the shoulders, jogging and hunching him,
saying. Awake Signior _Panuccio_, and get you gone hence to your owne

_Panuccio_, yawning and stretching out his limbes, with unusuall
groanes and respirations, such as (better) could bee hardly dissembled:
seemed to wake as out of a traunce, and calling his friend _Adriano_,

_Adriano_, is it day, that thou dost waken me? It may be day or night
replyed _Adriano_, for both (in these fits) are alike to thee. Arise
man for shame, and come to thine lodging. Then faining to be much
troubled and sleepie, he arose from the hoast, and went to _Adrianoes_

When it was day, and all in the house risen, the hoast began to smile
at _Panuccio_, mocking him with his idle dreaming and talking in the

So, falling from one merry matter to another, yet without any mislike
at all: the Gentlemen, having their horses prepared, and their
Portmantues fastened behind, drinking to their hoast, mounted on
horsebacke, and they roade away towards _Florence_, no lesse contented
with the manner of occasions happened, then the effects they sorted
to. Afterward, other courses were taken, for the continuance of this
begun pleasure with _Nicholetta_, who made her mother beleeve, that
_Panuccio_ did nothing else but dreame. And the mother her selfe
remembring how kindely _Adriano_ had used her (a fortune not expected
by her before:) was more then halfe of the minde, that she did then
dreame also, while she was waking.

Talano de Molese _dreamed, That a Wolfe rent and tore his wives face
and throate. Which dreame he told to her, with advise to keep her selfe
out of danger; which she refusing to doe, received what followed._

The Seventh Novell.

_Whereby (with some indifferent reason) it is concluded, that Dreames
do not alwayes fall out to be leasings._

By the conclusion of _Pamphilus_ his Novel, wherein the womans ready
wit, at a time of such necessity, carried deserved commendations: the
Queen gave command to Madam _Pampinea_, that she should next begin with
hers, and so she did, in this manner. In some discourses (gracious
Ladies) already past among us, the truth of apparitions in dreames
hath partly bin approved, whereof very many have made a mockery.
Neverthelesse, whatsoever hath heeretofore bin sayde, I purpose to
acquaint you with a very short Novell, of a strange accident happening
unto a neighbour of mine, in not crediting a Dreame which her Husband
told her.

I cannot tell, whether you knew _Talano de Molese_, or no, a man of
much honour, who tooke to wife a yong Gentlewoman, named _Margarita_,
as beautifull as the best: but yet so peevish, scornefull, and
fantasticall, that she disdained any good advice given her; neyther
could any thing be done, to cause her contentment; which absurd humours
were highly displeasing to her husband: but in regard he knew not how
to helpe it, constrainedly he did endure it. It came to passe, that
_Talano_ being with his wife, at a summer-house of his owne in the
country, he dreamed one night, that he saw his Wife walking in a faire
wood, which adjoyned neere unto his house, and while she thus continued
there, he seemed to see issue foorth from a corner of the said Wood, a
great and furious Wolfe, which leaping sodainly on her, caught her by
the face and throate, drawing her downe to the earth, and offering to
drag her thence. But he crying out for helpe, recovered her from the
Wolfe, yet having her face and throat very pitifully rent and torne.

In regard of this terrifying dreame, when _Talano_ was risen in the
morning, and sate conversing with his wife, he spake thus unto hir.
Woman, although thy froward wilfull Nature be such, as hath not
permitted me one pleasing day with thee, since first we becam man and
wife, but rather my life hath bene most tedious to me, as fearing still
some mischeefe should happen to thee: yet let mee now in loving manner
advise thee, to follow my counsell, and (this day) not to walke abroad
out of this house. She demanded a reason for this advice of his. He
related to her every particular of his dreame, adding with all these

True it is Wife (quoth he) that little credit should bee given to
dreames: neverthelesse, when they deliver advertisement of harmes
to ensue, there is nothing lost by shunning and avoiding them. She
fleering in his face, and shaking her head at him, replyed. Such harmes
as thou wishest, such thou dreamest of. Thou pretendest much pittie
and care of me, but all to no other end: but what mischeefes thou
dreamest happening unto mee, so wouldest thou see them effected on me.
Wherefore, I will well enough looke to my selfe, both this day, and at
all times else: because thou shalt never make thy selfe merry, with any
such misfortune as thou wishest unto me.

Well Wife, answered _Talano_, I knew well enough before, what thou
wouldst say: An unsound head is soone scratcht with the very gentlest
Combe: but beleeve as thou pleasest. As for my selfe, I speake with a
true and honest meaning soule, and once againe I do advise thee, to
keepe within our doores all this day: at least wife beware, that thou
walke not into our wood, bee it but in regard of my dreame. Well sir
(quoth she scoffingly) once you shall say, I followed your counsell:
but within her selfe she fell to this murmuring. Now I perceive my
husbands cunning colouring, & why I must not walke this day into our
wood: he hath made a compact with some common Queane, closely to have
her company there, and is afraide least I shold take them tardy. Belike
he would have me feed among blinde folke, and I were worthy to bee
thought a starke foole, if I should not prevent a manifest trechery,
being intended against me. Go thither therefore I will, and tarry there
all the whole day long; but I will meet with him in his merchandize,
and see the Pink wherein he adventures.

After this her secret consultation, her husband was no sooner gone
forth at one doore, but shee did the like at another, yet so secretly
as possibly she could devise to doe, and (without any delaying) she
went to the Wood, wherein she hid her selfe very closely, among the
thickest of the bushes, yet could discerne every way about her, if
any body should offer to passe by her. While shee kept her selfe in
this concealment, suspecting other mysterious matters, as her idle
imagination had tutord her, rather then the danger of any Wolfe; out of
a brakie thicket by her, sodainly rushed a huge & dreadfull Wolfe, as
having found her by the sent, mounting uppe, and grasping her throat in
his mouth, before she saw him, or could call to heaven for mercy.

Being thus seised of her, he carried her as lightly away, as if shee
had bin no heavier then a Lambe, she being (by no meanes) able to cry,
because he held her so fast by the throate, and hindred any helping
of her selfe. As the Wolfe carried her thus from thence, he had quite
strangled her, if certaine Shepheards had not met him, who with their
outcries and exclaimes at the Wolfe, caused him to let her fall, and
hast away to save his owne life. Notwithstanding the harme done to her
throat and face, the shepheards knew her, and caried her home to her
house, where she remained a long while after, carefully attended by
Physitians and Chirurgians.

Now, although they were very expert and cunning men all, yet could
they not so perfectly cure her, but both her throate, and part of
her face were so blemished, that whereas she seemed a rare creature
before, she was now deformed and much unsightly. In regard of which
strange alteration, being ashamed to shew her selfe in any place, where
formerly she had bene seene: she spent her time in sorrow and mourning,
repenting her insolent and scornfull carriage, as also her rash running
forth into danger, upon a foolish and jealous surmise, beleeving her
husbands dreames the better for ever after.

Blondello _(in a merry manner) caused_ Guiotto _to beguile himselfe of a
good dinner: for which deceit,_ Guiotto _became cunningly revenged, by
procuring_ Blondello _to be unreasonably beaten and misused._

The Eight Novell.

_Whereby plainly appeareth, that they which take delight in deceiving
others, do well deserve to be deceived themselves._

It was a generall opinion in the whole Joviall Companie, that
whatsoever _Talano_ saw in his sleepe, was not anie dreame, but rather
a vision: considring, every part thereof fell out so directly, without
the lest failing. But when silence was enjoyned, then the Queene gave
forth by evident demonstration, that Madam _Lauretta_ was next to
succeed, whereupon she thus began. As all they (judicious hearers)
which have this day spoken before me, derived the ground or project
of their Novels, from some other argument spoken of before: even so,
the cruell revendge of the Scholler, yesterday discoursed at large by
Madame _Pampinea_, maketh me to remember another Tale of like nature,
some-what greevous to the sufferer, yet not in such cruell measure
inflicted, as that on Madam _Helena_.

There dwelt sometime in _Florence_, one who was generally called
by the name of _Guiotto_, a man being the greatest Gourmand, and
grossest feeder, as ever was seene in any Countrey, all his meanes &
procurements meerly unable to maintaine expences for filling his belly.
But otherwise he was of sufficient and commendable carriage, fairely
demeaned, and well discoursing on any argument: yet, not as a curious
and spruce Courtier, but rather a frequenter of rich mens Tables,
where choice of good cheere is sildome wanting, & such should have his
company, albeit not invited, yet (like a bold intruder) he had the
courage to bid himselfe welcome.

At the same time, and in our City of _Florence_ also, there was another
man, named _Blondello_, very low of stature; yet comly formed, quicke
witted, more neat and brisk then a Butter flye, alwaies wearing a
wrought silke cap on his head, and not a haire staring out of order,
but the tuft flourishing above the forehead, and he such another
trencher-fly for the table, as our forenamed _Guiotto_ was. It so fel
out on a morning in the Lent time, that hee went into the Fish-market,
where he bought two goodly Lampreyes, for _Messer Viero de Cherchi_,
and was espied by _Guiotto_, who (comming to _Blondello_) said. What is
the meaning of this cost, and for whom is it? Whereto _Blondello_ thus
answered. Yesternight, three other Lampries, far fairer and fatter then
these, and a whole Sturgeon, were sent unto _Messer Corso Donati_, and
being not sufficient to feede divers Gentlemen, whom hee hath invited
this day to dine with him, hee caused me to buy these two beside: Doest
not thou intend to make one among them? Yes I warrant thee, replied
_Guiotto_, thou knowst I can invite my selfe thither, without any other

So parting; about the houre of dinner time, _Guiotto_ went to the
house of the saide _Messer Corso_, whom he found sitting and talking
with certain of his neighbours, but dinner was not (as yet) ready,
neither were they come thither to dinner. _Messer Corso_ demaunded of
_Guiotto_, what newes with him, and whither he went? Why Sir (said
_Guiotto_) I come to dine with you, and your good company. Whereto
_Messer Corso_ answered, That he was welcome, & his other friends being
gone, dinner was served in, none els thereat present but _Messer Corso_
and _Guiotto_: al the diet being a poore dish of Pease, a little piece
of Tunny, & a few small dishes fried, without any other dishes to
follow after. _Guiotto_ seeing no better fare, but being disapointed
of his expectation, as longing to feed on the Lampries and Sturgeon,
and so to have made a full dinner indeed: was of a quick apprehension,
& apparantly perceived, that _Blondello_ had meerly guld him in a
knavery, which did not a little vex him, and made him vow to be revenged
on _Blondello_, as he could compasse occasion afterward.

Before many daies were past, it was his fortune to meete with
_Blondello_, who having told this jest to divers of his friends, and
much good merriment made thereat: he saluted _Guiotto_ in ceremonious
manner, saying. How didst thou like the fat Lampreyes and Sturgeon,
which thou fedst on at the house of _Messer Corso Donati_? Wel Sir
(answered _Guiotto_) perhaps before eight dayes passe over my head,
thou shalt meet with as pleasing a dinner as I did. So, parting away
from _Blondello_, he met with a Porter or burthen-bearer, such as are
usually sent on errands; and hyring him to deliver a message for him,
gave him a glasse bottle, and bringing him neere to the Hal-house of
_Cavicciuli_, shewed him there a knight, called _Signior Phillippo
Argenti_, a man of huge stature, stout, strong, vainglorious, fierce
and sooner mooved to anger then any other man. To him (quoth _Guiotto_)
thou must go with this bottle in thy hand, and say thus to him. Sir,
_Blondello_ sent me to you, and courteously entreateth you, that you
would enrubinate this glasse bottle with your best Claret Wine; because
he would make merry with a few friends of his. But beware he lay no
hand on thee, because he may bee easily induced to misuse thee, and so
my businesse be disappointed. Well Sir replied the Porter, shall I say
any thing else unto him? No (quoth _Guiotto_) only go and deliver this
message, and when thou art returned, Ile pay thee for thy paines.

The Porter being gone to the house, delivered his message to the
knight, who being a man of no great civill breeding, but furious,
rash, and inconsiderate: presently conceived, that _Blondello_ (whom
he knew well enough) sent this message in meere mockage of him, and
starting up with fiery lookes, said: What enrubination of Claret
should I send him? and what have I to do with him, or his drunken
friends? Let him and thee go hang your selves together. So he stept to
catch hold on the Porter, but he (being well warnd before) was quicke
and nimble, and escaping from him, returned backe to _Guiotto_ (who
observed all) and told him the answer of Signior _Phillippo. Guiotto_
not a little contented, paied the Porter, and taried not in any place
till he met with _Blondello_, to whom he said. When wast thou at the
Hall of _Cavicciuli_? Not a long while, answerd _Blondello_, but why
dost thou demand such a question? Because (quoth _Guiotto_) Signior
_Phillippo_ hath sought about for thee, yet knowe not I what he would
have with thee. Is it so? replied _Blondello_, then I will walke thither
presently, to understand his pleasure.

When _Blondello_ was thus parted from him, _Guiotto_ folowed not
farre off behind him, to behold the issue of this angry businesse;
and Signior _Phillippo_, because he could not catch the Porter,
continued much distempred, fretting and fuming, in regard he could not
comprehend the meaning of the Porters message: but onely surmized, that
_Blondello_ (by the procurement of some body else) had done this in
scorne of him. While he remained thus deeply discontented, he espied
_Blondello_ comming towards him, and meeting him by the way, he stept
close to him, and gave him a cruell blow on the face, causing his nose
to fall out a bleeding. Alas Sir, said _Blondello_, wherefore do you
strike me? Signior _Phillippo_, catching him by the haire of the head,
trampled his wrought night-cap in the dirt, & his cloke also; when,
laying many violent blowes on him, he said. Villanous Traitor as thou
art, Ile teach thee what it is to enrubinate with Claret, either thy
selfe, or any of thy cupping companions: Am I a child, to be jested

Nor was he more furious in words, then in strokes also, beating him
about the face, hardly leaving any haire on his head, and dragging him
along in the mire, spoyling all his garments, and he not able (from
the first blow given) to speake a word in defence of himselfe. In the
end, Signior _Phillippo_ having extreamly beaten him, and many people
gathering about them, to succour a man so much misused, the matter was
at large related, and manner of the message sending. For which, they
all present, did greatly reprehend _Blondello_, considering he knew
what kinde of man _Phillippo_ was, not any way to be jested withall.
_Blondello_ in teares constantly maintained, that he never sent any
such message for wine, or intended it in the least degree: so, when the
tempest was more mildly calmed, and _Blondello_ (thus cruelly beaten
and durtied) had gotten home to his owne house, he could then remember,
that (questionles) this was occasioned by _Guiotto_.

After some few dayes were passed over, and the hurts in his face
indifferently cured; _Blondello_ beginning to walke abroade againe,
chanced to meet with _Guiotto_: who laughing heartily at him, sayde.
Tell me _Blondello_, how doost thou like the enrubinating Clarret of
Signior _Phillippo_? As well (quoth _Blondello_) as thou didst the
Sturgeon and Lampreyes at _Messer Corso Donaties_. Why then (sayde
_Guiotto_) let these two tokens continue familiar betweene thee and
me, when thou wouldst bestow such another dinner on mee, then will I
enrubinate thy nose with a bottle of the same Claret. But _Blondello_
perceived (to his cost) that hee had met with the worser bargaine,
and _Guiotto_ got cheare, without any blowes: and therefore desired
a peacefull attonement, each of them (alwayes after) abstaining from
flouting one another.

_Two yong Gentlemen, the one named_ Melisso, _borne in the City of_
Laiazzo: _and the other_ Giosefo _of_ Antioche, _travailed together
unto_ Salomon, _the famous King of_ Great Britaine. _The one desiring
to learne what he should do, whereby to compasse and winne the love
of men. The other craved to be enstructed, by what meanes hee might
reclaime an headstrong and unruly wife. And what answeres the wise King
gave unto them both, before they departed away from him._

The Ninth Novell.

_Containing an excellent admonition, that such as covet to have the
love of other men, must first learne themselves, how to love: Also, by
what meanes such women as are curst and self-willed, may be reduced to
civill obedience._

Upon the conclusion of Madame _Laurettaes_ Novell, none now remained to
succeede next in order, but onely the Queene her selfe, the priviledge
reserved, granted to _Dioneus_; wherefore, after they had all smiled at
the folly of _Blondello_, with a chearfull countenance thus the Queene

Honourable Ladies, if with advised judgement, we do duly consider the
order of all things, we shall very easily perceyve, That the whole
universall multiplicitie of Women, by Nature, custome, and lawes,
are & ought to be subject to men, yea, and to be governd by their
discretion. Because every one desiring to enjoy peace, repose and
comfort with them, under whose charge they are; ought to be humble,
patient and obedient, over and beside her spotlesse honesty, which is
the crowne and honour of every good woman. And although those lawes,
which respect the common good of all things, or rather use & custome
(as our wonted saying is) the powers whereof are very great, and worthy
to be referenced, should not make us wise in this case. Yet Nature
hath given us a sufficient demonstration, in creating our bodies more
soft and delicate, yea, and our hearts timorous, fearefull, benigne
and compassionable, our strength feeble, our voyces pleasing, and
the motion of our members sweetly plyant; all which are apparant
testimonies, that wee have neede of others government.

Now, it is not to be denyed, that whosoever hath need of helpe, and
is to bee governed: meerely reason commandeth, that they should bee
subject and obedient to their governour. Who then should we have for
our helps and governours, if not men? Wherefore, we should be intirely
subject to them, in giving them due honour and reverence, and such
a one as shall depart from this rule: she (in mine opinion) is not
onely worthy of grievous reprehension, but also severe chastisement
beside. And to this exact consideration (over and above divers other
important reasons) I am the rather induced, by the Novel which Madame
_Pampinea_ so lately reported, concerning the froward and wilfull
wife of _Talano_, who had a heavier punishment inflicted on her, then
her Husband could devise to doe. And therefore it is my peremptory
sentence, that all such women as will not be gracious, benigne and
pleasing: doe justly deserve (as I have already said) rude, rough and
harsh handling, as both nature, custome and lawes have commanded.

To make good what I have said, I will declare unto you the counsell &
advise, given by _Salomon_, the wise and famous King of Great Britaine,
as a most wholesome and soveraigne medicine for the cure of such a
dangerous disease, in any woman so fouly infected. Which counsell
(notwithstanding) all such women as have no need of this Phisicke, I
would not have them to imagine, that it was meant for them, albeit men
have a common Proverbe, to wit.

    _As the good horse and bad horse, doe both need the spurre.
    So a good wife and bad wife, a wand will make stirre._

Which saying, whosoever doth interpret it in such pleasing manner
as they ought, shall find it (as you al will affirm no lesse) to
be very true: especially in the morall meaning, it is beyond all
contradiction. Women are naturally all unstable, and easily enclining
to misgovernment; wherefore to correct the iniquity of such a
distemperature in them that out-step the tearmes and bounds of
womanhood, a wand hath been allowed for especiall phisicke. As in the
like manner, for support of vertue, in those of contrary condition,
shaming to be sullyed with so grosse a sinne: the correcting Wand may
serve as a walking staffe, to protect them from all other feares. But,
forbearing to teach any longer; let mee proceed to my purpose, and tell
you my Novell.

In those ancient and reverend dayes, whereof I am now to speake, the
high renowne and admirable wisedome of _Salomon_, King of Great
Brittain, was most famous throughout all parts of the world; for
answering all doubtfull questions and demaunds whatsoever, that
possibly could be propounded to him. So that many resorted to him, from
the most remote and furthest off countreyes, to heare his miraculous
knowledge and experience, yea, and to crave his counsell, in matters of
greatest importance. Among the rest of them which repaired thither, was
a rich yong Gentleman, honourably descended, named _Melisso_, who came
from the City of _Laiazzo_, where he was both borne, and dwelt.

In his riding towards _France_, as he passed by _Naples_, hee overtooke
another yong Gentleman, a native of _Antioch_, and named _Giosefo_,
whose journey lay the same way as the others did. Having ridden in
company some few dayes together, as it is a custome commonly observed
among Travellers, to understand one anothers Countrey and condition,
as also to what part his occasions call him: so happened it with them,
_Giosefo_ directly telling him, that he journyed towards the wise King
_Salomon_, to desire his advise what meanes he should observe, in the
reclaiming of a wilfull wife, the most froward and selfe-willed woman
that ever lived; whom neither faire perswasions, nor gentle courtesies
could in any manner prevaile withall. Afterward he demaunded of
_Melisso_, to know the occasion of his travell, and whither.

Now trust me Sir, answered _Melisso_, I am a native of _Laiazzo_, and
as you are vexed with one great misfortune, even so am I offended
with another. I am young, wealthy, well derived by birth, and allow
liberall expences, for maintaining a worthy table in my house, without
distinguishing persons by their rancke and quality, but make it free
for all commers, both of the city, & all places els. Notwithstanding
all which bounty and honourable entertainement, I cannot meet with any
man that loveth me. In which respect, I journey to the same place as
you doe, to crave the counsell of so wise a King, what I should doe,
whereby I might procure men to love me. Thus like two well-met friendly
companions, they rode on together, untill they arrived in Great
Britaine, where, by meanes of the Noble Barons attending on the King;
they were brought before him. _Melisso_ delivered his minde in very
few words, whereto the King made no other answere, but this: Learne to
love. Which was no sooner spoken, but _Melisso_ was dismissed from the
Kings presence.

_Giosefo_ also relating, wherefore he came thither; the King replyed
onely thus; Goe to the Goose Bridge: and presently _Giosefo_ had
also his dismission from the King. Comming forth, he found _Melisso_
attending for him, and revealed in what manner the King had answered
him: whereupon, they consulted together, concerning both their
answeres, which seemed either to exceed their comprehension, or else
was delivered them in meere mockery, and therefore (more then halfe
discontented) they returned homeward againe.

After they had ridden on a few dayes together, they came to a River,
over which was a goodly Bridge, and because a great company of Horses
and Mules (heavily laden, and after the manner of a _Caravan_ of Camels
in _Egypt_) were first to passe over the saide Bridge; they gladly
stayed to permit their passe. The greater number of them being already
past over, there was one shie and skittish Mule (belike subject to
fearefull starting, as oftentimes we see horses have the like ill
quality) that would not passe over the Bridge by any meanes, wherefore
one of the Muletters tooke a good Cudgell, and smote her at the first
gently, as hoping so to procure her passage. Notwithstanding, starting
one while backeward, then againe forward, side-wayes, and every way
indeed, but the direct Road way she would not goe.

Now grew the Muletter extreamely angry, giving her many cruell
stroakes, on the head, sides, flancks and all parts else, but yet they
proved to no purpose, which _Melisso_ and _Giosefo_ seeing, and being
(by this meanes) hindred of their passage, they called to the Muletter,
saying. Foolish fellow, what doest thou? Intendest thou to kill the
Mule? why dost thou not leade her gently, which is the likelier course
to prevaile by, then beating and misusing her as thou dost? Content
your selves Gentlemen (answered the Muletter) you know your horses
qualities, as I doe my Mules, let mee deale with her as I please.
Having thus spoken, he gave her so many violent strokes, on head,
sides, hippes, and every where else, as made her at last passe over the
Bridge quietly, so that the Muletter wonne the Mastery of his Mule.

When _Melisso_ and _Giosefo_ had past over the Bridge, where they
intended to part each from other; a sudden motion happened into the
minde of _Melisso_, which caused him to demaund of an aged man (who
sate craving almes of Passengers at the Bridge foot) how the Bridge was
called: Sir, answered the old man, this is called, The Goose Bridge.
Which words when _Giosefo_ heard, hee called to minde the saying of
King _Salomon_, and therefore immediately saide to _Melisso_. Worthy
friend, and partner in my travell, I dare now assure you, that the
counsell given me by King _Salomon_, may fall out most effectuall
and true: For I plainely perceive, that I knew not how to handle my
selfe-will'd-wife, untill the Muletter did instruct me. So, requesting
still to enjoy the others Company, they journeyed on, till at the
length they came to _Laiazzo_, where _Giosefo_ retained _Melisso_ still
with him, for some repose after so long a journey, and entertained him
with very honourable respect and courtesie.

One day _Giosefo_ said to his Wife: Woman, this Gentleman is my
intimate friend, and hath borne me company in all my travell: such dyet
therefore as thou wilt welcome him withall, I would have it ordered
(in dressing) according to his direction. _Melisso_ perceiving that
_Giosefo_ would needs have it to be so; in few words directed her such
a course, as (for ever) might be to her Husbands contentment. But
she, not altring a jote from her former disposition, but rather farre
more froward and tempestuous: delighted to vexe and crosse him, doing
every thing, quite contrary to the order appointed. Which _Giosefo_
observing, angerly he said unto her. Was it not tolde you by my friend,
in what manner he would have our Supper drest? She turning fiercely
to him, replyed. Am I to be directed by him or thee? Supper must and
shall bee drest as I will have it: if it pleaseth mee, I care not who
doth dislike it; if thou wouldst have it otherwise, goe seeke both your
Suppers where you may have it.

_Melisso_ marvelling at her froward answere, rebuked her for it in very
kind manner: whereupon, _Giosefo_ spake thus to her. I perceive wife,
you are the same woman as you were wount to be: but beleeve me on my
word, I shall quite alter you from this curst complexion. So turning
to _Melisso_, thus he proceeded. Noble friend, we shall try anone,
whether the counsell of King _Salomon_ bee effectuall, or no; and I
pray you, let it not be offensive to you to see it; but rather hold all
to be done in merriment. And because I would not be hindered by you,
doe but remember the answere which the Muletter gave us, when we tooke
compassion on his Mule. Worthy friend, replyed _Melisso_, I am in your
owne house, where I purpose not to impeach whatsoever you doe.

_Giosefo_, having provided a good Holly-wand, went into the Chamber,
where his wife sate railing, and despitefully grumbling, where taking
her by the haire of her head, he threw her at his feete, beating her
entreamely with the wand. She crying, then cursing, next railing,
lastly fighting, biting and scratching, when she felt the cruell smart
of the blowes, and that all her resistance served to no end: then she
fell on her knees before him, and desired mercy for charities sake.
_Giosefo_ fought still more and more on head, armes, shoulders, sides,
and all parts else, pretending as if he heard not her complaints, but
wearied himselfe wel neere out of breath: so that (to be briefe) she
that never felt his fingers before, perceived and confessed, it was now
too soone. This being done, hee returned to _Melisso_, and said: To
morrow we shall see a miracle, and how availeable the councell is of
going to the Goose Bridge. So sitting a while together, after they had
washed their hands, and supt, they withdrew to their lodgings.

The poore beaten woman, could hardly raise her selfe from the ground,
which yet (with much adoe) she did, and threw her selfe upon the bed,
where she tooke such rest as she could: but arising early the next
morning, she came to her Husband, and making him a very low courtesie,
demaunded what hee pleased to have for his dinner; he smiling heartely
thereat, with _Melisso_, tolde her his mind. And when dinner time
came, every thing was ready according to the direction given: in which
regard, they highly commended the counsell, whereof they made such an
harsh construction at the first.

Within a while after, _Melisso_ being gone from _Giosefo_, and returned
home to his owne house: hee acquainted a wise and reverend man, with
the answere which king _Salomon_ gave him, whereto hee received this
reply. No better or truer advise could possibly be given you, for well
you know, that you love not any man; but the bountiful banquets you
bestow on them, is more in respect of your owne vaine-glory, then any
kind affection you beare to them: Learne then to love men, as _Salomon_
advised, and you shall be beloved of them againe. Thus our unruly Wife
became mildely reclaimed, and the yong Gentleman, by loving others,
found the fruits of reciprocall affection.

John de Barolo, _at the instance and request of his Gossip_ Pietro
da Trefanti, _made an enchantment, to have his wife become a Mule.
And when it came to the fastening on of the taile; Gossip_ Pietro _by
saying she should have no taile at all, spoyled the whole enchantment._

The Tenth Novell.

_In just reproofe of such foolish men, as will be governed by
over-light beleefe._

This Novell reported by the Queene, caused a little murmuring among the
Ladies, albeit the men laughed heartely thereat: but after they were
all growne silent, _Dioneus_ began in this manner. Gracious Beauties,
among many white Doves, one blacke Crow will seeme more sightly, then
the very whitest Swanne can doe. In like manner, among a multitude of
wise men, sometimes one of much lesse wisedome and discretion, shall
not onely increase the splendour and Majestie of their maturity, but
also give an addition of delight and solace.

In which regard, you all being modest and discreet Ladies, and my
selfe more much defective in braine, then otherwise able: in making
your vertues shine gloriously, through the evident apparance of mine
owne weakenesse, you should esteeme the better of mee, by how much I
seeme the more cloudy and obscure. And consequently, I ought to have
the larger scope of liberty, by plainely expressing what I am, and
be the more patiently endured by you all, in saying what absurdly I
shall; then I should be if my speeches favoured of absolute wisdome.
I will therefore tell you a Tale, which shall not be of any great
length, whereby you may comprehend, how carefully such things should
be observed, which are commanded by them, as can effect matters by the
power of enchantment, and how little delayance also ought to be in
such, as would not have an enchantment so be hindered.

About a yeare already past since, there dwelt at _Barletta_, an honest
man, called _John de Barolo_, who because he was of poore condition;
for maintenance in his contented estate, provided himselfe of a Mule,
to carry commodities from place to place, where Faires and Markets were
in request, but most especially to _Apuglia_, buying and selling in the
nature of a petty Chapman. Travelling thus thorow the Countreyes, he
grew into great and familiar acquaintance, with one who named himselfe
_Pietro da Trefanti_, following the same Trade of life as he did,
carrying his commodities upon an Asse. In signe of amitie, according
to the Countreyes custome, he never tearmed him otherwise, then by
the name of Gossip _Pietro_ and alwayes when he came to _Barletta_,
he brought him to his own house, taking it as his Inne, entreating
him very friendly, and in the best manner he could devise to doe.
On the other side, Gossip _Pietro_ being very poore, having but one
simple habitation in the village of _Trefanti_, hardly sufficient for
him, and an handsome young woman which he had to his wife, as also
his Asse: evermore when _John de Barolo_ came to _Trefanti_, he would
bring him to his poore abiding, with all his uttermost abilitie of
entertainement, in due acknowledgement of the courtesie he afforded to
him at _Barletta_. But when he came to take repose in the night-season,
Gossip _Pietro_ could not lodge him as gladly he would: because he had
but one silly bed, wherein himselfe and his wife lay; so that _John de
Barolo_ was faigne to lie on a little straw, in a small stable, close
adjoyning by his owne Mule and the Asse.

The woman understanding, what good and honest welcome, Gossip
_John_ afforded her husband, when he came to _Barletta_, was often
very willing to goe lodge with an honest neighbour of hers, called
_Carapresa di Giudice Leo_, because the two Gossips might both lie
together in one bed; wherewith divers times she acquainted her Husband,
but by no meanes he would admit it.

At one time among the rest, as she was making the same motion againe to
her Husband, that his friend might be lodged in better manner: Gossip
_John_ thus spake to her. Good _Zita Carapresa_, never molest your
selfe for me, because I lodge to mine owne contentment, and so much the
rather, in regard that whensoever I list: I can convert my Mule into a
faire young woman, to give mee much delight in the night-season, and
afterward make her a Mule againe: thus am I never without her company.

The young woman wondring at these words, and beleeving he did not fable
in them: she told them to her Husband, with this addition beside,
_Pietro_ (quoth she) if he be such a deare friend to thee, as thou hast
often avouched to me; with him to instruct thee in so rare a cunning,
that thou maist make a Mule of me; then shalt thou have both an Asse
and a Mule to travell withall about thy businesse, whereby thy benefit
will be double: and when we returne home to our house; then thou maist
make mee thy wife againe, in the same condition as I was before. Gossip
_Pietro_, who was (indeed) but a very Coxecombe; beleeved also the
words to be true, yeelding therefore the more gladly to her advise; and
moving the matter to his Gossip _John_, to teach him such a wonderfull
secret, which would redound so greatly to his benefit: but _John_
began to disswade him from it, as having spoken it in merriment, yet
perceiving, that no contradiction would serve to prevaile, thus he

Seeing you will needs have it so, let us rise to morrow morning before
day, as in our travell we use to doe, and then I will shew you how it
is to be done: onely I must and doe confesse, that the most difficult
thing of all the rest, is, to fasten on the taile, as thou shalt see.

Gossip _Pietro_ and his wife, could hardly take any rest all the night
long, so desirous they were to have the deed done; and therefore when
it drew towards day, up they arose, and calling Gossip _John_, he came
presently to them in his shirt, & being in the Chamber with them, he
said. I know not any man in the world, to whom I would disclose this
secret, but to you, and therefore because you so earnestly desire
it, I am the more willing to doe it. Onely you must consent, to doe
whatsoever I say, if you are desirous to have it done. Faithfully they
promised to performe all, whereupon _John_ delivering a lighted Candle
to Gossip _Pietro_, to hold in his hand, said. Marke well what I doe,
and remember all the words I say: but be very carefull, that whatsoever
thou hearest or seest, thou doe not speake one word, for then the
enchantment will be utterly overthrowne, onely wish that the taile may
be well set on, for therein consisteth all the cunning.

Gossip _Pietro_ holding the Candle, and the woman being prepared as
_John_ had appointed her, she bowed her selfe forwardes with her hands
set to the ground, even as if she stood upon foure feete. First with
his hands he touched her head and face, saying, Heere is the goodly
head of a Mule: then handling her disheveld haire, termed them the
goodly mane of a Mule. Afterwardes, touching the body, armes, legs,
and feete, gave them all the apt names (for those parts) belonging to
a Mule, nothing else remaining, but onely the forming of the taile,
which when _Pietro_ perceived, how _John_ was preparing to fasten it
on (having no way misliked all his former proceeding) he called to
him, saying: Forbeare Gossippe _John_, my Mule shall have no taile
at all, I am contented to have her without a taile. How now Gossip
_Pietro_? answered _John_, What hast thou done? Thou hast mard all by
this unadvised speaking, even when the worke was almost fully finished.
It is no matter Gossip (answered _Pietro_) I can like my Mule better
without a taile, then to see it set on in such manner.

The fond yong woman, more covetously addicted to gayne and commodity,
then looking into the knavish intention of her Gossip _John_; began to
grow greatly offended. Beast as thou art (quoth she to her Husband) why
hast thou overthrowne both thine own good Fortune and mine? Diddest
thou ever see a Mule without a taile? Wouldst thou have had him made
me a monster? Thou art wretchedly poore, and when we might have bin
enriched for ever, by a secret knowne to none but our selves, thou
art the Asse that hast defeated all, and made thy friend to become
thine enemy. Gossippe _John_ began to pacifie the woman, with solemne
protestations of his still continuing friendship, albeit (afterwards)
there was no further desiring of any more Mule-making: but Gossip
_Pietro_ fel to his former Trading onely with his Asse, as he was no
lesse himselfe, and hee went no more with Gossip _John_ to the Faires
in _Apuglia_, neyther did he ever request, to have the like peece of
service done for him.

       *       *       *       *       *

Although there was much laughing at this Novell, the Ladies
understanding it better, then _Dioneus_ intended that they should have
done, yet himselfe scarsely smiled. But the Novels being all ended, and
the Sunne beginning to loose his heate; the Queene also knowing, that
the full period of her government was come: dispossessing her selfe of
the Crowne, shee placed it on the head of _Pamphilus_, who was the last
of all to be honoured with this dignity; wherefore (with a gracious
smile) thus she spake to him.

Sir, it is no meane charge which you are to undergo, in making amends
(perhaps) for all the faults committed by my selfe and the rest,
who have gone before you in the same authority; and, may it prove
as prosperous unto you, as I was willing to create you our King.
_Pamphilus_ having received the Honour with a chearfull mind, thus
answered. Madam, your sacred vertues, and those (beside) remaining in
my other Subjects, will (no doubt) worke so effectually for me, that
(as the rest have done) I shall deserve your generall good opinion.
And having given order to the Master of the Houshold (as all his
predecessors had formerly done, for every necessary occasion) he turned
to the Ladies, who expected his gracious favour, and said.

Bright Beauties, it was the discretion of your late Soveraigne &
Queene, in regard of ease and recreation unto your tyred spirits, to
grant you free liberty, for discoursing on whatsoever your selves
best pleased: wherefore, having enjoyed such a time of rest, I am
of opinion, that it is best to returne once more to our wonted Law,
in which respect, I would have every one to speake in this manner
to morrow. Namely, of those men or women, who have done any thing
bountifully or magnificently, either in matter of amity, or otherwise.
The relation of such worthy arguments, will (doubtlesse) give an
addition to our very best desires, for a free and forward inclination
to good actions, whereby our lives (how short soever they bee) may
perpetuate an ever-living renowne and fame, after our mortall bodies
are converted into dust, which (otherwise) are no better then those of
bruite beasts, reason onely distinguishing this difference, that as
they live to perish utterly, so we respire to reigne in eternity.

The Theame was exceedingly pleasing to the whole Company; who being all
risen, by permission of the new King, every one fel to their wonted
recreations, as best agreed with their owne disposition; untill the
houre for Supper came, wherein they were served very sumptuously. But
being risen from the Table, they began their dances, among which,
many sweet Sonnets were enterlaced, with such delicate Tunes as moved
admiration. Then the King commanded Madam _Neiphila_, to sing a song in
his name, or how her selfe stood best affected. And immediatly with a
cleare and rare voice, thus she began.

    _THE SONG._

    The Chorus sung by all the Companie.

    _In the Spring season,
    Maides have best reason,
           To dance and sing;
    With Chaplets of Flowers,
    To decke up their Bowers,
           And all in honour of the Spring._

    _I heard a Nimph that sate alone,
              By a Fountaines side:
    Much her hard Fortune to bemone,
              For still she cride:
    Ah! Who will pitty her distresse,
    That findes no foe like ficklenesse?
          For truth lives not in men:
          Poore soule, why live I then?
              In the Spring season, &c._

    _Oh, How can mighty Love permit,
              Such a faithlesse deed,
    And not in justice punish it
              As treasons meed?
    I am undone through perjury,
    Although I loved constantly:
          But truth lives not in men,
          Poore soule, why live I then?
             In the Spring season,&c._

    _When I did follow Dyans traine,
              As a loyall Maide,
    I never felt oppressing paine,
              Nor was dismaide.
    But when I listened Loves alluring,
    Then I wandred from assuring.
         For truth lives not in men:
         Poore soule, why live I then?
             In the Spring season, &c._

    _Adiew to all my former joyes,
             When I lived at ease,
    And welcome now those sad annoies
             Which do most displease.
    And let none pitty her distresse,
    That fell not, but by ficklenesse.
         For truth lives not in men,
         Alas! why live I then?_

    _In the Spring season,
    Maides have best reason,
         To dance and sing;
    With Chaplets of Flowers,
    To decke up their Bowers,
         And all in honour of the Spring._

This Song, most sweetly sung by Madame _Neiphila_, was especially
commended, both by the King, & all the rest of the Ladies. Which being
fully finished, the King gave order, that everie one should repaire to
their Chambers, because a great part of the night was already spent.

_The end of the Ninth Day._

The Tenth and last Day.

_Whereon, under the government of Pamphilus, the severall Arguments
do concerne such persons, as either by way of Liberality, or in
Magnificent manner, performed any worthy action, for love, favour,
friendship, or any other honourable occasion._

The Induction.

Already began certaine small Clouds in the West, to blush with a
Vermillion tincture, when those in the East (having reached to their
full heighth) looked like bright burnished Gold, by splendour of the
Sun beames drawing neere unto them: when _Pamphilus_ being risen,
caused the Ladies, and the rest of his honourable companions to be
called. When they were all assembled, and had concluded together on
the place, whither they should walke for their mornings recreation:
the King ledde on the way before, accompanied with the two Noble
Ladies _Philomena_ and _Fiammetta_, all the rest following after them,
devising, talking, and answering to divers demands both what that day
was to be don, as also concerning the proposed imposition.

After they had walked an indifferent space of time, and found the rayes
of the Sunne to be over-piercing for them: they returned backe againe
to the Pallace, as fearing to have their blood immoderately heated.
Then rinsing their Glasses in the coole cleare running current, each
tooke their mornings draught, & then walked into the milde shades
about the Garden, untill they should bee summoned to dinner. Which
was no sooner over-past, and such as slept, returned waking: they
mette together againe in their wonted place, according as the King
had appointed, where he gave command unto Madame _Neiphila_, that
shee should (for that day) begin the first Novell, which she humbly
accepting, thus began.

_A Florentine knight, named Signior_ Rogiero de Figiovanni, _became
a servant to_ Alphonso, _King of_ Spaine, _who (in his owne opinion)
seemed but sleightly to respect and reward him. In regard whereof, by a
notable experiment, the King gave him a manifest testimony, that it was
not through any defect in him, but onely occasioned by the Knights ill
fortune; most bountifully recompensing him afterward._

The First Novell.

_Wherein may evidently be discerned, that Servants to Princes and great
Lords, are many times recompenced, rather by their good fortune, then
in any regard of their dutifull services._

I doe accept it (Worthy Ladies) as no mean favour, that the King hath
given me the first place, to speake of such an honourable Argument, as
Bounty and Magnificence is, which precious Jewell, even as the Sunne is
the beauty, or ornament and bright glory of al heaven; so is bounty and
magnificence the Crowne of all vertues. I shall then recount to you a
short Novell, sufficiently pleasing, in mine owne opinion, and I hope
(so much I dare rely on your judgements) both profitable, and worthy to
be remembred.

You are to know then, that among other valiant Knights, which of long
have lived in our City, one of them, and (perhappes) of as great
merit as any, was one, named Signior _Rogiero d'Figiovanni_. He being
rich, of great courage, and perceiving, that (in due consideration)
the quality belonging to life, and the customes observed among our
_Tuscanes_, were not answerable to his expectation, nor agreed with the
disposition of his valour; determined to leave his native Countrey,
and belong in service (for some time) to _Alfonso_, King of _Spaine_,
whose fame was generally noised in all places, for excelling all
other Princes in those times, for respect of mens well deservings,
and bountifull requitall of their paines. Being provided in honorable
order, both of Horses, Armes, & a competent train, he travelled to
_Spaine_, where he was worthily entertained.

Signior _Rogiero_ continuing there, living in honorable manner, and
performing many admirable actions of arms; in short time he made
himselfe sufficiently knowne, for a very valiant and famous man. And
having remained there an indifferent long while, observing divers
behaviours in the king: he saw, how he enclined himselfe first to one
man, then to another, bestowing on one a Castle, a Towne on another,
and Baronnies on divers, some-what indiscreetly, as giving away
bountifully to men of no merit. And restraining all his favors from
him, as seeming close fisted, and parting with nothing: he took it as
a diminishing of his former reputation, and a great empayring of his
fame, wherefore he resolved on his departure thence, & made his suit to
the king that he might obtaine it. The king did grant it, bestowing on
him one of the very best Mules, and the goodliest that ever was backt,
a gift most highly pleasing to _Rogiero_, in regarde of the long journy
he intended to ride. Which being deliverd, the king gave charge to one
of his Gentlemen, to compasse such convenient meanes, as to ride thorow
the country, and in the company of Signior _Rogiero_, yet in such
manner, as he should not perceive, that the King had purposely sent him
so to do. Respectively he should observe whatsoever he said concerning
the king, his gesture, smiles, and other behavior, shaping his answers
accordingly, and on the nexte morning to command his returne backe with
him to the King.

Nor was the Gentleman slacke in this command, but noting _Rogieroes_
departing forth of the city, he mounted on horseback likewise, and
immediatly after came into his company, making him beleeve, that he
journied towards _Italy. Rogiero_ rode on the Mule which the king had
given him, with diversity of speeches passing between them. About three
of the clocke in the afternoone, the Gentleman said. It were not
amisse Sir, (having such fit opportunitie) to Stable our horses for a
while, till the heate be a little more overpast. So taking an Inne, and
the horses being in the stable, they all staled except the Mule.

Being mounted againe, and riding on further, the Gentleman duely
observed whatsoever _Rogiero_ spake, and comming to the passage of a
small River or Brooke: the rest of the beasts dranke, and not the Mule,
but staled in the River: which Signior _Rogiero_ seeing, clapping his
hands on the Mules mane, hee said. What a wicked beast art thou? thou
art just like thy Master that gave thee to mee. The Gentleman committed
the words to memory, as he did many other passing from _Rogiero_,
riding along the rest of the day, yet none in disparagement of the
King, but rather highly in his commendation. And being the next morning
mounted on horseback, seeming to hold on still the way for _Tuscane_:
the Gentleman fulfilled the Kings command, causing Signior _Rogiero_ to
turne back againe with him, which willingly he yeelded to doe.

When they were come to the Court, and the King made acquainted with
the words, which _Rogiero_ spake to his Mule; he was called into the
presence, where the King shewed him a gracious countenance, & demanded
of him, why he had compared him to his Mule? Signior _Rogiero_ nothing
daunted, but with a bold and constant spirit, thus answered. Sir, I
made the comparison, because, like as you give, where there is no
conveniency, and bestow nothing where reason requireth: even so, the
Mule would not stale where she should have done, but where was water
too much before, there she did it. Beleeve me Signior _Rogiero_,
replyed the King, if I have not given you such gifts, as (perhaps) I
have done to divers other, farre inferiour to you in honour and merit;
this happened not thorough any ignorance in me, as not knowing you to
be a most valiant Knight, and well-worthy of speciall respect: but
rather through your owne ill fortune, which would not suffer me to
doe it, whereof she is guilty, and not I, as the truth thereof shall
make it selfe apparent to you. Sir, answered _Rogiero_, I complaine
not, because I have received no gift from you, as desiring thereby
covetously to become the richer: but in regard you have not as yet any
way acknowledged, what vertue is remaining in me. Neverthelesse, I
allow your excuse for good and reasonable, and am heartely contented,
to behold whatsoever you please; although I doe confidently credit you,
without any other testimony.

The King conducted him then into the great Hall, where (as hee had
before given order) stood two great Chests, fast lockt; & in the
presence of all his Lords, the King thus spake. Signior _Rogiero_,
in out of these Chests is mine imperiall Crowne, the Scepter Royall,
the Mound, & many more of my richest girdles, rings, plate, & Jewels,
even the very best that are mine: the other is full of earth onely.
Chuse one of these two, and which thou makest election of; upon my
Royall word thou shalt enjoy it. Hereby shalt thou evidently perceive,
who hath bin ingreatful to the deservings, either I, or thine owne
bad fortune. _Rogiero_ seeing it was the kings pleasure to have it
so; chose one of them, which the King caused presently to be opened,
it approving to be the same that was full of earth, whereat the King
smyling, said thus unto him.

You see Signior _Rogiero_, that what I said concerning your ill
fortune, is very true: but questionlesse, your valour is of such
desert, as I ought to oppose my selfe against all her malevolence. And
because I know right, that you are not minded to become a Spaniard;
I will give you neither Castle nor dwelling place: but I will bestow
the Chest on you (in meer despight of your malicious fortune) which
she so unjustly tooke away from you. Carry it home with you into your
Countrey, that there it may make an apparant testimoney, in the sight
of all your well-willers, both of your owne vertuous deservings, and my
bounty. Signior _Rogiero_ humbly receiving the Chest, and thanking his
Majestie for so liberall a gift, returned home joyfully therewith, into
his native Countrey of _Tuscane_.

Ghinotto di Tacco; _tooke the Lord Abbot of_ Clugni _as his prisoner,
and cured him of a grievous disease, which he had in his stomacke, and
afterward set him at liberty. The same Lord Abbot, when hee returned
from the Court of Rome, reconciled_ Ghinotto _to Pope_ Boniface; _who
made him a Knight, and Lord Prior of a goodly Hospitall._

The second Novell.

_Wherein is declared that good men doe sometimes fall into bad
conditions, onely occasioned thereto by necessity: And what meanes are
to be used, for their reducing to goodnesse againe._

The magnificence and Royall bounty, which King _Alphonso_ bestowed on
the Florentine knight, passed through the whole assembly with no mean
applause; & the King (who gave it the greatest praise of al) commanded
Madame _Eliza_, to take the second turne in order; whereupon, thus she

Faire Ladies, if a king shewed himselfe magnificently minded, and
expressed his liberall bounty to such a man, as had done him good and
honourable services: it can be termed no more then a vertuous deed well
done, and becomming a King. But what will we say, when we heare that
a Prelate of the Church, shewed himselfe wondrously magnificent, and
to such a one as was his enemy: can any malicious tongue speake ill
of him? Undoubtedly, no other answere is to be made, but the action of
the King was meerely vertue, and that of the Prelate, no lesse then
a miracle: for how can it be otherwise, when they are more greedily
covetous then women, and deadly enemies to all liberality? And although
every man (naturally) desireth revenge for injuries and abuses done
unto him: yet men of the Church, in regard that dayly they preached
patience, and commaund (above all things else) remission of sinnes: it
would appeare a mighty blemish in them, to be more froward and furious
then other men. But I am to speake of a reverend Prelate of the Church,
as also concerning his munificent bounty, to one that was his enemy,
and yet became his reconciled friend, as you shall perceive by my

_Ghinotto di Tacco_, for his insolent and stout robberies, became a man
very farre famed, who being banished from _Sienna_, and an enemy to
the Countes _Disanta Fiore_: prevailed so by his bold and headstrong
perswasions, that the Towne of _Raticonfani_ rebelled against the
Church of Rome, wherein he remaining; all passengers whatsoever,
travelling any way thereabout, were robde and rifled by his theeving
Companions. At the time whereof now I speake, _Boniface_ the eight,
governed as Pope at Rome, and the Lord Abbot of _Clugni_ (accounted to
be one of the richest Prelates in the world) came to Rome, and there
either by some surfeit, excesse of feeding, or otherwise, his stomacke
being grievously offended and pained; the Phisitians advised him, to
travell to the Bathes at _Sienna_, where he should receive immediate
cure. In which respect, his departure being licenced by the Pope,
to set onward thither, with great and pompous Cariages, of Horses,
Mules, and a goodly traine, without hearing any rumour of the theevish

_Ghinotto di Tacco_, being advertised of his comming, spred about
his scouts and nettes, and without missing so much as one Page, shut
up the Abbot, with all his traine and baggage, in a place of narrow
restraint, out of which he could by no meanes escape. When this was
done, he sent one of his most sufficient attendants, (well accompanyed)
to the Lord Abbot, who said to him in his Masters name, that if his
Lordship were so pleased, hee might come and visite _Ghinotto_ at his
Castle. Which the Abbot hearing, answered chollerickly, that he would
not come thither, because hee had nothing to say to _Ghinotto_: but
meant to proceed on in his journy, and would faine see, who durst
presume to hinder his passe. To which rough words, the messenger thus
mildely answered. My Lord (quoth he) you are arrived in such a place,
where we feare no other force, but the all-controlling power of heaven,
clearely exempted from the Popes thunder-cracks, of maledictions,
interdictions, excommunications, or whatsoever else: and therefore
it would bee much better for you, if you pleased to do as _Ghinotto_
adviseth you.

During the time of this their interparlance, the place was suddenly
round ingirt with strongly armed theeves, and the Lord Abbot
perceiving, that both he and all his followers were surprized: tooke
his way (though very impatiently) towards the Castle, and likewise all
his company and carriages with him. Being dismounted, hee was conducted
(as _Ghinotto_ had appointed) all alone, into a small Chamber of the
Castle, it being very darke and uneasie: but the rest of his traine,
every one according to his ranck and quality, were all well lodged
in the Castle, their horses, goods and all things else, delivered
into secure keeping, without the least touch of injury or prejudice.
All which being orderly done, _Ghinotto_ himselfe went to the Lord
Abbot, and said. My Lord, _Ghinotto_, to whom you are a welcome guest,
requesteth, that it might be your pleasure to tell him, whither you are
travelling, and upon what occasion?

The Lord Abbot being a very wise man, and his angry distemper more
moderately qualified; revealed whither he went, and the cause of
his going thither. Which when _Ghinotto_ had heard, hee departed
courteously from him, and began to consider with himselfe, how he might
cure the Abbot; yet without any Bathe. So, commanding a good fire to be
kept continually in his small Chamber, and very good attendance on him:
the next morning, he came to visite him againe, bringing a faire white
Napkin on his arme, and in it two slices or toasts of fine Manchet, a
goodly cleare Glasse, full of the purest white-Bastard of _Corniglia_
(but indeed, of the Abbots owne provision brought thither with him) and
then hee spoke to him in this manner.

My Lord, when _Ghinotto_ was yonger then now he is, he studyed
Physicke, and he commanded me to tell you, that the very best medicine,
he could ever learne, against any disease in the stomacke, was this
which he had provided for your Lordship, as an especial preparative,
and which he should finde to be very comfortable. The Abbot, who had
a better stomacke to eate, then any will or desire to talke: although
hee did it somewhat disdainfully, yet hee eate up both the toastes,
and roundly dranke off the Glasse of Bastard. Afterward, divers other
speeches passed betweene them, the one still advising in Phisicall
manner, and the other seeming to care little for it: but moved many
questions concerning _Ghinotto_, and earnestly requesting to see him.
Such speeches as favoured of the Abbots discontentment, and came from
him in passion; were clouded with courteous acceptance, & not the least
signe of any mislike: but assuring his Lordship, that _Ghinotto_
intended very shortly to see him, and so they parted for that time.

Nor returned he any more, till the next morning with the like two
toastes of bread, and such another Glasse of white Bastard, as he had
brought him at the first, continuing the same course for divers dayes
after: till the Abbot had eaten (and very hungerly too) a pretty store
of dryed Beanes, which _Ghinotto_ purposely, (yet secretly) had hidden
in the Chamber. Whereupon he demaunded of him (as seeming to be so
enjoyned by his pretended master) in what temper he found his stomacke
now? I should finde my stomacke well enough (answered the Lord Abbot)
if I could get forth of thy masters fingers, and then have some good
food to feed on: for his medicines have made me so soundly stomackt,
that I am ready to starve with hunger.

When _Ghinotto_ was gone from him, hee then prepared a very faire
Chamber for him, adorning it with the Abbots owne rich hangings, as
also his Plate and other moveables, such as were alwayes used for his
service. A costly dinner he provided likewise, whereto he invited
divers of the Towne, and many of the Abbots chiefest followers: then
going to him againe the next morning, he said. My Lord, seeing you doe
feele your stomacke so well, it is time you should come forth of the
Infirmary. And taking him by the hand, he brought him into the prepared
Chamber, where he left him with his owne people, and went to give order
for the dinners serving in, that it might be performed in magnificent

The Lord Abbot recreated himselfe a while with his owne people,
to whom he recounted, the course of his life since hee saw them;
and they likewise told him, how kindly they had bin initeated by
_Ghinotto_. But when dinner time was come, the Lord Abbot and all his
company, were served with Costly viands and excellent Wines, without
_Ghinottoes_ making himselfe knowne to the Abbot: till after he had
beene entertained some few dayes in this order: into the great Hall of
the Castle, _Ghinotto_ caused all the Abbots goods and furniture to bee
brought, and likewise into a spacious Court, whereon the windowes of the
said Court gazed, all his mules and horses, with their sumpters, even
to the very silliest of them, which being done, _Ghinotto_ went to the
Abbot, and demaunded of him, how he felt his stomacke now, and whether
it would serve him to venter on horsebacke as yet, or no? The Lord
Abbot answered, that he found his stomacke perfectly recovered, his
body strong enough to endure travell, and all things well, so hee were
delivered from _Ghinotto_.

Hereupon, he brought him into the hall where his furniture was, as
also all his people, & commanding a window to be opned, whereat he
might behold his horses, he said. My Lord, let me plainely give you
to understand, that neither cowardise, or basenesse of minde, induced
_Ghinotto di Tacco_ (which is my selfe) to become a lurking robber on
the high-wayes, an enemy to the Pope, and so (consequently) to the
Romane Court: but onely to save his owne life and honour, knowing
himselfe to be a Gentleman cast out of his owne house, and having
(beside) infinite enemies. But because you seeme to be a worthy Lord,
I will not (although I have cured your stomacks disease) deale with
you as I doe to others, whose goods (when they fall into my power)
I take such part of as I please: but rather am well contented, that
my necessities being considered by your selfe, you spare me out a
proportion of the things you have heere, answerable to your owne
liking. For all are present here before you, both in this Hall, and
in the Court beneath, free from any spoyle, or the least impairing.
Wherefore, give a part, or take all, if you please, and then depart
hence when you will, or abide heere still, for now you are at your owne
free liberty.

The Lord Abbot wondred not a little, that a robber on the high wayes,
should have such a bold and liberall spirit, which appeared very
pleasing to him; and instantly, his former hatred and spleene against
_Ghinotto_, became converted into cordiall love and kindnes, so that
(imbracing him in his armes) he said. I protest upon my vow made to
Religion, that to win the love of such a man, as I plainely perceive
thee to be: I would undergo far greater injuries, then those which I
have received at thy hands. Accursed be cruell destiny, that forced
thee to so base a kind of life, and did not blesse thee with a fairer
fortune. After he had thus spoken, he left there the greater part of
all his goods, and returned back againe to Rome, with fewer horses, and
a meaner traine.

During these passed accidents, the Pope had received intelligence of
the Lord Abbots surprizall, which was not a little displeasing to him:
but when he saw him returned, he demaunded, what benefit he received
at the Bathes? Whereto the Abbot, merrily smyling, thus replyed.
Holy Father, I met with a most skilfull Physitian neerer hand, whose
experience is beyond the power of the Bathes, for by him I am very
perfectly cured: and so discoursed all at large. The Pope laughing
heartely, and the Abbot continuing on still his report, moved with an
high and magnificent courage, he demaunded one gracious favour of the
Pope: who imagining that he would request a matter of greater moment,
then he did, freely offered to grant, whatsoever he desired.

Holy Father, answered the Lord Abbot, all the humble suit which I
make to you, is, that you would be pleased to receive into your grace
and favor, _Ghinotto di Tacco_ my Physitian, because among all the
vertuous men, deserving to have especial account made of them I never
met with any equall to him both in honour and honesty. Whatsoever
injury he did to me, I impute it as a greater in-fortune, then any way
he deserveth to be charged withall. Which wretched condition of his,
if you were pleased to alter, and bestow on him some better meanes of
maintenance, to live like a worthy man, as he is no lesse: I make no
doubt, but (in very short time) hee will appeare as pleasing to your
holinesse, as (in my best judgement) I thinke him to be.

The Pope, who was of a magnanimious spirit, and one that highly
affected men of vertue, hearing the commendable motion made by the
Abbot; returned answere, that he was as willing to grant it, as the
other desired it, sending Letters of safe conduct for his comming
thither. _Ghinotto_ receiving such assurance from the Court of Rome,
came thither immediatly, to the great joy of the Lord Abbot: and the
Pope finding him to be a man of valour and worth, upon reconciliation,
remitted all former errors, creating him knight, and Lord Prior of the
very chiefest Hospitall in Rome. In which Office he lived long time
after, as a loyall servant to the Church, and an honest thankefull
friend to the Lord Abbot of _Clugny_.

Mithridanes _envying the life and liberality of_ Nathan, _and
travelling thither, with a setled resolution to kill him: chaunceth to
conferre with_ Nathan _unknowne. And being instructed by him, in what
manner he might best performe the bloody deede, according as hee gave
direction, hee meeteth with him in a small Thicket or Woode, where
knowing him to be the same man, that taught him how to take away his
life: Confounded with shame, hee acknowledgeth his horrible intention,
and becommeth his loyall friend._

The third Novell.

_Shewing in an excellent and lively demonstration, that any especiall
honourable vertue, persevering and dwelling in a truly noble soule,
cannot be violenced or confounded, by the most politicke attemptes of
malice and envy._

It appeared to the whole assembly, that they had heard a matter of
mervaile, for a Lord Abbot to performe any magnificent action: but
their admiration ceasing in silence, the King commanded _Philostratus_
to follow next, who forthwith thus began.

Honourable Ladies, the bounty and magnificence of _Alphonso_ King
of _Spaine_, was great indeede, and that done by the Lord Abbot of
_Clugny_, a thing (perhaps) never heard of in any other. But it will
seeme no lesse mervailous to you, when you heare, how one man, in
expression of great liberality to another man, that earnestly desired
to kill him; should bee secretly disposed to give him his life, which
had bin lost, if the other would have taken it, as I purpose to
acquaint you withall, in a short Novell.

Most certaine it is, at least, if Faith may bee given to the report of
certaine _Genewayes_, and other men resorting to those remote parts,
that in the Country of _Cathaya_, there lived somtime a Gentleman, rich
beyond comparison, and named _Nathan_. He having his living adjoyning
to a great common rode-way, whereby men travayled from the East to
the West (as they did the like from the West unto the East, as having
no other means of passage) and being of a bountifull and chearfull
disposition, which he was willing to make knowen by experience: he
summoned together many Master Masons and Carpenters, and there erected
(in a short time) one of the greatest, goodliest, and most beautifull
houses (in manner of a Princes Pallace) that ever was seene in all
those quarters.

With movables and all kinde of furnishment, befitting a house of
such outward apparance, hee caused it to be plentifully stored,
onely to receive, entertaine, and honor all Gentlemen or other
Travailers whatsoever, as had occasion to passe that way, being not
unprovided also of such a number of servants, as might continuallie
give attendance on all commers and goers. Two and fifty severall
gates, standing al way wide open, & over each of them in great golden
carracters was written, _Welcome, welcome,_ and gave free admission to
all commers whatsoever.

In this honourable order (observed as his estated custom) he persevered
so long a while, as not onely the East parts, but also those in the
west, were every where acquainted with his fame & renown. Being
already well stept into yeares, but yet not wearie (therefore) of his
great charge and liberality: it fortuned, that the rumour of his noble
Hospitality, came to the eare of another gallant Gentleman, named
_Mithridanes_, living in a Countrey not farre off from the other.

This Gentleman, knowing himself no lesse wealthy then _Nathan_, and
enviously repining at his vertue and liberality, determined in his
mind, to dim and obscure the others bright splendour, by making himselfe
farre more famous. And having built a Palace answerable to that of
_Nathans_, with like windings of gates, and welcome inscriptions; he
beganne to extend immeasurable courtesies, unto all such as were
disposed to visite him: so that (in a short while) hee grew very
famous in infinite places. It chanced on a day, as _Mithridanes_ sate
all alone within the goodly Court of his Pallace: a poore woman
entred at one of the gates, craving an almes of him, which she had;
and returned in againe at a second gate, comming also to him, and
had a second almes; continuing so still a dozen times; but at the
thirteenth returning, _Mithridanes_ saide to her: Good Woman, you goe
and come very often, and still you are served with almes. When the old
Woman heard these words, she said. O the liberality of _Nathan_! How
honourable and wonderfull is that? I have past through two and thirty
gates of his Palace, even such as are here, and at every one I receyved
an almes, without any knowledgement taken of me, either by him, or any
of his followers: and heere I have past but through thirteene gates,
and am there both acknowledged and taken. Fare well to this house, for
I never meane to visit it any more; with which words shee departed
thence, and never after came thither againe.

When _Mithridanes_ had a while pondered on her speeches, hee waxed
much discontented, as taking the words of the olde woman, to extoll
the renowne of _Nathan_, and darken or ecclipse his glorie, whereupon
he said to himselfe. Wretched man as I am, when shall I attaine to the
height of liberality, and performe such wonders, as _Nathan_ doth? In
seeking to surmount him, I cannot come neere him in the very meanest.
Undoubtedly, I spend all my endeavour but in vaine, except I rid the
world of him, which (seeing his age will not make an end of him) I must
needs do with my own hands. In which furious and bloody determination
(without revealing his intent to any one) he mounted on horse-backe,
with few attendants in his company, and after three dayes journey,
arrived where _Nathan_ dwelt. He gave order to his men, to make no shew
of beeing his servants, or any way to acknowledge him: but to provide
them selves of convenient lodgings, untill they heard other tydings
from him.

About Evening, and (in this manner) alone by himselfe, neere to the
Palace of _Nathan_, he met him solitarily walking, not in pompous
apparrell, whereby to bee distinguished from a meaner man: and, because
he knew him not, neyther had heard any relation of his description,
he demanded of him, if he knew where _Nathan_ then was? _Nathan_,
with a chearfull countenance, thus replyed. Faire Syr, there is no
man in these parts, that knoweth better how to shew you _Nathan_
then I do; and therefore, if you be so pleased, I will bring you to
him. _Mithridanes_ said, therein he should do him a great kindnesse:
albeit (if it were possible) he would bee neyther knowne nor seene
of _Nathan_. And that (quoth he) can I also do sufficiently for you,
seeing it is your will to have it so, if you will goe along with me.

Dismounting from his horse, he walked on with _Nathan_, diversly
discoursing, untill they came to the Pallace, where one of the servants
taking _Mithridanes_ his horse, _Nathan_ rounded the fellow in the
eare, that he should give warning to all throughout the House, for
revealing to the Gentleman, that he was _Nathan_; as accordingly it was
performed. No sooner were they within the Pallace, but he conducted
_Mithridanes_ into a goodly chamber, where none (as yet) had seene him,
but such as were appointed to attend on him reverently; yea, and he did
himselfe greatly honor him, as being loth to leave his company.

While thus _Mithridanes_ conversed with him, he desired to know
(albeit he respected him much for his yeares) what he was. Introth
Sir, answered _Nathan_, I am one of the meanest servants to _Nathan_,
and from my child-hood, have made my selfe thus olde in his service:
yet never hath he bestowed any other advancement on mee, then as you
now see; in which respect, howsoever other men may commend him, yet
I have no reason at all to do it. These Words, gave some hope to
_Mithridanes_, that with a little more counsell, he might securely put
in execution his wicked determination. _Nathan_ likewise demaunded of
him (but in very humble manner) of whence, and what he was, as also
the businesse inviting him thither: offering him his utmost aide and
counsell, in what soever consisted in his power.

_Mithridanes_ sat an indifferent while meditating with his thoughts
before he would returne any answer: but at the last, concluding to
repose confidence in him (in regard of his pretended discontentment)
with many circumstantiall perswasions, first for fidelity, next for
constancie, and lastly for counsell and assistance, he declared to him
truly what he was, the cause of his comming thither, and the reason
urging him thereto. _Nathan_ hearing these words, and the detestable
deliberation of _Mithridanes_, became quite changed in himself: yet
wisely making no outward appearance thereof, with a bold courage and
setled countenance, thus he replyed.

_Mithridanes_, thy Father was a Noble Gentleman, and (in vertuous
qualities) inferiour to none, from whom (as now I see) thou desirest
not to degenerate, having undertaken so bold & high an enterprise,
I meane, in being liberall and bountifull to all men. I do greatly
commend the envy which thou bearest to the vertue of _Nathan_: because
if there were many more such men, the world that is now wretched and
miserable, would become good and conformable. As for the determination
which thou hast disclosed to mee, I have sealed it up secretly in my
soule: wherein I can better give thee counsell, then any especiall
helpe or furtherance: and the course which I would have thee to
observe, followeth thus in few words.

This window, which we now looke forth at, sheweth thee a small wood
or thicket of trees, being little more then the quarter of a miles
distance hence; whereto _Nathan_ usually walketh every morning, and
there continueth time long enough: there maist thou very easily meet
him, and do whatsoever thou intended to him. If thou kilst him, because
thou maist with safety returne home unto thine owne abiding, take not
the same way which guided thee thither, but another, lying on the
left hand, & directing speedily out of the wood, as being not so much
haunted as the other, but rather free from all resort, and surest for
visiting thine owne countrey, after such a dismall deed is done.

When _Mithridanes_ had receyved this instruction, and _Nathan_ was
departed from him, hee secretly gave intelligence to his men, (who
likewise were lodged, as welcome strangers, in the same house) at what
place they should stay for him the next morning. Night being passed
over, and _Nathan_ risen, his heart altred not a jot from his counsell
given to _Mithridanes_, much lesse changed from anie part thereof: but
all alone by himselfe, walked on to the wood, the place appointed for
his death. _Mithridanes_ also being risen, taking his Bow & Sword (for
other weapons had he none) mounted on hors-backe, and so came to the
wood, where (somewhat farre off) hee espyed _Nathan_ walking, and no
creature with him. Dismounting from his horse, he had resolved (before
he would kill him) not onely to see, but also to heare him speake: so
stepping roughly to him, and taking hold of the bonnet on his head,
his face being then turned from him, he sayde. Old man, thou must dye.
Whereunto _Nathan_ made no other answer, but thus: Why then (belike) I
have deserved it.

When _Mithridanes_ heard him speake, and looked advisedly on his face,
he knew him immediatly to be the same man, that had entertained him
so lovingly, conversed with him so familiarly, and counselled him so
faithfully: all which overcomming his former fury, his harsh nature
became meerly confounded with shame: So throwing downe his drawne
sword, which he held readily prepared for the deede: he prostrated
himselfe at _Nathans_ feet, and in teares, spake in this manner. Now
do I manifestly know (most loving Father) your admired bounty and
liberalitie; considering, with what industrious providence, you made
the meanes for your comming hither, prodigally to bestow your life
on me, which I have no right unto, although you were so willing to
part with it. But those high and supreame powers, more carefull of my
dutie, then I my selfe: even at the very instant, and when it was most
needfull, opened the eyes of my better understanding, which infernall
envy had closed up before. And therefore, looke how much you have
bin forward to pleasure me; so much the more shame and punishment, I
confesse my heinous transgression hath justly deserved: take therefore
on me (if you please) such revenge, as you thinke (in justice)
answerable to my sin.

_Nathan_ lovingly raised _Mithridanes_ from the ground, then kissing
his cheeke, and tenderly embracing him, he said. Sonne, thou needed
not to aske, much lesse to obtaine pardon, for any enterprise of
thine, which thou canst not yet terme to be good or bad: because
thou soughtest not to bereave me of my life, for any hatred thou
barest me, but onely in coveting to be reputed the Woorthier man.
Take then this assurance of me, and beleeve it constantly, that there
is no man living, whom I love and honour, as I do thee: considering
the greatnesse of thy minde, which consisteth not in the heaping up
of money, as wretched and miserable Worldlings make it their onely
felicity; but, contending in bounty to spend what is thine, didst hold
it for no shame to kill me, thereby to make thy selfe so much the more
worthily famous.

Nor is it any matter to be wondred at, in regard that Emperors, and the
greatest Kings, hadde never made such extendure of their Dominions, and
consequently of their renowne, by any other Art, then killing; yet not
one man onely, as thou wouldst have done: but infinite numbers, burning
whole Countries, and making desolate huge Townes and Cities, onely to
enlarge their dominion, and further spreading of their fame. Wherefore,
if for the increasing of thine owne renowne, thou wast desirous of my
death: it is no matter of novelty, and therefore deserving the lesse
mervaile, seeing men are slaine daily, and all for one purpose or other.

_Mithridanes_, excusing no further his malevolent deliberation, but
rather commending the honest defence, which _Nathan_ made on his
behalfe; proceeded so farre in after discoursing, as to tel him
plainely, that it did wondrously amaze him, how he durst come to
the fatall appointed place, himselfe having so exactly plotted and
contrived his owne death: whereunto _Nathan_ returned this aunswere.

I would not have thee _Mithridanes_, to wonder at my counsell or
determination; because, since age hath made mee Maister of mine owne
will, and I resolved to doe that, wherein thou hast begun to follow
me: never came any man to mee, whom I did not content (if I could) in
any thing he demanded of mee. It was thy fortune to come for my life,
which when I saw thee so desirous to have it, I resolved immediately to
bestow it on thee: and so much the rather, because thou shouldst not
be the onely man, that ever departed hence, without enjoying whatsoever
hee demanded. And, to the end thou mightst the more assuredly have it,
I gave thee that advice, least by not enjoying mine, thou shouldest
chance to loose thine owne. I have had the use of it full fourescore
yeares, with the consummation of all my delights and pleasures: and
well I know, that according to the course of Nature (as it fares with
other men, and generally all things else) it cannot bee long before it
must leave mee.

Wherefore, I hold it much better for me to give it away freely, as I
have alwayes done my goods and treasure; then bee curious in keeping
it, and suffer it to be taken from me (whether I will or no) by Nature.
A small gift it is, if time make me up the full summe of an hundred
yeares: how miserable is it then, to stand beholding but for foure or
five, and all of them vexation too? Take it then I intreate thee, if
thou wilt have it; for I never met with any man before (but thy selfe)
that did desire it, nor (perhaps) shall finde any other to request it:
for the longer I keepe it, the worse it will be esteemed: and before it
grow contemptible, take it I pray thee.

_Mithridanes_, being exceedingly confounded with shame, bashfully
sayde: Fortune fore-fend, that I should take away a thing so precious
as your life is, or once to have so vile a thought of it as lately I
had; but rather then I would diminish one day thereof, I could wish,
that my time might more amply enlarge it. Forthwith aunswered _Nathan_,
saying. Wouldst thou (if thou couldst) shorten thine owne dayes, onely
to lengthen mine? Why then thou wouldest have me to do that to thee,
which (as yet) I never did unto any man, namely, robbe thee, to enrich
my selfe. I will enstruct thee in a much better course, if thou wilt
be advised by mee. Lusty and young, as now thou art, thou shalt dwell
heere in my house, and be called by the name of _Nathan_. Aged, and
spent with yeares, as thou seest I am, I will goe live in thy house,
and bee called by the name of _Mithridanes_. So, both the name and
place shall illustrate thy Glorie, and I live contentedly, without the
very least thought of envie.

Deare Father, answered _Mithridanes_, if I knew so well howe to direct
mine owne actions, as you doe, and alwayes have done, I would gladly
accept your most liberall offer: but because I plainlie perceive, that
my very best endeavours, must remayne darkened by the bright renowne of
_Nathan_: I will never seeke to impayre that in another, which I cannot
(by any means) increase in my selfe, but (as you have worthily taught
me) live contented with my owne condition.

After these, and many more like loving speeches had passed between
them, according as _Nathan_ very instantly requested, _Mithridanes_
returned back with him to the Pallace, where many dayes he highly
honored & respected him, comforting & counselling him, to persever
alwayes in his honourable determination. But in the end, when
_Mithridanes_ could abide there no longer, because necessary occasions
called him home: he departed thence with his men, having found by good
experience, that hee could never goe beyond _Nathan_ in liberality.

Signior Gentile de Carisendi, _being come from_ Modena, _took a
Gentlewoman, named Madam_ Catharina, _forth of a grave, wherein she
was buried for dead: which act he did, in regard of his former honest
affection to the said Gentlewoman. Madame_ Catharina _remaining
afterward, and delivered of a goodly Sonne: was (by_ Signior _there_
Gentile) _delivered to her owne Husband, named_ Signior Nicoluccio
Caccianimico, _and the yong infant with her._

The Fourth Novell.

_Wherein is shewne, That true love hath alwayes bin, and so still is,
the occasion of many great and worthy courtesies._

By judgment of all the honorable assembly, it was reputed wonderfull,
that a man should be so bountifull, as to give away his owne life,
and to his hatefull enemy. In which respect, it passed with generall
affirmation, that _Nathan_ (in the vertue of liberallity) had
exceeded _Alphonso_, King of _Spaine_, but (especially) the Abbot of
_Clugny_. So, after every one had delivered their opinion, the King,
turning himselfe to Madame _Lauretta_, gave her such a signe, as well
instructed her understanding, that she should be the next in order,
whereto she gladly yeelding, began in this manner.

Youthfull Ladies, the discourses already past, have been so worthy and
magnificent, yea, reaching to such a height of glorious splendour; as
(me thinkes) there remaineth no more matter, for us that are yet to
speake, whereby to enlarge so famous an Argument, and in such manner
as it ought to be: except we lay hold on the actions of love, wherein
is never any want of subject, it is so faire and spacious a field to
walke in. Wherefore, as well in behalfe of the one, as advancement
of the other, whereto our instant age is most of all inclined: I
purpose to acquaint you with a generous and magnificent act, of an
amourous Gentleman, which when it shall be duely considered on, perhaps
will appeare equall to any of the rest. At least, if it may passe
for currant, that men may give away their treasures, forgive mighty
injuries, and lay downe life it selfe, honour and renowne (which is
farre greater) to infinite dangers, only to attaine any thing esteemed
and affected.

Understand then (Gracious hearers) that in _Bologna_, a very famous
City of _Lombardie_, there lived sometime a Knight, most highly
respected for his vertues, named Signior _Gentile de Carisendi_, who
(in his yonger dayes) was enamoured of a Gentlewoman, called Madam
_Catharina_, the Wife of Signior _Nicoluccio Caccianimico_. And
because during the time of his amourous pursuite, he found but a sorry
enterchange of affection from the Lady; hee went (as hopelesse of any
successe) to be Potestate of _Modena_, whereto he was called by place
and order.

At the same time, Signior _Nicoluccio_ being absent from _Bologna_, and
his Lady at a Farme-house of his in the Countrey (about three miles
distant from the City) because she was great with child, and somewhat
neere the time of her teeming: it came to passe, that some dangerous
accident befell her, which was so powerfull in operation, as no signe
of life appeared remained in her, but she was reputed (even in the
judgement of the best Phisitians, whereof she wanted no attendance) to
be verily dead. And because in the opinion of her parents and neerest
kinred, the time for her deliverance was yet so farre off, as the
Infant within her, wanted much of a perfect creature: they made the
lesse mourning; but in the next Church, as also the vault belonging to
her Ancestors, they gave her buriall very speedily.

Which tydings comming to the hearing of Signior _Gentile_, by one that
was his endeared friend: Although (while she lived) he could never be
gracious in her favour, yet her so sudden death did greatly grieve
him, whereupon he discoursed in this sort with himselfe. Deare Madame
_Catharina_, I am not a little sorry for thy death, although (during
thy life-time) I was scarcely worthy of one kind looke: Yet now being
dead, thou canst not prohibite me, but I may robbe thee of a kisse.
No sooner had hee spoke the words, but it beeing then night, and
taking such order, as none might know of his departure: hee mounted on
horse-backe, accompanied onely with one servant, and stayed no where,
till hee came to the vault where the Lady was buried. Which when he had
opened, with instruments convenient for the purpose, he descended downe
into the vault, and kneeled downe by the Beere whereon she lay, and
in her wearing garments, according to the usuall manner, with teares
trickling mainly downe his cheekes, he bestowed infinite sweet kisses
on her.

But as we commonly see, that mens desires are never contented, but
still will presume on further advantages, especially such as love
entirely: so fared it with _Gentile_, who being once minded to get him
gone, as satisfied with the oblation of his kisses; would needs yet
step backe againe, saying. Why should I not touch her yvory breast,
the Adamant that drew all desires to adore her? Ah let me touch it
now, for never hereafter can I bee halfe so happy. Overcome with this
alluring appetite, gently he laid his hand upon her breast, with the
like awefull respect, as if she were living, and holding it so an
indifferent while: either he felt, or his imagination so perswaded him,
the heart of the Lady to beate and pant. Casting off all fond feare,
and the warmth of his increasing the motion: his inward soule assured
him, that she was not dead utterly, but had some small sense of life
remaining in her, whereof he would needs be further informed.

So gently as possible he could, and with the helpe of his man, he tooke
her forth of the monument, & laying her softly on his horse before him,
conveighed her closely to his house in _Bologna_. Signior _Gentile_
had a worthy Lady to his Mother, a woman of great wisdome and vertue,
who understanding by her Sonne, how matters had happened; moved with
compassion, and suffering no one in the house to know what was done,
made a good fire, and very excellent Bathe, which recalled back againe
wrong-wandering life. Then fetching a vehement sigh, opening her eyes,
& looking very strangely about her, she said. Alas! where am I now?
whereto the good old Lady kindly replyed, saying. Comfort your selfe
Madame, for you are in a good place.

Her spirits being in better manner met together, and she still gazing
every way about her, not knowing well where she was, and seeing Signior
_Gentile_ standing before her: he entreated his mother to tell her by
what meanes she came thither; which the good old Lady did, _Gentile_
himselfe helping to relate the whole history. A while she grieved
and lamented, but afterward gave them most hearty thankes, humbly
requesting, that, in regard of the love he had formerly borne her, in
his house she might finde no other usage, varying from the honour of
her selfe and her Husband, and when day was come, to be conveighed home
to her owne house. Madame, answered Signior _Gentile_, whatsoever I
sought to gaine from you in former dayes, I never meane, either here,
or any where else, to motion any more. But seeing it hath been my happy
fortune, to prove the blessed means, of reducing you from death to
life: you shall find no other entertainment here, then as if you were
mine owne Sister. And yet the good deed which I have this night done
for you, doth well deserve some courteous requitall: in which respect,
I would have you not to deny me one favour, which I will presume to
crave of you. Whereto the Lady lovingly replyed, that she was willing
to grant it; provided, it were honest, and in her power: whereto
Signior _Gentile_ thus answered.

Madame, your parents, kindred and friends, and generally all throughout
_Bologna_, doe verily thinke you to be dead, wherefore there is not any
one, that will make any inquisition after you: in which regard, the
favour I desire from you, is no more but to abide here secretly with
my Mother, untill such time as I returne from _Modena_, which shall
be very speedily. The occasion why I move this motion, aymeth at this
end, that in presence of the chiefest persons of our City, I may make
a gladsome present of you to your Husband. The Lady knowing her selfe
highly beholding to the Knight, and the request he made to be very
honest: disposed her selfe to doe as he desired (although she earnestly
longed, to glad her parents and kindred with seeing her alive) and
made her promise him on her faith, to effect it in such manner, as he
pleased to appoint and give her direction.

Scarcely were these words concluded, but she felt the custome of women
to come upon her, with the paines and throwes incident to childing:
wherefore, with helpe of the aged Lady, Mother to Signior _Gentile_, it
was not long before her deliverance of a goodly Sonne, which greatly
augmented the joy of her and _Gentile_, who tooke order, that all
things belonging to a Woman in such a case, were not wanting, but she
was as carefully respected, even as if she had been his owne Wife.
Secretly he repaired to _Modena_, where having given direction for his
place of authority; he returned back againe to _Bologna_, and there
made preparation for a great and solemne feast, appointing who should
be his invited guests, the very chiefest persons in _Bologna_, and
(among them) Signior _Nicoluccio Caccianimico_ the especiall man.

After he was dismounted from horsebacke, and found so good company
attending for him (the Lady also, more faire and healthful then ever,
and the Infant lively disposed) he sate downe at the Table with his
guests, causing them to be served in most magnificent manner, with
plenty of all delicates that could be devised, and never before was
there such a Joviall feast. About the ending of dinner, closely he made
the Lady acquainted with his further intention, and likewise in what
order every thing should be done, which being effected, he returned to
his company, & used these speeches.

Honourable friends, I remember a discourse sometime made unto me,
concerning the Countrey of _Persia_, and a kind of custome there
observed, not to be misliked in mine opinion. When any one intended
to honour his friend in effectuall manner, he invited him home to his
house, and there would shew him the thing, which with greatest love
he did respect; were it Wife, Friend, Sonne, Daughter, or any thing
else whatsoever; wherewithall hee spared not to affirme, that as he
shewed him those choyce delights, the like view he should have of his
heart, if with any possibility it could be done; and the very same
custome I meane now to observe here in our City. You have vouchsafed
to honour me with your presence, at this poore homely dinner of mine,
and I will welcome you after the _Persian_ manner, in shewing you the
Jewell, which (above all things else in the world) I ever have most
respectively esteemed. But before I doe it, I crave your favourable
opinions in a doubt, which I will plainely declare unto you.

If any man having in his house a good and faithfull servant, who
falling into extremity of sickenesse, shall be throwne forth into
the open street, without any care or pitty taken on him; A stranger
chanceth to passe by, and (moved with compassion of his weakenesse)
carryeth him home to his owne house, where using all charitable
diligence, and not sparing any cost, he recovereth the sicke person to
his former health. I now desire to know, if keeping the said restored
person, and imploying him about his owne businesse: the first Master
(by pretending his first right) may lawfully complaine of the second,
and yeeld him backe againe to the first master, albeit he doe make
challenge of him?

All the Gentlemen, after many opinions passing among them, agreed
altogether in one sentence, and gave charge to Signior _Nicoluccio
Caccianimico_, (because he was an excellent and elegant speaker) to
give answere for them all. First, he commended the custome observed in
_Persia_, saying, he jumpt in opinion with all the rest, that the first
Master had no right at all to the servant, having not onely (in such
necessity) forsaken him, but also cast him forth into the comfortlesse
street. But for the benefits and mercy extended to him; it was more
then manifest, that the recovered person, was become justly servant to
the second Master, and in detayning him from the first, hee did not
offer him any injury at all. The whole Company sitting at the Table
(being all very wise & worthy men) gave their verdict likewise with
the confession of Signior _Nicoluccio Caccianimico_. Which answere
did not a little please the Knight; and so much the rather, because
_Nicoluccio_ had pronounced it, affirming himselfe to be of the same

So, sitting in a pretended musing a while, at length he said. My
honourable guests, it is now more then high time, that I should doe
you such honour, as you have most justly deserved, by performing the
promise made unto you. Then calling two of his servants, he sent
them to Madame _Catharina_ (whom he had caused to adorne her self
in excellent manner) entreating her, that she would be pleased to
grace his guests with her presence. _Catharina_, having deckt her
child in costly habiliments, layed it in her armes, and came with
the servants into the dyning Hall, and sate down (as the Knight had
appointed) at the upper end of the Table, and then Signior _Gentile_
spake thus. Behold, worthy Gentlemen, this is the Jewell which I have
most affected, and intend to love none other in the world; be you my
Judges, whether I have just occasion to doe so, or no? The Gentlemen
saluting her with respective reverence, said to the Knight; that he had
great reason to affect her: And viewing her advisedly, many of them
thought her to be the very same woman (as indeed she was) but that they
beleeved her to be dead.

But above all the rest _Nicoluccio Caccianimico_ could never be
satisfied with beholding her; and, enflamed with earnest desire, to
know what she was, could not refraine (seeing the Knight was gone out
of the roome) but demaunded of her, whether she were of _Bologna_, or a
stranger? when the Lady heard her selfe to be thus questioned, and by
her Husband, it seemed painefull to her, to containe from answering:
Neverthelesse, to perfect the Knights intended purpose, she sate
silent. Others demaunded of her, whether the sweet Boy were hers, or
no; and some questioned, if she were _Gentiles_ Wife, or no, or else
his Kinsewoman; to all which demaunds, she returned not any answere.
But when the Knight came to them againe, some of them said to him. Sir,
this woman is a goodly creature, but she appeareth to be dumbe, which
were great pitty, if it should be so. Gentlemen (quoth he) it is no
small argument of her vertue, to sit still and silent at this instant.
Tell us then (said they) of whence, and what she is. Therein (quoth
he) I will quickely resolve you, upon your conditionall promise: that
none of you do remove from his place, whatsoever shall be said or done,
untill I have fully delivered my minde. Every one bound himselfe by
solemne promise, to perform what he had appointed, and the Tables being
voided, as also the Carpets laid; then the Knight (sitting downe by the
Lady) thus began.

Worthy Gentlemen, this Lady is that true and faithfull servant, whereof
I moved the question to you, whom I tooke out of the cold street,
where her parents, kindred and friends (making no account at all of
her) threw her forth, as a thing vile and unprofitable. Neverthelesse,
such hath been my care and cost, that I have rescued her out of
deaths griping power; and, in a meere charitable disposition, which
honest affection caused me to beare her; of a body, full of terror
& affrighting (as then she was) I have caused her to become thus
lovely as you see. But because you may more apparantly discerne, in
what manner this occasion happened; I will lay it open to you in more
familiar manner. Then he began the whole history, from the originall of
his unbeseeming affection to her (in regard she was a worthy mans wife)
and consequently, how all had happened to the instant houre, to the
no meane admiration of all the hearers, adding withall. Now Gentlemen
(quoth he) if you varry not from your former opinion, and especially
Signior _Nicoluccio Caccianimico_: this Lady (by good right) is mine,
and no man else, by any just title, can lay any claime to her.

All sate silent, without answering one word, as expecting what he
intended further to say: but in the meane while, _Nicoluccio_, the
parents and kindred, but chiefely the Lady her selfe, appeared as halfe
melted into teares with weeping. But Signior _Gentile_, starting up
from the Table, taking the Infant in his arme, and leading the Lady by
the hand, going to _Nicoluccio_, thus spake. Rise Sir, I will not give
thee thy wife, whom both her kindred and thine, threw forth into the
street: but I will bestow this Lady on thee, being my Gossip, and this
sweet Boy my God-sonne, who was (as I am verily perswaded) begotten by
thee, I standing witnesse for him at the Font of Baptisme, and give him
mine owne name _Gentile_. Let me entreat thee, that, although she hath
lived here in mine house, for the space of three monethes, she should
not be lesse welcome to thee, then before: for I sweare to thee upon
my soule, that my former affection to her (how unjust soever) was the
onely meanes of preserving her life: and more honestly she could not
live, with Father, Mother, or thy selfe, then she hath done here with
mine owne Mother.

Having thus spoken, he turned to the Lady, saying. Madame, I now
discharge you of all promises made me, delivering you to your Husband
franke and free: And when he had given him the Lady, and the child
in his armes, he returned to his place, and sate downe againe.
_Nicoluccio_, with no meane joy and hearty contentment received both
his wife and childe, being before farre from expectation of such an
admirable comfort; returning the Knight infinite thankes (as all the
rest of the Company did the like) who could not refraine from weeping
for meere joy, for such a strange and wonderfull accident: everyone
highly commending _Gentile_, & such also as chanced to heare thereof.
The Lady was welcommed home to her owne house, with many moneths of
Joviall feasting, and as she passed through the streets, all beheld her
with admiration, to be so happily recovered from her grave. Signior
_Gentile_ lived long after, a loyall friend to _Nicoluccio_ and his
Lady, and all that were well-willers to them.

What thinke you now Ladies? Can you imagine, because a King gave away
his Crowne and Scepter; and an Abbot (without any cost to himselfe)
reconciled a Malefactor to the Pope; and an old idle-headed man,
yeelding to the mercy of his enemy: that all those actions are
comparable to this of Signior _Gentile_? Youth and ardent affection,
gave him a just and lawfull title, to her who was free (by imagined
death) from Husbands, Parents, and all friends else, she being
so happily wonne into his owne possession. Yet honesty not onely
over-swayed the heate of desire, which in many men is violent and
immoderate: but with a bountifull and liberall soule, that which he
coveted beyond all hopes else, and had within his owne command; he
freely gave away. Beleeve me (bright Beauties) not any of the other (in
a true and unpartiall judgement) are worthy to be equalled with this,
or stiled by the name of magnificent actions.

_Madame_ Dianora, _the Wife of Signior_ Gilberto, _being immodestly
affected by Signior_ Ansaldo, _to free herselfe from his tedious
importunity, she appointed him to performe (in her judgement) an act
of impossibility, namely, to give her a Garden, as plentifully stored
with fragrant Flowers in January, as in the flourishing moneth of_ May.
Ansaldo, _by meanes of a bond which he made to a Magitian, performed
her request. Signior_ Gilberto, _the Ladyes Husband, gave consent, that
his Wife should fulfill her promise made to_ Ansaldo. _Who hearing the
bountifull mind of her Husband; released her of her promise: And the
Magitian likewise discharged Signior_ Ansaldo, _without taking any
thing of him._

The fift Novell.

_Admonishing all Ladies and Gentlewomen, that are desirous to preserve
their chastity, free from all blemish and taxation: to make no promise
of yeelding to any, under a compact or covenant, how impossible soever
it may seeme to be._

Not any one in all the Company, but extolled the worthy Act of Signior
_Gentile_ to the skies; till the King gave command to Madame _Æmillia_,
that she should follow next with her Tale, who boldly stepping up,
began in this order.

Gracious Ladies, I thinke there is none heere present among us, but
(with good reason) may maintaine, that Signiour _Gentile_ performed a
magnificent deede: but whosoever saith, it is impossible to do more;
perhaps is ignorant in such actions, as can and may be done, as I meane
to make good unto you, by a Novell not over-long or tedious.

The Countrey of _Fretulium_, better knowne by the name of _Forum
Julii_; although it be subject to much cold, yet it is pleasant, in
regard of many goodly Mountaines, Rivers, and cleare running Springs,
wherewith it is not meanly stored. Within those Territories, is a City
called _Udina_, where sometime lived a faire and Noble Lady, named
Madame _Dianora_, Wife to a rich and woorthie Knight, called Signior
_Gilberto_, a man of very great fame and merite.

This beautifull** Lady, beeing very modest and vertuously inclined, was
highly affected by a Noble Baron of those parts, tearmed by the name
of Signior _Ansaldo Gradense_, a man of very great spirit, bountifull,
active in Armes, and yet very affable and courteous, which caused him
to be the better respected. His love to this Lady was extraordinary,
hardly to bee contained within any moderate compasse, striving to bee
in like manner affected of her: to which end, she wanted no daily
solicitings, Letters, Ambassages and Love-tokens, all proving to no

This vertuous Lady, being wearied with his often temptations, and
seeing, that by denying whatsoever he demanded, yet he wold not give
over his suite, but so much the more importunatly still pursued her:
began to bethinke herselfe, how she might best be rid of him, by
imposing some such taske upon him, as should bee impossible (in her
opinion) for him to effect. An olde woman, whom hee imployed for his
continual messenger to her, as shee came one day about her ordinary
errand, with her she communed in this manner. Good woman (quoth she)
thou hast so often assured me, that Signior _Ansaldo_ loveth me above
all other Women in the world, offering me wonderfull gifts and presents
in his name, which I have alwayes refused, and so still will do, in
regard I am not to be woon by any such allurements: yet if I could be
soundly perswaded, that his affection is answerable to thy peremptory
protestations, I shoulde (perhaps) be the sooner wonne, to listen to
his suite in milder manner, then hitherto I have done. Wherefore, if he
will give me assurance, to perform such a businesse as I mean to enjoyne
him, he shall the speedier heare better answer from me, and I will
confirme it with mine oath.

Wonderfully pleased was Mistresse _Maquerella_, to heare a reply of
such comfortable hope; and therefore desired the Lady, to tel hir what
she wold have done. Listen to me wel (answerd Madam _Dianora_) the
matter which I would have him to effect for me, is; without the wals of
our City, and during the month of Januarie nexte ensuing, to provide me
a Garden, as fairely furnished with all kind of fragrant flowers, as
the flourishing month of May can yeelde no better. If he be not able
to accomplish this imposition, then I command him, never hereafter to
solicite me any more, either by thee, or any other whatsoever; for,
if he do importune me afterward, as hitherto I have concealed his
secret conspiring, both from my husband, and all my friends; so will
I then lay his dishonest suite open to the world, that he may receive
punishment accordingly, for offering to wrong a Gentleman in his wife.

When Signior _Ansaldo_ heard her demand, and the offer beside
thereupon** made him (although it seemed no easie matter; but a thing
meerly impossible to be done) he considered advisedly, that she made
this motion to no other end, but onely to bereave him of all his hope,
ever to enjoy what so earnestly hee desired: neverthelesse, he would
not so give it utterly over, but would needs approve what could be
done. Heereupon, hee sent into divers partes of the world, to find out
any one that was able to advise him in this doubtfull case. In the end,
one was brought to him, who beeing well recompenced for his paines,
by the Art of Nigromancie would undertake to do it. With him Signior
_Ansaldo_ covenanted, binding himselfe to pay a great summe of mony,
upon performance of so rare a deed, awaiting (in hopefull expectation)
for the month of Januaries comming.

It being come, and the weather then in extreamity of cold, every thing
being covered with ice and snow; the Magitian prevailed so by his
Art, that after the Christmas Holy dayes were past, and the Calends
of January entred: in one night, and without the Cittie Wals, the
goodliest Garden of flowers and fruites, was sodainely sprung up, as
(in opinion of such as beheld it) never was the like seen before.
Now Ladies, I think I need not demand the question, whether Signior
_Ansaldo_ were wel pleased, or no, who going to beholde it, saw it most
plenteously stored, with al kind of fruit trees, flowers, herbes and
plants, as no one could be named, that was wanting in this artificiall
garden. And having gathered some pretty store of them, secretly he sent
them to Madam _Dianora_, inviting hir to come see her Garden, perfected
according to her owne desire, and uppon view thereof, to confesse the
integrity of his love to her; considering and remembring withall, the
promise shee had made him under solemne oath, that she might be reputed
for a woman of her word.

When the Lady beheld the fruites and flowers, and heard many other
thinges re-counted, so wonderfully growing in the same Garden: she
began to repent her rash promise made; yet not withstanding her
repentance, as Women are covetous to see all rarities; so, accompanied
with divers Ladies and Gentlewomen more, she went to see the Garden;
and having commended it with much admiration, she returned home againe,
the most sorrowfull Woman as ever lived, considering what she had tyed
her selfe to, for enjoying this Garden. So excessive grew her griefe
and affliction, that it could not be so clouded or concealed: but her
Husband tooke notice of it, and would needs understand the occasion
thereof. Long the Lady (in regard of shame and modesty) sate without
returning any answer; but being in the end constrained, she disclosd
the whole History to him.

At the first, Signior _Gilberto_ waxed exceeding angry, but when he
further considered withall, the pure and honest intention of his Wife;
wisely he pacified his former distemper, and saide. _Dianora_, it is
not the part of a wise and honest woman, to lend an eare to ambassages
of such immodest nature, much lesse to compound or make agreement for
her honesty, with any person, under any condition whatsoever. Those
perswasions which the heart listeneth to, by allurement of the eare,
have greater power then many do imagine, & nothing is so uneasie
or difficult, but in a lovers judgement it appeareth possible. Ill
didst thou therefore first of all to listen, but worse (afterward) to

But, because I know the purity of thy soule, I will yeelde (to disoblige
thee of thy promise) as perhaps no wise man else would do: mooved
thereto onely by feare of the Magitian, who seeing Signior _Ansaldo_
displeased, because thou makest a mockage of him; will do some such
violent wrong to us, as we shall be never able to recover. Wherefore,
I would have thee go to Signior _Ansaldo_, and if thou canst (by
any meanes) obtaine of him, the safe-keeping of thy honour, and full
discharge of thy promise; it shall be an eternall fame to thee, and
the crowne of a most victorious conquest. But if it must needs be
otherwise, lend him thy body onely for once, but not thy will: for
actions committed by constraint, wherein the will is no way guilty, are
halfe pardonable by the necessity.

Madame _Dianora_, hearing her husbands words, wept exceedingly, and
avouched, that shee had not deserved any such especiall grace of him,
and therefore she would rather dye, then doe it. Neverthelesse, it was
the will of her Husband to have it so, and therefore (against her will)
she gave consent. The next morning, by the breake of day, _Dianora_
arose, and attiring her selfe in her very meanest garments, with two
servingmen before her, and a waiting Woman following, she went to the
lodging of Signior _Ansaldo_, who hearing that Madam _Dianora_ was
come to visite him, greatly mervailed, and being risen, he called the
Magitian to him, saying. Come go with me, and see what effect will
follow upon thine Art. And being come into her presence, without any
base or inordinate appetite, he did her humble reverence, embracing her
honestly, and taking her into a goodly Chamber, where a faire fire was
readilie prepared, causing her to sit downe by him, he sayde unto her
as followeth.

Madam, I humbly intreat you to resolve me, if the affection I have long
time borne you, and yet do still, deserve any recompence at all: you
would be pleased then to tel me truly, the occasion of your instant
comming hither, and thus attended as you are. _Dianora_, blushing with
modest shame, and the teares trickling mainly down her faire cheekes,
thus answered. Signior _Ansaldo_, not for any Love I beare you, or care
of my faithfull promise made to you, but onely by the command of my
husband (who respecting more the paynes and travels of your inordinate
love, then his owne reputation and honor, or mine;) hath caused me to
come hither: and by vertue of his command, am ready (for once onely) to
fulfill your pleasure, but far from any will or consent in my selfe.
If Signior _Ansaldo_ were abashed at the first, hee began now to be
more confounded with admiration, when he heard the Lady speake in such
strange manner: & being much moved with the liberall command of her
husband, he began to alter his inflamed heate, into most honourable
respect and compassion, returning her this answer.

Most noble Lady, the Gods forbid (if it be so as you have sayd) that I
should (Villain-like) soile the honour of him, that takes such unusuall
compassion of my unchaste appetite. And therefore, you may remaine
heere so long as you please, in no other condition, but as mine owne
naturall borne Sister; and likewise, you may depart freely when you
will: conditionally, that (on my behalfe) you render such thankes to
your husband, as you thinke convenient for his great bounty towards me,
accounting me for ever heereafter, as his loyall Brother and faithfull
servant. _Dianora_ having well observed his answer, her heart being
ready to mount out at her mouth with joy, said. All the world could
never make mee beleeve (considering your honourable minde and honesty)
that it would happen otherwise to me, then now it hath done; for which
noble courtesie, I will continually remaine obliged to you. So, taking
her leave, she returned home honorably attended to her husband, and
relating to him what had happened, it proved the occasion of begetting
intire love and friendship, betweene himselfe and the Noble Lord

Now concerning the skilfull Magitian, to whom _Ansaldo_ meant to
give the bountifull recompence agreed on betweene them, hee having
seene the strange liberality, which the husband expressed to Signior
_Ansaldo_, and that of _Ansaldo_ to the Lady, hee presently saide.
Great _Jupiter_ strike me dead with thunder, having my selfe seene a
husband so liberall of his honour, and you Sir of true noble kindnesse,
if I should not be the like of my recompence: for, perceiving it to
be so worthily imployed, I am well contented that you shall keepe it.
The Noble Lord was modestly ashamed, and strove (so much as in him
lay) that he should take all, or the greater part thereof: but seeing
he laboured meerly in vaine, after the third day was past, and the
Magitian had destroyed the Garden againe, hee gave him free liberty to
depart, quite controlling all fond and unchaste affection in himselfe,
either towards _Dianora_, or any Lady else, and living (ever after) as
best becommeth any Nobleman to do.

What say you now Ladies? Shall wee make any account of the woman
wel-neere dead, and the kindnesse growne cold in Signiour _Gentile_,
by losse of his former hopes, comparing them with the liberality of
Signior _Ansaldo_, affecting more fervently, then ever the other did?
And being (beyond hope) possessed of the booty, which (above all things
else in the world) he most desired to have, to part with it meerly
in fond compassion? I protest (in my judgement) the one is no way
comparable to the other; that of _Gentile_, with this last of Signior

_Victorious_ King Charles, _sirnamed the Aged, and first of that Name,
fell in love with a yong Maiden, named_ Genevera, _daughter to an
ancient Knight, called Signior_ Neri degli Uberti. _And waxing ashamed
of his amorous folly, caused both_ Genevera, _and her fayre Sister_
Isotta, _to be joyned in marriage with two Noble Gentlemen; the one
named_ Signior Maffeo da Palizzi, _and the other,_ Signior Gulielmo
della Magna.

The Sixt Novell.

_Sufficiently declaring, that how mighty soever the power of Love is:
yet a magnanimous and truly generous heart, it can by no meanes fully

Who is able to expresse ingeniously, the diversity of opinions, which
hapned among the Ladies, in censuring on the act of Madame _Dianora_,
and which of them was most liberall, either Signior _Gilberto_ the
Husband, Lord _Ansaldo_ the importunate suiter, or the Magitian,
expecting to bee bountifully rewarded. Surely, it is a matter beyond
my capacity: but after the King had permitted their disputation a long
while, looking on Madam _Fiammetta_, he commanded that she should
report her Novel to make an end of their controversie; and she (without
any further delaying) thus began. I did alwaies (Noble Ladies) hold
it fit and decent, that in such an assembly as this of ours is, every
one ought to speake so succinctly and plainly: that the obscure
understanding, concerning the matters spoken of, should have no cause
of disputation. For disputes do much better become the Colledges of
Scholars, then to be among us, who hardly can manage our Distaves
or Samplers. And therefore I, doe intend to relate something, which
(peradventure) might appeare doubtfull: will forbeare (seeing you in
such a difference; for that which hath bin spoken alreadie) to use any
difficult discourse; but will speake of one, a man of no meane ranke
or quality, being both a valiant and vertuous King, and what he did,
without any impeach or blemish to his honor.

I make no doubt, but you have often heard report, of king _Charles_ the
Aged, and first of that name, by reason of his magnificent enterprises,
as also his most glorious victory, which he obtaind against King
_Manfred_, when the _Ghibellines_ were expulsed foorth of _Florence_,
and the _Guelphes_ returned thither againe. By which occasion, an
ancient knight, named Signior _Neri degli Uberti_; forsaking then the
City, with all his family and great store of wealth, woulde live under
any other obedience, then the awful power or command of King _Charles_.
And coveting to be in some solitary place, where he might finish the
remainder of his dayes in peace, he went to _Castello da Mare_; where,
about a Bow shoote distance from all other dwelling houses, hee bought
a parcel of ground, plentifully stored with variety of Trees, bearing
Olives, Chesnuts, Orenges, Lemons, Pomcitrons, and other excellent
frutages, wherewith the Countrey flourisheth abundantly. There he
built a very faire and commodious house, and planted (close by it) a
pleasant Garden, in the middst whereof, because he had great plenty of
water: according as other men use to do, being in the like case so wel
provided; he made a very goodly Pond, which forthwith had all kinde of
Fish swimming in it, it being his daily care and endeavour**, to tend his
Garden, and encrease his Fish-pond.

It fortuned, that King _Charles_ (in the Summer time) for his pleasure
and recreation, went to repose himselfe (for some certayne dayes)
at _Castello de Mare_, where having heard report of the beautie and
singularitie of Signiour _Neries_ Garden; hee grew very desirous to
see it. But when he understoode to whome it belonged, then he entred
into consideration with himselfe, that hee was an ancient Knight,
maintaining a contrarie faction to his: wherefore, he thought it
fit to goe in some familiar manner, and with no trayne attending on
him. Whereupon he sent him word, that he wold come to visit him, with
foure Gentlemen onely in his companie, meaning to sup with him in his
Garden the next night ensuing. The newes was very welcome to _Signior
Neri_, who took order in costly manner for all things to bee done,
entertaining the King most joyfully into his beautifull Garden.

When the King had survayed all, and the house likewise, he commended
it beyond all other comparison, and the Tables being placed by the
Ponds side, he washed his hands therein, & then sat down at the table,
commanding the Count, Sir _Guy de Montforte_ (who was one of them which
came in his company) to sitte downe by him, and Signior _Neri_ on his
other side. As for the other three of the traine, hee commaunded them
to attend on his service, as Signior _Neri_ had given order. There
wanted no exquisite Viandes and excellent Wines, all performed in most
decent manner, and without the least noise or disturbance, wherein the
King tooke no little delight.

Feeding thus in this contented manner, and facying the solitude of the
place: sodainly entred into the garden, two yong Damosels, each aged
about some fifteene yeares, their haire resembling wyars of Gold, and
curiously curled, having Chaplets (made like provinciall Crownes) on
their heades, and their delicate faces, expressing them to be rather
Angels, then mortall creatures, such was the appearance of their
admired beauty. Their under-garments were of costly Silke, yet white as
the finest snow, framed (from the girdle upward) close to their bodies,
but spreading largely downward, like the extendure of a Pavillion, and
so descending to the feet. She that first came in sight, caried on her
shoulder a couple of fishing Netts, which she held fast with her left
hand, and in the right she carryed a long staffe. The other following
her, had on her left shoulder a Frying-pan, and under the same arme a
small Faggot of woodde, with a Trevit in her hand; and in the other
hand a pot of Oyle, as also a brand of fire flaming.

No sooner did the King behold them, but he greatly wondered what they
should be; and, without uttering one word, attended to listen what they
wold say. Both the yong damosels, when they were come before the King,
with modest and bashfull gesture, they performed very humble reverence
to him, and going to the place of entrance into the Pond, she who held
the Trevit, set it downe on the ground, with the other things also; and
taking the staffe which the other Damosell carried: they both went into
the Pond, the water whereof reached so high as to their bosomes. One of
the Servants to Signior _Neri_, presently kindled the fire, setting the
Trevit over it, and putting Oyle into the Frying-panne, held it uppon
the Trevit, awaiting untill the Damosels should cast him uppe Fish. One
of them did beate a place with the staffe, where she was assured of the
Fishes resort, and the other hadde lodged the Nets so conveniently, as
they quickly caught great store of Fish, to the Kings high contentment,
who observed their behaviour very respectively.

As the Fishes were throwne up to the servant, alive as they were, he
tooke the best and fairest of them, and brought them to the Table,
where they skipt and mounted before the King, Count _Guy de Montfort_
and the Father: some leaping from the Table into the Pond againe, and
others, the King (in a pleasing humour) voluntarily threw backe to
the Damosels. Jesting and sporting in this manner, till the servant
had drest divers of them in exquisite order, and served them to the
Table, according as Signior _Neri_ had ordained. When the Damosels
saw the Fishes service performed, and perceived that they had fished
sufficiently: they came forth of the water, their garments then (being
wet) hanging close about them, even as if they hid no part of their
bodies. Each having taken those things againe, which at first they
brought with them, and saluting the king in like humility as they did
before, returned home to the mansion house.

The King and Count likewise, as also the other attending Gentlemen,
having duely considered the behavior of the Damosels: commended
extraordinarily their beauty and faire feature, with those other
perfections of Nature so gloriously shining in them. But (beyond
all the rest) the King was boundlesse in his praises given of them,
having observed their going into the water, the equall carriage there
of them both, their comming forth, and gracious demeanor at their
departing (yet neither knowing of whence, or what they were) he felt
his affection very violently flamed, and grew into such an amourous
desire to them both, not knowing which of them pleased him most, they
so choisely resembled one another in all things.

But after he had dwelt long enough upon these thoughts, he turned
him selfe to Signior _Neri_, and demanded of him, what Damosels they
were. Sir (answered _Neri_) they are my Daughters, both brought into
the world at one birth, and Twinnes, the one being named _Genevera_
the faire, and the other _Isotta_ the amiable. The King began againe
to commend them both, and gave him advise to get them both married:
wherein he excused himselfe, alleadging, that he wanted power to doe
it. At the same time instant, no other service remaining to be brought
to the table, except Fruit and Cheese, the two Damosels returned
againe, attyred in goodly Roabes of Carnation Sattin, formed after
the Turkish fashion, carrying two fayre Silver dishes in their hands,
filled with divers delicate Fruits, such as the season then afforded,
setting them on the Table before the King. Which being done, they
retyred a little backeward, and with sweet melodious voyces, sung a
ditty, beginning in this manner.

    _Where Love presumeth into place:
    Let no one sing in Loves disgrace._

So sweet and pleasing seemed the Song to the King (who tooke no small
delight, both to heare and behold the Damosels) even as if all the
Hirarchies of Angels, were descended from the Heavens to sing before
him. No sooner was the Song ended, but (humbly on their knees) they
craved favour of the King for their departing. Now, although their
departure was greatly grieving to him, yet (in outward appearance) he
seemed willing to grant it.

When Supper was concluded, and the King and his Company remounted
on horsebacke: thankefully departing from Signior _Neri_, the King
returned to his lodging, concealing there closely his affection to
himselfe, and whatsoever important affaires happened: yet he could
not forget the beauty, & gracious behaviour of _Genevera_ the faire
(for whose sake he loved her Sister likewise) but became so linked to
her in vehement manner, as he had no power to think on any thing else.
Pretending other urgent occasions, he fell into great familiarity with
Signior _Neri_, visiting very often his goodly Garden; onely to see his
faire Daughter _Genevera_, the Adamant which drew him thither.

When he felt his amourous assaults, to exeed all power of longer
sufferance: he resolved determinately with himselfe, (being unprovided
of any better meanes) to take her away from her Father, and not onely
she, but her Sister also; discovering both his love and intent to Count
_Guy de Montforte_, who being a very worthy and vertuous Lord, and meet
to be a Counseller for a King, delivered his mind in this manner.

Gracious Lord, I wonder not a little at your speeches, and so much
the greater is my admiration, because no man els can be subject to
the like, in regard I have knowne you from the time of your infancy;
even to this instant houre, and alwayes your carriage to bee one and
the same. I could never perceive in your youthfull dayes (when love
should have the greatest meanes to assaile you) any such oppressing
passions: which is now the more novell and strange to me, to heare it
but said, that you being old, and called the Aged; should be growne
amorous, surely to me it seemeth a miracle. And if it appertained to
me to reprehend you in this case, I know well enough what I could say.
Considering, you have yet your Armour on your backe, in a Kingdome
newly conquered, among a Nation not knowne to you, full of falsehoods,
breaches, and treasons; all which are no meane motives to care and
needfull respect. But having now wone a little leisure, to rest your
selfe a while from such serious affaires; can you give way to the
idle suggestions of Love? Beleeve me Sir, it is no act becomming a
magnanimious King; but rather the giddy folly of a young braine.

Moreover you say (which most of all I mislike) that you intend to take
the two Virgines from the Knight, who hath given you entertainment in
his house beyond his ability, and to testifie how much he honoured you,
he suffered you to have a sight of them, meerely (almost) in a naked
manner: witnessing thereby, what constant faith he reposed in you,
beleeving verily, that you were a just King, and not a ravenous Woolfe.
Have you so soone forgot, that the rapes and violent actions, done by
King _Manfred_ to harmelesse Ladies, made your onely way of entrance
into this Kingdome? What treason was ever committed, more worthy of
eternall punishment, then this will be in you: to take away from him
(who hath so highly honoured you) his chiefest hope and consolation?
What will be said by all men, if you doe it?

Peradventure you thinke, it will be a sufficient excuse for you, to
say: I did it, in regard hee was a _Ghibelline_. Can you imagine this
to be justice in a King, that such as get into their possession in this
manner (whatsoever it be) ought to use it in this sort? Let me tell you
Sir, it was a most worthy victory for you, to conquer King _Manfred_:
but it is farre more famous victory, for a man to conquer himselfe.
You therefore, who are ordained to correct vices in other men, learne
first to subdue them in your selfe, and (by brideling this inordinate
appetite) set not a foule blemish on so faire a fame, as will be honour
to you to preserve spotlesse.

These words pierced the heart of the King deepely, and so much the more
afflicted him, because he knew them to be most true: wherefore, after
he had ventred a very vehement sigh, thus he replyed. Beleeve me noble
Count, there is not any enemy, how strong soever he be, but I hold him
weake and easie to be vanquished, by him who is skilfull in the warre,
where a man may learne to conquere his owne appetite. But because he
shall find it a laborious taske, requiring inestimable strength and
courage: your words have so toucht me to the quicke, that it becommeth
me to let you effectually perceive (and within the compasse of few
dayes) that as I have learned to conquer others, so I am not ignorant,
in expressing the like power upon my selfe.

Having thus spoken, within some few dayes after, the King being
returned to _Naples_, he determined, as well to free himself from any
the like ensuing follie, as also to recompence Signior _Neri_, for the
great kindnesse he had shewne to him (although it was a difficult
thing, to let another enjoy, what he rather desired for himselfe)
to have the two Damosels married, not as the Daughters of Signior
_Neri_, but even as if they were his owne. And by consent of the
Father, he gave _Genevera_ the faire, to Signior _Maffeo da Pallizzi_,
and _Isotta_ the amiable, to Signior _Gulielmo della Magna_, two
Noble Knights and honourable Barons. After he had thus given them in
marriage, in sad mourning he departed thence into _Apuglia_, where
by following worthy and honourable actions, he so well overcame all
inordinate appetites: that shaking off the enthralling fetters of love,
he lived free from all passions, the rest of his life time, and dyed as
an honourable King.

Some perhaps will say, it was a small matter for a King, to give away
two Damosels in marriage, and I confesse it: but I maintaine it to be
great, and more then great, if we say, that a King, being so earnestly
enamoured as this King was; should give her away to another, whom he
so dearely affected himselfe, without receiving (in recompence of his
affection) so much as a leaffe, flowre, or the least fruit of love. Yet
such was the vertue of this magnificent King, expressed in so highly
recompencing the noble Knights courtesie, honouring the two daughters
so royally, and conquering his owne affections so vertuously.

Lisana, _the Daughter of a Florentine Apothecary, named_ Bernardo
Puccino, _being at_ Palermo, _and seeing_ Piero, _King of_ Aragon
_run at the Tilt; fell so affectionately enamored of him, that she
languished in an extreame and long sickenesse. By her owne devise,
and means of a Song, sung in the hearing of the King: he vouchsafed
to visite her, and giving her a kisse, terming himselfe also to bee
her Knight for ever after, hee honourably bestowed her in marriage on
a young Gentleman, who was called_ Perdicano, _and gave him liberall
endowments with her._

The Seventh Novell.

_Wherein is covertly given to understand, that howsoever a Prince may
make use of his absolute power and authority, towards Maides or Wives
that are his Subjects: yet he ought to deny and reject all things, as
shall make him forgetfull of himselfe, and his true honour._

Madame _Fiammetta_ being come to the end of her Novell, and the great
magnificence of King _Charles_ much commended (howbeit, some of the
Company, affecting the _Ghibelline_ faction, were otherwise minded)
Madame _Pampinea_, by order given from the King, began in this manner.

There is no man of good understanding (honourable Ladies) but will
maintaine what you have said of victorious _Charles_; except such as
cannot wish well to any. But because my memory hath instantly informed
me, of an action (perhaps) no lesse commendable then this, done by
an enemy of the said King _Charles_, and to a yong Maiden of our
City; I am the more willing to relate it, upon your gentle attention
vouchsafed, as hitherto it hath been courteously granted.

At such time as the French were driven out of _Sicilie_, there dwelt at
_Palermo_ a _Florentine_ Apothecary, named _Bernardo Puccino_, a man of
good wealth and reputation, who had by his Wife one onely Daughter, of
marriageable yeares, and very beautifull. _Piero_, King of _Arragon_,
being then become Lord of that Kingdom, he made an admirable Feast
Royall at _Palermo_, accompanyed with his Lords and Barons. In honour
of which publique Feast, the King kept a triumphall day (of Justs and
Turnament) at _Catalana_, and whereat it chanced, that the Daughter of
_Bernardo_, named _Lisana_, was present. Being in a window, accompanied
with other Gentlewomen, she saw the King runne at the Tilt, who
seemed so goodly a person in her eye; that being never satisfied with
beholding him, she grew enamoured, and fell into extremity of affection
towards him.

When the Feastivall was ended, she dwelling in the house of her Father,
it was impossible for her to thinke on any thing else, but onely
the love, which she had fixed on a person of such height. And that
which most tormented her in this case, was the knowledge of her owne
condition, being but meane and humble in degree; whereby she confessed,
that she could not hope for any successefull issue of her proud love.
Neverthelesse, she would not refraine from affecting the King, who
taking no note of this kindnesse in her, by any perceivable meanes;
must needs be the more regardles, which procured (by wary observation)
her afflictions to be the greater and intollerable.

Whereon it came to passe, that this earnest love encreasing in her
more and more, and one melancholly conceit taking hold on another: the
faire Maide, when she could beare the burden of her griefe no longer;
fell into a languishing sickenesse, consuming away daily (by evident
appearance) even as the Snow melteth by the warme beames of the Sunne.

The Father and Mother, much dismayed and displeased at this haplesse
accident, applying her with continuall comforts, Phisicke, and the best
skill remayning in all the Phisitions, sought all possible meanes wayes
to give her succour: but all proved to no effect, because in regard
of her choyce (which could sort to none other then a desperate end)
she was desirous to live no longer. Now it fortuned, that her parents
offering her whatsoever remained in their power to performe, a sudden
apprehension entred her minde, to wit, that (if it might possible be
done) before she dyed, she would first have the King to know, in what
manner she stood affected to him. Wherefore, one day she entreated her
Father, that a Gentleman, named _Manutio de Arezza_, might be permitted
to come see her. This _Manutio_ was (in those times) held to be a most
excellent Musitian, both for his voyce in singing, and exquisite skill
in playing on Instruments, for which he was highly in favour with King
_Piero_, who made (almost) daily use of him, to heare him both sing and

Her tender and loving father conceived immediately, that shee was
desirous to heare his playing and singing, both being comfortable to a
body in a languishing sickenesse, whereupon, he sent presently for the
Gentleman, who came accordingly, and after he had comforted _Lisana_
with kind and courteous speeches; he played dexteriously on his Lute,
which purposely hee had brought with him, and likewise he sung divers
excellent Ditties, which insted of his intended consolation to the
Maid, did nothing else but encrease her fire and flame.

Afterward, she requested to have some conference with _Manutio_ alone,
and every one being gone forth of the Chamber, she spake unto him in
this manner.

_Manutio_, I have made choyce of thee, to be the faithfull Guardian of
an especial secret, hoping first of al, that thou wilt never reveale
it to any living body, but onely to him whom I shall bid thee: And
next, to helpe me so much as possibly thou canst, because my onely
hope relyeth in thee. Know then my dearest friend _Manutio_, that on
the solemne festivall day, when our Soveraigne Lord the King honoured
his exaltation, with the noble exercises of Tilt and Turney; his brave
behaviour kindled such a sparke in my soule, as since brake forth into
a violent flame, and brought me to this weake condition as now thou
seest. But knowing and confessing, how farre unbeseeming my love is, to
aime so ambitiously at a King, and being unable to controule it, or in
the least manner to diminish it: I have made choyce of the onely and
best remedy of all, namely, to dye, and so I am most willing to doe.

True it is, that I shall travaile in this my latest journey, with
endlesse torment and affliction of soule, except he have some
understanding thereof before, and not knowing by whom to give him
intelligence, in so oft and convenient order, as by thee: I doe
therefore commit this last office of a friend to thy trust, desiring
thee, not to refuse me in the performance thereof. And when thou hast
done it, to let me understand what he saith, that I may dye the more
contentedly, and disburdened of so heavy an oppression, the onely
comfort to a parting spirit: and so she ceased, her teares flowing
forth abundantly.

_Manutio_ did not a little wonder at the Maides great spirit, and her
desperate resolution, which moved him to exceeding commiseration, and
suddenly he conceived, that honestly he might discharge this duty for
her, whereupon, he returned her this answer. _Lisana_, here I engage
my faith to thee, that thou shalt find me firme and constant, and
die I will, rather then deceive thee. Greatly I doe commend thy high
attempt, in fixing thy affection on so Potent a King, wherein I offer
thee my utmost assistance: and I make no doubt (if thou wouldest be of
good comfort) to deale in such sort, as, before three dayes are fully
past, to bring such newes as will content thee, and because I am loath
to loose the least time, I will goe about it presently. _Lisana_ the
yong Maiden, once againe entreated his care and diligence, promising
to comfort her selfe so well as she could, commending him to his good
fortune. When _Manutio_ was gone from her, hee went to a Gentleman,
named _Mico de Sienna_, one of the best Poets in the composing of
verses, as all those parts yeelded not the like. At his request, _Mico_
made for him this ensuing Dittie.

The Song sung in the hearing of King _Piero_, on the behalfe of
Love-sicke _Lisana._

         _Goe Love, and tell the torments I endure,
         Say to my Soveraigne Lord, that I must die
         Except he come, some comfort to procure,
         For tell I may not, what I feele, and why._

    _With heaved hands Great Love, I call to thee,
    Goe see my Soveraigne, where he doth abide,
    And say to him, in what extremity,
    Thou hast (for him) my firm affection tryed.
    To die for him, it is my sole desire,
    For live with him I may not, nor aspire,
    To have my fortunes thereby dignified,
    Onely his sight would lend me life a while:
    Grant it (great love) mine anguish to beguile.
         Goe love and tell the torments, &c._

    _Since the first houre that love enthralled me,
    I never had the heart, to tell my griefe,
    My thoughts did speake, for thoughts be alwayes free,
    Yet hopefull thoughts doe find but poore reliefe.
    When Gnats will mount to Eagles in the ayre,
    Alas! they scorne them, for full well they know,
    They were not bred to prey so base and low,
    Aloft they look, to make their flight more faire.
    And yet his sight would lend me life a while:
    Grant it (great love) mine anguish to beguile.
         Goe love, and tell the torments, &c._

    _If sight shall be denyed, then tell them plaine,
    His high triumphall day procurd my death,
    The Launce that won him Honour, hath me slaine,
    For instantly it did bereave my breath.
    That speake I could not, nor durst be so bold,
    To make the Ayre acquainted with my woe:
    Alas! I lookt so high, and doing so,
    Justly deserve by death to be controld.
    Yet mercies sight would lend me life a while,
    Grant it (great love) mine anguish to beguile._

         _Goe love, and tell the torments I endure,
         Say to my Soveraigne Lord, that I must die:
         Except he come, some comfort to procure,
         For tell I may not, what I feele, and why._

The lines contained in this Ditty, _Manutio_ fitted with noates so
mooving and singularly musicall, that every word had the sensible
motion of life in it, where the King being (as yet) not risen from the
Table, he commanded him to use both his Lute and voyce.

This seemed a happy opportunity to _Manutio_, to sing the dittie so
purposely done and devised: which hee delivered in such excellent
manner, the voice and Instrument concording so extraordinary pleasing;
that all the persons then in the Presence, seemed rather Statues, then
living men, so strangely they were wrapt with admiration, and the King
himselfe farre beyond all the rest, transported with a rare kinde of

When _Manutio_ had ended the Song, the King demanded of him, whence
this Song came, because he had never heard it before? My gracious Lord,
answered _Manutio_, it must needes seeme straunge to your Majesty,
because it is not fully three dayes, since it was invented, made, and
set to the note. Then the King asked, whom it concerned? Sir (quoth
_Manutio_) I dare not disclose that to any but onely your selfe. Which
answer made the King much more desirous, and being risen from the
Table, he tooke him into his Bed-chamber, where _Manutio_ related all
at large to him, according to the trust reposed in him. Wherewith the
King was wonderfully well pleased, greatly commending the courage of
the Maide, and said, that a Virgin of such a valiant spirit, did well
deserve to have her case commiserated: and commanded him also, to goe
(as sent from him) and comfort her, with promise, that the very same
day, in the evening, he would not faile to come and see her.

_Manutio_, more then contented, to carry such glad tydings to _Lisana_;
without staying in any place, and taking his Lute also with him, went
to the Apothecaries house, where speaking alone with the Maide: he
told her what he had done, and afterward sung the song to her, in as
excellent manner as he had done before, wherein _Lisana_ conceived such
joy and contentment, as even in the very same moment, it was observed
by apparant signes, that the violence of her fits forsooke her, and
health began to get the upper hand of them. So, without suffering any
one in the house to know it, or by the least meanes to suspect it; she
comforted her selfe till the evening, in expectation of her Soveraignes

_Piero_ being a Prince, of most liberall and benigne nature, having
afterward divers times considered on the matters which _Manutio_ had
revealed to him, knowing also the yong Maiden, to bee both beautifull
and vertuous: was so much moved with pitty of her extremitie, as
mounting on horse-backe in the evening, and seeming as if he rode
abroad for his private recreation; he went directly to the Apothecaries
house, where desiring to see a goodly garden, appertaining then to the
Apothecarie, he dismounted from his horse. Walking into the garden, he
began to question with _Bernardo_, demaunding him for his Daughter, and
whether he had (as yet) marryed her, or no? My Gracious Lord, answered
_Bernardo_, as yet shee is not marryed, neither likely to bee, in
regard shee hath had a long and tedious sickenesse: but since Dinner
time, she is indifferently eased of her former violent paine, which we
could not discerne the like alteration in her, a long while before.

The King understood immediately, the reason of this so sudden
alteration, and said. In good faith _Bernardo_, the world would
sustaine a great maine & imperfection, by the losse of thy faire
daughter; wherefore, we will goe our selfe in person to visite her.
So, with two of his Lords onely, and the Father, he ascended to the
Maides Chamber & being entred, he went to the Beds side, where she
sate, somewhat raised, in expectation of his comming, and taking her
by the hand, he said. Faire _Lisana_, how commeth this to passe? You
being so faire a Virgin, yong, and in the delicacy of your daies, which
should be the chiefest comfort to you, will you suffer your selfe to be
over-awed with sickenesse? Let us intreat you, that (for our sake) you
will be of good comfort, and thereby recover your health the sooner,
especially, when it is requested by a King, who is sorry to see so
bright a beauty sicke, and would helpe it, if it consisted in his power.

_Lisana_, feeling the touch of his hand, whom she loved above all
things else in the world, although a bashfull blush mounted up into her
cheekes: yet her heart was seazed with such a rapture of pleasure, that
she thought her selfe translated into Paradise, and, so well as she
could, thus she replyed. Great King, by opposing my feeble strength,
against a burden of over-ponderous weight, it became the occasion of
this grievous sickenesse: but I hope that the violence thereof is
(almost) already kild, onely by this soveraigne mercy in you; and
doubtlesse it will cause my speedy deliverance. The King did best
understand this so well palliated answere of _Lisana_, which as he did
much commend, in regard of her high adventuring; so he did againe as
greatly condemne Fortune, for not making her more happy in her birth.

So, after he had stayed there a good while, and given her many
comfortable speeches, he returned backe to the Court. This humanity
in the King, was reputed a great honour to the Apothecary and his
daughter, who (in her owne mind) received as much joy and contentment
thereby, as ever any wife could have of her owne Husband.

And being assisted by better hopes, within a short while after, she
became recovered, and farre more beautifull (in common judgment) then
ever she was before.

_Lisana_ being now in perfect health, the King consulted with his
Queene, what meete recompence he should gratifie her withall,
for loving and affecting him in such fervent manner. Upon a day
determined, the King mounting on horsebacke, accompanied with many of
his cheefest Lords and Barons, he rode to the Apothecaries house, where
walking in his beautifull Garden, hee called for _Bernardo_ and his
daughter _Lisana_. In the meane space, the Queene also came thither,
Royally attended on by her Ladies, and _Lisana_ being admitted into
their company, they expressed themselves very gracious to her. Soone
after, the King and the Queene cald _Lisana_, and the King spake in
this manner to her.

Faire Virgin, the extraordinary love which you bare to us, calleth for
as great honour from us to you; in which respect, it is our Royall
desire, by one meanes or other to requite your kinde Love. In our
opinion, the chiefe honour we can extend to you, is, that being of
sufficient yeares for marriage, you would grace us so much, as to
accept him for your Husband, whom we intend to bestow on you. Beside
this further grant from us, that (notwithstanding whatsoever else) you
shall call us your Knight; without coveting any thing else from you,
for so great favour, but only one kisse, and thinke not to bestow it
nicely on a King, but grant it the rather, because he begges it.

_Lisana_, whose lookes, were dyed with a vermillian tincture, or rather
converted into a pure maiden blush, reputing the Kings desire to be her
owne; in a low and humbled voyce, thus answered. My Lord, most certaine
am I, that if it had beene publikely knowne, how none but your highnes,
might serve for me to fixe my love on, I should have been termed the
foole of all fooles: they perhaps beleeving, that I was forgetfull of
my selfe, in being ignorant of mine owne condition, and much lesse of
yours. But the Gods are my witnesses (because they know the secrets
of all hearts) that even in the very instant, when Loves fire tooke
hold on my yeelding affection: I knew you to be a King, and my selfe
the daughter of poore _Bernardo_ the Apothecary: likewise, how farre
unfitting it was for me, to be so ambitious in my loves presuming.
But I am sure your Majestie doth know (much better then I am able to
expresse) that no one becommeth amourous, according to the duty of
election, but as the appetite shapeth his course, against whose lawes
my strength made many resistances, which not prevailing, I presumed to
love, did, and so for ever shall doe, your Majestie.

Now Royall Soveraigne, I must needes confesse, that so soone as I
felt my selfe thus wholly conquered by loving you, I resolved for
ever after, to make your will mine owne, and therefore, am not onely
willing to accept him for my Husband, whom you shall please to appoint,
befitting my honor and degree: but if you will have me to live in a
flaming fire, my obedience shall sacrifice it selfe to your will, with
the absolute conformity of mine owne. To stile you by the name of my
Knight, whom I know to be my lawfull King and Soveraigne; you are not
ignorant, how farre unfitting a word that were for me to use: As also
the kisse which you request, in requitall of my love to you; to these
two I will never give consent, without the Queenes most gracious favour
and license first granted. Neverthelesse, for such admirable benignity
used to me, both by your Royall selfe, and your vertuous Queene: heaven
shower downe all boundlesse graces on you both, for it exceedeth all
merit in me, and so she ceased speaking, in most dutifull manner.

The answer of _Lisana_ pleased the Queene exceedingly, in finding
her to be so wise and faire, as the King himself had before informed
her: who instantly called for her Father and Mother, and knowing
they would be well pleased with whatsoever he did; he called for a
proper yong Gentleman, but some what poore, being named _Perdicano_,
and putting certaine Rings into his hand, which he refused not to
receive, caused him there to espouse _Lisana_. To whome the King
gave immediately (besides Chaines and Jewels of inestimable valew,
delivered by the Queene to the Bride) _Ceffala_ and _Calatabelotta_,
two great territories abounding in divers wealthy possessions, saying
to _Perdicano_. These wee give thee, as a dowry in marriage with this
beautifull Maid, and greater gifts we will bestow on thee hereafter, as
we shall perceive thy love and kindnesse to her.

When he had ended these words, hee turned to _Lisana_, saying: Heere
doe I freely give over all further fruits of your affection towards
me, thanking you for your former love: so taking her head betweene
his hands, he kissed her faire forhead, which was the usuall custome
in those times. _Perdicano_, the Father and Mother of _Lisana_, and
she her selfe likewise, extraordinarily joyfull for this so fortunate
a marriage, returned humble and hearty thankes both to the King and
Queene, and (as many credible Authors doe affirme) the King kept his
promise made to _Lisana_, because (so long as he lived) he alwaies
termed himselfe by the name of her Knight, and in al actions of
Chivalry by him undertaken, he never carried any other devise, but such
as he received still from her.

By this, and divers other like worthy deeds, not onely did he win
the hearts of his subjects; but gave occasion to the whole world
beside, to renowne his fame to all succeeding posterity. Whereto (in
these more wretched times of ours) few or none bend the sway of their
understanding: but rather how to bee cruell and tyrranous Lords, and
thereby win the hatred of their people.

Sophronia, _thinking her selfe to be the maried wife of_ Gisippus,
_was (indeed) the wife of_ Titus Quintus Fulvius, _& departed thence
with him to Rome. Within a while after,_ Gisippus _also came thither
in very poore condition, and thinking that he was despised by_ Titus,
_grew weary of his life, and confessed that he had murdred a man, with
full intent to die for the fact. But_ Titus _taking knowledge of him,
and desiring to save the life of_ Gisippus, _charged himself to have
done the bloody deed. Which the murderer himself (standing then among
the multitude) seeing, truly confessed the deed. By meanes whereof, all
three were delivered by the Emperor_ Octavius; _and_ Titus _gave his
Sister in mariage to_ Gisippus, _giving them also the most part of his
goods & inheritances._

The eight Novell.

_Declaring, that notwithstanding the frownes of Fortune, diversity of
occurrences, and contrary accidents happening: yet love and friendship
ought to be preciously preserved among men._

By this time Madam _Philomena_, at command of the King, (Madam
_Pampinea_ ceasing) prepared to follow next in order, whereupon thus
she began. What is it (Gracious Ladies) that Kings can not do (if they
list) in matters of greatest importance, and especially unto such as
most they should declare their magnificence? He then that performeth
what he ought to do, when it is within his owne power, doth well.
But it is not so much to bee admired, neither deserveth halfe the
commendations, as when one man doth good to another, when least it
is expected, as being out of his power, and yet performed. In which
respect, because you have so extolled king _Piero_, as appearing not
meanly meritorious in your judgements; I make no doubt but you will be
much more pleased, when the actions of our equals are duly considered,
and shall paralell any of the greatest Kings. Wherefore I purpose to
tell you a Novel, concerning an honorable curtesie of two worthy

At such time as _Octavius Cæsar_ (not as yet named _Augustus_, but only
in the office called _Triumveri_) governed the _Romane_ Empire, there
dwelt in _Rome_ a Gentleman, named _Publius Quintus Fulvius_, a man
of singular understanding, who having one son, called _Titus Quintus
Fulvius_, of towardly yeares and apprehension, sent him to _Athens_ to
learne Philosophy; but with letters of familiar commendations, to a
Noble _Athenian_ Gentleman, named _Chremes_, being his ancient friend,
of long acquaintance. This Gentleman lodged _Titus_ in his owne House,
as companion to his son, named _Gisippus_, both of them studying
together, under the tutoring of a Philosopher, called _Aristippus_.
These two yong Gentlemen living thus in one Citty, House, and Schoole,
it bred betweene them such a brother-hoode and amity, as they could
not be severed from one another; but only by the accident of death;
nor could either of them enjoy any content, but when they were both
together in company.

Being each of them endued with gentle spirits, and having begun their
studies together: they arose (by degrees) to the glorious height of
Philosophy, to their much admired fame and commendation. In this manner
they lived, to the no meane comfort of _Chremes_, hardly distinguishing
the one from the other for his Son, & thus the Scholars continued
the space of three yeares. At the ending whereof (as it hapneth in al
things else) _Chremes_ died, whereat both the young Gentlemen conceived
such hearty griefe, as if he had bin their common father; nor could
the kinred of _Chremes_ discerne, which of the two had most need of
comfort, the losse touched them so equally.

It chanced within some few months after, that the kinred of _Gisippus_
came to see him, and (before _Titus_) avised him to marriage, and with
a yong Gentlewoman of singular beauty, derived from a most noble house
in _Athens_, and she named _Sophronia_, aged about fifteen years. This
mariage drawing neere, _Gisippus_ on a day, intreated _Titus_ to walk
along with him thither, because (as yet) he had not seene her. Comming
to the house, and she sitting in the midst betweene them, _Titus_
making himselfe a considerator of beauty, & especially on his friends
behalfe; began to observe her very judicially, & every part of her
seemed so pleasing in his eie, that giving them al a privat praise, yet
answerable to their due deserving; he becam so enflamed with affection
to her, as never any lover could bee more violentlie surprized, so
sodainly doth beauty beguile our best senses.

After they had sate an indifferent while with her, they returned home
to their lodging, where _Titus_ being alone in his chamber, began to
bethink himselfe on her, whose perfections had so powerfully pleased
him: and the more he entred into this consideration, the fiercer
he felt his desires enflamed, which being unable to quench, by any
reasonable perswasions, after hee had vented foorth infinite sighes,
thus he questioned with himselfe.

Most unhappie _Titus_ as thou art, whether doost thou transport thine
understanding, love, and hope? Dooest thou not know as well by the
honourable favours, which thou hast received of _Chremes_ and his
house, as also the intire amity betweene thee and _Gisippus_ (unto
whom faire _Sophronia_ is the affianced friend) that thou shouldst
holde her in the like reverent respect, as if shee were thy true borne
Sister? Darest thou presume to fancie her? Whether shall beguiling Love
allure thee, and vaine immaging hopes carrie thee? Open the eyes of thy
better understanding, and acknowledge thy selfe to bee a most miserable
man. Give way to reason, bridle thine intemperate appetites, reforme
all irregulare desires, and guide thy fancy to a place of better
direction. Resist thy wanton and lascivious will in the beginning, and
be master of thy selfe, while thou hast opportunity, for that which
thou aimest at, is neither reasonable nor honest. And if thou wert
assured to prevaile upon this pursuite, yet thou oughtst to avoide it,
if thou hast any regard of true friendship, and the duty therein justly
required. What wilt thou do then _Titus_? Fly from this inordinate
affection, if thou wilt be reputed to be a man of sensible judgement.

After he had thus discoursed with himselfe, remembring _Sophronia_,
and converting his former allegations, into a quite contrarie sense,
in utter detestation of them, and guided by his idle appetite, thus
he began againe. The lawes of love are of greater force, then any
other whatsoever, they not only breake the bands of friendship, but
even those also of more divine consequence. How many times hath it bin
noted, the father to affect his own daughter, the brother his sister,
and the stepmother her son in law, matters far more monstrous, then to
see one friend love the wife of another, a case happening continually?
Moreover, I am yong, and youth is wholly subjected to the passions of
Love: is it reasonable then, that those should be bard from me, which
are fitting and pleasing to Love? Honest things, belong to men of more
years and maturity, then I am troubled withall, and I can covet none,
but onely those wherein Love is directer. The beauty of _Sophronia_ is
worthy of generall love, and if I that am a yongman do love her, what
man living can justly reprove me for it? Shold not I love her, because
she is affianced to _Gisippus_? That is no matter to me, I ought to
love her, because she is a woman, and women were created for no other
occasion, but to bee Loved. Fortune had sinned in this case, and not
I, in directing my friends affection to her, rather then any other; and
if she ought to be loved, as her perfections do challenge, _Gisippus_
understanding that I affect her, may be the better contented that it is
I, rather then any other.

With these, and the like crosse entercourses, he often mockt himselfe,
falling into the contrary, and then to this againe, and from the
contrary, into another kind of alteration, wasting and consuming
himselfe, not only this day and the night following, but many more
afterward, till he lost both his feeding & sleepe, so that through
debility of body, he was constrained to keepe his bed. _Gisippus_, who
had divers dayes noted his melancholly disposition, and now his falling
into extreamitie of sicknesse, was very sorry to behold it: and with
all meanes and inventions he could devise to use, hee both questioned
the cause of this straunge alteration, and essayed everie way, how
hee might best comfort him, never ceassing to demaunde a reason, why
he should become thus sad and sickely. But _Titus_ after infinite
importuning, which still he answered with idle and frivolous excuses,
farre from the truth indeede, and (to the no meane affliction of his
friend) when he was able to use no more contradictions; at length, in
sighes and teares, thus he replyed.

_Gisippus_, were the Gods so wel pleased, I could more gladly yeild to
dye, then continue any longer in this wretched life, considering, that
Fortune hath brought mee to such an extremity, as proofe is now to be
made of my constancie and vertue; both which I finde conquered in me,
to my eternall confusion and shame. But my best hope is, that I shall
shortly be requited, as I have in justice deserved, namely with death,
which will be a thousand times more welcome to me, then a loathed life,
with remembrance of my base dejection in courage, which because I can
no longer conceale from thee; not without blushing shame, I am well
contented for to let thee know it.

Then began hee to recount, the whole occasion of this straunge conflict
in him, what a maine battaile hee had with his private thoughts,
confessing that they got the victory, causing him to die hourely
for the love of _Sophronia_, and affirming withall, that in due
acknowledgement, how greatly hee had transgressed against the lawes of
friendship, he thought no other penance sufficient for him, but onely
death, which he willingly expected every houre, and with all his heart
would gladly bid welcome.

_Gisippus_ hearing this discourse, and seeing how _Titus_ bitterly
wept, in agonies of most moving afflictions: sat an indifferent while
sad and pensive, as being wounded with affection to _Sophronia_, but
yet in a well-governed and temperate manner. So, without any long
delaying, hee concluded with himselfe; that the life of his friend
ought to be accounted much more deare, then any love hee could beare
unto _Sophronia_: And in this resolution, the teares of _Titus_ forcing
his eyes to flow forth like two Fountaines, thus he replyed.

_Titus_, if thou hadst not neede of comfort, as plainly I see thou
hast, I would justly complaine of thee to my selfe, as of the man who
hath violated our friendship, in keeping thine extreamitie so long
time concealed from mee, which hath beene over-tedious for thee to
endure. And although it might seeme to thee a dishonest case, and
therefore kept from the knowledge of thy friend, yet I plainly tell
thee, that dishonest courses (in the league of amitie) deserve no more
concealment, then those of the honestest nature. But leaving these
impertinent wandrings, let us come to them of much greater necessitie.

If thou doest earnestly love faire _Sophronia_, who is betroathed
and affianced to me, it is no matter for me to marvaile at: but I
should rather be much abashed, if thou couldst not intyrely affect
her, knowing how beautifull she is, and the nobility of her minde,
being as able to sustaine passion, as the thing pleasing is fullest
of excellence. And looke how reasonably thou fanciest _Sophronia_, as
unjustly thou complainest of thy fortune, in ordaining her to be my
wife, although thou doest not speake it expresly: as being of opinion,
that thou mightest with more honesty love her, if she were any others,
then mine. But if thou art so wise, as I have alwayes held thee to be,
tell me truely upon thy faith, to whom could Fortune better guide her,
and for which thou oughtest to be more thankfull, then in bestowing her
on me? Any other that had enjoyed her, although thy love were never
so honest, yet he would better affect her himselfe, then for thee,
which thou canst not (in like manner) looke for from me, if thou doest
account me for thy friend, and as constant now as ever.

Reason is my warrant in this case, because I cannot remember, since
first our entrance into friendship, that ever I enjoyed any thing,
but it was as much thine, as mine. And if our affaires had such an
equall course before, as otherwise they could not subsist; must they
not now be kept in the same manner? Can any thing more perticularly
appertaine to me, but thy right therein is as absolute as mine? I
know not how thou maist esteeme of my friendship, if in any thing
concerning my selfe, I can plead my priviledge to be above thine. True
it is, that _Sophronia_ is affianced to me, and I love her dearely,
daily expecting when our nuptials shall be celebrated. But seeing thou
doest more fervently affect her, as being better able to judge of the
perfections, remaining in so excellent a creature as she is, then I
doe: assure thy selfe, and beleeve it constantly, that she shall come
to my bed, not as my wife, but onely thine. And therefore leave these
despairing thoughts, shake off this cloudy disposition, reassume thy
former Joviall spirit, with comfort and what else can content thee: in
expectation of the happy houre, and the just requitall of thy long,
loving, and worthy friendship, which I have alwayes valued equall with
mine owne life.

_Titus_ hearing this answer of _Gisippus_, looke how much the sweet
hope of that which he desired gave him pleasure, as much both duty
and reason affronted him with shame; setting before his eyes this du
consideration, that the greater the liberality of _Gisippus_ was, farre
greater and unreasonable it appeared to him in disgrace, if hee should
unmannerly accept it. Wherefore, being unable to refrain from teares,
and with such strength as his weaknesse would give leave, thus he

_Gisippus_, thy bounty and firme friendship suffereth me to see
apparantly, what (on my part) is no more then ought to be done. All
the Gods forbid, that I should receive as mine, her whom they have
adjudged to be thine, by true respect of birth and desert. For if they
had thought her a wife fit for me, doe not thou or any else imagine,
that ever she should have beene granted to thee. Use freely therefore
thine owne election, and the gracious favour wherewith they have
blessed thee: leave me to consume away in teares, a mourning garment
by them appointed for me, as being a man unworthy of such happinesse;
for either I shall conquer this disaster, and that will be my crowne, or
else will vanquish me, and free me from all paine: whereto _Gisippus_
presently thus answered.

Worthy _Titus_, if our amity would give me so much licence, as but to
contend with my selfe, in pleasing thee with such a thing as I desire,
and could also induce thee therein to be directed: it is the onely end
whereat I aime, and am resolved to pursue it. In which regard, let my
perswasions prevaile with thee, and thereto I conjure thee, by the
faith of a friend, suffer me to use mine authority, when it extendeth
both to mine owne honour, and thy good, for I will have _Sophronia_
to bee onely thine. I know sufficiently, how farre the forces of love
doe extend in power, and am not ignorant also, how not once or twice,
but very many times, they have brought lovers to unfortunate ends,
as now I see thee very neere it, and so farre gone, as thou art not
able to turne backe againe, nor yet to conquer thine owne teares, but
proceeding on further in this extremity, thou wilt be left vanquished,
sinking under the burthen of loves tyrannicall oppression, and then my
turne is next to follow thee. And therefore, had I no other reason to
love thee, yet because thy life is deare to me, in regard of mine owne
depending thereon; I stand the neerer thereto obliged. For this cause,
_Sophronia_ must and shall be thine, for thou canst not find any other
so conforme to thy fancy: albeit I who can easily convert my liking to
another wife, but never to have the like friend againe, shall hereby
content both thee, and my selfe.

Yet perhaps this is not a matter so easily done, or I to expresse
such liberality therein, if wives were to be found with the like
difficultie, as true and faithfull friends are: but, (being able to
recover another wife) though never such a worthy friend; I rather
chuse to change, I doe not say loose her (for in giving her to thee, I
loose her not my selfe) and by this change, make that which was good
before, tenne times better, and so preserve both thee and my selfe. To
this end therefore, if my prayers and perswasions have any power with
thee, I earnestly entreat thee, that, by freeing thy selfe out of this
affliction, thou wilt (in one instant) make us both truely comforted,
and dispose thy selfe (living in hope) to embrace that happinesse,
which the fervent love thou bearest to _Sophronia_, hath justly

Now although _Titus_ was confounded with shame, to yeeld consent, that
_Sophronia_ should be accepted as his wife, and used many obstinate
resistances: yet notwithstanding, Love pleading on the one side
powerfully, and _Gisippus_ as earnestly perswading on the other,
thus he answered. _Gisippus_, I know not what to say, neither how
to behave my selfe in this election, concerning the fitting of mine
contentment, or pleasing thee in thy importunate perswasion. But seeing
thy liberality is so great, as it surmounteth all reason or shame in
me, I will yeeld obedience to thy more then noble nature. Yet let this
remaine for thine assurance, that I doe not receive this grace of
thine, as a man not sufficiently understanding, how I enjoy from thee,
not onely her whom most of all I doe affect, but also doe hold my very
life of thee. Grant then you greatest Gods (if you be the Patrones of
this mine unexpected felicitie) that with honor and due respect, I may
hereafter make apparantly knowne: how highly I acknowledge this thy
wonderfull favour, in being more mercifull to me, then I could be to my

For abridging of all further circumstances, answered _Gisippus_, and
for easier bringing this matter to full effect, I hold this to be
our onely way. It is not unknowne to thee, how after much discourse
had between my kindred, and those belonging to _Sophronia_, the
matrimoniall conjunction was fully agreed on, and therefore, if now
I shall flye off, and say, I will not accept thee as my wife: great
scandall would arise thereby, and make much trouble among our friends,
which could not be greatly displeasing to me, if that were the way to
make her thine. But I rather stand in feare, that if I forsake her in
such peremptory sort, her kinred and friends will bestow her on some
other, and so she is utterly lost, without all possible meanes of
recovery. For prevention therefore of all sinister accidents, I thinke
it best, (if thy opinion jumpe with mine) that I still pursue the
busines, as already I have begun, having thee alwaies in my company,
as my dearest friend and onely associate. The nuptials being performed
with our friends, in secret manner at night (as we can cunningly enough
contrive it) thou shalt have her maiden honour in bed, even as if
she were thine owne wife. Afterward, in apt time and place, we will
publiquely make knowne what is done; if they take it well, we will be
as jocond as they: if they frowne and waxe offended, the deed is done,
over-late to be recalled, and so perforce they must rest contented.

You may well imagine, this advise was not a little pleasing to _Titus_,
whereupon _Gisippus_ received home _Sophronia_ into his house, with
publike intention to make her his wife, according as was the custome
then observed, and _Titus_ being perfectly recovered, was present at
the Feast very ceremonially observed. When night was come, the Ladies
and Gentlewomen conducted _Sophronia_ to the Bride-Chamber, where they
left her in her Husbands bed, and then departed all away. The Chamber
wherein _Titus_ used to lodge, joyned close to that of _Gisippus_, for
their easier accesse each to the other, at all times whensoever they
pleased, and _Gisippus_ being alone in the Bride-Chamber, preparing as
if he were comming to bed: extinguishing the light, he went softly to
_Titus_, willing him to goe to bed to his wife. Which _Titus_ hearing,
overcome with shame and feare, became repentant, and denyed to goe. But
_Gisippus_, being a true intyre friend indeed, and confirming his words
with actions: after a little lingring dispute, sent him to the Bride,
and so soone as he was in the bed with her, taking _Sophronia_ gently
by the hand, softly he moved the usuall question to her, namely, if she
were willing to be his wife.

She beleeving verily that he was _Gisippus_, modestly answered. Sir, I
have chosen you to be my Husband, reason requires then, that I should
be willing to be your Wife. At which words, a costly Ring, which
_Gisippus_ used daily to weare, he put upon her finger, saying. With
this Ring, I confesse my selfe to be your Husband, and bind you (for
ever) my Spouse and Wife; no other kind of marriage was observed in
those dayes; and so he continued all the night with her, she never
suspecting him to be any other then _Gisippus_, and thus was the
marriage consumated, betweene _Titus_ and _Sophronia_, albeit the
friends (on either side) thought otherwise.

By this time, _Publius_, the father of _Titus_, was departed out of
this mortall life, & letters came to _Athens_, that with all speed he
should returne to _Rome_, to take order for occasions there concerning
him, wherefore he concluded with _Gisippus_ about his departure, and
taking _Sophronia_ thither with him, which was no easie matter to be
done, until it were first known, how occasions had bin caried among
them. Whereupon, calling her one day into her Chamber, they told her
entirely, how all had past, which _Titus_ confirmed substantially, by
such direct passages betweene themselves, as exceeded all possibility
of denyall, and moved in her much admiration; looking each on other
very discontentedly, she heavily weeping and lamenting, & greatly
complaining of _Gisippus_, for wronging her so unkindly.

But before any further noyse was made in the house, shee went to
her Father, to whom, as also to her Mother, shee declared the whole
trecherie, how much both they and their other friends were wronged by
_Gisippus_, avouching her selfe to be the wife of _Titus_, and not
of _Gisippus_, as they supposed. These newes were highly displeasing
to the Father of _Sophronia_, who with hir kinred, as also those
of _Gisippus_, made great complaints to the Senate, very dangerous
troubles and commotions arising daily betweene them, drawing both
_Gisippus_ and _Sophronia_ into harsh reports; he being generally
reputed, not onely worthy of all bitter reproofe, but also the severest
punishment. Neverthelesse, hee maintained publikely what he had
done, avouching it for an act both of honour and honestie, wherewith
_Sophronia's_ friends had no reason to bee offended, but rather to take
it in very thankfull part, having married a man of farre greater worth
and respect, than himselfe was, or could be.

On the other side, _Titus_ hearing these uncivill acclamations, became
much moved and provoked at them, but knowing it was a custome observed
among the _Greekes_, to be so much the more hurried away with rumours
and threatnings, as lesse they finde them to be answered, and when they
finde them, shew themselves not onely humble enough, but rather as base
men, and of no courage; he resolved with himselfe, that their braveries
were no longer to be endured, without some some bold and manly
answere. And having a Romane heart, as also an Athenian understanding,
by politique perswasions, he caused the kinred of _Gisippus_ and
_Sophronia_, to be assembled in a Temple, and himselfe comming thither,
accompanied with none but _Gisippus_ onely, he began to deliver his
minde before them all, in this manner following.

 The Oration uttered by _Titus Quintus Fulvius_, in the hearing of the
 Athenians, being the kinred and friends to _Gisippus_ and _Sophronia_.

 _Many Philosophers doe hold opinion, that the actions performed by
 mortall men, doe proceed from the disposing and ordination of the
 immortall gods. Whereupon some doe maintaine, that things which be
 done, or never are to be done, proceed of necessity: howbeit some
 other doe hold, that this necessity is onely referred to things done.
 Both which opinions (if they be considered with mature judgment) doe
 most manifestly approve, that they who reprehend any thing which is
 irrevocable, doe nothing else but shew themselves, as if they were
 wiser then the Gods, who we are to beleeve, that with perpetuall
 reason, and void of any error, doe dispose and governe both us, and
 all our actions; In which respect, how foolish and beast-like a thing
 it is, presumptuously to checke or controule their operations, you may
 very easily consider; and likewise, how justly they deserve condigne
 punishment, who suffer themselves to be transported in so temerarious
 a manner._

 _In which notorious transgression, I understand you all to be guiltie,
 if common fame speake truely, concerning the marriage of my selfe
 and_ Sophronia, _whom you imagined as given to_ Gisippus; _for you
 never remember that it was so ordained from eternitie, shee to be
 mine, and no Wife for_ Gisippus, _as at this instant is made manifest
 by full effect. But because the kinde of speaking, concerning divine
 providence, and intention of the Gods, may seeme a difficult matter
 to many, and somewhat hard to bee understood: I am content to
 presuppose, that they meddle not with any thing of ours, and will
 onely stay my selfe on humane reasons, and in this nature of speech,
 I shall be enforced to doe two things, quite contrary to my naturall
 disposition. The one is, to speake somewhat in praise and commendation
 of my selfe: And the other, justly to blame and condemne other mens
 seeming estimation. But because both in the one and the other, I doe
 not intend to swerve a jot from the Truth, and the necessitie of the
 present case in question, doth not onely require, but also command it,
 you must pardon what I am to say._

 _Your complaints doe proceed, rather from furie then reason, and (with
 continuall murmurings, or rather seditious) slander, backe-bite
 and condemne_ Gisippus, _because (of his owne free will and noble
 disposition) hee gave her to be my Wife, whom (by your election) was
 made his; wherein I account him most highly praise-worthy: and the
 reasons inducing mee thereunto, are these. The first, because he hath
 performed no more then what a friend ought to doe: And the second, in
 regard he hath dealt more wisely, then you did. I have no intention,
 to display (at this present) what the sacred law of amitie requireth,
 to be acted by one friend towards another, it shall suffice mee onely
 to informe you, that the league of friendship (farre stronger then the
 bond of bloud and kinred) confirmed us in our election of either at
 the first, to be true, loyall and perpetuall friends; whereas that of
 kinred, commeth onely by fortune or chance. And therefore if_ Gisippus
 _affected more my life, then your benevolence, I being ordained for
 his friend, as I confesse my selfe to be; none of you ought to wonder
 thereat, in regard it is no matter of mervaile._

 _But let us come now to our second reason, wherein, with farre greater
 instance I will shew you, that he hath (in this occasion) shewen
 himselfe to be much more wise, then you did, or have done: because
 it plainely appeareth, that you have no feeling of the divine
 providence, and much lesse knowledge in the effects of friendship. I
 say, that your foresight, councell and deliberation, gave_ Sophronia
 _to_ Gisippus, _a yong Gentleman, and a Philosopher:_ Gisippus
 _likewise hath given her to a yong Gentleman, and a Philosopher, as
 himselfe is. Your discretion gave her to an Athenian; the gift of_
 Gisippus_, is to a Romaine. Yours, to a Noble and honest man; that
 of_ Gisippus, _to one more Noble by race, and no lesse honest then
 himselfe. Your judgement hath bestowed her on a rich young man:_
 Gisippus _hath given her to one farre richer. Your wisedome gave her
 to one who not onely loved her not, but also one that had no desire to
 know her:_ Gisippus _gave her unto him, who, above all felicitie else,
 yea, more than his owne life, both entirely loved and desired her._

 _Now, for proofe of that which I have said, to be most true and
 infallible, and that his deede deserveth to bee much more commended
 then yours, let it bee duely considered on, point by point. That I
 am a young man and a Philosopher, as_ Gisippus _is; my yeares, face,
 and studies, without seeking after further proofe, doth sufficiently
 testifie: One selfe-same age is both his and mine, in like quality of
 course have wee lived and studied together. True it is, that hee is
 an Athenian, and I am a Romaine. But if the glory of these two Cities
 should bee disputed on: then let mee tell you, that I am of a Citie
 that is Francke and Free, and hee is of a Tributarie Citie. I say,
 that I am of a Citie, which is chiefe Lady and Mistresse of the whole
 World, and hee is of a Citie subject to mine. I say that I am of a
 Citie, that is strong in Arms, Empire, and studies: whereas his can
 commend it selfe but for Studies onely. And although you see me heere
 to bee a Scholler, in appearance meane enough, yet I am not descended
 of the simplest stocke in Rome._

 _My houses and publique places, are filled with the ancient Statues of
 my Predecessors, and the Annales recorde the infinite triumphs of the
 Quintii, brought home by them into the Romane Capitole, and yeares
 cannot eate out the glory of our name, but it will live and flourish
 to all posteritie._

 _Modest shame makes me silent in my wealth and possessions, my minde
 truely telling mee, that honest contented povertie, is the most
 ancient and richest inheritance, of our best and Noblest Romanes,
 which opinion, if it bee condemned by the understanding of the
 ignorant multitude, and heerein wee shall give way to them by
 preferring riches and worldly treasures, then I can say that I am
 aboundantly provided, not as ambitious, or greedily covetous, but
 sufficiently stored with the goods of Fortune._

 _I know well enough, that you held it as a desired benefit,_ Gisippus
 _being a Native of your Citie, should also be linked to you by
 alliance: but I know no reason, why I should not be as neere and deere
 to you at Rome, as if I lived with you heere. Considering, when I am
 there, you have a ready and well wishing friend, to stead you in all
 beneficiall and serviceable offices, as carefull and provident for
 your support, yea, a protectour of you and your affaires, as well
 publique as particular. Who is it then, not transported with partiall
 affection, that can (in reason) more approve your act, then that
 which my friend_ Gisippus _hath done? Questionlesse, not any one, as
 I thinke._ Sophronia _is married to_ Titus Quintus Fulvius, _a Noble
 Gentleman by antiquitie, a rich Citizen of Rome, and (which is above
 all) the friend of_ Gisippus: _therefore, such a one as thinkes it
 strange, is sorrie for it, or would not have it to be; knoweth not
 what he doth._

 _Perhaps there may be some, who will say, they doe not so much
 complain, that_ Sophronia _is the wife to_ Titus; _but of the manner
 whereby it was done, as being made his wife secretly, and by theft,
 not any of her parents, kinred or friends called thereto: no, nor
 so much as advertised thereof. Why Gentlemen, this is no miraculous
 thing, but heeretofore hath oftentimes happened, and therefore no

 _I cannot count unto you, how many there have beene, who (against the
 will of their Fathers) have made choice of their husbands; nor them
 that have fled away with their lovers into strange Countries, being
 first friends, before they were wives: nor of them who have sooner
 made testimonie of marriage by their bellies, then those ceremonies
 due to matrimonie, or publication thereof by the tongue; so that meere
 necessity & constraint, hath forced the parents to yeeld consent:
 which hath not so happened to_ Sophronia, _for she was given to me by_
 Gisippus _discreetly, honestly, and orderly._

 _Others also may say, that shee is married to him, to whom it belonged
 not to marrie her. These complaints are foolish, and womanish,
 proceeding from verie little, or no consideration at all. In these
 daies of ours, Fortune makes no use of novell or inconsiderate meanes,
 whereby to bring matters to their determined effect. Why should it
 offend me, if a Cobler, rather than a Scholler, hath ended a businesse
 of mine, either in private or publique, if the end be well made? Well
 I may take order, if the Cobler bee indiscreet, that hee meddle no
 more with any matters of mine, yet I ought, in courtesie, to thanke
 him for that which hee did._

 _In like manner, if_ Gisippus _hath married_ Sophronia _well, it is
 foolish and superfluous, to finde fault with the manner hee used in
 her marriage. If you mislike his course in the case, beware of him
 hereafter, yet thanke him because it is no worse._

 _Neverthelesse, you are to understand, that I sought not by fraud or
 deceit, (but onely by witte) any opportunitie, whereby any way to
 sullie the honestie and cleere Nobilitie of your bloud, in the person
 of_ Sophronia: _for although in secret I made her my wife, yet I came
 not as an enemie, to take her perforce, nor (like a ravisher) wronged
 her virginitie, to blemish your noble titles, or despising your
 alliance. But fervently, enflamed by her bright beauty, and incited
 also by her unparalleld vertues, I shaped my course; knowing well
 enough, that if I tooke the ordinarie way of wiving, by moving the
 question to you, I should never winne your consent, as fearing, lest I
 would take her with me to Rome, and so conveigh out of your sight, a
 Jewell by you so much esteemed, as she is._

 _For this, and no other reason, did I presume to use the secret cunning
 which now is openly made knowne unto you: and_ Gisippus _disposed
 himselfe thereunto, which otherwise hee never determined to have done,
 in contracting the marriage for mee, and shee consenting to me in his

 _Moreover, albeit most earnestly I affected her, I sought to procure
 your union, not like a lover, but as a true husband, nor would I
 immodestly touch her, till first (as herselfe can testifie) with the
 words becomming wedlocke, and the Ring also I espoused her, demanding
 of her, if shee would accept mee as her husband, and shee answered
 mee, with her full consent. Wherein, if it may seeme that shee was
 deceived, I am not any way to be blamed, but she, for not demanding,
 what, and who I was._

 _This then is the great evill, the great offence, and the great injurie
 committed by my friend_ Gisippus, _and by mee as a Lover: that_
 Sophronia _is secretly become the wife of_ Titus Quintus Fulvius. _And
 for this cause, like spies you watch him, threaten him daily, as if
 you intended to teare him in pieces. What could you doe more, if hee
 had given her to a man of the very vilest condition? to a villaine, to
 a slave? What prisons? what fetters? Or what torments are sufficient
 for this fact? But leaving these frivolous matters, let us come to
 discourse of more moment, and better beseeming your attention._

 _The time is come, that I may no longer continue heere, because_
 Publius _my Father is dead, and I must needs returne to Rome,
 wherefore being minded to take_ Sophronia _thither with mee, I was
 the more willing to acquaint you therewith, as also what else I have
 said, which otherwise had still beene concealed from you. Nor can you
 but take it in good part, if you be wise, and rest well contented with
 what is done: considering, if I had any intention eyther to deceive,
 or otherwise wrong you; I could have basely left her, and made a
 scorne both of her and you, you not having any power to stay mee
 heere. But the Gods will never permitte that any couragious Romane,
 should ever conceive so vile and degenerate a thought._

 Sophronia, _by ordination of the Gods, by force of humane Lawes, and
 by the laudable consent of my friend_ Gisippus, _as also the powerfull
 command of Love is mine. But you perchance, imagining your selves to
 be wiser then the Gods, or any other men whatsoever; may thinke ill
 of it, and more brutishly then beasts, condemne their working in two
 kinds, which would be offensive to mee. The one is your detaining of_
 Sophronia _from mee, of whom you have no power, but what pleaseth
 mee. The other, is your bitter threatnings against_ Gisippus _my
 deare friend, to whom you are in duty obliged. In both which cases,
 how unreasonablie soever you carrie your selves, I intend not at this
 time to presse any further. But rather let mee counsell you like a
 friend, to cease your hatred and disdaine, and suffer_ Sophronia _to
 be delivered mee, that I may depart contentedly from you as a kinsman,
 and (being absent) remaine your friend: assuring you, that whether
 what is done shall please or displease you, if you purpose to proceed
 any otherwise: I will take_ Gisippus _along with mee, and when I come
 to Rome, take such sure order, to fetch her hence, who in Justice is
 mine, even in meere despight of you all, and then you shall feele by
 sound experience, how powerfull is the just indignation of the wronged

       *       *       *       *       *

When Titus had thus concluded his Oration, he arose with a sterne and
discontented countenance, and tooke _Gisippus_ by the hand, plainly
declaring, that he made small account of all the rest that were in the
Temple; and shaking his head at them, rather menaced then any other
wise seemed to care for them.

They which tarried, when they were gone, considering partly on the
reasons alleadged by _Titus_, and partly terrified by his latest
speeches; became induced, to like well of his alliance and amitie, as
(with common consent) they concluded: that it was much better to accept
_Titus_ as their kinsman (seeing _Gisippus_ had made manifest refusall
thereof) than to lose the kinred of the one, and procure the hatred of
the other. Wherefore they went to seeke _Titus_, and said unto him,
they were very well contented that _Sophronia_ should bee his Wife, hee
their deare and loving kinsman, and _Gisippus_ to remaine their much
respected friend. And embracing one another, making a solemne feast,
such as in the like cases is necessarilie required, they departed from
him, presently sending _Sophronia_ to him, who making a vertue of
necessity, converted her love (in short time after) to _Titus_, in as
effectuall manner, as formerly shee had done to _Gisippus_, and so was
sent away with him to Rome, where she was received and welcommed with
very great honour.

_Gisippus_ remaining still at _Athens_, in small regard of eyther
theirs or his owne friends: not long after by meanes of sundry
troublesome Citizens; and partialities happening among the common
people, was banished from _Athens_, and hee, as also all his familie,
condemned to perpetuall exile: during which tempestuous time,
_Gisippus_ was become not onely wretchedly poore, but wandred abroad as
a common begger; in which miserable condition he travelled to _Rome_,
to try if _Titus_ would take any acknowledgement of him. Understanding
that he was living, and one most respected among the Romanes, as being
a great Commander and a Senator: he enquired for the place where hee
dwelt, and going to be neere about his house, stayed there so long,
till _Titus_ came home, yet not daring to manifest himselfe, or speake
a word to him, in regard of his poore and miserable estate, but strove
to have him see him, to the end, that hee might acknowledge and call
him by his name; notwithstanding, _Titus_ passed by him without either
speech, or looking on him. Which when _Gisippus_ perceived, and making
full account, that (at the least) he would remember him, in regard of
former courtesies, done to him: confounded with griefe and desperate
thoughts, hee departed thence, never meaning to see him any more.

Now, in regard it was night, he having eaten nothing all that day, nor
provided of one penny to buy him any food, wandred he knew not whether,
desiring rather to die than live; hee came at last to an old ruinous
part of the City, over-spred with briers and bushes, and seldome
resorted unto by any: where finding a hollow Cave or vault, he entred
into it, meaning there to weare away the comfortlesse night, and laying
himselfe downe on the hard ground, almost starke naked, and without
any warme garments, over-wearied with weeping, at last he fell into a

It fortuned that two men, who had beene abroad the same night,
committing thefts and robberies together; somwhat very earlie in the
morning, came to the same Cave, intending there to share and divide
their booties, and difference happening betweene them about it, hee
that was the stronger person, slew there the other, and then went away
with the whole purchase.

_Gisippus_ having heard and seene the manner of this accident, was not
a little joyfull, because he had now found a way to death, without
laying any violent hand on himselfe; for life being very loathsome to
him, it was his only desire to die. Wherefore, he would not budge from
the place, but taried there so long, till the Sergeants and Officers
of Justice (by information of him that did the deede) came thither well
attended, and furiously ledde _Gisippus_ thence to prison.

Being examined concerning this bloudy fact, he plainly confessed, that
hee himselfe had committed the murder, and afterward would not depart
from the Cave, but purposely stayed for apprehension, as being truely
toucht with compunction for so foule an offence: upon which peremptorie
confession, _Marcus Varro_ being then _Prætor_, gave sentence that
he should be crucified on a Crosse, as it was the usuall manner of
death in those dayes. _Titus_ chancing to come at the same time into
_Prætorium_, advisedly beholding the face of the condemned man (as hee
sate upon the bench) knew him to bee _Gisippus_, not a little wondring
at this strange accident, the povertie of his estate, and what occasion
should bring him thither, especially in the questioning for his life,
and before the Tribunall of Justice.

His soule earnestly thirsting, by all possible meanes to helpe and
defend him, and no other course could now be taken for safetie of his
life, but by accusing himselfe, to excuse and cleare the other of the
crime: hee stept from off the judgement bench, and crouding through
the throng to the Barre, called out to the _Prætor_ in this manner.
_Marcus Varro_, recall thy sentence given on the condemned man sent
away, because hee is truely guiltlesse and innocent: With one bloudie
blow have I offended the Gods, by killing that wretched man, whom the
Serjeants found this morning slaine, wherefore Noble _Prætor_, let no
innocent mans bloud be shed for it, but onely mine that have offended.

_Marcus Varro_ stood like a man confounded with admiration, being
very sorrie, for that which the whole assistants had both seene and
heard, yet hee could not (with honour) desist from what must needs be
done, but would performe the Lawes severe injunction. And sending for
condemned _Gisippus_ backe againe, in the presence of _Titus_, thus
he spake to him. How becamest thou so madly incensed, as (without
any torment inflicted on thee) to confesse an offence by thee never
committed? Art thou wearie of thy life? Thou chargest thy selfe falsly,
to be the person who this last night murdered the man in the Cave, and
there is another that voluntarily also doth confesse his guiltinesse.

_Gisippus_ lifting up his eyes, and perceiving it was _Titus_,
conceived immediately, that he had done this onely for his deliverance,
as one that remembred him sufficiently, and would not be ungratefull
for former kindnesses received. Wherefore, the teares flowing
abundantly down his cheekes, he said to the Judge _Varro_, it was
none but I that murdered the man, wherefore, I commiserate the case of
this Noble Gentleman _Titus_, who speakes now too late for the safety
of my life. _Titus_ on the other side, said. Noble Prætor, this man
(as thou seest) is a stranger heere, and was found without any weapon,
fast asleepe by the dead body: thou mayst then easily perceive, that
meerely the miserable condition wherein he is, hath made him desperate,
and he would make mine offence the occasion of his death. Absolve him,
and send me to the Crosse, for none but I have deserved to die for this

_Varro_ was amazed, to observe with what earnest instance each of them
strove to excuse the other, which halfe perswaded him in his soule,
that they were both guiltlesse. And as he was starting up, with full
intent to acquaint them: a yong man, who had stood there all this
while, and observed the hard pleading on either side; he crowded into
the Barre, being named _Publius Ambustus_, a fellow of lewd life, and
utterly out of hopes, as being debauched in all his fortunes, and
knowne among the _Romaines_ to be a notorious theefe, who verily had
committed the murder. Well knew his conscience, that none of them were
guilty of the crime, wherewith each so wilfully charged himselfe: being
therefore truely toucht with remorse, he stept before _Marcus Varro_,

Honourable Prætor, mine owne horrid and abominable actions, have
induced me thus to intrude my selfe, for clearing the strict contention
betweene these two persons. And questionlesse, some God or greater
power, hath tormented my wretched soule, and so compunctually solicited
me, as I cannot chuse, but make open confession of my sinne. Here
therefore, I doe apparantly publish, that neither of these men is
guilty of the offence, wherewith so wilfully each chargeth himselfe. I
am the villaine, who this morning murdered the man in the Cave, one of
no greater honesty then my selfe, and seeing this poore man lie there
sleeping, while we were dividing the stolne booties betweene us; I slew
my Companyon, because I would be the sole possessor. As for Noble Lord
_Titus_, he had no reason thus to accuse himselfe, because is a man of
no such base quality: let them both then be delivered, and inflict the
sentence of death on me.

_Octavius Cæsar_, to whom tydings was brought of this rare accident,
commanding them al three to be brought before him; would needs
understand the whole History, in every particular as all had happened,
which was substantially related to him. Whereupon, _Octavius_ pleased
them all three: the two noble friendes, because they were innocent, and
the third, for openly revealing the very truth.

_Titus_ tooke home with him his friend _Gisippus_, and after he
had sharpely reproved him for his distrust, and cold credence of
his friendship: he brought him to _Sophronia_, who welcomed him as
lovingly, as if he had bin her naturall borne brother, bemoaning his
hard and disastrous fortune, and taking especiall care, to convert all
passed distresses, into as happy and comfortable a change, fitting him
with garments and attendants, beseeming his degree both in Nobility
and vertue. _Titus_, out of his honourable bounty, imparted halfe
his lands and rich possessions to him, and afterward gave him in
marriage, his owne Sister, a most beautifull Lady, named _Fulvia_,
saying to him beside. My deare friend _Gisippus_, it remaineth now in
thine owne election, whether thou wilt live here still with me, or
returne backe to _Athens_, with all the wealth which I have bestowed
on thee. But _Gisippus_, being one way constrayned, by the sentence
of banishment from his native City, & then againe, in regard of the
constant love, which he bare to so true and thankefull friend as
_Titus_ was: concluded to live there as a loyall _Roman_, where he with
his _Fulvia_, and _Titus_ with his faire _Sophronia_, lived long after
together in one and the same house, augmenting daily (if possible it
might be) their amity beyond all other equalizing.

A most sacred thing therefore is cordiall amity, worthy not onely of
singuler reverence, but also to be honoured with eternall commendation,
as being the onely wise Mother of all magnificence and honesty, the
Sister of Charity and Gratitude, the enemy to hatred and avarice, and
which is alwayes ready (without attending to be requested) to extend
all vertuous actions to others, which she would have done to her selfe.
Her rare and divine effects, in these contrary times of ours, are not
to be found between two such persons, which is a mighty fault, and
greatly checketh the miserable covetousnesse of men, who respecting
nothing but onely their particular benefit; have banished true Amity,
to the utmost confines of the whole earth, and sent her into perpetuall

What love, what wealth, or affinity of kindred, could have made
_Gisippus_ feele (even in the intyrest part of his soule) the fervent
compassion, the teares, the sighes of _Titus_, and with such efficacy
as plainely appeared: to make him consent, that his faire elected
Spouse, by him so dearely esteemed, should become the wife of his
Companion, but onely the precious league of Amity? What Lawes, what
threatnings, what feares, could cause the yong armes of _Gisippus_ to
abstaine embraces, betaking himselfe to solitary walkes, and obscure
places, when in his owne bedde, he might have enjoyed so matchlesse
a beauty (who perhaps desired it so much as himselfe) but onely the
gracious title of Amity? What greatnesse, what merits or precedence,
could cause _Gisippus_ not to care, for the losse of his kindred, those
of _Sophronia_, yea, of _Sophronia_ her selfe, not respecting the
dishonest murmurings of base minded people, their vile and contemptible
language, scornes and mockeries, and all to content and satisfie a
friend, but onely Divine Amity?

Come now likewise to the other side. What occasions could compell Noble
_Titus_, so promptly and deliberatly, to procure his owne death, to
rescue his friend from the crosse, and inflict the pain and shame upon
himselfe, pretending not see or know _Gisippus_ at all, had it not
bin wrought by powerfull Amity? What cause else could make _Titus_ so
liberall, in dividing (with such willingnesse) the larger part of his
patrimony to _Gisippus_, when Fortune had dispossest him of his owne,
but onely heaven-borne Amity? What else could have procured _Titus_
without any further dilation, feare or suspition, to give his Sister
_Fulvia_ in marriage to _Gisippus_, when he saw him reduced to such
extreame poverty, disgrace and misery, but onely infinite Amity? To
what end doe men care then, to covet and procure great multitudes of
kinred, store of brethren, numbers of children, and to encrease (with
their owne monyes) plenty of servants: when by the least losse and
dammage happening, they forget all duty to Father, Brother, or Master?
Amity and true friendship is of a quite contrary nature, satisfying (in
that sacred bond) the obligation due to all degrees, both of parentage,
and all alliences else.

Saladine, _the great_ Soldan _of_ Babylon, _in the habite of a
Merchant, was honourably received and welcommed, into the house of
Signior_ Thorello d'Istria. _Who travelling to the Holy Land, prefixed
a certaine time to his Wife, for his returne backe to her againe,
wherein, if he failed, it was lawfull for her to take another Husband.
By clouding himselfe in the disguise of a Faulkner, the_ Soldan _tooke
notice of him, and did him many great honours. Afterward,_ Thorello
_falling sicke, by Magicall Art, he was conveighed in one night to_
Pavia, _when his Wife was to be married on the morrow: where making
himselfe knowne to her, all was disappointed, and shee went home with
him to his owne house._

The Ninth Novell.

_Declaring what an honourable vertue Courtesie is, in them that truely
know how to use them._

Madam _Philomena_ having concluded her discourse, and the rare
acknowledgement, which _Titus_ made of his esteemed friend _Gisippus_,
extolled justly as it deserved by all the Company: the King, reserving
the last office to _Dioneus_ (as it was at the first granted him)
began to speake thus. Without all question to the contrary (worthy
Ladies) nothing can be more truely said, then what Madame _Philomena_,
hath delivered, concerning Amity, and her complaint in the conclusion
of her Novell, is not without great reason, to see it so slenderly
reverenced and respected (now-a-dayes) among all men. But if we had
met here in duty onely for correcting the abuses of iniquity, and the
malevolent courses of this preposterous age; I could proceed further
in this just cause of complaint. But because our end aimeth at matters
of other nature, it commeth to my memory to tel you of a History,
which (perhaps) may seeme somewhat long, but altogether pleasant,
concerning a magnificent act of great _Saladine_: to the end, that
by observing those things which you shall heare in my Novell, if we
cannot (by reason of our manifold imperfections) intirely compasse the
amity of any one; yet (at least) we may take delight, in stretching
our kindnesse (in good deeds) so farre as we are able, in hope one
day after, some worthy reward will ensue thereon, as thereto justly

Let me tell you then, that (as it is affirmed by many) in the time of
the Emperour Frederick, first of that name, the Christians, for the
better recovery of the holy land, resolved to make a generall voyage
over the Seas. Which being understood by _Saladine_, a very worthy
Prince, and then _Soldan_ of Babylon: he concluded with himselfe, that
he would (in person) goe see, what preparation the Christian Potentates
made for this Warre, that hee might the better provide for himselfe.
Having setled all things orderly in Ægypt for the busines, and making
an outward appearance, as if he purposed a pilgrimage to _Mecha_: he
set onward on his journey, habited like a Merchant, attended onely with
two of his most Noble and wisest Baschaes, and three waiting servants.

When he had visited many Christian Provinces, and was riding thorow
_Lombardie_, to passe the mountaines; it fortuned, in his journeying
from _Millaine_ to _Pavia_, and the day being very farre spent, so that
night hastened speedily on him: he met with a Gentleman, named Signior
_Thorello d'Istria_, but dwelling at _Pavia_, who with his men, Hawkes
and Hounds, went to a house of his, seated in a singular place, and
on the River of _Ticinum_. Signior _Thorello_ seeing such men making
towardes him, presently imagined, that they were some Gentle-strangers,
and such hee desired to respect with honor.

Wherefore, _Saladine_ demanding of one of _Thorelloes_ men, how farre
(as then) it was to _Pavia_, and whether they might reach thither by
such an houre, as would admit their entrance into the Citty: _Thorello_
would not suffer his servant to returne the answer, but replyed thus
himselfe. Sir (quoth he) you cannot reach _Pavia_, but night will
abridge you of any entraunce there. I beseech you then Sir, answered
_Saladine_, favour us so much (because we are all strangers in these
parts) as to tell us where we may be well lodged. That shall I Sir, said
_Thorello_, and very gladly too.

Even at the instant Sir, as we met with you, I had determined in my
mind, to send one of my servants somewhat neere to _Pavia_, about a
businesse concerning my selfe: he shall go along with you, and conduct
you to a place, where you will be very well entertayned. So, stepping
to him, who was of best discretion amongst his men, he gave order to
him what should bee done, and sent him with them. Himselfe, making hast
by a farre neerer way, caused Supper to be prepared in worthy manner,
and the Tables to be covered in his Garden; and all things being in
good readinesse, he sate downe at his doore, to attend the comming of
his guests. The Servingman, discoursing with the Gentlemen on divers
occasions, guided them by such unusuall passages, as (before they could
discerne it) he brought them to his Masters house; where so soone as
_Thorello_ saw them arrived, he went forth to meet them, assuring them
all of most hearty welcome.

_Saladine_, who was a man of accute understanding, did well perceive,
that this Knight _Thorello_ misdoubted his going with him, if (when he
met him) hee should have invited him; and therefore, because he would
not be denied, of entertaining him into his house; he made choise of
this kinde and honourable course, which caused him to returne this
answer. Gentle Sir, if courtesie in one man to another, do deserve
condemning, then may we justly complaine of you, who meeting us upon
the way, which you have shortened by your kindnesse; and which we are
no way able to deserve, wee are constrained to accept, taking you to
bee the mirrour of courtesie. _Thorello_ being a Knight of ingenious
apprehension, and wel languaged, replyed thus.

Gentlemen; this courtesie (seeing you terme it so) which you receive
of me, in regard of that justly belonging to you, as your faces do
sufficiently informe mee, is matter of very slender account. But
assuredly out of _Pavia_, you could not have any lodging, deserving
to be termed good. And therefore, let it not bee displeasing to you,
if you have a little gone forth of the common rode way, to have your
entertainment somewhat bettered, as many travaylers are easily induced
to do.

Having thus spoken, all the people of the house shewed themselves,
in serviceable manner to the Gentlemen, taking their horses as they
dismounted, and _Thorello_ himselfe, conducted the three Gentlemen,
into three severall faire Chambers, which in costly manner were
prepared for them, where their boots were pluckt off, faire Napkins
with Manchets lay ready, and delicate Wines to refresh their wearied
spirits, much prety conference being entercoursed, till Supper time
invited them thence.

_Saladine_, and they that were with him, spake the Latine tongue
very readily, by which meanes they were the better understoode; and
_Thorello_ seemed (in their judgement) to bee the most gracious,
compleate, and best spoken Gentleman, as ever they met with in all
their journey. It appeared also (on the other side) to Signiour
_Thorello_, that his guests were men of great merit, and worthy of
much more esteeme, then there he could use towards them: wherefore,
it did highly distast him, that he had no more friends there this
night to keepe them company, or himselfe better provided for their
entertainment, which hee intended (on the morrow) to recompence with
larger amends at dinner.

Heereupon, having instructed one of his men with what hee intended,
he sent him to _Pavia_, which was not farre off (and where he kept no
doore shut) to his Wife, named Madam _Adalietta_; a Woman singularly
wise, and of a Noble spirit, needing little or no direction, especially
when she knew her Husbands minde. As they were walking in the Garden,
_Thorello_ desired to understand, of whence, and what they were?
Whereto _Saladine_ thus answered. Sir, wee are _Cyprian_ Marchants,
comming now from _Cyprus_, and are travailing to _Paris_, about
affaires of importance. Now trust me Syr, replyed _Thorello_, I could
heartily wish, that this Countrey of ours would yeeld such Gentlemen,
as your _Cyprus_ affordeth Marchants. So, falling from one discourse
unto another, Supper was served in; and looke howe best themselves
pleased, so they sate at the Table, where (we neede make no doubt) they
were respected in honourable order.

So soone as the Tables were withdrawne, _Thorello_ knowing they might
be weary, brought them againe to their Chambers, where committing them
to their good rest, himselfe went to bed soone after. The Servant sent
to _Pavia_, delivered the message to his Lady; who, not like a woman
of ordinary disposition, but rather truely Royall, sent _Thorelloes_
servants into the City, to make preparation for a Feast indeed, and
with lighted Torches (because it was somewhat late) they invited
the very greatest and noblest persons of the Citie, all the roomes
being hanged with the richest Arras, Clothes of Golde worke, Velvets,
Silkes, and all other rich adornments, in such manner as her husband
had commanded, and answerable to her owne worthy mind, being no way to
learne, in what manner to entertaine strangers.

On the morrow morning, the Gentlemen arose, and mounting on horsebacke
with Signior _Thorello_, he called for his Hawkes and Hounds, brought
them to the River, where he shewed two or three faire flights: but
_Saladine_ desiring to know, which was the fayrest Hostery in all
_Pavia, Thorello_ answered. Gentlemen, I will shew you that my selfe,
in regard I have occasion to ride thither. Which they beleeving, were
the better contented, and rode on directly unto _Pavia_; arriving there
about nine of the clocke, and thinking he guided them to the best Inne,
he brought them to his owne house; where, above fifty of the worthiest
Citizens, stood ready to welcome the Gentlemen, imbracing them as
they lighted from their Horsses. Which _Saladine_, and his associates
perceiving, they guessed as it was indeede, and _Saladine_ sayd.
Beleeve me worthy _Thorello_, this is not answerable to my demand;
you did too much yester-night, and much more then we could desire or
deserve: Wherefore, you might wel be the sooner discharged of us, and
let us travaile on our journey.

Noble Gentlemen, replyed _Thorello_ (for in mine eye you seeme no
lesse) that courtesie which you met with yester-night, I am to thanke
Fortune for, more then you, because you were then straited by such
necessity, as urged your acceptance of my poore Country house. But now
this morning, I shall account my selfe much beholding to you (as the
like will all these worthy Gentlemen here about you) if you do but
answer kindnes with kindnes, and not refuse to take a homely dinner
with them.

_Saladine_ and his friends, being conquerd with such potent
perswasions, and already dismounted from their horses, saw that all
deniall was meerly in vaine: and therefore thankfully condiscending
(after some few ceremonious complements were over-past) the Gentlemen
conducted them to their Chambers, which were most sumptuously prepared
for them, and having laid aside their riding garments, being a little
refreshed with Cakes and choice Wines: they descended into the dining
Hall, the pompe whereof I am not able to report.

When they had washed, and were seated at the Tables, dinner was served
in most magnificent sort; so that if the Emperor himself had bin there,
he could not have bin more sumptuously served. And although _Saladine_
and his Baschaes were very Noble Lords, and wonted to see matters of
admiration: yet could they do no lesse now, but rather exceeded in
marvaile, considering the qualitie of the Knight, whom they knew to bee
a Citizen, and no Prince or great Lord. Dinner being ended, and divers
familiar conferences passing amongst them: because it was exceeding
hot, the Gentlemen of _Pavia_ (as it pleased _Thorello_ to appoint)
went to repose themselves awhile, and he keeping company with his three
guests, brought them into a goodly Chamber, where, because he would
not faile in the least scruple of courtesie, or conceale from them the
richest Jewell which he had; he sent for his Lady and wife, because (as
yet) they had not seene her.

She was a Lady of extraordinary beauty, tall stature, very sumptuously
attired, and having two sweet Sonnes (resembling Angels) she came with
them waiting before her, and graciously saluted her guests. At her
comming, they arose, and having received hir with great reverence, they
seated her in the midst, kindly cherishing the two Children. After some
gracious Language past on eyther side, she demanded of whence, and what
they were, which they answered in the same kind as they had done before
to her husband. Afterward, with a modest smiling countenance, she
sayd. Worthy Gentlemen, let not my weake Womanish discretion appeare
distastable, in desiring to crave one especiall favour from you,
namely, not to refuse or disdaine a small gift, wherewith I purpose
to present you. But considering first, that women (according to their
simple faculty) are able to bestow but silly gifts: so you would be
pleased, to respect more the person that is the giver, then the quality
or quantity of the gift.

Then causing to be brought (for each of them) two goodly gowns or
Robes (made after the _Persian_ manner) the one lyned thorough with
cloth of Gold, and the other with the costlyest Fur; not after such
fashion as Citizens or Marchants use to weare, but rather beseeming
Lords of greatest account, and three light under-wearing Cassocks or
Mandillions, of Carnatian Sattin, richly Imbroidred with Gold and
Pearles, and lined thorow with White Taffata, presenting these gifts to
him, she sayd. I desire you Gentlemen to receive these meane trifles,
such as you see my Husband weares the like, and these other beside,
considering you are so far from your Wives, having travailed a long
way already, and many miles more yet to overtake; also Marchants (being
excellent men) affect to be comely and handsome in their habits;
although these are of slender value, yet (in necessity) they may do you

Now was _Saladine_ and his Baschaes halfe astonyed with admiration,
at the magnificent minde of Signiour _Thorello_, who would not forget
the least part of courtesie towardes them, and greatly doubted (seeing
the beauty and riches of the Garments) least they were discovered by
_Thorello_. Neverthelesse, one of them thus answered the Lady. Beleeve
me Madame, these are rich guiftes, not lightly either to be given,
or receyved: but in regard of your strict imposition, we are not
able to deny them. This being done, with most gracious and courteous
demeanour, she departed from them, leaving her Husband to keepe them
still companie; who furnished their servants also, with divers worthy
necessaries fitting for their journey.

Afterward, _Thorello_ (by very much importunitie) wonne them to stay
with him all the rest of the day; wherefore, when they had rested
themselves awhile, being attyred in their newly given robes; they
rode on Horsebacke thorow the Citty. When supper time came, they supt
in most honourable and worthy company, beeing afterwards Lodged in
most faire and sumptuous Chambers, and being risen in the morning,
in exchange of their horses (over-wearied with Travaile) they found
three other very richly furnished, and their men also in like manner
provided. Which when _Saladine_ had perceyved, he tooke his Baschaes
aside, and spake in this manner.

By our greatest Gods, I never met with any man, more compleat in all
noble perfections, more courteous and kinde then _Thorello_ is. If
all the Christian Kings, in the true and heroicall nature of Kings,
do deale as honourably as I see this Knight doeth, the Soldane of
_Babylon_ is not able to endure the comming of one of them, much lesse
so many, as wee see preparing to make head against us. But beholding,
that both refusall and acceptation, was all one in the minde of
_Thorello_: after much kinde Language had bin intercoursed betweene
them, _Saladine_ (with his Attendants) mounted on horsebacke.

Signiour _Thorello_, with a number of his honourable Friends (to the
number of an hundred Horsse) accompanied them a great distance from
the Citie, and although it greeved _Saladine_ exceedingly, to leave
the company of _Thorello_, so dearely he was affected to him; but
necessity (which controlleth the power of all lawes whatsoever) must
needs divide them: yet requesting his returne agayne that way, if
possibly it might be granted; which _Saladine_ promised but did not
performe. Well Gentlemen (quoth _Thorello_ at parting) I know not
what you are, neither (against your will) do I desire it: but whether
you be Marchants or no, remember me in your kindnesse, and so to the
heavenly powers I commend you. _Saladine_, having taken his leave of
all them that were with _Thorello_, returned him this answer. Sir, it
may one day hereafter so happen, as we shall let you see some of our
Marchandises, for the better confirmation of your beleefe, and our

Thus parted Signior _Thorello_ and his friends, from _Saladine_ and
his company, who verily determined in the heighth of his minde, if
he should be spared with life, and the warre (which he expected)
concluded: to requite _Thorello_ with no lesse courtesie, then hee
had already declared to him; conferring a long while after with
his Baschaes, both of him and his beauteous Lady, not forgetting
any of their courteous actions, but gracing them all with deserved
commendation. But after they had (with very laborious paines) surveyed
most of the Westerne parts, they all tooke Shipping, and returned into
_Alexandria_: sufficiently informed, what preparation was to be made
for their owne defence. And Signior _Thorello_ being come backe againe
to _Pavia_, consulted with his privat thoughts (many times after) what
these three travailers should be, but came farre short of knowing the
truth, till (by experience) hee became better informed.

When the time was come, that the Christians were to make their passage,
and wonderfull great preparations, in all places performed: Signiour
_Thorello_, notwithstanding the teares and intreaties of his Wife,
determined to be one in so woorthy and honourable a voyage: and having
made his provision ready, nothing wanting but mounting on Horsebacke,
to go where he should take shipping; to his Wife (whom he most intirely
affected) thus hee spake. Madame, I goe as thou seest in this famous
Voyage, as well for mine Honour, as also the benefite of my soule; all
our goodes and possessions, I commit to thy vertuous care. And because
I am not certaine of my returning backe againe, in regard of a thousand
accidents which may happen, in such a Countrey as I goe unto: I desire
onely but one favour of thee, whatsoever daunger shall befall mee;
Namely, when any certaine tydings shall be brought mee of my death; to
stay no longer before thy second marriage, but one yeare, one month,
and one day; to begin on this day of my departing from thee.

The Lady, who wept exceedingly, thus answered. Alas Sir: I know not how
to carry my selfe, in such extremity of greefe, as now you leave me;
but if my life surmount the fortitude of sorrow, and whatsoever shall
happen to you for certainty, either life or death: I will live and dye
the Wife of Signiour _Thorello_, and make my obsequies in his memory

Not so Madame (replyed her Husband) not so; Be not overrash in
promising any thing, albeit I am well assured, that so much as
consisteth in thy strength, I make no question of thy performance.
But consider withall (deare heart) thou art a yong woman, beautifull,
of great parentage, and no way thereto inferior in the blessings of

Thy Vertues are many, and universally both divulged and knowen, in
which respect, I make no doubt; but divers and sundrie great Lords
and Gentlemen (if but the least rumour of my death be noysed) will
make suite for thee to thy parents and brethren, from whose violent
solicitings, wouldst thou never so resolutely make resistance, yet
thou canst not be able to defend thy selfe; but whether thou wilt or
no, thou must yeeld to please them; and this is the only reason, why I
would tie thee to this limited time, and not one day or minute longer.

_Adalietta_, sweetly hugging him in her armes, and melting her selfe in
kisses, sighes, and teares on his face, said. Well Sir, I will do so
much as I am able, in this your most kinde and loving imposition: and
when I shall bee compelled to the contrary: yet rest thus constantly
assured, that I will not breake this your charge, so much as in
thought. Praying ever heartily to the heavenly powers, that they will
direct your course home againe to me, before your prefixed date, or
else I shall live in continual languishing. In the knitting up of this
wofull parting, embracing and kissing either infinit times, the Lady
tooke a Ring from off her finger, and giving it to her husband, said.
If I chaunce to die before I see you againe, remember me when you looke
on this. He receiving the Ring, and bidding all the rest of his Friends
farewell, mounted on horsebacke, and rode away wel attended.

Being come unto _Geneway_, he and his company boorded a Galley, and (in
few dayes after) arrived at _Acres_, where they joyned themselves with
the Christian Army, wherein there happened a verie dangerous mortality:
During which time of so sharpe visitation (the cause unknowne whence it
proceeded) whether thorough the industrie, or rather the good Fortune
of _Saladine_, well-neere all the rest of the Christians (which escaped
death) were surprized his prisoner (without a blow strucken) and
sundred and imprisoned in divers Townes and Citties. Amongest the which
number of prisoners, it was Signior _Thorelloes_ chaunce to be one,
and walked in bonds to _Alexandria_, where being unknowne, and fearing
least he should be discovered: constrained thereto meerly by necessity,
hee shewed himselfe in the condition of a Faulconer; wherein he was
very excellently experienced, and by which means his profession was
made knowne to _Saladine_, hee delivered out of prison, and created the
Soldans Faulconer.

_Thorello_ (whom the Soldane called by no other name, then the
Christian, neyther of them knowing the other) sadly now remembred his
departure from _Pavia_, devising and practising many times, how he
might escape thence, but could not compasse it by any possible meanes.
Wherefore, certaine Ambassadours beeing sent by the _Genewaye_, to
redeeme divers Cittizens of theirs, there detained as prisoners, and
being ready to returne home againe: he purposed to write to his Wife,
that he was living, and wold repaire to her so soone as he could,
desiring the still continued remembrance** of her limited time. By close
and cunning meanes hee wrote the Letter, earnestly intreating one of
the Ambassadors (who knew him perfectly, but made no outward apparance
thereof) to deale in such sort for him, that the Letter might be
delivered to the handes of the Abbot _Di San Pietro in Ciel d'Oro_, who
was (indeede) his Uncle.

While _Thorello_ remayned in this his Faulconers condition, it fortuned
uppon a day, that _Saladine_, conversing with him about his Hawkes:
_Thorello_ chanced to smile, and used such a kinde of gesture or motion
with his Lippes, which _Saladine_ (when he was in his house at _Pavia_)
had heedfully observed, and by this note, instantly he remembred
Signior _Thorello_, and began to eye him very respectively, perswading
himselfe that he was the same man. And therefore falling from their
former kinde of discoursing: Tell mee Christian (quoth _Saladine_) what
Country-man art thou of the West? Sir, answered Signiour _Thorello_, I
am by Country a Lombard, borne in a Citty called _Pavia_, a poore man,
and of as poore condition.

So soone as _Saladine_ had heard these Words; becomming assured in
that which (but now) he doubted, he saide within himselfe. Now the
Gods have given me time, wherein I may make knowne to this man, how
thankefully I accepted his kinde courtesie, and cannot easily forget
it. Then, without saying any thing else, causing his Guard-robe to be
set open, he tooke him with him thither, and sayde. Christian, observe
well all these Garments, and quicken thy remembrance, in telling mee
truly, whether thou hast seene any of them before now, or no. Signiour
_Thorello_ looked on them all advisedly, and espyed those two especiall
Garments, which his Wife had given one of the strange Merchants;
yet he durst not credit it, or that possibly it could be the same,
neverthelesse he said. Sir, I doe not know any of them, but true it
is, that these two doe resemble two such Robes, as I was wont to weare
my selfe, and these (or the like) were given to three Merchants, that
happened to visite my poore house.

Now could _Saladine_ containe no longer, but embracing him joyfully in
his armes, he said. You are Signior _Thorello d'Istria_, and I am one
of those three Merchants, to whom your Wife gave these Roabes: and now
the time is come to give you credible intelligence of my Merchandise,
as I promised at my departing from you, for such a time (I told you)
would come at length. _Thorello_, was both glad, and bashfull together:
glad, that he had entertained such a Guest, and bashfully ashamed, that
his welcome had not exceeded in more bountifull manner. _Thorello_,
replyed _Saladine_, seeing the Gods have sent you so happily to me:
account your selfe to be soly Lord here, for I am now no more then a
private man.

I am not able to expresse their counterchanges of courtesie, _Saladine_
commanding him to be cloathed in Royall garments, and brought into the
presence of his very greatest Lords, where having spoken liberally in
his due commendation, he commanded them to honour him as himselfe,
if they expected any grace or favour from him, which every one did
immediatly, but (above all the rest) those two Baschaes, which
accompanied _Saladine_ at his house. The greatnesse of this pompe and
glory, so suddenly throwne on Signior _Thorello_, made him halfe forget
all matters of _Lomberdie_; and so much the rather, because he had no
doubt at all, but that his letters, were safely come to the hands of
his Uncle.

Here I am to tell you, that in the Campe or Army of the Christians, on
the day when _Saladine_ made his surprizall, there was a Provinciall
Gentleman dead and buried, who was Signior _Thorello de Dignes_, a
man of very honourable and great esteeme, in which respect (Signior
_Thorello d'Istria_, knowne throughout the Army, by his Nobility and
valour) whosoever heard that Signior _Thorello_ was dead: beleeved it
to be _Thorello d'Istria_, and not he of _Dignes_, so that _Thorello
d'Istriaes_ unknowne surprizall and thraldome, made it also to passe
for an assured truth.

Beside, many Italians returning home, and carrying this report for
credible; some were so audaciously presumptuous, as they avouched upon
their oathes, that not onely they saw him dead, but were present at
his buriall likewise. Which rumour comming to the eare of his Wife,
and likewise to his kinred and hers: procured a great and grievous
mourning among them, and all that happened to heare thereof.

Over-tedious time it would require, to relate at large, the publique
griefe and sorrow, with the continuall lamentations of his Wife, who
(within some few moneths after) became tormented with new marriage
solicitings, before she had halfe sighed for the first: the very
greatest persons of _Lomberdie_ making the motion, being daily followed
and furthered by her owne brothers and friends. Still (drowned in
teares) she returned denyall, till in the end, when no contradiction
could prevaile, to satisfie her parents, and the importunate pursuers:
she was constrained to reveale, the charge imposed on her by her
Husband, which shee had vowed infallibly to keepe, and till that very
time, she would in no wise consent.

While wooing for a second wedding with _Adalietta_, proceeded in
this manner at _Pavia_, it chanced on a day, that Signior _Thorello_
had espied a man in _Alexandria_, whom he saw with the _Geneway_
Ambassadours, when they set thence towards _Geneway_ with their
Gallies. And causing him to be sent for, he demaunded of him, the
successe of the voyage, and when the Gallies arrived at _Geneway_;
whereto he returned him this answere. My Lord, our Gallies made a very
fatall voyage, as it is (already) too well knowne in _Creete_, where
my dwelling is. For when we drew neere _Sicilie_, there suddenly arose
a very dangerous North-West-winde, which drove us on the quicke-Sands
of _Barbarie_, where not any man escaped with life, onely my selfe
excepted, but (in the wracke) two of my brethren perished.

Signior _Thorello_, giving credit to the mans words, because they
were most true indeed, and remembring also, that the time limitted to
his Wife, drew neere expiring within very few dayes, and no newes now
possibly to be sent thither of his life, his Wife would questionlesse
be marryed againe: he fell into such a deepe conceited melancholly,
as food and sleepe forsooke him, whereupon, he kept his bed, setting
downe his peremptory resolution for death. When _Saladine_ (who dearely
loved him) heard thereof, he came in all haste to see him, and having
(by many earnest perswasions and entreaties) understood the cause of
his melancholly and sickenesse: he very severely reproved him, because
he could no sooner acquaint him therewith. Many kind and comfortable
speeches, he gave him, with constant assurance, that (if he were so
minded) he would so order the businesse for him; as he should be at
_Pavia_, by the same time as he had appointed to his Wife, and revealed
to him also the manner how.

_Thorello_ verily beleeved the _Soldanes_ promise, because he had
often heard the possibility of performance, and others had effected as
much, divers times else-where: whereupon he began to comfort himselfe,
soliciting the _Soldan_ earnestly that it might be accomplished.
_Saladine_ sent for one of his Sorcerers (of whose skill he had
formerly made experience) to take a direct course, how Signior
_Thorello_ should be carryed (in one night) to _Pavia_, and being in
his bed. The Magitian undertooke to doe it, but, for the Gentlemans
more ease, he must first be possessed with an entraunced dead sleep.
_Saladine_ being thus assured of the deeds full effecting, he came
againe to _Thorello_, and finding him to be setled for _Pavia_ (if
possibly it might be accomplished by the determined time, or else no
other expectation but death) he said unto him as followeth.

Signior _Thorello_, if with true affection you love your Wife, and
misdoubt her marriage to some other man: I protest unto you, by
the supreme powers, that you deserve no reprehension in any manner
whatsoever. For, of all the Ladyes that ever I have seene, she is the
onely woman, whose carriage, vertues, and civile speaking (setting
aside beauty, which is but a fading flowre) deserveth most graciously
to be respected, much more to be affected in the highest degree. It
were to me no meane favour of our Gods, (seeing Fortune directed your
course so happily hither) that for the short or long time we have to
live, we might reigne equally together in these Kingdomes under my
subjection. But if such grace may not be granted me, yet, seeing it
stands mainly upon the perill of your life, to be at _Pavia_ againe by
your own limitted time, it is my chiefest comfort, that I am therewith
acquainted, because I intended to have you conveighed thither, yea,
even into your owne house, in such honourable order as your vertues doe
justly merit, which in regard it cannot be so conveniently performed,
but as I have already informed you, and as the necessity of the case
urgently commandeth; accept it as it may be best accomplished.

Great _Saladine_ (answered _Thorello_) effects (without words) have
already sufficiently warranted your Gracious disposition towards me,
farre beyond any requitall remayning in me; your word onely being
enough for my comfort in this case, either dying or living. But in
regard you have taken such order for my departure hence, I desire to
have it done with all possible expedition, because to morrow is the
very last day, that I am to be absent. _Saladine_ protested that it
should be done, and the same evening in the great Hall of his Pallace,
commanded a rich and costly Bedde to be set up, the mattras formed
after the _Alexandrian_ manner, of Velvet and cloth Gold, the Quilts,
counter-points and coverings, sumptuously imbroydered with Orient
Pearles and Precious Stones, supposed to be of inestimable value, and
two rarely wrought Pillowes, such as best beseemed so stately a Bedde,
the Curtaines and Vallans every way equall to the other pompe.

Which being done, he commanded that _Thorello_ (who was indifferently
recovered) should be attyred in one of his owne sumptuous _Saracine_
Roabes, the very fairest and richest that ever was seene, and on his
head a Majesticall Turbant, after the manner of his owne wearing, and
the houre appearing to be somewhat late, he with many of his best
Baschaes, went to the Chamber where _Thorello_ was, and sitting downe
a while by him, in teares thus he spake. Signior _Thorello_, the houre
for sundering you and me, is now very neere, and because I cannot beare
you company, in regard of the businesse you goe about, and which by no
meanes will admit it: I am to take my leave of you in this Chamber, and
therefore am purposely come to doe it. But before I bid you farewell,
let me entreat you, by the love and friendship confirmed betweene us,
to be mindfull of me, and to take such order (your affaires being
fully finished in _Lombardie_) that I may once more enjoy the sight of
you here, for a mutuall solace and satisfaction of our mindes, which
are now divided by this urgent hast. Till which may be granted, let
me want no visitation of your kind letters, commanding thereby of me,
whatsoever here can possibly be done for you; assuring your selfe, no
man living can command me as you doe.

Signior _Thorello_ could not forbeare weeping, but being much hindred
thereby, answered in few words. That he could not possibly forget, his
Gracious favours and extraordinary benefits used towards him, but would
accomplish whatsoever hee commaunded, according as heaven did enable

Hereupon, _Saladine_ embracing him, and kissing his forehead, said.
All my Gods goe with you, and guard you from any perill, departing so
out of the Chamber weeping, and his Baschaes (having likewise taken
their leave of _Thorello_) followed _Saladine_ into the Hall, whereas
the Bedde stood readily prepared. Because it waxed very late, and the
Magitian also there attending for his dispatch: the Phisitian went with
the potion to _Thorello_, and perswading him, in the way of friendship,
that it was onely to strengthen him after his great Weaknes: he
drank it off, being thereby immediately entraunced, and so presently
sleeping, was (by _Saladines_ command) laid on the sumptuous and costly
Bed, whereon stood an Imperiall Crowne of infinite value, appearing
(by a description engraven on it) that _Saladine_ sent it to Madame
_Adalietta_, the wife of _Thorello_. On his finger also hee put a
Ring, wherein was enchased an admirable Carbuncle, which seemed like a
flaming Torche, the value thereof not to bee estimated. By him likewise
hee laid a rich sword, with the girdle, hangers, and other furniture,
such as seldome can be seene the like. Then hee laid a Jewell on the
Pillow by him, so sumptuouslie embelished with Pearles and precious
Stones, as might have beseemed the greatest Monarch in the World to
weare. Last of all, on either side of them, hee set two great Basons of
pure Gold, full of double ducates, many cords of Orient Pearles, Rings,
Girdles, and other costly Jewells (over-tedious to bee recounted) and
kissing him once more as hee lay in the bedde, commanded the Magitian
to dispatch and be gone.

Instantly, the bedde and _Thorello_ in it, in the presence of
_Saladine_, was invisibly carried thence, and while he sate conferring
with his Baschaes, the bed, Signior _Thorello_, and all the rich
Jewells about him, was transported and set in the Church of _San Pietro
in Ciel d'Ore_ in _Pavia_, according to his own request, and soundly
sleeping, being placed directly before the high Altar. Afterward, when
the bells rung to Mattines, the Sexton entring the Church with a light
in his hand (where hee beheld a light of greater splendour) and suddenly
espied the sumptuous bedde there standing: not only was he smitten into
admiration, but hee ranne away also very fearefully. When the Abbot
and the Monkes mette him thus running into the Cloyster, they became
amazed, and demanded the reason why he ranne in such haste, which
the Sexton told them. How? quoth the Abbot, thou art no childe, or a
new-come hither, to be so easilie affrighted in our holy Church, where
Spirits can have no power to walke, God and Saint _Peter_ (wee hope)
are stronger for us then them so: wherefore turne backe with us, and
let us see the cause of thy feare.

Having lighted many Torches, the Abbot and his Monkes entred with the
Sexton into the Church, where they beheld the wonderfull riche bedde,
and the Knight lying fast a-sleepe in it. While they stood all in
amazement, not daring to approach neere the bedde, whereon lay such
costly Jewells: it chanced that Signior _Thorello_ awaked, and breathed
forth a vehement sigh. The Monkes and the Abbot seeing him to stirre,
ranne all away in feare, crying aloud, God and S. _Peter_ defend us.

By this time _Thorello_ had opened his eyes, and looking round about
him, perceived that hee was in the place of _Saladines_ promise,
whereof hee was not a little joyfull. Wherefore, sitting up in the
bedde, and particularly observing all the things about him: albeit he
knew sufficiently the magnificence of _Saladine_, yet now it appeared
far greater to him, and imagined more largely thereof, then hee could
doe before. But yet, without any other ceremony, seeing the flight of
the Monkes, hearing their cry, and perceiving the reason; he called the
Abbot by his name, desiring him not to be afraid, for he was his Nephew
_Thorello_, and no other.

When the Abbot heard this, hee was ten times worse affrighted then
before, because (by publique fame) hee had beene so many moneths dead
and buried; but receiving (by true arguments) better assurance of him,
and hearing him still call him by his name: blessing himselfe with
the signe of the Crosse, hee went somewhat neerer to the bed, when
_Thorello_ said. My loving Uncle, and religious holy Father, whereof are
you afraid? I am your loving Nephew, newly returned from beyond the
Seas. The Abbot, seeing his beard to be grown long, and his habit after
the Arabian fashion, did yet collect some resemblance of his former
countenance; and being better perswaded of him, tooke him by the hand,

Sonne thou art happily returned, yet there is not any man in our
Citie, but doth verily beleeve thee to bee dead, and therefore doe
not much wonder at our feare. Moreover, I dare assure thee, that thy
Wife _Adalietta_, being conquered by the controuling command, and
threatnings of her kinred (but much against her owne minde) is this
very morning to be married to a new husband, and the marriage feast is
solemnly prepared, in honour of this second nuptialls.

_Thorello_ arising out of the bedde, gave gracious salutations to the
Abbot and his Monkes, intreating earnestly of them all, that no word
might be spoken of his returne, untill he had compleated an important
businesse. Afterward, having safely secured the bedde, and all the
rich Jewells, he fully acquainted the Abbot with all his passed
fortunes, whereof he was immeasurably joyfully, & having satisfied him,
concerning the new elected husband, _Thorello_ said unto the Abbot.
Uncle, before any rumour of my returne, I would gladly see my wives
behavior at this new briding feast, & although men of religion are
seldome seene at such Joviall meetings: yet (for my sake) doe you so
order the matter, that I (as an Arabian stranger) may be a guest under
your protection; whereto the Abbot very gladly condescended.

In the morning, he sent to the Bridegroom, and advertised him, that
he (with a stranger newly arrived) intented to dine with him, which
the Gentleman accepted in thankefull manner. And when dinner time
came, _Thorello_ in his strange disguise went with the Abbot to
the Bridegroomes house, where he was lookt on with admiration of
all the guests, but not knowne or suspected by any one; because the
Abbot reported him to be a _Sarracine_, and sent by the Soldane (in
Ambassage) to the King of France. _Thorello_ was seated at a by-table,
but directly opposite to the new Bride, whom hee much delighted to
looke on, and easily collected by her sad countenance, that shee was
scarcely well pleased with this new nuptialls. She likewise beheld him
very often, not in regard of any knowlege she took of him: for the
bushiness of his beard, strangeness of habit, (but most of all) firm
beleefe of his death, was the maine prevention.

At such time as _Thorello_ thought it convenient, to approve how farre
he was falne out of her remembrance; he took the ring which she gave
him at his departure, and calling a young Page that waited on none but
the Bride, said to him in Italian: Faire youth, goe to the Bride, and
saluting her from me, tell her, it is a custome observed in my Country,
that when any Stranger (as I am heere) sitteth before a new married
Bride, as now shee is, in signe that hee is welcome to her feast, she
sendeth the same Cup (wherein she drinketh her selfe) full of the
best wine, and when the stranger hath drunke so much as him pleaseth,
the Bride then pledgeth him with all the rest. The Page delivered the
message to the Bride, who, being a woman of honourable disposition, and
reputing him to be a Noble Gentleman, to testifie that his presence
there was very acceptable to her, shee commanded a faire Cuppe of gold
(which stood directlie before her) to bee neately washed, and when
it was filled with excellent Wine, caused it to bee carried to the
stranger, and so it was done.

_Thorello_ having drunke a heartie draught to the Bride, conveyed the
Ring into the Cuppe, before any person could perceive it, and having
left but small store of Wine in it, covered the Cuppe, and sent it
againe to the Bride, who received it very graciously, and to honour the
Stranger in his Countries custome, dranke up the rest of the Wine, and
espying the Ring, shee tooke it forth undetected by any: Knowing it
to be the same Ring which shee gave Signior _Thorello_ at his parting
from her; she fixed her eyes often on it, & as often on him, whom
she thought to be a stranger, the cheerfull bloud mounting up into
her cheeks, and returning againe with remembrance to her heart, that
(howsoever thus disguised) he only was her husband.

Like one of _Bacchus_ Froes, up furiously she started, and throwing
downe the Table before her, cried out aloud: This is my Lord and
Husband, this truely is my Lord _Thorello_. So running to the Table
where he sate, without regard of all the riches thereon, down she
threw it likewise, and clasping her armes about his necke, hung so
mainly on him (weeping, sobbing, and kissing him) as she could not be
taken off by any of the company, nor shewed any moderation in this
excesse of passion, till _Thorello_ spake, and entreated her to be more
patient, because this extremity was over-dangerous for her. Thus was
the solemnitie much troubled, but every one there very glad and joyfull
for the recovery of such a famous and worthy Knight, who intreated
them all to vouchsafe him silence, and so related all his fortunes to
them, from the time of his departure, to the instant houre. Concluding
withall, that hee was no way offended with the new Bride-groome, who
upon the so constant report of his death, deserved no blame in making
election of his wife.

The Bridegroome, albeit his countenance was somewhat cloudie, to see
his hope thus disappointed: yet granted freely, that _Adalietta_ was
_Thorello's_ wife in equitie, and hee could not justly lay any claime
to her. She also resigned the Crown and Rings which she had so lately
received of her new Spouse, and put that on her finger which she found
in the Cup, and that Crowne was set upon her head, in honor sent her
from great _Saladine_. In which triumphant manner, she left the new
Bridegrooms abiding, and repayred home to _Thorello's_ house, with such
pompe and magnificence as never had the like been seene in _Pavia_
before, all the Citizens esteeming it as a miracle, that they had so
happily recovered Signior _Thorello_ againe.

Some part of the Jewells he gave to him, who had beene at cost with the
marriage feasting, and some to his Uncle the Abbot, beside a bountie
bestowed on the Monkes. Then he sent a messenger to _Saladine_, with
Letters of his whole successe, and confessing himselfe (for ever) his
obliged servant: living many yeeres (after) with his wife _Adalietta_,
and using greater curtesies to strangers, then ever before he had done.

In this manner ended the troubles of Signior _Thorello_, and the
afflictions of his dearely affected Lady, with due recompence to their
honest and ready courtesies. Many strive (in outward shew) to doe
the like, who although they are sufficiently able, doe performe it
so basely, as it rather redoundeth to their shame, then honour. And
therefore if no merit ensue thereon, but onely such disgrace as justly
should follow; let them lay the blame upon themselves.

_The Marquesse of_ Saluzzo, _named_ Gualtiero, _being constrained
by the importunate solliciting of his Lords, and other inferiour
people, to joyne himselfe in marriage; tooke a woman according to his
owne liking, called_ Grizelda, _she being the daughter of a poore
Countriman, named_ Janiculo, _by whom he had two children, which he
pretended to be secretly murdered. Afterward, they being grown to yeres
of more stature, and making shew of taking in marriage another wife,
more worthy of his high degree and Calling: made a seeming publique
liking of his owne daughter, expulsing his wife_ Grizelda _poorely
from him. But finding her incomparable patience; more dearely (then
before) hee received her into favour againe, brought her home to his
owne Pallace, where (with her children) hee caused her and them to be
respectively honoured, in despight of all her adverse enemies._

The Tenth Novell.

_Set downe as an example or warning to all wealthie men, how to have
care of marrying themselves. And likewise to poore and meane women, to
be patient in their fortunes, and obedient to their husbands._

Questionlesse, the Kings Novell did not so much exceed the rest in
length, but it proved as pleasing to the whole assembly, & past with
their generall approbation, till _Dioneus_ (in a merry jesting humour)
said. The plaine honest simple man, that stood holding the Candle, to
see the setting on of his Mules tayle; deserved two penny-worth of more
praise, then all our applauding of Signior _Thorello_: And knowing
himselfe to bee left for the last speaker, thus he began.

Milde & modest Ladies, for ought I can perceive to the contrary, this
day was dedicated to none but Kings, Soldanes, and great Potentates,
not in favour of any inferiour or meaner persons. And therefore,
because I would be loth to dis-ranke my selfe from the rest, I purpose
to speake of a Lord Marquesse, not any matter of great magnificence,
but rather in a more humble nature, and sorted to an honest end: which
yet I will not advise any to immitate, because (perhaps) they cannot
so well digest it, as they did whom my Novell concerneth; thus then I

It is a great while since, when among those that were Lord Marquesses
of _Saluzzo_, the very greatest and worthiest man of them al, was
a young Noble Lord, named _Gualtiero_, who having neyther wife nor
childe, spent his time in nothing else but hawking & hunting: nor
had he any minde of marriage, or to enjoy the benefit of children,
wherein many did repute him the wiser. But this being distastfull
to his subjects, they very often earnestly solicited him, to match
himselfe with a wife, to the end, that hee might not decease without
an heire, nor they be left destitute of a succeeding Lord; offering
themselves to provide him of such a one, so well descended by Father
and Mother, as not only should confirm their hope, but also yeeld him
high contentment; whereto the Lord Marquess thus answered.

Worthie friends, you would constraine me to the thing, wherewith I
never had any intent to meddle, considering, how difficult a case it
is to meet with such a woman, who can agree with a man in all his
conditions, and how great the number is of them, who daily happen on
the contrarie: but most (and worst of all the rest) how wretched and
miserable prooves the life of man, who is bound to live with a wife not
fit for him. And in saying, you can learn to understand the custome and
qualities of children, by behaviour of the fathers and mothers, and so
to provide mee of a wife, it is a meere argument of folly: for neither
shall I comprehend, or you either, the secret inclinations of parents;
I meane of the Father, and much lesse the complexion of the mother.
But admitte it were within compasse of power to know them; yet it is
a frequent sight, and observed every day; that daughters doe resemble
neither father nor mother, but that they are naturally governed by
their owne instinct.

But because you are so desirous to have me fettered in the chains of
wedlocke; I am contented to grant what you request. And because I
would have no complaint made of any but my selfe, if matters should
not happen answerable to expectation; I will make mine owne eyes my
electors, and not see by any others sight. Giving you this assurance
before, that if she whom I shall make choice of, be not of you honoured
and respected as your Lady and Mistresse: it will ensue to your
detriment, how much you have displeased me, to take a wife at your
request, and against mine owne will.

The Noble men answered, that they were well satisfied, provided that he
tooke a wife.

Some indifferent space of time before, the beauty, manners, and
well-seeming vertues, of a poore Countrie-mans daughter, dwelling
in no farre distant village, had appeared very pleasing to the Lord
Marquesse, and gave him full perswasion, that with her hee should
lead a comfortable life. And therefore without any further search or
inquisition, he absolutely resolved to marry her, and having conferred
with her Father, agreed, that his daughter should be his wife.
Whereupon, the Marquesse made a generall Convocation of all his Lords,
Barons, and other of his especiall friends, from all parts of his
Dominion; and when they were assembled together, hee then spake unto
them in manner as followeth.

Honourable friends, it appeared pleasing to you all; and yet (I thinke)
you are of the same minde, that I should dispose my selfe to take
a wife: and I thereto condescended, more to yeeld you contentment,
then for any particular desire in my selfe. Let mee now remember you
of your solemne made promise, with full consent to honor and obey
her (whosoever) as your Soveraigne Lady and Mistresse, that I shall
elect to make my wife: and now the time is come, for my exacting the
performance of that promise, and which I look you must constantly
keepe. I have made choyce of a yong virgine, answerable to mine owne
heart and liking, dwelling not farre off hence, whom I intend to make
my wife, and (within few daies) to have her brought home to my Pallace.
Let your care and diligence then extend so farre, as to see that the
feast may be sumptuous, and her entertainment to bee most honourable:
to the end that I may receive as much contentment in your promise
performed, as you shall perceive I doe in my choice.

The Lords and all the rest, were wondrously joyfull to heare him
so well inclined, expressing no lesse by their shouts and jocund
suffrages: protesting cordially, that she should be welcommed with
pompe and majestie, and honoured of them all, as their Liege Ladie
and Soveraigne. Afterward, they made preparation for a princely and
magnificent feast, as the Marquesse did the like, for a marriage of
extraordinary state and qualitie, inviting all his kinred, friends,
and acquaintance in all parts and Provinces, about him. Hee made also
readie most riche and costly garments, shaped by the body of a comely
young Gentlewoman, who he knew to be equall in proportion and stature,
to her of whom hee hade made his election.

When the appointed nuptiall day was come, the Lord Marques, about nine
of the clocke in the morning, mounted on horse-backe, as all the rest
did, who came to attend him honourably, and having all things in due
readinesse with them, he said: Lords, it is time for us to goe fetch
the Bride. So on hee rode with his traine, to the same poore Village
whereas shee dwelt, and when hee was come to her Fathers house, hee saw
the maiden returning very hastily from a Well, where shee had beene to
fetch a paile of Water, which shee set downe, and stood (accompanied
with other maidens) to see the passage by of the Lord Marquesse and his
traine. _Gualtiero_ called her by her name, which was _Grizelda_, and
asked her, where her Father was: who bashfully answered him, and with
an humble courtesie, saying. My gracious Lord, hee is in the house.

Then the Marquesse dismounted from his horse, commanding every one to
attend him, then all alone hee entred into the poore Cottage, where he
found the maides father, being named _Janiculo_, and said unto him. God
speed good Father, I am come to espouse thy daughter _Grizelda_: but
first I have a few demands to make, which I will utter to her in thy
presence. Then hee turned to the maide, and saide.

Faire _Grizelda_, if I make you my wife, will you doe your best
endeavour to please me, in all things which I shall doe or say? will
you also be gentle, humble, and patient? with divers other the like
questions: whereto she still answered, that she would, so neere as
heaven (with grace) should enable her.

Presently he tooke her by the hand, so led her forth of the poore
homely house, and in the presence of all his company, with his owne
hands, he took off her meane wearing garments, smocke and all, and
cloathed her with those Robes of State which he had purposely brought
thither for her, and plaiting her haire over her shoulders, hee placed
a Crowne of gold on her head, whereat every one standing as amazed, and
wondring not a little, hee said: _Grizelda_, wilt thou have me to thy
husband. Modestly blushing, and kneeling on the ground, she answered.
Yes my gracious Lord, if you will accept so poore a maiden to be your
wife. Yes _Grizelda_, quoth hee, with this holy kisse, I confirme
thee for my wife; and so espoused her before them all. Then mounting
her on a milke-white Palfray, brought thither for her, shee was thus
honourably conducted to her Pallace.

Now concerning the marriage feast and triumphes, they were performed
with no lesse pompe, then if she had beene daughter to the King of
France. And the young Bride apparantly declared, that (with her
garments) her minde and behavior were quite changed. For indeed shee
was (as it were shame to speake otherwise) a rare creature, both of
person and perfections, and not onely was shee absolute for beautie,
but so sweetely amiable, gracious, and goodlie; as if she were not the
daughter of poore _Janiculo_, and a Countrie Shepheardesse, but rather
of some Noble Lord, whereat every one wondred that formerly had knowne
her. Beside all this, shee was so obedient to her husband, so fervent
in all dutifull offices, and patient, without the very least provoking:
as hee held himselfe much more then contented, and the onely happy man
of the world.

In like manner, towards the subjects of her Lord and Husband, she
shewed her selfe alwayes so benigne and gracious; as there was not
any one, but the more they lookt on her, the better they loved her,
honouring her voluntarily, and praying to the heavens, for her health,
dignity and well-fares long continuance. Speaking now (quite contrary
to their former opinion of the Marquesse) honourably and worthily, that
he had shewne him selfe a singular wise man, in the election of his
Wife, which few else (but he) in the world would have done: because
their judgement might fall farre short, of discerning those great and
precious vertues, veiled under a homely habite, and obscured in a poore
Countrey cottage. To be briefe, in very short time, not onely the
Marquisate it selfe, but all neighbouring Provinces round about, had no
other common talke, but of her rare course of life, devotion, charity,
and all good actions else; quite quailing all sinister Instructions of
her Husband, before he received her in marriage.

About foure or five yeeres after the birth of her daughter, shee
conceived with child againe, and (at the limitted houre of deliverance)
had a goodly Sonne, to the no little liking of the Marquesse.
Afterward, a strange humour entred into his braine, namely, that by
a long continued experience, and courses of intollerable quality; he
would needes make proofe of his faire Wives patience. First he began to
provoke her by injurious speeches, shewing fierce and frowning lookes
to her, intimating; that his people grew displeased with him, in regard
of his Wives base birth and education, and so much the rather, because
she was likely to bring children, who (by her blood) were no better
then beggars, and murmured at the daughter already borne. Which words
when _Grizelda_ heard, without any alteration of countenance, for the
least distemperature in any appearing action she said.

My honourable and gracious Lord, dispose of me, as you thinke best,
for your owne dignity and contentment, for I shall therewith be well
pleased: as she that knowes her selfe, farre inferiour to the meanest
of your people, much lesse worthy of the honour, whereto you liked to
advance me.

This answere was very welcome to the Marquesse, as apparantly
perceiving hereby, that the dignity whereto hee had exalted her, or
any particular favours beside, could not infect her with any pride,
coynesse, or disdaine. Not long after, having told her in plaine and
open speeches, that his subjects could not endure her so late borne
daughter: he called a trusty servant of his, and having instructed
him what he should doe, sent him to _Grizelda_, and he being alone
with her, looking very sadde, and much perplexed in mind, he saide.
Madame, except I intend to loose mine owne life, I must accomplish what
my Lord hath strictly enjoyned me, which is, to take this your yong
daughter, and then I must: So breaking off abruptly, the Lady hearing
his words, and noting his frowning lookes, remembring also what the
Marquesse himselfe had formerly said; she presently imagined, that he
had commanded his servant to kill the childe. Suddenly therefore, she
tooke it out of the Cradle, and having sweetly kissed, and bestowne her
blessing on it (albeit her heart throbbed, with the inward affection
of a Mother) without any alteration of countenance, she tenderly laid
it in the servants armes, and said. Here friend, take it, and doe with
it as thy Lord and mine hath commanded thee: but leave it in no rude
place, where birds or savage beasts may devoure it, except it be his
will to have it so.

The servant departing from her with the child, and reporting to the
Marquesse what his Lady had said; he wondered at her incomparable
constancy. Then he sent it by the same servant to _Bologna_, to an
honourable Lady his kinsewoman, requesting her (without revealing whose
child it was) to see it both nobly and carefully educated.

At time convenient afterward, being with child againe, and delivered
of a Princely Sonne (then which nothing could be more joyfull to the
Marquesse) yet all this was not sufficient for him; but with farre
ruder language then before, and lookes expressing harsh intentions,
he said unto her. _Grizelda_, though thou pleasest me wonderfully,
by the birth of this Princely Boy, yet my subjects are not therewith
contented, but blunder abroad maliciously; that the grand-child of
_Janiculo_, a poore countrey pezant, when I am dead and gone, must be
their Soveraigne Lord and Master. Which makes me stand in feare of
their expulsion, and to prevent that, I must be rid of this childe, as
well as the other, and then send thee away from hence, that I may take
another wife, more pleasing to them.

_Grizelda_, with a patient sufferent soule, hearing what he had said,
returned no other answere but this. Most Gracious and Honourable Lord,
satisfie and please your owne Royall minde, and never use any respect
of me: for nothing is precious or pleasing to mee, but what may agree
with your good liking. Within a while after, the Noble Marquesse in
the like manner as he did before for the Daughter, so he sent the same
servant for the Sonne, and seeming as if he had sent it to have been
slaine, conveighed it to be nursed at _Bologna_, in company of his
sweete Sister. Whereat the Lady shewed no other discontentment in any
kinde, then formerly she had done for her Daughter, to the no meane
marvell of the Marquesse, who protested in his soule, that the like
woman was not in all the world beside. And were it not for his heedfull
observation, how loving and carefull she was of her children, prizing
them as dearely as her owne life: rash opinion might have perswaded
him, that she had no more in her, then a carnall affection, not caring
how many she had, so shee might thus easily be rid of them; but he knew
her to be a truely vertuous mother, and wisely liable to endure his
severest impositions.

His Subjects beleeving, that he had caused the children to bee slaine,
blamed him greatly, thought him to be a most cruell man, and did highly
compassionate the Ladies case: who when shee came in company of other
Gentlewomen, which mourned for their deceased children, would answere
nothing else: but that they could not be more pleasing to her, then
they were to the father that begot them.

Within certaine yeares after the birth of these children, the Marquesse
purposed with himselfe, to make his last and finall proofe of faire
_Grizeldaes_ patience, and said to some neere about him: that he could
no longer endure, to keepe _Grizelda_ as his wife, confessing, he had
done foolishly, and according to a young giddie braine, when he was so
rash in the marriage of her. Wherefore he would send to the Pope, and
purchase a dispensation from him, to repudiate _Grizelda_, and take
another Wife. Wherein although they greatly reproved him; yet he told
them plainely, that it must needes be so.

The Lady hearing these newes, and thinking she must returne againe
to her poore fathers house, and (perhaps) to her old occupation of
keeping sheepe, as in her yonger dayes she had done, understanding
withall, that another woman must enjoy him, whom shee dearely loved and
honoured; you may well thinke (worthy Ladies) that her patience was now
put to the maine proofe indeede. Neverthelesse, as with an invincible
true vertuous courage, she had outstood all the other injuries of
Fortune; so did she constantly settle her soule, to beare this with an
undaunted countenance and behaviour.

At such time as was prefixed for the purpose, counterfeit Letters came
to the Marquesse (as sent from _Rome_) which he caused to be publikely
read in the hearing of his subjects: that the Pope had dispensed with
him, to leave _Griselda_, and marry with another Wife, wherefore,
sending for her immediatly, in presence of them all, thus he spake to
her. Woman, by concession sent me from the Pope, he hath dispensed with
me, to make choyce of another Wife, and to free my selfe from thee.
And because my predecessors have beene Noblemen, and great Lords in
this Country, thou being the daughter of a poore Countrey Clowne, and
their blood and mine notoriously imbased, by my marriage with thee;
I intend to have thee no longer my Wife, but will returne thee home
to thy Fathers house, with all the rich Dowry thou broughtest me; and
then I will take another Wife, with whom I am already contracted, better
beseeming my birth, and farre more contenting and pleasing to my people.

The Lady hearing these words (not without much paine and difficulty)
restrayned her teares, quite contrary to the naturall inclination
of women, and thus answered. Great Marquesse, I never was so empty
of discretion, but did alwayes acknowledge, that my base and humble
condition, could not in any manner sute with your high blood and
Nobility, and my being with you, I ever acknowledged, to proceed
from heaven and you, not any merit of mine, but onely as a favour
lent me, which you being now pleased to recall backe againe, I ought
to be pleased (and so am) that it bee restored. Here is the Ring,
wherewith you Espoused me; here (in all humility) I deliver it to
you. You command me, to carry home the marriage Dowry which I brought
with me: there is no need of a Treasurer to repay it me, neither any
new purse to carry it in, much lesse any Sumpter to be laden with it.
For (Noble Lord) it was never out of my memory, that you tooke me
starke naked; and if it shall seeme sightly to you, that this body
which hath borne two children, and begotten by you, must againe be
seene naked; willingly must I depart hence naked. But I humbly beg
of your Excellency, in recompence of my Virginity, which I brought
you blamelesse, so much as in thought: that I may have but one of my
wedding Smocks, onely to conceale the shame of nakednesse, and then I
depart rich enough.

The Marquesse whose heart wept bloody teares, as his eyes would
likewise gladly have yeelded their naturall tribute; covered all with
a dissembled angry countenance, and starting up, said. Goe, give her
a Smocke onely, and so send her gadding. All there present about him,
entreated him to let her have a petticote, because it might not be
said, that she who had been his Wife thirteene yeares and more, was
sent away so poorely in her Smocke: but all their perswasions prevailed
not with him. Naked in her Smocke, without hose or shooes, bareheaded,
and not so much as a Cloth about her necke, to the great griefe and
mourning of all that saw her, she went home to her old fathers house.

And he (good man) never beleeving, that the Marquesse would long keepe
his daughter as his Wife, but rather expected daily, what now had
happened: safely laid up the garments, whereof the Marquesse despoyled
her, the same morning when he espoused her. Wherefore he delivered
them to her, and she fell to her fathers houshold businesse, according
as formerly she had done; sustayning with a great and unconquerable
spirit, all the cruell assaults of her enemy Fortune.

About such time after, as suted with his owne disposition, the
Marquesse made publiquely knowne to his subjects, that he meant to
joyne in marriage again, with the daughter to one of the Counts of
_Panago_, and causing preparation to be made for a sumptuous wedding;
he sent for _Grizelda_, and she being come, thus he spake to her. The
Wife that I have made the new election of, is to arrive here within
very few dayes, and at her first comming, I would have her to be most
honourably entertained. Thou knowest I have no women in my house, that
can decke up the Chambers, and set all requisite things in due order,
befitting for so solemne a Feast: and therefore I sent for thee, who
knowing (better then any other) all the partes, provision and goods
in the house, set every thing in such order, as thou shalt thinke

Invite such Ladies and Gentlewomen as thou wilt, and give them welcome,
even as if thou wert the Lady of the house: and when the marriage is
ended, returne then home to thy father againe.

Although these words pierced like wonding daggers, the heart of poore
(but Noble patient) _Grizelda_, as being unable to forget the unequal'd
love she bare to the Marquesse, though the dignitie of her former
fortune, more easily slipt out of her remembrance; yet neverthelesse,
thus she answered.

My Gracious Lord, I am glad I can doe you any service; wherein you
shall find mee both willing and ready. In the same poore garments, as
she came from her fathers house, (although shee was turned out in her
Smocke) she began to sweep and make cleane the Chambers, rubbe the
stooles and benches in the Hall, and ordered every in the Kitchin, as
if she were the worst maide in all the house, never ceasing or giving
over, till all things were in due and decent order, as best beseemed in
such a case. After all which was done, the Marquesse, having invited
all the Ladies of the Countrey, to be present at so great a Feast:
when the marriage day came, _Grizelda_, in her gowne of Countrey gray,
gave them welcome, in honourable manner, and graced them all with very
cheerefull countenance.

_Gualtiero_ the Marquesse, who had caused his two children to be nobly
nourished at _Bologna_, with a neere kinswoman of his, who had married
with one of the Counts of _Panago_, his daughter being now aged twelve
yeares old, and some-what more, as also the Son about sixe or seven.
He sent a Gentleman expresly to his kindred, to have them come and
visite him at _Saluzza_, bringing his daughter and Sonne with them,
attended in very honourable manner, and publishing every where as
they came along, that the young Virgin (knowne to none but himselfe
and them) should be the Wife to the Marquesse, and that onely was the
cause of her comming. The Gentleman was not slacke, in the execution
of the trust reposed in him: but having made convenient preparation,
with the kindred, Sonne, daughter, and a worthy company attending on
them, arrived at _Saluzza_ about dinner time, where wanted no resort,
from all neighbouring parts round about, to see the comming of the Lord
Marquesses new Spouse.

By the Lords and Ladies she was joyfully entertained, and comming into
the great Hall, where the Tables were readily covered: _Grizelda_,
in her homely Country habite, humbled her selfe before her, saying.
Gracious welcome, to the new elected Spouse of the Lord Marquesse.

All the Ladies there present, who had very earnestly importuned
_Gualtiero_ (but in vaine) that _Grizelda_, might better be shut up in
some Chamber, or else to lend her the wearing of any other garments,
which formerly had been her owne, because she should not be so poorely
seene among strangers: being seated at the Tables, she waited on them
very serviceably. The yong Virgin was observed by every one, who spared
not to say; that the Marquesse had made an excellent change: but above
them all, _Grizelda_ did most commend her, and so did her brother
likewise, as young as he was, yet not knowing her to be his Sister.

Now was the Marquesse sufficiently satisfied in his soule, that he had
seene so much as he desired, concerning the patience of his Wife, who
in so many hart-grieving trials, was never noated so much as to alter
her countenance. And being absolutely perswaded, that this proceeded
not from any want of understanding in her, because he knew her to be
singularly wise: he thought it high time now, to free her from these
afflicting oppressions, and give her such assurance as she ought to
have. Wherefore, commanding her into his presence, openly before all
his assembled friends, smiling on her, he said. What thinkst thou
_Grizelda_ of our new chosen Spouse? My Lord (quoth she) I like her
exceeding well, and if she be so wise, as she is faire (which verely
I thinke she is) I make no doubt but you shall live with her, as the
onely happy man of the world. But I humbly entreat your Honour (if I
have any power in me to prevaile by) that you would not give her such
cutting and unkind language, as you did to your other wife: for I
cannot thinke her armed with such patience, as should (indeed) support
them: as wel in regard she is much yonger, as also her more delicate
breeding and education, whereas she who you had before, was brought up
in continual toile and travaile.

When the Marquesse perceyved, that _Grizelda_ beleeved verily, this
yong daughter of hers should be his wife, and answered him in so honest
and modest manner: he commanded her to sit downe by him, and saide.
_Grizelda_, it is now more then fitte time, that thou shouldst taste
the fruite of thy long admired patience, and that they who have thought
me cruell, harsh and uncivill natured, should at length observe, that
I have done nothing basely, or unadvisedly. For this was a worke
premeditated before, for enstructing thee, what it is to be a married
wife, and to let them know (whosoever they be) how to take and keepe
a wife. Which hath begotten (to me) perpetuall joy and happinesse,
so long as I have a day to live with thee: a matter whereof I stoode
before greatly in feare, and which (in marriage I thought) would never
happen to me.

It is not unknown to thee, in how many kinds (for my first proofe)
I gave thee harsh and unpleasing speeches, which drawing no
discontentment from thee, either in lookes, words, or behaviour, but
rather such comfort as my soule desired, and so in my other succeedings
afterward: in one minute now, I purpose to give thee that consolation,
which I bereft thee of in many tempestuous stormes, and make a sweet
restauration, for all thy former sower sufferinges. My faire and
dearly affected _Grizelda_, shee whom thou supposest for my new
elected Spouse, with a glad and cheerfull hart, imbrace for thine owne
daughter, and this also her Brother, beeing both of them thy children
and mine, in common opinion of the vulgar multitude, imagined to be (by
my command) long since slaine. I am thy honourable Lord and Husband,
who doth, and will love thee farre above all women else in the world;
giving thee justly this deserved praise and commendation, That no man
living hath the like Wife, as I have.

So, sweetly kissing her infinitely, and hugging her joyfully in his
armes (the teares now streaming like new-let-loose Rivers, downe her
faire face, which no disaster before could force from her) hee brought
her, and seated her by her daughter, who was not a little amazed at
so rare an alteration. Shee having (in zeale of affection) kissed and
embraced them both, all else there present being clearely resolved
from the former doubt which too long deluded them; the Ladies arose
jocondly from the tables, and attending on _Grizelda_ to her Chamber,
in signe of a more successefull augury to follow: tooke off her poor
contemptible rags, and put on such costly robes, which (as Lady
Marchionesse) she used to weare before.

Afterward, they waited on her into the Hall againe, being their true
Soveraigne Lady and Mistresse, as she was no lesse in her poorest
Garments; where all rejoycing for the new restored Mother, & happy
recovery of so noble a son and daughter, the Festivall continued many
months after. Now every one thought the Marquesse to be a noble and
wise Prince, though somewhat sharpe and unsufferable, in the severe
experiences made of his wife: but (above al) they reputed _Grizelda_,
to be a most wise, patient, & vertuous Lady. The Count of _Panago_,
within few daies after returned backe to _Bologna_; and the Lord
Marques, fetching home old _Janiculo_ from his country drudgery, to
live with him (as his Father in law) in his Princely Palace, gave
him honorable maintenance, wherein hee long continued, and ended his
daies. Afterward, he matched his daughter in a Noble marriage: he
and _Grizelda_ living long time together, in the highest honor that
possibly could be.

What can now be saide to the contrary, but that poore Country Cottages,
may yeeld as divine & excellent spirits, as the most stately and
Royall mansions, which breed and bring uppe some, more worthy to be
Hog-rubbers, then hold any soveraignty over men? Where is any other
(beside _Grizelda_) who not only without a wet eye, but imboldned by a
valiant and invincible courage: that can suffer the sharpe rigours, and
(never the like heard of proofes) made by the Marquesse? Perhaps he
might have met with another, who would have quitted him in a contrary
kinde, and for thrusting her forth of doores in her smocke, could have
found better succor somewhere else, rather then walke so nakedly in the
cold streets.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Dioneus_ having thus ended his Novel, and the Ladies delivering their
severall judgements, according to their owne fancies, some holding
one conceite, others leaning to the contrary; one blaming this thing,
and another commending that, the King lifting his eyes to heaven, and
seeing the Sun began to fall** low, by rising of the Evening Starre;
without arising from his seat, spake as followeth. Discreet Ladies, I
am perswaded you know sufficiently, that the sense and understanding of
us mortals, consisteth not onely (as I think) by preserving in memory
things past, or knowledge of them present; but such as both by the one
and other, know how to foresee future occasions, are worthily thought
wise, and of no common capacity.

It will be (to morrow) fifteene dayes, since we departed from the
City of _Florence_, to come hither for our pastime and comfort, the
conservation of our lives, and support of our health, by avoyding those
melanchollies, griefes, and anguishes, which we beheld daylie in our
City, since the pestilentiall visitation beganne there, wherein (by my
judgement) we have done well and honestly. Albeit some light Novels,
perhaps attractive to a little wantonnes, as some say, and our Joviall
feasting with good cheare, singing and dancing, may seeme matters
inciting to incivility, especially in weake and shallow understandings.
But I have neither seene, heard, or knowne, any acte, word, or
whatsoever else, either on your part or ours, justly deserving to be
blamed: but all has bin honest, as in a sweete and hermonious concord,
such as might well beseeme the communitie of Brethren and Sisters;
which assuredly, as well in regard of you, as us, hath much contented

And therefore, least by over-long consuetude, something should take
life, which might be converted to a bad construction, & by our country
demourance for so many dayes, some captious conceit may wrest out an
ill imagination; I am of the minde (if yours be the like) seeing each
of us hath had the honor, which now remaineth still on me: that it is
very fitting for us, to returne thither from whence we came. And so
much the rather, because this sociable meeting of ours, which already
hath wonne the knowledge of many dwellers here about us, should not
grow to such an increase, as might make our purposed pastime offensive
to us. In which respect (if you allow of my advise) I will keepe
the Crowne till our departing hence; the which I intend shall be to
morrow: but if you determine otherwise, I am the man ready to make my

Many imaginations passed amongst the Ladies, and likewise the men, but
yet in the end, they reputed the Kings counsell to bee the best and
wisest, concluding to do as he thought convenient. Whereupon, hee called
the Master of the housholde, and conferred with him, of the businesse
belonging to the next morning, and then gave the company leave to rise.
The Ladies and the rest, when they were risen, fel some to one kinde of
recreation, and others as their fancies served them, even as (before)
they had done. And when Supper time came, they dispatcht it in very
loving manner. Then they began to play on instruments, sing and dance,
and Madame _Lauretta_ leading the dance: the King commaunded Madame
_Fiammetta_ to sing a song, which pleasantly she began in this manner.

    _THE SONG._

    The Chorus sung by all the rest of the Company.

    _If Love were free from Jealousie,
      No Lady living,
      Had lesse heart-greeving,
    Or liv'd so happily as I._

    _If gallant youth
      In a faire friend, a woman could content,
    If vertues prize, valour and hardiment,
      Wit, carriage, purest eloquence,
      Could free a woman from impatience:
    Then I am she can vaunt (if I were wise)
    All these in one faire flower,
    Are in my power,
      And yet I boast no more but trueth.
    If Love were free from jealousie, &c._

    _But I behold
    That other Women are as wise as I
      Which killes me quite,
    Fearing false sirquedrie.
      For when my fire begins to flame
      Others desires misguide my aim,
    And so bereaves me of secure delight.
    Onely through fond mistrust, he is unjust:
      Thus are my comforts hourely hot and cold.
    If Love were free, &c._

    _If in my friend,
    I found like faith, as manly minde I know;
      Mistrust were slaine.
      But my fresh griefes still grow,
    By sight of such as do allure,
    So I can thinke none true, none sure,
      But all would rob me of my golden gaine.
    Loe thus I dye, in Jelousie,
      For losse of him, on whom I most depend.
    If Love were free, &c._

    _Let me advise
    Such Ladies as in Love are bravely bold,
      Not to wrong me, I scorne to be controld.
    If any one I chance to finde.
    By winkes, words, smiles, in crafty kinde,
      Seeking for that, which onely mine should be:
    Then I protest, to do my best,
    And make them know, that they are scarsly wise._

    _If Love were free from jealousie,
      I know no Lady living,
      Could have lesse heart-greeving,
    Or live so happily as I._

So soone as Madam _Fiammetta_ had ended her Song; _Dioneus_, who sate
by her, smiling said. Truly Madam, you may do us a great courtesie, to
express your selfe more plainly to us all, least (thorow ignorance)
the possession may be imposed on your selfe, and so you remaine the
more offended. After the Song was past, divers other were sung beside,
and it now drawing wel-neere midnight, by the Kings command, they all
went to bed. And when new day appeared, and all the world awaked out
of sleepe, the Master of the Houshold having sent away the carriages;
they returned (under the conduct of their discreet King) to _Florence_,
where the three Gentlemen left the seven Ladies at the Church of
_Santa Maria Novella_, from whence they went with them at the first.
And having parted with kinde salutations; the Gentlemen went whether
themselves best pleased, and the Ladies repaired home to their houses.

_The End of the Tenth and Last Day._

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