The Decameron



[1] i.e. those not in love.

[2] Syn. adventures (casi).

[3] i.e. the few pages of which he speaks above.

[4] Syn. provisions made or means taken (consigli dati). Boccaccio constantly uses consiglio in this latter sense.

[5] Syn. help, remedy.

[6] Accidente, what a modern physician would call "complication." "Symptom" does not express the whole meaning of the Italian word.

[7] i.e. aromatic drugs.

[8] i.e. gravediggers (becchini).

[9] Lit. four or six. This is the equivalent Italian idiom.

[10] i.e. but few tapers.

[11] i.e. expectation of gain from acting as tenders of the sick, gravediggers, etc. The word speranza is, however, constantly used by Dante and his follower Boccaccio in the contrary sense of "fear," and may be so meant in the present instance.

[12] i.e. the cross.

[13] i.e. walled burghs.

[14] i.e. in miniature.

[15] Or character (qualità).

[16] I know of no explanation of these names by the commentators, who seem, indeed, after the manner of their kind, to have generally confined themselves to the elaborate illustration and elucidation (or rather, alas! too often, obscuration) of passages already perfectly plain, leaving the difficult passages for the most part untouched. The following is the best I can make of them. Pampinea appears to be formed from the Greek πᾶν, all, and πινύω, I advise, admonish or inform, and to mean all-advising or admonishing, which would agree well enough with the character of Pampinea, who is represented as the eldest and sagest of the female personages of the Decameron and as taking the lead in everything. Fiammetta is the name by which Boccaccio designates his mistress, the Princess Maria of Naples (the lady for whom he cherished "the very high and noble passion" of which he speaks in his Proem), in his earlier opuscule, the "Elégia di Madonna Fiammetta," describing, in her name, the torments of separation from the beloved. In this work he speaks of himself under the name of Pamfilo (Gr. πᾶν, all, and φιλέω, I love, i.e. the all-loving or the passionate lover), and it is probable, therefore, that under these names he intended to introduce his royal ladylove and himself in the present work. Filomena (Italian form of Philomela, a nightingale, Greek φίλος loving, and μελός, melody, song, i.e. song-loving) is perhaps so styled for her love of music, and Emilia's character, as it appears in the course of the work, justifies the derivation of her name from the Greek αἱμύλιος, pleasing, engaging in manners and behaviour, cajoling. Lauretta Boccaccio probably intends us to look upon as a learned lady, if, as we may suppose, her name is a corruption of laureata, laurel-crowned; whilst Neifile's name (Greek νεῖος [νεός] new, and φιλέω, I love, i.e. novelty-loving) stamps her as being of a somewhat curious disposition, eager "to tell or to hear some new thing." The name Elisa is not so easily to be explained as the others; possibly it was intended by the author as a reminiscence of Dido, to whom the name (which is by some authorities explained to mean "Godlike," from a Hebrew root) is said to have been given "quòd plurima supra animi muliebris fortitudinem gesserit." It does not, however, appear that there was in Elisa's character or life anything to justify the implied comparison.

[17] This phrase may also be read "persuading themselves that that (i.e. their breach of the laws of obedience, etc.) beseemeth them and is forbidden only to others" (faccendosi a credere che quello a lor si convenga e non si disdica che all' altre); but the reading in the text appears more in harmony with the general sense and is indeed indicated by the punctuation of the Giunta Edition of 1527, which I generally follow in case of doubt.

[18] Syn. cooler.

[19] See ante, p. 8, note.

[20] Filostrato, Greek φίλος, loving, and στρατὸς, army, met. strife, war, i.e. one who loves strife. This name appears to be a reminiscence of Boccaccio's poem (Il Filostrato, well known through its translation by Chaucer and the Senechal d'Anjou) upon the subject of the loves of Troilus and Cressida and to be in this instance used by him as a synonym for an unhappy lover, whom no rebuffs, no treachery can divert from his ill-starred passion. Such a lover may well be said to be in love with strife, and that the Filostrato of the Decameron sufficiently answers to this description we learn later on from his own lips.

[21] Dioneo, a name probably coined from the Greek Διωνη, one of the agnomina of Venus (properly her mother's name) and intended to denote the amorous temperament of his personage, to which, indeed, the erotic character of most of the stories told by him bears sufficient witness.

[22] e prima mandato là dove, etc. This passage is obscure and may be read to mean "and having first despatched [a messenger] (or sent [word]) whereas," etc. I think, however, that mandato is a copyist's error for mandata, in which case the meaning would be as in the text.

[23] Or balconies (loggie).

[24] i.e. Nine o'clock a.m. Boccaccio's habit of measuring time by the canonical hours has been a sore stumbling-block to the ordinary English and French translator, who is generally terribly at sea as to his meaning, inclining to render tierce three, sexte six o'clock and none noon and making shots of the same wild kind at the other hours. The monasterial rule (which before the general introduction of clocks was commonly followed by the mediæval public in the computation of time) divided the twenty-four hours of the day and night into seven parts (six of three hours each and one of six), the inception of which was denoted by the sound of the bells that summoned the clergy to the performance of the seven canonical offices i.e. Matins at 3 a.m., Prime at 6 a.m., Tierce at 9 a.m., Sexte or Noonsong at noon, None at 3 p.m., Vespers or Evensong at 6 p.m. and Complines or Nightsong at 9 p.m., and at the same time served the laity as a clock.

[25] The table of Boccaccio's time was a mere board upon trestles, which when not in actual use, was stowed away, for room's sake, against the wall.

[26] i.e. to take the siesta or midday nap common in hot countries.

[27] i.e. three o'clock p.m.

[28] i.e. backgammon.

[29] Or procurators.

[30] A Florentine merchant settled in France; he had great influence over Philippe le Bel and made use of the royal favour to enrich himself by means of monopolies granted at the expense of his compatriots.

[31] Charles, Comte de Valois et d'Alençon.

[32] Philippe le Bel, a.d. 1268-1314.

[33] The Eighth.

[34] Sic. Cepparello means a log or stump. Ciapperello is apparently a dialectic variant of the same word.

[35] Diminutive of Cappello. This passage is obscure and most likely corrupt. Boccaccio probably meant to write "hat" instead of "chaplet" (ghirlanda), as the meaning of cappello, chaplet (diminutive of Old English chapel, a hat,) being the meaning of ciappelletto (properly cappelletto).

[36] i.e. false instruments.

[37] A "twopence-coloured" sketch of an impossible villain, drawn with a crudeness unusual in Boccaccio.

[38] i.e. if there be such a thing as a holy and worthy friar.

[39] i.e. ex voto.

[40] It will be noted that this is Boccaccio's third variant of his hero's name (the others being Ciapperello and Cepparello) and the edition of 1527 furnishes us with a fourth and a fifth form i.e. Ciepparello and Ciepperello.

[41] i.e. a story.

[42] i.e. of God's benignness.

[43] Lit. cardinal brethren (fratelli cardinali).

[44] Lit. losing (perdendo), but this is probably some copyist's mistake for podendo, the old form of potendo, availing.

[45] i.e. stood sponsor for him.

[46] Lit. amorous (amorose), but Boccaccio frequently uses amoroso, vago, and other adjectives, which are now understood in an active or transitive sense only, in their ancient passive or intransitive sense of lovesome, desirable, etc.

[47] Compagne, i.e. she-companions. Filomena is addressing the female part of the company.

[48] Lit. his church (sua chiesa); but the context seems to indicate that the monastery itself is meant.

[49] Lit. a pressure or oppression (priemere, hod. premere, to press or oppress, indicative used as a noun). The monk of course refers to the posture in which he had seen the abbot have to do with the girl, pretending to believe that he placed her on his own breast (instead of mounting on hers) out of a sentiment of humility and a desire to mortify his flesh ipsâ in voluptate.

[50] An evident allusion to Boccaccio's passion for the Princess Maria, i.e. Fiammetta herself.

[51] Or standard-bearer.

[52] i.e. the One-eyed (syn. le myope, the short-sighted, the Italian word [Il Bornio] having both meanings), i.e. Philip II. of France, better known as Philip Augustus.

[53] i.e. with sword and whips, a technical term of ecclesiastical procedure, about equivalent to our "with the strong arm of the law."

[54] i.e. a lover of money.

[55] A notorious drinker of the time.

[56] i.e. money.

[57] "And every one that hath forsaken houses or brethren or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands for my name's sake shall receive an hundredfold and shall inherit everlasting life."—Matthew xix. 29. Boccaccio has garbled the passage for the sake of his point.

[58] Syn. gluttonous (brodajuola).

[59] i.e. gleemen, minstrels, story-tellers, jugglers and the like, lit. men of court (uomini di corte).

[60] Dinne alcuna cosa. If we take the affix ne (thereof, of it), in its other meaning (as dative of noi, we), of "to us," this phrase will read "Tell somewhat thereof," i.e. of the cause of thy melancholy.

[61] i.e. Latinist.

[62] Lit. was (era); but as Boccaccio puts "can" (possono) in the present tense we must either read è and possono or era and potevano. The first reading seems the more probable.

[63] i.e. have most power or means of requiting it.

[64] Fem.

[65] Uomo di corte. This word has been another grievous stumbling block to the French and English translators of Boccaccio, who render it literally "courtier." The reader need hardly be reminded that the minstrel of the middle ages was commonly jester, gleeman and story-teller all in one and in these several capacities was allowed the utmost license of speech. He was generally attached to the court of some king or sovereign prince, but, in default of some such permanent appointment, passed his time in visiting the courts and mansions of princes and men of wealth and liberty, where his talents were likely to be appreciated and rewarded; hence the name uomo di corte, "man of court" (not "courtier," which is cortigiano).

[66] i.e. those minstrels.

[67] i.e. the noblemen their patrons.

[68] Syn. penalties, punishments (pene).

[69] Virtù, in the old Roman sense of strength, vigour, energy.

[70] Old form of Margherita.

[71] i.e. the base or eatable part of the stem.

[72] i.e. that day.

[73] See ante, p. 8.

[74] i.e. the terms of the limitation aforesaid.

[75] i.e. in the mirrored presentment of her own beauty.

[76] Ballatella, lit. little dancing song or song made to be sung as an accompaniment to a dance (from ballare, to dance). This is the origin of our word ballad.

[77] Or pretext (titolo).

[78] Or "having him punished," lit. "causing give him ill luck" (fargli dar la mala ventura). This passage, like so many others of the Decameron, is ambiguous and may also be read "themseeming none other had a juster title to do him an ill turn."

[79] Lit. a story striveth in (draweth) me to be told or to tell itself (a raccontarsi mi tira una novella).

[80] i.e. religious matters (cose cattoliche).

[81] i.e. take things by the first intention, without seeking to refine upon them, or, in English popular phrase, "I do not pretend to see farther through a stone wall than my neighbours."

[82] i.e. the aforesaid orison.

[83] Or "'Twill have been opportunely done of thee."

[84] i.e. our patron saint.

[85] i.e. whose teeth chattered as it were the clapping of a stork's beak.

[86] i.e. after her bath.

[87] i.e. to be hanged or, in the equivalent English idiom, to dance upon nothing.

[88] i.e. usury? See post. One of the commentators ridiculously suggests that they were needlemakers, from ago, a needle.

[89] i.e. the thing is done and cannot be undone; there is no help for it.

[90] i.e. make her a solemn promise of marriage, formally plight her his troth. The ceremony of betrothal was formerly (and still is in certain countries) the most essential part of the marriage rite.

[91] i.e. cannot hope to tell a story presenting more extraordinary shifts from one to the other extreme of human fortune than that of Pampinea.

[92] The Genoese have the reputation in Italy of being thieves by nature.

[93] It seems doubtful whether la reggeva diritta should not rather be rendered "kept it upright." Boccaccio has a knack, very trying to the translator, of constantly using words in an obscure or strained sense.

[94] i.e. for nothing.

[95] i.e. son of Pietro, as they still say in Lancashire and other northern provinces, "Tom o' Dick" for "Thomas, son of Richard," etc.

[96] i.e. ill hole.

[97] i.e. a member of the Guelph party, as against the Ghibellines or partisans of the Pope.

[98] Charles d'Anjou, afterwards King of Sicily.

[99] i.e. Frederick II. of Germany.

[100] The reason was that she wished to keep him in play till late into the night, when all the folk should be asleep and she might the lightlier deal with him.

[101] i.e. Catalan Street.

[102] Charles d'Anjou.

[103] i.e. the Banished or the Expelled One.

[104] An island in the Gulf of Gaeta, about 70 miles from Naples. It is now inhabited, but appears in Boccaccio's time to have been desert.

[105] i.e. wild she-goat.

[106] A river falling into the Gulf of Genoa between Carrara and Spezzia.

[107] More familiar to modern ears as Doria.

[108] The Ghibellines were the supporters of the Papal faction against the Guelphs or adherents of the Emperor Frederick II. of Germany. The cardinal struggle between the two factions took place over the succession to the throne of Naples and Sicily, to which the Pope appointed Charles of Anjou, who overcame and killed the reigning sovereign Manfred, but was himself, through the machinations of the Ghibellines, expelled from Sicily by the celebrated popular rising known as the Sicilian Vespers.

[109] i.e. Beritola's sons.

[110] i.e. to which general joy.

[111] Pedro of Arragon, son-in-law of Manfred, who, in consequence of the Sicilian Vespers, succeeded Charles d'Anjou as King of Sicily.

[112] Or (in modern phrase) putting himself at their disposition.

[113] i.e. Egypt, Cairo was known in the middle ages by the name of "Babylon of Egypt." It need hardly be noted that the Babylon of the Bible was the city of that name on the Euphrates, the ancient capital of Chaldæa (Irak Babili). The names Beminedab and Alatiel are purely imaginary.

[114] i.e. to his wish, to whom fortune was mostly favourable in his enterprises.

[115] Il Garbo, Arabic El Gherb or Gharb, الﻐرب, the West, a name given by the Arabs to several parts of the Muslim empire, but by which Boccaccio apparently means Algarve, the southernmost province of Portugal and the last part of that kingdom to succumb to the wave of Christian reconquest, it having remained in the hands of the Muslims till the second half of the thirteenth century. This supposition is confirmed by the course taken by Alatiel's ship, which would naturally pass Sardinia and the Balearic Islands on its way from Alexandria to Portugal.

[116] The modern Klarentza in the north-west of the Morea, which latter province formed part of Roumelia under the Turkish domination.

[117] i.e. sister to the one and cousin to the other.

[118] Non vogando, ma volando.

[119] Sic (contò tutto); but this is an oversight of the author's, as it is evident from what follows that she did not relate everything.

[120] Lit. Ponant (Ponente), i.e. the Western coasts of the Mediterranean, as opposed to the Eastern or Levant.

[121] i.e. a.d. 912, when, upon the death of Louis III, the last prince of the Carlovingian race, Conrad, Duke of Franconia, was elected Emperor and the Empire, which had till then been hereditary in the descendants of Charlemagne, became elective and remained thenceforth in German hands.

[122] Anguersa, the old form of Anversa, Antwerp. All versions that I have seen call Gautier Comte d'Angers or Angiers, the translators, who forgot or were unaware that Antwerp, as part of Flanders, was then a fief of the French crown, apparently taking it for granted that the mention of the latter city was in error and substituting the name of the ancient capital of Anjou on their own responsibility.

[123] i.e. of her excuse.

[124] Lit. Thou holdest (or judges); but giudichi in the text is apparently a mistake for giudico.

[125] i.e. of discernment.

[126] Sic (aggiunsero); but semble should mean "believed, in addition."

[127] i.e. That the secret might be the better kept.

[128] Paesani, lit., countrymen; but Boccaccio evidently uses the word in the sense of "vassals."

[129] i.e. that it was not a snare.

[130] Quære, the Count's?

[131] Rimane. The verb rimanere is constantly used by the old Italian writers in the sense of "to become," so that the proverb cited in the text may be read "The deceiver becometh (i.e. findeth himself in the end) at the feet (i.e. at the mercy) of the person deceived."

[132] Lit. Whatsoever an ass giveth against a wall, such he receiveth (Quale asino da in parete, tal riceve). I cannot find any satisfactory explanation of this proverbial saying, which may be rendered in two ways, according as quale and tale are taken as relative to a thing or a person. The probable reference seems to be to the circumstance of an ass making water against a wall, so that his urine returns to him.

[133] From this point until the final discovery of her true sex, the heroine is spoken of in the masculine gender, as became her assumed name and habit.

[134] Here Boccaccio uses the feminine pronoun, immediately afterward resuming the masculine form in speaking of Sicurano.

[135] i.e. her.

[136] i.e. her.

[137] i.e. hers.

[138] i.e. her.

[139] Sic (meglio).

[140] Lit. fabulous demonstrations (dimostrazioni favolose), casuistical arguments, founded upon premises of their own invention.

[141] According to one of the commentators of the Decameron, there are as many churches at Ravenna as days in the year and each day is there celebrated as that of some saint or other.

[142] A trifling jingle upon the similarity in sound of the words mortale (mortal), mortaio (mortar), pestello (pestle), and pestilente (pestilential). The same word-play occurs at least once more in the Decameron.

[143] Il mal foro, a woman's commodity (Florio).

[144] i.e. Cunnus nonvult feriari. Some commentators propose to read il mal furo, the ill thief, supposing Ricciardo to allude to Paganino, but this seems far-fetched.

[145] i.e. semble ran headlong to destruction. The commentators explain this proverbial expression by saying that a she-goat is in any case a hazardous mount, and a fortiori when ridden down a precipice; but this seems a somewhat "sporting" kind of interpretation.

[146] i.e. Friday being a fast day and Saturday a jour maigre.

[147] i.e. generally upon the vicissitudes of Fortune and not upon any particular feature.

[148] Industria, syn. address, skilful contrivance.

[149] i.e. half before (not half after) tierce or 7.30 a.m. Cf. the equivalent German idiom, halb acht, 7.30 (not 8.30) a.m.

[150] i.e. as a whole (tutto insieme).

[151] Sollecitudine. The commentators will have it that this is an error for solitudine, solitude, but I see no necessity for the substitution, the text being perfectly acceptable as it stands.

[152] Hortyard (orto) is the old form of orchard, properly an enclosed tract of land in which fruit, vegetables and potherbs are cultivated for use, i.e. the modern kitchen garden and orchard in one, as distinguished from the pleasaunce or flower garden (giardino).

[153] Giardino, i.e. flower-garden.

[154] Lit. broke the string of.

[155] Boccaccio calls her Teudelinga; but I know of no authority for this form of the name of the famous Longobardian queen.

[156] Referring apparently to the adventure related in the present story.

[157] Lit. with high (i.e. worthy) cause (con alta cagione).

[158] Lit. (riscaldare gli orecchi).

[159] i.e. three a.m. next morning.

[160] i.e. a lay brother or affiliate.

[161] i.e. the canticles of praise chanted by certain lay confraternities, established for that purpose and answering to our præ-Reformation Laudsingers.

[162] An order of lay penitents, who were wont at certain times to go masked about the streets, scourging themselves in expiation of the sins of the people. This expiatory practice was particularly prevalent in Italy in the middle of the thirteenth century.

[163] Contraction of Elisabetta.

[164] Dom, contraction of Dominus (lord), the title commonly given to the beneficed clergy in the middle ages, answering to our Sir as used by Shakespeare (e.g. Sir Hugh Evans the Welsh Parson, Sir Topas the Curate, etc.). The expression survives in the title Dominie (i.e. Domine, voc. of Dominus) still familiarly applied to schoolmasters, who were of course originally invariably clergymen.

[165] A Conventual is a member of some monastic order attached to the regular service of a church, or (as would nowadays be said) a "beneficed" monk.

[166] Sic. This confusion of persons constantly occurs in Boccaccio, especially in the conversational parts of the Decameron, in which he makes the freest use of the various forms of enallage and of other rhetorical figures, such as hyperbaton, synecdoche, etc., to the no small detriment of his style in the matter of clearness.

[167] i.e. nine o'clock p.m.

[168] i.e. a gentleman of Pistoia.

[169] Lit. "The summit," or in modern slang "The tiptop," i.e. the pink of fashion.

[170] i.e. this love shall I bear you. This is a flagrant instance of the misuse of ellipsis, which so frequently disfigures Boccaccio's dialogue.

[171] i.e. my death.

[172] Syn. a rare or strange means (nuovo consiglio). The word nuovo is constantly used by Boccaccio in the latter sense, as is consiglio in its remoter signification of means, remedy, etc.

[173] i.e. the favour.

[174] i.e. the lost six months.

[175] Or, in modern parlance, to enlighten her.

[176] i.e. It was not the dead man, but Tedaldo Elisei whom you loved. (Lo sventurato giovane che fu morto non amasti voi mai, ma Tedaldo Elisei si.)

[177] i.e. friars' gowns. Boccaccio constantly uses this irregular form of enallage, especially in dialogue.

[178] Or, as we should nowadays say, "typical."

[179] i.e. the founders of the monastic orders.

[180] Lit. pictures, paintings (dipinture), but evidently here used in a tropical sense, Boccaccio's apparent meaning being that the hypocritical friars used to terrify their devotees by picturing to them, in vivid colours, the horrors of the punishment reserved for sinners.

[181] i.e. may not have to labour for their living.

[182] i.e. the false friars.

[183] Lit. more of iron (più di ferro).

[184] Sic (per lo modo); but quære not rather "in the sense."

[185] i.e. if they must enter upon this way of life, to wit, that of the friar.

[186] The reference is apparently to the opening verse of the Acts of the Apostles, where Luke says, "The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began to do and to teach." It need hardly be remarked that the passage in question does not bear the interpretation Boccaccio would put upon it.

[187] Sic; but the past tense "loved" is probably intended, as the pretended pilgrim had not yet discovered Tedaldo to be alive.

[188] Lit. barkers (abbajatori), i.e. slanderers.

[189] Lit. despite, rancour (rugginuzza), but the phrase appears to refer to the suspicions excited by the whispers that had been current, as above mentioned, of the connection between Ermellina and Tedaldo.

[190] i.e. foot-soldiers.

[191] i.e. of his identity.

[192] i.e. the abbot who played the trick upon Ferondo. See post.

[193] i.e. I will cure your husband of his jealousy.

[194] The well-known chief of the Assassins (properly Heshashin, i.e. hashish or hemp eaters). The powder in question is apparently a preparation of hashish or hemp. Boccaccio seems to have taken his idea of the Old Man of the Mountain from Marco Polo, whose travels, published in the early part of the fourteenth century, give a most romantic account of that chieftain and his followers.

[195] i.e. in the sublunary world.

[196] Sic (casciata); meaning that he loves her as well as he loves cheese, for which it is well known that the lower-class Italian has a romantic passion. According to Alexandre Dumas, the Italian loves cheese so well that he has succeeded in introducing it into everything he eats or drinks, with the one exception of coffee.

[197] i.e. the Angel Gabriel.

[198] The plural of a surname is, in strictness, always used by the Italians in speaking of a man by his full name, dei being understood between the Christian and surname, as Benedetto (dei) Ferondi, Benedict of the Ferondos or Ferondo family, whilst, when he is denominated by the surname alone, it is used in the singular, il (the) being understood, e.g. (Il) Boccaccio, (Il) Ferondo, i.e. the particular Boccaccio or Ferondo in question for the nonce.

[199] Lit. and so I hope (spero), a curious instance of the ancient Dantesque use of the word spero, I hope, in its contrary sense of fear.

[200] Fornito, a notable example of what the illustrious Lewis Carroll Dodgson, Waywode of Wonderland, calls a "portmanteau-word," a species that abounds in mediæval Italian, for the confusion of translators.

[201] i.e. getting good pay and allowances (avendo buona provisione).

[202] Guadagnare l'anima, lit. gain the soul (syn. pith, kernel, substance). This passage is ambiguous and should perhaps be rendered "catch the knack or trick" or "acquire the wish."

[203] The translators regret that the disuse into which magic has fallen, makes it impossible to render the technicalities of that mysterious art into tolerable English; they have therefore found it necessary to insert several passages in the original Italian.

[204] i.e. the government (corte).

[205] Lit. that scythes were no less plenty that he had arrows (che falci si trovavano non meno che egli avesse strali), a proverbial expression the exact bearing of which I do not know, but whose evident sense I have rendered in the equivalent English idiom.

[206] Syn. what he said (che si dire). See ante, p. 11, note.

[207] Apparently the well-known fabliau of the Dame de Vergy, upon which Marguerite d'Angoulême founded the seventieth story of the Heptameron.

[208] Lit. made (Di me il feci digno).

[209] i.e. false suspicion (falso pensiero).

[210] i.e. to heaven (e costa su m'impetra la tornata).

[211] The pertinence of this allusion, which probably refers to some current Milanese proverbial saying, the word tosa, here used by Boccaccio for "wench," belonging to the Lombard dialect, is not very clear. The expression "Milan-fashion" (alla melanese) may be supposed to refer to the proverbial materialism of the people of Lombardy.

[212] Sic (senza invidia); but the meaning is that misery alone is without enviers.

[213] i.e. blasts of calumny.

[214] i.e. having not yet accomplished.

[215] i.e. my censors.

[216] i.e. in alms.

[217] "I know both how to be abased and I know how to abound; everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and suffer need."—Philippians iv. 12.

[218] i.e. benumbed (assiderati).

[219] Or airshaft (spiraglio).

[220] Lit. introduced him to me (a me lo 'ntrodussi); but Boccaccio here uses the word introdurre in its rarer literal sense to lead, to draw, to bring in.

[221] i.e. thou being the means of bringing about the conjunction (adoperandol tu).

[222] i.e. Guiscardo's soul.

[223] i.e. in the heart.

[224] i.e. was more inclined to consider the wishes of the ladies her companions, which she divined by sympathy, than those of Filostrato, as shown by his words (più per la sua affezione cognobbe l'animo delle campagne che quello del re per le sue parole). It is difficult, however, in this instance as in many others, to discover with certainty Boccaccio's exact meaning, owing to his affectation of Ciceronian concision and delight in obscure elliptical forms of construction; whilst his use of words in a remote or unfamiliar sense and the impossibility of deciding, in certain cases, the person of the pronouns and adjectives employed tend still farther to darken counsel. E.g., if we render affezione sentiment, cognobbe (as riconobbe) acknowledged, recognized, and read le sue parole as meaning her (instead of his) words, the whole sense of the passage is changed, and we must read it "more by her sentiment (i.e. by the tendency and spirit of her story) recognized the inclination of her companions than that of the king by her [actual] words." I have commented thus at large on this passage, in order to give my readers some idea of the difficulties which at every page beset the translator of the Decameron and which make Boccaccio perhaps the most troublesome of all authors to render into representative English.

[225] Lit. of those who was held of the greatest casuists (di quelli che de' maggior cassesi era tenuto). This is another very obscure passage. The meaning of the word cassesi is unknown and we can only guess it to be a dialectic (probably Venetian) corruption of the word casisti (casuists). The Giunta edition separates the word thus, casse si, making si a mere corroborative prefix to era, but I do not see how the alteration helps us, the word casse (chests, boxes) being apparently meaningless in this connection.

[226] Venetian contraction of Casa, house. Da Ca Quirino, of the Quirino house or family.

[227] cf. Artemus Ward's "Natives of the Universe and other parts."

[228] Mo vedi vu, Venetian for Or vedi tu, now dost thou see? I have rendered it by the equivalent old English form.

[229] i.e. not of the trap laid for him by the lady's brothers-in-law, but of her indiscretion in discovering the secret.

[230] Che xe quel? Venetian for che c'e quella cosa, What is this thing?

[231] i.e. semble "an you would wish them nought but an ill end."

[232] i.e. to anger.

[233] i.e. to the proposal I have to make.

[234] i.e. the possession of their mistresses.

[235] Sic (di che veleno fosse morto), but this is probably a copyist's error for che di veleno fosse morto, i.e. that he had died of poison.

[236] i.e. that night.

[237] Or, in modern parlance, "laying certain plans."

[238] i.e. for lack of wind.

[239] i.e. of each other.

[240] This is the proper name of the heroine of the story immortalized by Keats as "Isabella or the Pot of Basil," and is one of the many forms of the and name Elisabetta (Elizabeth), Isabetta and Isabella being others. Some texts of the Decameron call the heroine Isabetta, but in the heading only, all with which I am acquainted agreeing in the use of the form Lisabetta in the body of the story.

[241] i.e. to the place shown her in the dream.

[242] i.e. in their service.

[243] Lit. unhung (spiccò).

[244] The following is a translation of the whole of the song in question, as printed, from a MS. in the Medicean Library, in Fanfani's edition of the Decameron.

Alack! ah, who can the ill Christian be,

That stole my pot away,

My pot of basil of Salern, from me?

'Twas thriv'n with many a spray

And I with mine own hand did plant the tree,

Even on the festal[A] day.

'Tis felony to waste another's ware.

'Tis felony to waste another's ware;

Yea, and right grievous sin.

And I, poor lass, that sowed myself whilere

A pot with flowers therein,

Slept in its shade, so great it was and fair;

But folk, that envious bin,

Stole it away even from my very door.

'Twas stolen away even from my very door.

Full heavy was my cheer,

(Ah, luckless maid, would I had died tofore!)

Who brought[B] it passing dear,

Yet kept ill ward thereon one day of fear.

For him I loved so sore,

I planted it with marjoram about.

I planted it with marjoram about,

When May was blithe and new;

Yea, thrice I watered it, week in, week out,

And watched how well it grew:

But now, for sure, away from me 'tis ta'en.

Ay, now, for sure, away from me 'tis ta'en;

I may 't no longer hide.

Had I but known (alas, regret is vain!)

That which should me betide,

Before my door on guard I would have lain

To sleep, my flowers beside.

Yet might the Great God ease me at His will.

Yea, God Most High might ease me, at His will,

If but it liked Him well,

Of him who wrought me such unright and ill;

He into pangs of hell

Cast me who stole my basil-pot, that still

Was full of such sweet smell,

Its savour did all dole from me away.

All dole its savour did from me away;

It was so redolent,

When, with the risen sun, at early day

To water it I went,

The folk would marvel all at it and say,

"Whence comes the sweetest scent?"

And I for love of it shall surely die.

Yea, I for love of it shall surely die,

For love and grief and pain.

If one would tell me where it is, I'd buy

It willingly again.

Fivescore gold crowns, that in my pouch have I,

I'd proffer him full fain,

And eke a kiss, if so it liked the swain.

[A] Quære—natal?—perhaps meaning her birthday (lo giorno della festa).

[B] Or "purchased" in the old sense of obtained, acquired (accattai).

[245] i.e. these two classes of folk.

[246] i.e. to the encouragement of good and virtuous actions and purposes.

[247] Or "lap" (seno).

[248] Lit. what meaneth this? (che vuol dire questo?)

[249] Lit. complaining, making complaint (dolendosi).

[250] i.e. to attend the ecclesiastical function called a Pardon, with which word, used in this sense, Meyerbeer's opera of Dinorah (properly Le Pardon de Ploërmel) has familiarized opera-goers. A Pardon is a sort of minor jubilee of the Roman Catholic Church, held in honour of some local saint, at which certain indulgences and remissions of sins (hence the name) are granted to the faithful attending the services of the occasion.

[251] i.e. Bandy-legs.

[252] Ristretti in sè gli spiriti. An obscure passage; perhaps "holding his breath" is meant; but in this case we should read "lo spirito" instead of "gli spiriti."

[253] i.e. what course she should take in the matter, consiglio used as before (see notes, pp. 2 and 150) in this special sense.

[254] i.e. her heart.

[255] Or surfeited (svogliato).

[256] This is the well-known story of the Troubadour Guillem de Cabestanh or Cabestaing, whose name Boccaccio alters to Guardastagno or Guardestaing.

[257] A proverbial way of saying that he was fast asleep.

[258] i.e. about half-past seven a.m.

[259] Or "having risen from the grinding" (levatasi dal macinio).

[260] i.e. the theme proposed by her.

[261] i.e. on my heart.

[262] i.e. death.

[263] Or farm (villa).

[264] i.e. of music, vocal and instrumental.

[265] Per fortuna. This may also be rendered "by tempest," fortuna being a name for a squall or hurricane, which Boccaccio uses elsewhere in the same sense.

[266] i.e. thy spirit.

[267] Syn. inclinations (affezioni). This is a somewhat obscure passage, owing to the vagueness of the word affezioni (syn. affetti) in this position, and may be rendered, with about equal probability, in more than one way.

[268] Or "eminent" (valoroso), i.e. in modern parlance, "a man of merit and talent."

[269] Valoroso nel suo mestiere. It does not appear that Martuccio was a craftsman and it is possible, therefore, that Boccaccio intended the word mestiere to be taken in the sense (to me unknown) of "condition" or "estate," in which case the passage would read, "a man of worth for (i.e. as far as comported with) his [mean] estate"; and this seems a probable reading.

[270] Lit. necessity (necessità).

[271] i.e. to use a new (or strange) fashion of exposing herself to an inevitable death (nuova necessità dare alla sua morte).

[272] i.e. knew not whether she was ashore or afloat, so absorbed was she in her despair.

[273] Or "augured well from the hearing of the name." Carapresa signifies "a dear or precious prize, gain or capture."

[274] This name is apparently a distortion of the Arabic Amir Abdullah.

[275] Clement V. early in the fourteenth century removed the Papal See to Avignon, where it continued to be during the reigns of the five succeeding Popes, Rome being in the meantime abandoned by the Papal Court, till Gregory XI, in the year 1376 again took up his residence at the latter city. It is apparently to this circumstance that Boccaccio alludes in the text.

[276] Lit. stand (stare), i.e. abide undone.

[277] i.e. a native of Faenza (Faentina).

[278] A questo fatto, i.e. at the storm of Faenza.

[279] i.e. the owner of the plundered house.

[280] Iron., meaning "with how little discretion."

[281] Gianni (Giovanni) di Procida was a Sicilian noble, to whose efforts in stirring up the island to revolt against Charles of Anjou was mainly due the popular rising known as the Sicilian Vespers (a.d. 1283) which expelled the French usurper from Sicily and transferred the crown to the house of Arragon. The Frederick (a.d. 1296-1337) named in the text was the fourth prince of the latter dynasty.

[282] William II. (a.d. 1166-1189), the last (legitimate) king of the Norman dynasty in Sicily, called the Good, to distinguish him from his father, William the Bad.

[283] Apparently a pleasure-garden, without a house attached in which they might have taken shelter from the rain.

[284] i.e. of her sin.

[285] Syn. your charms (la vostra vaghezza).

[286] i.e. she was grown so repulsively ugly in her old age, that no one cared to do her even so trifling a service as giving her a spark in tinder to light her fire withal.

[287] Or chokebits (stranguglioni).

[288] i.e. that they may serve to purchase remission from purgatory for the souls of her dead relatives, instead of the burning of candles and tapers, which is held by the Roman Catholic Church to have that effect.

[289] i.e. a hypocritical sham devotee, covering a lewd life with an appearance of sanctity.

[290] Lit. a due or deserved bite (debito morso). I mention this to show the connection with teeth.

[291] An ellipsis of a kind common in Boccaccio and indeed in all the old Italian writers, meaning "it may be useful to enlarge upon the subject in question."

[292] The songs proposed by Dioneo are all apparently of a light, if not a wanton, character and "not fit to be sung before ladies."

[293] This singularly naïve give-and-take fashion of asking a favour of a God recalls the old Scotch epitaph cited by Mr. George Macdonald:

Here lie I Martin Elginbrodde:

Hae mercy o' my soul, Lord God;

As I wad do, were I Lord God

And ye were Martin Elginbrodde.

[294] Lit. for their returning to consistory (del dovere a concistoro tornare).

[295] Messer Mazza, i.e. veretrum.

[296] Monte Nero, i.e. vas muliebre.

[297] i.e. who are yet a child, in modern parlance, "Thou whose lips are yet wet with thy mother's milk."

[298] i.e. women's.

[299] See ante, p. 43, Introduction to the last story of the First Day.

[300] Lit. Family wine (vin da famiglia), i.e. no wine for servants' or general drinking, but a choice vintage, to be reserved for special occasions.

[301] A silver coin of about the size and value of our silver penny, which, when gilded, would pass muster well enough for a gold florin, unless closely examined.

[302] Il palio, a race anciently run at Florence on St. John's Day, as that of the Barberi at Rome during the Carnival.

[303] Lit. knowing not whence himself came.

[304] Or, as we should say, "in his own coin."

[305] A commentator notes that the adjunction to the world of the Maremma (cf. Elijer Goff, "The Irish Question has for some centuries been enjoyed by the universe and other parts") produces a risible effect and gives the reader to understand that Scalza broaches the question only by way of a joke. The same may be said of the jesting inversion of the word philosophers (phisopholers, Fisofoli) in the next line.

[306] Baronci, the Florentine name for what we should call professional beggars, "mumpers, chanters and Abrahammen," called Bari and Barocci in other parts of Italy. This story has been a prodigious stumbling-block to former translators, not one of whom appears to have had the slightest idea of Boccaccio's meaning.

[307] i.e. of the comical fashion of the Cadgers.

[308] An abbreviation of Francesca.

[309] "Or her."

[310] Lit. to avoid or elude a scorn (fuggire uno scorno).

[311] Cipolla means onion.

[312] The term "well-wisher" (benivogliente), when understood in relation to a woman, is generally equivalent (at least with the older Italian writers) to "lover." See ante, passim.

[313] Diminutive of contempt of Arrigo, contracted from Arriguccio, i.e. mean little Arrigo.

[314] i.e. Whale.

[315] i.e. Dirt.

[316] i.e. Hog.

[317] A painter of Boccaccio's time, of whom little or nothing seems to be known.

[318] Perpendo lo coreggia. The exact meaning of this passage is not clear. The commentators make sundry random shots at it, but, as usual, only succeed in making confusion worse confounded. It may perhaps be rendered, "till his wind failed him."

[319] Said by the commentators to have been an abbey, where they made cheese-soup for all comers twice a week; hence "the caldron of Altopascio" became a proverb; but quære is not the name Altopascio (high feeding) a fancy one?

[320] It does not appear to which member of this great house Boccaccio here alludes, but the Châtillons were always rich and magnificent gentlemen, from Gaucher de Châtillon, who followed Philip Augustus to the third crusade, to the great Admiral de Coligny.

[321] Sic (star con altrui); but "being in the service of or dependent upon others" seems to be the probable meaning.

[322] Apparently the Neapolitan town of that name.

[323] The name of a famous tavern in Florence (Florio).

[324] Quære a place in Florence? One of the commentators, with characteristic carelessness, states that the places mentioned in the preachment of Fra Cipolla (an amusing specimen of the patter-sermon of the mendicant friar of the middle ages, that ecclesiastical Cheap Jack of his day) are all names of streets or places of Florence, a statement which, it is evident to the most cursory reader, is altogether inaccurate.

[325] Apparently the island of that name near Venice.

[326] i.e. Nonsense-land.

[327] i.e. Land of Tricks or Cozenage.

[328] i.e. Falsehood, Lie-land.

[329] i.e. paying their way with fine words, instead of coin.

[330] i.e. making sausages of them.

[331] Bachi, drones or maggots. Pastinaca means "parsnip" and is a meaningless addition of Fra Cipolla's fashion.

[332] A play of words upon the primary meaning (winged things) of the word pennate, hedge-bills.

[333] i.e. The Word [made] flesh. Get-thee-to-the-windows is only a patter tag.

[334] Or Slopes or Coasts (piaggie).

[335] ?

[336] Industria in the old sense of ingenuity, skilful procurement, etc.

[337] i.e. the tale-telling.

[338] Lit. the northern chariot (carro di tramontana); quære the Great Bear?

[339] Alluding to the subject fixed for the next day's discourse, as who should say, "Have you begun already to play tricks upon us men in very deed, ere you tell about them in words?"

[340] See p. 144, note 2.

[341] i.e. pene arrecto.

[342] i.e. a fattened capon well larded.

[343] i.e. eggs.

[344] So called from the figure of a lily stamped on the coin; cf. our rose-nobles.

[345] i.e. the discarded vanities aforesaid.

[346] i.e. the other ex votos.

[347] There is apparently some satirical allusion here, which I cannot undertake to explain.

[348] Syn. professor of the liberal arts (artista).

[349] i.e. inhabitants of Arezzo.

[350] Riporre, possibly a mistake for riportare, to fetch back.

[351] Lit. wished her all his weal.

[352] Boccaccio writes carelessly "for aught" (altro), which makes nonsense of the passage.

[353] Or, in modern parlance, "twopennny-halfpenny."

[354] Syn. encourager, helper, auxiliary (confortatore).

[355] This sudden change from the third to the second person, in speaking of Nicostratus, is a characteristic example of Boccaccio's constant abuse of the figure enallage in his dialogues.

[356] i.e. those eyes.

[357] i.e. the Siennese.

[358] i.e. from discovering to his friend his liking for the lady.

[359] Or, in modern parlance, logic-chopping (sillogizzando).

[360] i.e. with that whereof you bear the name, i.e. laurel (laurea).

[361] Or "on this subject" (in questo).

[362] Quære, "half-complines," i.e. half-past seven p.m. "Half-vespers" would be half-past four, which seems too early.

[363] Carolando, i.e. dancing in a round and singing the while, the original meaning of our word "carol."

[364] i.e. half-past seven a.m.

[365] Where the papal court then was. See p. 257, note.

[366] Or, as La Fontaine would say, "aussi bien faite pour armer un lit."

[367] Or apron.

[368] Se n'andò col ceteratojo; a proverbial expression of similar meaning to our "was whistled down the wind," i.e. was lightly dismissed without provision, like a cast-off hawk.

[369] A play of words upon the Italian equivalent of the French word Douay (Duagio, i.e. Twoay, Treagio, Quattragio) invented by the roguish priest to impose upon the simple goodwife.

[370] Or in modern parlance, "making her a connection by marriage of etc.," Boccaccio feigning priests to be members of the Holy Family, by virtue of their office.

[371] i.e. Good cheer.

[372] A play upon the double meaning of a denajo, which signifies also "for money."

[373] A kind of rissole made of eggs, sweet herbs and cheese.

[374] Vernaccia, a kind of rich white wine like Malmsey.

[375] i.e. not strait-cut.

[376] Sforzandosi, i.e. recovering his wind with an effort.

[377] i.e. love him, grant him her favours. See ante, passim.

[378] i.e. in the malaria district.

[379] i.e. great ugly Ciuta.

[380] Quarantanove, a proverbial expression for an indefinite number.

[381] i.e. how they might do this.

[382] i.e. in the old sense of "manager" (massajo).

[383] i.e. white wine, see p. 372, note.

[384] i.e. embarked on a bootless quest.

[385] A proverbial way of saying that he bore malice and was vindictive.

[386] Lit. out of hand (fuor di mano).

[387] Boccaccio here misquotes himself. See p. 389, where the lady says to her lover, "Whether seemeth to thee the greater, his wit or the love I bear him?" This is only one of the numberless instances of negligence and inconsistency which occur in the Decameron and which make it evident to the student that it must have passed into the hands of the public without the final revision and correction by the author, that limæ labor without which no book is complete and which is especially necessary in the case of such a work as the present, where Boccaccio figures as the virtual creator of Italian prose.

[388] Lit. face, aspect (viso).

[389] i.e. thy lover's.

[390] V'è donato, i.e. young lovers look to receive gifts of their mistresses, whilst those of more mature age bestow them.

[391] Lit. red as rabies (rabbia). Some commentators suppose that Boccaccio meant to write robbia, madder.

[392] i.e. resource (consiglio). See ante, passim.

[393] Boccaccio appears to have forgotten to mention that Rinieri had broken the rounds of the ladder, when he withdrew it (as stated, p. 394), apparently to place an additional obstacle in the way of the lady's escape.

[394] Quære, the street of that name?

[395] Danza trivigiana, lit. Trevisan dance, O.E. the shaking of the sheets.

[396] i.e. with the doctor's hood of miniver.

[397] The colour of the doctors' robes of that time.

[398] The commentators note here that on the church door of San Gallo was depicted an especially frightful Lucifer, with many mouths.

[399] Legnaja is said to be famous for big pumpkins.

[400] i.e. they think of and cherish us alone, holding us as dear as their very eyes.

[401] i.e. Fat-hog and Get-thee-to-supper, burlesque perversions of the names Ipocrasso (Hippocrates) and Avicenna.

[402] i.e. love her beyond anything in the world. For former instances of this idiomatic expression, see ante, passim.

[403] Syn. cauterized (calterita), a nonsensical word employed by Bruno for the purpose of mystifying the credulous physician.

[404] Syn. secretary, confidant (segretaro).

[405] A play of words upon mela (apple) and mellone (pumpkin). Mellone is strictly a water-melon; but I have rendered it "pumpkin," to preserve the English idiom, "pumpkinhead" being our equivalent for the Italian "melon," used in the sense of dullard, noodle.

[406] According to the commentators, "baptized on a Sunday" anciently signified a simpleton, because salt (which is constantly used by the Italian classical writers as a synonym for wit or sense) was not sold on Sundays.

[407] Syn. confusedly (frastagliatamente).

[408] La Contessa di Civillari, i.e. the public sewers. Civillari, according to the commentators, was the name of an alley in Florence, where all the ordure and filth of the neighbourhood was deposited and stored in trenches for manure.

[409] Nacchere, syn. a loud crack of wind.

[410] Syn. smelt (sentito).

[411] Laterina, i.e. Latrina.

[412] Lit. Broom-handle (Manico della Scopa).

[413] Lit. "do yourself a mischief, without doing us any good"; but the sequel shows that the contrary is meant, as in the text.

[414] i.e. what he is worth.

[415] Bucherame. The word "buckram" was anciently applied to the finest linen cloth, as is apparently the case here; see Ducange, voce Boquerannus, and Florio, voce Bucherame.

[416] i.e. in needlework.

[417] "It was the custom in those days to attach to the bedposts sundry small instruments in the form of birds, which, by means of certain mechanical devices, gave forth sounds modulated like the song of actual birds."—Fanfani.

[418] Syn. that which belongeth to us (ciò che ci è,) ci, as I have before noted, signifying both "here" and "us," dative and accusative.

[419] i.e. procure bills of exchange for.

[420] i.e. we must see what is to be done.

[421] i.e. having executed and exchanged the necessary legal documents for the proper carrying out of the transaction and completed the matter to their mutual satisfaction.

[422] The song sung by Pamfilo (under which name, as I have before pointed out, the author appears to represent himself) apparently alludes to Boccaccio's amours with the Princess Maria of Naples (Fiammetta), by whom his passion was returned in kind.

[423] According to the Ptolemaic system, the earth is encompassed by eight celestial zones or heavens; the first or highest, above which is the empyrean, (otherwise called the ninth heaven,) is that of the Moon, the second that of Mercury, the third that of Venus, the fourth that of the Sun, the fifth that of Mars, the sixth that of Jupiter, the seventh that of Saturn and the eighth or lowest that of the fixed stars and of the Earth.

[424] D'azzurrino in color cilestro. This is one of the many passages in which Boccaccio has imitated Dante (cf. Purgatorio, c. xxvi. II. 4-6, "... il sole.... Che già, raggiando, tutto l'occidente Mutava in bianco aspetto di cilestro,") and also one of the innumerable instances in which former translators (who all agree in making the advent of the light change the colour of the sky from azure to a darker colour, instead of, as Boccaccio intended, to watchet, i.e. a paler or greyish blue,) have misrendered the text, for sheer ignorance of the author's meaning.

[425] Scannadio signifies "Murder-God" and was no doubt a nickname bestowed upon the dead man, on account of his wicked and reprobate way of life.

[426] i.e. balls for a pellet bow, usually made out of clay. Bruno and Buffalmacco were punning upon the double meaning, land and earth (or clay), of the word terra.

[427] Scimmione (lit. ape), a contemptuous distortion of Simone.

[428] Chiarea. According to the commentators, the composition of this drink is unknown, but that of clary, a sort of hippocras or spiced wine clear-strained (whence the name), offers no difficulty to the student of old English literature.

[429] i.e. the doublet.

[430] i.e. do me a double injury.

[431] Syn. goodly design of foresight (buono avviso).

[432] Giovani di tromba marina. The sense seems as above; the commentators say that giovani di tromba marina is a name given to those youths who go trumpeting about everywhere the favours accorded them by women; but the tromba marina is a stringed (not a wind) instrument, a sort of primitive violoncello with one string.

[433] "Your teeth did dance like virginal jacks."—Ben Jonson.

[434] Adagiarono, i.e. unsaddled and stabled and fed them.

[435] i.e. hog.

[436] Lit. a backbiter (morditore)

[437] i.e. conjured him by God to make peace with him.

[438] i.e. from a serious or moral point of view.

[439] Apparently Laodicea (hod. Eskihissar) in Anatolia, from which a traveller, taking the direct land route, would necessarily pass Antioch (hod. Antakhia) on his way to Jerusalem.

[440] i.e. arrectus est penis ejus.

[441] See p. 372, note.

[442] i.e. fortune.

[443] Cattajo. This word is usually translated Cathay, i.e. China; but semble Boccaccio meant rather the Dalmatian province of Cattaro, which would better answer the description in the text, Nathan's estate being described as adjoining a highway leading from the Ponant (or Western shores of the Mediterranean) to the Levant (or Eastern shores), e.g. the road from Cattaro on the Adriatic to Salonica on the Ægean. Cathay (China) seems, from the circumstances of the case, out of the question, as is also the Italian town called Cattaio, near Padua.

[444] i.e. to show the most extravagant hospitality.

[445] Or as we should say, "After much beating about the bush."

[446] i.e. jealousies.

[447] i.e. all sections of the given theme.

[448] Lit. accident (accidente).

[449] i.e. with news of her life.

[450] Dubbio, i.e. a doubtful case or question.

[451] i.e. who would have recognized her as Madam Catalina.

[452] Compassione, i.e. emotion.

[453] Lit. I leave you free of Niccoluccio (libera vi lascio di Niccoluccio).

[454] i.e. Ansaldo, Dianora and the nigromancer.

[455] i.e. the money promised him by way of recompense.

[456] i.e., nicety, minuteness (strettezza).

[457] A town on the Bay of Naples, near the ruins of Pompeii.

[458] Per amore amiate (Fr. aimiez par amour).

[459] In si forte punto, or, in modern parlance, at so critical or ill-starred a moment.

[460] Sollevata, syn. solaced, relieved or (3) agitated, troubled.

[461] Sic, Publio Quinzio Fulvo; but quære should it not rather be Publio Quinto Fulvio, i.e. Publius Quintus Fulvius, a form of the name which seems more in accordance with the genius of the Latin language?

[462] Or "his" (a sè).

[463] Or "thine" (a te).

[464] Lit. "hope" (sperare). See note, p. 5.

[465] i.e. I would have her in common with thee.

[466] Or "arguments" (consigli).

[467] i.e. of your counsel.

[468] i.e. my riches are not the result of covetous amassing, but of the favours of fortune.

[469] Sic (tiepidezza); but semble "timidity" or "distrustfulness" is meant.

[470] i.e. perils.

[471] i.e. to cross the Alps into France.

[472] Adagiarono; see p. 447, note.

[473] i.e. to place themselves according to their several ranks, which were unknown to Torello.

[474] Sic (la vostra credenza raffermeremo); but the meaning is, "whereby we may amend your unbelief and give you cause to credit our assertion that we are merchants."

[475] i.e. should any rumour get wind of death.

[476] Sic (all' altro esercito). The meaning of this does not appear, as no mention has yet been made of two Christian armies. Perhaps we should translate "the rest of the army," i.e. such part of the remnant of the Christian host as fled to Acre and shut themselves up there after the disastrous day of Hittin (23 June, 1187). Acre fell on the 29th July, 1187.

[477] It may be well to remind the European reader that the turban consists of two parts, i.e. a skull-cap and a linen cloth, which is wound round it in various folds and shapes, to form the well-known Eastern head-dress.

[478] i.e. he who was to have married Madam Adalieta.

[479] See p. 325.

[480] Or "strange" (nuovo); see ante, passim.

[481] i.e. his vassals.

[482] i.e. the husband of his kinswoman aforesaid.

[483] i.e. unwetted with tears.

[484] i.e. of overmuch licence.

[485] Two noted wine-bidders of the time.

[486] Lit. living folk (viventi).