Franz Kafka

Thursday, February 27, 2020

"The Decameron" by Giovanni Boccaccio, Full Text, English Translation

John William Waterhouse, the "The Decameron"

The Decameron, sometimes nicknamed l'Umana commedia ("the Human comedy"), is a collection of novellas by the 14th-century Italian author Giovanni Boccaccio (1313–1375). The book is structured as a frame story containing 100 tales told by a group of seven young women and three young men sheltering in a secluded villa just outside Florence to escape the Black Death, which was afflicting the city. Boccaccio probably conceived of The Decameron after the epidemic of 1348, and completed it by 1353. The various tales of love in The Decameron range from the erotic to the tragic. Tales of wit, practical jokes, and life lessons contribute to the mosaic. In addition to its literary value and widespread influence (for example on Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales), it provides a document of life at the time. Written in the vernacular of the Florentine language, it is considered a masterpiece of classical early Italian prose.

Full Text and e-book available (English Edition) on Project Gutenberg


THE FIRST STORY. _Master Ciappelletto dupeth a holy friar with a false
confession and dieth; and having been in his lifetime the worst of
men, he is, after his death, reputed a saint and called Saint
Ciappelletto_ 16

THE SECOND STORY. _Abraham the Jew, at the instigation of Jehannot de
Chevigné, goeth to the Court of Rome and seeing the depravity of the
clergy, returneth to Paris and there becometh a Christian_ 25

THE THIRD STORY. _Melchizedek the Jew, with a story of three rings,
escapeth a parlous snare set for him by Saladin_ 28

THE FOURTH STORY. _A monk, having fallen into a sin deserving of very
grievous punishment, adroitly reproaching the same fault to his abbot,
quitteth himself of the penalty_ 30

THE FIFTH STORY. _The Marchioness of Monferrato, with a dinner of hens
and certain sprightly words, curbeth the extravagant passion of the
King of France_ 33

THE SIXTH STORY. _An honest man, with a chance pleasantry, putteth to
shame the perverse hypocrisy of the religious orders_ 35

THE SEVENTH STORY. _Bergamino, with a story of Primasso and the Abbot
of Cluny, courteously rebuketh a fit of parsimony newly come to Messer
Cane della Scala_ 37

THE EIGHTH STORY. _Guglielmo Borsiere with some quaint words rebuketh
the niggardliness of Messer Ermino de' Grimaldi_ 40

THE NINTH STORY. _The King of Cyprus, touched to the quick by a Gascon
lady, from a mean-spirited prince becometh a man of worth and
valiance_ 42

THE TENTH STORY. _Master Alberto of Bologna civilly putteth a lady to
the blush who thought to have shamed him of being enamoured of her_ 43


THE FIRST STORY. _Martellino feigneth himself a cripple and maketh
believe to wax whole upon the body of St. Arrigo. His imposture being
discovered, he is beaten and being after taken [for a thief,] goeth in
peril of being hanged by the neck, but ultimately escapeth_ 49

THE SECOND STORY. _Rinaldo d'Asti, having been robbed, maketh his way
to Castel Guglielmo, where he is hospitably entertained by a widow
lady and having made good his loss, returneth to his own house, safe
and sound_ 52

THE THIRD STORY. _Three young men squander their substance and become
poor; but a nephew of theirs, returning home in desperation, falleth
in with an abbot and findeth him to be the king's daughter of England,
who taketh him to husband and maketh good all his uncles' losses,
restoring them to good estate_ 57

THE FOURTH STORY. _Landolfo Ruffolo, grown poor, turneth corsair and
being taken by the Genoese, is wrecked at sea, but saveth himself upon
a coffer full of jewels of price and being entertained in Corfu by a
woman, returneth home rich_ 63

THE FIFTH STORY. _Andreuccio of Perugia, coming to Naples to buy
horses, is in one night overtaken with three grievous accidents, but
escapeth them all and returneth home with a ruby_ 66

THE SIXTH STORY. _Madam Beritola, having lost her two sons, is found
on a desert island with two kids and goeth thence into Lunigiana,
where one of her sons, taking service with the lord of the country,
lieth with his daughter and is cast into prison. Sicily after
rebelling against King Charles and the youth being recognized by his
mother, he espouseth his lord's daughter, and his brother being
likewise found, they are all three restored to high estate_ 75

THE SEVENTH STORY. _The Soldan of Babylon sendeth a daughter of his to
be married to the King of Algarve, and she, by divers chances, in the
space of four years cometh to the hands of nine men in various places.
Ultimately, being restored to her father for a maid, she goeth to the
King of Algarve to wife, as first she did_ 85

THE EIGHTH STORY. _The Count of Antwerp, being falsely accused, goeth
into exile and leaveth his two children in different places in
England, whither, after awhile, returning in disguise and finding them
in good case, he taketh service as a horseboy in the service of the
King of France and being approved innocent, is restored to his former
estate_ 100

THE NINTH STORY. _Bernabo of Genoa, duped by Ambrogiuolo, loseth his
good and commandeth that his innocent wife be put to death. She
escapeth and serveth the Soldan in a man's habit. Here she lighteth
upon the deceiver of her husband and bringeth the latter to
Alexandria, where, her traducer being punished, she resumeth woman's
apparel and returneth to Genoa with her husband, rich_ 111

THE TENTH STORY. _Paganino of Monaco stealeth away the wife of Messer
Ricciardo di Chinzica, who, learning where she is, goeth thither and
making friends with Paganino, demandeth her again of him. The latter
concedeth her to him, an she will; but she refuseth to return with him
and Messer Ricciardo dying, she becometh the wife of Paganino_ 120


THE FIRST STORY. _Masetto of Lamporecchio feigneth himself dumb and
becometh gardener to a convent of women, who all flock to lie with
him_ 129

THE SECOND STORY. _A horsekeeper lieth with the wife of King Agilulf,
who, becoming aware thereof, without word said, findeth him out and
polleth him; but the polled man polleth all his fellows on like wise
and so escapeth ill hap_ 134

THE THIRD STORY. _Under colour of confession and of exceeding niceness
of conscience, a lady, being enamoured of a young man, bringeth a
grave friar, without his misdoubting him thereof, to afford a means of
giving entire effect to her pleasure_ 137

THE FOURTH STORY. _Dom Felice teacheth Fra Puccio how he may become
beatified by performing a certain penance of his fashion, which the
other doth, and Dom Felice meanwhile leadeth a merry life of it with
the good man's wife_ 143

THE FIFTH STORY. _Ricciardo, surnamed Il Zima, giveth Messer Francesco
Vergellesi a palfrey of his and hath therefor his leave to speak with
his wife. She keeping silence, he in her person replieth unto himself,
and the effect after ensueth in accordance with his answer_ 147

THE SIXTH STORY. _Ricciardo Minutolo, being enamoured of the wife of
Filippello Fighinolfi and knowing her jealousy of her husband,
contriveth, by representing that Filippello was on the ensuing day to
be with his own wife in a bagnio, to bring her to the latter place,
where, thinking to be with her husband, she findeth that she hath
abidden with Ricciardo_ 152

THE SEVENTH STORY. _Tedaldo Elisei, having fallen out with his
mistress, departeth Florence and returning thither, after awhile, in a
pilgrim's favour, speaketh with the lady and maketh her cognisant of
her error; after which he delivereth her husband, who had been
convicted of murdering him, from death and reconciling him with his
brethren, thenceforward discreetly enjoyeth himself with his mistress_

THE EIGHTH STORY. _Ferondo, having swallowed a certain powder, is
entombed for dead and being taken forth of the sepulchre by the abbot,
who enjoyeth his wife the while, is put in prison and given to believe
that he is in purgatory; after which, being raised up again, he
reareth for his own a child begotten of the abbot on his wife_ 169

THE NINTH STORY. _Gillette de Narbonne recovereth the King of France
of a fistula and demandeth for her husband Bertrand de Roussillon, who
marrieth her against his will and betaketh him for despite to
Florence, where, he paying court to a young lady, Gillette, in the
person of the latter, lieth with him and hath by him two sons;
wherefore after, holding her dear, he entertaineth her for his wife_

THE TENTH STORY. _Alibech, turning hermit, is taught by Rustico, a
monk, to put the devil in hell, and being after brought away thence,
becometh Neerbale his wife_ 182


THE FIRST STORY. _Tancred, Prince of Salerno, slayeth his daughter's
lover and sendeth her his heart in a bowl of gold; whereupon, pouring
poisoned water over it, she drinketh thereof and dieth_ 194

THE SECOND STORY. _Fra Alberto giveth a lady to believe that the angel
Gabriel is enamoured of her and in his shape lieth with her sundry
times; after which, for fear of her kinsmen, he casteth himself forth
of her window into the canal and taketh refuge in the house of a poor
man, who on the morrow carrieth him, in the guise of a wild man of the
woods, to the Piazza, where, being recognized, he is taken by his
brethren and put in prison_ 201

THE THIRD STORY. _Three young men love three sisters and flee with
them into Crete, where the eldest sister for jealousy slayeth her
lover. The second, yielding herself to the Duke of Crete, saveth her
sister from death, whereupon her own lover slayeth her and fleeth with
the eldest sister. Meanwhile the third lover and the youngest sister
are accused of the new murder and being taken, confess it; then, for
fear of death, they corrupt their keepers with money and flee to
Rhodes, where they die in poverty_ 208

THE FOURTH STORY. _Gerbino, against the plighted faith of his
grandfather, King Guglielmo of Sicily, attacketh a ship of the King of
Tunis, to carry off a daughter of his, who being put to death of those
on board, he slayeth these latter and is after himself beheaded_ 213

THE FIFTH STORY. _Lisabetta's brothers slay her lover, who appeareth
to her in a dream and showeth her where he is buried, whereupon she
privily disinterreth his head and setteth it in a pot of basil.
Thereover making moan a great while every day, her brothers take it
from her and she for grief dieth a little thereafterward_ 216

THE SIXTH STORY. _Andrevuola loveth Gabriotto and recounteth to him a
dream she hath had, whereupon he telleth her one of his own and
presently dieth suddenly in her arms. What while she and a waiting
woman of hers bear him to his own house, they are taken by the
officers of justice and carried before the provost, to whom she
discovereth how the case standeth. The provost would fain force her,
but she suffereth it not and her father, coming to hear of the matter,
procureth her to be set at liberty, she being found innocent;
whereupon, altogether refusing to abide longer in the world, she
becometh a nun_ 220

THE SEVENTH STORY. _Simona loveth Pasquino and they being together in
a garden, the latter rubbeth a leaf of sage against his teeth and
dieth. She, being taken and thinking to show the judge how her lover
died, rubbeth one of the same leaves against her teeth and dieth on
like wise_ 225

THE EIGHTH STORY. _Girolamo loveth Salvestra and being constrained by
his mother's prayers to go to Paris, returneth and findeth his
mistress married; whereupon he entereth her house by stealth and dieth
by her side; and he being carried to a church, Salvestra dieth beside
him_ 228

THE NINTH STORY. _Sir Guillaume de Roussillon giveth his wife to eat
the heart of Sir Guillaume de Guardestaing by him slain and loved of
her, which she after coming to know, casteth herself from a high
casement to the ground and dying, is buried with her lover_ 232

THE TENTH STORY. _A physician's wife putteth her lover for dead in a
chest, which two usurers carry off to their own house, gallant and
all. The latter, who is but drugged, cometh presently to himself and
being discovered, is taken for a thief; but the lady's maid avoucheth
to the seignory that she herself had put him into the chest stolen by
the two usurers, whereby he escapeth the gallows and the thieves are
amerced in certain monies_ 235


THE FIRST STORY. _Cimon, loving, waxeth wise and carrieth off to sea
Iphigenia his mistress. Being cast into prison at Rhodes, he is
delivered thence by Lysimachus and in concert with him carrieth off
Iphigenia and Cassandra on their wedding-day, with whom the twain flee
into Crete, where the two ladies become their wives and whence they
are presently all four recalled home_ 244

THE SECOND STORY. _Costanza loveth Martuccio Gomito and hearing that
he is dead, embarketh for despair alone in a boat, which is carried by
the wind to Susa. Finding her lover alive at Tunis, she discovereth
herself to him and he, being great in favour with the king for
counsels given, espouseth her and returneth rich with her to Lipari_

THE THIRD STORY. _Pietro Boccamazza, fleeing with Agnolella, falleth
among thieves; the girl escapeth through a wood and is led [by
fortune] to a castle, whilst Pietro is taken by the thieves, but
presently, escaping from their hands, winneth, after divers
adventures, to the castle where his mistress is and espousing her,
returneth with her to Rome_ 256

THE FOURTH STORY. _Ricciardo Manardi, being found by Messer Lizio da
Valbona with his daughter, espouseth her and abideth in peace with her
father_ 261

THE FIFTH STORY. _Guidotto da Cremona leaveth to Giacomino da Pavia a
daughter of his and dieth. Giannole di Severino and Minghino di
Mingole fall in love with the girl at Faenza and come to blows on her
account. Ultimately she is proved to be Giannole's sister and is given
to Minghino to wife_ 265

THE SIXTH STORY. _Gianni di Procida being found with a young lady,
whom he loved and who had been given to King Frederick of Sicily, is
bound with her to a stake to be burnt; but, being recognized by
Ruggieri dell' Oria, escapeth and becometh her husband_ 269

THE SEVENTH STORY. _Teodoro, being enamoured of Violante, daughter of
Messer Amerigo his lord, getteth her with child and is condemned to be
hanged; but, being recognized and delivered by his father, as they are
leading him to the gallows, scourging him the while, he taketh
Violante to wife_ 273

THE EIGHTH STORY. _Nastagio degli Onesti, falling in love with a lady
of the Traversari family, spendeth his substance, without being
beloved in return, and betaking himself, at the instance of his
kinsfolk, to Chiassi, he there seeth a horseman give chase to a damsel
and slay her and cause her to be devoured of two dogs. Therewithal he
biddeth his kinsfolk and the lady whom he loveth to a dinner, where
his mistress seeth the same damsel torn in pieces and fearing a like
fate, taketh Nastagio to husband_ 278

THE NINTH STORY. _Federigo degli Alberighi loveth and is not loved. He
wasteth his substance in prodigal hospitality till there is left him
but one sole falcon, which, having nought else, he giveth his mistress
to eat, on her coming to his house; and she, learning this, changeth
her mind and taking him to husband, maketh him rich again_ 282

THE TENTH STORY. _Pietro di Vinciolo goeth to sup abroad, whereupon
his wife letteth fetch her a youth to keep her company, and her
husband returning, unlooked for, she hideth her gallant under a
hen-coop. Pietro telleth her how there had been found in the house of
one Arcolano, with whom he was to have supped, a young man brought in
by his wife, and she blameth the latter. Presently, an ass, by
mischance, setteth foot on the fingers of him who is under the coop
and he roareth out, whereupon Pietro runneth thither and espying him,
discovereth his wife's unfaith, but ultimately cometh to an accord
with her for his own lewd ends_ 286


THE FIRST STORY. _A gentleman engageth to Madam Oretta to carry her
a-horseback with a story, but, telling it disorderly, is prayed by her
to set her down again_ 296

THE SECOND STORY. _Cisti the baker with a word of his fashion maketh
Messer Geri Spina sensible of an indiscreet request of his_ 297

THE THIRD STORY. _Madam Nonna de' Pulci, with a ready retort to a not
altogether seemly pleasantry, imposeth silence on the Bishop of
Florence_ 299

THE FOURTH STORY. _Chichibio, cook to Currado Gianfigliazzi, with a
ready word spoken to save himself, turneth his master's anger into
laughter and escapeth the punishment threatened him by the latter_ 301

THE FIFTH STORY. _Messer Forese da Rabatta and Master Giotto the
painter coming from Mugello, each jestingly rallieth the other on his
scurvy favour_ 303

THE SIXTH STORY. _Michele Scalza proveth to certain young men that the
cadgers of Florence are the best gentlemen of the world or the Maremma
and winneth a supper_ 304

THE SEVENTH STORY. _Madam Filippa, being found by her husband with a
lover of hers and brought to justice, delivereth herself with a prompt
and pleasant answer and causeth modify the statute_ 306

THE EIGHTH STORY. _Fresco exhorteth his niece not to mirror herself in
the glass if, as she saith, it irketh her to see disagreeable folk_

THE NINTH STORY. _Guido Cavalcanti with a pithy speech courteously
flouteth certain Florentine gentlemen who had taken him by surprise_

THE TENTH STORY. _Fra Cipolla promiseth certain country folk to show
them one of the angel Gabriel's feathers and finding coals in place
thereof, avoucheth these latter to be of those which roasted St.
Lawrence_ 311


THE FIRST STORY. _Gianni Lotteringhi heareth knock at his door by
night and awakeneth his wife, who giveth him to believe that it is a
phantom; whereupon they go to exorcise it with a certain orison and
the knocking ceaseth_ 323

THE SECOND STORY. _Peronella hideth a lover of hers in a vat, upon her
husband's unlooked for return, and hearing from the latter that he
hath sold the vat, avoucheth herself to have sold it to one who is
presently therewithin, to see if it be sound; whereupon the gallant,
jumping out of the vat, causeth the husband scrape it out for him and
after carry it home to his house_ 326

THE THIRD STORY. _Fra Rinaldo lieth with his gossip and being found of
her husband closeted with her in her chamber, they give him to believe
that he was in act to conjure worms from his godson_ 329

THE FOURTH STORY. _Tofano one night shutteth his wife out of doors,
who, availing not to re-enter by dint of entreaties, feigneth to cast
herself into a well and casteth therein a great stone. Tofano cometh
forth of the house and runneth thither, whereupon she slippeth in and
locking him out, bawleth reproaches at him from the window_ 333

THE FIFTH STORY. _A jealous husband, in the guise of a priest,
confesseth his wife, who giveth him to believe that she loveth a
priest, who cometh to her every night; and whilst the husband secretly
keepeth watch at the door for the latter, the lady bringeth in a lover
of hers by the roof and lieth with him_ 336

THE SIXTH STORY. _Madam Isabella, being in company with Leonetto her
lover, is visited by one Messer Lambertuccio, of whom she is beloved;
her husband returning, [unexpected,] she sendeth Lambertuccio forth of
the house, whinger in hand, and the husband after escorteth Leonetto
home_ 341

THE SEVENTH STORY. _Lodovico discovereth to Madam Beatrice the love he
beareth her, whereupon she sendeth Egano her husband into the garden,
in her own favour, and lieth meanwhile with Lodovico, who, presently
arising, goeth and cudgelleth Egano in the garden_ 344

THE EIGHTH STORY. _A man waxeth jealous of his wife, who bindeth a
piece of packthread to her great toe anights, so she may have notice
of her lover's coming. One night her husband becometh aware of this
device and what while he pursueth the lover, the lady putteth another
woman to bed in her room. This latter the husband beateth and cutteth
off her hair, then fetcheth his wife's brothers, who, finding his
story [seemingly] untrue, give him hard words_ 348

THE NINTH STORY. _Lydia, wife of Nicostratus, loveth Pyrrhus, who, so
he may believe it, requireth of her three things, all which she doth.
Moreover, she solaceth herself with him in the presence of Nicostratus
and maketh the latter believe that that which he hath seen is not
real_ 353

THE TENTH STORY. _Two Siennese love a lady, who is gossip to one of
them; the latter dieth and returning to his companion, according to
premise made him, relateth to him how folk fare in the other world_


THE FIRST STORY. _Gulfardo borroweth of Guasparruolo certain monies,
for which he hath agreed with his wife that he shall lie with her, and
accordingly giveth them to her; then, in her presence, he telleth
Guasparruolo that he gave them to her, and she confesseth it to be
true_ 365

THE SECOND STORY. _The parish priest of Varlungo lieth with Mistress
Belcolore and leaveth her a cloak of his in pledge; then, borrowing a
mortar of her, he sendeth it back to her, demanding in return the
cloak left by way of token, which the good woman grudgingly giveth him
back_ 367

THE THIRD STORY. _Calandrino, Bruno and Buffalmacco go coasting along
the Mugnone in search of the heliotrope and Calandrino thinketh to
have found it. Accordingly he returneth home, laden with stones, and
his wife chideth him; whereupon, flying out into a rage, he beateth
her and recounteth to his companions that which they know better than
he_ 371

THE FOURTH STORY. _The rector of Fiesole loveth a widow lady, but is
not loved by her and thinking to lie with her, lieth with a
serving-wench of hers, whilst the lady's brothers cause the bishop
find him in this case_ 377

THE FIFTH STORY. _Three young men pull the breeches off a Marchegan
judge in Florence, what while he is on the bench, administering
justice_ 380

THE SIXTH STORY. _Bruno and Buffalmacco, having stolen a pig from
Calandrino, make him try the ordeal with ginger boluses and sack and
give him (instead of the ginger) two dogballs compounded with aloes,
whereby it appeareth that he himself hath had the pig and they make
him pay blackmail, and he would not have them tell his wife_ 383

THE SEVENTH STORY. _A scholar loveth a widow lady, who, being
enamoured of another, causeth him spend one winter's night in the snow
awaiting her, and he after contriveth, by his sleight, to have her
abide naked, all one mid-July day, on the summit of a tower, exposed
to flies and gads and sun_ 387

THE EIGHTH STORY. _Two men consorting together, one lieth with the
wife of his comrade, who, becoming aware thereof, doth with her on
such wise that the other is shut up in a chest, upon which he lieth
with his wife, he being inside the while_ 403

THE NINTH STORY. _Master Simone the physician, having been induced by
Bruno and Buffalmacco to repair to a certain place by night, there to
be made a member of a company, that goeth a-roving, is cast by
Buffalmacco into a trench full of ordure and there left_ 406

THE TENTH STORY. _A certain woman of Sicily artfully despoileth a
merchant of that which he had brought to Palermo; but he, making
believe to have returned thither with much greater plenty of
merchandise than before, borroweth money of her and leaveth her water
and tow in payment_ 418


THE FIRST STORY. _Madam Francesca, being courted of one Rinuccio
Palermini and one Alessandro Chiarmontesi and loving neither the one
nor the other, adroitly riddeth herself of both by causing one enter
for dead into a sepulchre and the other bring him forth thereof for
dead, on such wise that they cannot avail to accomplish the condition
imposed_ 428

THE SECOND STORY. _An abbess, arising in haste and in the dark to find
one of her nuns, who had been denounced to her, in bed with her lover
and, thinking to cover her head with her coif, donneth instead thereof
the breeches of a priest who is abed with her; the which the accused
nun observing and making her aware thereof, she is acquitted and hath
leisure to be with her lover_ 432

THE THIRD STORY. _Master Simone, at the instance of Bruno and
Buffalmacco and Nello, maketh Calandrino believe that he is with
child; wherefore he giveth them capons and money for medicines and
recovereth without bringing forth_ 435

THE FOURTH STORY. _Cecco Fortarrigo gameth away at Buonconvento all
his good and the monies of Cecco Angiolieri [his master;] moreover,
running after the latter, in his shirt, and avouching that he hath
robbed him, he causeth him be taken of the countryfolk; then, donning
Angiolieri's clothes and mounting his palfrey, he maketh off and
leaveth the other in his shirt_ 438

THE FIFTH STORY. _Calandrino falleth in love with a wench and Bruno
writeth him a talisman, wherewith when he toucheth her, she goeth with
him; and his wife finding them together, there betideth him grievous
trouble and annoy_ 441

THE SIXTH STORY. _Two young gentlemen lodge the night with an
innkeeper, whereof one goeth to lie with the host's daughter, whilst
his wife unwittingly coucheth with the other; after which he who lay
with the girl getteth him to bed with her father and telleth him all,
thinking to bespeak his comrade. Therewithal they come to words, but
the wife, perceiving her mistake, entereth her daughter's bed and
thence with certain words appeaseth everything_ 446

THE SEVENTH STORY. _Talano di Molese dreameth that a wolf mangleth all
his wife's neck and face and biddeth her beware thereof; but she
payeth no heed to his warning and it befalleth her even as he had
dreamed_ 450

THE EIGHTH STORY. _Biondello cheateth Ciacco of a dinner, whereof the
other craftily avengeth himself, procuring him to be shamefully
beaten_ 451

THE NINTH STORY. _Two young men seek counsel of Solomon, one how he
may be loved and the other how he may amend his froward wife, and in
answer he biddeth the one love and the other get him to Goosebridge_

THE TENTH STORY. _Dom Gianni, at the instance of his gossip Pietro,
performeth a conjuration for the purpose of causing the latter's wife
to become a mare; but, whenas he cometh to put on the tail, Pietro
marreth the whole conjuration, saying that he will not have a tail_


THE FIRST STORY. _A knight in the king's service of Spain thinking
himself ill guerdoned, the king by very certain proof showeth him that
this is not his fault, but that of his own perverse fortune, and after
largesseth him magnificently_ 462

THE SECOND STORY. _Ghino di Tacco taketh the Abbot of Cluny and having
cured him of the stomach-complaint, letteth him go; whereupon the
Abbot, returning to the court of Rome, reconcileth him with Pope
Boniface and maketh him a Prior of the Hospitallers_ 464

THE THIRD STORY. _Mithridanes, envying Nathan his hospitality and
generosity and going to kill him, falleth in with himself, without
knowing him, and is by him instructed of the course he shall take to
accomplish his purpose; by means whereof he findeth him, as he himself
had ordered it, in a coppice and recognizing him, is ashamed and
becometh his friend_ 468

THE FOURTH STORY. _Messer Gentile de' Carisendi, coming from Modona,
taketh forth of the sepulchre a lady whom he loveth and who hath been
buried for dead. The lady, restored to life, beareth a male child and
Messer Gentile restoreth her and her son to Niccoluccio Caccianimico,
her husband_ 472

THE FIFTH STORY. _Madam Dianora requireth of Messer Ansaldo a garden
as fair in January as in May, and he by binding himself [to pay a
great sum of money] to a nigromancer, giveth it to her. Her husband
granteth her leave to do Messer Ansaldo's pleasure, but he, hearing of
the former's generosity, absolveth her of her promise, whereupon the
nigromancer, in his turn, acquitteth Messer Ansaldo of his bond,
without willing aught of his_ 478

THE SIXTH STORY. _King Charles the Old, the Victorious, falleth
enamoured of a young girl, but after, ashamed of his fond thought,
honourably marrieth both her and her sister_ 481

THE SEVENTH STORY. _King Pedro of Arragon, coming to know the fervent
love borne him by Lisa, comforteth the lovesick maid and presently
marrieth her to a noble young gentleman; then, kissing her on the
brow, he ever after avoucheth himself her knight_ 485

THE EIGHTH STORY. _Sophronia, thinking to marry Gisippus, becometh the
wife of Titus Quintius Fulvus and with him betaketh herself to Rome,
whither Gisippus cometh in poor case and conceiving himself slighted
of Titus, declareth, so he may die, to have slain a man. Titus,
recognizing him, to save him, avoucheth himself to have done the deed,
and the true murderer, seeing this, discovereth himself; whereupon
they are all three liberated by Octavianus and Titus, giving Gisippus
his sister to wife, hath all his good in common with him_ 491

THE NINTH STORY. _Saladin, in the disguise of a merchant, is
honourably entertained by Messer Torello d'Istria, who, presently
undertaking the [third] crusade, appointeth his wife a term for her
marrying again. He is taken [by the Saracens] and cometh, by his skill
in training hawks, under the notice of the Soldan, who knoweth him
again and discovering himself to him, entreateth him with the utmost
honour. Then, Torello falling sick for languishment, he is by magical
art transported in one night [from Alexandria] to Pavia, where, being
recognized by his wife at the bride-feast held for her marrying again,
he returneth with her to his own house_ 503

THE TENTH STORY. _The Marquess of Saluzzo, constrained by the prayers
of his vassals to marry, but determined to do it after his own
fashion, taketh to wife the daughter of a peasant and hath of her two
children, whom he maketh believe to her to put to death; after which,
feigning to be grown weary of her and to have taken another wife, he
letteth bring his own daughter home to his house, as she were his new
bride, and turneth his wife away in her shift; but, finding her
patient under everything, he fetcheth her home again, dearer than
ever, and showing her her children grown great, honoureth and letteth
honour her as marchioness_ 510

Friday, February 21, 2020

Ermes of Colloredo, the father of the Friulan language: The complete collection of Poems

Ermes was born in Colloredo di Monte Albano, Friaul. He was educated at Medici's court in Florence as page of Greatduke Ferdinando II de' Medici, and entered the service of Emperor Ferdinand III during the Thirty Years War as a Cuirassiers' Officier, at the orders of his uncle, Field Marschall Rudolf von Colloredo Mels und Wallsee, Governor of Prague, of the Republic of Venice as a Cavalry Colonel and Emperor Leopold I. In the latter part of his life Ermes returned to his homeland to focus on writing poetry, most of which centers on the theme of love.
Ermes wrote over 200 sonnets, in both Friulian and Italian. He used the koinè from San Daniele, which would become the most notable literary language and the basis of today's standard Friulian. The complete collection of Poems: Printed edition on Amazon e LuluPress, ebook on Amazon KindleKobo e (further discounted) on Lulu.

L'opera poetica completa del celeberrimo conte Ermes di Colloredo di Montalbano (sec. XVII), incontrastato padre della letteratura di lingua friulana ladina, presentata nel suo testo integrale.

Un volume che celebra il mito del Friûl profondo, attraverso l'intima connessione della terra primordiale con la parola dei suoi abitanti e la forza dirompente e liberatrice della poesia.

Volume stampato disponibile via Amazon e LuluPress, e in versione ebook su Amazon KindleKobo e (ad un prezzo ulteriormente scontato) su Lulu.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

"How to Be a Poet" by Wendell Berry


How to Be a Poet

(to remind myself)


Make a place to sit down.   
Sit down. Be quiet.   
You must depend upon   
affection, reading, knowledge,   
skill—more of each   
than you have—inspiration,   
work, growing older, patience,   
for patience joins time   
to eternity. Any readers   
who like your poems,   
doubt their judgment.
Breathe with unconditional breath   
the unconditioned air.   
Shun electric wire.   
Communicate slowly. Live   
a three-dimensioned life;   
stay away from screens.   
Stay away from anything   
that obscures the place it is in.   
There are no unsacred places;   
there are only sacred places   
and desecrated places.   

Accept what comes from silence.   
Make the best you can of it.   
Of the little words that come   
out of the silence, like prayers   
prayed back to the one who prays,   
make a poem that does not disturb   
the silence from which it came.


Poet, novelist, and environmentalist, Wendell Berry lives in Port Royal, Kentucky near his birthplace, where he has maintained a farm for over 40 years. Mistrustful of technology, he holds deep reverence for the land and is a staunch defender of agrarian values. His poetry celebrates the holiness of life and everyday miracles often taken for granted. In 2016, Berry was awarded the Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award by the National Books Critics Circle. In 2010, Barack Obama awarded him with the National Humanities Medal. Berry’s other honors include the T.S. Eliot Prize, the Aiken Taylor Award for poetry, the John Hay Award of the Orion Society, and the Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. Berry’s poetry collections include This Day: Collected & New Sabbath Poems (2014), Given (2005), A Timbered Choir: The Sabbath Poems 1979-1997, Entries: Poems (1994), Traveling at Home (1989), The Selected Poems of Wendell Berry (1988), Collected Poems 1957-1982 (1985), Clearing (1977), There Is Singing Around Me (1976), and The Broken Ground (1964).   
Credits: Poetry Foundation

Thursday, February 6, 2020

"February Evening", (Sera di febbraio) by Umberto Saba, (English translation)

Edvard Munch - Night in Nice (1891)

February Evening

February Evening.
The moon rises.
In the street still it is
daylight, an evening that quickly falls.  
Indifferent youngsters hugged one another;
skidding to aimless destinations.
And it is the thought
of death that, ultimately, helps to live on.   

Original text in Italian:

Sera di febbraio 
 (Umberto Saba, da "Il canzoniere, Ultime cose", 1935-1943)
Sera di febbraio.
Spunta la luna.
Nel viale è ancora
giorno, una sera che rapida cala.
Indifferente gioventù s’allaccia;
sbanda a povere mete.
Ed è il pensiero
della morte che, infine, aiuta a vivere.

Umberto Saba Poems, translated in English: Available as e-book on Amazon KindleiPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, NOOK Book, Kobo and on Lulu.