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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 478 pages of information about The Decameron, Volume II.
gladsome and delightful.”  Whereupon Anichino hied him off to the garden, armed with a staff of wild willow; and as he drew nigh the pine, Egano saw him, and rose and came forward to meet him as if he would receive him with the heartiest of cheer.  But:—­“Ah! wicked woman!” quoth Anichino; “so thou art come!  Thou didst verily believe, then, that I was, that I am, minded thus to wrong my lord?  Foul fall thee a thousand times!” And therewith he raised his cudgel, and began to lay about him.  Egano, however, had heard and seen enough, and without a word took to flight, while Anichino pursued him, crying out:—­“Away with thee!  God send thee a bad year, lewd woman that thou art; nor doubt that Egano shall hear of this to-morrow.”  Egano, having received sundry round knocks, got him back to his chamber with what speed he might; and being asked by the lady, whether Anichino had come into the garden:—­“Would to God he had not!” quoth he, “for that, taking me for thee, he has beaten me black and blue with his cudgel, and rated me like the vilest woman that ever was:  passing strange, indeed, it had seemed to me that he should have said those words to thee with intent to dishonour me; and now ’tis plain that ’twas but that, seeing thee so blithe and frolicsome, he was minded to prove thee.”  Whereto:—­“God be praised,” returned the lady, “that he proved me by words, as thee by acts:  and I doubt not he may say that I bear his words with more patience than thou his acts.  But since he is so loyal to thee, we must make much of him and do him honour.”  “Ay, indeed,” quoth Egano, “thou sayst sooth.”

Thus was Egano fortified in the belief that never had any gentleman wife so true, or retainer so loyal, as he; and many a hearty laugh had he with Anichino and his lady over this affair, which to them was the occasion that, with far less let than might else have been, they were able to have solace and joyance of one another, so long as it pleased Anichino to tarry at Bologna.

NOVEL VIII.

—­ A husband grows jealous of his wife, and discovers that she has warning of her lover’s approach by a piece of pack-thread, which she ties to her great toe a nights.  While he is pursuing her lover, she puts another woman in bed in her place.  The husband, finding her there, beats her, and cuts off her hair.  He then goes and calls his wife’s brothers, who, holding his accusation to be false, give him a rating. —­

Rare indeed was deemed by common consent the subtlety shewn by Madonna Beatrice in the beguilement of her husband, and all affirmed that the terror of Anichino must have been prodigious, when, the lady still keeping fast hold of him, he had heard her say that he had made suit of love to her.  However, Filomena being silent, the king turned to Neifile, saying:—­“’Tis now for you to tell.”  Whereupon Neifile, while a slight smile died away upon her lips, thus began:—­Fair ladies, to entertain you with a goodly story, such as those which my predecessors have delighted you withal, is indeed a heavy burden, but, God helping me, I trust fairly well to acquit myself thereof.

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