(1) A play upon laurea (laurel wreath) and Lauretta.
— Endeth here the seventh day of the Decameron, beginneth the eighth, in which, under the rule of Lauretta, discourse is had of those tricks that, daily, woman plays man, or man woman, or one man another. —
The summits of the loftiest mountains were already illumined by the rays of the rising sun, the shades of night were fled, and all things plainly visible, when the queen and her company arose, and hied them first to the dewy mead, where for a while they walked: then, about half tierce, they wended their way to a little church that was hard by, where they heard Divine service; after which, they returned to the palace, and having breakfasted with gay and gladsome cheer, and sung and danced a while, were dismissed by the queen, to rest them as to each might seem good. But when the sun was past the meridian, the queen mustered them again for their wonted pastime; and, all being seated by the fair fountain, thus, at her command, Neifile began.
— Gulfardo borrows moneys of Guasparruolo, which he has agreed to give Guasparruolo’s wife, that he may lie with her. He gives them to her, and in her presence tells Guasparruolo that he has done so, and she acknowledges that ’tis true. —
Sith God has ordained that ’tis for me to take the lead to-day with my story, well pleased am I. And for that, loving ladies, much has been said touching the tricks that women play men, I am minded to tell you of one that a man played a woman, not because I would censure what the man did, or say that ’twas not merited by the woman, but rather to commend the man and censure the woman, and to shew that men may beguile those that think to beguile them, as well as be beguiled by those they think to beguile; for peradventure what I am about to relate should in strictness of speech not be termed beguilement, but rather retaliation; for, as it behoves woman to be most strictly virtuous, and to guard her chastity as her very life, nor on any account to allow herself to sully it, which notwithstanding, ’tis not possible by reason of our frailty that there should be as perfect an observance of this law as were meet, I affirm, that she that allows herself to infringe it for money merits the fire; whereas she that so offends under the prepotent stress of Love will receive pardon from any judge that knows how to temper justice with mercy: witness what but the other day we heard from Filostrato touching Madonna Filippa at Prato.(1)