The Decameron, Volume II eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 573 pages of information about The Decameron, Volume II.
then, thou takest a pledge from Master Priest?  By Christ, I vow, I have half a mind to give thee a great clout o’ the chin.  Go, give it back at once, a murrain on thee!  And look to it that whatever he may have a mind to, were it our very ass, he be never denied.”  So, with a very bad grace, Belcolore got up, and went to the wardrobe, and took out the cloak, and gave it to the clerk, saying:—­“Tell thy master from me:—­Would to God he may never ply pestle in my mortar again, such honour has he done me for this turn!” So the clerk returned with the cloak, and delivered the message to Master Priest; who, laughing, made answer:—­“Tell her, when thou next seest her, that, so she lend us not the mortar, I will not lend her the pestle:  be it tit for tat.”

Bentivegna made no account of his wife’s words, deeming that ’twas but his chiding that had provoked them.  But Belcolore was not a little displeased with Master Priest, and had never a word to say to him till the vintage; after which, what with the salutary fear in which she stood of the mouth of Lucifer the Great, to which he threatened to consign her, and the must and roast chestnuts that he sent her, she made it up with him, and many a jolly time they had together.  And though she got not the five pounds from him, he put a new skin on her tabret, and fitted it with a little bell, wherewith she was satisfied.

(1) For this folk-song see Cantilene e Ballate, Strambotti e Madrigali, ed.  Carducci (1871), p. 60.  The fragment there printed maybe freely rendered as follows:—­

The borage is full sappy,
  And clusters red we see,
And my love would make me happy;
  So that maiden give to me.

Ill set I find this dance,
  And better might it be: 
So, comrade mine, advance,
  And, changing place with me,
Stand thou thy love beside.


—­ Calandrino, Bruno and Buffalmacco go in quest of the heliotrope beside the Mugnone.  Thinking to have found it, Calandrino gets him home laden with stones.  His wife chides him:  whereat he waxes wroth, beats her, and tells his comrades what they know better than he. —­

Ended Pamfilo’s story, which moved the ladies to inextinguishable laughter, the queen bade Elisa follow suit:  whereupon, laughing, she thus began:—­I know not, debonair my ladies, whether with my little story, which is no less true than entertaining, I shall give you occasion to laugh as much as Pamfilo has done with his, but I will do my best.

In our city, where there has never been lack of odd humours and queer folk, there dwelt, no long time ago, a painter named Calandrino, a simple soul, of uncouth manners, that spent most of his time with two other painters, the one Bruno, the other Buffalmacco, by name, pleasant fellows enough, but not without their full share of sound and shrewd sense, and who kept with Calandrino for that they not seldom found

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The Decameron, Volume II from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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