The Decameron, Volume II eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 478 pages of information about The Decameron, Volume II.
of his promise of the jewel, opened the door of the chamber and brought his wife in.  Quoth she with a laugh:—­“Madam, you have given me tit for tat,” and never a word more.  Whereupon:—­“Open the chest,” quoth Zeppa; and she obeying, he shewed the lady her Spinelloccio lying therein.  ’Twould be hard to say whether of the twain was the more shame-stricken, Spinelloccio to be confronted with Zeppa, knowing that Zeppa wist what he had done, or the lady to meet her husband’s eyes, knowing that he had heard what went on above his head.  “Lo, here is the jewel I give thee,” quoth Zeppa to her, pointing to Spinelloccio, who, as he came forth of the chest, blurted out:—­“Zeppa, we are quits, and so ’twere best, as thou saidst a while ago to my wife, that we still be friends as we were wont, and as we had nought separate, save our wives, that henceforth we have them also in common.”  “Content,” quoth Zeppa; and so in perfect peace and accord they all four breakfasted together.  And thenceforth each of the ladies had two husbands, and each of the husbands two wives; nor was there ever the least dispute or contention between them on that score.

(1) A suburb of Siena.

NOVEL IX.

—­ Bruno and Buffalmacco prevail upon Master Simone, a physician, to betake him by night to a certain place, there to be enrolled in a company that go the course.  Buffalmacco throws him into a foul ditch, and there they leave him. —­

When the ladies had made merry a while over the partnership in wives established by the two Sienese, the queen, who now, unless she were minded to infringe Dioneo’s privilege, alone remained to tell, began on this wise:—­Fairly earned indeed, loving ladies, was the flout that Spinelloccio got from Zeppa.  Wherefore my judgment jumps with that which Pampinea expressed a while ago, to wit, that he is not severely to be censured who bestows a flout on one that provokes it or deserves it; and as Spinelloccio deserved it, so ’tis my purpose to tell you of one that provoked it, for I deem that those from whom he received it, were rather to be commended than condemned.  The man that got it was a physician, who, albeit he was but a blockhead, returned from Bologna to Florence in mantle and hood of vair.

’Tis matter of daily experience that our citizens come back to us from Bologna, this man a judge, that a physician, and the other a notary, flaunting it in ample flowing robes, and adorned with the scarlet and the vair and other array most goodly to see; and how far their doings correspond with this fair seeming, is also matter of daily experience.  Among whom ’tis not long since Master Simone da Villa, one whose patrimony was more ample than his knowledge, came back wearing the scarlet and a broad stripe(1) on the shoulder, and a doctor, as he called himself, and took a house in the street that we now call Via del Cocomero.  Now this Master Simone, being thus,

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