— Master Simone, at the instance of Bruno and Buffalmacco and Nello, makes Calandrino believe that he is with child. Calandrino, accordingly, gives them capons and money for medicines, and is cured without being delivered. —
When Elisa had ended her story, and all had given thanks to God that He had vouchsafed the young nun a happy escape from the fangs of her envious companions, the queen bade Filostrato follow suit; and without expecting a second command, thus Filostrato began:—Fairest my ladies, the uncouth judge from the Marches, of whom I told you yesterday, took from the tip of my tongue a story of Calandrino, which I was on the point of narrating: and as nought can be said of him without mightily enhancing our jollity, albeit not a little has already been said touching him and his comrades, I will now give you the story which I had meant yesterday to give you. Who they were, this Calandrino and the others that I am to tell of in this story, has already been sufficiently explained; wherefore, without more ado, I say that one of Calandrino’s aunts having died, leaving him two hundred pounds in petty cash, Calandrino gave out that he was minded to purchase an estate, and, as if he had had ten thousand florins of gold to invest, engaged every broker in Florence to treat for him, the negotiation always falling through, as soon as the price was named. Bruno and Buffalmacco, knowing what was afoot, told him again and again that he had better give himself a jolly time with them than go about buying earth as if he must needs make pellets;(1) but so far were they from effecting their purpose, that they could not even prevail upon him to give them a single meal. Whereat as one day they grumbled, being joined by a comrade of theirs, one Nello, also a painter, they all three took counsel how they might wet their whistle at Calandrino’s expense; and, their plan being soon concerted, the next morning Calandrino was scarce gone out, when Nello met him, saying:—“Good day, Calandrino:” whereto Calandrino replied:—“God give thee a good day and a good year.” Nello then drew back a little, and looked him steadily in the face, until:—“What seest thou to stare at?” quoth Calandrino. “Hadst thou no pain in the night?” returned Nello; “thou seemest not thyself to me.” Which Calandrino no sooner heard, than he began to be disquieted, and:—“Alas! How sayst thou?” quoth he. “What tak’st thou to be the matter with me?” “Why, as to that I have nothing to say,” returned Nello; “but thou seemest to be quite changed: perchance ’tis not what I suppose;” and with that he left him.