The Decameron, Volume II eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 478 pages of information about The Decameron, Volume II.

The abbot marvelled to hear a highway robber speak thus liberally, and such was his gratification that his wrath and fierce resentment departed from him, nay, were transformed into kindness, insomuch that in all cordial amity he hasted to embrace Ghino, saying:—­“By God I swear, that to gain the friendship of a man such I now deem thee to be, I would be content to suffer much greater wrong than that which until now, meseemed, thou hadst done me.  Cursed be Fortune that constrains thee to ply so censurable a trade.”  Which said, he selected a very few things, and none superfluous, from his ample store, and having done likewise with the horses, ceded all else to Ghino, and hied him back to Rome; where, seeing him, the Pope, who to his great grief had heard of his capture, asked him what benefit he had gotten from the baths.  Whereto the abbot made answer with a smile:—­“Holy Father, I found nearer here than the baths a worthy physician who has wrought a most excellent cure on me:”  he then recounted all the circumstances, whereat the Pope laughed.  Afterwards, still pursuing the topic, the abbot, yielding to the promptings of magnificence, asked a favour of the Pope; who, expecting that he would ask somewhat else than he did, liberally promised to give him whatever he should demand.  Whereupon:—­“Holy Father,” quoth the abbot, “that which I would crave of you is that you restore Ghino di Tacco, my physician, to your favour; seeing that among the good men and true and meritorious that I have known, he is by no means of the least account.  And for the evil life that he leads, I impute it to Fortune rather than to him:  change then his fortune, by giving him the means whereby he may live in manner befitting his rank, and I doubt not that in a little while your judgment of him will jump with mine.”  Whereto the Pope, being magnanimous, and an admirer of good men and true, made answer that so he would gladly do, if Ghino should prove to be such as the abbot said; and that he would have him brought under safe conduct to Rome.  Thither accordingly under safe conduct came Ghino, to the abbot’s great delight; nor had he been long at court before the Pope approved his worth, and restored him to his favour, granting him a great office, to wit, that of prior of the Hospital, whereof he made him knight.  Which office he held for the rest of his life, being ever a friend and vassal of Holy Church and the Abbot of Cluny.

NOVEL III.

—­ Mitridanes, holding Nathan in despite by reason of his courtesy, journeys with intent to kill him, and falling in with him unawares, is advised by him how to compass his end.  Following his advice, he finds him in a copse, and recognizing him, is shame-stricken, and becomes his friend. —­

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