— Guidotto da Cremona dies leaving a girl to Giacomino da Pavia. She has two lovers in Faenza, to wit, Giannole di Severino and Minghino di Mingole, who fight about her. She is discovered to be Giannole’s sister, and is given to Minghino to wife. —
All the ladies laughed so heartily over the story of the nightingale, that, even when Filostrato had finished, they could not control their merriment. However, when the laughter was somewhat abated, the queen said:—“Verily if thou didst yesterday afflict us, to-day thou hast tickled us to such purpose that none of us may justly complain of thee.” Then, as the turn had now come round to Neifile, she bade her give them a story. And thus, blithely, Neifile began:—As Filostrato went to Romagna for the matter of his discourse, I too am fain to make a short journey through the same country in what I am about to relate to you.
I say, then, that there dwelt of yore in the city of Fano two Lombards, the one ycleped Guidotto da Cremona and the other Giacomino da Pavia, men advanced in life, who, being soldiers, had spent the best part of their youth in feats of arms. Now Guidotto, being at the point of death, and having no son or any friend or kinsman in whom he placed more trust than in Giacomino, left him a girl of about ten years, and all that he had in the world, and so, having given him to know not a little of his affairs, he died. About the same time the city of Faenza, which had long been at war and in a most sorry plight, began to recover some measure of prosperity; and thereupon liberty to return thither on honourable terms was accorded to all that were so minded. Whither, accordingly, Giacomino, who had dwelt there aforetime, and liked the place, returned with all his goods and chattels, taking with him the girl left him by Guidotto, whom he loved and entreated as his daughter. The girl grew up as beautiful a maiden as was to be found in the city; and no less debonair and modest was she than fair. Wherefore she lacked not admirers; but above all two young men, both very gallant and of equal merit, the one Giannole di Severino, the other Minghino di Mingole, affected her with so ardent a passion, that, growing jealous, they came to hate one another with an inordinate hatred. Right gladly would each have espoused her, she being now fifteen years old, but that his kinsmen forbade it; wherefore seeing that neither might have her in an honourable way, each determined to compass his end as best he might.
Now Giacomino had in his house an ancient maid, and a man, by name Crivello, a very pleasant and friendly sort of fellow, with whom Giannole grew familiar, and in due time confided to him all his love, praying him to further the attainment of his desire, and promising to reward him handsomely, if he did so. Crivello made answer:—“Thou must know that there is but one way in which I might be of service