Thus to receive his wife and son was to Niccoluccio a delight great in the measure of its remoteness from his hope. Wherefore in the most honourable terms at his command he thanked the knight, whom all the rest, weeping for sympathy, greatly commended for what he had done, as did also all that heard thereof. The lady, welcomed home with wondrous cheer, was long a portent to the Bolognese, who gazed on her as on one raised from the dead. Messer Gentile lived ever after as the friend of Niccoluccio, and his and the lady’s kinsfolk.
Now what shall be your verdict, gracious ladies? A king’s largess, though it was of his sceptre and crown, an abbot’s reconciliation, at no cost to himself, of a malefactor with the Pope, or an old man’s submission of his throat to the knife of his enemy—will you adjudge that such acts as these are comparable to the deed of Messer Gentile? Who, though young, and burning with passion, and deeming himself justly entitled to that which the heedlessness of another had discarded, and he by good fortune had recovered, not only tempered his ardour with honour, but having that which with his whole soul he had long been bent on wresting from another, did with liberality restore it. Assuredly none of the feats aforesaid seem to me like unto this.
— Madonna Dianora craves of Messer Ansaldo a garden that shall be as fair in January as in May. Messer Ansaldo binds himself to a necromancer, and thereby gives her the garden. Her husband gives her leave to do Messer Ansaldo’s pleasure: he, being apprised of her husband’s liberality, releases her from her promise; and the necromancer releases Messer Ansaldo from his bond, and will take nought of his. —
Each of the gay company had with superlative commendation extolled Messer Gentile to the skies, when the king bade Emilia follow suit; and with a good courage, as burning to speak, thus Emilia began:—Delicate my ladies, none can justly say that ’twas not magnificently done of Messer Gentile; but if it be alleged that ’twas the last degree of magnificence, ’twill perchance not be difficult to shew that more was possible, as is my purpose in the little story that I shall tell you.