The Decameron, Volume II eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 478 pages of information about The Decameron, Volume II.
knows that even then, when first I did affect you, I wist that you were the King, and I but the daughter of Bernardo the apothecary, and that to suffer my passion to soar so high did ill become me; but, as you know far better than I, none loves of set and discreet purpose, but only according to the dictates of impulse and fancy; which law my forces, albeit not seldom opposed, being powerless to withstand, I loved and still love and shall ever love you.  But as no sooner knew I myself subjugated to your love, than I vowed to have ever no will but yours; therefore not only am I compliant to take right gladly him whom you shall be pleased to give me for husband, thereby conferring upon me great honour and dignity; but if you should bid me tarry in the fire, delighted were I to obey, so thereby I might pleasure you.  How far it beseems me to have you, my King, for my knight, you best know; and therefore I say nought thereof; nor will the kiss which you crave as your sole tribute of my love be granted you save by leave of my Lady the Queen.  Natheless, may you have of this great graciousness that you and my Lady the Queen have shewn me, and which I may not requite, abundant recompense in the blessing and favour of God;” and so she was silent.

The Queen was mightily delighted with the girl’s answer, and deemed her as discreet as the King had said.  The King then sent for the girl’s father and mother, and being assured that his intention had their approval, summoned to his presence a young man, Perdicone by name, that was of gentle birth, but in poor circumstances, and put certain rings into his hand, and (he nowise gainsaying) wedded him to Lisa.  Which done, besides jewels many and precious that he and the Queen gave the girl, he forthwith bestowed upon Perdicone two domains, right goodly and of ample revenues, to wit, Ceffalu and Calatabellotta, saying:—­“We give them to thee for thy wife’s dowry; what we have in store for thee thou wilt learn hereafter.”  Which said, he turned to the girl, and:—­“Now,” quoth he, “we are minded to cull that fruit which is due to us of thy love;” and so, taking her head between both his hands, he kissed her brow.  Wherefore, great was the joy of Perdicone, and the father and mother of Lisa, and Lisa herself, and mighty the cheer they made, and gaily did they celebrate the nuptials.  And, as many affirm, right well did the King keep his promise to the girl; for that ever, while he lived, he called himself her knight, nor went to any passage of arms bearing other device than that which he had from her.

Now ’tis by doing after this sort that sovereigns win the hearts of their subjects, give others occasion of well-doing, and gain for themselves an imperishable renown.  At which mark few or none in our times have bent the bow of their understanding, the more part of the princes having become but cruel tyrants.

NOVEL VIII.

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