The Decameron, Volume II eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 478 pages of information about The Decameron, Volume II.
herself airs, and heated to the strife of words, turned to Tindaro, and scowling upon him said:—­“Unmannerly varlet that makest bold to speak before me; leave me to tell the story.”  Then, turning to the queen, she said:—­“Madam, this fellow would fain instruct me as to Sicofante’s wife, and—­neither more or less—­as if I had not known her well—­would have me believe that, the first night that Sicofante lay with her, ’twas by force and not without effusion of blood that Master Yard made his way into Dusky Hill; which I deny, averring that he met with no resistance, but, on the contrary, with a hearty welcome on the part of the garrison.  And such a numskull is he as fondly to believe that the girls are so simple as to let slip their opportunities, while they wait on the caprice of father or brothers, who six times out of seven delay to marry them for three or four years after they should.  Ay, ay indeed, doubtless they were well advised to tarry so long!  Christ’s faith!  I should know the truth of what I swear; there is never a woman in my neighbourhood whose husband had her virginity; and well I know how many and what manner of tricks our married dames play their husbands; and yet this booby would fain teach me to know women as if I were but born yesterday.”

While Licisca thus spoke, the ladies laughed till all their teeth were ready to start from their heads.  Six times at least the queen bade her be silent:  but all in vain; she halted not till she had said all that she had a mind to.  When she had done, the queen turned with a smile to Dioneo saying:—­“This is a question for thee to deal with, Dioneo; so hold thyself in readiness to give final judgment upon it, when our stories are ended.”  “Madam,” replied Dioneo forthwith, “I give judgment without more ado:  I say that Licisca is in the right; I believe that ’tis even as she says, and that Tindaro is a fool.”  Whereupon Licisca burst out laughing, and turning to Tindaro:—­“Now did I not tell thee so?” quoth she.  “Begone in God’s name:  dost think to know more than I, thou that art but a sucking babe?  Thank God, I have not lived for nothing, not I.”  And had not the queen sternly bade her be silent, and make no more disturbance, unless she had a mind to be whipped, and sent both her and Tindaro back to the kitchen, the whole day would have been spent in nought but listening to her.  So Licisca and Tindaro having withdrawn, the queen charged Filomena to tell the first story:  and gaily thus Filomena began.

NOVEL I.

—­ A knight offers to carry Madonna Oretta a horseback with a story, but tells it so ill that she prays him to dismount her. —­

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