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

But a neighbour of mine, a lady well advanced in years, tells me that, by what she heard when she was a girl, both stories are true; but that the latter concerned not Gianni Lotteringhi but one Gianni di Nello, that lived at Porta San Piero, and was no less a numskull than Gianni Lotteringhi.  Wherefore, dear my ladies, you are at liberty to choose which exorcism you prefer, or take both if you like.  They are both of extraordinary and approved virtue in such cases, as you have heard:  get them by heart, therefore, and they may yet stand you in good stead.

NOVEL II.

—­ Her husband returning home, Peronella bestows her lover in a tun; which, being sold by her husband, she avers to have been already sold by herself to one that is inside examining it to see if it be sound.  Whereupon the lover jumps out, and causes the husband to scour the tun for him, and afterwards to carry it to his house. —­

Great indeed was the laughter with which Emilia’s story was received; which being ended, and her orison commended by all as good and salutary, the king bade Filostrato follow suit; and thus Filostrato began:—­Dearest my ladies, so many are the tricks that men play you, and most of all your husbands, that, when from time to time it so befalls that some lady plays her husband a trick, the circumstance, whether it come within your own cognizance or be told you by another, should not only give you joy but should incite you to publish it on all hands, that men may be ware, that, knowing as they are, their ladies also, on their part, know somewhat:  which cannot but be serviceable to you, for that one does not rashly essay to take another with guile whom one wots not to lack that quality.  Can we doubt, then, that, should but the converse that we shall hold to-day touching this matter come to be bruited among men, ’twould serve to put a most notable check upon the tricks they play you, by doing them to wit of the tricks, which you, in like manner, when you are so minded, may play them?  Wherefore ’tis my intention to tell you in what manner a young girl, albeit she was but of low rank, did, on the spur of the moment, beguile her husband to her own deliverance.

’Tis no long time since at Naples a poor man, a mason by craft, took to wife a fair and amorous maiden—­Peronella was her name—­who eked out by spinning what her husband made by his craft; and so the pair managed as best they might on very slender means.  And as chance would have it, one of the gallants of the city, taking note of this Peronella one day, and being mightily pleased with her, fell in love with her, and by this means and that so prevailed that he won her to accord him her intimacy.  Their times of forgathering they concerted as follows:—­to wit, that, her husband being wont to rise betimes of a morning to go to work or seek for work, the gallant was to be where he might see him go forth, and, the street where

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