The Decameron, Volume II eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 478 pages of information about The Decameron, Volume II.
been the wise man thou takest thyself to be, thou wouldst not have chosen such a way as that to worm out thy good lady’s secrets, nor wouldst thou have fallen a prey to a baseless suspicion, but wouldst have understood that what she confessed was true, and she all the while guiltless.  I told thee that I loved a priest; and wast not thou, whom I love, though ill enough dost thou deserve it, turned priest?  I told thee that there was no door in my house but would open when he was minded to lie with me:  and when thou wouldst fain have access to me, what door was ever closed against thee?  I told thee that the priest lay nightly with me:  and what night was there that thou didst not lie with me?  Thou sentest thy young clerk to me:  and thou knowest that, as often as thou hadst not been with me, I sent word that the priest had not been with me.  Who but thou, that hast suffered jealousy to blind thee, would have been so witless as not to read such a riddle?  But thou must needs mount guard at night beside the door, and think to make me believe that thou hadst gone out to sup and sleep.  Consider thy ways, and court not the mockery of those that know them as I do, but turn a man again as thou wast wont to be:  and let there be no more of this strict restraint in which thou keepest me; for I swear to thee by God that, if I were minded to set horns on thy brow, I should not fail so to take my pastime that thou wouldst never find it out, though thou hadst a hundred eyes, as thou hast but two.”

Thus admonished, the jealous caitiff, who had flattered himself that he had very cunningly discovered his wife’s secret, was ashamed, and made no answer save to commend his wife’s wit and honour; and thus, having cause for jealousy, he discarded it, as he had erstwhile been jealous without cause.  And so the adroit lady had, as it were, a charter of indulgence, and needed no more to contrive for her lover to come to her over the roof like a cat, but admitted him by the door, and using due discretion, had many a good time with him, and sped her life gaily.

NOVEL VI.

—­ Madonna Isabella has with her Leonetto, her accepted lover, when she is surprised by one Messer Lambertuccio, by whom she is beloved:  her husband coming home about the same time, she sends Messer Lambertuccio forth of the house drawn sword in hand, and the husband afterwards escorts Leonetto home. —­

Wondrous was the delight that all the company had of Fiammetta’s story, nor was there any but affirmed that the lady had done excellent well, and dealt with her insensate husband as he deserved.  However, it being ended, the king bade Pampinea follow suit; which she did on this wise:—­Not a few there are that in their simplicity aver that Love deranges the mind, insomuch that whoso loves becomes as it were witless:  the folly of which opinion, albeit I doubt it not, and deem it abundantly proven by what has been already said, I purpose once again to demonstrate.

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