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ments; and what a lucky thing for her was the mind. We are stimulated by its activity ; but false step of her sister, immured for life, and we are greatly more pleased at surveying it leaving her in sole expectation of a vast inherit- leisurely in its quiescent state, uncovered and
Hastening homeward, he dressed himself unsuspicious. Few however are capable of dein more gallant trim, and went forthwith to the scribing, or even of remarking it; while strange Bishop of Carpentras, then at Avignon, to whom and unexpected contingencies are the commonet he did not find admittance, as his lordship had pedlary of the markets, and the joint patrimony only that morning received intelligence of his of the tapsters. brother-in-law's decease. He expressed by letter I have drawn so largely from my brain for the his gratitude to Divine Providence, for having production of a hundred stories, many of which I enabled him to rescue the loveliest of her sex from confess are witless and worthless, and many just the horrors of a watery grave: announced his as Ser Geoffreddo saw them, incomplete, that if rank, his fortune (not indeed to be mentioned or my memory did not come to my assistance, I thought of in comparison with her merits), and should be mistrustful of my imagination. entreated the honour of a union with her, if his Chaucer. Ungrateful man! the world never lordship could sympathise with him in feeling that found one like it. such purity ought never to have been enfolded Boccaccio. Are Englishmen so Asiatic in the (might he say it?) in the arms of any man who was profusion of compliments ? not destined to be her husband.
I know not, Francesco, whether you may deem "Ah!" said the bishop when he had perused this cathedral a befitting place for narratives of the letter, “the young man too well knows what love. has happened : who does not? The holy Father Petrarca. No place is more befitting ; since if himself hath shed paternal tears upon it. Provi- the love be holy, no sentiment is essentially so dential this falling into the water ! this endanger- divine ; and if unholy, we may pray the more ing of a sinful life! May it awaken her remorse devoutly and effectually in such an audience for and repentance, as it hath awakened his pity and the souls of those who harboured it. Beside compassion! His proceeding is liberal and deli- which, the coolness of the aisles and their silence, cate: he could not speak more passionately and and their solitariness at the extremity of the city, more guardedly. He was (now I find) one of her would check within us any motive or tendency to early admirers. No reference to others ; no re- lasciviousness and lightness, if the subject should proaches. True love wears well. I do not like lie that way, and if your spirits should incautiously this matter to grow too public. I will set out for follow it, my friend, Giovanni, as (pardon my sinCarpentras in another hour, first writing a few cerity!) they are somewhat too propense. lines, directing M. Tenerin to meet me at the Boccaccio. My scruples are satisfied and re palace this evening, as soon as may be convenient. moved. We must forgive the fault of Egidia now she has The air of Naples is not so inclement as that of found a good match; and we may put on mourning our Arezzo: and there are some who will tell us, for the father, my worthy brother-in-law, next if we listen to them, that few places in the world week.”
are more favourable and conducive to amoroas Such were the cogitations and plans of the inclinations. I often heard it while I resided bishop; and he carried them at once into execu- there; and the pulpit gave an echo to the publie tion; for, knowing what the frailty of human voice. Strange then it may appear to you, that nature is, as if he knew it from inspiration, he had jealousy should find a place in the connubial state, by no means unshaken faith in the waters of the and after a year or more of marriage : neverthe Durance as restorative or conservative of chastity. less, so it happened.
Tenerin has been since observed to whistle The Prince of Policastro was united to a lady oftener than to sing; and when he begins to of his own rank; and yet he could not be quite so warble any of his amatory lays, which seldom happy as he should have been with her. She happens, the words do not please him as they brought him a magnificent dowry; and I nerer used to do, and he breaks off abruptly. A friend saw valets more covered with lace, fringes, knots, of his said to him in my presence, “ Your ear, and everything else that ought to content the Tenerin, has grown fastidious, since you walked lordly heart, than I have seen behind the chairs up to it in the water on the first of August." of the Prince and Princess of Policastro.
Boccaccio. Francesco! the more I reflect on the what are all the blessings of this sublunary woril, story you have related to us, the more plainly do to the lord whose lady has thin lips! The prinI perceive how natural it is, and this too in the cess was very loving; as much after the first year very peculiarity that appeared to me at first as as the prince was after the first night. Even this being the contrary. Unless we make a selection would not content him. of subjects, unless we observe their heights and Time, Ser Geoffreddo, remembering that lore distances, unless we give them their angles and and he, in some other planet, flew together, and shades, we may as well paint with white-wash. neither left the other behind, is angry to be outWe do not want strange events, so much as those stript by him, and challenges him to a trial of by which we are admitted into the recesses, or speed every day. The tiresome dotard is always carried on amid the operations, of the human distanced, yet always calls hoarsely after him ; as
if he had ever seen Love turn back again, any answered Jacometta : "and I do believe in my more than Love had seen him. Well, let them conscience he comes every night. What he wants settle the matter between themselves.
I can not imagine. He seems to stop before the Would you believe it ? the princess could not tuberoses and carnations on the balustrade, whemake her husband in the least the fonder of her ther to smell at them a little, or to catch the fresh by all her assiduities; not even by watching him breezes from Sorrento. I fancied at first he might while he was awake, more assiduously than the be restless and unhappy (pardon me, madonna :) tenderest mother ever watched her sleeping infant. at your differences." Although, to vary her fascinations and enchant- No, no,” said the princess, with a smile, “I ments, she called him wretch and villain, he was understand what he wants : never mind : make afterward as wretched and villanous as if she never no inquiries : he is little aware how we are planhad taken half the pains about him.
ning to catch him : he has seen you look after She had brought in her train a certain Jacomet- him : he fancies that you care about him, that you ta, whom she persuaded to espy his motions. He really like him, absolutely love him .. I could was soon aware of it, and calling her to him, said, almost laugh . that you would (foolish man !
“ Discreet and fair Jacometta, the princess, you foolish man! genuine Policastro !) listen to him. know very well, thinks me inattentive to her, and Do you understand ?" being unable to fix on any other object of suspi- Jacometta's two ears reddened into transpacion, she marks out you, and boasts among her rency; and, clapping a hand on each, she cried, friends that she has persuaded a foolish girl to after a long sigh, “Lord ! can he think of me? is follow and watch me, that she may at last, by the he mad ? does he take a poor girl for a princess ? temptation she throws into our way, rid herself of Generally I sleep soundly; but once or twice he a beauty who in future might give her great un- has awakened me, perhaps not well knowing the easiness. Certainly, if my heart could wander, passage. But if indeed he is so very wicked as its wanderings would be near home. I do not to design to ruin me, and, what is worse, to deceive exactly say I should prefer you to every woman the best of ladies, might it not be advisable to on earth, for reason and gratitude must guide my fasten in the centre and in the sides of the corripassion; and, unless where I might expect to find dor, five, or six, or seven sharp swords, with their attachment, I shall ever remain indifferent to per- points toward whoever .." sonal charms. You may relate to your mistress “ Jacometta! do nothing violently; nothing whatever you think proper of this conversation. rashly; nothing without me." If you believe a person of your own sex can be There was only one thing that Jacometta wished more attached and faithful to you than the most to do without the princess; and certainly she was circumspect of ours, then repeat the whole. If on disposed to do nothing violently or rashly; for the contrary you imagine that I can be hereafter she was now completely in the interest (these holy of any use to you, and that it is my interest to walls forbid me to speak more explicitly) of keep secret any confidence with which you may Policastro. honour me, the princess has now enabled us to “We will be a match for him," said the princess. avoid being circumvented by her. It can not“ You must leave your room-door open to-night.” hurt me : you are young, unsettled, incautious, Jacometta fell on her knees, and declared she and unsuspicious."
was honest though poor . . an exclamation which Jacometta held down her head in confusion : I dare say, Messer Geoffreddo, you have often the prince taking her by the hand, requested her heard in Italy: it being the preface to every act not to think he was offended. He persuaded her of roguery and lubricity, unless from a knight or to let him meet her privately, that he might give knight's lady. The Princess of Policastro was her warning if anything should occur, and that he ignorant of this, and so was Jacometta when she might assist her to turn aside the machinations used it. The mistress insisted; the attendant of their enemy. The first time they met, nothing deprecated. had occurred: he pressed her hand, slipt a valu- Simple child ! no earthly mischief shall befall able ring on one of the fingers, and passed. The you. To-night you shall sleep in my bed, and I in second time nothing material, nothing but what yours, awaiting the false wretch miscalled my might be warded off: let the worst happen, the husband.” friend who gave him information of the designs Satisfied with the ingenuity of her device, the laid against her, would receive her. The princess princess was excessively courteous to the prince saw with wonder and admiration the earnestness at dinner, and indeed throughout the whole day. with which Jacometta watched for her. The He on his part was in transports, he said, at her faithless man could hardly move hand or foot affability and sweet amiable temper. Poor Jacowithout a motion on the part of her attendant. metta really knew not what to do : scarcely for She had observed him near the chamber-door of one moment could she speak to the prince, that Jacometta, and laughed in her heart at the be- he might be on his guard. guiled deceiver. “Do you know, Jacometta, I "Do it ! do it !” said he, pressing her hand as myself saw him within two paces of your bed- she passed him. “We must submit.” room !"
At the proper time he went in his slippers to “I am quite confident it was he, madam !" the bedroom of the princess, and entered the spa
cious bed ; which, like the domains of the rich, | herself up, she said, folding the bed-clothes about is neverquitespacious enough for them. Jacometta her double and triple, and was several times on was persuaded to utter no exclamation in the be the point of calling up the whole household in her ginning, and was allowed to employ whatever extremity, strict as was her mistress's charge upon vehemence she pleased at a fitter moment. The her to be silent. The princess threw a shower of princess tossed about in Jacometta's bed, inveighing odoriferous waters over her, and took every care most furiously against her faithless husband; her to restore her spirits and to preserve her from a passionate voice was hardly in any degree sup- hysterical fit, after such exertion and exhaustion pressed. Jacometta too tossed about in the prin- When she was rather more recovered, she dropped cess's bed, and her voice laboured under little less on her knees before her lady, and entreated and suppression. At last the principal cause of vexation, implored that, on the renewal of her love in its with the jealous wife, was the unreasonable time to pristine ardour for the prince, she never would which her husband protracted the commission of tell him in any moment of tender confidence, that his infidelity. After two hours or thereabout, she it was she who was in the bed. began to question whether he really had ever been The princess was slow to give the promise ; for unfaithful at all, began to be of opinion that there she was very conscientious. At last however she are malicious people in the world, and returned gave it, saying, “ The prince my husband has to her own chamber. She fancied she heard voices taken a most awful oath, never to renew the within, and listening attentively, distinguished moments you apprehend. Our Lady strengthen these outcries.
me to bear my heavy affiction ! Her divine “No resistance, madam! An injured husband grace has cured my agonised breast of its invete claims imperatively his promised bliss, denied rate jealousy." him not through antipathy, not through hatred, She paused for some time; then, drying ber not through any demerits on his part, but through tears, for she had shed several, she invited Jaco unjust and barbarous jealousy. Resist! bite! metta to sit upon the bedside with her. Jacometta beat me! “Villain'. . 'ravisher'. . am I ? am I? did so; and the princess, taking her hand, conExcruciated as I am, wronged, robbed of my hap-tinued; “I hardly know what is passing in my piness, of my sacred conjugal rights, may the mind, Jacometta ! I found it difficult to bear an blessed Virgin never countenance me, never look injury, though an empty and unreal one ; let me on me or listen to me, if this is not the last time I try whether the efforts I make will enable me to ask them, or if ever I accept them though offered." endure a misfortune .. on the faith of a woman,
At which, he rushed indignantly from the bed, my dear Jacometta, no unreal nor empty one threw open the door, and pushing aside the Policastro is young : it would be unreasonable in ! princess, cried raving, “ Vile treacherous girl ! me to desire he should lead the life of an anchorite, standing there, peeping ! half-naked! At your and perhaps not quite reasonable in him to expect infantine age dare you thus intrude upon the the miracle of my blood congealing." holy mysteries of the marriage-bed?"
After this narration, Messer Francesco walked Screaming out these words, he ran like one pos- toward the high altar and made his genuflexion : sessed by the devil into his own room, bolted the the same did Messer Giovanni, and, int he act of door with vehemence, locked it, cursed it, slipped it, slapped Ser Geoffreddo on the shoulder, telling between the sheets, and slept soundly.
him he might dispense with the ceremony, by The princess was astonished : she asked herself, reason of his inflexible boots and the buck-skin why did not I do this? why did not I do that? | paling about his loins. Ser Geoffreddo did it the reason was, she had learned her own part, but nevertheless, and with equal devotion. His to not his. Scarcely had she entered her chamber, friends then took him between them to the house when Jacometta fell upon her neck, sobbing aloud, of Messer Francesco, where dinner had been some and declaring that nothing but her providential time waiting. presence could have saved her. She had muffled
ALEXANDER AND THE PRIEST OF HAMMON. Alexander. Like my father, as ignorant men Alexander. Not only did he swear more fre called King Philip, I have at all times been the quently and more awfully than any officer in the friend and defender of the gods.
army, or any priest in the temples, but his sacrifices Priest. Hitherto it was rather my belief that were more numerous and more costly. the gods may befriend and defend us mortals : Priest. More costly? It must be either to those but I am now instructed that a king of Macedon whose ruin is consummated or to those wbose has taken them under his shield. Philip, if report ruin is commenced ; in other words, either to the be true, was less remarkable for his devotion. vanquished, or to those whose ill-fortune is of Alexander. He was the most religious prince of earlier date, the born subjects of the vanquisher.
Alexander. He exhibited the surest and most Priest. On what, 0 Alexander, rests the sup- manifest proof of his piety when he defeated port of such an exalted title?
Enomarchus, general of the Phocians, who had
dared to plough a piece of ground belonging to evident, from the same authority, that thou Apollo.
wantest nothing from him but his blessing . Priest. Apollo might have made it as hot work unless it be a public acknowledgment that he for the Phocians who were ploughing his ground, has been guilty of another act of bastardy, more as he formerly did at Troy to those unruly Greeks becoming his black curls than his grey decrewho took away his priest's daughter. He shot a pitude. good many mules, to show he was in earnest, and Alexander. Amazement to talk thus of would have gone on shooting both cattle and men Jupiter ! until he came at last to the offender.
Priest. Only to those who are in his confidence: Alexander. He instructed kings by slaying a mistress for instance, or a son, as thou sayest their people before their eyes : surely he would thou art. never set so bad an example as striking at the Alexander. Yea, by my head and by my sceptre kings themselves. Philip, to demonstrate in the am 1. Nothing is more certain. presence of all Greece his regard for Apollo of Priest. We will discourse upon that presently. Delphi, slew six thousand, and threw into the sea Alexander. Discourse upon it this instant. three thousand, enemies of religion.
Priest. How is it possible that Jupiter should Priest. Alexander ! Alexander ! the enemies of be thy father, when .. religion are the cruel, and not the sufferers by Alexander. When what? eruelty. Is it unpardonable in the ignorant to be Priest. Couldst not thou hear me on? in error about their gods when the wise are in Alexander. Thou askest a foolish question. doubt about their fathers ?
Priest. I did not ask whether I should be acAlexander. I am not : Philip is not mine. knowledged the son of Jupiter. Priest. Probable enough.
Alexander. Thou indeed ! Alexander. Who then is, or ought to be, but Priest. Yet, by the common consent of manJupiter himself?
kind, lands and tenements are assigned to us, and Priest. The priests of Pella are abler to return we are called “divine," as their children ; and there an oracle on that matter than we of the Oasis. are some who assert that the gods themselves have
Alexander. We have no oracle at Pella. less influence and less property on earth than we. Priest. If you had, it might be dumb for once. Alexander. All this is well : only use your Alexander. I am losing my patience.
influence for your benefactors. Priest. I have given thee part of mine, seeing Priest. Before we proceed any farther, tell me thee but scantily provided ; yet, if thy gestures are in what manner thou art or wilt ever be the any signification, it sits but awkwardly upon thy benefactor of Egypt. shoulders.
Alexander. The same exposition will demonAlexander. This to me! the begotten of a god! strate that I shall be likewise the benefactor of the benefactor of all mankind.
Jupiter. It is my intention to build a city, in a Priest. Such as Philip was to the three thou- situation very advantageous for commerce : of sand, when he devised so magnificent a bath for course the frequenters of such a mart will contheir recreation. Plenty of pumice ! rather a lack tinually make offerings to Jupiter. of napkins !
Priest. For what? Alexander. No trifling ! no false wit!
Alexander. For prosperity. Priest. True wit, to every man, is that which Priest. Alas! Alexander, the prosperous make falls on another.
few offerings; and Hermes has the dexterity to Alexander. To come at once to the point; I am intercept the greater part of them. In Egypt ready to prove that neither Jason nor Bacchus, there are cities enough already : I should say too in their memorable expeditions, did greater many : for men prey upon one another when they service to mankind than I have done, and am are penned together close. about to do.
Alexander. There is then no glory in building Priest. Jason gave them an example of false- a magnificent city ? hood and ingratitude : Bacchus made them Priest. Great may be the glory. drunk : thou appearest a proper successor to these Alexander. Here at least thou art disposed to worthies.
do me justice. Alexander. Such insolence to crowned heads ! Priest. I never heard until this hour that among such levity on heroes and gods !
thy other attainments was architecture. Priest. Hark ye, Alexander! we priests are Alexander. Scornful and insolent man! dost privileged.
thou take me for an architect? Alexander. I too am privileged to speak of my Priest. I was about to do so; and certainly not own great actions; if not as liberator of Greece in scorn, but to assuage the feeling of it. and consolidator of her disjointed and jarring Alexander. How? interests, at least as the benefactor of Egypt and Priest. He who devises the plan of a great city, of Jupiter.
of its streets, its squares, its palaces, its temples, Priest. Here indeed it would be unseemly to must exercise much reflection and many kinds of langh ; for it is evident on thy royal word that knowledge : and yet those which strike most the Jupiter is much indebted to thee; and equally vulgar, most even the scientific, require less care less knowledge, less beneficence, than what are Alexander. Dragon. called the viler parts, and are the most obscure Priest. Thy mother Olympias hated Philip, a and unobserved; the construction of the sewers ; | well-made man, young, courageous, libidinous, the method of exempting the aqueducts from the witty, prodigal of splendour, indifferent to wealth, incroachment of their impurities; the conduct of the greatest captain, the most jovial companion, canals for fresh air in every part of the house, and the most potent monarch in Europe. attempering the summer heats; the exclusion of Alexander. My father Philip, I would have thee reptiles; and even the protection from insects. to know .. I mean my reputed father .. was also The conveniences and comforts of life in these the greatest politician in the world. countries, depend on such matters.
Priest. This indeed I am well aware of; but I Alexander. My architect, I doubt not, has con- did not number it among his excellences in the sidered them maturely.
eyes of a woman : it would have been almost the Priest. Who is he?
only reason why she should have preferred the Alexander. I will not tell thee : the whole glory serpent, the head of the family. We live here, O is mine: I gave the orders, and first conceived Alexander, in solitude; yet we are not the less the idea.
curious, but on the contrary the more, to lean Priest. A hound upon a heap of dust may dream what passes in the world around. of a fine city, if he has ever seen one; and a mad- Olympias then did really fall in love with a man in chains may dream of building it, and may serpent ? and she was induced . even give directions about it.
Alexander. Induced ! do serpents induce people! Alexander. I will not bear this.
They coil and climb and subdue them. Priest. Were it false, thou couldst bear it; thou Priest. The serpent must have been desterwouldst call the bearing of it magnanimity; and ous . . wiser men would do the same for centuries. As Alexander. No doubt he was. such wisdom and such greatness are not what I Priest. But women have such an abhorrence of bend my back to measure, do favour me with what serpents, that Olympias would surely have rather thou wert about to say when thou begannest run away. “nothing is more certain ;" since I presume it Alexander. How could she? must appertain to geometry, of which I am fond. Priest. Or called out.
Alexander. I did not come hither to make figures Alexander. Women never do that, lest somebody upon the sand.
should hear them. Priest. Fortunate for thee, if the figure thou Priest. All mortals seem to bear an innate antiwilt leave behind thee could be as easily wiped pathy to this reptile. out.
Alexander. Mind! mind what thou sayest ! Do Alexander. What didst thou say?
not call my father a reptile. Priest. I was musing.
Priest. Even thou, with all thy fortitude, Foulds Alexander. Even the building of cities is in thy experience a shuddering at the sight of a serpent sight neither glorious nor commendable.
in thy bed-clothes. Priest. Truly, to build them is not among the Alexander. Not at all. Beside, I do not hesitate undertakings I the most applaud in the powerful; in my belief that on this occasion it was Jupiter but to destroy them is the very foremost of the himself. The priests in Macedon were unanimous excesses I abhor. All the cities of the earth upon it. should rise up against the man who ruins one. Priest. When it happened ? Until this sentiment is predominant, the peaceful Alexander. When it happened no one mentioned can have no protection, the virtuous no encourage- it, for fear of Philip. ment, the brave no countenance, the prosperous Priest. What would he have done ? no security. We priests communicate one with Alexander. He was choleric. another extensively; and even in these solitudes Priest. Would he have made war upon Jupiter! thy exploits against Thebes have reached and Alexander. By my soul! I know not; but I shocked us.
What hearts must lie in the bosoms would have done it in his place. As a son, I a of those who applaud thee for preserving the dutiful and compliant: as a husband and king, mansion of a deceased poet in the general ruin, there is not a thunderbolt in heaven that should while the relatives of the greatest patriot that ever deter me from my rights. drew breath under heaven, of the soldier at whose Priest. Did any of the priesthood see the hospitable hearth thy father learned all that thou dragon, as he was entering or retreating from the knowest and much more, of Epaminondas (dost chamber? thou hear me?), were murdered or enslaved. Now Alexander. Many saw a great light in it. begin the demonstration than which “nothing is Priest. He would want one. more certain.”
Alexander. This seems like irony: sacred things Alexander. Nothing is more certain, or what a do not admit it. What thousands saw, nobody greater number of witnesses are ready to attest, should doubt. The sky opened, lightnings flex than that my mother Olympias, who hated Philip, athwart it, and strange voices were heard. was pregnant of me by a serpent.
Priest. Juno's the loudest, I suspect. Priest. Of what race
Alexander. Being king, and the conqueror of