This hugely enjoyable volume collects the best stories of Boccaccio's masterwork in a fresh, accessible new translation by Peter Hainsworth. It includes such celebrated, thought-provoking tales as 'Isabella and the Pot of Basil' (famously adapted by Keats) and 'Patient Griselda' alongside many boisterous and daring stories featuring faithless wives, philandering priests and curious nuns.
J. G. Nichols’s new translation, faithful to the original but rendered in eminently readable modern English, captures the timeless humor of one of the great classics of European literature.
A brilliant new translation of the work that Herman Hesse called “the first great masterpiece of European storytelling.”
From the Hardcover edition.
Vast in scope, teeming with colorful characters, and rich in worldly wisdom, these 25 tales from the original 100 encompass a variety of genres — folktales, ancient myths, fables, and anecdotes ranging from earthy satires of hypocritical clergy to gripping tales of murder and revenge and stories of passionate love. Chaucer, Shakespeare, and Keats drew upon Boccaccio's masterpiece for inspiration, and the grand old storyteller's fables continue to captivate modern readers.
Elegant and engaging, these pastoral poems address the great issues of Boccaccio’s Italy, including the political and military intrigues of the day. Boccaccio modeled his poems on Petrarch’s eclogues and, before him, those of Virgil and Theocritus. Slavitt’s impeccable translations are highly readable, while his editorial interjections both elucidate the poet’s intended meaning and frame the poems for the reader.
These charming works offer wonderful insight into daily life in Renaissance Italy. A prolific and award-winning translator, Slavitt turns the Eclogues into vibrant modern English, capturing not only the words of Boccaccio but the flavor of the original language.
The availability of The Latin Eclogues in English is a major contribution to the study of the literature and history of the Italian Renaissance.
- FIRST DAY -
NOVEL I. - Ser Ciappelletto cheats a holy friar by a false confession, and dies; and, having lived as a very bad man, is, on his death, reputed a saint, and called San Ciappelletto.
NOVEL II. - Abraham, a Jew, at the instance of Jehannot de Chevigny, goes to the court of Rome, and having marked the evil life of clergy, returns to Paris, and becomes a Chris-tian.
NOVEL III. - Melchisedech, a Jew, by a story of three rings averts a danger with which he was menaced by Saladin.
NOVEL IV. - A monk lapses into a sin meriting the most severe punishment, justly censures the same fault in his abbot, and thus evades the penalty.
NOVEL V. - The Marchioness of Monferrato by a banquet of hens seasoned with wit checks the mad passion of the King of France.
NOVEL VI. - A worthy man by an apt saying puts to shame the wicked hypocrisy of the religious.
NOVEL VII. - Bergamino, with a story of Primasso and the Abbot of Cluny, finely censures a sudden access of avarice in Messer Cane della Scala.
NOVEL VIII. - Guglielmo Borsiere by a neat retort sharply censures avarice in Messer Ermino de' Grimaldi.
NOVEL IX. - The censure of a Gascon lady converts the King of Cyprus from a churlish to an honourable temper.
NOVEL X. - Master Alberto da Bologna honourably puts to shame a lady who sought occasion to put him to shame in that he was in love with her.
- SECOND DAY -
NOVEL I. - Martellino pretends to be a paralytic, and makes it appear as if he were cured by being placed upon the body of St. Arrigo. His trick is detected; he is beaten and arrested, and is in peril of hanging, but finally escapes.
NOVEL II. - Rinaldo d'Asti is robbed, arrives at Castel Guglielmo, and is entertained by a widow lady; his property is restored to him, and he returns home safe and sound.
NOVEL III. - Three young men squander their substance and are reduced to poverty. Their nephew, returning home a desperate man, falls in with an abbot, in whom he discovers the daughter of the King of England. She marries him, and he retrieves the losses and re-establishes the fortune of his uncles.
NOVEL IV. - Landolfo Ruffolo is reduced to poverty, turns corsair, is captured by Genoese, is shipwrecked, escapes on a chest full of jewels, and, being cast ashore at Corfu, is hospitably entertained by a woman, and returns home wealthy.
NOVEL V. - Andreuccio da Perugia comes to Naples to buy horses, meets with three serious adventures in one night, comes safe out of them all, and returns home with a ruby.
All the east was white, nor any part of our hemisphere unillumined by the rising beams, when the carolling of the birds that in gay chorus saluted the dawn among the boughs induced Fiammetta to rise and rouse the other ladies and the three gallants; with whom adown the hill and about the dewy meads of the broad champaign she sauntered, talking gaily of divers matters, until the sun had attained some height.
- FIFTH DAY -
NOVEL I. - Cimon, by loving, waxes wise, wins his wife Iphigenia by capture on the high seas, and is imprisoned at Rhodes. He is delivered by Lysimachus; and the twain cap-ture Cassandra and recapture Iphigenia in the hour of their marriage. They flee with their ladies to Crete, and having there married them, are brought back to their homes.
NOVEL II. - Gostanza loves Martuccio Gomito, and hear-ing that he is dead, gives way to despair, and hies her alone aboard a boat, which is wafted by the wind to Susa. She finds him alive in Tunis, and makes herself known to him, who, having by his counsel gained high place in the king's favour, marries her, and returns with her wealthy to Lipari.
NOVEL III. - Pietro Boccamazza runs away with Agnolella, and encounters a gang of robbers: the girl takes refuge in a wood, and is guided to a castle. Pietro is taken, but escapes out of the hands of the robbers, and after some adventures arrives at the castle where Agnolella is, marries her, and returns with her to Rome.
NOVEL IV. - Ricciardo Manardi is found by Messer Lizio da Valbona with his daughter, whom he marries, and remains at peace with her father.
NOVEL V. - Guidotto da Cremona dies leaving a girl to Giacomino da Pavia. She has two lovers in Faenza, to wit, Giannole di Severino and Minghino di Mingole, who fight about her. She is discovered to be Giannole's sister, and is given to Minghino to wife.
NOVEL VI. - Gianni di Procida, being found with a damsel that he loves, and who had been given to King Frederic, is bound with her to a stake, so to be burned. He is recognized by Ruggieri dell' Oria, is delivered, and marries her.
NOVEL VII. - Teodoro, being enamoured of Violante, daughter of Messer Amerigo, his lord, gets her with child, and is sentenced to the gallows; but while he is being scourged thither, he is recognized by his father, and being set at large, takes Violante to wife.
NOVEL VIII. - Nastagio degli Onesti, loving a damsel of the Traversari family, by lavish expenditure gains not her love. At the instance of his kinsfolk he hies him to Chiassi, where he sees a knight hunt a damsel and slay her and cause her to be devoured by two dogs. He bids his kinsfolk and the lady that he loves to breakfast. During the meal the said damsel is torn in pieces before the eyes of the lady, who, fearing a like fate, takes Nastagio to husband.
NOVEL IX. - Federigo degli Alberighi loves and is not loved in return: he wastes his substance by lavishness until nought is left but a single falcon, which, his lady being come to see him at his house, he gives her to eat: she, knowing his case, changes her mind, takes him to husband and makes him rich.
NOVEL X. - Pietro di Vinciolo goes from home to sup: his wife brings a boy into the house to bear her company: Pietro returns, and she hides her gallant under a hen-coop: Pietro explains that in the house of Ercolano, with whom he was to have supped, there was discovered a young man bestowed there by Ercolano's wife: the lady thereupon censures Ercolano's wife: but unluckily an ass treads on the fingers of the boy that is hidden under the hen-coop, so that he cries for pain: Pietro runs to the place, sees him, and apprehends the trick played on him by his wife, which nevertheless he finally condones, for he is not himself free from blame.