Selected And Translated From The Italian.



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Excerpt :



There dwelt in Rome two very intimate friends and relations of the family of Savelli, the one named Bacciuolo, and the other Pietro Paolo, both nobly bom and possessed of sufficient wealth. These young men determined to go and complete their studies at Bologna; one wished to study the common law, and the other the canon law. They accordingly took leave of their friends, and came to Bologna, and assiduously applied themselves to their respective pursuits, which they continued for some time. Now, as you no doubt know, the former improved himself much sooner than Pietro Paolo, for which reason, being now a licentiate, he determined to return to Rome, and said to Pietro Paolo—“Brother, since I am now a licentiate, I have resolved to return home.” Peter Paul answered, “I prithee do not leave me here—oblige me by remaining the winter—then in the spring we will go together—thou in the mean time mayest learn some other science, by which means thou wilt not waste thy time.” Bacciuolo willingly agreed to the proposal, promised to wait for him, and in order not to lose his time, went to the professor, and said, “Sir, having made up my mind to remain with my friend and relation, I would be glad if it pleased you to teach me some noble science during my stay.” The professor answered, that he would most willingly do it. “Chuse which science you prefer, and I will teach it you with pleasure.” Bacciuolo then replied, “Worthy Sir, I would learn how to make love, and to set about it.” The professor, smiling, answered, “this is a good joke, thou couldst not have hit on a science in which I am a greater adept. Now then go thy ways on Sunday morning to the church of the minor friars—there thou wilt see numbers of fine women assembled, and wilt be able to pitch upon some one that may take thy fancy. When thou hast selected the one, follow her until you find out where she lives—then return to me. This is the first part of my instructions.” Bacciuolo departed, and on the following Sunday, going to the church as he had been desired, and eyeing all the pretty women, for there were many, he saw one among them that pleased him much—she being very handsome and graceful. When she left the church, Bacciuolo took care to follow her close, and saw, and marked the house where she dwelt, not however, without the lady perceiving that the young student had taken a fancy to her. Bacciuolo returned to the professor, and said, “I have done as you desired me, and I have seen one whom I like very much.” Upon which the professor said he was highly pleased, and smiled at Bacciuolo, seeing what species of science he was anxious to learn, and he said to him, “be sure you make a point of passing by her house, as it were carelessly, two or three times every day, and have your eyes about you, and take care that no one observes you looking at her, but enjoy as much as thou mayest the sight of her, and let her perceive that thou art in love with her; then return to me. This is the second part of my instructions.” Bacciuolo left the professor, and cautiously began to walk to and fro before the lady’s house; so that the lady perceived that he must certainly walk to and fro before the house, for the purpose of seeing her—she, therefore, began to eye him; insomuch that Bacciuolo began to bow most respectfully to her, and she returned the salutation several times, the which persuaded Bacciuolo that the lady did not dislike him. He, of course, reported the whole to the professor; who answered, “well, I am pleased with this, and you have ruled yourself well hitherto. Now you must endeavour to find one of those female pedlers, that sell trinkets, purses, and such like in the streets of Bologna, and set her to make the lady acquainted with your passion, how much you are devoted to her, and that there is none you could prefer to her, and how happy you would be if she would lay upon you any commands, by which you could prove your devotion to her: thou wilt hear what she says to this, and thou wilt report it to me, and I will direct thy future conduct.” Bacciuolo immediately went out and found a pedler perfectly well acquainted with her trade, and addressed her thus:—“I wish you to do me a great kindness, and I will reward you handsomely.” The woman answered, “I will obey your orders, for I have nothing to look to but to get money.” Bacciuolo gave her a crown-piece, and said, “I wish you to go today to a house in a street called the Maccarella; there lives a damsel, called the Lady Giovanna, whom I love more than any other living creature; and I wish you to get me into her good graces, and tell her I would gladly do any thing that might give her pleasure; and say all the pretty coaxing things, which I am sure you can say on such occasions; therefore I entreat you to exert your skill.” The little old woman answered, “rest assured, kind Signor, I will do my best, and find a favourable opportunity for the purpose.”


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