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took the refolution of feeing Anfaldo, who rofe from his chair, and running to embrace him, told him he was welcome: Giannetto with tears returned his embraces. Anfaldo heard his tale: do not grieve, my dear fon, fays he, we have fill enough: the fea enriches fome men, others it ruins.

Poor Giannetto's head was day and night full of the thoughts of his bad fuccefs. When Anfaldo enquired what was the matter, he confeffed, he could never be contented till he fhould be in a condition to regain all that he loft. When Anfaldo found him refolved, he began to fell every thing he had, to furnish this other fine fhip with merchandize: but, as he wanted ftill ten thoufand ducats, he applied himself to a Jew at Meftri, and borrowed them on condition, that if they were not paid on the feaft of St. John in the next month of June, that the Jew might take a pound of flesh from any part of his body he pleafed. Anfaldo agreed, and the Jew had an obligation drawn, and witneffed, with all the form and ceremony neceffary; and then counted him the ten thoufand ducats of gold, with which Anfaldo bought what was ftill wanting for the veffel. This laft fhip was finer and better freighted than the other two, and his companions made ready for their voyage, with a defign that whatever they gained fhould be for their friend. When it was time to depart, Anfaldo told Giannetto, that fince he well knew of the obligation to the Jew, he entreated, that if any misfortune happened, he would return to Venice, that he might fee him before he died; and then he could leave the world with fatisfaction: Giannetto promifed to do every thing that he conceived might give him pleafure. Anfaldo gave him his bleffing, they took their leave, and the fhips fet out.

Giannetto had nothing in his head but to fteal into Belmonte; and he prevailed with one of the failors in the night to fail the veffel into the port. It was told the lady, that Giannetto was arrived in port. She faw from the window the veffel, and immediately fent for him.

Giannetto goes to the caftle, the day is fpent in joy and feafting; and to honour him, a tournament is ordered, and many barons and knights tilted that day. Giannetto did wonders, fo well did he understand the lance, and was fo graceful a figure on horfeback: he pleafed fo much, that all were defirous to have him for their lord.

The lady, when it was the ufual time, catching him by the hand, begged him to take his reft. When he paffed the door of the chamber, one of the damfels in a whifper faid to him, Make a pretence to drink the liquor, but touch not one drop. The lady faid, I know you must be thirsty, I must have drink before you go to bed: immediately two damfels entered the room, and prefented the wine. Who can refufe wine from fuch beautiful hands cries Giannetto: at which the lady fmiled. Giannetto takes the cup, and making as if he drank, pours the wine into his

bofom. The lady thinking he had drank, fays afide to herself with great joy, You must go, young man, and bring another ship, for this is condemned. Giannetto went to bed, and began to fnore as if he flept foundly. The lady perceiving this, laid herfelf down by his fide. Giannetto lofes no time, but turning to the lady, embraces her, faying, Now am I in poffeffion of my utmost withes. When Giannetto came out of his chamber, he was knighted, and placed in the chair of state, had the fceptre put into his hand, and was proclaimed fovereign of the country, with great pomp and fplendour; and when the lords and ladies were come to the caftle, he married the lady in great ceremony.

Giannetto governed excellently, and caufed juftice to be administered impartially. He continued fome time in his happy state, and never entertained a thought of poor Anfaldo, who had given his bond to the Jew for ten thoufand ducats. But one day, as he stood at the window of the palace with his bride, he faw a number of people pafs along the piazza, with lighted torches in their hands. What is the meaning of this? fays he. The lady anfwered, They are artificers, going to make their offerings at the church of St. John, this day being his feftival. Giannetto inftantly recollected Anfaldo, gave a great figh, and turned pale. His lady enquired the caufe of his fudden change. He faid, he felt nothing. She continued to prefs with great earneftnefs, till he was obliged to confefs the caufe of his uneafinefs, that Anfaldo was engaged for the money, that the term was expired; and the grief he was in was left his father fhould lofe his life for him: that if the ten thousand ducats were not paid that day, he must lofe a pound of his flesh. The lady told him to mount on horseback, and go by land the neareft way, to take fome attendants, and an hundred thousand ducats; and not to stop till he arrived at Venice; and if he was not dead, to endeavour to bring Anfaldo to her. Giannetto takes horse with twenty attendants, and makes the best of his way to Venice.

The time being expired, the Jew had seized Anfaldo, and infifted on having a pound of his flesh. He entreated him only to wait fome days, that if his dear Giannetto arrived, he might have the pleasure of embracing him: the Jew replied he was willing to wait; but, fays he, I will cut off the pound of flesh, according to the words of the obligation. Anfaldo answered, that he was con

tent.

Several merchants would have jointly paid the money; the Jew would not hearken to the propofal, but infifted that he might have the fatisfaction of faying, that he had put to death the greatest of the Chriftian merchants. Giannetto making all poffible hafte to Venice, his lady foon followed him in a lawyer's habit, with twofervants attending her. Giannetto, when he came to Venice, goes to the Jew, and (after embracing Anfaldo) tells him, he is ready to pay the money, and as much more as he should demand.

The

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The Jew faid, he would take no money, fince it was not paid a the time due; but that he would have the pound of flefh. Every one blamed the Jew; but as Venice was a place where juftice was strictly adminiftered, and the Jew had his pretenfions grounded on publick and received forms, their only refource was entreaty; and when the merchants of Venice applied to him, he was inflexible. Giannetto offered him twenty thoufand, then thirty thou fand, afterwards forty, fifty, and at laft an hundred thousand ducats. The Jew told him, if he would give him as much gold as Venice was worth, he would not accept it; and fays he, you know little of me, if you think I will defift from my demand.

The lady now arrives at Venice, in her lawyer's drefs; and alighting at an inn, the landlord afks of one of the fervants who his mafter was? The fervant answered, that he was a young lawyer who had finished his ftudies at Bologna. The landlord upon this fhews his gueft great civility: and when he attended at dinner, the lawyer enquiring how juftice was adminiftered in that city, he answered, juftice in this place is too fevere, and related the cafe of Anfaldo. Says the lawyer, this queftion may be eafily anfwered. If you can anfwer it, fays the landlord, and fave this worthy man from death, you will get the love and efteem of all the best men of this city. The lawyer caufed a proclamation to be made, that whoever had any law matters to determine, they fhould have recourfe to him: fo it was told to Giannetto, that a famous lawyer was come from Bologna, who could decide all cafes in law. Giannetto propofed to the Jew to apply to this lawyer. With all my heart, fays the Jew; but let who will come, I will ftick to my bond. They came to this judge, and faluted him. Giannetto did not remember him: for he had difguifed his face with the juice of certain herbs. Giannetto, and the Jew, each told the merits of the caufe to the judge; who, when he had taken the bond and read it, faid to the Jew, I must have you take the hundred thousand ducats, and releafe this honeft man, who will always have a grateful fenfe of the favour done to him. The Jew replied, I will do no fuch thing. The judge anfwered, it will be better for you. The Jew was pofitive to yield nothing. Upon this they go to the tribunal appointed for fuch judgments: and our judge fays to the Jew, Do you cut a pound of this man's flesh where you chufe. The Jew ordered him to be stripped naked; and takes in his hand a razor, which had been made on purpofe. Giannetto feeing this, turning to the judge, this, fays he, is not the favour I asked of you. Be quiet, fays he, the pound of flesh is not yet cut off. As foon as the Jew was going to begin, Take care what you do, fays the judge, if you take more or lefs than a pound, I will order your head to be ftruck off: and befide, if you fhed one drop of blood, you fhall be put to death. Your paper makes no mention of the fhedding of blood; but fays exprefly, that you may take a pound of fleth, neither more nor lefs. He

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immediately fent for the executioner to bring the block and ax ;
and now, fays he, if I fee one drop of blood, off goes your
head. At length the Jew, after much wrangling, told him, Give
me the hundred thousand ducats, and I am content. No, fays
the judge, cut off your pound of flesh according to your bond:
why did not you take the money when it was offered? The Jew
came down to ninety, and then to eighty thoufand: but the
judge was ftill refolute. Giannetto told the judge to give what
he required, that Anfaldo might have his liberty: but he re-
plied, let me manage him. Then the Jew would have taken
fifty thoufand he faid, I will not give you a penny. Give me
at leaft, fays the Jew, my own ten thousand ducats, and a curfe
confound you all. The judge replies, I will give you nothing:
if you will have the pound of flesh, take it; if not, I will order
your bond to be proteíted and annulled. The Jew feeing he could
gain nothing, tore in pieces the bond in a great rage. Anfaldo
was released, and conducted home with great joy by Giannetto,
who carried the hundred thoufand ducats to the inn to the lawyer.
The lawyer faid, I do not want money; carry it back to your
lady, that the may not fay, that you have fquandered it away
idly. Says Giannetto, my lady is fo kind, that I might spend
four times as much without incurring her difpleasure. How are
you pleased with the lady? fays the lawyer. I love her better
than any earthly thing, anfwers Giannetto: nature feems to have
done her utmoft in forming her. If you will come and fee her,
you will be furprised at the honours the will few you. I cannot
go with you, fays the lawyer; but fince you fpeak fo much good
of her, I must defire you to prefent my respects to her. I will not
fail, Giannetto answered; and now, let me entreat you to accept of
fome of the money. While he was (peaking, the lawyer obferved
a ring on his finger, and faid, if you will give me this ring, I fhall
feek no other reward. Willingly, fays Giannetto; but as it is a
ring given me by my lady, to wear for her fake, I have fome re-
luctance to part with it, and fle, not feeing it on my finger, will
believe, that I have given it to a woman. Says the lawyer, fhe
efteems you fufficiently to credit what you tell her, and you may
fay
you
made a prefent of it to me; but I rather think you want
to give
it to fome former mistress here in Venice. So great, fays
Giannetto, is the love and reverence I bear to her, that I would
not change her for any woman in the world. After this he takes
the ring from his finger, aud presents it to him. I have still a fa-
vour to afk, fays the lawyer. It fhall be granted, fays Giannetto,
It is, replied he, that you do not stay any time here, but go as
foon as poffible to your lady. It appears to me a thousand years
till I fee her, anfwered Giannetto: and immediately they take
leave of each other. The lawyer embarked, and left Venice.
Giannetto took leave of his Venetian friends, and carried An-
faldo with him, and fome of his old acquaintance accompanied

them.

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them. The lady arrived fome days before; and having refumed her female habit, pretended to have spent the time at the baths; and now gave order to have the streets lined with tapestry: and when Giannetto and Anfaldo were landed, all the court went out to meet them. When they arrived at the palace, the lady ran to embrace Anfaldo, but feigned anger against Giannetto, though fhe loved him exceffively yet the feaftings, tilts, and diverfions went on as ufual, at which all the lords and ladies were prefent. Giannetto feeing that his wife did not receive him with her accuftomed good countenance, called her, and would have faluted her. She told him, fhe wanted none of his careffes: I am fure, fays fhe, you have been lavish of them to fome of your former miftreffes. Giannetto began to make excufes. She asked him where was the ring fhe had given him? It is no more than what I expected, cries Giannetto, and I was in the right to say you would be angry with me; but, I fwear, by all that is facred, and by your dear felf, that I gave the ring to the lawyer who gained our caufe. And I can fwear, fays the lady, with as much folemnity, that you gave the ring to a woman: therefore fwear no more. Gi annetto protested that what he had told her was true, and that he faid all this to the lawyer, when he asked for the ring. The lady replied, you would have done much better to stay at Venice with your mistreffes, for I fear they all wept when you came away. Giannetto's tears began to fall, and in great forrow he affured her, that what the fuppofed could not be true. The lady feeing his tears, which were daggers in her bofom, ran to embrace him, and in a fit of laughter fhewed the ring, and told him, that fhe was herself the lawyer, and how fhe obtained the ring. Giannetto was greatly aftonished, finding it all true, and told the ftory to the nobles and to his companions; and this heightened greatly the love between him and his lady. He then called the damfel who had given him the good advice in the evening not to drink the liquor, and gave her to Anfaldo for a wife: and they spent the reft of their lives in great felicity and contentment.

Uggieri de Figiovanni took a refolution of going, for fome time, to the court of Alfonfo king of Spain. He was graciously received, and living there fome time in great magnifi cence, and giving remarkable proofs of his courage, was greatly efteemed. Having frequent opportunities of examining minutely the behaviour of the king, he obferved, that he gave, as he thought, with little difcernment, caftles, and baronies, to fuch who were unworthy of his favours; and to himself, who might pretend to be of fome eftimation, he gave nothing he therefore thought the fittest thing to be done, was to demand leave of the king to return home.

His requeft was granted, and the king prefented him with one of the most beautiful and excellent mules, that had ever been

mounted.

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