Greeting, To all gracious and lovesome ladies.
DEAR ladies, there are many envious and spiteful men who are always and everywhere attempting to fix their fearsome fangs in my flesh and to scatter my dismembered body on every side, contending that the diverting stories which I have written and collected in this volume are none of mine, but goods which I have feloniously taken from this man and that. Of a truth I confess they are not mine, and if I said otherwise I should lie, but nevertheless I have faithfully set them down according to the manner in which they were told by the ladies, nobles, learned men and gentlemen who gathered together for recreation. And if now I should let them see the light, it will not be for the sake of gratifying my own pride or to bring me honour or renown, but simply to please all of you, and especially those who may always count on my service, and to whom I owe continual devotion. Take then, dear ladies, with smiling faces the humble gift which your servant proffers, and heed not these snarling whelps, who in their currish fury would hang upon me with their ravenous teeth, but read my book now and then, taking such pleasure in it as time and place will allow, without, however, neglecting Him from whom comes all our weal. May you be happy, ever keeping in mind those who have your names graven on their hearts, amongst whom I do not count myself the least.
GIOVANNI FRANCESCO STRAPAROLA.
[This dedication in the edition of 1555 is dated from Venice, September 1st, 1553.]
Straparola, Giovanni Francesco. The Facetious Nights by Straparola. W. G. Waters, translator. Jules Garnier and E. R. Hughes, illustrators. London: Privately Printed for Members of the Society of Bibliophiles, 1901. 4 volumes.