ALREADY on all sides the beasts of the field, wearied by the fatigues of the day, were seeking to give repose to their tired limbs, some resting upon soft feathers, some upon the hard and sharp-pointed rocks, some upon the swart herbage, and some amidst the thick- leaved trees, when the Signora, with the damsels who attended her, came forth from their chamber and went into the hail of meeting, where was gathered together the company, ready to listen to the fables which were to be told. Having called one of the servants, the Signora directed him to bring the golden vase, and, after they had put therein the names of five of the damsels, the drawing began, and the first name to be drawn forth was that of Lauretta, the second that of Arianna, the third that of Alteria, the fourth that of Eritrea, and the fifth that of Cateruzza. But before the beginning of the story-telling, the Signora signified it to be her will that they should first dance a measure, and then that Bembo should sing them a canzonet, and he, being unable to pro vide himself with any sufficient excuse, began to sing in a sweet voice, while all the company sat listening in silence.
Love's ardour or love's chills I feel no
This sweet song of Bembo's delighted all the listeners greatly, and, as soon as it had come to an end, Lauretta, rising from her seat, began her fable in the following words.
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.