THE shadowy night, nursing mother of the world's fatigues, had already fallen, and the wearied beasts and birds had gone to rest, when the gentle and amiable company of dames and cavaliers, putting aside all sombre thoughts, betook themselves to the accustomed meeting-place. Then, after the damsels had danced divers measures according to the rule of the assemblage, the vase was brought forth, and out of it, by chance, was first drawn the name of Fiordiana. Next came that of Lionora, then that of Diana, then that of Isabella, and lastly that of Vicenza.
When the instruments of musk had been brought and tuned, the Signora gave the word to Molino and the Trevisan to sing a canzonet, and these two without delay sang as follows:
The soft enchantment of your face,
To lures like these I fall a prey,
Lives there a man from pole to pole,
Would fail to turn from hot to cold,
Whose breast, now soothed with love's delight,
Nor all impatient would implore
This sweet and lovely song, sung by Molino and the Trevisan, pleased mightily the whole company. So strong was its pathetic charm that it brought certain soft tears from the eyes of a certain one towards whom it was especially directed. And then, in order to begin at once the story-telling for the evening, the Signora bade Fiordiana to commence, and the latter, having made her due salutation, told the story which follows.
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.