Illustration for Facetious Nights by E. R. Hughes

The Facetious Nights

Illustration for Facetious Nights by E. R. Hughes

The Facetious Nights

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Night the Sixth:
Proem

THE shadows of a night sombre and overcast had diffused themselves o'er all around, and the brilliant stars in the ample-domed heaven no longer gave their light, and Aeolus, sweeping over the salt waves with a long-drawn moan, stirred up a tempestuous sea and blew hard against shipmen and voyagers, when our noble and faithful band of companions, caring nought for the violent wind or the swelling waves or for the cruel cold, betook themselves to their accustomed meeting-place and sat down in due order, having first made a respectful reverence to the Signora. She forthwith ordered the golden vase to be brought to her, and placed therein the names of live ladies. The first to be drawn out was that of Alteria, the second of Arianna the third of Cateruzza, the fourth of Lauretta, and the fifth of Eritrea. This done the Signora directed these five to sing a canzonetta, and they at once obeyed her command and began to discourse sweetly the following song.

SONG.

O Love! if faith rose with thee at thy birth;
If ye, twin flowers of earth,
Should twine around my lady's name
And deck the presence I adore;
Then never more
Should they divide, or time let sink my loyal flame.

She feels your power indeed, but not enough
To let your onslaught rough
Sway all her nature, and release
Her passions kept so well in hand.
And thus I stand
With failing hope, while my desire doth aye increase.

When the singing of this sweet and most pleasant song was finished, Alteria, who had been chosen to tell the first story, laid aside her viol and bow and thus began.

Next: Night the Sixth: First Fable

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.


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