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Giovanni Boccaccio - Decameron (Day the Nineteenth) lyrics

The Eighth Story

The Count Of Antwerp, Being Falsely Accused, Goeth Into Exile And Leaveth His Two Children In Different Places In England, Whither, After Awhile, Returning In Disguise And Finding Them In Good Case, He Taketh Service As A Horseboy In The Service Of The King Of France And Being Approved Innocent, Is Restored To His Former Estate

The ladies sighed amain over the fortunes of the fair Saracen; but who knoweth what gave rise to those sighs? Maybe there were some of them who sighed no less for envy of such frequent nuptials than for pity of Alatiel. But, leaving that be for the present, after they had laughed at Pamfilo's last words, the queen, seeing his story ended, turned to Elisa and bade her follow on with one of hers. Elisa cheerfully obeyed and began as follows: "A most ample field is that wherein we go to-day a-ranging, nor is there any of us but could lightly enough run, not one, but half a score courses there, so abounding hath Fortune made it in her strange and grievous chances; wherefore, to come to tell of one of these latter, which are innumerable, I say that:

When the Roman Empire was transferred from the French to the Germans,[121] there arose between the one and the other nation an exceeding great enmity and a grievous and continual war, by reason whereof, as well for the defence of their own country as for the offence of that of others, the King of France and a son of his, with all the power of their realm and of such friends and kinsfolk as they could command, levied a mighty army to go forth upon the foe; and ere they proceeded thereunto,—not to leave the realm without governance,—knowing Gautier, Count of Antwerp,[122] for a noble and discreet gentleman and their very faithful friend and servant, and for that (albeit he was well versed in the art of war) he seemed to them more apt unto things delicate than unto martial toils, they left him vicar general in their stead over all the governance of the realm of France and went on their way. Gautier accordingly addressed himself with both order and discretion to the office committed unto him, still conferring of everything with the queen and her daughter-in-law, whom, for all they were left under his custody and jurisdiction, he honoured none the less as his liege ladies and mistresses.

Now this Gautier was exceedingly goodly of his body, being maybe forty years old and as agreeable and well-mannered a gentleman as might be; and withal, he was the sprightliest and daintiest cavalier known in those days and he who went most adorned of his person. His countess was dead, leaving him two little children, a boy and a girl, without more, and it befell that, the King of France and his son being at the war aforesaid and Gautier using much at the court of the aforesaid ladies and speaking often with them of the affairs of the kingdom, the wife of the king's son cast her eyes on him and considering his person and his manners with very great affection, was secretly fired with a fervent love for him. Feeling herself young and lusty and knowing him wifeless, she doubted not but her desire might lightly be accomplished unto her and thinking nought hindered her thereof but shamefastness, she bethought herself altogether to put that away and discover to him her passion. Accordingly, being one day alone and it seeming to her time, she sent for him into her chamber, as though she would discourse with him of other matters.

The count, whose thought was far from that of the lady, betook himself to her without any delay and at her bidding, seated himself by her side on a couch; then, they being alone together, he twice asked her the occasion for which she had caused him come thither; but she made him no reply. At last, urged by love and grown all vermeil for shame, well nigh in tears and all trembling, with broken speech she thus began to say: 'Dearest and sweet friend and my lord, you may easily as a man of understanding apprehend how great is the frailty both of men and of women, and that more, for divers reasons, in one than in another; wherefore, at the hands of a just judge, the same sin in diverse kinds of qualities of persons should not in equity receive one same punishment. And who is there will deny that a poor man or a poor woman, whom it behoveth gain with their toil that which is needful for their livelihood, would, an they were stricken with Love's smart and followed after him, be far more blameworthy than a lady who is rich and idle and to whom nothing is lacking that can flatter her desires? Certes, I believe, no one. For which reason methinketh the things aforesaid [to wit, wealth and leisure and luxurious living] should furnish forth a very great measure of excuse on behalf of her who possesseth them, if, peradventure, she suffer herself lapse into loving, and the having made choice of a lover of worth and discretion should stand for the rest,[123] if she who loveth hath done that. These circumstances being both, to my seeming, in myself (beside several others which should move me to love, such as my youth and the absence of my husband), it behoveth now that they rise up in my behalf for the defence of my ardent love in your sight, wherein if they avail that which they should avail in the eyes of men of understanding, I pray you afford me counsel and succour in that which I shall ask of you. True is it, that availing not, for the absence of my husband, to withstand the pricks of the flesh nor the might of love-liking, the which are of such potency that they have erst many a time overcome and yet all days long overcome the strongest men, to say nothing of weak women,—and enjoying the commodities and the leisures wherein you see me, I have suffered myself lapse into ensuing Love his pleasures and becoming enamoured; the which,—albeit, were it known, I acknowledge it would not be seemly, yet,—being and abiding hidden, I hold[124] well nigh nothing unseemly; more by token that Love hath been insomuch gracious to me that not only hath he not bereft me of due discernment in the choice of a lover, but hath lent me great plenty thereof[125] to that end, showing me yourself worthy to be loved of a lady such as I,—you whom, if my fancy beguile me not, I hold the goodliest, the most agreeable, the sprightliest and the most accomplished cavalier that may be found in all the realm of France; and even as I may say that I find myself without a husband, so likewise are you without a wife. Wherefore, I pray you, by the great love which I bear you, that you deny me not your love in return, but have compassion on my youth, the which, in very deed, consumeth for you, as ice before the fire.'

With these words her tears welled up in such abundance that, albeit she would fain have proffered him yet other prayers, she had no power to speak farther, but, bowing her face, as if overcome, she let herself fall, weeping, her head on the count's bosom. The latter, who was a very loyal gentleman, began with the gravest reproofs to rebuke so fond a passion and to repel the princess, who would fain have cast herself on his neck, avouching to her with oaths that he had liefer be torn limb from limb than consent unto such an offence against his lord's honour, whether in himself or in another. The lady, hearing this, forthright forgot her love and kindling into a furious rage, said, 'Felon knight that you are, shall I be this wise flouted by you of my desire? Now God forbid, since you would have me die, but I have you put to death or driven from the world!' So saying, she set her hands to her tresses and altogether disordered and tore them; then, rending her raiment at the breast, she fell to crying aloud and saying, 'Help! Help! The Count of Antwerp would do me violence.' The count, seeing this, misdoubting far more the courtiers' envy than his own conscience and fearful lest, by reason of this same envy, more credence should be given to the lady's malice than to his own innocence, started up and departing the chamber and the palace as quickliest he might, fled to his own house, where, without taking other counsel, he set his children on horseback and mounting himself to horse, made off with them, as most he might, towards Calais.

Meanwhile, many ran to the princess's clamour and seeing her in that plight and hearing [her account of] the cause of her outcry, not only gave credence to her words, but added[126] that the count's gallant bearing and debonair address had long been used by him to win to that end. Accordingly, they ran in a fury to his houses to arrest him, but finding him not, first plundered them all and after razed them to the foundations. The news, in its perverted shape, came presently to the army to the king and his son, who, sore incensed, doomed Gautier and his descendants to perpetual banishment, promising very great guerdons to whoso should deliver him to them alive or dead.

The count, woeful for that by his flight he had, innocent as he was, approved himself guilty, having, without making himself known or being recognized, reached Calais with his children, passed hastily over into England and betook himself in mean apparel to London, wherein ere he entered, with many words he lessoned his two little children, and especially in two things; first, that they should brook with patience the poor estate, whereunto, without their fault, fortune had brought them, together with himself,—and after, that with all wariness they should keep themselves from ever discovering unto any whence or whose children they were, as they held life dear. The boy, Louis by name, who was some nine and the girl, who was called Violante and was some seven years old, both, as far as their tender age comported, very well apprehended their father's lessons and showed it thereafter by deed. That this might be the better done,[127] he deemed it well to change their names; wherefore he named the boy Perrot and the girl Jeannette and all three, entering London, meanly clad, addressed themselves to go about asking alms, like as we see yonder French vagabonds do.

They being on this account one morning at a church door, it chanced that a certain great lady, the wife of one of the king's marshals of England, coming forth of the church, saw the count and his two little ones asking alms and questioned him whence he was and if the children were his, to which he replied that he was from Picardy and that, by reason of the misfeasance of a rakehelly elder son of his, it had behoved him depart the country with these two, who were his. The lady, who was pitiful, cast her eyes on the girl and being much taken with her, for that she was handsome, well-mannered and engaging, said, 'Honest man, an thou be content to leave thy daughter with me, I will willingly take her, for that she hath a good favour, and if she prove an honest woman, I will in due time marry her on such wise that she shall fare well.' This offer was very pleasing to the count, who promptly answered, 'Yes,' and with tears gave up the girl to the lady, urgently commending her to her care.

Having thus disposed of his daughter, well knowing to whom, he resolved to abide there no longer and accordingly, begging his way across the island, came, not without sore fatigue, as one who was unused to go afoot, into Wales. Here dwelt another of the king's marshals, who held great state and entertained a numerous household, and to his court both the count and his son whiles much resorted to get food. Certain sons of the said marshal and other gentlemen's children being there engaged in such boyish exercises as running and leaping, Perrot began to mingle with them and to do as dextrously as any of the rest, or more so, each feat that was practised among them. The marshal, chancing whiles to see this and being much taken with the manners and fashion of the boy, asked who he was and was told that he was the son of a poor man who came there bytimes for alms; whereupon he caused require him of the count, and the latter, who indeed besought God of nought else, freely resigned the boy to him, grievous as it was to him to be parted from him. Having thus provided his son and daughter, he determined to abide no longer in England and passing over into Ireland, made his way, as best he might, to Stamford, where he took service with a knight belonging to an earl of the country, doing all such things as pertain unto a lackey or a horseboy, and there, without being known of any, he abode a great while in unease and travail galore.

Meanwhile Violante, called Jeannette, went waxing with the gentlewoman in London in years and person and beauty and was in such favour both with the lady and her husband and with every other of the house and whoso else knew her, that it was a marvellous thing to see; nor was there any who noted her manners and fashions but avouched her worthy of every greatest good and honour. Wherefore the noble lady who had received her from her father, without having ever availed to learn who he was, otherwise than as she had heard from himself, was purposed to marry her honourably according to that condition whereof she deemed her. But God, who is a just observer of folk's deserts, knowing her to be of noble birth and to bear, without fault, the penalty of another's sin, ordained otherwise, and fain must we believe that He of His benignity permitted that which came to pass to the end that the gentle damsel might not fall into the hands of a man of low estate.

The noble lady with whom Jeannette dwelt had of her husband one only son, whom both she and his father loved with an exceeding love, both for that he was their child and that he deserved it by reason of his worth and virtues. He, being some six years older than Jeannette and seeing her exceeding fair and graceful, became so sore enamoured of her that he saw nought beyond her; yet, for that he deemed her to be of mean extraction, not only dared he not demand her of his father and mother to wife, but, fearing to be blamed for having set himself to love unworthily, he held his love, as most he might, hidden; wherefore it tormented him far more than if he had discovered it; and thus it came to pass that, for excess of chagrin, he fell sick and that grievously. Divers physicians were called in to medicine him, who, having noted one and another symptom of his case and being nevertheless unable to discover what ailed him, all with one accord despaired of his recovery; whereat the young man's father and mother suffered dolour and melancholy so great that greater might not be brooked, and many a time, with piteous prayers, they questioned him of the cause of his malady, whereto or sighs he gave for answer or replied that he felt himself all wasting away.

It chanced one day that, what while a doctor, young enough, but exceedingly deeply versed in science, sat by him and held him by the arm in that part where leaches use to seek the pulse, Jeannette, who, of regard for his mother, tended him solicitously, entered, on some occasion or another, the chamber where the young man lay. When the latter saw her, without word said or gesture made, he felt the amorous ardour redouble in his heart, wherefore his pulse began to beat stronglier than of won't; the which the leach incontinent noted and marvelling, abode still to see how long this should last. As soon as Jeannette left the chamber, the beating abated, wherefore it seemed to the physician he had gotten impartment of the cause of the young man's ailment, and after waiting awhile, he let call Jeannette to him, as he would question her of somewhat, still holding the sick man by the arm. She came to him incontinent and no sooner did she enter than the beating of the youth's pulse returned and she being gone again, ceased. Thereupon, it seeming to the physician that he had full enough assurance, he rose and taking the young man's father and mother apart, said to them, 'The healing of your son is not in the succour of physicians, but abideth in the hands of Jeannette, whom, as I have by sure signs manifestly recognized, the young man ardently loveth, albeit, for all I can see, she is unaware thereof. You know now what you have to do, if his life be dear to you.'

The gentleman and his lady, hearing this, were well pleased, inasmuch as some means was found for his recoverance, albeit it irked them sore that the means in question should be that whereof they misdoubted them, to wit, that they should give Jeannette to their son to wife. Accordingly, the physician being gone, they went into the sick man and the lady bespoke him thus: 'Son mine, I could never have believed that thou wouldst keep from me any desire of thine, especially seeing thyself pine away for lack thereof; for that thou shouldst have been and shouldst be assured that there is nought I can for thy contentment, were it even less than seemly, which I would not do as for myself. But, since thou hast e'en done this, God the Lord hath been more pitiful over thee than thou thyself and that thou mayst not die of this sickness, hath shown me the cause of thine ill, which is no otherwhat than excess of love for some damsel or other, whoever she may be; and this, indeed, thou needest not have thought shame to discover, for that thine age requireth it, and wert thou not enamoured, I should hold thee of very little account. Wherefore, my son, dissemble not with me, but in all security discover to me thine every desire and put away from thee the melancholy and the thought-taking which be upon thee and from which proceedeth this thy sickness and take comfort and be assured that there is nothing of that which thou mayst impose on me for thy satisfaction but I will do it to the best of my power, as she who loveth thee more than her life. Banish shamefastness and fearfulness and tell me if I can do aught to further thy passion; and if thou find me not diligent therein or if I bring it not to effect for thee, account me the cruellest mother that ever bore son.'

The young man, hearing his mother's words, was at first abashed, but presently, bethinking himself that none was better able than she to satisfy his wishes, he put away shamefastness and said thus to her: 'Madam, nothing hath wrought so effectually with me to keep my love hidden as my having noted of most folk that, once they are grown in years, they choose not to remember them of having themselves been young. But, since in this I find you reasonable, not only will I not deny that to be true which you say you have observed, but I will, to boot, discover to you of whom [I am enamoured], on condition that you will, to the best of your power, give effect to your promise; and thus may you have me whole again.' Whereto the lady (trusting overmuch in that which was not to come to pass for her on such wise as she deemed in herself) answered freely that he might in all assurance discover to her his every desire, for that she would without any delay address herself to contrive that he should have his pleasure. 'Madam,' then said the youth, 'the exceeding beauty and commendable fashions of our Jeannette and my unableness to make her even sensible, still less to move her to pity, of my love and the having never dared to discover it unto any have brought me whereas you see me; and if that which you have promised me come not, one way or another, to pass, you may be assured that my life will be brief.'

The lady, to whom it appeared more a time for comfort than for reproof, said, smilingly, 'Alack, my son, hast thou then for this suffered thyself to languish thus? Take comfort and leave me do, once thou shalt be recovered.' The youth, full of good hope, in a very short time showed signs of great amendment, whereas the lady, being much rejoiced, began to cast about how she might perform that which she had promised him. Accordingly, calling Jeannette to her one day, she asked her very civilly, as by way of a jest, if she had a lover; whereupon she waxed all red and answered, 'Madam, it concerneth not neither were it seemly in a poor damsel like myself, banished from house and home and abiding in others' service, to think of love.' Quoth the lady, 'An you have no lover, we mean to give you one, in whom you may rejoice and live merry and have more delight of your beauty, for it behoveth not that so handsome a girl as you are abide without a lover.' To this Jeannette made answer, 'Madam, you took me from my father's poverty and have reared me as a daughter, wherefore it behoveth me to do your every pleasure; but in this I will nowise comply with you, and therein methinketh I do well. If it please you give me a husband, him do I purpose to love, but none other; for that, since of the inheritance of my ancestors nought is left me save only honour, this latter I mean to keep and preserve as long as life shall endure to me.'

This speech seemed to the lady very contrary to that whereto she thought to come for the keeping of her promise to her son,—albeit, like a discreet woman as she was, she inwardly much commended the damsel therefor,—and she said, 'How now, Jeannette? If our lord the king, who is a young cavalier, as thou art a very fair damsel, would fain have some easance of thy love, wouldst thou deny it to him?' Whereto she answered forthright, 'The king might do me violence, but of my consent he should never avail to have aught of me save what was honourable.' The lady, seeing how she was minded, left parleying with her and bethought herself to put her to the proof; wherefore she told her son that, whenas he should be recovered, she would contrive to get her alone with him in a chamber, so he might make shift to have his pleasure of her, saying that it appeared to her unseemly that she should, procuress-wise, plead for her son and solicit her own maid.

With this the young man was nowise content and presently waxed grievously worse, which when his mother saw, she opened her mind to Jeannette, but, finding her more constant than ever, recounted what she had done to her husband, and he and she resolved of one accord, grievous though it seemed to them, to give her to him to wife, choosing rather to have their son alive with a wife unsorted to his quality than dead without any; and so, after much parley, they did; whereat Jeannette was exceeding content and with a devout heart rendered thanks to God, who had not forgotten her; but for all that she never avouched herself other than the daughter of a Picard. As for the young man, he presently recovered and celebrating his nuptials, the gladdest man alive, proceeded to lead a merry life with his bride.

[Lyrics from: https:/]
Meanwhile, Perrot, who had been left in Wales with the King of England's marshal, waxed likewise in favour with his lord and grew up very goodly of his person and doughty as any man in the island, insomuch that neither in tourneying nor jousting nor in any other act of arms was there any in the land who could cope with him; wherefore he was everywhere known and famous under the name of Perrot the Picard. And even as God had not forgotten his sister, so on like wise He showed that He had him also in mind; for that a pestilential sickness, being come into those parts, carried off well nigh half the people thereof, besides that most part of those who survived fled for fear into other lands; wherefore the whole country appeared desert. In this mortality, the marshal his lord and his lady and only son, together with many others, brothers and nephews and kinsmen, all died, nor was any left of all his house save a daughter, just husband-ripe, and Perrot, with sundry other serving folk. The pestilence being somewhat abated, the young lady, with the approof and by the counsel of some few gentlemen of the country[128] left alive, took Perrot, for that he was a man of worth and prowess, to husband and made him lord of all that had fallen to her by inheritance; nor was it long ere the King of England, hearing the marshal to be dead and knowing the worth of Perrot the Picard, substituted him in the dead man's room and made him his marshal. This, in brief, is what came of the two innocent children of the Count of Antwerp, left by him for lost.

Eighteen years were now passed since the count's flight from Paris, when, as he abode in Ireland, having suffered many things in a very sorry way of life, there took him a desire to learn, as he might, what was come of his children. Wherefore, seeing himself altogether changed of favour from that which he was won't to be and feeling himself, for long exercise, grown more robust of his person than he had been when young and abiding in ease and idlesse, he took leave of him with whom he had so long abidden and came, poor and ill enough in case, to England. Thence he betook himself whereas he had left Perrot and found him a marshal and a great lord and saw him robust and goodly of person; the which was mighty pleasing unto him, but he would not make himself known to him till he should have learned how it was with Jeannette. Accordingly, he set out and stayed not till he came to London, where, cautiously enquiring of the lady with whom he had left his daughter and of her condition, he found Jeannette married to her son, which greatly rejoiced him and he counted all his past adversity a little thing, since he had found his children again alive and in good case.

Then, desirous of seeing Jeannette, he began beggarwise, to haunt the neighbourhood of her house, where one day Jamy Lamiens, (for so was Jeannette's husband called,) espying him and having compassion on him, for that he saw him old and poor, bade one of his servants bring him in and give him to eat for the love of God, which the man readily did. Now Jeannette had had several children by Jamy, whereof the eldest was no more than eight years old, and they were the handsomest and sprightliest children in the world. When they saw the count eat, they came one and all about him and began to caress him, as if, moved by some occult virtue, they divined him to be their grandfather. He, knowing them for his grandchildren, fell to fondling and making much of them, wherefore the children would not leave him, albeit he who had charge of their governance called them. Jeannette, hearing this, issued forth of a chamber therenigh and coming whereas the count was, chid them amain and threatened to beat them, an they did not what their governor willed. The children began to weep and say that they would fain abide with that honest man, who loved them better than their governor, whereat both the lady and the count laughed. Now the latter had risen, nowise as a father, but as a poor man, to do honour to his daughter, as to a mistress, and seeing her, felt a marvellous pleasure at his heart. But she nor then nor after knew him any whit, for that he was beyond measure changed from what he was used to be, being grown old and hoar and bearded and lean and swart, and appeared altogether another man than the count.

The lady then, seeing that the children were unwilling to leave him and wept, when she would have them go away, bade their governor let them be awhile and the children thus being with the good man, it chanced that Jamy's father returned and heard from their governor what had passed, whereupon quoth the marshal, who held Jeannette in despite, 'Let them be, God give them ill-luck! They do but hark back to that whence they sprang. They come by their mother of a vagabond and therefore it is no wonder if they are fain to herd with vagabonds.' The count heard these words and was mightily chagrined thereat; nevertheless, he shrugged his shoulders and put up with the affront, even as he had put up with many others. Jamy, hearing how the children had welcomed the honest man, to wit, the count, albeit it misliked him, nevertheless so loved them that, rather than see them weep, he commanded that, if the good man chose to abide there in any capacity, he should be received into his service. The count answered that he would gladly abide there, but he knew not to do aught other than tend horses, whereto he had been used all his lifetime. A horse was accordingly assigned to him and when he had cared for it, he busied himself with making sport for the children.

Whilst fortune handled the Count of Antwerp and his children on such wise as hath been set out, it befell that the King of France, after many truces made with the Germans, died and his son, whose wife was she through whom the count had been banished, was crowned in his place; and no sooner was the current truce expired than he again began a very fierce war. To his aid the King of England, as a new-made kinsman, despatched much people, under the commandment of Perrot his marshal and Jamy Lamiens, son of the other marshal, and with them went the good man, to wit, the count, who, without being recognized of any, abode a pretty while with the army in the guise of a horseboy, and there, like a man of mettle as he was, wrought good galore, more than was required of him, both with counsels and with deeds.

During the war, it came to pass that the Queen of France fell grievously sick and feeling herself nigh unto death, contrite for all her sins, confessed herself unto the Archbishop of Rouen, who was held of all a very holy and good man. Amongst her other sins, she related to him that which the Count of Antwerp had most wrongfully suffered through her; nor was she content to tell it to him alone, nay, but before many other men of worth she recounted all as it had passed, beseeching them so to do with the king that the count, an he were on life, or, if not, one of his children, should be restored to his estate; after which she lingered not long, but, departing this life, was honourably buried. Her confession, being reported to the king, moved him, after he had heaved divers sighs of regret for the wrong done to the nobleman, to let cry throughout all the army and in many other parts, that whoso should give him news of the Count of Antwerp or of either of his children should for each be wonder-well guerdoned of him, for that he held him, upon the queen's confession, innocent of that for which he had gone into exile and was minded to restore him to his first estate and more.

The count, in his guise of a horseboy, hearing this and being assured that it was the truth,[129] betook himself forthright to Jamy Lamiens and prayed him go with him to Perrot, for that he had a mind to discover to them that which the king went seeking. All three being then met together, quoth the count to Perrot, who had it already in mind to discover himself, 'Perrot, Jamy here hath thy sister to wife nor ever had any dowry with her; wherefore, that thy sister may not go undowered, I purpose that he and none other shall, by making thee known as the son of the Count of Antwerp, have this great reward that the king promiseth for thee and for Violante, thy sister and his wife, and myself, who am the Count of Antwerp and your father.' Perrot, hearing this and looking steadfastly upon him, presently knew him and cast himself, weeping, at his feet and embraced him, saying, 'Father mine, you are dearly welcome.' Jamy, hearing first what the count said and after seeing what Perrot did, was overcome at once with such wonderment and such gladness that he scarce knew what he should do. However, after awhile, giving credence to the former's speech and sore ashamed for the injurious words he had whiles used to the hostler-count, he let himself fall, weeping, at his feet and humbly besought him pardon of every past affront, the which the count, having raised him to his feet, graciously accorded him.

Then, after they had all three discoursed awhile of each one's various adventures and wept and rejoiced together amain, Perrot and Jamy would have reclad the count, who would on nowise suffer it, but willed that Jamy, having first assured himself of the promised guerdon, should, the more to shame the king, present him to the latter in that his then plight and in his groom's habit. Accordingly, Jamy, followed by the count and Perrot, presented himself before the king, and offered, provided he would guerdon him according to the proclamation made, to produce to him the count and his children. The king promptly let bring for all three a guerdon marvellous in Jamy's eyes and commanded that he should be free to carry it off, whenas he should in very deed produce the count and his children, as he promised. Jamy, then, turning himself about and putting forward the count his horseboy and Perrot, said, 'My lord, here be the father and the son; the daughter, who is my wife and who is not here, with God's aid you shall soon see.'

The king, hearing this, looked at the count and albeit he was sore changed from that which he was used to be, yet, after he had awhile considered him, he knew him and well nigh with tears in his eyes raised him—for that he was on his knees before him—to his feet and kissed and embraced him. Perrot, also, he graciously received and commanded that the count should incontinent be furnished anew with clothes and servants and horses and harness, according as his quality required, which was straightway done. Moreover, he entreated Jamy with exceeding honour and would fain know every particular of his[130] past adventures. Then, Jamy being about to receive the magnificent guerdons appointed him for having discovered the count and his children, the former said to him, 'Take these of the munificence of our lord the king and remember to tell thy father that thy children, his grandchildren and mine, are not by their mother born of a vagabond.' Jamy, accordingly, took the gifts and sent for his wife and mother to Paris, whither came also Perrot's wife; and there they all foregathered in the utmost joyance with the count, whom the king had reinstated in all his good and made greater than he ever was. Then all, with Gautier's leave, returned to their several homes and he until his death abode in Paris more worshipfully than ever."


[121] i.e. a.d. 912, when, upon the death of Louis III, the last prince of the Carlovingian race, Conrad, Duke of Franconia, was elected Emperor and the Empire, which had till then been hereditary in the descendants of Charlemagne, became elective and remained thenceforth in German hands.

[122] Anguersa, the old form of Anversa, Antwerp. All versions that I have seen call Gautier Comte d'Angers or Angiers, the translators, who forgot or were unaware that Antwerp, as part of Flanders, was then a fief of the French crown, apparently taking it for granted that the mention of the latter city was in error and substituting the name of the ancient capital of Anjou on their own responsibility.

[123] i.e. of her excuse.

[124] Lit. Thou holdest (or judges); but giudichi in the text is apparently a mistake for giudico.

[125] i.e. of discernment.

[126] Sic (aggiunsero); but semble should mean "believed, in addition."

[127] i.e. That the secret might be the better kept.

[128] Paesani, lit., countrymen; but Boccaccio evidently uses the word in the sense of "vassals."

[129] i.e. that it was not a snare.

[130] Quære, the Count's?

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