There was of yore in Florence, a gallant named Federigo di Messer Filippo Alberighi, whise feats of arms and courtesy had not his peer in Tuscany. As is the common lot of gentlemen, Federigo became enamored of a lady named Monna Giovanna, who in her day held rank among the fairest and most elegant ladies of Florence; to gain whose love he jousted, tilted, gave entertainments, scattered largess, and, in short, set no bounds to his expenditure. However, the lady, no less virtuous than fair, cared not a lot for what he did for her sake, nor yet for him.
Spending thus greatly beyond his means, Federigo was at length reduced to such poverty that he had nothing left but a little estate, on the rents of which he lived very straightly , and a…show more content…
So the lady and her companion rose and came to table, and there, with Federigo, who waited them mostly faithfully, ate the brave falcon, knowing not what it was.
When they were risen from table, and had daliied a while in gay converse with him, the lady deemed it time to tell the reason of her visit. Wherefore, graciously addressing Federigo, thus began she, “Federigo, by what thou rememberesr of thy past, perchance, thou hast deemed me harsh and cruel. I doubt not thou must marvel at my presumption now, when thou hearest the main purpose of main visit; but if thou hadst sons, so that thou mightiest know the full force of the love that is borne them. I should make no doubt that thou wouldst hold me in part excused. For, having a son, I must, though fain would I not, crave of thee that which I know thou dost of all things and with justice prize most highly; which gift is no other than the falcon, on which my boy has so set his heart that, if bring him it not, I fear lest he froe so much worseof the malady, that he has, that thereby it might come to pass that I lose him. And so, not for the love which thou dost bear me, and which may no wise bind thee, but for that nobleness