The Decameron, by Giovanni Boccaccio

Table of Contents

The Induction of the Author to the Following Discourses

The First Day

The First Day, the First Novell

Wherein is contained, how hard a thing it is, to distinguish goodnesse from hypocrisie; and how (under the Shadow of holinesse) the wickednesse of one man, may deceive many

The First Day, the Second Novell

Wherein is contained and expressed, the liberality and goodnesse of God, extended to the Christian Faith

The First Day, the Third Novell

Whereby the author, approving the Christian faith, sheweth, how beneficiall a sodaine and ingenious Answere may fall out to bee, especially when a man finds himselfe in some evident danger

The First Day, the Fourth Novell

Wherein may bee noted, that such men as will reprove those errours in others, which remaine in themselves, Commonly are the authors of their owne reprehension

The First Day, the Fift Novell

Declaring, that wise and vertuous ladies, ought to hold their chastitie in more esteeme, then the Greatnesse and treasures of princes: And that a discreete lord should not offer modestie violence

The First Day, the Sixt Novell

Declaring, that in few, discreete, and well placed words, the covered craft of church-Men may bee justly Reproved, and their hypocrisie honestly discovered

The First Day, the Seventh Novell

Approving, that it is much unfitting for a prince, or great person, to bee covetous; but rather to be Liberall to all men

The First Day, the Eight Novell

Which plainly declareth, that a covetous gentleman, is not worthy of any honor or respect

The First Day, the Ninth Novell

Giving all men to understand, that justice is necessary in a king above al things else whatsoever

The First Day, the Tenth Novell

Wherein is declared, that honest love agreeth with people of all ages

The Song

The Second Day

The Induction to the Second Day

Wherein, all the discourses are under the government of Madam Philomena: Concerning such men or women, as (In divers accidents) have been much mollested by fortune, and yet afterward (contrary to their hope and expectation) have Had a happy and successefull deliverance

The Second Day, the First Novell

Wherein is signified, how easie a thing it is, for wicked men to deceive the world, under the shadow and Colour of miracles: And that such treachery (oftentimes) redoundeth to the harme of the deviser

The Second Day, the Second Novell

Whereby wee may learne, that such things as sometime seeme hurtfull to us, may turne to our benefit and Commodity

The Second Day, the Third Novell

Wherein is declared the dangers of prodigalitie, and the manifold mutabilities of fortune

The Second Day, the Fourth Novell

Whereby may be discerned, into how many dangers a man may fall, through a covetous desire to enrich Himselfe

The Second Day, the Fift Novell

Comprehending, how needfull a thing it is, for a man that travelleth in affaires of the world, to be Provident and well advised, and carefully to keepe himselfe from the crafty and deceitfull allurements of strumpets

The Second Day, the Sixt Novell

Heerein all men are admonished, never to distrust the powerfull hand of heaven, when fortune seemeth to be Most adverse against them

The Second Day, the Seventh Novell

A lively demonstration, that the beauty of a woman (oftentimes) is very hurtfull to her selfe, and the Occasion of many evils, yea, and of death, to divers men

The Second Day, the Eight Novell

Whereby all men may plainely understand, that loyalty faithfully kept to the prince (what perils soever Doe ensue) doth yet neverthelesse renowne a man, and bring him to farre greater honour

The Second Day, the Ninth Novell

Wherein is declared, that by overliberall commending the chastity of women, it falleth out (oftentimes) to Be very dangerous, especially by the meanes of treacherers who yet (in the ende) are justly punnished for their Treachery

The Second Day, the Tenth Novell

Wherein olde men are wittily reprehended, that will match themselves with younger women then is fit for Their yeeres, and insufficient, never considering what may happen to them

The Song

The Third Day

The Induction to the Third Day

Upon which day, all matters to be discoursed on, doe passe under the regiment of Madam Neiphila: Concerning such persons as (by their wit and industry) have attained to their long wished desires, or recovered something, Supposed to be lost

The Third Day, the First Novell

Wherein is declared, that virginity is very hardly to be kept in all places

The Third Day, the Second Novell

Wherein is signified, the providence of a wise man, when he shall have reason to use revenge. And the Cunning meanes of another, when hee compasseth craft to defend himselfe from perill

The Third Day, the Third Novell

Declaring, that the lewd qualities of some persons, oftentimes misguide good people, into great and Greevous errors.

The Third Day, the Fourth Novell

Wherein is declared, what craft and subtilty some wily wits can devise, to deceive the simple, and Compasse their owne desires.

The Third Day the Fifth Novell

Wherein is described the frailety of some women, and folly of such husbands, as leave them alone to their Owne disposition

The Third Day the Sixth Novell

Declaring, how much perseverance, and a couragious spirit is available in love

The Third Day, the Seaventh Novell

Wherein is signified the power of love, and the diversity of dangers, whereinto men may dayly fall.

The Third Day, the Eight Novell

Wherein is displayed, the apparant folly of jealousie: And the subtility of some religious carnall minded Men, to beguile silly and simple maried men

The Third Day, the Ninth Novell

Commending the good judgement and understanding in ladies or gentlewomen, that are of a quicke and Apprehensive spirit

The Third Day, the Tenth Novell
The Song

The Fourth Day

The Fourth Day

Wherein all the severall descourses, are under the government of honourable philstratus: And concerning Such persons, whose loves have had successelesse ending

The Fourth Day, the First Novell

Wherein is declared the power of love, and their cruilty justly reprehended, who image to make the vigour Thereof cease, by abusing or killing one of the lovers

The Fourth Day, the Second Novell

Reprehending the lewd lives of dissembling hypocrites; and checking the arrogant pride of vaine-Headed Women

The Fourth Day, the Third Novell

Heerein is declared, how dangerous the occasion is, ensuing by anger and despight, in such as entirely Love, especially being injuried and offended by them that they love

The Fourth Day, the Fourth Novell

In commendation of justice betweene princes; and declaring withall, that neither feare, dangers, nor death It selfe, can any way daunt a true and loyall lover

The Fourth Day, the Fift Novell

Wherein is plainly proved, that love cannot be rooted uppe, by any humane power or providence; aspecially In such soule, where it hath bene really apprehended

The Fourth Day, the Sixth Novell

Describing the admirable accidents of fortune; and the mighty prevailing, power of love power of love

The Fourth Day, the Seventh Novell

Whereby is given to understand, that love and death do use their power equally alike, as well upon poore And meane persons, as on them that are rich and noble

The Fourth Day, the Eight Novell

Wherein is againe declared, the great indiscretion and folly of them, that think to constraine love, According to their will, after it is constantly setled before: With other instructions, concerning the unspeakeable power of Love

The Fourth Day, the Ninth Novell

Whereby appeareth, what ill successe attendeth on them, that love contrary to reason: In offering injurie Both to friendship and marriage together

The Fourth Day, the Tenth Novell

Wherein is declared, that sometime by adventurous accident, rather then any reasonable comprehension, a Man may escape out of manifold perilles, but especially in occurrences of love.

The Song

The Fifth Day

The Induction to the Fift Day

Whereon, all the discourses do passe under the government of the most noble lady fiammetta: Concerning Such persons, as have bene successefull in their love, after many hard and perillous misfortunes

The Fift Day, the First Novell

Whereby that love (oftentimes) maketh a man both wise and valiant

The Fift Day, the Second Novell

Wherein is declared, the firme loyaltie of a true lover: And how fortune doth sometime humble men, to Raise them afterward to a farre higher degree

The Fift Day, the Third Novell

Wherein, the severall powers both of love and fortune, is more at large approved

The Fift Day, the Fourth Novell

Declaring the discreete providence of parents, in care of their childrens love and their owne credit, to Cut off inconveniences, before they do proceede too farre

The Fift Day, the Fifth Novell

Wherein may be observed, what quarrels and contentions are occasioned by love; with some particular Description, concerning the sincerity of a loyall friend

The Fift Day, the Sixth Novell

Wherein is manifested, that love can leade a man into numberlesse perils: Out of which he escapeth with no Meane difficulty.

The Fift Day, the Seventh Novell

Wherein is declared, the sundry travels and perillous accidents, occasioned by those two powerfull Commanders, love and fortune, the insulting tyrants over humane life.

The Fift Day, the Eighth Novell

Declaring, that love not onely makes a man prodigall, but also an enemy to himselfe. Moreover, adventure Oftentimes bringeth such matters to passe, as wit and cunning in man can ever comprehend

The Fift Day, the Ninth Novell

Wherein is figured to the life, the notable kindnesse and courtesie, of a true and constant lover: As also The magnanimous minde of a famous lady

The Fift Day, the Tenth Novell

Reprehending the cunning of immodest women, who by abusing themselves, do throw evill aspersions on all their sexe

The Song

The Sixth Day

The Induction to the Sixt Day

Governed under the authority of Madam Eliza, and the argument of the discourses or novells there to be Recounted, doe concerne sudden, persons; who by some witty words (when any have checkt or retorting them) have revenged Themselves, in a sudden, unexpected and discreet answere, thereby preventing losse, danger, scorne and disgrace, retorting Them on the busi-Headed questioners

The Sixt Day, the First Novell

Reprehending the folly of such men, as undertake to report discourses, which are beyond their wit and Capacity, and gaine nothing but blame for their labour

The Sixt Day, the Second Novell

Approving, that a request ought to be civill, before it should be granted to any one whatsoever

The Sixt Day, the Third Novell

Wherein is declared, that mockers do sometimes meete with their matches in mockery, and to their owne Shame

The Sixt Day, the Fourth Novell

Whereby plainly appeareth, that a sodaine witty and merry answer, doth oftentimes appease the furious Choller of an angry man

The Sixt Day, the Fift Novell

Whereby may bee observed, that such as will speake contemptibly of others, ought (first of all) to looke Respectively on their owne imperfections

The Sixt Day, the Sixth Novel

Michiele Scalza proves to some young men that the family of the Baronchi was the most noble in the world, for which he gets a good supper.

The Sixt Day, the Seventh Novell

Wherein is declared, of what worth it is to confesse trueth, with a facetious and witty excuse

The Sixt Day, the Eighth Novell

In just scorne of such unsightly and ill-Pleasing surly sluts, who imagine none to be faire or Well-Favoured, but themselves

The Sixt Day, the Ninth Novell

Notably discovering the great difference that is betweene learning and ignorance, upon judicious Apprehension

The Sixt Day, the Tenth Novell

Wherein may be observed, what palpable abuses do many times passe, under the counterfeit cloake of Religion

The Song

The Seventh Day

The Induction to the Seventh Day

When the assembly being met together, and under the regiment of dioneus: The discourses are directed, for The discoverie of such policies and deceites, as women have used for beguiling of their husbandes, either in respect of Their love, or for the prevention of some blame or scandall, escaping without sight, knowledge, or otherwise

The Seventh Day, the First Novell

Reprehending the simplicity of some sottish husbands: And discovering the wanton subtilties of some women, To compasse their unlawfull desires

The Seventh Day, the Second Novell

Wherein is declared, what hard and narrow shifts and distresses, such as bee seriously linked in love, are Many times enforced to undergo: According as their owne wit, and capacitie of their surprizers, drive them to in Extremities

The Seventh Day, the Third Novell

Serving as a friendly advertisement to married women, that monks, friars, and priests may be none of their Gossips, in regard of unavoydable perilles ensuing thereby

The Seventh Day, the Fourth Novell

Wherein is manifested, that the malice and subtilty of woman, surpasseth all the art or wit in man

The Seventh Day, the Fift Novell

In just scorne and mockery of such jealous husbands, that will be so idle headed upon no occasion. Yet When they have good reason for it, do least of all suspect any such injury

The Seventh Day, the Sixth Novell

Wherein is manifestly discerned, that if love be driven to a narrow straite in any of his attempts; yet Hee can accomplish his purpose by some other supply

The Seventh Day, the Seventh Novell

Whereby is declared, that such as keepe many honest seeming servants, may sometime finde a knave among Them, and one that proves to be oversawcy with his master

The Seventh Day, the Eight Novell

Whereby appeareth, that an husband ought to be very well advised, when he meaneth to discover any wrong Offered his wife; except hee him-Selfe do rashly run into all the shame and reproach

The Seventh Day, the Ninth Novell

Wherein is declared, that great lords may sometime be deceived by their wives, as well as men of meaner Condition

The Seventh Day, the Tenth Novell

Wherein such men are covertly reprehended, who make no care or conscience at all of those things that Should preserve them from sinne

The Song

The Eighth Day

The Induction to the Eight Day

Whereon all the discourses, passe under the rule and government, of the honourable ladie Lauretta

The Eight Day, the First Novell

Wherein is declared, that such women as will make sale of their honestie, are sometimes over-reached in Their payment, and justly served as they should be

The Eight Day, the Second Novell

Approving, that no promise is to be kept with such women as will make sale of their honesty for coyne. A Warning also for men, not to suffer priests to be over familiar with their wives

The Eight Day, the Third Novell

Justly reprehending the simplicity of such men, as are too much addicted to credulitie, and will give Credit to every thing they heare

The Eight Day, the Fourth Novell

Wherein is declared, how love oftentimes is so powerfull in aged men, and driveth them to such doating, That it redoundeth to their great disgrace and punishment

The Eight Day, the Fift Novell

Giving admonition, that for the managing of publique affaires, no other persons are or ought to be Appointed, but such as be honest, and meet to sit on the seate of authority

The Eight Day, the Sixt Novell

Wherein is declared, how easily a plaine and simple man may be made a foole, when he dealeth with crafty Companions.

The Eight Day, the Seventh Novell

Serving as an admonition to all ladies and gentlewomen, not to mock or scorne gentlemen-Schollers, when They make meanes of love to them: Except they intend to seeke their owne shame, by disgracing them

The Eight Day, the Eight Novell

Wherein is approved, that he which offereth shame and disgrace to his neighbour; may receive the like Injury (if not in worse manner) by the same man

The Eight Day, the Ninth Novell

Wherein is approved, that titles of honour, learning, and dignity, are not alwayes bestowne on the wisest Men

The Eight Day, the Tenth Novell

Whereby appeareth, that such as meet with cunning harlots, and suffer themselves to be deceived by them: Must sharpen their wits, to make them requitall in the selfesame kinde

The Song

The Ninth Day

The Induction to the Ninth Day

Whereon, under the government of Madame Aimilia, the argument of each severall descourse, is not limitted To any one peculiar subject: But every one remaineth at liberty, to speak of whatsoever themselves best pleaseth

The Ninth Day, the First Novell

Approving, that chaste and honest women, ought rather to deny importunate suiters, by subtile and Ingenious meanes, then fall of scandall and slander

The Ninth Day, the Second Novell

Whereby is declared, that whosoever is desirous to reprehend sinne in other men, should first examine Himselfe, that he be not guiltie of the same crime

The Ninth Day, the Third Novell

Discovering the simplicity of some silly witted men, and how easie a matter it is to abuse and beguile Them

The Ninth Day, the Fourth Novell

Serving as an admonition to all men, for taking gamesters and drunkards into their service

The Ninth Day, the Fift Novell

In just reprehension of those vaineheaded fooles, that are led and governed by idle perswasions

The Ninth Day, the Sixt Novell

Wherein is manifested, that an offence committed ignorantly, and by mistaking; ought to be covered with Good advise, and civill discretion

The Ninth Day, the Seventh Novell

Whereby (with some indifferent reason) it is concluded, that dreames do not alwayes fall out to be Leasings

The Ninth Day, the Eight Novell

Whereby plainly appeareth, that they which take delight in deceiving others, do well deserve to be Deceived themselves

The Ninth Day, the Ninth Novell

Containing an excellent admonition, that such as covet to have the love of other men, must first learne Themselves, how to love: Also, by what meanes such women as are curst and self-Willed, may be reduced to civill Obedience

The Ninth Day, the Tenth Novell

In just reproofe of such foolish men, as will be governed by over-Light beleefe

The Song

The chorus sung by all the companie

The Tenth Day

The Induction to the Tenth and Last Day

Whereon, under the government of pamphilus, the severall arguments do concerne such persons, as either by Way of liberality, or in magnificent manner, performed any worthy action, for love, favour, friendship, or any other Honourable occasion

The Tenth Day, the First Novell

Wherin may evidently be discerned, that servants to princes and great lords, are many times recompenced, Rather by their good fortune, then in any regard of their dutifull services

The Tenth Day, the Second Novell

Wherein is declared that good men doe sometimes fall into bad conditions, onely occasioned thereto by Necessity: And what meanes are to be used, for their reducing to goodnesse againe

The Tenth Day, the Third Novell

Shewing in an excellent and lively demonstration, that any especiall honourable vertue, persevering and Dwelling in a truly noble soule, cannot be violenced or confounded, by the most politicke attemptes of malice and envy

The Tenth Day, the Fourth Novell

Wherein is shewne, that true love hath alwayes bin, and so still is, the occasion of many great and worthy Courtesies

The Tenth Day, the Fift Novell

Admonishing all ladies and gentlewomen, that are desirous to preserve their chastity, free from all Blemish and taxation: To make no promise of yeelding to any, under a compact or covenant, how impossible soever it may seeme to be

The Tenth Day, the Sixt Novell

Sufficiently declaring, that how mighty soever the power of love is: Yet a magnanimous and truly generous Heart, it can by no meanes fully conquer

The Tenth Day, the Seventh Novell

Wherein is covertly given to understand, that howsoever a prince may make use of his absolute power and Authority, towards maides or wives that are his subjects: Yet he ought to deny and reject all things, as shall make him Forgetfull of himselfe, and his true honour

The Song

Sung in the hearing of King Piero, on the behalfe of love-sicke Lisana

The Tenth Day, the Eight Novell

Declaring, that notwithstanding the frownes of fortune, diversity of occurrences, and contrary accidents Happening: Yet love and friendship ought to be preciously preserved among men

The Tenth Day, the Ninth Novell

Declaring what an honourable vertue courtesie is, in them that truely know how to use them

The Tenth Day, the Tenth Novell

Set downe as an example or warning to all wealthie men, how to have care of marrying themselves. and Likewise to poore and meane women, to be patient in their fortunes, and obedient to their husbands

The Song

The chorus sung by all the rest of the company

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Last updated Wednesday, March 12, 2014 at 13:31