Here Beginneth the Ninth Day of the Decameron Wherein Under the Governance of Emilia Each Discourseth According As It Pleaseth Him and of That Which Is Most to His Liking

The light, from whose resplendence the night fleeth, had already changed all the eighth heaven[423] from azure to watchet-colour[424] and the flowerets began to lift their heads along the meads, when Emilia, uprising, let call the ladies her comrades and on like wise the young men, who, being come, fared forth, ensuing the slow steps of the queen, and betook themselves to a coppice but little distant from the palace. Therein entering, they saw the animals, wild goats and deer and others, as if assured of security from the hunters by reason of the prevailing pestilence, stand awaiting them no otherwise than as they were grown without fear or tame, and diverted themselves awhile with them, drawing near, now to this one and now to that, as if they would fain lay hands on them, and making them run and skip. But, the sun now waxing high, they deemed it well to turn back. They were all garlanded with oak leaves, with their hands full of flowers and sweet-scented herbs, and whoso encountered them had said no otherwhat than "Or these shall not be overcome of death or it will slay them merry." On this wise, then, they fared on, step by step, singing and chatting and laughing, till they came to the palace, where they found everything orderly disposed and their servants full of mirth and joyous cheer. There having rested awhile, they went not to dinner till half a dozen canzonets, each merrier than other, had been carolled by the young men and the ladies; then, water being given to their hands, the seneschal seated them all at table, according to the queen's pleasure, and the viands being brought, they all ate blithely. Rising thence, they gave themselves awhile to dancing and music-making, and after, by the queen's commandment, whoso would betook himself to rest. But presently, the wonted hour being come, all in the accustomed place assembled to discourse, whereupon the queen, looking at Filomena, bade her give commencement to the stories of that day, and she, smiling, began on this wise:

Footnotes

[423] According to the Ptolemaic system, the earth is encompassed by eight celestial zones or heavens; the first or highest, above which is the empyrean, (otherwise called the ninth heaven,) is that of the Moon, the second that of Mercury, the third that of Venus, the fourth that of the Sun, the fifth that of Mars, the sixth that of Jupiter, the seventh that of Saturn and the eighth or lowest that of the fixed stars and of the Earth.

[424] D'azzurrino in color cilestro. This is one of the many passages in which Boccaccio has imitated Dante (cf. Purgatorio, c. xxvi. II. 4-6, "... il sole.... Che giĆ , raggiando, tutto l'occidente Mutava in bianco aspetto di cilestro,") and also one of the innumerable instances in which former translators (who all agree in making the advent of the light change the colour of the sky from azure to a darker colour, instead of, as Boccaccio intended, to watchet, i.e. a paler or greyish blue,) have misrendered the text, for sheer ignorance of the author's meaning.
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Decameron (Day The Eighty Eighth) Lyrics

Giovanni Boccaccio – Decameron (Day The Eighty Eighth) Lyrics