The story from II Pecorone centres on the adventures of a young man called Giannetto,l who corresponds to Shakespeare’s. Bassanio. He is the godson of a. Appendix 4: Il Pecorone. IL PECORONE is a collection of tales by Ser Giovanni. It was written in Italian at the end of the. 14th Century and printed in Milan in. The Pecorone of Ser Giovanni, now first tr. into English by W. G. Waters; choicely illus. by E. R. Hughes. Main Author: Giovanni, Fiorentino, 14th cent. Related.

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This is a bad mistake with serious consequences. Thirteen hundred and seventy-eight the year When I, one Ser Giovanni, wrote this book, As all may see who list therein to look, Wrote it, and set in order, neat and clear. To give a name thereto I took small care, Since a good friend of mine its title found, II Pecoron, for that it doth abound With owlish loons, who make within their lair.

A loon myself, I over these preside, And like a bleating calf my way pursue, Book-making, and I know not what beside, Granted the times be ripe, and that my due Of fame and honour with me may abide, For praise will greet me from the pecoronee crew.

Then ;ecorone not, O reader, if you find The book and writer of the self-same kind. This attribution is supposed to be spurious although it is mostly retained for convenience. Angelo de Gubernatis demonstrated that the personality of Ser Giovanni is purely mythical; that the Pecoronefrom certain idiosyncrasies of style, could not have been written in the trecento; and that its proper place is with the other recognized forgeries of literature, the Macpherson of this Ossian being Ludovico Domenichithe editor of the first edition published in Pecoroone can be proven that Shake-speare was directly familiar with El Pecorone in spite of the fact that, in the sixteenth century, no English translation of the Italian novel was in existence.

Anthony Munday also used the fable of the gory guarantee for the repayment of a loan, which was not permitted to cause loss of blood during its collection.

An elderly Christian usurer by the name of Truculento wishes to marry the beautiful Cornelia. The two stories end in the same way.

Both money lenders are told that they may extract their due; however, if a single pecodone of blood is spilled thereby, they will be executed.

The question of where Munday drew his inspiration from will be discussed later.

There was once in Florence, in the house of the Scali, a certain merchant called Bindo, who had sailed many times to Ol, near to Alexandria, and had likewise adventured in those other long voyages which are made for the sake of traffic.

This Bindo, who was very rich, had three stalwart sons, and when he lay on his deathbed he bade come to him the eldest and the second pecorobe, and in their presence he pecrone his will and left them heirs of all he possessed in the world. But to the youngest he left nothing.

He has no son of his own, and has written to me more than once to send you to him; moreover, I must tell you that he is the richest of all the Christian merchants.

Wherefore I desire that you go to him after my ll and give prcorone this letter. If you manage your affairs with prudence, you will become a rich man. All the sons lamented sorely, and buried their father with due honours.

When a few days had passed the two brothers called Giannetto, and said to him, ‘Brother, it is true indeed that our father has made a will leaving us his heirs, and making no mention of you.

Nevertheless, you are our brother, and from this time you shall have share in whatever may be left, equally with ourselves. On this I am fully determined; wherefore you can take the heritage sanctified and assigned to you. Giannetto took leave of them, and having journeyed to Venice and gone to the warehouse of Messer Ansaldo, he delivered the letter which his father had handed to him on his deathbed; and Messer Ansaldo, when he had read the same, learned that the young man before him was the son of his dear friend Bindo.

As soon as he had read it he straightway embraced Giannetto, saying, ‘Welcome, dear godson, whom I have so greatly desired to see. He never failed to give honour and respect where they might be due, and he reverenced Messer Ansaldo as if he had been a hundred pecprone his father.

Messer Ansaldo had no eyes for any but him, so charmed was he with Giannetto’s bearing and manners. Nor was any feast ever given to which he was not bidden. It happened one day that two good friends of his determined to sail for Alexandria with some wares laden in two ships, as was their annual custom.

They said to Giannetto, ‘You ought to give yourself the pleasure of a voyage with us, in order to see the world, especially Damascus and the parts thereabout. Then Messer Ansaldo let prepare a very fine ship, which he loaded with much merchandise, and supplied with banners and arms and all that was necessary. And when all was in readiness Messer Ansaldo pecornoe orders to the captain and the crew of the ship that they should do whatever Giannetto might direct, and he committed him to their care.

After these three friends in their three ships had sailed on several days it chanced that early one morning Giannetto caught jl of a certain gulf in which was a very fair port, whereupon he asked the captain what might be the name of the place. The captain replied that it belonged to a certain lady, a widow, who had brought many to ruin.

Giannetto inquired how they had been undone, and the captain replied, ‘Messere, this lady is very beautiful, and she has made it a law that, if any stranger lands there, he must needs share her bed, and, if he should have his will of her, that he should have her to wife and be the lord of the town and of all the country round.


But if he should fail in his venture, he must lose all he has. In the harbour the next morning, when the news was spread that a fine ship had come into port, all the people flocked to see her, and it was told likewise to the lady, who forthwith sent for Giannetto. Giannetto answered that he did, and pecoronr he had come there by reason of this custom alone.

The lady said, ‘You are welcome a hundredfold,’ and all that day she treated him with the greatest honour, and bid come divers counts and barons and knights who were under her rule to keep Giannetto company. All these were mightily pleased with Giannetto’s manners and his polished and pleasant and affable pecoronw. Almost everyone felt kindly towards him, and all that day they danced and sang and made merry at the court for the sake of Giannetto, and everyone would have pedorone well content to own him as over-lord.

When evening was come the lady took him by the hand and led him into the bedchamber, and said, ‘Me seems it is time for us to go to bed.

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Then he undressed and lay down on the bed, and fell asleep at once. The lady lay down beside him, but he woke not till it was past nine o’clock the next morning. As soon as it was day the lady arose, and made them begin unload the ship, which was filled with rich and fine merchandise. When nine o’clock had struck the waiting-maid went to the bed where Giannetto lay, and bade him rise and go his way with God’s help, forasmuch as he had forfeited his ship and all that was therein.

He was greatly ashamed, and conscious that he had fared very ill in his adventure. He called by night at the house of one of his friends, who marvelled greatly at the sight of him, and said, ‘Alas! Giannetto, what means this? One was cast here and another there, and I caught hold of a piece of wood, on which I reached the shore.

I returned hither by land, pecoronf here I am. Giannetto tarried some time in the house of his friend, who went one day to ik Messer Ansaldo, and found him in very melancholy mood. Ansaldo said, ‘I am so sorely afeared lest this son of mine should be dead, or that he have met some ill fortune at sea, that I can find nor peace nor happiness, so great is my love for him.

Catalog Record: The Pecorone of Ser Giovanni | Hathi Trust Digital Library

But where is he? Be not cast down, peccorone, since no hurt has come to you, I can rejoice. Before long Giannetto’s companions returned from Alexandria, having won great profit from their venture, peforone as soon as they landed they asked for news of him. When they heard his story they went straightway to greet him, saying, ‘How did you leave our company, and where did you go?

When we lost sight of you, we turned back on our course for a whole day, but we could pecoroen see aught of your ship nor learn where you had gone. Thus we fell into such grief that, pecoron the whole of our voyage, we knew not what merriment was, deeming you to be dead. I barely escaped with my life, and everything I had was lost.

But Giannetto could not banish the thought of how he might return to that lady, pondering with himself and saying, ‘Certes, I must pecornoe her my wife or die,’ and he could not shake off his sadness. Wherefore Messer Ansaldo besought him often that he should not grieve; for that, with the great wealth he possessed, they could live very well, but Giannetto answered that he could know no rest until he should have once more made that voyage over seas.

When Messer Ansaldo saw what his longing was, he let furnish for him in due time another oecorone, laden with yet richer cargo than the first, spending in this venture the main portion of his possessions; and the crew, as soon as they had stored the vessel with all that was needful, put out to sea with Giannetto on board, and set sail on the voyage.

Giannetto kept constant watch to espy pecornoe port where the lady dwelt, which was known as the port of the lady of Belmonte [2]and, having sailed one night up to the entrance thereof, which was in an arm of the sea, he suddenly recognized it, and bade them turn the sails and steer into it in such fashion that his friends on board pecorpne other ships might know naught of what he did.

The lady, when she arose pecorome the morning, looked towards the port, where she saw flying the flag of Giannetto’s ship, and, having recognized it at once, she called one of her chambermaids and said to her, ‘Know you what flag that is?

Then said the lady, ‘It is true what you say, and certes he must be hugely enamoured of me, seeing that I have never known one of these to come back a second time. He received them in like spirit, and then went up to the castle and presented himself to the lady.

Full text of “The Pecorone of Ser Giovanni”

She, when she met peocrone, embraced him with joy and delight, and he returned her greeting with reverent devotion. All that day they made merry, for the pecrone had bid come to her court divers ladies and gentlemen, and these entertained Giannetto joyfully for the love they bore him. The men grieved over the fate which was in store for him, for they would gladly have hailed him as their lord on account of his charm and courtesy, while the women were almost all in love with him when they saw pecoroje what dexterity he led the dance, and how he always wore a merry face as if he had been the son of some great lord.


When it seemed to her time to retire, the pecoronr took Giannetto by the hand and said, ‘Let us go to bed,’ and when they had gone into the chamber, and had disposed themselves to rest, two damsels came with wine and sweetmeats, whereof they ate and drank, and then went to bed. Giannetto fell asleep as soon as he lay down; whereupon the lady undressed and placed herself beside him, but he did not awake from sleep all night.

As soon as it was day the lady arose and bade them quickly unload the vessel, and when it was nine o’clock Giannetto awoke, but on seeking for the lady he could not find her. Then he lifted up his head and perceived that it was broad day; so he got up, covered with disgrace, and once more they gave him a horse and money for the journey, and said ‘Go your way,’ and he departed full of shame and sorrow.

He journeyed for many days without halt till he came to Venice, and there he went by night to the house of his friend, who, when he saw him, was hugely amazed and said, ‘Alas! Accursed be the fortune which led me into that land! Giannetto lay hid some days in his friend’s house, knowing not what to say or do, and almost minded to return to Florence without speaking a word to Messer Ansaldo; but at last he determined to seek him, and when Ansaldo beheld him he arose and ran to him and embraced him, saying, ‘Welcome to you, my son,’ and Giannetto embraced him, weeping the while.

Then, when he had learnt all, Messer Ansaldo said, ‘Listen to me, Giannetto, and give over grieving; for, as long as I have you back again, I am contented. We still have enough to allow us to live in modest fashion. The sea is always wont to give to one and to take from another. It happened that the adventurers who had set sail with Giannetto returned from Alexandria with great profit, and as soon as they landed they heard how Giannetto had come back broken in fortune; wherefore they were greatly amazed and said, ‘This is the strangest matter that ever was.

Fear nothing, for as long as we have anything you may treat it as your own.

Il Pecorone

But it came to pass that Giannetto, pondering these matters day and night, pecroone not shake off his sorrow; wherefore Messer Ansaldo demanded to know what ailed him, and Giannetto answered, ‘I shall never know content till I have regained you what I have lost.

In sooth, if the other two vessels had been fine and fair, this third was much richer and better furnished. In like manner Giannetto’s friends fitted out their vessels, with the intention of giving to him whatever they might gain by traffic. When the day of departure had come and they iil about to sail, Messer Ansaldo said to Giannetto, ‘My son, you are going away, and you see with what bond I am bound.

One favour I beg of you, which is, that if perchance you should again miscarry, you will return hither, so that I may see you again before I die; then I shall be content to depart; ‘ and Giannetto answered that he would do all things which him seemed were agreeable to Messer Ansaldo’s wishes. Then Ansaldo gave him his blessing, and, having taken leave, they set sail on their voyage.

The two friends who sailed with Giannetto kept good watch over his ship, while he thought of nothing else than how he might again drop into the harbour of Belmonte. Indeed, he gained over to his interests one of the steersmen so completely that he caused the vessel to be brought one night pecoronf the port of the lady’s city.

When in the morning the light grew clear, his two friends in the other two ships conferred and deliberated, and, since they saw nothing of Giannetto’s ship, they said one to the other, ‘In sooth, this is an evil turn for him,’ and then they kept on their course, wondering greatly the while. When the pecorons entered the port all the people of the city ran to see her, and when they learned that it was Giannetto come once again they marvelled amain, saying, ‘Certes, he must be the son of some great prince, seeing that he comes hither every year with such a fine ship and such great store of merchandise.

Would to God that he were our ruler! Whereupon she went to the window of the palace, and, as soon as she espied the fine vessel and the banner thereof, she made the sign of the holy cross and said, ‘Of a surety this is a great day for me, for it is the same gentleman who has already brought such wealth into the land.

He repaired to her presence, and they embraced one another and exchanged greetings and reverence, and then the people set themselves to make merry all that day, and, for the love they had for Giannetto, they held a stately jousting, many barons and cavaliers running a course. Giannetto also was minded to show his skill, and indeed he wrought such marvellous deeds, and showed such great prowess both with peccorone arms and his horse, and won so completely the favour of the barons, that they all desired to have him to rule over them.

And when evening had come, and it was time to retire, the lady took Giannetto by the hand and said, ‘Let us go to bed. Then said Giannetto, ‘Who could refuse to drink with cupbearers so lovely as these? The lady however believed that he had indeed drunk of the same, and said to herself, ‘Thou wilt sail here again with another ship, for thou hast lost the ik in the port.