This week I'm featuring a novel from my 100 Classics list which I really should've started by now. I'm talking about The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio.
The Decameron (c.1351) is an entertaining series of one hundred stories written in the wake of the Black Death. The stories are told in a country villa outside the city of Florence by ten young noble men and women who are seeking to escape the ravages of the plague. Boccaccio's skill as a dramatist is masterfully displayed in these vivid portraits of people from all stations in life, with plots that revel in a bewildering variety of human reactions.Book Beginnings and Friday 56 are hosted respectively by Gilion over at Rose City Reader and Freda by Freda's Voice.
'Gracious Ladies, so often as I consider with my selfe, and observe respectively, how naturally you are enclined to compassion; as many times doe I acknowledge, that this present worke of mine, will (in your judgement) appeare to have but a harsh and offensive beginning, in regard of the mournfull remembrance it beareth at the verie entrance of the last Pestilentiall mortality, universally hurtfull to all that beheld it, or otherwise came to knowledge of it. But for all that, I desire it may not be so dreadfull to you, to hinder your further proceeding in reading, as if none were to looke thereon, but with sighes and teares.' p.12 (first page of narration)I managed to find myself an old timey-version of the text, which is nice because it feels authentic but it will probably be heard to read.
'Whereto Master Guillaume suddenly replied; Do nothing but this Sir: Paint over the Portall of your Halles enterance, the lively picture of Liberality, to bid all your friends better welcome, then hitherto they have beene.' p.56I'm thinking Guillaume hasn't been the best of hosts. I do like the advice though, it's nice and prosaic. You should always be a good host, especially to friends.
So, that is me