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“ The lady was foon informed of it, and fent for Giannetto, who waited on her immediately. She, taking him by the hand, asked him who he was? whence he came and if he knew the custom of the country? He answered, That the knowledge of that custom was his only reason for coming. The lady paid him great honours, and sent for barons, counts, and knights in great numbers, who were her subjects, to keep Giannetto company. These nobles were highly delighted with the good breeding and manners of Giannetto; and all would have rejoiced to have him for their lord.
“ The night being come, the lady faid, it seems to be time to go to bed: Giannetto told the lady, he was entirely devoted to her service; and immediately two damsels enter with wine and sweetmeats.
The lady entreats him to taste the wine : he takes the sweetmeats, and drinks fome of the wine, which was prepared with ingredients to cause sleep. He then goes into the bed, where he instantly falls asleep, and never wakes till late in the morning ; but the lady rote with the sun, and gave orders to unload his veffel, which He found full of rich merchandize. After nine o'clock the women-fervants go to the bed-lide, order Giannetto to rise and be gone, for he had lost the ship. The lady gave him a horse and money, and he leaves the place very melancholy, and goes to Venice. When he arrives, he dares not return home for shame: but at night goes to the house of a friend, who is surprised to lee him, and enquires of him the cause of his return? He answers, his ship had struck on a rock in the night, and was broke in pieces.
“ This friend, going one day to make a visit to Ansaldo, found him very disconfolate. I fear, says Ansaldo, so much that this son of mine is dead, that I have no rest. His friend told him, that he had been thipwrecked, and had lost his all, but that he himself was safe. Ansaldo instantly gets up, and runs to find him. My dear son, said he, you need not fear my difpleasure ; it is a common accident; trouble yourself
no further. He takes him home, all the way teiting him to be cheerful and easy.
“ The news was foon known all over Venice, and every one was concerned for Giannetto. Some time after his companions arriving from Alexandria very rich, demanded what was become of their friend, and having heard the story, ran to see him, and rejoiced with him for his fafety; telling him, that next spring he might gain as much as he had lost the last. But Giannetto had no other thoughts than of his return to the lady; and was resolved to marry her, or die. An. faldo told him frequently, not to be cast down. Giannetto faid, he should never be happy, till he was at liberty to make another voyage. Ansaldo provided another ship of more value than the first. He'again en. tered the port of Belmonte, and the lady looking on the port from her bed-chamber, and seeing the thip, asked her maid, if the knew the streamers; the maid said, it was the thip of the young man who arrived last year. You are in the right, answered the lady; he muft surely have a great regard for me, for never any one came a second time : the maid said, she had never seen a more agreeable man. He went to the castle, ! and presented himself to the lady; who as foon as the faw him, embraced him, and the day was passed in joy and revels. Bed-time being come, the lady entreated him to go to rest : when they were seated in the chamber, the two damsels enter with wine and sweet-meats; and having eat and drank of them, they go to bed, and immediately Giannetto falls alleep, the lady undrelied, and lay down by his fide ; but he waked not the whole night. In the morning, the lady rises, and gives orders to strip the ship. He has a horse and money given to him, and away he goes, and never ftops till he gets to Venice; and at night goes to the fame friend, who with aitonithment asked him what was the matter? I am undone, says Giannetto. His friend answered, You are the cause of the ruin of Ansaldo, and your fhame ought to be greater than the loss you have suffered. Giannetto lived privately many
days. At last he took the resolution of seeing Ansaldo, who rose from his chair, and running to embrace him, told him he was welcome: Giannetto with tears returned his embraces. Ansaldo heard his tale: do not grieve, my dear son, says he, we have ftill enough: the sea enriches some men, others it ruins.
“ Poor Giannetto’s head was day and night full of the thoughts of his bad success. 'When Anfaldo inquired what was the matter, he confessed, he could never be contented till he should be in a condition to regain all that he loft. When Anfaldo found him re. folved, he began to fell every thing he had, to furnith this other fine ship with merchandize : but, as he wanted ftill ten thousand ducats, he applied himself to a Jew at Mestri, and borrowed them on condition, that if they were not paid on the feast of St John in the Dext month of June, that the Jew might take a pound of flesh from any part of his body he pleased. Ansaldo agreed, and the Jew had an obligation drawn, and witnessed, with all the form and ceremony necessary; and then counted him the ten thousand ducats of gold, with which Ansaldo bought what was still wanting for the vessel. This last ship was finer and better freighted than the other two, and his companions made ready for their voyage, with a design that whatever they gain. ed should be for their friend. When it was time to depart, Ansaldo told Giannetto, that since he well knew of the obligation to the Jew, he entreated, that if any misfortune happened, he would return to Ve. nice, that he might see him before he died; and then he could leave the world with satisfaction : Giannetto promised to do every thing that he conceived might give him pleasure. Ansaldo gave him his blefling, they took their leave, and the thips set out.
“Giannetto had nothing in his head but to steal into Belmonte; and he prevailed with one of the sailors in the night to fail the vefsel into the port. It was told the lady, that Giannetto was arrive l in port. She law from the window the vessel, and immediately sent for him.
“ Giannetto goes to the castle, the day is spent in joy and feasiing ; and to honour him, a tournament is ordered, and many barons and knights tilted that day. Giannetto did wonders, fo well did he understand the lance, and was fo graceful a figure on horseback: he pleased so much, that all were delirous to have him for their lord.
“ 'The lady, when it was the usual time, catching him by the hand, begged him to take his reft. When he passed the door of the chamber, one of the damsels in a whisper said to him, Make a pretence to drink the liquor, but touch not one drop. The lady faid, I know you must be thirsty, I must have you drink before you go to bed : immediately two damsels entered the room, and presented the wine. Who can refuse wine from such beautiful hands ? cries Giannetto: at which the lady smiled. Giannetto takes the cup, and making as if he drank, pours the wine into his bofom. The lady thinking he had drank, says afide to herself with great joy, you must go, young man, and bring another thip, for this is condemned. Giannetto weilt to bed, and began to fnore as if he slept foundly. The lady pero ceiving this, laid herself down by his side. Giannetto loses no time, but turning to the lady, embraces her, saying, Now am I in poffeffion of my utmost wishes. When Giannetto came out of his chamber he was knighted, and placed in the chair of state, had the fceptre put into his hand, and was proclaimed fove. reign of the country, with great pomp and splendour ; and when the lords and ladies were come to the castle, he married the lady in great ceremony.
“ Giannetto governed excellently, and caused justice to be administered impartially. He continued some time in his happy ftate, and never entertained a thought of poor Anfaido, who had given his bond to the Jew for ten thousand ducats. But one day, as he stood at the window of the palace with his bride, he saw a number of people pals along the piazza with lighted torches in their hands. What is the meaning of this? says he. The lady answered, They are artificers going
to make their offerings at the church of St John, this day being his festival. Giannetto instantly recollected Ansaldo, gave a great figh, and turned pale. His lady inquired the caule of his ludden change. He faid, he felt nothing. She continued to prets with great earneitness, till he was obliged to confefs the cause of his uneasiness, that Ansaldo was engaged for the money, that the term was expired ; and the grief he was in was, left his father should lote his life for him : that if the ten thousand ducats were not paid that day, he must lose a pound of his flesh. The lady told him to mount on horseback, and go by land the nearest way, to some attendants, and an hundred thousand ducats ; and not to stop till he arrived at Venice; and if he was not dead, to endeavour to bring Ansaldo to her. Giannetto takes horse with twenty attendants, and makes the best of his way to Venice.
“ The time being expired, the Jew had seized Ansaldo, and insisted on having a pound of his fleth, He entreated him only to wait fome days, that if his dear Giannetto arrived, he might have the pleasure of embracing him: the Jew replied, he was willing to wait; but, says he, I will cut off the pound of flesh, according to the words of the obligation. Ansaldo answered, that he was content.
“ Several merchants would have jointly paid the money; the Jew would not hearken to the propofale but infifted that he might have the satisfaction of faying, that he had put to death the greatest of the Christian merchants. Giannetto making all possible hafte to Venice, his lady soon followed him in a lawyer's habit, with two fervants attending her. Giannetto, when he came to Venice, goes to the Jew, and (after embracing Ansaldo) tells him, he is ready to pay the money, and as much more as he should demand. The Jew said he would take no inoney, since he was not paid at the time due ; but that he would have the pound of flesh. Every one blamed the Jew; but as Venice was a place where justice was strictly administered, and the Jew had his pretensions grounded on publick and received