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cannot enjoy her, he loses everything he has brought with him. Giannetto, after a little reflection, tells the captain to get into the port.
He was obeyed ; and in an instant they slide into the port so easily that the other ships perceived nothing.
The lady was soon informed of it, and sent 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 said, 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 intreats him to taste the wine: he takes the sweetmeats, and drinks some 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 rose with the sun, and gave orders to unload the vessel, which she found full of rich merchandize. After nine o'clock the servants go to the bed-side, order Giannetto to rise and begone, 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 see him, and inquires 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 disconsolate.
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 shipwrecked, 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 displeasure ; it is a common accident ; trouble yourself no further. He takes him home, all the way telling him to be chearful and easy.
The news was soon known all over Venice, and every one was concerned for Giannetto. Some time after, his companions arriving from Aļexandria very rich, demanded what was become of their friend, and having heard the story, ran to see him, and rejoiced with him for his safety ; 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. Ansaldo told him frequently, not to be cast down. Giannetto said, he should never be happy, till he at liberty to make another voyage. Ansaldo provided another ship of more value than the first. He again entered the port of Belmonte, and the lady looking on the port from her bed-chamber, and seeing the ship, asked her maid, if she knew the streamers ? the maid said, it was the ship of the young man who arrived the last year. You are in the right, answered the lady; he must 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 she saw 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 asleep; the lady undressed, and lay down by his side ; 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 him, and away he goes, and never stops till he gets to Venice : and at night goes to the same friend, who with astonishment 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 shame 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 still 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 Ansaldo enquired what was the matter, he confessed, he could never be contented till he should be in a condition to regain all that he lost. When Ansaldo found him resolved, he began to sell every thing he had, to furnish this other fine ship with merchandize : but, as he wanted still 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 next 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 gained should be for their friend.
When it was time to depart, Ansaldo told Gianneto, that since he well knew of the obligation to the Jew, he entreated, that if any nisfortune happened, he would return to Venice, that he might see him before he
died; 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 blessing, they took their leave, and the ships 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 sail the vessel into the port. It was told the lady that Giannetto was arrived in port. She saw from the window the vessel, and immediately sent for him.
Giannetto goes to the castle, the day is spent in joy and feasting; and to honour him, a tournament is ordered, and many barons and knights tilted that day. Giannetto did wonders, so well did he understand the lance, and was so graceful a figure on horse-back: he pleased so much, that all were desirous to have him for their lord.
The lady, when it was the usual time, catching him by the hand, begged him to take his rest. 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 said, 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 bosom. The lady thinking he had drank, says aside to herself with great joy, You must go, young man, and bring another ship, for this is condemned. Giannetto went to bed, and began to snore as if he slept soundly. The lady perceiving this, laid herself down by his side. Giannetto loses no time, but turning to the lady, embraces her, saying, Now am I in possession of my utmost wishes. When Giannetto came out of his chamber, he was knighted, and placed in the chair of state, had the scepter put into his hand,
and was proclaimed sovereign 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 administred impartially. He continued some time in his happy state, and never entertained a thought of poor Ansaldo, who had given his bond to the Jew for ten thousand ducats. day, as he stood at the window of the palace with his bride, he saw a number of people pass along the piazza, with lighted torches in their hands. What is the meaning of this ? says
he. 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 sigh, and turned pale. His lady enquired the cause of his sudden change. He said, he felt nothing. She continued to press with great earnestness, till he was obliged to confess the cause of his uneasiness; that Ansaldo was engaged for the money; that the term was expired ; and the grief he was in lest his father should lose his life for him
; that if the ten thousand ducats were not paid that day, he must lose a pound of his flesh. told him to mount on horse-back, and go by land the nearest way, to take 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 flesh. He entreated him only to wait some 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 the words of the