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he had been fhipwreck'd, and had loft his all, but that he him felf was fafe. Anfaldo instantly gets up and runs to find him. My dear fon, faid he, you need not fear my difpleasure; it is a common accident; trouble yourfelf no further. He takes him home, all the way telling him to be chearful 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 ftory, ran to fee him, and re joiced with him for his fafety; telling him that next fpring, he might gain as much as he had loft the laft. But Giannetto had no other thoughts than of his return to the lady; and was refolved to marry her, or die. Anfaldo told him frequently, not to be caft down. Giannetto faid, he should never be happy, till he was at liberty to make another voyage. Anfaldo provided another fhip of more value than the first. He again entered the port of Belmonte, and the lady looking on the port from her bedchamber, and feeing the fhip, afked her maid, if the knew the ftreamers? the maid faid, it was the hip of the young man who arrived the last year. You are in the right, anfwered the lady; he muft furely have a great regard for me, for never any one came a fecond time: the maid faid, fhe had never feen a more agrecable man. He went to the caftle, and prefented himself to the lady; who, as foon as the faw him embraced him, and the day was paffed in joy and revels. Bed-time being come, the lady entreated him to go to reft: when they were feated in the chamber, the two damfels enter with wine and fweet-meats; and having eat and drank of them, they go to bed, and immediately Giannetto falls afleep, the lady undreffed, and lay down by his fide; but he waked not the whole night. In the morning, the lady rifes, and gives orders to ftrip the fhip. He has a horfe and money given him, and away he goes, and never ftops till he gets to Venice and at night goes to the fame friend, who with aftonishment afked him what was the matter? I am undone, fays. Giannetto. His friend anfwered, You are the caufe of the ruin. ofnfaldo, and your fhame ought to be greater than the lofs you have fuffered. Giannetto lived privately many days. At last he took the refolution of feeing Anfaldo, who rofe from his chair, and running to embrace him, told him he was welcome: Giannetto with tears returned his embraces. Anfaldo heard his tale: do. not grieve, my dear fon, fays he, we have ftill enough: the fea enriches fome men, others it ruins.
Poor Giannetto's head was day and night full of the thoughts; of his bad fuccefs. When Anfaldo enquired what was the matter, he confeffed, he could never be contented till he should be in. a condition to regain all that he loft. When Anfaldo found him refolved, he began to fell every thing he had, to furnish this other. fine fhip with merchandize: but, as he wanted ftill ten thousand
ducats, he applied himself to a Jew at Meftri, 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 pleafed. Anfaldo agreed, and the Jew had an obligation drawn, and witneffed, with all the form and ceremony neceffary; and then counted him the ten thoufand ducats of gold, with which Anfaldo bought what was still wanting for the veffel. This laft fhip was finer and better freighted than the other two, and his companions made ready for their voyage, with a defign that whatever they gained fhould be for their friend. When it was time to depart, Anfaldo told Giannetto, that since he well knew of the obligation to the Jew, he entreated, that if any misfortune happened, he would return to Venice, that he might fee him before he died; and then he could leave the world with fatisfaction: Giannetto promifed to do every thing that he conceived might give him pleasure. Anfaldo gave him his bleffing, they took their leave, and the fhips fet out.
Giannetto had nothing in his head but to steal into Belmonte; and he prevailed with one of the failors in the night to fail the veffel into the port. It was told the lady that Giannetto was arrived in port. She faw from the window the veffel, and immediately fent for him.
Giannetto goes to the caftle, the day is fpent in joy and feasting; 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 horfeback: he pleased so much, that all were defirous to have him for their lord.
The lady, when it was the ufual time, catching him by the hand, begged him to take his rest. When he paffed the door of the chamber, one of the damfels 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 damfels entered the room, and prefented the wine. Who can refufe wine from fuch beautiful hands? cries Giannetto: at which the lady fmiled. Giannetto takes the cup, and making as if he drank, pours the wine into his bofom. The lady thinking he had drank, fays afide 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 fnore as if he flept foundly. The lady perceiving this, laid herfelf down by his fide. Giannetto lofes no time, but turning to the lady, embraces her, faying, 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 fovereign of the country, with great pomp and fplendour; and when the lords and ladies were come to the caftle, he married the lady in great ceremony.
Giannetto governed excellently, and caufed juftice to be admi
niftered impartially. He continued fome time in his happy ftate, and never entertained a thought of poor Anfaldo, who had given his bond to the Jew for ten thousand decats, But one day, as he ftood at the window of the palace with his bride, he faw a number of people pafs along the piazza, with lighted torches in their hands. What is the meening of this fays he. The lady an fwered, they are artificers, going to make their offerings at the church of St. John, this day being his feftival. Giannetto inftantly recollected Anfaldo, gave a great figh, and turned pale. His lady enquired the caufe of his fudden change. He faid, he felt nothing. She continued to prefs with great earneftnefs, till he was obliged to confefs the caufe of his unealincfs, that Anfaldo was engaged for the money, that the term was expired; and the grief he was in was left his father fhould lofe his life for him; that if the ten thousand ducats were not paid that day, he must lofe a pound of his flesh. The lady told him to mount on horfeback, and go by land the nearest way, to take fome attendants, and an hundred thousand ducats; and not to ftop till he arrived at Venice; and if he was not dead, to endeavour to bring Anfaldo to her. Giannetto takes horfe with twenty attendants, and makes the best of his way to Venice.
The time being expired, the Jew had feized Anfaldo, and infifted on having a pound of his flesh. 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, fays he, I will cut off the pound of fieh, according to the words of the obligation. Anfaldo anfwered, that he was
Several merchants would have jointly paid the money; the Jew would not hearken to the propofal, but infifted that he might have the fatisfaction of faying, that he had put to death the greatest of the Chriftian merchants. Giannetto making all poffible hatte to Venice, his lady foon 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 Anfaldo) tells him, he is ready to pay the money, and as much more as he should demand. The Jew faid, he would take no money, fince it 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 juftice was ftriftly administered, and the Jew had his pretenfions grounded on publick and received forms, their only refource was entreaty ; and when the merchants of Venice applied to him, he was inflexible. Giannetto offered him twenty thoufand, then thirty thoufand, afterwards forty, fifty, and at last an hundred thousand duThe Jew told him, if he would give as much gold as Venice was worth, he would not accept it; and, fays he, you know little of me, if you think I will defit from my demand.
The lady now arrives at Venice, in her lawyer's drefs; and alighting at an inn, the landlord afks of one of the fervants who his mafter was? The fervant anfwered, that he was a young lawyer who had finished his studies at Bologna. The landlord upon this fhews his guest great civility: and when he attended at dinner, the lawyer enquiring how jufice was administered in that city, he answered, juftice in this place is too fevere, and related the cafe of Anfaldo. Says the lawyer, this queftion may be easily anfwered, If you can anfwer it, fays the landlord, and fave this worthy man from death, you will get the love and esteem of all the best men of this city. The lawyer caufed a proclamation to be made, that whoever had any law matters to determine, they fhould have recourse to him: fo it was told to Giannetto, that a famous lawyer was come from Bologna, who could decide all cafes in law. Giannetto propofed to the Jew to apply to this lawyer. With all my heart, fays the Jew; but let who will come, I will ftick to my bond, They came to this judge, and faluted him. Giannetto did not remember him: for he had difguited his face with the juice of certain herbs. Giannetto, and the Jew, each told the merits of the caufe to the judge; who, when he had taken the bond and read it, faid to the Jew, I must have you take the hundred thousand ducats, and release this honeft man, who will always have a grateful fenfe of the favour done to him. The Jew replied, I will do no fuch thing. The judge antwered, it will be better for you. The Jew was pofitive to yield nothing. Upon this they go to the tribunal appointed for fuch judgments: and our judge fays to the Jew, Do you cut a pound of this man's flefl where you chufe. The Jew ordered him to be stripped naked; and takes in his hand a razor, which had been made on purpose. Giannetto feeing this, turning to the judge, this, fays he, is not the favour I afked of you. Be quiet, fays he, the pound of flesh is not yet cut off. As foon as the Jew was going to begin, Take care what you do, fays the judge, if you take more or less than a pound, I will order your head to be ftruck off: and befide, if you thed one drop of blood, you fhall be put to death. Your paper makes no mention of the fhedding of blood; but fays exprefly, that you may take a pound of flesh, neither more nor lefs. He immediately fent for the executioner to bring the block and ax; and now, fays he, if I fee one drop of blood, off goes your head. At length the Jew, after much wrangling, told him, Give me the hundred thoufand ducats, and I am content. No, fays the judge, cut off your pound of flesh according to your bond: why did not you take the money when it was offered? The Jew came down to ninety, and then to eighty thoufand: but the judge was fill refolute, Giannetto told the judge to give what he re'quired, that Anfaldo might have his liberty: but he replied, let me manage him. Then the Jew would have taken fifty thoufand he faid, I will not give you a penny. Give me at
leaft, fays the Jew, my own ten thousand ducats, and a curfe confound you all. The judge replies, I will give you nothing: if you will have the pound of flefli, take it; if not, I will order your bond to be protefted and annulled. The Jew fecing he could gain nothing, tore in pieces the bond in a great rage. Anfaldo was rel afed, and conducted home with great joy by Giannetto, who carried the hundred thousand ducats to the inn to the lawyer. The lawyer faid, I do not want money; carry it back to your lady, that he may not fay, that you have quandered it away idly. Sys Giannetto, my lady is fo kind, that I might spend four times as much without incurring her difpleasure. How are you pleated with the lady? fays the lawyer. I love her better than any earthly thing, anfwers Giannetto: nature feems to have done her utmost in forming her. If you will come and see her, you will be furprised at the honours flie will few you. I cannot go with you, fays the lawyer; but fince you fpeak fo much good of her, I must defire you to prefent my reipects to her. I will not fail, Giannetto antwered; and now, let me entreat you to accept of fome of the money. While he was fpeaking, the lawyer obferved a ring on his finger, and faid, if you give me this ring, I fhall feek no other reward. Willingly, fays Giannetto; but as it is a ring given me by a lady, to wear for her fake, I have fome reluctance to part with it, and fhe, not feeing it on my finger, will believe, that I have given it to a woman. Says the lawyer, fhe efteems you fufficiently to credit what you tell her, and you may fay you made a prefent of it to me; but I rather think you want to give it to fome former mistress here in Venice. So great, fays Giannetto, is the love and reverence I bear to her, that I would not change her for any woman in the world. After this he takes the ring from his finger, and prefents it to him. I have ftill a favour to afk fays the lawyer. It fhall be granted, fays Giannetto. It is, replied he, that you do not stay any time here, but go as foon as poffible to your lady. It appears to me a thousand years till I fee her, answered Giannetto: and immediately they take leave of each other. The lawyer embarked, and left Venice. Giannetto took leave of his Venetian friends, and carried Anfaldo with him, and fome of his old acquaintance accompanied them. The lady arrived fome days before, and having refumed her female habit, pretended to have fpent the time at the baths; and now gave order to have the streets lined with tapestry and when Giannetto and Anfaldo were landed, all the court went out to meet them. When they arrived at the palace, the lady ran to embrace Anfaldo, but feigned anger against Giannetto, though fhe loved him exceffively yet the feaftings, tilts, and diverfions went on as ufual, at which all the lords and ladies were prefent. Giannetto fecing that his wife did not receive him with her accuftomed good countenance, called her, and would have faluted her. She told him, fhe wanted none of his careffes: I am fure, fays