Master Simone, at the instance of Bruno and Buffalmacco
and Nello, makes Calandrino believe that he is with
child. Calandrino, accordingly, gives them capons and
money for medicines, and is cured without being
When Elisa had ended her story, and all had given thanks to
God that He had vouchsafed the young nun a happy escape from
the fangs of her envious companions, the queen bade Filostrato follow
suit; and without expecting a second command, thus Filostrato
Fairest my ladies, the uncouth judge from the Marches, or
whom I told you yesterday, took from the tip of my tongue a story
of Calandrino, which I was on the point of narrating: and as nought
can be said of him without mightily enhancing our jollity, albeit not
a little has already been said touching him and his comrades, I will
now give you the story which I had meant yesterday to give you.
Who they were, this Calandrino and the others that I am to tell of
in this story, has already been sufficiently explained; wherefore,
without more ado, I say that one of Calandrino's aunts having died,
leaving him two hundred pounds in petty cash, Calandrino gave out
that he was minded to purchase an estate, and, as if he had had ten
thousand florins of gold to invest, engaged every broker in Florence
to treat for him, the negotiation always falling through, as soon as
the price was named. 
Bruno and Buffalmacco, knowing what was
afoot, told him again and again that he had better give himself a
jolly time with them than go about buying earth as if he must needs
make pellets; but
so far were they from effecting their purpose,
that they could not even prevail upon him to give them a single
Whereat as one day they grumbled, being joined by a comrade
of theirs, one Nello, also a painter, they all three took counsel how
they might wet their whistle at Calandrino's expense; and, their
plan being soon concerted, the next morning Calandrino was scarce
gone out, when Nello met him, saying: "Good day, Calandrino:"
whereto Calandrino replied: "God give thee a good day and a
good year." Nello then drew back a little, and looked him steadily
in the face, until: "What seest thou to stare at?" quoth Calandrino.
"Hadst thou no pain in the night?" returned Nello; "thou
seemest not thyself to me." Which Calandrino no sooner heard,
than he began to be disquieted, and: 
"Alas! How sayst thou?"
quoth he. "What tak'st thou to be the matter with me?"
as to that I have nothing to say," returned Nello; "but thou
seemest to be quite changed: perchance 'tis not what I suppose;"
and with that he left him.
Calandrino, anxious, though he could not in the least have said
why, went on; and soon Buffalmacco, who was not far off, and had
observed him part from Nello, made up to him, and greeted him,
asking him if he was not in pain. "I cannot say," replied Calandrino;
"'twas but now that Nello told me that I looked quite changed:
can it be that there is aught the matter with me?""Aught?"
quoth Buffalmacco, "ay, indeed, there might be a trifle the matter
with thee. Thou look'st to be half dead, man."
began to think he must have a fever. And then up came Bruno;
and the first thing he said was: "Why, Calandrino, how ill thou
look'st! thy appearance is that of a corpse. How dost thou feel?"
To be thus accosted by all three left no doubt in Calandrino's mind
that he was ill, and so: "What shall I do?" quoth he, in a great
"My advice," replied Bruno, "is that thou go home and
get thee to bed and cover thee well up, and send thy water to
Master Simone, who, as thou knowest, is such a friend of ours. He
will tell thee at once what thou must do; and we will come to see
thee, and will do aught that may be needful."
And Nello then
joining them, they all three went home with Calandrino, who, now
quite spent, went straight to his room, and said to his wife: "Come
now, wrap me well up; I feel very ill."
And so he laid himself on
the bed, and sent a maid with his water to Master Simone, who had
then his shop in the Mercato Vecchio, at the sign of the pumpkin.
Whereupon quoth Bruno to his comrades: "You will stay here
with him, and I will go hear what the doctor has to say, and if need
be, will bring him hither."
"Prithee, do so, my friend," quoth
Calandrino, "and bring me word how it is with me, for I feel as
how I cannot say in my inside."
So Bruno hied him to Master
Simone, and before the maid arrived with the water, told him what
was afoot. The Master, thus primed, inspected the water, and then
said to the maid: "Go tell Calandrino to keep himself very warm,
and I will come at once, and let him know what is the matter with
him, and what he must do."
With which message the maid was
scarce returned, when the Master and Bruno arrived, and the Master,
having seated himself beside Calandrino, felt his pulse, and by and by,
in the presence of his wife, said: "Harkye, Calandrino, I speak to
thee as a friend, and I tell thee that what is amiss with thee is just
that thou art with child."
Whereupon Calandrino cried out querulously:
"Woe's me! 'Tis thy doing, Tessa, for that thou must
needs be uppermost: I told thee plainly what would come of it."
Whereat the lady, being not a little modest, coloured from brow to
neck, and with downcast eyes, withdrew from the room, saying
never a word by way of answer. 
Calandrino ran on in the same
plaintive strain: "Alas! woe's me! What shall I do? How shall
I be delivered of this child? What passage can it find? Ah! I see
only too plainly that the lasciviousness of this wife of mine has been
the death of me: God make her as wretched as I would fain be
Were I as well as I am not, I would get me up and thrash
her, till I left not a whole bone in her body, albeit it does but serve
me right for letting her get the upper place; but if I do win through
this, she shall never have it again; verily she might pine to death for
it, but she should not have it."
Which to hear, Bruno and Buffalmacco and Nello were like to
burst with suppressed laughter, and Master Scimmione laughed so
frantically, that all his teeth were ready to start from his jaws. 
at length, in answer to Calandrino's appeals and entreaties for
counsel and succour: "Calandrino," quoth the Master, "thou
mayst dismiss thy fears, for, God be praised, we were apprised of thy
state in such good time that with but little trouble, in the course of a
few days, I shall set thee right; but 'twill cost a little."
me," returned Calandrino, "be it so, Master, for the love of God:
I have here two hundred pounds, with which I had thoughts of buying
an estate: take them all, all, if you must have all, so only I may escape
being delivered, for I know not how I should manage it, seeing that
women, albeit 'tis much easier for them, do make such a noise in
the hour of their labour, that I misdoubt me, if I suffered so, I should
die before I was delivered."
"Disquiet not thyself," said the
"I will have a potion distilled for thee; of rare virtue it is, and not
a little palatable, and in the course of three days 'twill purge thee of
all, and leave thee in better fettle than a fish; but thou wilt do well
to be careful thereafter, and commit no such indiscretions again.
Now to make this potion we must have three pair of good fat
capons, and, for divers other ingredients, thou wilt give one of thy
friends here five pounds in small change to purchase them, and thou
wilt have everything sent to my shop, and so, please God, I will
send thee this distilled potion to-morrow morning, and thou wilt
take a good beakerful each time."
Whereupon: "Be it as you
bid, Master mine," quoth Calandrino, and handing Bruno five
pounds, and money enough to purchase three pair of capons, he
begged him, if it were not too much trouble, to do him the service
to buy these things for him. 
So away went the doctor, and made a
little decoction by way of draught, and sent it him. Bruno bought
the capons and all else that was needed to furnish forth the feast,
with which he and his comrades and the doctor regaled them.
Calandrino drank of the decoction for three mornings, after which
he had a visit from his friends and the doctor, who felt his pulse, and
then: "Beyond a doubt, Calandrino," quoth he, "thou art cured,
and so thou hast no more occasion to keep indoors, but needst have
no fear to do whatever thou hast a mind to."
Calandrino got up, and resumed his accustomed way of life, and,
wherever he found any one to talk to, was loud in praise of
Master Simone for the excellent manner in which he had cured
him, causing him in three days without the least suffering to
be quit of his pregnancy. And Bruno and Buffalmacco and
Nello were not a little pleased with themselves that they had so
cleverly got the better of Calandrino's niggardliness, albeit Monna
Tessa, who was not deceived, murmured not a little against her