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Sixth Day, Novel II

[018] Now when the ambassadors had received their congè, and were about to depart, Messer Geri gave a grand banquet, to which he bade some of the most honourable of the citizens, and also Cisti, who could by no means be induced to come. [019]However, Messer Geri bade one of his servants go fetch a flask of Cisti's wine, and serve half a beaker thereof to each guest at the first course. The servant, somewhat offended, perhaps, that he had not been suffered to taste any of the wine, took with him a large flask, [020] which Cisti no sooner saw, than: "Son," quoth he, "Messer Geri does not send thee to me": [021] and often as the servant affirmed that he did, he could get no other answer: wherewith he was fain at last to return to Messer Geri. "Go, get thee back," said Messer Geri, "and tell him that I do send thee to him, and if he answers thee so again, ask him, to whom then I send thee." [022] So the servant came back, and said: "Cisti, Messer Geri does, for sure, send me to thee." [023] "Son," answered Cisti, "Messer Geri does, for sure, not send thee to me." [024] "To whom then," said the servant, "does he send me?" [025] "To Arno," returned Cisti. [026] Which being reported by the servant to Messer Geri, the eyes of his mind were straightway opened, and: "Let me see," quoth he to the servant, "what flask it is thou takest there." And when he had seen it: "Cisti says sooth," he added; and having sharply chidden him, he caused him take with him a suitable flask, [027] which when Cisti saw: "Now know I," quoth he, "that 'tis indeed Messer Geri that sends thee to me," and blithely filled it. [028] And having replenished the rundlet that same day with wine of the same quality, he had it carried with due care to Messer Geri's house, and followed after himself; where finding Messer Geri he said: "I would not have you think, Sir, that I was appalled by the great flask your servant brought me this morning; 'twas but that I thought you had forgotten that which by my little beakers I gave you to understand, when you were with me of late; to wit, that this is no table wine; and so wished this morning to refresh your memory. [029] Now, however, being minded to keep the wine no longer, I have sent you all I have of it, to be henceforth entirely at your disposal." [030] Messer Geri set great store by Cisti's gift, and thanked him accordingly, and ever made much of him and entreated him as his friend.