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Eigth Day, Novel VII

[042] Slowly the night wore away, and with the first streaks of dawn the maid, by her mistress's direction, came down, opened the door of the courtyard, and putting on a compassionate air, greeted Rinieri with: "Foul fall him that came here yestereve; he has afflicted us with his presence all night long, and has kept thee a freezing out here: but harkye, take it not amiss; that which might not be to-night shall be another time: well wot I that nought could have befallen that my lady could so ill brook." [043] For all his wrath, the scholar, witting, like the wise man he was, that menaces serve but to put the menaced on his guard, kept pent within his breast that which unbridled resentment would have uttered, and said quietly, and without betraying the least trace of anger: [044]"In truth 'twas the worst night I ever spent, but I understood quite well that the lady was in no wise to blame, for that she herself, being moved to pity of me, came down here to make her excuses, and to comfort me; and, as thou sayst, what has not been to-night will be another time: wherefore commend me to her, and so, adieu!" [045] Then, well-nigh paralysed for cold, he got him, as best he might, home, where, weary and fit to die for drowsiness, he threw himself on his bed, and fell into a deep sleep, from which he awoke to find that he had all but lost the use of his arms and legs. He therefore sent for some physicians, and having told them what a chill he had gotten, caused them have a care to his health. [046] But, though they treated him with active and most drastic remedies, it cost them some time and no little trouble to restore to the cramped muscles their wonted pliancy, and, indeed, but for his youth and the milder weather that was at hand, 'twould have gone very hard with him.