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Eigth Day, Novel X

[020] At length, by the lady's command, the slaves departed, leaving a lighted torch in the room, and then the lady and Salabaetto embraced, and to Salabaetto's prodigious delight, for it seemed to him that she was all but dissolved for love of him, tarried there a good while. [021] However, the time came when the lady must needs rise: so she called the slaves, with whose help they dressed, regaled them again for a while with wine and comfits, and washed their faces and hands with the odoriferous waters. Then as they were going, quoth the lady to Salabaetto: "If it be agreeable to thee, I should deem it a very great favour if thou wouldst come to-night to sup and sleep with me." [022] Salabaetto, who, captivated by her beauty and her studied graciousness, never doubted but he was dear to her as her very heart, made answer: "Madam, there is nought you can desire but is in the last degree agreeable to me; wherefore to-night and ever 'tis my purpose to do whatsoever you may be pleased to command." [023] So home the lady hied her, and having caused a brave shew to be made in her chamber with her dresses and other paraphernalia, and a grand supper to be prepared, awaited Salabaetto; who, being come there as soon as 'twas dark, had of her a gladsome welcome, and was regaled with an excellent and well-served supper. [024] After which, they repaired to the chamber, where he was saluted by a wondrous sweet odour of aloe-wood, and observed that the bed was profusely furnished with birds, after the fashion of Cyprus, and that not a few fine dresses were hanging upon the pegs. Which circumstances did, one and all, beget in him the belief that this must be a great and wealthy lady; and, though he had heard a hint or two to the contrary touching her life, he would by no means credit them; nor, supposing that she had perchance taken another with guile, would he believe that the same thing might befall him. So to his exceeding great solace, he lay with her that night, and ever grew more afire for her. [025]On the morrow, as she was investing him with a fair and dainty girdle of silver, with a goodly purse attached: "Sweet my Salabaetto," quoth she, "prithee forget me not; even as my person, so is all that I have at thy pleasure, and all that I can at thy command."