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Eigth Day, Novel X

[045] Which Jancofiore learning, and being informed that the merchandise, that he had brought with him, was worth fully two thousand florins of gold, or even more, besides that which he expected, which was valued at more than three thousand florins of gold, bethought her that she had not aimed high enough, and that 'twere well to refund him the five hundred, if so she might make the greater part of the five thousand florins her own. Wherefore she sent for him, [046] and Salabaetto, having learned his lesson of cunning, waited on her. Feigning to know nought of the cargo he had brought with him, she received him with marvellous cheer, and began: "Lo, now, if thou wast angry with me because I did not repay thee thy money in due time:" [047] but Salabaetto interrupted her, saying with a laugh: "Madam, 'tis true I was a little vexed, seeing that I would have plucked out my heart to pleasure you; but listen, and you shall learn the quality of my displeasure. [048]Such and so great is the love I bear you, that I have sold the best part of all that I possess, whereby I have already in this port merchandise to the value of more than two thousand florins, and expect from the Levant other goods to the value of above three thousand florins, and mean to set up a warehouse in this city, and live here, to be ever near you, for that I deem myself more blessed in your love than any other lover that lives." [049] Whereupon: "Harkye, Salabaetto," quoth the lady, "whatever advantages thee is mighty grateful to me, seeing that I love thee more than my very life, and right glad am I that thou art come back with intent to stay, for I hope to have many a good time with thee; but something I must say to thee by way of excuse, for that, whilst thou wast thinking of taking thy departure, there were times when thou wast disappointed of seeing me, and others when thou hadst not as gladsome a welcome as thou wast wont to have, and therewithal I kept not the time promised for the repayment of thy money. [050] Thou must know that I was then in exceeding great trouble and tribulation, and whoso is thus bested, love he another never so much, cannot greet him with as gladsome a mien, or be as attentive to him, as he had life; [051] and thou must further know that 'tis by no means an easy matter for a lady to come by a thousand florins of gold: why, 'tis every day a fresh lie, and never a promise kept; and so we in our turn must needs lie to others; and 'twas for this cause, and not for any fault of mine, that I did not repay thee thy money; [052] however, I had it but a little while after thy departure, and had I known whither to send it, be sure I would have remitted it to thee; but, as that I wist not, I have kept it safe for thee." [053] She then produced a purse, in which were the very same coins that he had brought her, and placed it in his hand, saying: "Count and see if there are five hundred there." [054] 'Twas the happiest moment Salabaetto had yet known, as, having told them out, and found the sum exact, he made answer: "Madam, I know that you say sooth, and what you have done abundantly proves it; wherefore, and for the love I bear you, I warrant you there is no sum you might ask of me on any occasion of need, with which, if 'twere in my power, I would not accommodate you; whereof, when I am settled here, you will be able to assure yourself."