- full text at
- ii8 TALES FROM SACCHETTI
- his notary's reports. It happened by chance that certain
- citizens, seeing how that the women wore whatever they
- liked without any hindrance, and hearing of the law which
- had been passed and also that the new officer had arrived,
- went, some of them, to the Signori and said that the new
- officer did his work so well that never before had the
- women had so much liberty in their dress as at the present
- time. Wherefore the Signori sent for the judge and told
- him that they marvelled at the negligent manner in which
- he carried out the orders concerning the women. Messer
- Amerigo made answer as follows :
- " My lords, I have studied all my life to learn law, and
- now, when I thought that I knew something, I find that I
- know nothing. For, when seeking for those ornaments
- which are forbidden to your women according to the orders
- which ye gave me, such arguments as they brought for-
- ward in their defence I never before found in any law ; and
- from among them I should like to mention to you a few.
- There cometh a woman with the long peak of her hood
- fringed and twisted round her head ; my notary saith :
- ' Tell me your name, because your peak is fringed.' The
- good woman taketh down the peak, which is fastened to
- the hood with a pin, and holding it in her hand she telleth
- the notary that it is only a wreath. Then he goeth farther
- and meeteth a woman wearing many buttons in front of her
- dress ; he saith to her, ' Ye cannot wear those buttons,'
- and she answereth, * Yes, Messere, I can, for these are
- not buttons, they are beads, and if ye do not believe me,
- look at them ; they have no hanks, neither have they any
- button-holes.' The notary goeth to another who is wear-
- ing ermine, and wondereth 'What will she have to say?'
- ' Ye are wearing ermine,' he saith, and is about to write
- down her name, but the woman answereth, ' Do not put
- down my name, for this is not ermine, this is the fur of a
- suckling.' The notary asketh, 'What is this suckling?'
- and the woman answereth, ' It is an animal.' And my
- notary is stuck like an animal ! "
- (Here some lines are missing.)
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