"The pleasant Fable of Ferdinando Jeronomi"

The end of the 1575 edition

... Thus Ferdinando, being no longer able to bear these extreme despites, resolved to absent himself, as well for his own further quiet as also to avoid the occasion of greater mischiefs that might ensue.

And although the exceeding courtesies and approved fidelity of Dame Frances had been sufficient to allure the fast liking of any man, especially considering that she was reasonably fair and descended of a worthy father, who now fell flatly to move and solicit the same, yet such sinister conceits had he taken by the frailty of Dame Eleanor as that rejecting all proffers and condemning all courtesies, he took his leave &, without pretence of return, departed to his house in Venice: spending there the rest of his days in a dissolute kind of life, & abandoning the worthy Lady Frances, who (daily being galled with the grief of his great ingratitude) did shortly bring herself into a miserable consumption: whereof (after three years languishing) she died.

Notwithstanding all which occurments, the Lady Eleanor lived long in the continuance of her accustomed change: & thus we see that where wicked lust doth bear the name of love, it doth not only infect the light minded, but it may also become confusion to others which are vowed to constancy.

And to that end I have recited this Fable which may serve as ensample to warn the youthful reader from attempting the like worthless enterprise. I know not how my rude translation thereof will delight the finest judgments. But sure, as Bartello writteth it in Italian, it is both pleasant and profitable: the which hath made me adventure thus to publish the same in such simple style as I am able to endite, desiring the gentle reader rather to take example of reformation therein than to find fault at the homely handling of the same.

Ever or never.


On the 1575 edition Opening of the 1575 edition

The Adventures of Master F. J. by George Gascoigne, 1573