Eels in Decameron

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“and afterwards the common fish”

“I am come, Sir, to breakfast with you and your company. ” “And welcome art thou,” returned Messer Corso, “ go we then to breakfast, for ’tis now the time.” So to table they went, where nought was set before them but pease and the inward part of the tunny salted, and afterwards the common fish of the Arno fried. Wherefore Ciacco, not a little wroth at the trick that he perceived Biondello had played him, resolved to pay him out. And not many days after Biondello, who had meanwhile had many a laugh with his friends over Ciacco’s discomfiture, met him, and after greeting him, asked him with a laugh what Messer Corso’s lampreys had been like. “That question,” replied Ciacco, “thou wilt be able to answer much better than I before eight days are gone by.”

The eel plays an interesting role in the eighth novella of the ninth day of Boccaccio’s Decameron. Our tour will retell the story told in the novella, and we will have a close look at the role of the eel. This narration about Ciacco and Biondello is told by Lauretta. Contrary to most of the other days, this day does not have a specific theme. The novella could be classified as a comedy, since it is a story with a good ending.