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“distilled for thee”

“Disquiet not thyself,” said the doctor: “I will have a potion distilled for thee; of rare virtue it is, and not a little palatable, and in the course of three days; twill purge thee of all, and leave thee in better fettle than a fish; but thou wilt do well to be careful thereafter, and commit no such indiscretions again. Now to make this potion we must have three pair of good fat capons, and, for divers other ingredients, thou wilt give one of thy friends here five pounds in small change to purchase them, and thou wilt have everything sent to my shop, and so, please God, I will send thee this distilled potion tomorrow morning, and thou wilt take a good beakerful each time.”

All the novellas in the Decameron have a particular form, and this novella can best be described as a comic one; it contains a beffa, ‘a joke’. Key object in this novella’s joke is a potion. The potion had to cure a very uncommon problem: Calandrio, a male, became pregnant! Let us first retell the novella, and then focus on this magical brew.