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fixed on the doctor, and the first thing them, saying, “My good friends, don't he remarked, was his drinking two be frightened. Touch him, and feel cups of wine, one immediately after him; spirits are not made of flesh and the other upon his sallad, which was bone, as this man is-besides which, also Master Manente's constant cus have you not seen him eat and drink tom. He remained silent, however, in your presence ?” To which Manente though inwardly marvelling; and, ou added, “I am a living man, pray, don't the arrival of the next course, consist- doubt it; don't be afraid of me, my ing of pigeons and small birds, he again brethren! In good sooth, I never yet remarked that the first thing done by have known what death is. Only listhe stranger was to separate the heads ten, and I will relate to you one of from the bodies of the birds, and eat the most marvellous stories ever heard them, -being a part of which Master beneath the sun.” By which, and Manente was likewise particularlyfond. other such like expressions, he, with Upon this, he was just on the point Burchiello's assistance, at length so far of discovering himself, but restrained succeeded, that, by little and little, his intentions for the sake of still far- they got the better of their terror and ther assurance. Lastly, when the fruit incredulity. was placed on the table, consisting of Supper being cleared away, and the pears, (sementine,) grapes, (sancolom- doors locked to prevent intrusion, the bane,) and excellent raviggiuoli, he four friends resumed their seats at the became perfectly satisfied; for the phy- table, and Master Manente recounted sician, after partaking of both the for- to them in full the history of his mer, ended his supper without touch- strange disasters. He had no sooner ing the raviggiuoli
, notwithstanding concluded, than Burchiello (who was all the rest of the company bestowed the cleverest fellow existing) said diupon them the highest praises ; Bur- rectly, “ This is all a trick of Lorenzo chiello very well knowing that Master the Magnifico." The others stoutly Manente had such an antipathy to this opposed this conclusion, declaring that species of eatable, that he would as soon the whole was most undoubtedly the have eaten both hisown hands as touchi- effect of enchantment. Nevertheless, ed them. Upon receiving this last proof 'Burchiello, persisting in his first imof identity, he seized him (laughingly) pression, continued, "" It is not every by the left hand, and lifting up his body who knows as well as I do the sleeve, discovered near the wrist the fruitfulness of that man's invention, mark of a rasher of bacon, which Mas nor how impossible it is to make him ter Manente had brought with him forego any enterprize which he has from his mother's womb; whereupon once taken in hand. It is the very dehe exclaimed, with a loud voice, vil to have to do with one who, like “ Thou art Master Manente, and canst him, knows everything, and has power conceal it no longer ;” and, throwing and inclination to back all his deboth his arms round his neck, em signs.” Then turning to the Doctor, braced and kissed him.
he said, “I long ago suspected that he Biondo and mine host, seeing what might have the heart to play you some passed, were lost in amazement, and such prank as you have related to us. Tetreated backwards a little, that they Depend upon it, Master Manente, "might the more securely mark what princes are always princes; and woe followed : Which was, that Manente be to him who thinks he may presume replied to Burchiello's salutation, by upon their familiarity to take liberties saying, “You only, Burchiello, of all with them.” my friends and relations, have ac Manente, in his turn, now made his knowledged me for what I am, and friends relate to him the history of the that I am indeed that very Master Ma- pretended plague, and of the man who nente, who never died, as was falsely was buried in his place with the tureported, and is so foolishly credited mour in his throat-all which things by my wife, and by all Florence.” At sorely perlexed him; nor was Burchielthis, Amadore and Biondo waxed pale lo himself able to find the clue to this as ashes—the one crossed himself, the part of the contrivance. At length, other followed his example, and both however, they all came to one conclufelt the same terror as if they had really sion, which was, that Master Manente seen the ghost of one departed; but had nothing for it but to commence *Burchiello took upon him to re-assure proceedings in the Bishop's Court for
recovery of his rights and proper. (who presided as judge,) having conty. And with this resolution they se- sidered on one side the proof of idenparated, the Doctor goivg along with tity, and on the other, the produced his friend Burchiello, the other two certificates, became utterly perplexed not being yet altogether satisfied as to and confounded. However, as there the reality of what they had witnessed. was clearly a dead man in the case,
In the meantime, Michel Angelo and it was equally clear that the perthe goldsmith, on his return home, had son who stood before him as Master Mabeen informed by Monna Brigida of nente, was not that dead man, he conall that had happened, which was con- cluded that there must have been some firmed by her sanctified neighbour, foul play (perhaps murder) in the busiwho added, moreover, that she was ness, which rendered it fit for the cogcertain it was Master Manente's spirit, nizance of a criminal tribunal.' For which wanted to be redeemed out of which reason, having secretly informpurgatory. “What spirit, what pur.. ed the Council of Eight concerning gatory, you foolish woman !” exclaim- his cause of suspicion, the officers of ed the angry goldsmith. “Can't you justice were forth with dispatched to perceive that it was that same impos- the Court, where the parties were still tor, that vagabond sailor, who sent pleading, and where they were all aryou the letter yesterday morning?” rested and put in prison. And therewithal he grew very pensive, The next day, as soon as the Counbeing ill able to account for so strange cil was sitting, Master Manente was an occurrence, and yet willing to give bad before them and interrogated as to credit to any interpretation of it rather all that had happened, which he rethan the true one, or than to believe counted in so minute, and at the saine that Master Manente, whom he had time artless a manner, that several of seen dead and buried, was returned to the counsellors, notwithstanding the life again.
gravity of the proceeding, and the unThe next morning early, having actountable nature of the circumstanwashed and trimmed his hair and beard ces, could not refrain from laughing according to the fashion of the day, at many passages. Having finished his and accoutred in some clothes of his narrative, he was remanded to prison, friend Burchiello's which exactly fit- and Niccolajo and Michel Angelo were, ted him, Master Manente sallied forth one after another, next had up and exagain into the streets of Florence; and amined, who not only exactly agreed in in these, which resembled his own or- all the circumstances of their story, dinary habits, he was seen and recog- but confirmed it by the production of nized by many; Biondo and Amadore the certificates already mentioned. having in the meantime circulated the They were also remanded, and the report of his being alive, and returned Council proceeded next to send for the to Florence in quest of his wife and hospital servant who bad been present his chattels. Among the rest, he was at the supposed death of Manente, and seen both by Niccolajo and Michel An- by whom it was wisely judged that gelo, who, notwithstanding the evi- some light might be cast on the mysdence of their senses, still continued tery. But it so fell out, for the sake to intrench themselves in the persua- of the jest, that this same fellow, whose sion, that Master Manente being dead examination must have led to the deand buried, this man could not possi- tection of the whole plot had somebly be be, however strongly resembling time before wounded a man in a fray, him. So, having heard that he in- in consequence of which he absconded, tended to make his claim in the Bi- and had never since been heard of. shop's Court, they, on their part, pre- Thus, all things combined to further pared for their defence against it, to this most admirable of hoaxes. The which end they furnished themselves Council then instructed their officers with credentials from the officers of to make every inquiry that was possithe board of health, and with the pro- ble, in order to ascertain the degree of per certificate of burial.
credit due to each story; and the reTo lose no time, that same after- sult of their investigation was to connoon Master Manente lodged his com firm (so far as it was possible to arplaint, and took out a summons, which rive at any conclusion, the veracity of his brother-in-law and Michel Angelo all the witnesses. forth with attended; and the Vicar, In the meantime, Burchiello, who
was most zealous in serving the cause saying,—"Keep your distance-All I
parties were now again heard, and the
enable me to pronounce judgment but bility of Florence, took his seat on a
that I may present myself before his The next day, the Vicar, who was reverence the Vicar, and discover the a good and decent Christian, and in truth of this mystery.". Upon hearing the odour of sanctity, (dolcissimo reli, which exclamation, and beholding the gioso,), caused it to be proclaimed strange appearance of him who utterthrough the whole bishopric, that alled it—(who was a man large of stapriests and friars who possessed relics ture and strong-built, of complexion of virtue for casting out devils, should olive-brown, with a bald head, a lean bring them to Florence within six and meagre countenance, a black beard days, to the church of Santa Maria reaching to his girdle, and habited in Maggiore, upon pain of his high dis- rude and fantastic clothing)-all prepleasure. All the country round, no sent were filled with amazement and thing was now talked of besides this terror, and made way for him withstrange occurrence, and it seemed to out hesitation ; who straightway adthe two goldsmiths, no less than to vanced to the Vicar, and proclaimed Master Manente, an age while these aloud in the words following: “ To matters were in preparation. Lorenzo, the end that the truth may be made in the meanwhile, had summoned to manifest, know ye that Master MaFlorence old Nepo da Galatrona, a re- nente, who is bere present, never deputed wizard of the highest celebrity; parted hence; and that all which has and having made him understand for happened to him has fallen out by what purpose he wanted him, kept force of magical art, by virtue of de him in his palace to be ready at the moniacal agency, and by the immediappointed hour. The number of relics ate contrivance of me, Nepo of Galaalready collected, from all the country trona, who am able to command the round, at Santa Maria Maggiore, was devils that they do what and when it quite surprising; and the day of trial pleases me. It was I, therefore, who being at length arrived, and Manente's caused him, while lying asleep in the appearance recorded, they waited only place of San Martino, to be transportthe coming of the Vicar, who, accom- ed by demons into an enchanted papanied by thirty of the principal ec- lace, where, in the manner that he has clesiastics, with many ot the first no- already explained to you, I held hiin
in close confinement, until, one morn vaalt in which they were given to un-
of Careggi, where, in less than the