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  • Il Novellino

    How a man of the Marches went to study in Bologna

    A man from the Marches1 went to study in Bologna. His means ran short. He wept. Another saw him, and learnt why he was weeping. He said to him: I will furnish you with means to study, and do you promise me that you will give me a thousand lire when you win your first law-suit.

    The scholar studied and returned to his home.

    The other went after him for the recompense.

    The scholar, for fear of having to pay the sum, remained idle and did not pursue his profession, and so both were losers, the one in his learning, the other in his money.

    Now what did that other man devise to get his money? He sued him, and brought an action for two thousand lire against him, and said to him: either you win or you lose. If you win, you shall pay me the sum agreed upon. If you lose, you shall pay me what I sue you for.

    Then the scholar paid, and refused to litigate with him.

    1 Le Marche, the province of which Ancona is now the chief town.

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    Il Novellino : The Hundred Old Tales
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    Storer, Edward, trans. Il Novellino: The Hundred Old Tales. London: G. Routledge & Sons Ltd.; New York: E. P. Dutton & Co., [1925]. 129-130


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