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  • Il Novellino

    LXXXV
    Of a great famine that was once in Genoa

    There was once a great famine in Genoa, and there were more poor people to be found there than in any other place.

    The authorities seized a number of galleys, and they impressed sailors and paid them, and published a notice that all the poor people should go down to the sea-shore, where they would have bread from the commune.

    Everybody went, and it was a great marvel, and this was because many who were not in need disguised themselves as beggars.

    And the officials said to the people: we cannot distinguish between all these folk, but let the citizens go on to this ship here, and the foreigners on to that one there; the women and children on to that other, and all mast go aboard. The sailors set to work at once, and put their oars into the water, and bore the folk off to Sardinia.

    And there they left them, for there was plenty there, and the famine ceased in Genoa.

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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]. 192-193

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