Il Decamerone, Annotations: 1

Here Hoby has made a small addition to the second tale of the eighth day. Where the printed text reads ‘La Belcolore, scesa giú si pose a sedere, & cominciò a nettare sementa di caulini, che il marito hauea poco innanzi trebbiati’ (‘Whereupon down came Belcolore, took a seat, and began sifting cabbage-seed that her husband had lately threshed’), Hoby has added the phrase ‘stese i panni in terra, et’ (‘spread her skirts on the ground, and’).

The addition must have come about through the comparison of two or more editions of the text. Although the phrase had been omitted from this edition, by Girolamo Ruscelli, it was present in several other editions of Il Decamerone, including those of Francesco Sansovino and Lodovico Dolce. The addition of this phrase by Hoby is evidence of the attentive and scholarly manner in which he studied the work. It also suggests that he owned or had access to it in duplicate.

Giovanni Boccaccio, Il Decamerone (Venice: Vincenzo Valgrisi, 1555), sig. Y4r. Audley End, on loan from a private collection.

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