This book consists almost entirely of legends or traditions of a varied character, referring to places and buildings in Florence, such as the Cathedral and Campanile, the Signoria, the Bargello, the different city gates, ancient towers and bridges, palaces, crosses, and fountains, noted corners, odd by-ways, and many churches. To all of these there are tales, or at least anecdotes attached, which will be found as entertaining to the general reader as they will be interesting, not to say valuable, to the folklorist and the student of social history; but here I must leave the work to speak for itself.
"Then a second servant sang:
"'Oh bello gentile mio Signor', Your praise of poverty 'd soon be o'er If you yourself for a time were poor; For nothing to eat, and water to drink, Isn't so nice as you seem to think, And a lord who lives in luxury Don't know the pressure of poverty.'
"Then all would laugh, and the jolly old lord would sing in his turn:
"'O charo servitor', Tu parli tanto bene, Ma il tuo parlar A me non mi conviene.' . . .
"'My boy, you answer well, But with false implication; For what to me you tell Has no true application; How oft I heard you say (You know 'tis true, you sinner!) "I am half-starved to-day, How I'll enjoy my dinner!" Your hunger gives you health And causes great delight, While I with all my wealth Have not an appetite.'
"Then another servant sang, laughing:
"'Dear master, proverbs say, I have heard them from my birth, That of all frightful beasts Which walk upon the earth, Until we reach the bier, Wherever man may be, There's nothing