Don Tarquinio
A Kataleptic Phantasmatic

Chapter XXV


Instantly the light of The Presence having been extinguished, we were (so to speak) all in the dark.

Great confabulations insued. Everybody exuded important but perfectly preposterous propositions.

The Cardinal of Valencia was for raising armies wherewith to pursue the Keltic scamps; and put himself to speak seriously to the Cardinal of Este, inquiring how many mercenaries could be bought from Ferrara. But Ippolito would not have anything to say to him; and he went off, muttering, with his new lieutenant and standard-bearer.

But all the others came to converse with me. From what was said, certain matters appeared, which gave food for thought.

The question of my next act was discussed.


It seemed not to be decorous that I should live with my wife in the palace of the Cardinal of Ferrara. It clearly was my bounden duty to send news, of the removal of the Great Ban, to my cousin and our baron Marcantonio. I also desired very strenuously to go at once to my castle of Deira by the southern sea, there to arrange the transit of my goods and my familiars to the City, where I was intending to pass my life. Furthermore, I was famishing with hunger, not only for my maid but also for a meal, solid, interminable, seeing that I had been fasting since supper-time: for what I had eaten at the Paparch’s table was no more than a snack.

Wherefore, the Cardinal of Valencia having disappeared, while the tyrant and the princess and their girls were chattering to my blushing wife (whose dear little hand I did not relinquish for a moment), I turned the other way; and at length, contrived to overcome the loud voices of Ippolito and Gioffredo, proclaiming to them my necessities.


But, though they demurred from my departure, nevertheless they confessed that I spoke reasonably; and, finally, after many words, Gioffredo offered an immediate banquet with lodgings at Traspontina till the evening, and Ippolito offered an escort of xl athletes and xl men-at-arms for our journey to Deira.

And anon we went to Traspontina. There we feasted. There we played. There we also slept. What we ate and drank, or what we did, in those iiij hours, I am unable to specify. For I was in a species of delirium, having no more mind and body than sufficed for these ij things, videlicet my wife, and mine insuing progress to the cradle of my race, in comparison with which all other worldly matters seemed very rightly to be of no price.

But at one hour before avemmaria, my valises having been brought from the Estense Palace and my wife’s from the Apostolic Palace of Vatican, viij decurions of Ippolito’s came with my proper iij, being a company


of cxxj persons in all to attend us; and so we rode out from the City, on the first stage toward the eastern road which leadeth at length to Deira, in the cool of the evening.

Thus, thy loving father hath set down the full history of the four-and-twenty hours of his fortunate day, not concealing anything which his own senses perceived; and he saith, that this is the manner in which history ought to be written, o Prospero, my son.