The Cultural Context of Medieval Music

By Nancy Van Deusen | Go to book overview

his room to have breakfast, lunch, to walk a bit in the garden; and af-
terwards, he would shut himself up in his room with his books. The
King had at his service a competent young man as a hunter and this
man brought to the palace lots of good game everyday. And it hap-
pened that this hunter once said to the King, “Would you be pleased,
your Majesty, if I went to pay a visit to master Fiordinando? I haven’t
seen him for many months.” “Go and visit him. It may give my good
son some diversion from his studies.” The hunter then went to Fiordi-
nando’s room. When Fiordinando saw him, quite suddenly, he asked,
“What sort of work are you doing in court, wearing those big boots?”
The young man answered, “I am the hunter of the King, the one who
delivers fowl, hares, and such animals killed in the forest, to the noble
table.” “But is hunting a pleasant pastime?” Fiordinando asked; and the
young man answered, “Oh yes, most certainly, especially if you have a
passion for it.” “Alright,” said Fiordinando. “I shall try it myself. Don’t
say anything so as to give the impression that you put me up to it. I shall
ask my father to see if he will let me come with you one of these morn-
ings.” The young man says, “What? Do not be afraid. I won’t say a word.
When you are ready, I shall be at your command.”

The [next] day after breakfast, Fiordinando said to the King, “Do you
know what, Father? I have read a book about hunting, and it pleased me
so much that I would like to try out this pastime. Will you permit this?”
“Do as you please,” answered the King, “But be careful, because hunt-
ing can be dangerous. I shall give you as your companion my hunter,
because he is very good and knows his trade perfectly well.”

So one fine morning as the sun rose, Fiordinando and the hunter
mount their horses, armed to the teeth, and leave the city for the thick
brush far from habitation; and they set themselves to the task without
delay, so that by noon they had themselves so many animals lying on
the ground that they were not able to carry them away on their backs.
So they called to a local wood-cutter, gave him this burden with the
express order to carry it to the palace, and with the message that they
would probably not return because they intended to carry on with their
pastime. So then after quickly feeding themselves (restoring themselves
with food and wine), Fiordinando and the hunter again wandered
around in the wood, and they are so very enthusiastic in running about
after the game that when it became dark, they simply got lost—one here,
the other there—and although they tried to find each other by shouting,
it was useless. They could not find one another, and that was that.

In the darkness of the night, Fiordinando, tired and exhausted—both
he and his horse—got down from the saddle to rest and sat down at the
foot of a tree, preoccupied because of getting lost. At that moment Fior-
dinando believed that he could see some sort of a light at half a mile’s
distance amongst the tangled vegetation. So with that, he grasped his
horse by the rein and set off towards the light, and arrived at a large
square where there was a beautiful, seigniorial mansion, where at a
large open gate, a horrible and truly ugly monster was standing with a

-2-

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