The facetie, as a literary form, has an ancient lineage, while, if we regard it merely as a humorous tale or jocular anecdote, its history must be almost as old as the first laughs and smiles of prehistoric man. To go back no further, we may trace it in a direct line through Latin literature, to the Greek apopthegm. Facetiae, in the literary sense, are also to be found in Oriental literature, espeically the Persian and the Arabian.

The Greek apopthegm and its Roman successor had a different character from the Florentine facetia, but the difference is one rather of matter than form. The ribald, licentious note is not so common in the classic facetaie, and the historical anecdotes treating of kings, princes, and persons of high estate were mostly reverent and often adulatory. Satire and disrespect appeared in the humorous tales of Poggio and his peers. The apopthegm was, as a rule, a brief narrative, as often as not enclosing a moral lesson in an historical anecdote. Or else it was the saying of some wise or great man.

chapter |32 pages


chapter I|1 pages

Old Wine

chapter III|2 pages

The Sleepy Confessor

chapter IV|1 pages

Worst of all

chapter V|1 pages

The Worst Men in the World

chapter VI|2 pages

Francesco Sachetti

chapter VII|2 pages

The Old Woman's Prayer

chapter VIII|1 pages

The Peace of the Monastery

chapter X|2 pages

Of a Curate who buried a Little Dog

chapter XIII|3 pages

Of a Hermit who had many Women

chapter XIV|1 pages

Messer Nicholas

chapter XV|1 pages

The Choristers

chapter XVI|1 pages

Kings and Asses

chapter XVII|1 pages

The Unrepentant Smith

chapter XVIII|2 pages

Of Lorenzo de' Medici

chapter XIX|1 pages

Of an Englishman

chapter XX|2 pages


chapter XXI|1 pages

Of Lorenzo de' Medici

chapter XXII|2 pages

Of Lorenzo de' Medici

chapter XXIV|1 pages

Of Some Peasants who bought a Crucifix

chapter XXV|1 pages

Of Messer Paolo Marchese

chapter XXVI|2 pages

The Host's Fee

chapter XXVII|2 pages

Pirrinicilo the Gascon

chapter XXVIII|1 pages

Of Roderigo Carrasio

chapter XXIX|1 pages

Big Fish and Little Fish

chapter XXX|2 pages

Of Jacopo Sannazzaro

chapter XXXI|2 pages

Of Francesco Elio

chapter XXXII|2 pages

Of Roberto da Lecce

chapter XXXIII|2 pages

The Fair Penitent

chapter XXXVI|1 pages

A Request of the same Cook to the same Prince

chapter XXXVII|2 pages

Of Giovanni Visconti

chapter XXXVIII|2 pages

Of King Ludovic of France

chapter XXXIX|1 pages

Tosetto of Padua

chapter XL|1 pages

Of Messer Marco of Lodi

chapter XLI|1 pages

Two Knights of Castille

chapter XLII|2 pages

Of a Man who asked Pardon of his Sick Wife

chapter XLIII|1 pages

A Woman's Answer

chapter XLIV|2 pages

Of the King of Tunis

chapter XLV|1 pages

The Wife's Confession

chapter XLVII|2 pages

A Priest's Awkward Question

chapter XLIX|2 pages

Foolish Saying of some Florentine Ambassadors

chapter L|1 pages

Of a Drinker

chapter LII|2 pages

Bernabò, Duke of Milan

chapter LIV|2 pages

Facetia of the Celebrated Dante

chapter LVI|2 pages

Dispute between a Florentine and a Venetian

chapter LVII|2 pages

Antonio Lusco's Story

chapter LVIII|2 pages

Of a Young Woman Separated from her Husband

chapter LIX|2 pages

Contest between Two Men about their Crest

chapter LX|2 pages

Story of a Tutor

chapter LXIII|2 pages

Elegant Reply of Dante, Florentine Poet

chapter LXIV|1 pages

Pleasant Answer of the same Poet

chapter LXV|2 pages

The Story of Francesco Filelfo

chapter LXVII|1 pages

The Husband's Revenge

chapter LXVIII|1 pages

Messer Franco's Cat

chapter LXIX|4 pages

Of a Doctor who Cured the Mad

chapter LXX|2 pages

Of a Mad Woman

chapter LXXI|1 pages

Of a Woman who Stood on the Banks of the Po

chapter LXXII|1 pages

The Abbot of Settimo

chapter LXXIII|1 pages

Saying of Lorenzo, Roman Priest

chapter LXXIV|2 pages

Of a Prodigy

chapter LXXV|2 pages

The Exhortation of a Cardinal

chapter LXXVII|1 pages

Poor Cocchino

chapter LXXVIII|2 pages

Witty Answer on the Few Friends of God

chapter LXXIX|2 pages

Of a Friar of St Anthony, a Peasant, and a Wolf

chapter LXXXIII|2 pages

Of a Friar who had a Child by an Abbess

chapter LXXXV|1 pages

Of a Man who Vowed a Candle

chapter LXXXVII|1 pages

Of a Widow who desired a Husband of advanced Age.

chapter LXXXVIII|1 pages

The Jealous Husband

chapter LXXXIX|1 pages

Pleasant Tale

chapter XC|1 pages

Facetious Answer applicable to Bishops

chapter XCI|2 pages

How a Hospital was Cleared of its Inmates

chapter XCII|2 pages

The Priest's Mistake

chapter XCIII|2 pages

Of a Young Woman made Fun of by her Old Husband

chapter XCIV|1 pages

The Beautiful Scholar

chapter XCV|1 pages

Galba's Cloak

chapter XCVI|1 pages

The Cabbage and the Cauldron

chapter XCVII|2 pages

The Blind Man and the Virgin

chapter XCVIII|1 pages

Of Finetto

chapter XCIX|3 pages

Of the Numerous Doctors in Ferrara

chapter C|2 pages

Two Young Men

chapter CI|2 pages

A Complaint to Facino Cane

chapter CII|2 pages

The Jest told by a Friar on Easter Day

chapter CIII|1 pages

Of Ottaviano Dagnano

chapter CIV|2 pages

How to be Remembered

chapter CV|2 pages

Of a Woman who Deceived her Husband

chapter CVI|1 pages

Of a Gambler who was sent to Prison

chapter CVIII|2 pages

Happy Answer of a Woman to a roung Man in Love

chapter CIX|4 pages

Dante and King Robert of Naples

chapter CX|1 pages

Of Bardella of Mantua

chapter CXI|1 pages

The Timorous Duellists

chapter CXII|2 pages

Second Thoughts

chapter CXIII|5 pages

The King of the Canaries

chapter CXIV|1 pages

Facetia of an Ignoramus

chapter CXV|1 pages

A Biting Answer

chapter CXVII|5 pages

The Merchant of Ascoli

chapter CXVIII|2 pages

The Ass and the Noble's Servant

chapter CXIX|1 pages

Newly Married

chapter CXX|2 pages

The Hanging Man

chapter CXXI|1 pages

Of Alessandro Mola, Courteous Gentleman

chapter CXXII|2 pages

Remark of Lattanzio Benucci

chapter CXXIII|1 pages

The Pimp

chapter CXXIV|2 pages

The Principle of Tragedy

chapter CXXV|2 pages

The Meaning of Venice

chapter CXXVI|2 pages

Of Alfonso de' Pazzi

chapter CXXVII|3 pages

Of Messer Paolo dell' Ottonaio

chapter CXXVIII|1 pages

The Senate and the Roman People

chapter CXXIX|2 pages


chapter CXXX|1 pages

Good Answer to Messer N—

chapter CXXXI|1 pages

Under the Protection of St Margeret

chapter CXXXII|1 pages

San Marino and Venice

chapter CXXXIII|2 pages

Of Raphael of Urbino

chapter CXXXIV|1 pages

A Madman in Church

chapter CXXXV|1 pages

Of a Florentine who bought a Horse

chapter CXXXVII|2 pages

Facetia of Ridolfo, Signor di Camerino

chapter CXXXVIII|2 pages

The Gentleman and his Miller

chapter CXXXIX|1 pages

The Notary's Will

chapter CXL|2 pages

Merchants' Good Faith

chapter CXLI|2 pages

Husbands and Wives

chapter CXLII|1 pages

The Safest Ship

chapter CXLIII|2 pages

Facetia of Some Thieves

chapter CXLIV|2 pages

Recalling Solomon

chapter CXLV|1 pages

A Woman's Answer

chapter CXLVI|2 pages

A Good Master for Thieves

chapter CXLVII|2 pages

The Wise Parent

chapter CXLVIII|1 pages

The Doctor of Law