Addressed to a Fellowship of Sienese Nobles.

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Unto the blithe and lordly Fellowship
(I know not where, but wheresoe'er, I know,
Lordly and blithe), be greeting; and thereto,
Dogs, hawks, and a full purse wherein to dip;
Quails struck i' the flight; nags mettled to the whip;
Hart-hounds, hare-hounds, and blood-hounds even so;
And o'er that realm, a crown for Niccolò,
Whose praise in Siena springs from lip to lip.
Tingoccio, Atuin di Togno, and Ancaiàn,
Bartolo and Mugaro and Faënot,
Who well might pass for children of King Ban,
Courteous and valiant more than Lancelot,--
To each, God speed! how worthy every man
To hold high tournament in Camelot.


A la brigata nobile e cortese
In tutte quelle parte dove sono,
Con allegrezza stando sempre dono
Cani, uccelli, e danar per le spese,
Ronzin portanti, quaglie a volo prese,
Bracchi levar, correr veltri a bandono;
In questo regno Nicolò incorono
Perch'egli è il fior della città sanese.
Tingoccio e Min di Tingo ed ancaiano,
Bartolo e Mugavero e Fainotto,
Che paiono figlioli del re Priano;
Prodi cortesi piu che Lancilotto,
Se bisognasse, con le lance in mano,
Fariano torneamenti a Camellotto.

This fellowship or club (Brigata), so highly approved and encouraged by our Folgore, is the same to which, and to some of its members by name, scornful allusion is made by Dante (Inferno, C. xxix. l. 130), where he speaks of the hare-brained character of the Sienese. Mr. Cayley, in his valuable notes on Dante, says of it: "A dozen extravagant youths of Siena had put together by equal contributions 216,000 florins to spend in pleasuring; they were reduced in about a twelvemonth to the extremes of poverty. It was their practice to give mutual entertainments twice a month; at each of which, three tables having been sumptuously covered, they would feast at one, wash their hands on another, and throw the last out of window."

There exists a second curious series of sonnets for the months, addressed also to this club, by Cene della Chitarra d'Arezzo. Here, however, all sorts of disasters and discomforts, in the same pursuits of which Folgore treats, are imagined for the prodigals; each sonnet, too, being composed with the same terminations in its rhymes as the corresponding one among his. They would seem to have been written after the ruin of the club, as a satirical prophecy of the year to succeed the golden one. But this second series, though sometimes laughable, not having the poetical merit of the first, I have not included it.