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Book III, Canto X

May 16, 2011

The next morning everyone leaves the castle except Paridell. He complains of his injuries and stays behind, to Malbecco’s chagrin. Of course he and Hellenor are going to go at it – it takes a little while, but they devise a Chaucer-like plan to cuckold him. One dark evening Hellenore enters the treasure chamber, and after taking some for herself, lights his pile of money on fire. Then she runs to Paridell and cries out that he is going to rape her. Malbecco is caught running between his two loves, his two sins – his avarice and his jealousy. Back and forth he turns from his burning treasure to his wife’s cries, until he finally decides to save the treasure.

By now Hellenore and Paridell are far away. Malbecco goes after them, carrying the unburied portion of his stash of treasure. One day he sees a couple from afar and rides up to them, thinking them to be his wife and Paridell. Instead it is Braggadochio and Trompart. He begs them for help and offers treasure as a reward. Braggadochio pretends to scorn the offering, but Trompart’s wily manuevers ensure that they are now looking for a chance to steal the treasure in the guise of looking for Hellenore.

Eventually they encounter Paridell himself, who tells them has left Hellenore in the woods. Trompart then warns Malbecco of the horrid monsters that live in these woods, and suggests that he hide his treasure nearby so it doesn’t burden him while they are searching the woods. Malbecco foolishly agrees.

Hellenore lives with the satyrs now. Malbecco sees her dancing with them all day and having sex with them all night. Due to his horns, he blends in well enough and sneaks into their camp. He implores Hellenore to come back with him but she would rather stay with the satyrs. At dawn the satyrs start to beat him but he manages to escape.

Of course, he runs back to his treasure hiding spot only to find it all gone. This drives him so mad he throws himself off a cliff, except he is so wasted away that his weight isn’t enough to kill himself. Instead he finds a little cave, and losing all humanity becomes the personfication of Jealousy.


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