Bandello to the Magnificent Lord
Count Bernard of Saint Boniface, Field Master
of the French Army in Piedmont: Greetings
The very same day that the Lord Count Guido Rangone sent you to Chieri,
while many good soldiers were still gathered together, we began to discuss
the sharp punishment that had been given in the Venetian camp to Marga-
ritona, a woman of little honesty but great courage, who in the company
of Gaiazzo earned her cash by riding in the light cavalry.l And certainly
there were men who picked up their pay at the bank without deserving it
as much as she deserved hers. Like the time when the league's army was at
Cassano, and Antonio Leiva
was holding out at Inzago, little more than
two miles away. This Margaritona, armed and on horseback, got almost in-
side the Spanish fort near Inzago, and by means of several good blows she
captured a Spanish soldier and conducted him before the illustrious Lord
Gian Maria Fregoso, who was general governor of the serenissima signory
of Venice. This Spaniard, realizing he had been taken prisoner by a female,
was on the verge of despair.
The reason for later burning this Margaritona was recounted variously
by the soldiers. There were those who affirmed she had been justly burned
and others who blamed Messer Paolo Nani, the prosecutor, along with the
count of Gaiazzo. And so as we talked of this, Messer Giovanni Salerno,
who, as you know, is very talkative and often interrupts the conversations
of his companions in order to say what he wants, told a little story that
happened not long ago in Rome. This novella has been taken down by me.
Thinking then to whom I should give it, I decided to send it to you; and
so I send it to you as a gift and consecrate it to your name. Be well.
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