Facetia Erotica of Poggio Fiorentino
. Privately Printed , [s.n.] . New York
PN6154.P62 1930 (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
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I have taken some time with this enjoyable little volume, especially because Poggio figures as a source for Steinhoewel, Macho, and Caxton. Should the title perhaps be Facetiae Eroticae? I took the occasion of reading this book to look back over the stories that the above three use from Poggio. I find an overlap in at least three stories: women argue over a cloth given in payment for erotic services (225 in Lenaghan, 66 here); a pseudo-physician's pills help a man to find his ass (227 in Lenaghan, 118 here); the hypocrite who is seduced by a woman but claims innocence since she, not he, will touch his member (215 in Lenaghan, 143 here). The stories here are short, funny, and frivolous. Some of my favorites include the story of the woman sent back by her husband to her family (39). Reproved by her father, she answers I am not to blame, for I tried all the servants of the house and even the stableboy! A peasant suspects a priest and so conceals himself under the bed. When the priest after sex with the wife cries out I feel as if I saw the whole world stretched out before my eyes, the peasant asks Did you see my lost donkey anywhere? (70). A poor man cheats a ferryman by not paying after his ride is finished. In payment, he gives two pieces of advice: Always collect payment first and never tell your wife that someone else has a larger penis than yours (152). The poor fool goes home and tells his wife, who learns that their friar has a huge penis. She of course does not rest until she has established this truth for herself. Finally, a priest asks his congregation to explain a conundrum. During Lent, not one woman has confessed infidelity, but all of the men have confessed to sinning with the wives of their neighbors (158). The eleven woodcuts are dramatic but often not easy to read. The clearest and strongest shows a an apostolic secretary fulfilling a perspiring cardinal's ill-advised request to make wind for him (89).