The Decameron

The Decameron

by

Giovanni Boccaccio

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In Neifile’s fourth tale (IV, 8), Girolamo is the son of a wealthy Florentine merchant. In his youth, he falls in love with the daughter of a local tailor, Salvestra. But because she isn’t of his social class, his guardians try to squelch his love by sending him away to Paris on business. When he returns to find that Salvestra has moved on and married someone else, he dies of grief and anger in her bed, adding himself to the day’s roll of unlucky lovers.

Girolamo Quotes in The Decameron

The The Decameron quotes below are all either spoken by Girolamo or refer to Girolamo. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Love and Sex Theme Icon
).
Day 4: Eighth Tale Quotes

Excellent ladies, to my way of thinking there are those who imagine that they know more than others when in fact they know less, and hence they presume to set this wisdom of theirs against not only the counsels of their fellow men, but also the laws of Nature…Now, there is nothing in the whole of Nature which is less susceptible to advice or interference than Love, whose qualities are such that it is far more likely to burn itself out of its own free will than to be quenched by deliberate pressure. [So I will] tell you a story about a lady who … sought to be wiser than she actually was, and by flaunting her cleverness in a matter that was beyond her competence, succeeded at one and the same time in driving both Love and life from the body of her son.

Related Characters: Neifile (speaker), Girolamo’s Mother, Girolamo, Salvestra
Page Number: 342-343
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The Decameron LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Decameron PDF

Girolamo Character Timeline in The Decameron

The timeline below shows where the character Girolamo appears in The Decameron. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Day 4: Eighth Tale
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Intelligence Theme Icon
Class and Character Theme Icon
In Florence, Girolamo is the son of a wealthy merchant, whose father dies shortly after his birth. He... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
Girolamo’s guardians try to send him to Paris to oversee business affairs there, but he categorically... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
Class and Character Theme Icon
When Girolamo returns to Florence after three years, he is still completely in love with Salvestra, who... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Moderation and Excess Theme Icon
This drives Girolamo to the brink of despair, and he longs to die. Saying that he’s become cold... (full context)
Men and Women Theme Icon
Class and Character Theme Icon
After a while, Salvestra wonders why Girolamo hasn’t left. On discovering that he is dead, she wakes her husband and asks what... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Moderation and Excess Theme Icon
Because no blow can be found on the body, the doctors correctly hypothesize that Girolamo has died of love. Salvestra and her husband attend his funeral to see if anyone... (full context)