The Decameron

The Decameron

by

Giovanni Boccaccio

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Salvestra appears in Neifile’s fourth tale (IV, 8), as the daughter of a Florentine tailor. Her childhood friendship with Girolamo blossoms into love, but when he goes away to Paris for several years, she marries a man of her own class and pragmatically puts her youthful affections behind her. However, when she views Girolamo’s body in the cathedral after he dies of grief, her former love for him bursts forth and overwhelms her, and she dies of grief on the spot. She is one of Day IV’s unlucky lovers and her death also illustrates how the power of love can extend beyond life and death.

Salvestra Quotes in The Decameron

The The Decameron quotes below are all either spoken by Salvestra or refer to Salvestra. 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

Salvestra Character Timeline in The Decameron

The timeline below shows where the character Salvestra 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
...of his mother and guardians, but he still falls in love with a neighborhood girl. Salvestra is the daughter of a tailor, and Girolamo’s Mother scolds him for his inappropriate affection.... (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 has married another man in his absence. She ignores him when he wanders in... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Moderation and Excess Theme Icon
...he longs to die. Saying that he’s become cold in the night air, he begs Salvestra to allow him to warm up next to her in the bed, promising to avoid... (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... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Moderation and Excess Theme Icon
...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 has connected her to the... (full context)