There was a very wealthy member of the jet set, Cangrande della Scalla who invited a selection of entertainers to his palazzo for weeks on end to party at his expense, then changed his mind at the last minute
Bergamino stayed at a nearby hotel for weeks hoping for Cangrande to change his mind.He ended up having to pawn 3 fabulous outfits he had purchased to wear to the festivities, just to pay his hotel bill.
Bergamino, annoyed he went into debt for nothing decides to plunk himself at the cafe where Cangrande is sipping espresso, and glares
What’s with you? says Cangrande?
Let me tell you a story, says Bergamino, and so he begins:
A famous poet, who had, it must be said, more fame than money, heard that that a wealthy abbot would eat breakfast with the poor each week. The poet decided to take advantage of the free eats, but since he didn’t want to go hungry, just in case, he brought three loaves of bread. The table was set, but no food was there. It was explained that the Abbot didn’t want anyone to start without him.
No food came and no Abbot either, because the worthy didn’t like the look of a ragged man sitting right up front. The ragged man was our poet, who ate his three loaves of bread before the Abbot got over himself and went out to meet the raggedy person who came to a free breakfast with his own stash of food. Upon realizing it was the famed poet, the Abbot apologized, and made amends by opening his home to the poet in perpetuity.
AH, said Casagrande… What a great story, and a good lesson. Here, have breakfast, it’s on me.. and what the heck, stay at my house, as my guest! but not before you see my tailor and he makes you some new clothes!
Moral- Darned if I can figure it out. Maybe that rich people in medieval Italy liked being taken to task allegorically?