Guerra Edizioni, Letture Graduate per Stranieri, Italian Graded Readers
Questa novella è conosciuta anche con il titolo di Il diavolo prende moglie. Qui Machiavelli riprende il tema della misoginia, cioè quell’insieme di teorie e idee antifemministe che descrivono la donna in termini negativi.
In Machiavelli's account, Pluto notes that crowds of male souls arrive in Hell blaming their wives for their misery. He summons a parliament, which decides to send the former-archangel-now-archdevil Belfagor to the Earth to investigate. Belfagor assumes a human form as one Roderigo of Castile, and comes to Florence with a hundred thousand ducats; he marries a woman named Onesta Donati. Soon, her vanity and wasteful spending, combined with the demands of her relatives, reduce him to poverty and debt. He flees imprisonment, pursued by creditors and magistrates; rescued by the peasant Gianmatteo, Belfagor grants his rescuer the power to drive devils out of possessed women – which eventually causes major problems for the peasant himself. In the end, Belfagor gratefully returns to Hell, denouncing the institution of marriage.