Having taken their seats at table, they luckily found the wine good; and so it was that they were more pleased with this circumstance than sorry for the mission they had forgotten. Indeed it was so excellent, that they repeatedly emptied their glasses, toasting all their friends in town until they became half stupefied, so that, far from recollecting their embassy after dinner, they were in no condition even to talk about it, and hardly knowing where they were,, they both dropped asleep.
On rousing themselves once more, one of them inquired of the other whether he had yet succeeded. “I know not,” was the reply; “but I know that our host’s is the best wine I ever drank: the truth is, I have never thought about it since dinner, and now I hardly know where I am.” “And I declare it has been the same with me,” answered his friend; “the Lord only knows what we shall do!
However, we will stay here to-day and to-night, for the night is always favorable to memory; we cannot fail to recollect the whole.” To this the other agreed; and they stayed there the remainder of the day, repeating the experiment of the wine, frequently finding themselves in the clouds, where, however, they found nothing of their mission. The same story was repeated at supper; and they afterwards with difficulty found their way to bed.
Next morning the inquiry
At breakfast the next morning the inquiry was as vainly repeated, both declaring that they had not so much as dreamed about the matter, and that they had not got the most distant notion of it, having never slept so soundly in all their lives. “The devil is in the wine, I think,” cried one; “let us mount horse again, and see what that will do; it will come when we are not thinking about it on the road.” So they again set out, occasionally asking each other as they went, “Well, have you got it yet?” “No; have you?” “Not I, indeed.” And in this way they journeyed along till they came toArezzo, where they alighted at one of the first hotels.
There they retired into a private room, for the purpose of putting their heads seriously together, as it was high time to recollect what was their business. But I am sorry to add, it was all in vain; and such was their hopeless condition, that one said, “Come, let us go; and God help us at the worst!” “But will He help us?” said the other. “What must we say? what do we know about the matter?” “Well, but we must go through with the business; so let us go and do our best.” So, trusting to Fortune, they requested an audience of the bishop, saying they had some matters of importance to communicate to him; and being introduced into his presence, they made a very low obeisance, and remained silent.