In the island of Lesbos, hunting, in a wood dedicated to Nymphs I saw the most beautiful thing I’ve seen in my life, a painted image, a love story. The park, of itself, was beautiful; flowers in abundance, thick trees, a fresh fountain that fed the trees and flowers; but the painting, even more pleasant than all the rest, was of a subject in love and marvelous artifice; so many, even strangers, who had heard of it, they came there, devotees to the Nymphs, and curious to see this painting.
Women saw themselves giving birth, others enveloping children’s diapers; small dolls exposed to the thank you of fortune; animals that fed them, herdsmen who took them away; young people united by love; pirates at sea, enemies on the ground who ran the country, with many other things, and all in love, which I looked at with great pleasure, and found them so beautiful, that I wanted to write them down. So I found someone to explain it to me and I have written a story in four books; all I heard, in writing these four books, which I dedicate as an offering to Love, Nymphs and Pan, hoping that the tale will be pleasant in many ways, for what it can be used to heal the ill, to console the mournful, to put back in memory loves one formerly loved, and instruct one who will not yet have it. For never was I, nor I will be able to hold on to love, as long as there is beauty in the world, and that the eyes will look. We ourselves want God whom wisely can speak here about others!