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Duke Borso once sent a letter in Latin to the mayor of an outlying village ordering him to catch a sparrowhawk (accipetrem) and send it to Ferrara in a sack to prevent it from escaping. When the letter was delivered, it caused considerable consternation; the villagers interpreted it as a demand for the surrender of their popular archpriest (arciprete). Though surprised by the duke's demand, they dared not disobey it and the hapless cleric, protesting his innocence, was popped into a sack and hauled off to Ferrara.

When the package arrived at the ducal palace, the receiving official was completely perplexed until the letter was produced and the mistake revealed. Borso, keen to save the villagers from embarrassment, sent the priest home with a message explaining that he had changed his mind. Thereafter the duke was careful to correspond with his subjects in the vernacular.

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