These 31 stories are told in the masculine first person and no rich men, but a good many poor men, beggars and thieves are among the narrators. Most of them deal with women, passion rather than love, and pique rather than passion. In Naturally, a paunchy middle-aged man pursues a simple minded girl, only to find that she is much shrewder than he suspected; a man abandoned by his wife assumes two identities in He and I; friendship is a useful, dangerous commodity for a girl in Silvano and Romildo; but then wives are betrayed (The Loveliest Thing of All) and mothers can destroy (Mother's Boy; You Old Harpy); etc. etc. The stories are all facile and while they accost experience at a superficial level, they make their point with ease and economy.