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Day 14

The Betrothed by Alessandro Manzoni

Chapter 10 (through p.174: “her closest relatives.”)

March 6, 2023 by Michael F. Moore

“The Prince (at a moment like this I don’t have the heart to call him her father)... ”

Manzoni himself was father to 13 children, almost all of whom he outlived.

“At these words, Gertrude was dumbstruck. She wondered how that ‘yes’ which had slipped out could portend so much. She tried to think of a way to retract it or restrict its significance. But the Prince’s conviction seemed so complete, his joy so jealous, his benevolence so conditional, that Gertrude did not dare utter a word that might disturb him in the least.”

A swift transition from the perspective of the father to that of the daughter. Is her life really her own? Is any child’s?

Page 166. The trottata, a ritual of the society to which Gertrude yearns to belong, but is forced to renounce. This promenade sounds so stilted, so artificial, as does every aspect of Milanese society that he describes. What is Manzoni driving at here? Is he suggesting that the life she leaves behind is not so enviable after all?

A comic interlude:

“The old woman kept on talking while she was undressing Gertrude, and while Gertrude lay in bed. She was still talking when Gertrude fell asleep, her thoughts overcome by youth and exhaustion. Although her sleep was troubled, agitated, and full of bad dreams, it was unbroken until the old woman’s shrill voice woke her up to get ready for the trip to Monza.”

This startling passage:

“At the image of the impatient young prince, all the other thoughts that had crowded into Gertrude’s awakening mind took off like a flock of sparrows at the sight of a hawk.”

Daily Reading

A Preview

A Preview

Day 1

Introduction & Chapter 1 (through pg. 13: "were still around.")

Day 2

Chapter 1 (to end)

Day 3

Chapter 2

Day 4

Chapter 3

Day 5

Chapter 4

Day 6

Chapter 5

Day 7

Chapter 6

Day 8

Chapter 7 (through p.108: “respective ranks.”)

Day 9

Chapter 7 (to end)

Day 10

Chapter 8 (through p.130: “the others filed behind him.”)

Day 11

Chapter 8 (to end)

Day 12

Chapter 9 (through p.151: “are also quite capable.”)

Day 13

Chapter 9 (to end)

Day 14

Chapter 10 (through p.174: “her closest relatives.”)

Day 15

Chapter 10 (to end)

Day 16

Chapter 11 (through p.193: “keep track of it.")

Day 17

Chapter 11 (to end)

Day 18

Chapter 12

Day 19

Chapter 13

Day 20

Chapter 14

Day 21

Chapter 15

Day 22

Chapter 16

Day 23

Chapter 17

Day 24

Chapter 18

Day 25

Chapter 19

Day 26

Chapter 20

Day 27

Chapter 21

Day 28

Chapter 22

Day 29

Chapter 23

Day 30

Chapter 24 (through p.396: “as soon as you’re ready.”)

Day 31

Chapter 24 (to end)

Day 32

Chapter 25

Day 33

Chapter 26

Day 34

Chapter 27

Day 35

Chapter 28 (through p.467: “their hands from hunger.”)

Day 36

Chapter 28 (to end)

Day 37

Chapter 29

Day 38

Chapter 30

Day 39

Chapter 31

Day 40

Chapter 32 (through p.534: “purpose of the conflict.”)

Day 41

Chapter 32 (to end)

Day 42

Chapter 33 (through p.554: “treatise on political economy.”)

Day 43

Chapter 33 (to end)

Day 44

Chapter 34 (through p.574: “the living were left.”)

Day 45

Chapter 34 (to end)

Day 46

Chapter 35

Day 47

Chapter 36

Day 48

Chapter 37

Day 49

Chapter 38

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