Day 17The Betrothed by Alessandro Manzoni
Chapter 11 (to end)
March 9, 2023 by Michael F. Moore
A little more scheming from Don Rodrigo on how to rid himself of Renzo, and then this:
“I myself have often observed a dear little impish boy, a little too impish, to be honest, but showing signs of wanting to become a fine man.”
Manzoni observing his little son, Enrico (child number six), who in later life would saddle his father with debts thanks to his free-wheeling lifestyle and sloppy business practices.
Leaving behind Pescarenico and Monza, we are about to enter the city of Milan: “Climbing up one of those paths to higher ground, Renzo saw the great monument of the Milan cathedral, the Duomo, rising from across the plain, as if it stood not in the middle of a city but of a desert.”
When I first arrived in Milan almost fifty years ago, in October of 1975—alone, hampered by shyness, and barely knowing Italian—I still immediately made my way to the center of the city to gaze at this “eighth wonder of the world.”
Page 198. No ordinary day? You could say that again. So begins our entry into the city and into the violence of the mob.
How well does this illustration capture the sight described on page 200?