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Day 2

The Betrothed by Alessandro Manzoni

Chapter 1 (to end)

February 22, 2023 by Michael F. Moore

Page 17. So much for the decrees! “The moment a decree appeared, the violent found new, more opportune means, through their power, to continue doing exactly what the decrees had sought to repress.”

Page 18. Before introducing his main characters, the “genti meccaniche” of the working class, he lists the social hierarchies protected from the law through their clans: the clergy, the nobility, the military, the merchants and skilled craftsmen, the jurists and “even the doctors.” And what of the “genti meccaniche”? I’m reminded of our own culture’s dismissive use of the term “unskilled laborers” for people who actually know how to do things with their hands.

Page 18. Don Abbondio. “A clay pot forced to travel in the company of many an iron kettle.” I love this image! Manzoni, like Dickens, can conjure up a character in just a few words. But in the moral universe that the author will describe, how should we judge this village priest? Some consider him the Italian everyman. Hmmm.

Page 20. “Dear readers, all twenty-five of you…” He makes me smile just after describing the frightening moment that will set the plot in motion.

Perpetua, a character so memorable that her name has come to be used as a common noun to describe the maid of a priest. “Show your teeth!” Who, Don Abbondio?

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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