Day 21The Betrothed by Alessandro Manzoni
March 13, 2023 by Michael F. Moore
Page 249. The pinch of the cheek as a sign of affection.
(Sorry, I couldn’t help it.)
But it does capture the odd banter, both friendly and antagonistic, between Renzo and the innkeeper.
Page 251. The innkeeper’s advice to his wife—“just pretend you don’t hear”—come back to haunt him when he visits the courthouse:
“But at your tavern, and in your presence, inflammatory things were said. Rash words! Seditious ideas! Mutterings! Shouts! Protests!… Yes, let them do and say what they like. You’ll see whether they still feel like joking tomorrow morning. What are you thinking?”
Renzo’s appeal to the crowd—which is what got him into trouble in the first place—will also get him out of it:
“But it is a general tendency of men, when they are agitated and distressed, and recognize that another person could get them out of a bind, to demand cooperation insistently, repeatedly, with all kinds of excuses.”
Page 262. While Manzoni condemns trickery and swindling, in this instance, at least, it would seem to be justified.