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Day 26

The Betrothed by Alessandro Manzoni

Chapter 20

March 18, 2023 by Michael F. Moore

The opening to this chapter could have been written by the Gothic novelist Ann Radcliffe, whose The Mysteries of Udolfo (1794), as well as other works, was set in Italy, a country she had never visited.

“From the heights of his horrid castle, like the eagle in its gory nest, the savage lord dominated every inch of the area where a man might set foot.”

“The reader may remember that reprobate Egidio, who lived next to the convent where poor Lucia had taken refuge.”

Manzoni looping in that earlier chapter.

We are well down the path to iniquity here, yet there are glimmers of regret, of remorse, a festering sense of guilt.

The Nameless One suddenly fearing the Day of Judgment:

“Now, in moments of inexplicable despondency and unfounded terror, he imagined hearing His voice crying out from within: ‘YET I AM!’”

And Gertrude:

“To lose Lucia through no fault of her own, through an unforeseen accident, would have already felt like a misfortune, a bitter punishment. But now she was being ordered to deprive herself of the girl through treachery, to convert a means of atonement into a source of remorse.”

Here Manzoni wags his finger, but is the way of righteousness really open to her?

“My heart cannot bear to describe her ordeal any longer: An overwhelming sorrow makes me skip to the end of that journey, which lasted for more than four hours, after which we will still have some more agonizing hours to endure. Let us go now to the castle where the unhappy girl was being taken.”

I realize that some of you would appreciate a more detailed account, but perhaps our imaginations paint an even more lurid picture.

A final comment. I know that I should limit myself to three comments a day, but how can I ignore a gem like this:

“The idea of duty, which is deposited like a seed in the hearts of all men, had in her become associated with feelings of deference, terror, and an overweening desire to serve.”

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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