Shopping Cart



Day 28

The Betrothed by Alessandro Manzoni

Chapter 22

March 20, 2023 by Michael F. Moore

A new character makes his entrance: Cardinal Federigo Borromeo, the embodiment of good. The backstory of this historical figure demands no embellishment or fictionalizing:

“At this point in our story, I cannot resist lingering for a moment, like a sad and weary wayfarer who has traveled through an arid and wild landscape, and stops to kill a little time lying in the grassy shade of a nice tree near a freshwater spring… I absolutely must say a few words about this character, but if any of you would rather not hear them, and instead prefer to continue on with the story, you are welcome to skip to the next chapter.”

Will you take Manzoni up on this offer, or pause to learn about the archbishop?

“The way one lives is the proof of principles professed in words.”

He rescues a girl destined, against her will, to become a nun. Did he offer the same indulgence, the same understanding, to poor Gertrude? We will soon find out.

After this sea of praise, a caveat, and a footnote (by me):

“We should not overlook, however, his strong conviction and long practice of ideas that many would find rather strange and baseless nowadays. I say this even to those who are eager to justify them. Anyone who wishes to defend him tends to argue, most commonly, that these beliefs were errors of his time rather than his own. This argument might be valid, in some cases, after a detailed examination of the facts, but it is meaningless if people adopt it randomly and out of context, as they usually do. And since I do not wish to solve complicated questions with simple answers, or prolong a single episode, I will forgo explaining it. All I will say is that we cannot expect perfection, even in the most admirable of men; if we do, we might as well write a eulogy.”

Manzoni is reluctant to tarnish this hero, but historical rigor demands that he must admit his faults.

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

Sign up for A Public Space's Newsletter