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Day 30

The Betrothed by Alessandro Manzoni

Chapter 24 (through p.396: “as soon as you’re ready.”)

March 22, 2023 by Michael F. Moore

The Nameless One returns to his castle, a changed man. Lucia, after her initial consternation, thanks him:

“Oh, sir! May God bless you for the mercy you have shown me!”

His answer, in light of Manzoni’s earlier statement about the good residing in what we do rather than what we say, might seem paradoxical.

“And to you, one hundred times over, for the good you are doing me through your words.”

But Lucia, after all, is a character who places her trust in prayers, in words, rather than in actions, as we saw in the failed attempt at a surreptitious marriage.

The “good woman” has some sharp comments for Don Abbondio.

“I’d heard he wasn’t much of a man, and now I can see with my own two eyes that he’s as tangled as a cat in a ball of yarn.”

In Italian, “ho dovuto proprio vedere che è più impicciato che un pulcin nella stoppa,” means literally, is more mixed up than a chick in the tow. Figuratively it means to look lost and helpless. I changed the creature, the material, and the milieu (from the barnyard to the home), mindful of the repeated use of the terms “imbroglio” and “confusione,” as well as of Don Abbondio’s state of mind.

The good woman reports the Cardinal Archbishop’s advice to Lucia:

“And he told me that you should rejoice, and forgive the man that harmed you.”

Here the theme of forgiveness, which plays a large role in the last part of the book, makes its first appearance.

“For Don Abbondio, the return trip was not nearly as distressing as the way there had been, but it wasn’t exactly pleasant, either. His panic was replaced by relief, but a hundred other irritations soon began to crop up in his heart, not unlike the ground where a large tree has been uprooted: It remains bare for a period, but then fills up with weeds.”

In his long, self-pitying interior monologue, he even worries that the bravi will turn him into a martyr.

An astonishing passage, when Lucia suddenly remembers her vow:

“After the rush of thoughts preceding language, the first words to form in her mind were, ‘Woe is me, what have I done!’”

She can only overcome her regret through resolve, and through her overpowering belief that everything that has happened to her has been an act of Providence.

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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