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Day 36

The Betrothed by Alessandro Manzoni

Chapter 28 (to end)

March 28, 2023 by Michael F. Moore

The lazaretto, a living hell, whose name is taken from the Venetian island of Santa Maria di Nazareth, which in antiquity was called “Nazarethum.” A cure worse than the disease it sought to contain.

“No one should be surprised by the spike and predominance of the death rate in that enclosure, which took on the appearance and, for many, the name of plague.”

As we shall see, the authorities were reluctant to admit the existence of plague in the early stages, a phenomenon with which we are sadly, tragically, familiar.

The Spanish occupiers had moved to keep the French out of northern Italy without prior authorization from Emperor Ferdinand (remember that both Spain and the Holy Roman Empire were ruled in that period by the Hapsburgs). Now the imperial troops are arriving, bringing with them looting, destruction, and the plague.

“Finally, they would start to leave, and be gone. In the distance, you could hear the sound of the trumpet and drums dying down, followed by hours of terrified silence. And then, an accursed new beating of drums, a new blaring of trumpets, would announce the arrival of another contingent. Finding nothing more to plunder, the newcomers laid waste to whatever remained with even greater fury, burning the empty casks and doorways to rooms where nothing was left, then setting fire to houses themselves. And with even greater rage, of course, they mistreated the people, and so from bad to worse, for twenty days, as many days as there were contingents in the army.”

A side note: Manzoni relies on the accounts of two chroniclers of the era, Tadino and Ripamonti. Ripamonti was reportedly the ghostwriter for Cardinal Borromeo, who had him locked up so that his secret would not get out.

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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