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Day 37

The Betrothed by Alessandro Manzoni

Chapter 29

March 29, 2023 by Michael F. Moore

“Here, among the poor terrified people, we find a few individuals of our acquaintance.”

A brief reprieve from the march of history.

The Landsknechts, literally “servants of the land,” were the German mercenaries employed by the Holy Roman Empire. The Venetian Republic employed mercenaries of its own, the cappelletti (some claim—especially in Verona!—that the surname Capulet, of Shakespeare’s Juliet, is a translation of Cappelletti).

We finally have another moment with Agnese, prudent rather than scheming, and longing for her daughter in the midst of the exodus from the village.

“The sight of these familiar places made her thoughts more vivid, her sorrow more piercing.”

Even with a marauding army on the way, the tailor still cannot resist little sparks of pedantry (though not on the scale of Don Ferrante):

“I don’t imagine the soldiers will be coming to this village for lodgment—the correct term, I’m sure you know.”

Not to mention his rather perverse false modesty:

“When they got up from the table, he showed her a print of the Cardinal that he had attached to the side of the door, in homage to the man, but also so he could tell anyone who came by, from one who knows, that it didn’t look anything like the man. Because he’d had the chance to see the Cardinal in person, up close and at length, in this very room.”

Despite Don Abbondio’s skepticism (“Converted? But is he truly converted?”), the Nameless One is indeed a changed man.

“Through that voluntary humiliation, his presence and bearing had acquired, without his realizing it, something loftier and more noble, since even more than before, one could see the absence of all fear in him.”

In the disquisition that follows, Manzoni makes an interesting remark:

“In those days, there was a peculiar relationship between Church and State.”

I’ll say!

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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