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Day 42

The Betrothed by Alessandro Manzoni

Chapter 33 (through p.554: “treatise on political economy.”)

April 3, 2023 by Michael F. Moore

Don Rodrigo’s nightmares as the fever of the plague sets in: a church, zombie-like ghouls, and suddenly, the figure of Padre Cristoforo:

“After glaring at the assembled congregation, he seemed to stare straight at Don Rodrigo, raising his hand in the same gesture he had made in the great hall of the nobleman’s palace.”

Betrayed by the loyal Griso, who refuses to even bring his master a glass of water:

“These are strange illnesses. There’s no time to waste. Keep still. I’ll be here with Chiodo in two shakes of a lamb’s tail.”

(Since I know you’ll ask, the Italian expression is, “tre salti” – three skips, leaps or hops. I wanted to use a numerical expression, so I remembered “two shakes” (one of my mother’s expressions.)

Is this what a pandemic does to a person, or are we just seeing who Griso was all along? He certainly pays for his greed (or was it opportunism?).

Meanwhile the good Renzo is safe beyond the state of Milan. Bortolo turns out not to be the nice guy we might have imagined:

“Would you readers have preferred a more idealistic Bortolo? Well, you’ll have to create your own. That’s simply the way he was.”

Renzo survives the plague “by doing nothing. He was on death’s door, but his robust constitution defeated the illness: In just a few days he was out of danger. With his return to health, his memories, desires, hopes, and plans for the future came flooding back, more powerful than ever.”

This line strikes me more now, as I read with you, than when I wrote it. Here we are today, surrounded by a post-pandemic exuberance that I wish I could share. Some may be rekindling plans for the future. Others, like me, look back in grief.

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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