Shopping Cart



Day 43

The Betrothed by Alessandro Manzoni

Chapter 33 (to end)

April 4, 2023 by Michael F. Moore

The return to Pescarenico.

Poor Tonio, “Sitting listlessly on the ground, leaning against a jasmine bush.”

And all he can say is,

“When your time is up, it’s up.” (A chi la tocca, la tocca).

And Don Abbondio? As disgruntled as ever, but after his initial scolding of Renzo (“What are you doing here? Go back!”), we can see that he is buried in grief:

“With his head lowered, he kept exclaiming, ‘Poor boy!’ ‘Poor girl!’ ‘Poor things!’”

Renzo’s garden, one of the great tableaus of the novel. In this garden, Renzo, and we the readers, feel the full brunt of the plague’s devastation. The exuberance of the vegetation—all of it described with its proper botanical denomination—“untended by human hands.”

“Here and there fresh twigs or shoots sprouted from mulberry, fig, peach, cherry, and plum trees. But even they were choked and crowded out by a dense variety of new growth that had germinated and flourished, untended by human hands. There was a riot of nettles, ferns, ryegrass, scutch, goosefoot, wild oat, green amaranth, chicory, sorrel, cockspur, and the like, otherwise known as weeds by farmers throughout the world. There was a tangle of stalks competing to climb higher or spread wider than each other, creeping along the ground in every direction, through a jumble of leaves, flowers, and fruits of a hundred different colors, shapes, and sizes. Ears of wheat and corn were topped by tufts and clusters of white, red, yellow, and blue flowers.”

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