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Day 5

The Betrothed by Alessandro Manzoni

Chapter 4

February 25, 2023 by Michael F. Moore

Page 56. Poverty and oppression in a single image. Keep this in mind when we reach the banquet at the palace of Don Rodrigo.

A scrawny girl… stooped down quickly to steal some herbs to feed her family, having learned from hunger that men, too, can subsist on grass.

Manzoni introduces us to Padre Cristoforo, the champion of the poor, by giving us his back story. I’m fascinated by this interweaving of history—which in Italian is “Storia” with a capital “s”—the story of the young couple (lowercase “s”), and the past histories (capital and lowercase “s”) of individual characters.

Page 57. In this spirit, I wonder at the use of “bourgeois” to dismiss a class of people who earned their wealth through work. Again and again we see Manzoni, himself a noble by birth (though he refused to use his title), attacking the institution of aristocracy and its pretensions and abuses.

In his newfound leisure, the former merchant’s body was slowly penetrated by shame over all the time he had spent making a living in the world. Obsessed by this thought, he studied every possible way to make people forget that he had once had to work for a living.

Page 68. The bread of forgiveness. The one little crust will accompany Padre Cristoforo until almost the end of his life (and the end of the novel).

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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