~ language and poetry ~
- 4 -

Giuseppe Berneri
MEO PATACCA


index
CANTO I
CANTO II
CANTO III
CANTO IV
CANTO V
CANTO VI
CANTO VII
CANTO VIII
CANTO IX
CANTO X
CANTO XI
CANTO XII


CANTO IV

octaves: 11-12, 14-15, 17-19, 25-27, 29-33, 44-47, 49-50, 53-56, 66-74, 80-81, 87-90, 94-96


On the next day Meo goes to Nuccia's house, to tell the girl about his decision of going to war in any case. Once there, he whistles to her from the street, but she gives no sign of reply.



11 - 12

Prima Nuccia cos stette un bel pezzo,
S'affaccia poi nel ceffo dispettosa;
S'intoscia, e con cert'atti de disprezzo
Finge de sta' a vedne ogn'altra cosa.
Col cenno e con la man f pi di un vezzo
Patacca allor, lo guarda lei sdegnosa,
E come che da lui noia riceva,
Dalla finestra subbito si leva.

Qu si, ch' Meo stordito, e non capisce,
Perche adesso costei gnente l'accoglia,
E gli scotta il ved che lo schernisce,
N s ancor, se lui resti, se la coglia.
Vorria fischi di novo, e non ardisce;
Di saperla poi netta h 'na gran voglia;
Il ribuss stima che l'habbia male,
La sente alfin, che scegne pe' le scale.

14 - 15

Ol! Ch'ardir il tuo? Che si pretende
Da casa mia? Guidone! Impertinente!
Nuccia forte grid: Cos s'offende
Una mia pari? Via! fora insolente!
Meo per, che la causa non intende
De 'ste chiassate, ancor non si risente;
M dice sol: Perche cos me fai?
Se po' sap se po' se con chi l'hai?.

L'h con t, - dice Nuccia, - e con raggione,
Con t che mi lusinghi in dir, che m'ami,
E linguacciuto poi, con le persone
Screditando mi vai con modi infami:
Se m'odj e mi disprezzi mascalzone!
Perche co' 'sti tui fischi t mi chiami?
Abbada ai fatti tui, che ti conviene,
E pi non m'intron, se vuoi far bene.

17 - 19

Di t, solo di t doler mi devo, -
Torn a dir lei con rabbia, e con dispetto,
- E dell'ingiurie, che da t ricevo:
Che ben io s, quel che di Nuccia hai detto.
Io ti credevo (pazza!) ti credevo
Un amante fidele, un homo schietto,
M gi appresso di m, t sei convinto
Un malalingua, un traditore, un finto.

T non m'inganni n, che la s tutta,
Com'inteso havess'io con quest'orecchia;
'Sta grazianata tua poco ti frutta,
Se invano trappolarmi s'apparecchia.
Che pretendi da m, gi che son brutta?
E perche mi corteggi, s'io son vecchia?
E va' in mal'hora!. E qu da s lo scaccia,
Spigne la porta, e gle la serra in faccia.

Allor si che Patacca si scatena,
E f di quelle che non fece mai,
D spintoni alla porta, e calci mena,
E strilla forte: E che creanze fai?
Me trovi a f, me trovi oggi de vena,
De fatte vede un po', se con chi l'hai!
Non s che te ciangotti, e credo solo
C'habbi data gi volta al cirignolo .


11 - 12

At first, Nuccia stays like this for a while,
Then she goes to the window wearing a frown;
Puts on an attitude, and with haughtiness
Pretends she's looking at something else.
So Patacca nods and waves at her a few times;
She looks at him with scorn,
And, as if annoyed by him,
She promptly turns away from the window.

Here Meo is really stunned, and can't understand,
Why now she is not greeting him,
And it hurts him to realize she's avoiding him,
Nor he knows whether to stay or walk away.
He would like to whistle again, but does not dare;
He is very eager to know what's happening;
He thinks that it is better not to knock,
And finally he hears her coming down the staircase.

14 - 15

Hey! How dare you? What do you want
Coming at my house? Rascal! Impudent!
Nuccia cries loud: Is this the way to offend
A girl like me? Go away! Get lost, you insolent!
Meo, though, not realizing the reason
For all this fuss, does not react yet;
He simply replies: Why are you doing like this?
Who on earth are you cross with? .

With you, - says Nuccia, - I have my reason,
With you, who flatters me with love words,
And with your wicked tongue, in front of others,
Throws discredit on me in the most vile ways:
If you hate me and despise me, you rogue,
Why are you calling me with your whistles?
Mind your own business, it's better for you,
And stop annoying me, if you want to do well.

17 - 19

Of you, only of you I complain, -
She said again with rage and irritation,
- And of the insults I receive from you:
As I know well what you have said about Nuccia.
Crazy have I been in thinking of you
As a faithful lover, a honest man,
While towards me you are really
A slanderer, a cheater, a fake.

You can't swindle me, I know everything,
As if I had heard it with my own ears;
You won't obtain much with your flatteries,
If it is supposed to entangle me, invane.
What do you want from me, since I am ugly?
And why do you court me, since I'm old?
Go to hell! . And here she dismisses him,
Pushes the door, closing it in his face.

Now Patacca indeed flies into a rage,
And has the worst fit he ever had;
He shoves the door, and kicks it,
And shouts loud: What attitude is this?
For sure, today I'm in the right mood
To show you who you are dealing with!
I can't understand your blubbering, I only think
That you got bats in the belfry.

But despite his cries and all his attempts, he is left stranded in the middle of the street. So he decides to walk back home, where the men he recruited are waiting to be enrolled in his personal army.



25 - 27

S'era co' i dieci sgherri gi impegnato
Quanno in Campo Vaccino li ha condutti,
Di dar ogn'uno el su' capitaniato,
E manti adesso la parola tutti.
(A questi soli il posto sar dato,
E l'altri resteranno denti asciutti).
Lui seguita not chi prima arriva,
E per ordine, vu, ch'ogn'un si scriva.

Tanto di quelli trenta di costoro,
Quanto de i su' ducento, e sale e scenne
Pi d'un per volta, e pur nisciun di loro
Nell'incontrarzi strepita e contenne.
Patacca, tutto intento al su' lavoro
Arrolla sgherri furia, e 'ste faccenne
Le stima un spasso granne, e volentiere
Pe' falle, ce staria giornate intiere.

In tel part, che da Patacca fanno,
Questo gli dice, che far l ritorno
Pi non accurre n, m che annaranno
Tutti in Campo Vaccino nel tal giorno;
Che qu la mostra general faranno,
Dove procuri ogn'un d'annacce adorno,
E che poi meglio sentir domane,
Dal capitanio suo quel ch'h da fne.


25 - 27

He had already agreed with the ten braves,
When he had led them in Campo Vaccino,
To appoint each of them a captain,
And now he keeps his word with everyone.
(Only these men will be given a rank,
There won't be any left for others).
He keeps noting who comes first,
and wants everybody to sign in accordingly.

Men from the thirty gathered by each of them,
And from his own two-hundred, come and go
More than once, yet none of them
In crossing each other shouts or complains.
Patacca, absorbed in his duty
Enrols multitudes of braves, and enjoys so much
This business, he would be happy
To spend full days on this.

On leaving his house,
Patacca tells the men that they no longer need
To return there, but on the given day
They will all go to Campo Vaccino;
There they will hold a general presentation,
Where everybody ought to be equipped,
And on the following day
One's own captain will give further instructions.

Meanwhile, Calfurnia meets with Marco Pepe, the brave by whose hand she wishes to take revenge upon Meo Patacca. She wants the man to challenge Meo in a duel, letting him understand that Nuccia would be impressed by him, for avenging her honour.



29 - 33

Vu, ch'a custion lo sfidi, e gle la soni
Co' rifibbiagli una stoccata in petto,
E che lo faccia, e non gle la perdoni
Pe' vendetta di quel, ch'a Nuccia h detto,
Gli appetta che con modi mascalzoni
Ard de fagle un cos gran dispetto,
Che in tel penzacce quella se n'accora,
Col dirgle vecchia e brutta, e peggio ancora.

Poi te gli f ved la ciospa indegna
Gi Nuccia tutta sua, se f pulito,
D'accoppagle Patacca, e dir s'impegna
Che sar dell'istessa il favorito.
S'accorger, che lei pi non lo sdegna,
Anzi, pe' fa' ved che gli gradito,
Lei gli far sentir, se passa mai
Da casa sua, che lo ringrazia assai.

Mentre costei con chiacchiere e monine
L'amico sgherro inzampogn procura,
St questo irresoluto, perche al fine,
La vittoria per lui non sicura.
In servir Nuccia, ver, c'h chalche fine,
E che per mostr vorria bravura,
M poi penza Patacca, e assai lo stima,
In tel sap, che s tir de scrima.

Stando s 'sto penzier, tonto rimane,
Non s, che far, non si risolve intanto,
F giusto come quanno vede un cane
Il tozzo in terra, et il bastone accanto;
H voglia d'addentallo, e non lo fne
Perche le botte non vorria fra tanto;
Si stenne, si tratti, non s'assicura,
Contrastano la fame e la paura.

Cos f Marco Pepe, Amor l'invita,
A far con Meo da bravo, e disfidallo,
M quel mettere risico la vita,
Gli f ven el penziero di non fallo:
Eccola - dice poi - bella e fornita,
'Sto ferro al par d'ogn'un s maneggiallo,
E se spadaccin tr noi si viene,
Gli dar f da pettin assai bene .


29 - 33

She wants him to challenge him and beat him
By stabbing him in the chest,
To surely do so, and not to forgive him,
So to avenge what he said about Nuccia;
She gives out that, in an outrageous way,
He dared giving her such an offence,
Whose thought makes her grieve,
By saying she's old, ugly, and even worse.

Then the infamous old woman
Convinces him that Nuccia would love him, if he
Had done a neat job in killing Patacca,
Promising that he would become her favourite.
He would realize that she no longer despises him,
And, to prove that she liked him,
In the case he passed by her house,
She would express her gratitude to him.

While the woman with rumors and cajolements
Is aiming to swindle this friend of hers,
He is in doubt, because after all
To obtain a victory is not a certainty for him.
Indeed, to serve Nuccia would be his purpose,
And he would like to show his valour,
But then he thinks of Patacca, and respects him,
knowing that he is a good swordsman.

In pondering this, he remains in a daze,
He does not know what to do, cannot decide,
He behaves just like a dog
That sees food on the floor, and a stick nearby;
He feels like taking a bite, but does not,
Because he doesn't want to be beaten;
He lies down, he refrains, feeling insecure,
A clash between hunger and fear.

The same for Marco Pepe; Love induces him
To be corageous with Meo, and challenge him,
But putting his own life at risk
Makes him think of not doing so:
Well - he then says - I've made my mind,
I can handle this sword as much as anybody else,
And should we end up in a duel,
I'll give him lots of trouble .

Marco Pepe goes to see Meo Patacca, for finding a pretext to provoke him and then challenge him in a duel.



44 - 47

Dopp che Meo Patacca ogn'un h scritto
Di quei, che prima vennero, si volta,
Verso costui; m perche s ch' un guitto,
Mal volentiere le sue istanze ascolta;
Si ricorda assai ben, ch'in un conflitto,
Che si fece in Trastevere una volta,
Pe' fa' da bravo, innanzi ogn'un si caccia,
F poi tr tutti il primo, volt faccia.

Perche non habbia da rest affrontato,
(Se be' gusto non ci h) puro l'accetta.
Vu sap, chi dei dieci l'h impegnato
Perche sotto al commanno gle lo metta,
Lui gli dice: Fanello m'h pregato,
Ch'io de fa' scialo in guerra gl'imprometta .
Rispose allora Meo: Te scrivo adesso
In te la squadra del Fanello istesso .

Qu Marco Pepe: Piano patron mio,
De grazia co' 'sto scrivere, bel bello:
Intennemoci prima, non venn'io
Mica pe' guerreggi sotto Fanello;
Chalche malanno f, che gle l'avvio
A chi me vu tratt da soldatello:
Credevo, ma'l contrario me succede,
Che ce fusse altro modo de procede .

Ecco il pretesto, che penz costui
De mette in campo, pe' sfid Patacca;
Stupido questo allor si volta lui,
E l'occhiate da dosso non gli stacca.
Seguita Marco Pepe: Io gonzo fui,
A ven corteggi gente vigliacca.
Stamo ved, la testa io ce deposito,
Ch'oggi me bigna fa' calche sproposito .

49 - 50

Cos' 'sto sbravicchi? Che se pretenne?
Se parla chiaro, e non se vie' co' rascia;
C' qu chi la pariglia te po' renne,
Per invano da t tanto se sbrascia.
D puro il fatto tuo, c' chi t'intenne,
Che mica hai da tratt con gente pascia.
Chi te la gratter, dillo bisogna,
T troverai, se vai cercanno rogna .

Me la gratti chi p! Ch non ce prova
Calch'uno con nostrisci?, sbravicchianno
Esclam l'altro. A f, che me ce trova,
Chi me v gnente gnente stuzzicanno.
Io sott'altri nel campo? O ve' che nova!
Io voglio in guerra, e l'haver il commanno,
E t stesso sarai, te lo dich'io,
Prima d'ogn'altro, soldatello mio .

53 - 56

F pur conto, ch'un tasto m'hai toccato
Da pot ben sonattela assai presto ,
Disse Meo. Gi me l'ero imaginato,
M il solo modo di ciaritte questo:
In guerra, vero si, che ce sei stato,
M non te vergogn de dire il resto,
T, ch'adesso ti spacci un paladino,
Ch'in guerra solo hai fatto el tamburrino .

O' sfogate cos, d quel che vuoi ,
L'altro rispose. Men di m ne sai:
Io almen, s cos' guerra, m non pi
T dir cos, se non l'hai vista mai.
Hor non ci vnno chiacchiere; s, noi!
A duello io te sfido, e vederai,
Se te vi fatta, te riesce buscia,
Se il tamburrino poi le panze sbuscia.

S'addrop vuoi la fionna, la saracca
Fa' pure modo tuo, cap te tocca .
Prima lo guarda tutto, e poi Patacca
Te gli f 'na risata piena bocca.
L'invito accetto, - disse, - e chi si smacca
Sar su' danno, ch' 'sta gente sciocca,
Allor, ch'allo sproposito si picca,
F quel che fatto v, chi gle la ficca.

S'incominzi el duello co' la fionna,
Si faccia poi si faccia lama fora;
Alla prima baruffa, alla seconna,
S'h da ved, se chi ce resta allora.
Se c' difficolt, me si risponna,
Che tempo io non te d, se non d'un'hora.
Non ce voglio Secondo, ne Patrino,
E il campo, appunto, sia Campo Vaccino .


44 - 47

After writing the names of whom had come,
Meo Patacca turns round towards him,
But since he knows that he's a cheap person,
He is reluctant in listening to him;
He recalls very well that in a fight
That had been once held in Trastevere,
He had stepped right forward, putting on airs,
And then he had been the first one to withdraw.

Not to give him offence,
Yet unwillingly, he accepts him as well.
He asks who of his ten men had summoned him,
In order to place him under his command;
He says: Fanello asked me for the favour
Of promising to play havoc at war .
Meo in reply: Now I'll enroll you
In Fanello's own squad .

But Marco Pepe says: Slow down, sir,
Take it easy in writing this:
I'll be honest to you straight away,
I don't accept to go to war under Fanello!
Whoever thinks of treating me as a rookie
Will indeed get trouble from me.
I thought that the proper way to go about things
is different, but evidently I was wrong .

This is the pretext that he had thought of
In order to challenge Patacca;
The latter then turns towards him, in surprise,
And keeps staring at him.
Marco Pepe goes on: I have been stupid
To come and give support to cowards.
Let's wait and see, I bet my head
That today I'll end up in making some rash action .

49 - 50

What is such arrogance for? What do you want?
Speak clearly, don't hide behind obscure words;
There's someone here who can give you tit for tat,
But it's useless for you to raise your temper.
Come on, what's the problem, you are not dealing With stupid people who cannot understand.
If you are looking for trouble,
This is indeed the right way to find it .

Let the trouble come up! Is there somebody
Willing to show me? , said the other
In an insolent tone. I'm in the right mood,
If somebody tries to provoke me.
Me, under command in the battlefield? Nonsense!
I want the leadership at war, and I'll obtain it,
And let me tell you that,
Before any other, you will be my own rookie .

53 - 56

Beware, as I consider this issue enough
For giving you a good thrashing very soon ,
Meo said. I had already imagined all this,
But the only way of replying to you is this:
You have indeed been to war already,
But don't be ashamed to tell the rest,
You, now claiming to be a hero,
have only been at war as a drummer .

Oh, vent your rage, say what you like ,
The other replied. You know less than I do:
At least, I know what war is, but you
Cannot say so, never having experienced it.
Now let's not waste time. Come on!
I challenge you in a duel, and you'll see
Whether you make it or you fail,
Whether the drummer is able to pierce a belly.

Either to use the sling or the sword
Is your own business, you are to choose .
At first Patacca takes a good look at him,
And then burts into a big laugh.
I accept your challenge, - he says, -
All the worse for the one who loses, because
When fools are so stubborn in their excesses,
And they find trouble, it serves them right.

We shall start the duel with the sling,
And then we'll draw the sword;
Either with the first clash or with the second,
We'll see who meets his fate.
Should there be any problem, I want to know,
As I won't allow you more time than one hour.
I don't want any Assistant nor Second,
And let the field be Campo Vaccino .

Marco Pepe leaves. Meo Patacca has enough time for having a light meal before reaching the opponent on the spot they agreed. An hour later, both of them are there.



66 - 74

Ecco superbi li due sgherri fronte,
E l'uno all'altro con gran brio s'accosta;
Marco Pepe, che f da Spaccamonte,
Ol - dice, - nostrisci qu tua posta .
À soddisfatte io gi le voglie h pronte
Meo gli risponne, e ogn'un di lor si scosta.
Vengono, pe' men presto le mani,
Giusto un tiro di fionna star lontani.

Subbito le perzone si slargorno,
Che gi con Marco Pepe eran venute,
E quelle ancor ch'a caso capitorno
Da curiosit qu trattenute.
Fecer l'istesso quelle, ch'arrivorno,
Che da Meo queste cose havean sapute,
El campo largo e libero si lassa,
E in tel mezzo nisciun proprio ce passa.

Ogn'un delli due sgherri el posto h preso,
Fatta de rocci in berta un'adunata,
Sul braccio manco el pietro in gi disteso,
Che poi f alla perzona una parata:
Impaziente gi 'l popolo s' reso,
Di ved questa gran sassaiolata;
Ciasch'uno poi di lor, conforme il patto,
Alla su' fionna d de piccio un tratto.

La fionna un braccio e pi di cordicella
Di canapa assai forte, e fatta, treccia,
Ne i due capi sottil, m grossicella
Inverzo el mezzo, e sempre pi s'intreccia;
Qu come rete c' una ferratella
Indove ce se mette, sasso, breccia;
M qual poi sia, pi granne della maglia,
N resce, se n, allor quanno se scaglia.

E l'una e l'altra punta accompagnata
Stringon le dete della dritta mano,
M poi drento la fionna ripiegata
La manca il sasso ti dal sen lontano;
A quella si d allora una stirata,
Si piglia poi la mira, e non invano,
Perche 'sti nostri sgherri, cos bene,
Ci azzeccano, che fanno travedne.

Tutto fecer costoro, e al primo tiro
Ogn'un ti la su' fionna apparecciata;
Cominza Marco Pepe, e pi d'un giro
A quella d, sopra el cotogno alzata.
Lassa un dei pezzi, e in meno d'un rispiro
Vi la breccia con impeto scagliata:
Patacca non si scanza e non s'abbassa,
Perche assai da lontan quella gli passa.

M poi d al fongo una calcata in testa,
Due passi innanzi rivoltato in costa,
Vu trov modo de spicci 'sta festa.
F prima una sbracciata, e poi s'imposta,
Piglia la mira dritta dritta, e in questa
Nol falla mai se nol facesse posta;
M perche f da vero, f non sbaglia,
Giusto in dove h mirato, el selcio scaglia.

Frulla, e fischia per aria, e azzeccaria
Di Marco Pepe appunto in tel mostaccio,
Se l proprio Patacca gle l'avvia,
M si para col pietro, alzanno el braccio.
Pur lo scotola segno, che dara
In terra un solennissimo crepaccio,
Se non si fusse caso ritrovato
Co' i piedi in sul terren forte piantato.

S'infuria allor costui, perche mostrarzi
Vorria propio una bestia inferocita;
Si sbraccia in fionnol, per vendicarzi
Di quella botta, c'h lui ben sentita.
M perche i colpi, arrivano assai scarzi,
Ò perche Meo s fa' scanzi di vita,
Non serve n, ch'in tel fa' sciarra incocci,
Che sempre voto han da casc i su' rocci.


66 - 74

Now the two braves proudly face each other,
And each of them comes swiftly closer;
Marco Pepe, who boasts a superior air,
Hey - says, - I'm here for you .
I'm ready to satisfy your wish .
Meo replies, and each of them moves apart.
To start the duel very soon,
They walk away the distance of a sling-shot.

Instantly, the people moved sideways;
Some of them had come with Marco Pepe,
And any other who by chance was passing by
Had stopped, interested in what was happening.
The same did those who came
Having been told by Meo,
And the field is now completely free,
And really nobody walks in the center.

Each of the braves has taken position,
Having filled their satchel with a load of stones,
On their left arm their cloak hangs down,
Also to be used for parrying the blows:
The people are already impatient
Of watching this great stone-fight;
Then each of them, as agreed,
Suddenly grabs the sling.

The sling is a cord, an ell in length,
Made of strong hemp, and braided,
Thin at both ends, but somewhat larger
Towards the center, more thickly braided;
Here there is a small iron netting
Where to put a stone or a piece of rock;
Whatever is used, is larger in size than the meshes,
Not to slip out, unless when it is hurled.

Both its ends are clutched together
By the fingers of the hand, held straight,
But inside the folded sling
The left hand holds the stone away from the body
The latter is then stretched,
The aim is taken, and not invane,
Because it is amazing how these braves of ours
Are so clever in hitting the target.

All this had been done, and each of them
Holds his own sling ready for the first shot;
Marco Pepe starts, and more than once
Swings it over his head.
He lets one of his pieces go, and in a flash
The stone is violently hurled:
Patacca does not dodge, nor he bends down,
Because it flies way past him.

But then he crams his hat on his head,
He turns sideways stepping forward two paces,
He is eager to get things done.
He shrugs his arm, then takes his stance,
He aims precisely, and in doing this
He never misses, unless he is willing to do so;
But he's not joking: he's indeed on the mark,
And hurls the stone exactly where he aimed at.

The stone whirrs and whistles through the air,
On its way to hit Marco Pepe right in the face,
Where Patacca had pointed at,
But he parries it with his cloak, lifting his arm.
Yet he feels the blow,
And would have come to a cropper,
Had he, by chance,
Not found himself very well balanced.

He then flies into a rage, because
He would like to appear like a wild beast;
He whirls his arms in slinging,
To avenge that blow that he felt so well.
But either because his shots are short,
Or because Meo dodges them well,
It's no use for him to raise hell,
His stones always miss the target.

After being hit a number of times, Marco Pepe withdraws, so Meo Patacca, as expected, wins the first part of the duel. Then they get ready for the second round.



80 - 81

Patacca pe' mostr, ch' duellista,
Pratico delle cose della guerra,
F delle due saracche la rivista,
E le misura con la punta in terra.
S'accorge allor c'h quella razza trista
Di Marco Pepe, longa pi la sferra,
M Meo, fidato in te la su' bravura,
D'hav questo svantaggio non si cura.

Guarda, se il Sole p la vista offennere,
Pe' spartirzelo poi con uguaglianza:
Come se pozza de 'ste cose intennere
Un homo vil, non para stravaganza.
L'h inteso dir, ch'il Sole col risplennere
Abbaglia el vede, e che per si scanza,
Ò si divide in modo, in tel cimento,
Che sia tanto per un l'impedimento.


80 - 81

Patacca, to show he's a duellist,
And is acquainted with fighting,
Does the checking of the two swords,
And measures them, point down.
He realizes that Marco Pepe, the rogue,
Has a longer sword,
But Meo, having faith in his own valour,
Disregards this disadvantage.

He checks whether the Sun will disturb the view,
In order to equally share this handicap:
How can a commoner be aware of this
Should not appear strange.
He heard others say that the light of the Sun
Dazzles one's sight, so it should either be avoided,
Or shared in such a way that, during a contest,
Each side is disturbed equally.

The sword duel starts, and also this time Marco Pepe proves weaker than Meo, who easily wins the second round, as well.



87 - 90

Patacca s'intratti de fa' sconfitta;
Gli scappa alfin gli scappa la pacenza,
Tira de furia una stoccata dritta,
Che l'averia sfonnato de potenza.
M giusto come f la gente guitta
Fece colui, perch non h sperienza:
Per conto de par, non c' sustanza,
M con un zompo arreto, il colpo scanza.

L'altro lo v incalzanno, e pi l'investe,
E pi lui si ritira, e non resiste.
Quello stoccate avvia, gagliarde e preste,
Si vede questo ann gi pe' le piste.
Allor, (cosa che mai non credereste),
Perche gi le su' coccole h previste,
Perche rest non ci vorria sbusciato,
Un ripiego pigli da disperato.

Pe' ved s'un bel colpo gli vi fatto,
Mentre cognosce, ch' a fuggir costretto,
La sferra addrizza, e poi si mette in atto
De tir di Patacca inverzo el petto.
M una fintiva fu, ch'un brutto tratto
Penz di fa', come segu in effetto.
Acci pe' dritto trapassallo vada,
Tutta verzo di lui lanci la spada.

Col forte della sua Meo si ripara,
E quella, ch' scagliata in fora schizza,
M per allora imbestialirzi impara,
E pe' la rabbia el naso gle s'arrizza.
In ved, che nel colpo h fatto zara,
Pepe inverzo la gente il corzo addrizza,
E Meo, bench habbia in man le du' saracche,
Lo seguita, e gli v quasi alle tacche.


87 - 90

Patacca takes time before defeating his opponent;
In the end he loses his temper,
And furiously thrusts a straight lunge,
Strong enough to pierce him.
But just as the cheap people do,
So the bloke did, lacking experience:
Not being able to parry,
With a backwards jerk he dodges the lunge.

His opponent attacks, and the more he thrusts,
The more the bloke withdraws, without resisting.
The former lunges, fast and powerful,
The latter is now on the point of quitting.
And then, (would you ever believe this),
Already foreseeing to be beaten,
Not willing to get stabbed,
He adopted a desperate solution.

Trying to make a good lunge,
Yet realizing that he must withdraw,
He lifts his sword straight, and takes his stance
So to thrust towards Patacca's chest.
But this was a feint, having in mind
Something nasty, which he puts into practice.
Wishing to stab the opponent frontways,
He throws the whole sword towards him.

Meo parries with his own hilt, while the sword
Cast at him ricochets away,
But he then goes wild,
And his nose turns stiff with rage.
Realizing that his stroke has landed off target,
Pepe directs himself towards the crowd,
And Meo, yet holding both swords,
Keeps following him, and almost reaches him.

Despite Marco Pepe's disgraceful conduct, yet proud of his victory, for which he is hailed by the crowd, Meo restrains from chasing any longer his opponent, who shamefully runs away from the field as fast as he can, in the fear of Patacca's revenge, while the winner returns home.



94 - 96

Al su' nemico el pietro fece rennere,
Che havea lassato, e addosso il suo se messe,
E da uno sgherro poi gli fece intennere,
Che d'haverla finita non credesse;
Che dell'ardire havuto, in tel pretennere
Che con lui, ch' un tavano, si battesse,
Un Meo Patacca, un capo compagna,
Fatto l'havra pent fatto l'havra.

Gli fece dir di pi che si portava
La su' sferra in trionfo, e n sperasse,
Se col valor non se la riabbuscava,
Ch'in mano sua pi quella ritornasse.
Cos dicenno il vincitor marciava,
E non manc chi allor l'accompagnasse,
E lui perche gi l'aria s'imbruniva,
Venir li lassa, e gli d ogn'un el viva!

Appena al su' tugurio f arrivato
Patacca, che Calfurnia un gran rumore
Sent d'apprausi e grolie, et acclamato
Dalli vicini Meo pe' vincitore.
Pel gran dolor, (quasi che perzo el fiato),
Gle venne un sbiascimento e un languicore,
Quel, che poi succed dopp svenire,
Nel Canto che verr, vel sapr dire.


94 - 96

He had the cloak given back to his opponent,
Who had left it behind,
And wore his own,
And then sent a brave to him with the message
Not to think of getting away with it;
As he would have make such a vile man
repent of having had the guts and the arrogance
Of challenging a real leader like Meo Patacca.

He also let him know that he
Was keeping his sword as a trophy, and that
He could forget of having it back,
Else than deserving it by proving his valour.
In saying this, the winner walked away,
And some of the people accompanied him,
And since it was already getting dark,
He let them do so, while everybody cried hurray!

As soon as Patacca got back to his house,
Calfurnia heard a great commotion
Of hails and applauses, learning from neighbours
That Meo had won.
In great pain (almost as if she had lost her breath),
She felt dizzy, and lost consciousness;
What happened after having fainted,
I will tell you in the following Canto.