~ 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 IX

octaves: 1, 3-15, 18-22, 26, 33-34, 36-38, 40, 44, 62-66, 68-69, 73, 78-85, 87-91





1

Tolla con Tutia era di gi salita
Nella stanza di sopra, e in adocchialla
Nuccia, un tratto rest come intontita,
E appena fiato hav de salutalla.
Quella renne il saluto, assai compita;
Da capo piede intanto, d'osservalla
Nuccia non lassa, e in un'occhiata sola
Tutta la squatra, e non f ancor parola.

3 - 15

Et ecco si f un atto di commedia,
Perche di Nuccia il cor crepa d'invidia,
La Scarpellina coll'occhiate assedia,
Par che con quelle far gli voglia insidia.
À lei pi allor s'accosta con la sedia
E in sempre pi guardalla, ce profidia.
Gi l'affetti di Meo, quasi ripudia,
Di saper chi costei, tr s gi studia.

Inteso haveva prima dalla buscia
Che risponneva in sopra della porta,
Di Meo la voce, e questo assai gli bruscia
Perche una fiera gelosia gl'apporta:
Non s se sia Donna onorata, sdruscia,
Per indurla scrop da s la torta
Gle f bel bello, acci al su' fine arrivi,
Quest'interrogatorij suggestivi.

Per quanto s veder, Vossignoria
sposa n? Non credo d'ingannarmi;
Quest'abbito, mi pare, che ne dia
Tal contrasegno, che potria bastarmi;
Pur m' caro saper, se il vero sia,
E dell'ardir La supplico scusarmi,
Che per nostra natura, in certe cose
Noi altre donne semo un po' curiose .

Tolla, che ci pretenne, e assai gle piace,
De fa' pur lei la bella parlatrice,
Pe' mostrasse una giovane vivace,
Con un po' di sogghigno, cos dice:
Vedo Signora mia, che si compiace
Scherzar con m, che son Sua servitrice,
So' sposa in quanto, m nel dire h torto,
Che ne dia segno l'abbito che porto.

Vesti son queste mie da bon mercato,
Robba ordinaria assai da poverella,
un abbituccio, che l'h merlettato,
E liscio lo portavo da zitella.
Non h volzuto mai ch'habbia sforgiato
Mi marito, che in testa h certa quella,
Con dir, che non st bene, che sian visti,
Tanti lussi alle mogli degl'artisti .

E qual', - dice Nuccia -, il Suo mestiere,
S' lecito saperlo? . H gran premura
D'intender, se 'ste cose son poi vere,
Perche di chalche trappola h paura.
Tolla gusto non h di far sapere
La scarpellineria, m con drittura
Risponne, e te l'imbroglia, e fa' pulito:
Lavorator di Pietre mi marito .

Far dunque l'orefice de fatto
Nuccia gle replic. M Tolla allora
Fece un tantin de smorfia, et in quell'atto
Disse, scrullanno il capo: N signora.
Io non parlo di gioje, error h fatto,
A non spiegarmi meglio. Lui lavora
Pietre che non son manco marmi fini,
M bens sassi grossi, e travertini .

Si, si, f lo scultore, adesso h inteso,
Me ne rallegro assai Nuccia ripiglia,
Gi me l'immaginavo, e gi l'h creso,
Ch'era civile assai s bella figlia .
A Lei piace il bel dir , cos ripreso
Fu da Tolla il discorzo. S'assomiglia,
M non questa l'arte, non in quanto,
Mio marito scultor. M st l accanto .

Nuccia s'accorge allor, perch' una quaglia,
Che l'impiccia costei, n parla schietto,
Quel che vu dire intenne, e non si sbaglia,
Si volta Tutia, e te gle f l'occhietto.
M pe' 'ste cose pi non la travaglia,
Perche cognosce che gle f dispetto,
In volerla sforz con pi parole,
A fagle dir, quel che lei dir non vuole.

Parla d'altro cos: Mi favorisca,
(Se non impertinenza, questa mia)
Di dirmi il nome Suo; mi compatisca,
Perche mente io tener me lo vorra.
Gi che vu 'l caso, che La riverisca,
Troppo scortese et incivil sara,
Se saper non volessi chi ne devo
Questo favor s granne, ch'io ricevo .

Allor Tolla: Signora! mi mortifica,
Se di una serva Sua vu haver memoria.
Per ubbidir, da m Le si notifica,
Ch'il mio nome legitimo Vittoria.
M dalle genti in parte si falsifica,
Che di m fanno al solito l'istoria
Di chiamarmi col nome frollosetto,
E mi dicono Tolla mi dispetto .

Questo spesso succede, e chi Lauruccia,
E chi chiamano Lulla, e chi Palmina.
L'altra rispose, À m dicono Nuccia,
À chi Tilla, chi Pimpa, et chi Nina,
A chi, dall'arte poi, la Barbieruccia,
A chi l'Ostessa, chi la Scarpellina .
Cos una staffilata gle l'avvia:
Quella finge ch' lei data non sia.

Seguita Nuccia interrog l'amica
Intorno quello, ch'assai pi gle preme,
E con arte procura, che gle dica,
Perche l venne con Patacca insieme.
Saper il nome non gl'importa mica,
N il mestier del marito, e solo teme,
Che di costei Patacca amante sia,
E gle rosica il cor la gelosia.

18 - 22

Il signor Meo, che seco La condusse,
Ch'h maniera d'entr per tutti i lochi,
Come appunto il patron d'ogn'uno fusse,
Gl'havr fatti veder e lumi e fochi,
Dall'À per fino conne, ronne, e busse.
Lui s, de i pari sui, ce ne so' pochi,
E col suo ingegno acquista onor e fama,
E signor della festa ogn'un l'acclama.

M perche lo conosce molto bene
La signora Vittoria, altro non dico,
Sol dir ch'a lodarlo ogn'un conviene,
Se della verit non nemico.
fortunata poi, se con lei viene
Servendola, s buon, s degno amico;
A creder io mi d, ch'un pezzo sia,
Che conversi con lui Vossignoria .

Signora Nuccia! mi f meraviglia,
Che Lei tacciar mi voglia s l'onore .
Tolla gle risponn. Sappia che piglia,
(Per dirglela alla schietta), un grosso errore.
Troppo male il sospetto la consiglia,
Se doppo havermi fatto ogni favore,
(Mi scusi in grazia, s'io cos raggiono)
Me gli f creder quella, ch'io non sono.

Giuro, ch'in tutto il tempo di mia vita,
Una sol volta h 'l signor Meo veduto,
E questo fu, per essermi smarrita,
Per un caso m in strada succeduto.
bens verit, che gi sentita
Havevo la sua fama, e ancor saputo,
Ch'era un giovane sodo, e savio assai:
D'andar con lui, per questo io mi fidai .

Nuccia le guancie allor vergognosette,
Del color d'una rosa, ch' incarnata
Le tinze, e ben intanto cognoscette,
Ch'in parl troppo libera era stata.
Con un ripiego al mal rimedio dette,
E fu d'hav la torta rivoltata:
Non parmi, - disse, - haverla offesa in niente,
Pigliando il signor Meo per Suo parente.

26

Cos Nuccia, che prima era scontenta,
Et agrufata pe' li gran penzieri,
Che divorarzi el cor par che si senta
Dal dente dell'invidia, e che disperi,
Si ringalluzza adesso, et contenta,
Mentre i sospetti sui gnente son veri,
All'occhi il brio, torna alla bocca il riso,
La pace al core, et il colore al viso.


1

Tolla and Tuzia had already gone
Into the room upstairs, and Nuccia
In suddenly seeing her, remained stunned,
And barely had voice enough to greet her.
The woman greeted her in return, very politely;
Meanwhile, Nuccia kept staring at her,
And with only one glance
She ran her eyes all over her, without a word.

3 - 15

And now, this turns into a play,
Because Nuccia's heart is dying with jealousy;
She besieges the stone-mason's wife with her eyes,
Almost as if wanting to attack her.
So she moves her chair closer to her
And insists in looking at her, more and more.
She almost rejects Meo's affection,
And already plans to find out who she is.

From the passage above the doorway,
She had heard Meo's voice before,
And this causes her pain,
Making her terribly jealous:
She ignores whether she's honourable, or a whore;
In order to induce her reveal some clues,
She immediately asks her these relevant questions,
So to achieve her goal.

As far as I can see, your Ladyship
Is a married woman, am I right? I think I am;
This dress seems consistent with this,
Such detail could be enough for me;
Yet, I'm eager to know if this is true,
And I beg your pardon for daring to ask you,
As women, by nature,
Are somewhat curious about these things .

Tolla, putting on airs, and pleased to show
That she too is a clever conversationalist,
Wishing to appear as a witty girl,
With a slight grin, tells her:
My Lady, I see that you enjoy
Playing jokes on me, Your servant;
I am indeed married, but you are wrong
In saying that the dress I wear is a sign of this.

What I wear are cheap clothes,
A poor woman's ordinary fabric;
This is a dress to which I added some lace,
And I wore it plain when I was a maiden.
My husband never wanted me to show off
Because of his ideas,
That is, it is not nice for an artist's wife
To be seen around with luxury clothes .

And what is his job, - Nuccia asks -,
If I may dare? . She is very eager
To find out whether these things are true,
Because she suspects some kind of plot.
Tolla, not wanting to reveal the stone-mason job,
Gives her a slyish reply,
Confusing her, yet without lying:
My husband's work has to do with stones .

Maybe he's a jeweller Nuccia replied
Straight away. But then Tolla
Slightly pulled her face, and in doing so
She said: No Madam.
I did not mean gems, it was my mistake
Not to make myself understood. He works
With stones that are not even fine marbles,
But rough rocks, and travertine .

Yes, yes, he's a sculptor, I understand,
I'm very happy for you Nuccia kept saying,
In my mind, I had already imagined
That such a pretty girl belongs to the high class .
It is Your pleasure to spend good words on me ,
Tolla spoke again. It is quite similar,
But this is not my husband's job,
He's not a sculptor. But somewhat close to that .

Nuccia, who is cunning, then realizes
That the woman is confused, nor she speaks clearly;
She correctly understands what she means,
So she turns towards Tuzia, and winks to her.
But she stops troubling her about this topic,
Realizing that it makes her feel uneasy
To stress her with further words, in trying
To make her say what she does not want to say.

So she changes topic: Please be so kind,
If I am not ill-mannered in asking you,
To tell me your name; pity me,
I would like to bear it in mind.
Since I have the opportunity of paying
My respects to you, had I no wish to know
Whom I should be grateful to for receiving
Such a great honour, I'd be impolite and unkind .

Tolla replies: Madam! By wishing to bear in mind
A servant of yours, you make me feel embarassed.
To obey your wish, I inform you
That my real name is Vittoria.
But people partly alter it,
As they usually have the habit
Of calling me with a frilly nickname,
And, to my chagrin, they address me as Tolla .

This is common; some are nicknamed Lauruccia,
Somebody else Lulla, or Palmina .
The other girl replies, People call me Nuccia,
Others go by the name of Tilla, or Pimpa, or Nina;
Others, after a job's name, are called the Barberess,
Or the Inn-lady, or the Stone-masoness .
In this way she makes a teasing allusion,
But the other girl feigns not to notice it.

Nuccia keeps questioning her friend
About the things she is very anxious about,
And with cleverness, she induces her to tell
About the reason that led her there with Patacca.
She does not really care to know her name,
Nor her husband's job; she only fears
That she may be Patacca's lover,
And jealousy stings her heart.

18 - 22

Mister Meo, who accompanied you,
Who has the faculty of entering every place
As if he were everybody's master,
May have likely shown you the lightings
And the fireworks, from A to Z.
He is aware that very few compare to him;
Thanks to his brains, he gains honour and fame,
And is hailed as the master of the celebration.

But since Madam Vittoria knows him so well,
I will refrain from making further comments;
I only say that everybody should praise him,
Unless willing to appear as an enemy of truth.
And you are also lucky to have such a good friend
Come with you, as a chaperon;
In my opinion, your Ladyship must have been
In good relations with him for quite a while .

Mistress Nuccia! I'm surprised
That you are calling my honour in question .
Tolla replied to her. To be frank,
You are grossly mistaken.
Suspects have wrongly advised you
If, after having been so kind to me,
(Please forgive me for my opinion)
They make you believe that I am what I am not.

I swear that in my whole life,
I only met Mister Meo once,
And this happened after I got lost,
Due to a circumstance that occurred in the street.
Instead, it is true that I had already heard
About his fame, and I knew
That he was a strong and wise young man:
For this reason, I dared to follow him .

With this, Nuccia's cheeks
Turned the colour of a pink rose,
Somewhat ashamed, in realizing
That she had spoken too freely.
She found a remedy to her mistake,
That is, she turned the tables:
I don't think - she said - I gave you offence,
In mistaking mister Meo for a relative of yours.

26

So Nuccia, who was previously unhappy,
And vexed by her great worries,
Who felt as if her heart was being devoured
By the fangs of envy, and in despair,
Now cheers up, and is happy,
In realizing that her suspects are not true;
Her eyes turn gay again, her mouth smiles,
Her heart turns peaceful, her complexion turns rosy.

The three women finally relax; they sit at the table and have something to eat, while Meo is still out, looking for Tolla's lost husband.



33 - 34

Mentre 'ste donne, tavola solazzano,
E con belle parole s'accarezzano,
Pi facezie raccontano, e sghignazzano,
E trattarsi da amiche, allor s'avvezzano;
Taccolanno st Meo, che l'imbarazzano
Certi, che falze accuse ricapezzano,
E volenno attizz per quanto pozzano
Titta contro di lui, pastocchie accozzano.

Pi d'uno, ch'ucell voluto havria
Tolla, al gonzo marito d ad intennere
Che Meo se l'era gi menata via,
Forzi per non volerla lui pi rennere.
Titta di rabbia allora e gelosia
Si sent tutto in drento al core accennere,
Cerca Patacca e Tolla ancor con lui,
Col penzier di far male i fatti sui.

36 - 38

Titta, appena d in Meo 'na sguerciatura,
Ch'inverzo lui si spicca, e grida forte:
Dov' mi moglie? À noi! La tu' bravura
Mica scamp, non ti far la morte .
La lama intanto sfoder procura,
E Meo pe' rabbia f le labra smorte,
M roscio el viso, e t'alza immantinente
La man dritta, pe' dagle un sciacquadente.

Nel tempo stesso della sferra il pomo
Con la mancina gl'aggrapp. S'astenne,
Perche la volze fa' da galant'homo
Di dagli allora un sganasson solenne:
Senti! - gli dice poi - di farci l'homo,
Con m, non ti riesce, e se ti venne
Suspetto in capo, senza smargiassate,
Se parla, e non se fanno 'ste levate.

Io non t'abbacchio, che te compatisco,
Perche non sai quel che per t faci,
Sol perche la tu' moglie custodisco,
T contro m, cos rugante sei.
Senti! sgherretto mio, non m'infierisco,
Quanto pe' scrapicciatte io doverei,
Perche prima il servizio che t'h fatto
Voglio che sappi, e che in brav, sei matto .

40

Cos Titta atterrito si ritira
Tutto in s stesso, e pi non f del bravo,
In osserv di Meo la rabbia e l'ira.
Dice: Io vi sono, e servitor, e schiavo;
Un chalche malalingua hebbe la mira
Di metter mal tr noi, mentre cercavo
Mi moglie, e m'appett la falza spia,
Che lei mi f da voi menata via .


33 - 34

While the women have a good time
Sitting at the table and exchanging compliments,
Chatting and laughing together,
Beginning to treat each other as friends,
Meo is quarreling, because he is annoyed
By some people who adduce false accusations,
And tell packs of lies, trying to set up Titta
Against him, as much as they can.

A few, who would have been happy to seduce
Tolla, made her ingenuous husband believe
That Meo had already taken her away,
Maybe not to give her back to him.
So Titta feels his heart burn
With rage and jealousy;
He seeks for Patacca and for Tolla, still with him,
With the intention of upsetting his plans.

36 - 38

As soon as Titta glanced at Meo,
He leapt towards him, shouting loud:
Where's my wife? come along! Your skill
Won't help you to escape death .
Meanwhile, he unsheathed his sword,
While Meo's lips grew pale with rage,
And his face turned red, immediately lifting
His right hand, to land a blow on him.

At the same time, with his left hand
He clutched the sword's knob. Willing to behave
As a gentleman, he refrained
From slapping him soundly:
Listen! - he then told him - don't play the brave
With me, you simply can't,
And if you had a suspect, without all this fuss,
You could have told me, instead of raising hell.

I won't kill you, because I pity you,
As you don't know what I did for you;
You are so aggressive towards me,
Only because I am taking care of your wife.
Listen, my little bully, I won't be as harsh
as I should in teaching you a lesson,
Because I want you to understand what favour
I did to you, and that you are a fool to complain .

40

So Titta, terrified, retired into himself,
And stopped acting as a brave,
Having realized Meo's rage and wrath.
He said: I am your servant, and your slave;
A slanderer had in mind to sow strife
Between you and me, while I was searching
For my wife, and gave me the false news
That she had been taken away by you .

Meo forgives Titta and, eager to carry on with his celebrations, leads him to Tuzia's house, where his wife is waiting for him. Meo suggests that Nuccia and Tuzia should go and see the fireworks, and Titta offers himself as a chaperon.



44

Ci hanno gusto d'ann girandolone
'Ste femmine, ved li tanti sciali,
Ch'in ogni strada e piazza e ogni cantone
Ammannirno le genti dozzinali.
Tutia e Nuccia, che stanno un po' sciattone,
E di cocina ancor hanno i zinali,
Vonno tornare salir s mutarli,
Et metterzi ancora i virli varli.


44

The two women are indeed happy
To go and see the lavish celebrations,
That the commoners have set up
In every street, every square, every corner.
Tuzia and Nuccia, who look a bit shaggy,
And are still wearing kitchen aprons,
Want to go upstairs, to get changed
And wear a frilly dress.


After having put on their best clothes, and fancy bonnetts full of ribbons over their elaborate hair-style, they set out together, escorted by Titta, to go and see the lightings, and the many pantomimes inspired by the Turkish defeat.




62 - 66

Alzato, giusto in mezzo una piazzetta
C' un palco, ch'a vedello d spavento,
A prima vista s, m poi diletta,
Che piace, bench tetro, l'ornamento;
Un panno nero s ce s'imbolletta,
Ogni cantone h la su' torcia vento;
Parapetti non h, m solo il piano,
Acci, chi sopra, spicchi da lontano.

Un pezzo d'homaccion brusco alla cera
St s sbracciato, e non gi un fantoccio,
M in carne e ossa una perzona vera,
Bench immobbile stia, come un bamboccio.
Grufi i capelli son, la barba nera,
H un roscio berrettin fatto cartoccio,
Con una sciabla in man da malandrino,
In atto st di scapocci 'l vicino.

Accanto lui c' un Turco man dereto
Legato un trave, e questo non arriva
Al collo, m ce manca un mezzo deto,
Quanto non c'urti nel tagli la sciva.
Col capo basso st tremante e queto,
E questa puro 'na perzona viva:
Al turbante, s'accorge chi l'adoccia,
Esser Bass, da fagle la capoccia.

A poco poco, il popolo s'ammassa,
Perche la gente vi di tanto in tanto;
Dalla su' positura assai smargiassa
L'ammazzatore, alfin, si move alquanto;
Alza allora un riverzo, et in gi lassa
Scorrer la man con impeto tamanto,
Ch'in un attimo (A f gran cosa questa!)
Con un colpo, al Bass taglia la testa.

Sbalza questa sul palco, e il sangue schizza
Dal collo tutta furia, et in gi penne
Dal trave il busto, ogn'uno il capo arrizza,
Slarga l'occi, e s i piedi ancor si stenne;
Resta poi for di s la gente zizza,
N s cose capir cos stupenne,
E 'sta scapocciatura ch' in effetto
D'un homo vero, orror, pi che diletto.


62 - 66

Right in the middle of a small square,
Stands a scaffold, indeed frightening
At first sight, but then people like it,
As its decoration, yet gloomy, is nice;
A black cloth hangs from it,
And in each corner is a burning torch;
It has no parapet, but only the deck,
So that who stands on it is clearly visible from afar.

A tall and stout man with a frowning face
Stands there sleeveless, and he is no dummy,
But a live person,
Despite standing still as a dummy.
His hair is tangled, his beard is black;
He wears a red pointed cap,
And holds a frightful-looking sabre,
As if in the attitude of beheading his neighbour.

Next to him stands a Turk, with his hands
Tied to a pole that barely reaches his neck,
An inch shorter than that,
Not to prevent the blade from making the cut.
He keeps his head low, trembling in silence,
And this one too is a live person:
Who sees him, realizes by his turban
That he is Bass, to be beheaded.

Slowly, the people gather round,
As they come along, little by little;
The executioner finally moves,
Changing his bragging pose;
He lift up the blade, and lowers
His hand with such energy
That in a second, what an amazing thing,
With one sweep he chops off Bass's head.

The latter rebounds on the deck,
Blood gushes from the neck like a fountain,
And the trunk hangs down from the pole;
Everybody stretches and stares, standing on tiptoe;
The simpletons remain stunned,
Unable to understand such prodigious things;
And this beheading, representing that of a real man,
Is horrifying, rather than fun.

Obviously, this is a only mock execution.



68 - 69

Era aggiustato in modo che cropiva,
Quasi il su' capo tutto, e questo haveva
Attorno robba assai, ch'i vani empiva,
Vicini al collo, e spalle esser pareva.
La capoccia per tanto, che appariva,
Era finta, e la vera s'ascondeva;
Un artifizio qu occultato stava,
Che chalched'un non se l'immaginava.

Fu pigliata, pe' fa' 'sta bella botta,
D'una cucuzza longa una gran fetta,
Poi giusto alla misura fu ridotta
D'un collo umano, cos tonna e stretta;
Sul capo vero, quanno il d s'annotta,
La finta gola l'ingegniero assetta;
S ci appoggia una testa, ch' pur finta,
E che h la faccia al natural dipinta.

73

Perche sia verisimile l'effetto,
Perche ben fatta l'opera si dica,
C'era piena di sangue di crapetto
In drento al collo finto una viscica.
Mentre scarica il colpo, c'h gi detto,
Inverzo di colui sciabla nemica,
Par che si tagli, allor ch'il sangue spruzza,
Una gola, e si taglia una cocuzza.


68 - 69

It was arranged in such a way that it covered
The head almost entirely, and the latter
Had lots of stuff around it, to fill the gaps
Next to the neck, in the shape of shoulders.
Therefore, the head that could be seen
Was false, while the real one was kept hidden;
Here, conceiled, was a trick,
That some people did not expect.

In order to put on stage this glamorous beheading,
A large slice of a long pumpkin was cut,
Then tapered just into the right size
Of a human neck, round and slim;
When it turned dark, the engineer
Positions the false neck over the real head,
Then, on top he places a head, false as well,
With a lifelike face painted on it.

73

In order to obtain a realistic effect,
In order to do a good job,
A bag filled with the blood of a goat
Was inserted into the false neck.
When the merciless blade, as I already said,
Swings down towards the bound man,
The spouting blood makes it look
As if a neck is being severed, but it is a pumpkin.

Nuccia and the rest of the party are passing nearby, when a boy in the crowd does something wrong...



78 - 85

Un fraschetta sgherroso insolentello,
Che s'era insopportabile gi reso
Per le su' impertinenze, un gran bordello
Fava intorno al pupazzo. (Il posto preso)
Haveva in mano un mezzo rimoncello,
Ed ecco, che lo tira, braccio steso,
E iscammio di colp quel babbuino
Giusto, azzecca di Nuccia in sul crapino.

Pur f un colpo da mastro, allor, che sbaglia,
Se te gle f casc tutto il gran monte
Del fettucciame, e ancor della ciuffaglia;
Tutia, e Tolla con lei, restano tonte,
Nuccia poi si confonne, e la travaglia
L'esser pelata un po', verzo la fronte;
M, con la man procura di pararzi,
M, vu fuggir; non s, quello che farzi.

À cogliere il castello gi si piega;
Pe' vergogna, (abbassata), non s'arrizza,
D'esser brutta gli par com'una strega,
E in sentir rider tutti, h una gran stizza.
Titta la sbalza drento 'na bottega,
Qu Tolla il campanile gle riadrizza.
Pi d'un s'accosta, pe' ved chi sia
Costei, m il bottegar li caccia via.

Quell'ardito raponzolo, quel frasca
Gi, de 'sta bella botta s'era avvisto,
E tr la gente subbito s'infrasca,
Pe' la paccheta, c'h de calche pisto;
M poi (come nel vischio il tordo casca)
Cos costui c'incappa, perche visto
Fu da uno sgherro, (senza sap, come),
Terribbile di faccia, e pi di nome.

Non p scapp, non p dalle su' mani,
Perche lui, de potenza, te l'afferra,
Et era un di quei dieci capitani,
Che dovevan con Meo marci alla guerra.
Pe' farne poi strapazzi, et assai strani
Pe' i capelli lo ti, l'alza da terra,
E perche h forza, et , 'ste prove avvezzo
Tonno tonno lo piccola un bel pezzo.

F 'sta faccenna con la man mancina,
E con la dritta gli d sganassoni
E pugni cos forti in te la schina,
Che fan, ch'intorno l'aria, ne risni.
Piagne e strilla il regazzo, e si storcna,
Si raccomanna, acci che gli perdoni,
M perche vendic lui vu l'affronto
Di Nuccia, te lo pista, come l'onto.

Sputamorti si chiama, et un maiale
Assai grande, spalluto, e corpulento,
F, d'un paro di baffi capitale,
Che par, ch'a tutti mettino spavento;
H un neo peloso, e riccio in tel guanciale,
Che gli serve d'un orrido ornamento,
E danno segno d'un cervel baiardo,
Severo il ciglio, e ammazzator lo sguardo.

Se tratta, che quel povero regazzo
Si volze spirit pe' la paura;
Pur, di fargli assai peggio, 'sto bravazzo
Arciterribilissimo procura;
Fatto, di tutti i su' capelli un mazzo,
A due mani l'acchiappa, e poi misura
Con lo sguardo un bel colpo, e quasi scaglia,
Tutto il putto quant', nella muraglia.

87 - 91

Tonto il regazzo, ahim! non par pi esso,
Scapigliato, somiglia un stregoncino;
Vu fuggir, non sa dove, inciampa spesso,
Ch'in piedi, appena reggesi il meschino.
D'hav gli pare Sputamorti appresso,
E con quello, il pericolo vicino.
Si sforza a curre; ogn'urto lo spaventa,
Lui stesso, di s stesso, orror diventa.

Si salva alfin; ma non per pi ardisce,
D'ann a fa', pe' la festa l'insolente,
E il baffuto campion s'insuperbisce,
D'hav azzollato quell'impertinente;
Va poi Nuccia a trov, con lei complisce,
E glie domanda, se gl'occorre gnente,
Glie fa sap, l'orribbile strapazzo,
Da lui gi fatto al malfattor ragazzo.

Io son, - gli dice doppo, - gnora mia!
Del gran Patacca amico, e di bon core;
Per esser devo di Vossignora,
Che s, quant' a lui cara, servitore;
In tel ved quell'insolentera,
Che glie fu fatta, me ven 'l furore,
Che non convi, che tal'attion sopporti
Questo suo servo, e schiavo Sputamorti .

Nuccia, e le su' compagne hebber de guai
A tenesse, in ved 'sta gran bestiaccia,
E sent un nome non inteso mai,
Di non sbruffagli una risata in faccia;
Si ricordorno allor delli babi,
Che co' 'na spaventevole barbaccia,
Alli su' figli, piccoli, figura
Una matre, pe' mettegli paura.

Tutto rimedia Titta scarpellino,
Che s'inframette subbito, e risponne
Per Nuccia, ma fratanto un ghignettino
Mezzo strozzato, fecero le donne.
L'homini la discorsero un tantino;
Poi Nuccia il ringrazi; lui con profonne
Riverenze, finito il complimento,
Parte, d'havello fatto, assai contento.


78 - 85

A young bratty rascal,
Who had already made himself unbearable
With his impertinent behaviour, was making
A great fuss around the dummy. (Once taken place)
He held in his hand one half of a lemon,
And with a full swing of his arm, he threw it,
But instead of hitting the fake Turk
It landed right on Nuccia's head.

Yet missing the target, this was a good throw,
As it pulled down all her heap of ribbons
And also all her hair-do;
Tutia, and Tolla with her, remained stunned;
Nuccia is confused, and she's worried
Because near her forehead her hair is a bit scanty;
At first, she tries to hide herself with her hand,
Then she would run away, not knowing what to do.

She bends down to pick up her curls and ribbons;
In shame, (as she crutches), she does not stand up,
She thinks she's as ugly as a witch,
And to hear everybody laughing upsets her.
Titta shoves her inside a shop,
Here Tolla helps her straighten her hair-style.
Some people come close, to find out who is she,
But the shop-owner sends them away.

That brave rascal, that scab
Was already aware of his great throw,
And immediately mingled with the crowd,
In the fear of receiving a beating;
But then (as a bird is caught in a net)
He too is discovered, as he had been seen
By a brave (not realizing that this had happened),
With a terrible face, and an even worse name.

He can't escape from his hands,
Because he clutches him with all his might,
And he was one of the ten captains
Who should have marched to war with Meo.
He grabs him by the hair, lifting him off the ground,
Worrying him in the strangest ways,
And since he's strong, and accustomed to do so,
He makes him spin round for quite a while.

He does this with his left hand,
While with the right hand he slaps him,
And punches him so hard in the back,
That all around the thuds echo through the air.
The boy cries, and yells, and wriggles,
He begs him to forgive him,
But since he wants to avenge the offence
Suffered by Nuccia, he beats him black and blue.

His name is Sputamorti, and he's like a big hog,
With large shoulders and a stout build,
He wears a moustache, so huge
That others seem frightened by it;
On his cheek is a hairy and wrinkly mole
That acts as a horrible ornament,
And a sign of an insane mind
Are his frowning brow, and his killer eyes.

As a matter of fact, the poor boy
Was wriggling with fear;
This terrible brave does his best
To mistreat him even more;
Clutching all his hair in one single bunch,
He grabs him with both hands, and then by sight
He measures the distance for making a good throw,
And almost hurls the boy against the wall.

87 - 91

The boy, dazed, pity him! is completely distraught,
His hair is all ruffled, like that of a witch;
He would like to run away, with no direction,
He often stumbles, barely able to stand, poor thing.
Being afraid that Sputamorti is following him,
He fears that danger is right behind him.
He tries to run off, startling every time he bumps,
He is now even scared of himself.

In the end, he is safe; but he no longer dares
To go around and play insolent tricks,
While the moustached champion boasts his pride
For having beaten the disrespectful boy.
He then goes looking for Nuccia, and greets her,
And asks her if there is anything she needs.
He informs her of the terrible treatment
He inflicted on the rude rascal.

Then he tells her: My lady, I am
A good and faithful friend of Patacca;
But since I know how dear you are to him,
I ought to be your Ladyship's servant;
In seeing such an insolent behaviour
You had suffered, I went on a rage,
As it would not be right for your servant Sputamorti
To endure a similar misconduct .

Nuccia and her friends had a hard time
Not to burst in laughter in front of him,
(In seeing such a big beast,
With a name they had never heard before);
They recalled the bogey-man,
With a frightening beard,
Whom mothers tell their children about
When they want to scare them.

Titta the stone-mason settles the question
By stepping up and answering
On Nuccia's behalf, but meanwhile the women
Gave out a stifled chuckle.
The men talked for a while;
Then Nuccia thanked the brave, and the man
After these compliments, left, making deep bows,
Happy with what he had done.

With this, Titta and the three women are free to continue their stroll.