~ 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 XII

octaves: 2, 5-8, 12, 15-19, 24-40, 43-44, 46, 48, 50-55, 58-59,
63, 66-67, 71, 75-76, 82-87, 92-94, 97, 99, 101-104





2

In Roma allor aspettativa granne
C'era d'un'altra et importante nova,
Ogni poco, un avviso se ne spanne,
Diverzo un altro poi se ne rinova;
Sempre f, sempre reprica domanne
A i novellisti Meo, quanno li trova,
Ch'assai d'hav gli preme, e ci sta all'erta,
Di nova impresa una notizia certa.

5 - 8

Quand'ecco, a un tratto, un bisbigli si sente
Tra 'l popolo, un susurro, un'allegra;
Currono pi perzone, assai contente,
Altre vanno sap, che cosa sia.
Si fa un gran parapiglia, e finalmente
Si dice giusto quel, ch'ognun vorra,
Ch'appunto allor la nova era arrivata,
Che Buda, in man de' nostri, era cascata.

Che co' 'na resistenza assai cocciuta
Sino all'estremo, in sopra la muraglia,
Havevano li turchi sostenuta
Una sanguinosissima battaglia;
Che s'era alfine la vittoria havuta,
Perche la nostra f gente de vaglia;
Che, con i Turchi, ancor furno veduti
Far l'Ebrei, su le mura, i menacciuti.

Sul mezzo d, pe' la citt, si sparze
'Sta nova appena, e la sent la plebbe,
Ch'arrabbiata, di collera tutt'arze,
E li Giudij, gi lapid vorrebbe.
Cominzano i regazzi, radunarze,
Marciano verzo il Ghetto, e allora s'hebbe
Paccheta dall'Ebrei; m si trovorno
In un attimo pronti, e lo serrorno.

Il Ghetto, un loco, al Tevere, vicino,
Da una parte, e dall'altra Pescara;
un recinto di strade assai meschino,
Ch' ombroso, e renne ancor malinconia.
H quattro gran portoni, e un portoncino;
Il d s'apre, acci el trafico ce sia;
M dalla sera inzino giorno ciaro,
Lo ti inserrato un sbirro portinaro.

12

Fanno 'sti sgherri un tal men de mani,
Che chi sta vede, ancor ci h 'l su' spavento,
E inferociti come tanti cani
Vorriano divor quelli di drento;
Sfonn finestre, e sfragass mignani,
Sfogo di rabbia, pe' l'impedimento
Ch'hanno d'entr, mentre che fan le porte
Puntellate assai ben, riparo forte.



2

In Rome there was a great expectation
For another important new event;
Pieces of news kept spreading,
Followed by different ones;
In finding people who have fresh information
Meo asks them questions, over and over again,
Because he is eager, and is looking forward
To having reliable news about a further initiative.

5 - 8

All of a sudden a murmuring is heard
Among the people, a whisper, then rejoycement;
Many people run very happily,
Others try to know what happened.
There is a great commotion, and finally
What everybody was hoping to know is heard:
The news had just come,
That Buda had fallen in the hands of our men.

That with a very stubborn resistance,
Until the end, on the city walls
the Turks had engaged
A blood-shedding battle;
That the victory had finally come,
Because our men had been valiant;
That together with the Turks, on the walls
The Jews had been seen fighting on their side.

Around mid-day this news spread around the city,
And the mob, in learning about it,
Flew into a rage,
And wanted to stone the Jews.
The boys began to gather,
They marched towards the Ghetto,
And the Jews got frightened,
But they took action at once, and locked it.

The Ghetto is a place located next to the Tiber
On one side, and to the Fish-market on the other;
It's a rather miserable enclosure of streets,
As it is shady, and rather saddening.
It has four huge gates, and a small one;
During daytime it is open, to let people out,
But from evening until the break of dawn
It is kept locked by a porter guard.

12

The braves come to blows, in such a way
That even who is only looking gets frightened.
And as wild as dogs
They are willing to devour those who are inside;
They smash windows, and knock down balconies
To vent out their rage for not being able to get in,
While the doors of the gates,
Very well propped, provide a safe shelter.

Not only stones are thrown against the Ghetto's houses: all sorts of projectiles are used, including... piggy-banks.



15 - 19

il dindarolo un coso piccinino
Fatto de greta cotta, e quasi tonno,
Drento voto, et in cima h un bottoncino,
E un piede largo, da st ritto, in fonno,
C' un taglio, giusto, al capitel vicino,
Quanto i spiccianti trapass ci pnno;
Qu li regazzi i ripostini fanno,
In tempo, che le mancie se gli danno.

Se prima bambocciate, eran serviti,
M, per altr'uso vengono addoprati;
E di polvere, tutti so' rempiti,
Co' stracci, i busci poi, son attappati.
Qu, mezzi drento, e mezzi fora usciti,
Stanno i stuppini, ben accomodati,
Et ecco, in modi ancor non conosciuti,
I dindaroli, bombe, divenuti.

Prima, col foco li stuppini appicciano,
Poi, pe' tiralli in alto, ce se sbracciano,
E tanto fanno, e tanto ancor l'impicciano,
Sino, che drento quantit ne cacciano;
Pe' spavento, le carni se gl'aggricciano,
E col sangue, le vene se gl'aggiacciano
All'Ebrei, ch' tal segno si riducono,
Ch'in te le case allor molti s'imbucono.

Alle dindarolesche scoppiature,
M, fatte in aria, e m, sopra d'un tetto,
M in strada, son s granni le paure,
Che tutto gi s' scompigliato el Ghetto.
Li strilli, l'urli, e le scapigliature
Delle femmine Ebree, li pugni in petto,
I piantusci, i lamenti, erano tanti,
Che, non si fecer mai, fiotti tamanti.

Una diceva: Ahim; che mali iorni
Sono questi per noi! Che sar mai?
Un'altra poi: Perche 'sti brutti scorni!
Che far potremo, scuri Sciabadai!
Non c' per noi piet pe' 'sti contorni,
Poveri figli! Perna, e Mordacai,
Presto ce n'annaremo, (ÒIaccodimmi,
Dateci qualche aiuto!) i caurimmi .

24 - 40

Intanto un certo taccolo succede
For del Ghetto, pi brutto, e pi non visto,
Et , ch'a ogni Giudo, ch'ann se vede
Pe' la citt, gli danno i sgherri un pisto.
Chalch'un ce n', che rimedi se crede
Al pericolo granne, ch'h previsto,
Ò col nasconne il fongo, con voltallo,
Ò con levagli il taffettano giallo.

M non gli giova 'sta rasciammera,
N per questo, p il misero salvarzi,
Perche, lui stesso, di s stesso spia,
E pi si scrope, pi che vu occultarzi.
La faccia tetra, la fisonoma,
L'annar furone, e timido, il voltarzi,
A ogni poco, ogni passo, e il su' sospetto,
Conoscer fanno, ch' un di quei del Ghetto.

Scuperto, non s allor, dove si cacci,
M penza, m st fermo, e m sgammetta.
M l'arrivano certi regazzacci,
Che d'azzoll Giudij, ne fanno incetta.
Pe' fagli dar in terra de' crepacci,
Gli fa chalch'un di loro la cianchetta,
E poi steso, che l'h, tutti d'accordo,
Gle la fanno sent, se non sordo.

E spinte, e calci, e pugni, e scappellotti,
E peggio ancor, son del Giudo regali.
Lui strilla: Aiuto! Ahim! Non tanti botti!
Basta, non pi; troppo mi fate mali!
Cola lo sangue gi da i testi rotti,
Sicuro 'sti feriti son mortali!
Piet, piet illustrissimi! Almen vivo
Io resti, insino, ch'allo Ghetto arrivo .

Pe' ved, si raduna molta gente,
Chi sia costui, perche cos se tratti,
Et a chalch'homo serio l presente
Assai dispiace, di sent 'sti sciatti.
Prega li sgherri, non gle fa' pi gnente,
Potenno gi bast li strazij fatti,
Si ferman questi, e mentre pi s'ammucchia
El popolo, l'Ebreo s'arrizza, e trucchia.

Fugge un altro, che pur cencioso, e vile,
In t'un palazzo, e dove se nasconni,
V ricercanno, e vede in tel cortile
Tre, quattro botti ritte senza fonni.
Queste, (conforme l'uso signorile)
Stavano l, perche nei d gioconni
D'altre feste, ch'ogn'un st ad aspettalle,
Dovevano serv, per abbruscialle.

Una n'alza l'Ebreo; sotto se caccia,
Poi la ricla, e drento ce s'accova;
Ne vanno infuriatissimi, alla traccia,
Li sgherri, e gusto h ogn'un, d'annallo trova.
Data di gi gl'havevano la caccia,
E adesso, seguitannolo, fan prova
D'acchiappallo, pe' poi (for del palazzo,
Strascinatolo) farne ogni strapazzo.

Currono drento, e restano de sale,
Perche, ciasch'un di loro s' intontito,
N s, n p penz, dove quel tale
Pozza, in un batter d'occi, esser fuggito.
C', chi credenno v, che pe' le scale
Di quel palazzo istesso, sia salito,
Perche, (per quanto ogn'un p imaginarzi)
Altro loco non c', da ritirarzi.

M pe' la su' disgrazia, un regazzino
D'otto, diec'anni, figlio del cucchiero,
Se ne stava affacciato un finestrino,
E l fava la zuppa, in tel bicchiero.
Tutto havea visto, e con un raschiettino,
(De fa' la spia, venutogli el penziero)
Fece volt li sgherri, e queto, queto,
Dove stava el Giudo, mostr col deto.

Se n'accorgiono questi, et al pi astuto,
Che sia tr lor, vi in testa un bel crapiccio,
À tutti azzenna con un gesto muto,
Che vu dar al Giudo chalche stropiccio.
Un secchio pieno d'acqua havea veduto
Accanto al pozzo, e te gle d de piccio,
L'alza sopra la botte, e l'acqua tutta,
(Voltato el secchio) s l'Ebreo poi butta.

Li strilli di costui son di tal sorte,
E cos granni, ch'io ridir non pozzo,
S'accosta pi d'un sgherro, e ghigna forte
In ved quel bagnato paparozzo.
Pare all'Ebreo d'esser vicino morte,
Come cascato sia drento d'un pozzo;
Quanto s, quanto p, si raccommanna,
La vita in grazia, e pe' piet domanna.

Colcano i romaneschi allor la botte,
Poi, ruzzic la fanno, e drento resta
Il Giudo, che gli danno delle botte
Se, gnente fora vu cacci la testa.
Certo, che n'andera coll'ossa rotte
Se durasse, per lui, s brutta festa,
M f impedita dai padroni istessi
Di quel palazzo, con commanni espressi.

Parve a 'sti discretissimi signori
Un troppo strazio 'sto ruzzicamento,
Per mandorno gi li servitori
Per liber l'Ebreo da quel tormento.
F da questi aiutato scapp fori,
E nisciuno, d'opporzi hebbe ardimento,
M in tel vedello poi cos azzuppato,
Dal popolo, lo strillo gli f dato.

Pare un pulcino uscito dalla coccia,
Nel moverzi impicciato, e dove passa,
(Mentre il vestito da ogni parte goccia)
Della su' bagnatura il segno lassa.
M quel, ch' peggio poi, giocanno boccia
Stavano certi allor, che lui trapassa,
E mentre, uno, strucchi si mette posta,
Gli d ne i stinchi una bocciata tosta.

Mezzo sciancato el povero bacurre
V inciampicanno, e in tel fugg s'imbroglia,
L'azzoppatura gl'impedisce il curre,
E meno lo p fa', pi che n'h voglia.
Innanzi, e arreto, il popolo gli scurre,
Lui, con questo s'impiccia, e alfin si sbroglia.
Al Ghetto se ne v; m 'l disgraziato
Non p rentr non p, perch' inserrato.

O' adesso s, che chalched'un l'accacchia,
E lui per questo, pi si spauricchia,
Lo salva un ostera, che La Cornacchia
F per insegna, dove ogni d sbevicchia:
Rentra, e dereto al banco s'accovacchia;
E attaccatosi all'oste, si rannicchia;
M pi, d'un sgherro, fargli s'apparecchia,
Assai peggio, dell'acqua della secchia.

I garzoni dell'oste allor abbracciano
Quelli, ch'a forza, di rentr procurano,
Li trattengono, e poi, fora li cacciano,
E lo scampo, al Giudo cos assicurano.
Serran la porta, e i sgherri allor s'affacciano
Alla mostra; m l'osti, ecco la turano
Co' le tele, e ciariti cos restano
Coloro, che l'ebreo pi non molestano.

43 - 44

Al Ghetto, Meo fratanto se ne viene
De i garbugli all'avviso, et osservata
Cos gran tibalda, non si contiene
Di farci, prima vista, una risata.
Fermo, chalche pochetto, s'intrattiene,
A ved 'sta piacevole sgherrata,
Che tale gli pareva, anzi l'approva,
Perche spiritosaggine ce trova.

M quanno lui, si v accorgenno alfine,
Ch'i sgherri tutti so' infoiati, segno,
Che par, voglino fa' delle ruine,
Che non hanno risguardo, n ritegno;
Che gi portano certi, le fascine,
Pe' dar foco alle porte, e che l'impegno
, troppo ardito, fra s stesso penza,
Di raffren una tanta impertinenza.

46

Perche ci non si faccia, attorno gira,
À chi f zenno, et chi parla piano,
À chi forte, chi via, pel braccio tira,
À chi leva li rocci dalle mano.
Brava, minaccia, e allor, chi si ritira
Senza fiat; chi se ne va lontano,
E basti dir, ch'ogn'un l'orgoglio affiacca,
Pe' 'l rispetto, che porta Meo Patacca.

48

Cos bastanza el popolo si sfoga,
Et Patacca, d'ubbid non nega,
E quell'autorit, che lui s'arroga,
Perche per il ben pubrico l'impiega.
Procur di sap la Sinagoga,
Gi liberata da s brutta bega,
Chi quello sia, ch'umilia, e mette in fuga
'Sta Gente Sgherra, che con tutti ruga.

50 - 55

Fattasi la congrega, si risolze
Mandargli un bel regalo, e chi propose
Un sbruffo di monete, e chi non volze,
Chi penz a gioie, e chi diverze cose;
M d'ogni altro giudo, meglio ci colze,
E con giudizio el su' penzier espose,
Che f molto proposito, l'ebreo,
Che haveva visto, e cognosciuto Meo.

À tutti, da costui f suggerito,
Che saria stata cosa conveniente,
Il trov quel medesimo vestito,
Che pigli in presto, e faglene un presente.
Per essere assai bello, e ben guarnito,
E aggiustato al su' dosso, certamente,
Che havuto l'haverebbe molto caro,
Pi assai, de chalche somma di denaro.

Piac il penziero, e in opera se mese,
E ce s'aggiunze ancora al vestimento
Un spadino galante alla franzese,
Che havea la guardia, et il puntal d'argento;
Un, de i primi Rabb cura se prese
D'ann da Meo, pe' fargli el complimento
Con dir, ch'a lui tutti obbrigati sono
Li iaccodimmi, e presentagli el dono.

Da 'sto Rabb resto ben persuasa
La Sinagoga, e l'abbito, in tel vano
D'una canestra fonnarella, e spasa
Messo, e cuperto f da un taffettano.
V lui da Meo, che s'era gi, la casa
Fatta inzegn, e 'na donna da un mignano
Dice, ch' uscito, e ch' trovallo vada,
Che st parl con un amico in strada.

Se gl'accosta el Rabb, ch'un Giudiolo,
Che gli porta el regalo, s' menato,
Lo sbarretta, e gl'inchina el cucuzzolo,
Gli f il ringraziamento concertato;
Gli sporge il dono, e Meo lo scrope, e solo
Gli d una vista, e dice, lui voltato:
L'accetto, lo gradisco, e t lo rendo,
Perch'io dono le grazie, e non le vendo.

Voglio per, commanno, e s'ubbidisca,
Che quanno s'haver l'avviso certo
Della vittoria, il Ghetto s'ammanisca,
À far con noi le feste di concerto;
Nisciun ci sia di voi che contradisca;
M siano tutti pronti, e te l'avverto,
Che se in questo s'ardisce, di mancamme,
Ò allora s, v 'l Ghetto, foco, e fiamme .

58 - 59

Alle porte vicine Pescara
Gnente si fece, perche dolorosa
quella strada, e non si godera,
Bench ci fusse, da ved chalcosa;
Solo il portone di piazza Giuda
Con un acconciatura luminosa,
Pe' forza s; m per bene, ornorno,
Messici i lampadini, 5 attorno, attorno.

D'oglio, e di cera se ne f uno struscio,
À zaganelle, e razzi si d spaccio,
Delle botti, si vede ancor l'abbruscio,
Che fanno, in drento al Ghetto, un focaraccio.
Non c' finestra, non c' porta, buscio,
Dove, non ce se veda ebreo mostaccio;
Stanno tutti guard, scioniti, e perzi,
Cose, nel Ghetto, inzolite, vederzi.



15 - 19

The piggy-bank is a small object,
Made of baked clay, almost round in shape,
Hollow inside, with a small button on top,
And a broad base below, to stand up straight.
There's a slit close to the upper part,
Wide enough to let the small change through;
Here the children keep their savings,
In times when they are given tips.

If before they were used for children's purposes,
Now they are used in a different way;
They are completely filled with powder:
Then the slits are sealed with rags.
Here, partly inside and partly sticking out
Are the wicks, well positioned,
And so, in a totally new fashion,
The piggy-banks are turned into bombs.

At first the assailants set fire to the wick,
Then they make an effort to throw them high,
And they keep doing this at their best,
Until they succeed in throwing inside many of them;
The Jews get gooseflesh,
Their blood runs cold in fear,
And in realizing all this they disappear,
As many of them hide inside their houses.

The blasts made by the piggy-banks,
Some of which in the air, others on rooftops,
Others in the street, cause such a fright
That the Ghetto is already in a chaos.
The cries, the yells, the Jewish women's ruffled hair,
the self-beaten chests in atonement,
The moans, the groans were so loud
That such a weeping had never been heard before.

One woman said: Alas! What awful days
Are these for us! What will it be?
Another one said: Why such a mistreatment,
What can we wretched Jews do!
There is no pity for us in this place,
Poor fellows! Anguish and pain!
Very soon (Oh Jews, gives us a hand!)
We'll be lying in a grave .

24 - 40

Meanwhile, outside the Ghetto
A worse commotion goes on, as bad as ever,
Because every Jew seen in the city streets
Is given a beating by the braves.
Among the former, there is who thinks
Of avoiding the danger he is well aware of
By either hiding his hat and turning it round,
Or by taking off the yellow piece of fabric.

But this expedient turns no good to him,
Nor can the poor thing save himself with this,
Because he gives self-evidence of his own nature,
The more he feigns, the more he reveals himself.
His frowning face, his phisical appearance,
His cautious way of walking, his turning round
So often, at every step, and his suspicion,
Let others know he's one of the Ghetto's dwellers.

Once discovered, he has no idea where to hide,
He thinks, then he stops, then he runs.
But some nasty boys come up,
Who are acquainted with mistreating Jews.
To make him fall down flat,
Some of them trip him up,
And then once he's down, all together,
They give him a beating to remember.

Shoves, kicks, punches and cuffs,
And even worse, the Jew receives from them.
He cries: Help! Pity me! Don't,
Stop, no more, you are hurting me too bad!
Blood is already trickling from my broken head,
Indeed, these injures are deadly!
Pity, pity me, my lords! At least
Let me get back to the Ghetto alive .

Many people form a crowd to see who is he,
Why he is being treated in that way,
And some serious persons who happen to be there
Feel very sorry about the mistreatment.
They beg the braves not to harm him any longer,
Because such a beating is enough;
So they stop and, while more people join the crowd,
The Jew stands up, and runs away.

Another one, in rags as well, is seeking shelter
Inside a building, looking for a hiding place,
And he sees in the courtyard
Three or four bottomless barrels standing.
In the fashion of the rich, they were there
because during the celebrations,
Since everybody looks forward for this,
They were to be set on fire.

The Jew lifts one of them; he slips underneath,
Lowering it again, and crouching inside;
The braves go looking for him, furious as ever,
And each one of them enjoys the hunt.
They had already been chasing him,
And now, following his traces,
They try to catch him, so to drag him outside,
And mistreat him in every possible way.

They run into the courtyard, and remain stunned,
Because each one of them is puzzled,
Not knowing, nor being able to picture where
That guy may have hidden in such a short time.
Some of them start thinking
That he may have gone upstairs
Because, however hard one may rack his brains,
There is no other place where to hide.

But he was unlucky that a child,
Eight to ten years old, the son of a cab-driver,
Was there looking out of a window,
While dipping bread in a cup.
He had seen everything,
And feeling like warning the braves,
Coughing a little made them turn round,
And silently pointed his finger towards the Jew.

In noticing this, the most cunning among them
Thought of a nice trick,
And making gestures to the others, informed them
Of his intention of giving the Jew some trouble.
He had noticed a pail full of water
Next to the well, so he takes it,
Lifts it up above the barrel, and tilts it,
Pouring all the water onto the Jew.

The latter gives such terrible shrieks,
and so loud, that I can barely describe them.
More than a brave comes up, chuckling loudly
In seeing such a soaked duckling;
The Jew fears to be next to die,
As if he had fallen into a well;
He pleas as much as he can,
Pitifully begging them to spare his life.

So the roman people tilt the barrel,
And make it roll, while inside
Remains the Jew, as they'd beat him
If he only tried to stick out his head.
Indeed, he would have gone away in bad condition
Had such treatment lasted long,
But the same owners of the building
Gave specific orders to stop this.

These worthy people reputed such rolling
An excessively harsh mistreatment,
And sent their servants downstairs
To free the Jew from his torment.
He was helped by them to run away,
And nobody had the guts to raise objections,
But in seeing him wet through,
The mob yelled after him.

He looks like a chick come out of an egg,
Moving so clumsily, and wherever he passes,
While his entire clothing keeps dripping,
He leaves a mark of his wetness.
But what is worse, some guys he passes close to
Where playing bowls,
And one of them, tossing the bowl on purpose,
Strikes him with a hard blow in his shins.

Half lame, the poor Jew stumbles,
And as he flees, he gets confused;
His lameness prevents him from running,
The more he is willing to, the less he can.
People drift past by him;
He gets caught in the crowd, finally freeing himself.
He reaches the Ghetto, but the wretched guy
Cannot go inside, because the gates are locked.

Now indeed he fears to get thrashed,
And this frightens him even more;
He seeks refuge in a tavern called The Crow,
Where every day he goes for a drink;
He enters, and crouches down behind the bar,
Clutching the landlord, and cowering;
But more than one brave is ready
To give him much worse than a pail of water.

So the landlord's helpers grasp
Those who try to make their way inside,
They hold them, and then they send them away,
Granting safety to the Jew.
They lock the door, and the braves then peep in
From the window, but the inn-keepers
Put up the shutters, getting the better of them,
as they no longer pester the Jew.

43 - 44

Meanwhile, Meo comes towards the Ghetto,
Aware of the commotion, and in noticing
Such a great confusion, at first
He cannot refrain from taking a good laugh.
He stays there for a short while,
Enjoying this riot, initially reputing it pleasant,
Even praising it,
Because he thinks it's funny.

But as soon as he realizes
That all the braves have gone wild,
As if they were to tear down the place,
That they showed no respect nor consideration,
That some of them were already carrying bundles
To set the gates on fire, and that their attack
Was too bold, he thinks to himself
Of putting a damper on such insolence.

46

In order to stop all this, he goes around,
Waving to some, speaking softly to others,
Yelling to others, tugging some by the arm,
And taking away stones from others' hands.
He raises his voice, utters threats, until some
Desist without a sound, others walk away;
Each of them swallows his pride,
Out of respect for Meo Patacca.

48

So the mob feels satisfied,
Without failing to obey Patacca
And the authority he claims,
As he uses it for the public benefit.
The Synagogue, freed from such a big trouble,
Made sure to find out who was that man,
Able to subdue and chase away
The Braves, that blusters with everybody.

50 - 55

Once the meeting was held, they decided
To send him a nice gift; some suggested
A heap of coins, others disliked this,
Others thought of sending gems, or different things.
But better than any other Jew
Did the one who had seen Meo and had met him,
Who expressed his thought
That made very good sense.

He gave everybody the advice,
That it would have been suitable
To find the same clothes Meo had rented,
And give them to him as a present.
Being very elegant and richly decorated,
And fit for his build,
He would have certainly appreciated them,
Much more than a sum of money.

This idea was agreed, and carried out,
And together with the clothes they added
an elegant short sword in the French fashion
which had the hilt and the tip in silver.
One of the high Rabbis took care
Of going to Meo for paying their compliments,
Telling him that all the Jews owed him gratitude,
And presenting him with the gift.

The Synagogue was fully convinced by this Rabbi,
And the clothes were placed on the bottom
Of a somewhat deep and wide basket,
And covered with a cloth.
He goes to Meo, having been told his address,
And a woman from a balcony
Tells him that he is out, and that he would find him
In the street, chatting with a friend.

The Rabbi steps up to him, with a young Jew
That he had taken with him, who carried the gift;
He raises his hat, and bows his head to him,
Expressing the appreciation they had agreed;
He hands over the gift, and Meo unveils it,
Only looking at it, and turning towards him says:
I accept it, appreciate it, and I give it back to you,
Because I do favours as a gift, I don't sell them.

But when the news of the victory is certain,
I command, and absolutely want
The Ghetto to get ready
To hold celebrations together with us;
None of you dare disobey,
Let each one of you be ready, as I warn you,
That should you dare disregard my words,
The Ghetto would indeed go ablaze .

58 - 59

No decoration was set up by the gates
Next to the Fish-market, because that street
Is full of sorrow, and nothing would be enjoyed,
Provided something interesting was really there;
Only the door of piazza Giudia
Was well adorned, yet forcedly,
With an ornate lighting,
Made of small lights, arranged all around.

Oil and wax are profusely used,
Flares and zaganelle are sold,
The barrels are once again set on fire,
In the shape of a pire, inside the Ghetto.
There is no window, no door, nor passage
Where a Jewish face is not seen;
Each of them stares, dazed and confused,
At such unusual things to be seen in the Ghetto.


For the taking of Buda, Meo has organized further public celebrations. In particular, he has set up a play, in which he and the braves perform the final clash against the Turks.



63

For di piazza Navona, m vicino
À un capo de l'istessa, in un biscanto,
C' la famosa statua di Pasquino,
Che da per tutto nominata tanto.
C' uno spazio pi in l, dove h 'l confino
Della Cuccagna il vicolo, et alquanto
largo, e attorno h ricchi bottegari;
Ce fanno piazza li matarazzari.

66 - 67

Compagni di valor mette qu drento,
C'han l'armi alla Turchesca, et i vestiti;
Questi, son quasi in numero di cento,
E si mostrano, all'opera ammanniti;
C' poi, con certi baffi da spavento,
El Bass, che commanna, e tutti arditi
Par, che stimino facile l'impresa,
Di far una bravissima difesa.

Meo de fora, cavallo, c'h in aiuto
Molti sui sgherri, che tenea nascosti,
La f da commannante potenziuto,
L te li mena, e te li mette ai posti.
Scurre in pi parti, tutto faccennuto,
Sino, che, con bell'ordine, disposti
Vede sotto le mura, assai valenti,
Pronti all'assalto, li su' combattenti.

Si finge de spar l'artigliara;
M tal cosa, non c', son mortaletti,
Che far sentir guerrifica armona
Dal sono accompagnati, dei moschetti;
Giusto, di cannonesca battera
Le botte si figurano, e l'effetti.
Si finge ancora, che razzeschi fochi
Sieno mine, e si f breccia in pi lochi.

71

À corpo, corpo col Bass baffuto,
Meo combatte in maniere, cos strane,
Che pare, un odio vero, habbiano havuto,
E che in realt si dian botte da cane;
F ogn'un, di loro, il bravo, e il menacciuto,
Con vere sciable, e vere dorindane,
Et alla disperata si lavra,
Conforme fanno, l'altri sgherri ancora.

75 - 76

Taccola ancora col Bass rugante
Meo Patacca, e non lassa di straccallo,
Te gl'alza, in su la gnucca, uno spaccante,
e infiacchito colui, non p parallo.
Te gl'appiatta la sciva in sul turbante
M par, che dia di taglio, e lui s fallo
Cos ben, cos presto, che f crede,
Gl'habbia arrivato al capo, chi st vede.

De fatto il Turco allora tracoll
(Fingenno, non potersi regger pi)
Sopra la breccia languido rest
À cianche larghe con la panza ins;
Ch'era affatto sballato, dimostr,
E seppe Meo, perche assai lesto f,
(Visto, gi steso il perfido Bass)
Prima, d'ogn'altro, in te la piazza entr.

82 - 87

Stava Nuccia vestita alla zerbina
La gran festa, ved su una loggetta,
Che trovata gli haveva una vicina,
E sverzellava, allegra, e sfarzosetta.
Pe' par giusto poi 'na Paladina,
Se ti carica, in mano, una terzetta,
E un'altra accanto, e quelle son, che Meo
Gi donate gl'haveva in sul Tarpo.

Si picca di sgherretta, et alli spari,
Ch'alle finestre, su le porte, fora,
Fanno, onor di Patacca, i bottegari,
Accoppia lei le sue sparate ancora.
Dello spirito, ch'h, d segni ciari,
Quanto scarica pi, pi s'avvalora;
F ved, ch' dispetto della gonna,
Vanta maschio valore, in cor di donna.

Patacca, una tal vista, ce s'ingrassa,
Lei se n'accorge, e di spar non cessa;
Gi, d'essere gle pare una gradassa,
Facenno prove da capitaniessa.
Lui scegne, e l da lei, pi volte passa;
Di falla devent Mea Patacchessa
Gli vi la voglia, e in quella poi, si fissa,
N, l'incertezza, e il cor, fanno pi rissa.

Parendogli un amazzone guerriera,
Vedenno, ch'al suo genio s'assomiglia,
Sposalla intenne in quella stessa sera,
E renner al su' affetto la pariglia.
Di sgherri haveva attorno una gran schiera,
Di questi, alcuni pochi, se ne piglia,
E li mena con lui l, dove stava
Nuccia con le terzette, fa' la brava.

Arriva sotto, e raschia, e lei lo sente,
E puntuale, quello corrisponne,
M con un raschiettino differente,
E graziosetto, ad uso delle donne.
Dice lui sotto voce, se al presente
Salir potra de sopra, e lei risponne
Che ne domander, pe' convenienza,
À i patroni de casa la licenza.

Abbitavano qu moglie, e marito,
Che fecero, non solo, de i parenti,
A quella festa un general invito,
M dell'amiche ancora, e conoscenti.
Perche dunque Patacca sia servito,
Parla Nuccia all'istessi, e assai contenti
Quelli, coll'altri tutti, si mostrorno,
Anzi sommo favore lo stimorno.

92 - 94

À tutti f un saluto circolare,
Poi con prosopopa cominza dire:
Io ben conosco, e non lo s negare,
Signori miei! che troppo f il mio ardire;
Certo, vi son venuto, disturbare,
M spero, che m'habbiate compatire;
Nostrodine lo s, che fece errore,
M causa f del mancamento, 2 amore.

Di lor altri ad ogn'un serva, d'avviso,
Ch'io porto antico, et obrigato affetto
Alla signora Nuccia, e che f intriso
Sempre il mio cor, d'amore, e di rispetto.
- Qu l'occhi abbassa, e si f roscia in viso
Nuccia, con un modesto sogghignetto -
M voglio, che cognosca in questa sera
S' questa mia, benevolenza vera.

Mentre, che botte spara, e che sgherreggia
Com'una romanesca Bradamanta,
Da m 'l suo gran valore si vagheggia,
E 'sto mio core stupido s'incanta;
In ved, che, com'io, quasi guerreggia.
Subbito, un bel penziero me se pianta
In tel mezzo alla gnucca, e tr m stesso
Dico: Mia sposa, io voglio farla adesso .

97

Allor di prausi ribomb la stanza,
E si dettero segni d'allegra,
Lodandosi da quella radunanza
Dell'uno, e l'altra la galantera;
Poi, della fede la reciprocanza
Dei circostanti ogn'un ved vorria,
Et ecco, che in un subbito si fece
Tr li due sposi, il cinque, e cinque diece.

99

S'alza la grolia, s'alza, e si sboccona,
E certo, non ne manca del dolciume;
Ce n', bizzeffe, de 'sta robba bona,
E qu dir si potra, s'affoga Fiume.
Nuccia f la figura di patrona,
E nisciun propio, senza lei prosume
Di tocc gnente, e al solito, ogni cosa,
Prima, ch'a ogn'altro, portasi alla sposa.

101 - 104

Tutti, doppo, da casa insieme uscirno,
E spasso, in giro, pe' la festa annorno;
Molt'altri sgherri poi con Meo s'unirno,
E lui, con la sua sposa, accompagnorno.
Li Eh! viva , a piena bocca, si sentirno,
E non sol, per un pezzo seguitorno,
M pe' le strade, sempre pi crescerno,
E li dui sposi gran piacer n'haverno.

Vistosi intorno Meo popolo assai,
Si ferma, e dice: O cari amici miei!
Sappiate, che finor, tr m penzai,
Che troppo quell'onor, ch'io ricevei.
ver, che pe' 'ste feste fatigai,
M una minima parte non faci
Di quello, che dovevo, e non s poi,
Perch'io, tante onoranze habbi da voi.

M sia quel, che si vu; tutti ringrazio
D'un tamanto favor, e v'assicuro,
Che di quanto gi feci, io non so' sazio,
Ch'altri acquisti, e vittorie mi figuro;
Allor far, de i Turchi uun novo strazio;
Per l'onor mio, per la mia sposa, il giuro,
Quante sconfitte havranno (io gi l'aspetto)
Di far tant'altre feste, v'imprometto .

Ò m s, che per aria i strilli vanno,
E le grolie di Meo pel tavoliere;
Quelli, ch'inteso el su' parl, non hanno,
Che cosa h ditto, cercon di sapere;
Ci han gusto, loro pur, mentre lo sanno,
Cos, han fine le feste, e pi potere
Strilla, dei sgherri allor, la comitiva:
Eh viva, sempre Meo Patacca, eh viva! .


63

Outside piazza Navona,
But close to one of its ends, in a corner,
Stands the famous statue of Pasquino,
Mentioned everywhere.
Slightly further, there is a place
Where vicolo della Cuccagna ends,
It's rather wide, and it has rich shops all around:
The mattress-makers hold their activities there.

66 - 67

He places on this spot valiant companions,
Whose clothes and weapons are of Turkish fashion;
These ones are almost one hundred,
And they appear ready for their duty;
Furthermore, there is Bass the commander,
Wearing a fearful moustache, and all of them look
As if they reputed an easy job
To perform a clever defense of the city.

Meo, who stays outside, on horseback,
Assisted by many of his braves, who were hiding,
Plays the powerful commander,
Leading them there, and arranging them into place.
He comes and goes, very busily,
Until he sees his soldiers
Ready for the attack, neatly placed
Below the city walls.

They pretend to fire the artillery,
But this is not for real, they are fire-crackers,
That harmoniously make a war-like sound,
Accompanied by the shots of the muskets;
The blasts and the sensation
Are just like those of a battery of cannons.
Also fires made with flares pretend to be mines,
Used for opening breaches on several spots.

71

Meo wrestles hand to hand
With the moustached Bass, in such strange ways,
That it seems as if they truly hated one another,
And gave themselves violent blows for real;
Each of them acts as a brave and a blusterer,
Using real sabres and real swords,
And they struggle at their best,
Just as the other braves do, as well.

75 - 76

Meo Patacca still brawls with the arrogant Bass,
And goes on breaking his resistance;
He lands a good blow on his head,
And his weakened opponent cannot parry it.
He lays the sword flat on his turban
But it looks as if he was using the sharp edge,
He can do this trick so well, so fast,
That others believe he has cut into his head.

The Turk actually collapsed,
Pretending not to be able to stand any longer,
And remained languidly lying over the breach,
With his legs wide open, and his belly upwards.
This was the sign that he was definitely dead,
And Meo was quick enough,
Having seen the wicked Bass lie there,
To enter the square before anybody else.

82 - 87

Nuccia, elegantly dressed, enjoyed the celebration
From a small balcony, a standpoint
That a neighbour had found her,
And she was gay, in high spirits.
Almost looking as a Paladin,
She holds a loaded gun in her hand,
Keeping another one next to her: they are the ones
That Meo had given her on the Tarpeian rock.

She acts as a brave, and she replies
To the shots fired by the shop-keepers
from windows and doorways in honour of Patacca
By adding her own shots.
She clearly gives signs of her temper,
The more she shoots, the more she grows bold,
Showing that, despite she wears a gown,
Manly valour is housed in her woman's heart.

This sight makes Patacca rejoyce,
She realizes this, and goes on shooting;
She already feels like a blusterer,
And behaves like a captain.
He leaves the battlesite, passing several times
By her standpoint; he feels like making her become
Mrs. Meo Patacca; now he is convinced,
As his heart no longer clashes with uncertainty.

In seeing her like a warrior amazon,
In realizing that her attitude is similar to his,
He wants to marry her that very evening,
And return her love for him with his own heart.
Many braves stood around him,
And he chooses only a few of them,
Taking them with him towards the place
Where Nuccia was showing off with her guns.

He reaches the house, and makes a cough,
Nuccia hears him, and she certainly replies,
By making a slightly different cough,
More gentle, as women do.
In a whisper, he asks whether he could go upstairs
Straight away, and she replies
That, to be polite,
She will ask the owners of the house.

The house was dwelt by a couple,
Who had made a general invitation
To the party, not only for their relatives,
But also for their friends.
To comply with Patacca's request,
Nuccia talks to the aforesaid couple, and they
Are very happy, as well as the other guests,
They even consider this a great honour.

92 - 94

He waves everybody around his own greeting,
And with ostentation he starts saying:
My lords! I know well, and cannot deny,
That what I dared to do is too much.
My visit certainly disturbed you,
But I hope that you will pity me;
I realize that I should have not annoyed you,
But the reason of my fault is Love.

Each of you ought to know
About my long-lasting and sincere affection
For Miss Nuccia, and that my heart
Has always been full of love and respect for her.
(Now Nuccia lowers her eyes, and blushes
Making a humble smile),
But this evening I want her to realize
Whether my affection is for real.

As she fires her shots, and plays the brave
Like a roman heroine,
I long for her great valour,
And my stunned heart is bewitched
In seeing her fighting, almost as I do.
A thought flashed into my mind straight away,
And I said to myself:
I want to marry her now .

97

So an applause echoed in the room,
And everybody turned cheerful,
As the people praised
His high-mindedness, and hers;
Then everybody wished to see
A sign of their reciprocal trust,
And the bride and the groom
Immediately gave each other their hands.

99

A celebration is held, food is enjoyed,
And there is no lack of sweets, for sure;
There are loads of good stuff,
We could almost say: the land of plenty.
Nuccia behaves as a real mistress,
Nobody dares to touch a thing
Unless in her presence and, as usual,
The bride is served before any other.

101 - 104

Later, they all left the house,
And went for a walk, to see the street celebrations;
Many more braves joined Meo,
And accompanied him and his bride.
Loud cries of Hurray were heard,
And they also lasted for quite a while,
Becoming more and more loud, along the streets,
And the couple was very pleased of this.

In seeing such a great crowd around him,
Meo stops, and says: Oh my dear friends!
Let me tell you, I have been thinking
That the honours I received are too many.
It is true that I worked hard on these celebrations,
However, what I did is but a very small part
Of what I should have done, and I can't undertand
Why I am receiving from you such a great tribute.

But let it be so, I thank all of you
For such a great favour, and I assure you
That I am not yet satisfied with what I did;
I look forward to more conquests and victories.
I will then play havoc with the Turks, once again;
I swear this, for my honour, and for my bride;
For each defeat they'll endure, as I already expect,
I promise you to arrange many more celebrations .

With this, the cries grow louder,
And Meo's glory spreads around more and more;
Those who have not heard his words,
Try to ask others about what he said;
They too are happy, in being told,
And so the celebrations come to an end,
While the party of braves cry as loud as they can:
Hail forever Meo Patacca, hail! .






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