And the name of this egg-wife was Furicchia. And this made the former more intent than ever to discover the secret, and she at once went to work to find it out. And one day it said:. So she hopes to bring thee to death, and to get all thy trade. Thou shalt to-morrow take a pot and fill it with good wine and certain drugs, and boil them well, and leave it all hot in thy room, and then go forth, and for the rest I will provide.
Addio , Furicchia! Then she went into the house, but saw nothing more than a vast quantity of eggs, and all the while she heard the hen singing or clucking:. Dear me! Where can Furicchia be? Furicchia mine! Bring me quick some warm red wine! Three eggs I have laid! Now six for your trade. Now there are nine, Bring me quickly the warm red wine! Take them away; Many more for thee will I lay, And thou wilt be a lady grand, As fine as any in all the land; And should it happen that any one Drinks of this wine as I have done, Eggs like me she will surely lay; That is the secret, that is the way.
Che mal di corpo!
What a pain in my leg! I must lay an egg! And if my eggs I cannot lay, I shall surely die to-day. I have found out how Furicchia gets her eggs, and we shall be as rich as she. And so she sat and shrivelled up until she became a hen indeed, and was never anything else, and died one. But when the eggs hatched, there came from them not chicks, but mice, which ran away into the cellar, and so ends the story. The Italian tale is, however, far better told in every respect, the only point in common being that a certain witch laid p. The clucking and pecking at crusts of the old woman, as she gradually passes into a hen, is well imagined, and also the finale of the chickens turned to mice, who all run away.
One could make of it a play for the nursery or the stage. Now there was a certain Bernardo Manetti, a man di ingegno vivacissimo , or an extremely ready wit, who being one day in the Mercato Vecchio to buy something or other it being the custom of the Florentines of those times to go in person to purchase their daily food , was much annoyed by one of those begging friars who go about the roads, alla questua , collecting alms, and who stand at street-corners imploring charity. And this brazen beggar, accosting Bernardo, said to him:.
Peace be unto you! And thou darest ask me for alms here in the open market-place, thou traitor to thy country and thy God! Apage , Satanas —avaunt! Pax indeed—pack off with you, ere I hand you over to the torturers! Apropos of the egg-wife, if chickens are apropos to eggs, there is a merry tale of a certain priest, which will, I think, amuse the reader. Like all good folk, the Florentines make fun of their neighbours, among whom are of course included the people of Arezzo, and tell of them this story:.
And his maid, who was a bright and clever girl, seeing him so cast down, asked him the cause of his grief, to which he replied that the Bishop had summoned him to appear at the Synod in cappa e cotta.
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My dear master, you do not pronounce the words quite correctly, or else they have been badly reported to you. And grazie a Dio! And with these he advanced in pleno concilo , in full assembly before the Bishop. The great man looked severely at the priest, and said:. It was just the hungry time of day, and, in short, the priest had made a blessed happy blunder, and one which was greatly admired.
There was general applause. Thou alone of all the ministers of our diocese didst rightly understand the spirit and meaning of an episcopal edict.
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As all visitors to Florence will have their attention called to the Strozzi Palace, and its rings and lanterns, the following will probably prove to them to be of interest:. Truly, it pains me to see an excellent artist like thee starving for want of proper patronage. Now I will lend thee a round sum, which thou canst repay me when thou art in better luck.
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Go, with these onions in thine hand, and stand there in the street till the Lords Strozzi go forth, and see thee with the vegetables, and then they will p. And they gave him a great sum indeed, for he was to make the lanterns all of solid gold, so that the palace might be far finer than the Pitti. It is needless to say that this ingenious tale owes its origin to the iron lanterns having been at one time gilt.
These famous works of art have been copied far and wide: had the Strozzi family taken out and renewed the copyright for design on them, they might have found that the gold was a very good investment, especially in these times, when a thing of beauty brings in cash for ever. One of the latest and prettiest devices, to be seen in many shops, is a small iron night-lamp in imitation of these Strozzi lanterns.
It recalls the story of the acanthus leaf and the basket which suggested the Ionic capital. On festive occasions, these fanali were provided with great pitch torches, whose crackling flames gave a merry aspect to the whole neighbourhood. Amerigo Vespucci addressed the account of one of his voyages to the Gonfaloniere Piero Soderini, with whom he had formerly been on intimate terms, and the latter procured a decree of the Republic, in accordance with which fanali were sent to the family palace of the Vespucci, and kept burning day and night for three days.
They are of wrought-iron, and were made by a smith who enjoyed a local celebrity, not only on account of his masterly work, but also because he carried on his business on a strictly cash basis; nay, went further, and refused to work for any one who did not prepay, in part at least, for his order.
Thus he received the name of Caparra , or Earnest-money. Scaife, p. There is one thing in this legend which alone would seem to guarantee its being an authentic or old tradition.
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And he was in reality so noted for this, that, as Scaife declares, he went further than dealing on a cash basis—and so got the nickname of Caparra, or the Pledge—so well did he know the value of cash. The Via del Corno is a narrow street passing from the Via del Leone. I have found the following story in reference to the origin of its name, which, if not authentic, is at least amusing and original:. And as this spread far and wide, people kept away from the Via del Corno after dark; but as this also kept away thieves, and the goblin did all the house-work, the master was all the better pleased.
Only on one point did the two differ, and that was the point of morality. Here the goblin was extremely strict, and drew the line distinctly. Several times, as was the custom in those wicked days, the Signore attempted to introduce a lady-friend to the palazzo, but the goblin all night long, when not busied in pulling the sheets from the fair sinner, was industriously occupied in strewing nettles or burrs under her, or tickling the soles of her feet with a pen; and then anon, p. It is true that he played beautifully, like no earthly musician, but even enchanting airs may be annoying when they prevent sleep.
And when the weather was ill, or chilly, or rainy, or too hot, they cured it with Chianti, according to a medical prescription laid down in sundry rare old works:.
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And when extra hands were wanted they came, but all that came were only fairy hands, short at the wrist, the goblin p. Then they had long and curious and exceedingly weighty debates as to the laws of the games and fair play, not forgetting meanwhile to sample all the various wines ever sung by Redi.
wiemenlafacvi.tk I need not say that the next day he did not go near the Arno, though it was as dry as a bone; nay, he kept out of a bath, and was almost afraid to wash his face. He remembered just such a case. That was it, decidedly. There was a little hiding-chamber, centuries old, in the palazzo, known only to himself, with a concealed door. He would go and hide there. He shouted for joy, and when he entered the room, he leaped with a great bound from the threshold of the door, down and over three or four steps, into the middle of the little room.