The Hero part 2

The people crowded from every side to see the procession. The windows clattered with every gust of wind. The interior of the temple was drowned in clouds of incense, and sounds of musical instruments rose intermittently to a clear pitch and disappeared into the mysterious distance. The eight men, now lost in the general scuffle, and dazed with a sort of religious fervor, stretched their arms, ready to start.
“One! . . . Two! . . . Three! . . .” cried Mattao.

With a concentrated effort they all tried to lift the statue from the altar. But the weight was too great, and the statue bent over a little to the left. The men had scarcely time to gain a firm hold on the pedestal. They leaned forward to retain their balance, but the less dextrous, among them Biagio di Clisci and Giovanni Curo, let the statue slip from their hands. It fell with all its weight to one side. Ummalido uttered a piercing cry.

“Look out! Look out!” shouted the people on every side whe

The Hero part 1

Gabriele D’annunzio (1863-1938)

D’annunzio was born at Pescara in the Abruzzi in 1863. His first literary work was a volume of verses, published when he was only sixteen. His first novel appeared in 1889, and he afterwards became famous also as a poet and dramatist. His short stories, of which he wrote a number, are memorable pictures of the half-savage peasant- folk in the mountains of his native district. He excelled in the description of vivid landscapes, and in the delineation of elemental types on the one hand, and of decadent overcivilized moderns on the other.

The present version is translated by Louis Lozowick. It appeared originally in the Pagan magazine, and is here reprinted by permission of the editor.

The Hero

The big banners of St. Gonselvo, brought upon the square, floated heavily in the wind. Men of herculean stature, with faces flushed and necks strained, carried them gingerly.

After the victory over the peop

The Two Ambassadors part 4

I will tell them of the letter, and how he thinks himself highly honored by their alliance.” “That is well thought,” said the other; “and let us spur along a little, that we may get in time for dinner at the same inn—you know where.” “That is well thought,” echoed the other; and mending their pace at the idea of the Frontignac, they soon dismounted, all in a heat, and without waiting for dinner, called out for some of the same wine. “Good sirs,” replied the waiter, “we have some better than ever;” and the ambassadors kept him pretty sharply employed in drawing the bottles, until the wine began to get low, and their politic heads somewhat too elevated.

Success of the embassy

Grieved to hear this, these patterns of diplomacy were compelled to mount again, and the next stage or two brought them into the presence of their employers, where, finding it easier to recollect their own lies than the truths which had been reposed in them, they my

The Two Ambassadors part 3

Upon this the bishop with great dignity approached them, and taking them by the hand, said, “You are welcome, gentlemen; what tidings of import may you bring?” Each of the am-bassadors now looked at the other, and bowing, said, “Do you speak!” “No, sir,” was the reply; “do you speak, sir; I cannot think of it;” till at length the boldest of the two, addressing the bishop, observed: “We come, my lord, as ambassadors from your poor servants of Casentino, and I can assure your Grace that both those who send us and we who are sent are equally devoted to you; but, please your Grace, we are all of us men of fact, but of few words: our mission was intrusted to us in haste; and whatever may be the occasion of it, either our assembly must have informed us wrong, or we have in some way misunderstood them.

Grace’s good offices

Nevertheless, we humbly recommend both them and ourselves to your Grace’s good offices; though what possessed them to send

The Two Ambassadors part 2

Having taken their seats at table, they luckily found the wine good; and so it was that they were more pleased with this circumstance than sorry for the mission they had forgotten. Indeed it was so excellent, that they repeatedly emptied their glasses, toasting all their friends in town until they became half stupefied, so that, far from recollecting their embassy after dinner, they were in no condition even to talk about it, and hardly knowing where they were,, they both dropped asleep.

On rousing themselves once more, one of them inquired of the other whether he had yet succeeded. “I know not,” was the reply; “but I know that our host’s is the best wine I ever drank: the truth is, I have never thought about it since dinner, and now I hardly know where I am.” “And I declare it has been the same with me,” answered his friend; “the Lord only knows what we shall do!

However, we will stay here to-day and to-night, for the night is always favorable t

The Two Ambassadors part 1

Franco Sacchetti (1335 – 1400)

Another of the Fourteenth Century writers who fell under the influence of Boccaccio is Franco Sacchetti. Sacchetti, though he was prominent in Florentine political affairs, was essentially a writer and poet. His collection of stories, the Novelliero, contains some three hundred tales, the best of which are racy anecdotes of contemporary life, related with wit and humour. They constitute an invaluable picture of the life of the lower classes of the day.

The Two Ambassadors falls into the category of the joke story, so cleverly elaborated more than five hundred years later by O. Henry. But, unlike many of its kind, it is intrinsically interesting because of the multiplicity of human touches with which the writer has been able to make his characters live.

The present version is translated by Thomas Roscoe and reprinted from his Italian Novelists, London, no date. The story has no title in the original.

The

The Four Friends

Jean De La Fontaine (1621-1695)

One of the great figures of the age of Louis XIV, Jean de La Fontaine was born at Chateau-Thierry in 1621. He studied at Rheims and Paris, though he returned to his home afterward. In 1647 he married and entered the government service.

He left his wife shortly after his marriage, and placed himself under the protection of several persons of rank and power. In 1668 the first collection of his Fables was pub­lished, and the following year his Tales in verse. He wrote a romance and several plays besides, was elected to membership in the French Academy, and died in 1695.

La Fontaine’s Fables are by all counts his greatest achievement. These are, in the words of Lanson, “a picture of human life and French society.” Based on disop and Phasdrus and the other fabulists, the little masterpieces of La Fontaine are highly artistic literary perfor­mances. The Four Friends represents the ultimate perfection of this type of

The Roast-meat Seller part 2

Yes, by the blood of a goose, answered the Porter, I am content. Seiny Jhon the Fool, finding that the Cook and Porter had compromised the determination of their variance and debate to the discretion of his award and arbitrament; after that the reasons on either side whereupon was grounded the mutual fierceness of their brawling jar had been to the full displayed and laid open before him, commanded the Porter to draw out of the fab of his belt a piece of money, if he had it.

Whereupon the Porter immediately without delay, in reverence to the authority of such a judicious umpire, put the tenth part of a silver Phillip into his hand. This little Phillip Seiny Jhon took, then set it on his left shoulder, to try by feeling if it was of a sufficient weight; after that, laying it on the palm of his hand he made it ring and tingle, to understand by the ear if it was of a good alloy in the metal whereof it was composed:

Thereafter he put it to the ball or apple of his

The Roast-meat Seller part 1

The Roast-meat Seller

At Paris, in the Roast-meat Cookery of the Petit Chastelet, before the cook-shop of one of the roast-meat sellers of that lane, a cer­tain hungry porter was eating his bread, after he had by parcels kept it awhile above the reek and steam of a fat goose on the spit, turning at a great fire, and found it so besmoaked with the vapor, to be savory; which the Cook observing, took no notice, till after having ravined his Penny Loaf, whereof no Morsel has been unsmoakified, he was about discamping and going away; but by your leave, as the Fellow thought to have departed thence shot-free, the Master-Cook laid hold upon him by the Gorget, demanded payment for the smoak of his roast- meat.

The Porter answered, that he had sustained no loss at all; that by what he had done there was no diminution made of the flesh, that he had taken nothing of his, and that therefore he was not indebted to him in anything: As for the smoak in question, that, altho

Zheravna Festival

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The country had difficult moments but it has always had its folklore. That folklore full of never ending energy which helped Bulgarians to survive through the centuries of wars. It also helped them to stay as a nation. What does folklore mean? It is the beliefs, traditions, stories of a community which are passed through the generations by word of mouth. Bulgarian folk songs, Bulgarian traditional costumes have these in them. The costume is one of the most typical elements of the Bulgarian folk culture.

It reflects the specificity, traditional culture and life of t