Addio, palazzo, addio! Addio, padrone, nel altro mondo! Farewell, O palace, farewell, O street!
And having said this he vanished. So he put the horn in his shield, and you may see it to this day on the Church of Santa Maria Novella.
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And so it was that the Via del Corno got its name. Therefore do thou, O reader, so manage it that wherever thou art appointed to be, thou canst get well out of it. For even Fate smiles when it desires to do so. Among the monks of Santa Maria Novella in ancient days was one known as Frate Giocondo, who was truly of the kind who are of little use at home, or at any steady or reputable calling, but who was profitable enough when scouring the country on the loose, blarneying and begging from the good wives, giving counsel to the peasants, and profitable advice, while he ate their chickens and drank their wine, chucking all the pretty girls under their chins, or sub silentio , and making himself sociable, edifying, amusing, or holy—according to circumstances.
Of whom it could be truly said:. As a preaching friar of Saint Dominic, truly Brother Giocondo was not a success, but as a beggar he beat p. For there never was a friar with such an oiled and honeyed tongue, with which he could flatter and wheedle, tell legends of the saints, witches, or goblins by the hour, give all the gossip going; nor was he above selling his collections, or trading donkeys, or taking a hand at a game of cards, or singing to a lute, or even fiddling to a dance—so that, being a great, burly, handsome, merry-eyed knave, he got on marvellously well in the world, his jests being reported even in Siena.
The master of the place was a well-to-do person, but a great knave, and no sooner had he perceived that the monk had such a plentiful stock of provisions, than he saw his way to give all his neighbours a splendid feast at no expense to himself, at which he could not fail to relieve some of his guests of their money. Now this rogue had a daughter who was scaltra e bene affilata —shrewd and sharp as a razor, one who could teach cats to see in the dark, and who had grown to villainy from her babyhood, even as a reed shoots upwards.
You must know, Signore Carlo, that the wench was very good-looking—bad wine in a silver cup, pretty to look at, but vile to sup—and had all the sweet, innocent, simple look of a saint, and she made up to Frate Giocondo like a kitten to a child, which he took in no wise amiss, being used to such conquests.
And who so flattering and fawning as they all were on Brother Giocondo; how they laughed at his jests, and seemed to be in the last agonies of delight; but winked at one another withal, for there were six lusty brothers or cousins in the family, who, in case of need, did the heavy dragging out, or advanced the last argument with clubs. By-and-by, as the night wore on, the black-eyed baggage stole away and hid herself in the room allotted to the Friar, though with no intention to break the seventh—but that against stealing—as you will see.
For when the good Giocondo went to bed, which he did in full dress, he knew not that she was there.
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And as soon as he began to snore, she tapped gently on the wall three times, and then went and laid herself down softly by the Friar, who did not awake. At which all the band came bursting in with torches and staves, and began to beat the victim, reviling and cursing him for having deluded the poor child, so that there was a fearful fracasso —a great riot—but they left the door open, through which the pious Giocondo bolted, and none pursued, as they had already secured his provisions.
Now Giocondo shrewdly noted this, and at once understood that he had been as shrewdly robbed, and that by such a trick as left no door open to return and claim his property. So he quietly mounted his ass and rode away, and returning to the convent, thought it all over, till he p. For he was one of those who was never bit by a wolf but what he had his skin. So he let a long time pass by, and then went to work. And as he said this he saw the knave give a wink to his daughter, and knew very well what it meant, but pretended to take no notice of it.
So all went as before, and the girl stole into his room and hid herself. But he, who was prepared for everything, when he retired took from his pocket two or three large screws and a screwdriver, and closed the great strong door so that it would resist a hard assault, and left the window open so that he could easily escape, and so went to bed.
And Friar Giocondo, jumping up, gave the girl such a beating as she had never heard of, abusing her all the time as a song to the accompaniment of the thrashing, till at last, when he saw they were really coming in, he jumped through the window, ran to the stable, and finding there a fine horse, saddled it in haste and rode away like the wind. The thieves were so intent on the jars that they paid no heed to anything else, not even to the girl, who was raging mad at her father for having exposed her to such danger.
So they got two deep plates, and opened both jars at once to pour the honey out, when lo! At which sight they all fled in fear, the girl first, nor did she stop till she got to Fiesole, where, in great terror, she fearing for her soul told the whole story to everybody and the monks. And the Abbot of Santa Maria Novella cheerfully absolved Brother Giocondo for stealing the horse—and accepted it as a graceful gift, or in recompense for the load of provisions which had been lost.
This is a column with a crucifix, the whole being of beautiful proportions and of a strikingly romantic character. There was  a curious Latin inscription in Gothic letters, which began: Sanctus Ambrosius cum Sancto Zenobio propter grande mysterium hanc crucem —and went on to say that it was reconstructed by the bishops of Florence and of Aquileia in August If this were so, where is the mystery referred to in the inscription? The legend, which was after long inquiry recovered by my collector, distinctly describes the reconstruction of the p.
The story of this mystery is as follows:. And when it died out, there came into the house three families, but none could remain there, being so terrified with fearful sounds and an apparition. It often happened that such irregular folk took refuge in the old palazzo, but if they remained there one night, they had enough of it, and never returned, so great was the horror which they were sure to feel.
Then there entered a tall and magnificently dressed gentleman, of very handsome and distinguished appearance, but his face was deadly pale, his eyes had a terrible gleam, and it seemed as if a light bluish flame flickered and crept about him, ever rising and vanishing like small serpents.
Then he entered the best bedroom in the house, where some one lay asleep, and this man he maltreated and hurled forth, saying that the bed was his own. So it came to pass that no one would inhabit it; nay, all the houses round about began to be deserted, and the whole neighbourhood regarded it as a pest. And from all this they were relieved by a marvellously strange occurrence and a great miracle. But while on the road he obtained olive sprigs, salt, and frankincense, also certain images of saints, and then with much holy water sprinkled all the rooms, stairs, and cellars, praying withal.
Then the spectre began to bellow and roar, and utter whistling screams and all horrible sounds, worse than a wild beast. But the children took the pieces and carried them one by one into the chamber where no one dared to sleep, and there they put them piously together, and dressed a little altar before it, and began to sing hymns. Love God, and you shall find it. So he died, blaspheming and condemned.
Love God, and He will love you! The conception of the children playing at worshipping, and yet half-worshipping, is very Italian.follow url
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I have seen little boys and girls thus rig up a small chapel in the streets of Rome, and go through the mass and other ceremonies with intense interest. It may also be observed that in this, as in many other legends, charcoal is found over a hidden treasure. The folk-lore of coal in connection with money is so extensive and varied, that one could write on it a small book.
Since writing the foregoing I have found the whole of the ancient inscription of the cross, as it was preserved by two chroniclers. This will be found in another chapter. Friedrich Symbolik. A trace of this lingering in a faith outworn, in nymphs, dryads, and fata , is found in the following story:. Now there was in his palazzo in the Via Calzaioli, at the corner of the Condotta, a very old well or fountain, on which were ancient and worn images, and in which there was a marvellous echo, and it was said that two nymphs had their home in it.
And the Signore, p. Whereupon one said to him:. Demons for you they may be, But are angels unto me. And at the instant a servant came and said that two very beautiful ladies were without, who begged the young Signore to come to them immediately, and that it was on a matter of life and death. As for his two friends, they had broken arms and cut faces, bearing marks in memory of the day to the end of their lives. The authenticity of this legend, is more than doubtful, because it exists elsewhere, as I have read it, being unable to give my authority; but unless my memory deceives me, it goes back to classic times, and may be found in some such work as that of Philostratus de Vita Apollonii or Grosius.
Neither am I well assured, to judge from the source whence I had it, that it is current among the people, though no great measure of credulity is here required, since it may be laid down as a rule, with p. However, the shield is still on the corner of the Via Calzaioli, albeit one of the nymphs on it has been knocked or worn away.
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Thus even fates must yield in time to fate. I have in a note to another legend spoken of the instinct which seems to lead children or grown people to associate wells with indwelling fairies, to hear a voice in the echo, and see a face in the reflection in the still water.
Upon a day when thus I watched. A wonder fair as any I have told— The same bright face I tasted in my sleep Smiling in the clear well. My heart did leap Through the cool depth. Few there are who know why truth is said to be at the bottom of a well; but this I can indeed declare to you. For as a mirror was above all things an emblem of truth, because it shows all things exactly as they are, so the water in a well was, as many traditions prove, considered as a mirror, because looking into it we see our face, which we of course most commonly see in a glass, and this disk of shining water resembles in every way a hand-mirror.
And for this reason a mirror was also regarded as expressing life itself, for which reason people so greatly fear to break them. But if a cloud darkened the moon and they saw nothing, then they would die old maids. Which, if it be not true, is ben trovato. And with all this, the holding a mirror to the mouth of an insensible person to tell whether the breath was still in the body, seemed also to make it an indicator of life.
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Deluded all the girls in Florence, It needs no magic now to do it , And how the maidens made him rue it, For having seized on him and stripped him, They tied him up and soundly whipped him. She forgot the rest of the name. One of these gaping gias is the Via del Parlascio gia Via delle Serve Smarrite , or the street of the maidservants strayed away or gone astray.
Therefore it was suggested to me that it was formerly in very ancient times the custom to send all such stray cattle to the pound, that is, to dwell in this street as a kind of Ghetto. But the folly of this measure soon became apparent when it was found that one might as well try to get all the cats in Tuscany into a hand-basket, or all its flies—or fleas—under one tumbler, as try to make a comprehensive menagerie of these valuable animals, who were, however, by no means curiosities. But in due time I received from good authority an ancient legend of the Via delle Serve Smarrite, in which the origin of the name is explained as follows:.
The clanking of chains and peals of horrid laughter rung from its chambers at midnight, blue and p. For there were a great many who went in there, but few who ever came out, and these were all young and pretty servant-maids. And the way it was managed was this. When such girls were sent to the market to buy provisions, they always met there or elsewhere an old woman who pretended to be extremely pious,  who, by using many arts and making small gifts, and above all by subtle flatteries, persuaded them that service was only fit for gentaccia or the dregs of the people, and that, beautiful and graceful as they were, they needed only live like ladies for a little time at ease, and they would soon be fit to marry some Signore, and that she herself would thus maintain them, hoping they would pay her well for it all when once married.
And I need not say that the trick generally succeeded. But in due time they found out that a certain Signore was lord of the house and of themselves, and that he gradually led them into the strangest and most terrible orgies, and finally into witchcraft, after which one disappeared mysteriously after the other, none knew whither, but as there were always fresh arrivals to take their places, nobody heeded it. Now there was a certain gentleman, a man himself of great authority and intelligence, who had heard of these vanishments and hoped to find out their cause.
And one night at a very late hour, when he was passing by the mysterious house, he heard from it now and p. But what was his amazement to find in her his old foster-mother of the country, whom he had not seen for many years, and who loved him dearly.