November 30, 2018

Feast of Saint Andrew the Apostle

Saint Andrew pray for us
November 30th is the Feast Day of Saint Andrew the Apostle, patron of fishermen and protector of Amalfi. To commemorate the occasion, I'm posting a Prayer to Saint Andrew. The accompanying photo of the Saint was taken at the memorial mass for the deceased members of the Saint Andrew Society at Saint Michael's Church in New Haven, Connecticut. At the turn of the 20th century, large numbers of immigrants from Amalfi settled in New Haven, so its not surprising the veneration of the Saint is strong there. Viva Sant'Andrea!  
Prayer to Saint Andrew
O glorious Saint Andrew, you were the first to recognize and follow the Lamb of God. With your friend, Saint John, you remained with Jesus for that first day, for your entire life, and now throughout eternity. As you led your brother, Saint Peter, to Christ and many others after him, draw us also to Him. Teach us to lead others to Christ solely out of love for Him and dedication in His service. Help us to learn the lesson of the Cross and to carry our daily crosses without complaint so that they may carry us to Jesus. Amen.

Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary in East Harlem, New York

November 29, 2018

Divine Liturgy for Her Royal Highness’ Eternal Memory in Blessed Repose in Park Slope, Brooklyn

HRH Princess Carmen di Borbone
Sunday, December 2nd at 11am

Church of the Virgin Mary
216 8th Avenue
Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY 11215

The US Delegation will hold a Divine Liturgy in the Greco-Albanian Catholic Rite for the repose of the soul of HRH Princess Maria del Carmen di Borbone of the Two Sicilies on Sunday, December 2nd at 11AM at the Church of the Virgin Mary (8th Ave & 2nd St) Park Slope, Brooklyn, NYC. Mantles and Mozzetta to be worn.

The SMCSG has historically included in its rites the Byzantine Catholic Divine Liturgy as well as the Latin Liturgy.

Rosa Tatuata's Christmas Extravaganza

• Thursday, December 13th at the Queens Public Library, Maspeth Branch, 69-70 Grand Avenue, Maspeth, NY 11378
• Friday, December 14th at The Buttonwood Tree Performing Arts Center, 605 Main Street, Middletown, CT 06457
Join ROSA TATUATA for an afternoon concert celebration of Christmas songs from Sicily and Southern Italy. Enjoy the festive music and folk instruments that have been a Christmas tradition for centuries and are still a vibrant and beloved part of modern day Christmas celebrations. Come meet our zampognaro: the bagpiper whose presence is identified with Christmas music throughout Southern Italy. Spend the afternoon making merry with us!
Venite ad ascoltare i ROSA TATUATA per un concerto di pomeriggio delle canzoni natalizie della Sicilia e del Meridione. Godetevi la musica festiva e gli strumenti folk che facevano parte della tradizione natalizia per secoli e che fanno ancora una parta vivace e amata delle feste moderne. Venite ad incontrare il nostro zampognaro, di cui la sua presenza è identificata con la musica natalizia nel Meridione. Passate il pomeriggio festeggiando con noi.
www.michelamusolino.com

December 2018 Constantinian Food Walk

This Thursday, December 6th at 7:00PM join the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St. George Auxiliary Corps for their monthly food walk. Volunteers will meet at the Church of the Transfiguration cafeteria (29 Mott Street—entrance on Mosco St.) in Chinatown, New York to prepare and distribute food to the homeless.

Anyone interested in supporting this charitable endeavor 
can contact Cav. John Napoli at jnapoli@smocsg.com or call Anna Mavrianos-Cesare at 917-592-4181. For additional information, the Order can be found on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or at The Constantinian Chronicle. IHSV

Also see:

Distributing Food to the Homeless on All Saints' Day
• Constantinian Auxiliary Hit the Streets of Lower Manhattan for Inaugural Homeless Food Walk

November 28, 2018

Feast of San Giacomo della Marca

Viva San Giacomo!
Photo Courtesy of Anthony Scillia
November 28th is the Feast Day of San Giacomo della Marca (St. James of the Marches), missionary and miracle worker. Counted among the many co-patrons of Naples, the austere friar preached tirelessly against greed and usury. To commemorate the occasion I'm posting a Prayer to St. James of the Marches. The accompanying photo was taken at St. James of the Marches R.C. Church in Totowa, New Jersey.
Prayer to St. James of the Marches
O God, you have given to the Church in St. James of the Marches a tireless missionary of your word, totally dedicated to the salvation of souls and the conversion of sinners. May his intercession help us to atone for our sins and to walk swiftly on the path of salvation. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who is God.

Photo of the Week: Bust of Axel Munthe in the Villa San Michele Gardens

Bronze bust of Axel Munthe in the Villa San Michele gardens in Anacapri, Capri
Photo by New York Scugnizzo

November 27, 2018

Meridiunalata VII: ‘O Luciano d’’o Re - The King’s Luciano by Ferdinando Russo (Parts VII-IX)

Ferdinando Russo
Translated and annotated by Cav. Avv. Charles Sant’Elia
[In this installment of Meridiunalata/ Southernade, a bilingual offering of Duosiciliano poetry, we are publishing Ferdinando Russo's epic poem ‘O Luciano d’’o Re - The King’s Luciano in its original Neapolitan and for the first time ever in English. Due to space considerations, we are posting the masterpiece in three parts. – Il Regno]
See parts I-III, IV-VI

VII
46ª.
Già, quanno stu Ramaglia fui chiammato,
primma ca stu viaggio se facesse,
dicette ‘o Rre: – “Ramà, si scienziato?
E vedimmo sta scienzia che dicesse!„
Ramaglia ‘o vesetai. – “State malato!
È niente, ma però… ve prupunesse…„
‘O Rre ‘o guardai. – “Che prupunisse, di’?„
-“Maiestà… ve prupunesse… ‘e nun partì!„
47.ª
-Pecchè? dicette ‘o Rre; ch’è funnarale?
-No… nient”e chesto! Mill’anne ‘e saluta!
Ma che facimmo? Pe scanzà nu male,
mettimmo ncopp’a cuotto acqua vulluta?
E ‘o Rre: -Ramaglia mio, si’ n’animale!
Sta cosa ‘ncapo chi te l’ha mettuta?
Nun me vuò fa’ partì? Pe chi me piglie?
Quant”e avuto, pe darme sti cunziglie?!
48.ª
E vulette partì! Nu cuoccio tuosto,
ca ‘o simmelo comm’isso, nun ce steva!
Tu l”e chiammato? E chillo t’ha rispuosto…
Na cosa bona pure t”a diceva!
Ma che buò fa’? pe malaurio nuosto,
quanno ncucciava, niente nce puteva!
‘A pigliai storta, se mettette ‘ntuono,
e vulette partì, malato e buono!
49.ª
Che v’aggia di’? Chi sa!… Si nun parteva
ferneva tuttecosa a ppazziella,
e chella sfenetezza che senteva
sarrìa passata cu na misturella…
Arïano aspettava, isso nun jeva,
e scumbinava buono ‘a jacuvella,
e te lassava comm’a statue ‘e sale
a Munzignore e a tutt”e libberale!
50.ª
Pirciò fui smaleditto, stu viaggio
cu ‘a jettatura ‘e trònole e saette!
E pirciò, pe sta causa ‘e stu rammaggio,
anfino a Manferònia nun se jette!
Jettemo a Bare… Già traseva Maggio…
Era ‘o vintotto ‘Abbrile… o vintisette…
E nce arrivàimo mmiezo a spare e suone,
e na gran folla ‘e pupulazzione.
51.ª
Ma n’ato malaurio l’attuccava!
Te pareva na cosa fatt’apposta!
Sott”e balcune ‘a folla aumentava,
(genta tutta fedele ‘a causa nosta)
e lle sbatteva ‘e mmane, e l’accramava:
Vivò!… Vivò!… Vivò!… Botta e risposta…
Embè, ‘o ccrerite? Justo mmiezo ‘a via,
‘o Rre a chi vede? Na cunfrataria!
52.ª
Cosa ca, si se conta, uno te dice:
“A chi l’assigne? Va ncujeta a n’ato!„
E isso, (ca ‘o Signore ‘o benedice!)
nce rummanette troppo spaventato!
Ogne mumento sunnava nemice,
e, p”a paura, sempe cchiù malato,
ve putite penzà cu che allegrìa
ricevette, accussì, Maria Sufia!
53.ª
Nun se gudette niente, ‘e chelli ffeste!
Parlava appena, passanno ‘e paise!
Quatto, cinco parole, lestu-leste,
addò ca chillo ne facea fa’ rise!
C’argentaria! C’adduobbe e frusce ‘e veste!
‘E Ppuglie ne spennettero turnise!
Triate, balle, serenate, sciure,
e isso ncopp”a branda cu ‘e delure!
54.ª
Ogge, nu poco meglio, e respirava;
dimane, verde peggio d”e ccutogne!
A tavula, penzava e nun magnava…
Cu ‘a capa sotta, se guardava ll’ogne…
Murtrïuso, accussi, sfarnetecava,
penzanno certo a chelli gran carogne
c’aveano armato contr’a isso ‘a mano
e ‘a bbajunetta ‘e Gisalao Milano.
VIII
55.ª
Bare era propio na galantaria,
cu tutte chilli princepe rignante
c’accumpagnàino ‘a sposa! E p”allegria
tu te sentive overo n’ato ttanto!
Chesto, pe dint”e ccase e mmiezo ‘a via,
pecchè add”o Rre se ne faceano chiante!
Po’ avevano urdinato: -Lengua ‘mmocca!
-Comme sta ‘o Rre? -Sta buono… ma se cocca…
56.ª
Aviveve ‘a vedè chella Riggina!
Pe dà sullievo ‘o Rre, facev’un’arte!
Jeva essa stessa pure int”a cucina!
Na santa ‘n cielo m”a mettite ‘e parte!
Senza vulè durmì, sera e matina,
a priparà dicotte, a firmà carte…
E parlava cu miedece e dutture,
danno curaggio a ‘e stesse prufessure!
57.ª
Passava ‘o tiempo… ‘O mmale aumentava…
Nisciuno cchiù diceva na parola…
Nisciuno cchiù durmeva o risciatava,
nfra nu silenzio ‘e quanno ‘a mosca vola…
Lampe allumate, gente ca pregava,
e ll’uoglio santo, e l’acqua ‘e San Nicola,
e l’abbetiello ‘e Sant’Affonzo… Che!…
Mò era n’ombra ‘e Rre, nun era ‘o Rre…!
58.ª
E venette ‘o scatascio! Se sapeva!…
Giesù! Chill’uocchie suoi!… Comme guardava!.
Vivo, senteva ‘a morte, e nun mureva,
vedenno ‘o cuorpo ca se nfracetava!…
delure dint’ali’osse, friddo, freva,
nu tremmulicchio ca te spantecava,
na smània ‘e sete, senza arrepusarte,
e vierme ca ll’ascéano ‘a tutte parte…
IX
59.ª
Comm’ ‘o purtàimo, a buordo ‘o Furminanto?
Comme jette da Puortece a Caserta?
Erano mise, e chi assaggiava tanto!?
Erano mise, ch’io durmevo allerta!
Doppo prïato a Dio santo pe santo,
‘a povera Riggina, amara e sperta,
dice: – Tentammo st’urdema speranza,
e mannammo a chiammà Vicienzo Lanza!
60.ª
Chisto era gran duttore e libberale,
ma currette, dicìmmola comm’è!
Surtanto, le fui ditto, tale e quale,
ch’isso, ‘o malato nun l’avea vedè!
S’era penzato ca pareva male
fa trasì stu nemico nnant’ ‘o Rre;
e Lanza se strignette dint’ ‘e spalle:
“A saluta d”o Rre nun va tre calle!„
61.ª
– Comme, nun va tre calle? – V”o ddich’io!
È inutele, sta vìseta add”o Rre!
Io so’ chi so’ ! Faccio ‘o mestiero mio!
Ma è troppo tarde, mo! Sentite a me!…
P”o riesto, nu miracolo ‘o fa Dio;
ma… si ‘o facesse… ‘o vvularria vedè!
‘O fatto è chiaro comm’acqua ‘e funtana!
Dàtele latte ‘e femmena, e se sana!
62.ª
‘O miedeco curante era Rusato,
e se mettette a ridere. – N”o ccrire?
dicette Lanza; fai c’aggio sbagliato?
Nnanza a Vicienzo Lanza nun se rire!
E, certo, o scienzia, o c’ato fosse stato,
nui simmo jute cu ‘e vestite nire!
Speràvamo, nce dèvamo curaggio,
ma ‘o Rre murette ‘o vintiduie ‘e Maggio…
63.ª
Chest’è, quann”a Furtuna è na zuzzosa!
Si tu ‘o rilorgio ‘o guaste int”o cungegno,
hai voglia ‘e l’accuncià, ca nun è cosa!
E accussì fui! Muort’isso, muorto ‘o Regno!
‘A strata se facette ntruppecosa,
Calibbarde aspettava e avette ‘o segno;
cade Gaeta, doppo quatto mise,
e nui… natàimo ttutte int”e turnise!
64.ª
Ah! Ah! Me vene a ridere, me vene!
Ogneruno sperava ‘avè na Zecca,
tanta renare quanto so’ ll’arene,
‘a gallenella janca, ‘a Lecca e ‘a Mecca!
Faciteme ‘e berè, sti ppanze chiene!
Seh, seh! Quanno se ngrassa ‘a ficusecca!
Comme scialammo bello, dint’a st’oro!
Sciù pe la faccia vosta! A vuie e a lloro!
65.ª
Ccà stammo tuttuquante int”o spitale!
Tenimmo tutte ‘a stessa malatia!
Simmo rummase tutte mmiezo ‘e scale,
fora ‘a lucanna d’ ‘a Pezzentaria!
Che me vuò di’? Ca simmo libberale?
E addò l’appuoie, sta sbafantaria?
Quanno figlieto chiagne e vo’ magná,
cerca int”a sacca… e dalle ‘a libbertà!
VII
46ª.
Already, when this Ramaglia was called,
before this voyage was made,
the King said: – “Ramà, you’re a scientist?
And let’s see what this science says!„
Ramaglia visited him. – “You are ill!
It’s nothing,  however… I’d propose you…„
The King looked at him. – “What would you propose, do tell?„
-“Majesty… I’d propose you… do not depart!„
47.ª
-Why? asked the King; it is a funeral?
-No… nothing of the sort! A thousand years of health!
But what do we do? To avoid any harm,
shall we throw oil on the fire?
And the King: -My Ramaglia, you’re an animal!
Who put this thing in your head?
You don’t want to let me depart? Who do you take me for?
How much did you get, to give me this advice?!
48.ª
And he wanted to depart! A stubborn man,
the likes of which, were not to be found!
You called him? And he answered you…
He even told you a good thing!
But what can one do? To our chagrin,
when he dug in, nothing could be done!
He took it the wrong way, he straightened himself out,
and he wanted to depart, good and sick!
49.ª
What can I tell you? Who knows!… If he didn’t depart
everything would have ended as a trifle,
and that exhaustion that he felt
would have passed with a little calming mixture…(31)
Arïano would have waited, he wouldn’t have gone,
and he’d have undone the silly intrigue real good,
and he’d have left like statues of salt
Monsignor and all the liberals!
50.ª
Therefore was cursed, this journey
with the jinx of thunder and lightning!
And therefore, on account of this harm,
he didn’t go as far as Manferònia!(32)
We went to Bari… May was already approaching…
It was the twenty-eighth of April… or twenty-seventh…
And we arrived amid shots and sounds,
and a great crowd of the population.
51.ª
But another ill omen was due him!
It seemed to you as if done on purpose!
Under the balconies the crowd was growing,
(all people faithful to our cause)
and they were applauding, and were acclaiming him:
Vivò!… Vivò!… Vivò!(33)… Call and answer…
Well, do you believe it? Right in the middle of the street,
who did the King see? A religious confraternity!
52.ª
A thing which, if one recounts it, one tells you:
“Who are you kidding? Go bother someone else!„
And he, (may the Lord bless him!)
he remained too afraid of it!
Every moment he was dreaming of enemies,
and, out of fear, ever more ill,
you can imagine with what merriment
he received, like this, Maria Sufia!(34)
53.ª
He didn’t enjoy anything, of those feasts!
He was barely speaking, passing the towns!
Four, five words, hurriedly,
whereas before he’d make you laugh!
What silverware! What decorations and rustle of dresses!
Puglia spent turnise!(35)
Theaters, balls, serenades, flowers,
and he on the cot with his pains!
54.ª
Today, a little better, he was breathing;
tomorrow, green worse than quince!
At table, he was thinking and not eating…
With his head down, he looked at his nails…
Long-faced, like that, he was growing delirious,
thinking certainly of those lousy vermin
that had armed against him the hand
and the bayonet of Gisalao Milano.(36)
VIII
55.ª
Bari was all gallantry,
with all those royal princes
that accompanied the bride! And for all the merriment
you truly felt the same!
This, in the houses and in the streets,
because near the King they were weeping!
Then they had ordered: -Tongues in your mouths!
-How’s the King? –He’s well… but lying down…
56.ª
You all should have seen that Queen!
To give comfort to the King, she made an art form!
She even went herself in the kitchen!
A saint in heaven you’ll set her aside for me!
Without wanting to sleep, morning and night,
preparing infusions, signing papers…
And she talked to physicians and doctors,
giving courage to the professors themselves!
57.ª
Time was passing… The illness was increasing…
Nobody said a word any longer…
Nobody was sleeping or breathing,
amid a silence like when I fly flies…
Lamps lit, people were praying,
and holy oil, and the water of Saint Nicholas,
and the holy card of Saint Alphonse… What!…
Now he was the shadow of a King, he wasn’t the King…!
58.ª
And the disaster came! One could tell!…
Jesus! Those eyes of his!… How he was looking about!.
Alive, he felt death, and was not dying,
seeing his body that was rotting!…
pain in the bones,  chills,  fever,
a frightful tremor,
a lingering thirst, without letting you rest,
and worms coming out of him all over…
IX
59.ª
How did we take him,  aboard the Furminanto?(37)
How did he go from Portici to Caserta?
They were months, and who experienced so much!?
They were months, for I slept standing up!
After having prayed to God and saint by saint,
the poor Queen,  bitter and wandering about,
says: – Let’s try this last hope,
and we sent to call Vicienzo Lanza!
60.ª
This was a great doctor and a liberal,
but he ran, let’s tell it like it was!
Only that, he was told, just like that,
that he was not to see the sick man!
One thought it was bad
to let this enemy enter before the King;
and Lanza shrugged his shoulders:
“The King’s health isn’t worth three calle!„(38)
61.ª
– How now, it’s not worth three calle? – I’m telling you all!
It’s useless, this visit to the King!
I know who I am ! I do my job!
But it’s too late, now! Listen to me!…
As to the rest, God will do a miracle;
but… if he’d do it… I’d like to see it!
The fact is clear as fountain water!
Give him woman’s milk, and he’ll heal!
62.ª
The treating physician was Rusato,(39)
and he set himself to laughing. – You don’t believe it?
said Lanza; you say I’m wrong?
Before Vicienzo Lanza(40) one does not laugh!
And, indeed, science, or whatever it was it,
we wound up in black suits!
We were hoping, we took courage,
but the King died on the twenty-second of May…
63.ª
This is it, when Fortune is a dirty wench!
If you break your watch’s mechanism,
it is pointless to adjust it, it won’t work!
And so it was! Him dead, the Kingdom dead!
The going got rough,
Garibaldi was waiting and he got the signal;
Gaeta fell, after four months,
and us… we all swam in cash!(41)
64.ª
Ah! Ah! It makes me laugh, it does!
Everyone hoped to have a Mint,
as much money as there are grains of sand,
the golden goose, all round!(42)
Let me see, these full bellies!
Oh yeah, oh yeah! When the dried fig fattens up!(43)
How we’re celebrating, in this gold!
Spit in your faces! To all of you and to them!
65.ª
Here every one of us is in the hospital!
We all have the same illness!
We’re all left in the middle of the stairs,
outside the Beggar house!
What do you want to tell me? That we’re liberals?
And where are you hanging up, this braggadocio?
When your son cries and wants to eat,
look in your pocket… and give him freedom!
Notes:
(31) Misturella: a little mixture or medicinal concoction, used ironically also for poison.
(32)  Manferònia: Manfredonia. Trans. Note.
(33) Vivò!: Long live! Trans. Note.
(34) Maria Sufia: Maria Sofia von Wittelsbach of Bavaria (1841-1925), the daughter of Duke Maximilian Joseph and Princess Ludovika of Bavaria, the Bavarian Royal Princess, about to wed Ferdinando II’s son Francesco II, and who would become Queen of the Two Sicilies and later go on to serve bravely on the front with her husband and the army at the famous siege of Gaeta. Trans. Note.
(35) Turnise: or tornesi, copper coins first minted in the Kingdom in the 15th century, in use as a currency unit through 1861. Cfr. Barese dialect terrise, also used in the general sense of “money”.
(36) Gisalao Milano: or Agesilao Milano (1830-1856), was an unstable radical soldier from the province of Cosenza in Calabria, who had prior disciplinary reprimand, and who attacked King Ferdinand II, stabbing him with his bayonette after the King left mass for the feast of the Immaculate Conception on December 8, 1856. Despite many famous, and often repeated conspiracy theories of the King being poisoned by members of his court or his own doctors, modern scholarship posits that the King died from lingering complications from the horrible wound inflicted by Milano.  Trans. Note.
(37) On the Furminanto, see footnote n. 9 above.
(38) calle: or cavalli, copper Neapolitan coins, first coined in 1472 during the reign of Ferdinando of Aragon, and so called because of the trotting horse on the reverse. The cavallo was minted during various reigns up until Ferdinando I. The cavallo as a unit was replaced by the tornese, which was equal to 6 cavalli. Like the tornese, the cavallo or callo remains alive in the Neapolitan language and in many sayings and proverbs. Trans. Note.
(39) Rusato: Prof. Cav. Franco Rosati, another Bourbon court doctor, held in high regard by the Royal Family, who like Ramaglia, was know to treat the Royal family and upper echelons of society, as well as to devote time to treat very humble patients in need. When the King decided to expand the office of Surgeon General, he appointed a commission and made Rosati its president. When the Grand duke of Tuscany respected the aid of a noted doctor, Ferdinand II sent Rosati to him in Florence to treat the Archduchess Anna. Trans. Note.
(40) Lanza: Vincenzo Lanza, another well respected physician, who served on the highest medical council with Cav. Rosati.
(41) turnise: or tornesi, see note n. 27 above. Trans. Note.
(42) ‘a Lecca a Mecca: proverbial expression, perhaps originally of Sicilian origin, meaning, “all over the place, around the world”, literally “from Lecca to Mecca”. Trans. Note.
(43) Cfr. The proverbial phrase, quanno chiove passe e ficusecche: “when it rains raisins and dried figs”, i.e. most improbable. Trans. Note.

November 26, 2018

Meridiunalata VI: ‘O Luciano d’’o Re - The King’s Luciano by Ferdinando Russo (Parts IV-VI)

Ferdinando Russo
Translated and annotated by Cav. Avv. Charles Sant’Elia
[In this installment of Meridiunalata/ Southernade, a bilingual offering of Duosiciliano poetry, we are publishing Ferdinando Russo's epic poem ‘O Luciano d’’o Re - The King’s Luciano in its original Neapolitan and for the first time ever in English. Due to space considerations, we are posting the masterpiece in three parts. – Il Regno]
See parts I-III, VII-IX

IV
18.ª
Comme lle pïaceva ‘a capunata!
Quase ogne juorno na capunatella!
Se ne faceva justo na scialata,
e doppo, ‘o bicchierino e ‘a pastarella.
Po’, cu na bona tazza ‘e ciucculata,
se pastiggiava sempe ‘a marennella…
Ah, chella tazza! Chella tazza fuie,
ca, comm’a mo’, nce ha ‘rruvinato a nuie!
19.ª
Che nce mettette ‘a rinto, chillo ‘mpiso
ca, pe farlo murì, l’avvelenaie?
Meglio era s’isso nce mureva acciso!
Isso, ch’è stato ‘a causa ‘e tutt”e guaie!
‘O Rre nuosto ‘o ssapette, ‘nparaviso,
e certo, ‘o ggiurarrìa, nce ‘o pperdunaie!
Ma si nun era ‘o ttuòsseco ‘e sta tazza,
n’avriamo viste tanta cane ‘e chiazza!
20ª
Lassammo sta’! Nun ricurdammo niente!
Quanno nce penzo me sento malato!
Se verèvano a sciumme, ‘e ppèzze ‘argiente!
Mo’ è raro pure ‘o sòrdo scartellato!
Trasètteno?… Ma a botte ‘e trademiente!
Nun me dicite ca me so’ ngannato!
Trasètteno, gnorsì!… Senza cammise!
E ‘o ddicevano stesso ‘e piamuntise!
21.ª
Mo’ lloro stanno ‘a coppa!… Mo’ sta bene!
Ma, p’arrivà, n’hanno magnato sivo!…
A Palazzo Riale, ‘e ccasce chiene!
Nce hanno spurpato anfino all’uosso vivo!
M’aggia sta’ zitto, è ove’? Nun ve cummene
‘e me sentì parlà?… Ve fa currivo?!
Llà s’avriano jucato a paro e sparo
pure ‘o Santo Tesoro ‘e San Gennaro!
22.ª
So’ biecchio? So’ gnurante? Nun capisco?
Me sustenite ch’è tutt”o ccuntrario?
Embè… voglio sapè che fosse ‘o Fisco!
Nun fui n’aggrisso ‘o cchiù straurdinario?
Io tengo ‘a rrobba, tu m”o mmiette ‘nfrisco,
po’ me rice ca serve pe l’Arario!
Parole nove!… Io nun cumbino cchiù!
St’Arario fui ca t”o mmagnaste tu!
23.ª
Chi ne sapeva niente, ‘e chesti ttasse?!
L’oro jeva accussì… comm”e lupine!
Ognuno, a gusto suio, magnava ‘e grasse,
cu’e ssacche chiene ‘e rurece-carrine!
Mo’ manco cu ‘e ppatane uno se ngrasse,
ca vanno care comm”e tagliuline!…
Songo gnurante? Avraggio tutt”e tuorte!
Ma… quanno mai, io jastemmavo ‘e muorte?!
24.ª
Me so’ mparato mo’!… È ‘o sango stesso
ca se revota e nce scumbina ‘e ccape!…
ah, tiempo bello!… Si’ squagliato ampresso!
Nui simmo addeventate tanta crape!
Ah, so’ gnurante?… Nce ‘o scuntammo appriesso!
Po’ verimmo sta porta chi l’arape!
‘E palazze?… So’ belle!… ‘E strate?… Pure!
Ma s’è perza ‘a semmenta d”e signure!
25.ª
Addò stanno, Statella e Muliterno,
nu ruco r”a Riggina o n’Uttaiano!
Fosse cchiù certo ‘e vengere nu terno!
Nun m’avantasse cchiù: “So’ luciano!”
È stata vuluntà d”o Pat’Eterno,
si no, v”o scummettesse a piezzo ‘nmano,
ca, si nun era munzignor Caputo,
chillo, ‘o Sissanta, nun sarria venuto!
V
26.ª
So’ stato marenaro mmiezo ‘a scorta
d”o Rre, malato ‘e chella malatia!
Tutte pronte a vigliarlo! Arreto ‘a porta,
nnanz”a carrozza, sulo, ‘ncumpagnia…
Mai na parola! Mai na faccia storta!
Mai nu suspetto, pe Santa Lucia!
Era sicuro ‘e jì, venì, restá…
‘E luciane suoi stevano llà!…
27.ª
Stevano llà! Na squatra pronta a tutto!
Ogne parola, ogne guardata, ogn’atto!
Viaggio tristo assai! Viaggio brutto!
Cchiù de na vota s’è purtato ‘nquatto!
Isso, ca ne vulea tirà ‘o ccustrutto,
n’arrivava a sapé che s’era fatto
pe chella malatia misteriosa,
accussì nfama e tantu mai schifosa!
28.ª
Vi’ c’anno fui, chillo Cinquantanove
cu chillo spusalizzio ‘e Francischiello!
L’otto ‘e Jennaro, chiove, chiove e chiove!
C’aveva fa? Partette, ‘o puveriello!
Lampe e saette, mmiezo ‘e strate nove,
e pigliaimo nu bello purpetiello…
Già, ‘o Rre, ca nce credeva, ‘a jettatura,
se ll’era ntruitata, sta sbentura!
29.ª
Partenno aveva ritto: “Si ncuntrammo
nu monaco, nu zuoppo o nu scucciato,
sarrà nu malaùrio! Cammenammo!…„
E da nu piezzo se sentea malato.
Nun fui parola ritta, nui guardammo,
e già ‘o penziero suio s’era avverato!
Chi ncuntrammo? Tre muònece! ‘O ddicette!
E scatasciaino trònole e saette!
30.ª
A Mugnano, cu ‘o friddo dint’all’ossa,
scennette e jette a Santa Filumena.
Isso, ‘e figlie, ‘a Riggina, rossa rossa,
sott’a nu viento ca ‘o Signore ‘o mmena!
Se sape! ‘O sango lle fa tale mossa,
ca dint”a cchiesia se riggeva appena!
Doppo, s’abbatte ncopp’a nu cuscino,
e che nuttata cana, anfi’ ‘Avellino!
31.ª
Meno male ca po’ se repigliaie
e ‘o juorno appriesso, all’unnece, partette!
Ma credite ca ‘o tiempo s’accunciaie?
‘O nfierno pure llà nce se mettette!
A munno mio, nun m’è succiesso maie!
Fui tanta e tanta ‘a neva che cadette,
ch’io nun v’abbasto a dicere: zeffunno!
Llà nce cadette ‘a neva ‘e tutt”o munno!…
32.ª
Nu cielo ‘e chiummo, na campagna janca,
e nnanz’all’uocchie nu lenzuolo ‘e neva!
Tu vai cecato… ‘A zoza ca te stanca,
‘e ddete ‘e fierro… E ‘a forza, chi t”a deva?
Po’ cierti vventecate, a dritta e a manca,
ca sulamente Dio nce manteneva…
-Che facimmo?… Fermammo, Maistà?
E isso:-Jammo nnanza a cammenà!
33.ª
Ma ch’era ‘acciaro, o steva ‘nfrennesìa?
Facèvamo tre passe ogne doj’ore!
E duraie duraie, chesta pazzìa,
nfi’ a quanno nun turnaie ‘o battitore.
-Maistà, nun è pussibbele, p”a via…
Ccà passammo perìcule e mmalore…
E, cunzigliato da ‘o barone Anzano,
isso urdinaie:-Vutammo p’Ariano!
34.ª
E jettemo add”o Vescovo! Capite?
E ‘o vescovo era Munzignor Caputo!
Doppo nu miglio a ppede, me crerite?
‘o Rre arrivai nu straccio! Nterezzuto!
E no sul’isso! Stevamo sfenite!
Nun tenèvamo ‘a forza ‘e chiammà ajuto!
‘A Riggina, per farve perzuvaso,
jeva int’a neva cu ‘e scarpine ‘e raso!…
35.ª
Che nce vulette, pe piglià calimma!
‘A sera, ‘a bbona ‘e Ddio, votta e magnammo!
Llà fuie ‘o mbruoglio! ‘O ppriparàino apprimma
chello vveleno, o che?… Nun ne parlammo!
Dicetteno ca no!… Bella zuzzimma!
Quant’è certo stu juorno ca sciatammo,
stu Munzignore ca v’annummenaie,
dopp”o Sissanta, po’… se n’avantaie!
36.ª
Embè, chesto se fa?… Pròssemo tuio,
ca l”e cercata ‘a mitria e te l’ha data,
ca vene ‘a casa toia, pe gusto suio,
‘o vaie a ntussecà cu ‘a ciucculata!…
Ma s’io songo tentato, io me ne fuio,
nun già ca sceglio justo ‘a mala strata
sulo pecchè vene ‘o Demmònio e dice:
“Avvelèname a chisto, e simm’amice!…„
37.ª
S’era perduto ogne timore ‘e Ddio!
Putive suspettà ‘e nu saciardote?
Va buono, se mpattai!… Ma ve rich’io
ca l’avarrìano acciso ciento vote!
Chisto, verite, è razziucinio mio!
Nce n’addunàimo! Ch’èramo, carote?
E po’… si parle ca nun si’ birbante,
che vene a di’ ca doppo te n’avante?!
VI
38.ª
‘O Rre, ca già nun se senteva buone,
pecchè già ncuorpo serpiava ‘o mmale,
se sape! quann’avette ‘o calatone
se sentette cchiù peggio! È naturale!
Basta; nun ‘o mmettimmo ‘n custione,
nun ce scurdammo ‘a cosa princepale!
Comme vulette Ddio, llà dintu llà,
magnàjemo… e nce ne jettemo a cuccà.
39.ª
Ma ‘a notte, all’antrasatto, nu remmore
nce mena tutte dint”a stanza ‘o Rre…
Vedennolo, accussì, cu ll’uocchie ‘a fore,
l’addimannammo: -“Neh! Maistà… Che r’è?”
“-Llà… llà… chill’ommo… Nu cuspiratore…
Se vuleva accustà… vicino a me…
Da nu spurtiello… dint”o muro… llà…”
E nui cercàimo… Ma che vuò truvà!
40.ª
S’era sunnato, e overo se credeva
d’avè vist’uno ca l’assassenava,
quanno ca pe sti suonne che faceva
chell’era ‘a malatìa che cammenava!
E chi durmette cchiù?! Nun te veneva!
Arbava juorno e se chiacchiariava….
All’otto, n’ata vota ‘a stessa renza!
Nce sentettemo ‘a messa, e po': partenza!
41.ª
Che precepizzio ‘e via dopp’Ariano,
jenno pe Foggia e Andria e pe Canosa!
‘O Rre malato, chillo tiempo cano,
nu mbruoglio pusetivo ‘e tuttecosa!
Ogne vivò, isso cacciava ‘a mano…
(‘A veco sempe, chella mana nfosa…)
E po’ a Bitonto, pe Ruvo e Trellizze,
e gente c’aspettava a tutte pizze…
42.ª
Aspetta, aspetta! ‘O Rre passava ‘e trotte,
pe tuccà Manferònia ampressa ampressa!
E p’Acquaviva nce passàimo ‘e notte,
e doppo n’ora, cu ‘a truttata stessa,
dïune, stracque, ammatuntate ‘e bòtte,
cammina, pe ghì ncontra ‘a Princepessa!
A Taranto, spezzate dinto ‘e mmecce,
tu qua’ fermata! Nce fermammo a Lecce!
43.ª
E a Lecce se nchiummai! Nun pare overo,
pecchè, che saccio… s’era repigliato…
Parlai cu tutte, ricevette ‘o Clero,
e ‘a sera stessa vulett’ì ‘o triato!
Anze, vedite quanto steva allero,
ca, cu nu Truvatore appriparato,
isso alluccai: -“Che Truvatore! A chi?
Fate don Checco! M’aggia divertì!…„
44.ª
Ma ‘o juorno appriesso, (e chi s”o suppuneva?)
nun se partette!… ‘A cosa s’aggravava…
‘O duttore Lione ca curreva,
‘o nzagnatore ca m”o salassava…
Apprimma, miccia miccia, chella freva
se nc’era misa ncuollo e n”o lassava;
e ‘a Riggina, gialluta comm”a paglia,
fa correre, da Napule, a Ramaglia.
45ª.
Vene Ramaglia cu Capozze, vene
ll’anema ‘e ll’urzo, vene tutt”o munno!
Se po’ sapè che r’è?! Chi te sustene
ca se va a galla; chi ca se va nfunno;
chi se stregne int”e spalle; chi cummène
ca nun ‘o ssape, e ‘o ddice chiaro e tunno…
Eppure, chillo, ‘o Rre, l’aveva ditto!
“Tengo ‘o presentimento ca so’ fritto!…„
IV
18.ª
How he liked capunata!
Almost every day a little capunata!
He used to make a proper feast of it,
and afterwards,  a little glass and the biscuit.
Then, with a good cup of chocolate,(11)
he always feasted for a snack…
Ah, that cup! It was that cup,
that, like now, ruined us!
19.ª
What did he put in it, that villain
who, in order to kill him, poisoned him?(12)
Better that one were murdered instead!
He,  the one who was the cause of all our woes!
Our King knew, in heaven,
and surely, he would have judged him, and forgiven him!
But if it wasn’t for the poison in this cup,
we wouldn’t have seen so many dirty stray dogs!(13)
20ª
Let’s let it go! Let’s not remember anything!
When I think about I feel sick!
They saw rivers, of silver pieces!
Now even a lucky penny(14) is rare!
They entered in?… But by treachery!
Don’t tell me I am deceived!
They entered in,  yes sir!… Shirtless!
And the Piedmontese themselves said it!
21.ª
But now they’re on top!… Now they’re doing fine!
But, to manage it, they ate fat!…
In the Royal Palace, full coffers!
They picked us alive clean to the bone!
I have to shut up, right? It’s not convenient for you
to hear me talk?… It makes you steaming mad?!
There they would have played odds and evens
even for the Treasure of San Gennaro!
22.ª
I’m old? I’m ignorant? I don’t understand?
You maintain to me that it’s the other way round?
Well… I want to know what was the Exchequer!
Wasn’t this the most extraordinary assault?
I’ve got stuff,  you freeze it,
then you tell me it’s useful for the Revenue man!
New words!… I don’t get it any more!
This Revenue man was there so you could gobble it up!
23.ª
Who know anything about them, these taxes?!
Gold was going round… like beans!
Everyone,  according to his taste, eat richly,
with pockets full of twelve carrine!(15)
Now one doesn’t even fatten up with potatoes,
that sell as expensive as tagliuline!…
I’m ignorant? Could I be all wrong!
But… when ever, did I curse the dead?!
24.ª
I’ve learned now!… It’s the blood itself
that turns and muddles heads!…
ah, good old times!… Melted away quickly!
We’ve become so many goats!
Ah, I’m ignorant?… We’ll settle it later on!
Then we’ll see who’ll open this door!
The buildings?… Are beautiful!… The streets?… Too!
But one has lost the breed of gentlemen!
25.ª
Where are, Statella and Muliterno,
a go-between of the Queen or an Uttaiano!(16)
I’d been more certain to win three numbers in the lotto!
I’d no longer boast: “I’m a Luciano!”
I was the Lord Almighty’s will,
otherwise, I’d bet you cash in hand,
that, if it wasn’t Monsignor Caputo,(17)
that one, ‘Sixty,(18) wouldn’t have come!
V
26.ª
I had been a sailor in the middle of the King’s
escort, sick with that sickness!
All ready to watch over him! Behind the door,
in front of the carriage, alone, in company…
Never a word! Never a long face!
Never a suspicion, by Santa Lucia!
I was sure to go,  come,  stay…
His Lucianos were there!…
27.ª
They were there!  A squadron ready for anything!
Every word, every look, every act!
Really sad journey! Ugly journey!
More than once we carried him in four!
He, who wanted to pull the contraption,
didn’t manage to know what one did
for that mysterious illness,
so infamous and ever so horrible!
28.ª
See what a year it was, that Fifty-nine(19)
with that wedding of Francischiello!(20)
The Eighth of January, rain, rain and rain!
What should he have done? He departed,  the poor man!
Lighting and thunder, in the middle of the byways,
we wound up good and drenched…
Already, the King, who believed in jinxes,
had intuited it,  this misadventure!
29.ª
Leaving he had said: “If we encounter
a monk, a lame man or a bald man,
it will be a bad omen! Let’s get under way!…„
And after a bit he felt ill.
A word was not uttered, we looked,
and already his thought came true!
Who did we meet? Three monks! He said it!
And thunder and lightning broke!
30.ª
In Mugnano, with the cold in his bones,
he got out and went to Santa Filumena.(21)
He,  his children, the Queen, she ever so red,
under a wind sent by the Lord!
Indeed! His blood have him such a start,
that in the church he barely held up!
Afterward,  he threw himself down on a pillow,
what a dog night, all the way to Avellino!
31.ª
Thank goodness he recovered
and the following day, at eleven, he departed!
But do believe the weather improved?
Then hell even there stuck itself in!
To my reckoning, it never happened!
It so very very much snow that fell,
that I can’t sufficiently tell you:  galore!
There fell all the snow in the world!…
32.ª
A leaden sky, a white countryside,
and before one’s eyes a sheet of snow!
You go blindly… the wet clods that tire you out,
cold rigid fingers like iron… And strength, who’d give it to you?
Then certain gusts of wind, from right to left,
that only God kept us…
-What do we do?… Shall we stop, Your Majesty?
And he:- Let’s go forward walking!
33.ª
But was he of steel, or was he in delirium?
We were making three steps every two hours!
And it continued and continued,  this folly,
up until the scout did not return.
-Your Majesty, it’s not possible, through the highway…
Here we’ll suffer dangers and hardships…
And, advised by baron Anzano,(23)
he ordered:-We’ll turn toward Ariano!
34.ª
And we went to the Bishop! Understand?
And the bishop was Monsignor Caputo!
After a mile on foot, do you believe me?
The King arrived worn out like a rag! Frozen stiff!
And not just him! We were exhausted!
We didn’t have the strength to call for help!
The Queen, to make you all understand,
was going in the snow with satin slippers!…
35.ª
What it took, to get warmth!
That evening, as God provides, we managed to eat!
That’s where the trickery was! They prepared beforehead
that poison, or what?… Let’s not speak of it!
They said no!… Nice filth!
As sure as this day we are breathing,
this Monsignor that you name,
after ‘Sixty, then… be bragged about it!
36.ª
Well, this is what one does?… Your neighbor,
from whom you sought the mitre and he gave it to you,
who comes to your house, of his own accord,
you go and poison him with chocolate!…
But if I’m tempted, I flee,
certainly I wouldn’t follow the path of evil
just because the Devil comes and says:
“Poison this one for me, and we’re friends!…„
37.ª
He had lost all fear of God!
Could you have suspected a priest?
Oh well,  he made provisions!… But I tell you all
that they would have killed him a hundred times!
This, you see,  is their reasoning!
We realized it! What were we, carrots?
And then… if you say you’re not a rogue,
what does it mean that afterwards you brag about it?!
VI
38.ª
The King,  who already was not feeling well,
because the illness was already snaking through his body,
indeed! when he had the final dive
he felt worse! It’s natural!
Enough; let’s not put into question,
let’s not forget the main thing!
As God willed,  right then and there,
we ate… and we went to bed.
39.ª
But at night, suddenly,  a sound
threw us all into the King’s room…
Seeing him,  like this,  with his eyes protruding,
we asked him: -“Hey! Your Majesty… What is it?”
“-There… There… that man… A conspirator…
He wanted to approach… near me…
From a little entryway… in the wall… there…”
And we searched… But what do you want to find!
40.ª
He had dreamt it,  and he truly believed
having seen someone assassinating him,
during these dreams he had had
that was the illness progressing!
And who slept any more?! It didn’t come on to you!
Day was dawning and one was chatting….
At eight,  the usual habits again!
We heard mass,  and then: departure!
41.ª
What a ruinous road after Ariano,
going to Foggia and Andria and on to Canosa!
The King ill,  that dog weather,
a positive muddle of everything!
Every long live, he took out his hand…
(I always see it, that wet hand…)
And then to Bitonto, by Ruvo and Trellizze,(24)
and people who were waiting all over the place…
42.ª
Wait, wait! The was passing by trotting,
to reach Manferònia(25) in a great hurry!
And we passed by Acquaviva by night,
and after an hour, with the trotting,
starving, tired,  banged up,
onward, to meet the Princess!
At Taranto, crushed in our joints,
what stop do you think! We stopped at Lecce!
43.ª
And in Lecce he planted himself down! It doesn’t seem real,
because,  what do I know… he had recovered…
He talked to everyone, he received the Clergy,
and that same night he wanted to go to the theatre!
What’s more,  you see how merry he was,
that, with a Trovatore prepared,
he shouted: -“What Trovatore! For who?
Do don Checco!(26) I want to have fun!…„
44.ª
But the day after, (and who what have supposed it?)
we didn’t depart!… The thing was worsening…
Doctor Lione(27) who was running about,
the bloodletter who was bloodletting him…(28)
At first, ever so slowly, that fever
set itself over him and wouldn’t leave;
and the Queen,  yellow like straw,
made Ramaglia(29) run, from Naples.
45ª.
Ramaglia comes with Capozze,(30) 
every darn body comes,  the whole world comes!
Could one know what it is?!  There are those who maintain
that things are looking up;  those that things are going down;
those who shrug their shoulders;  those that feel
that one doesn’t know, and says so clearly…
And yet, he, the King,  had called it!
“I have a hunch I’m cooked!…„
Notes:
(11) Russo in his own annotations recalls that it was variously alleged that bishop Caputo poisoned the king with a cup of hot chocolate, a cigar, or a towel, and Caputo supposedly boasted about it after 1860. See, Bernardini, Ferdinando II a Lecce; De Cesare, La fine di un Regno. – Avv. E. di Martino, Ricordanze storico-morali. Trans. Note.
(12) In the 19th century, and for many years after, theories abounded that bishop Caputo of Ariano had poisoned Ferdinand II’s cup of chocolate. Further controversies claimed that the trusted court doctor Cav. Don Pietro Ramaglia from Molise either poisoned or purposely neglected the King’s treatment. Russo includes these themes and well known versions in his poem. Subsequent scholarship has however challenged all of these theories, positing that the most obvious cause of the King’s death was the horrible wound inflicted by the deranged radical soldier Agesilao Milano who stabbed the King with his bayonet during a military inspection after attending mass for the feast of the Immaculate Conception. It was considered possible that Milano’s weapon also contained poisons. King Ferdinand II bravely carried on, including his lengthy travels to Puglia and indeed refused several treatments and rest. After the King’s death and the Risorgimento, local doctors and their descendants in Puglia and along the travel route claimed to have treated or offered treatment, and even criticized the court doctors’ treatments, further adding to popular conspiracy theories and legends. According to these fable-like accounts each of these doctors would have or could have saved the King if only the court had listened etc. Don Pietro Ramaglia was saddened and angered by the King’s assassination (and accusations leveled against himself) and refused to hold any public office or teaching position at the University of Naples, even when begged by the new liberal administration of the University, and he only gave private lessons and lectures to young students. He swore his undying loyalty to the King and the House of Bourbon and vehemently shunned the Savoy government, as would be expected from a man who was made a Knight Grand Cross of the SMOCSG by Ferdinand II himself and who served him and the Royal Family directly. In fact, Ramaglia became a doctor after winning recognition and a scholarship from the Bourbons when he was a young man. See infra, foot note n. 32, on Agesilao Milano.  Trans. Note.
(13) cane ‘e chiazza: stray dogs, metaphorically in the sense of the foreigners who descended on the Kingdom to gnaw on its resources. 
(14) Sordo scartellato: or soldo, a 5 cent piece, a small denomination.
(15) carrine: or carlini, Neapolitan coins, worth 10 grana. The dodici-carlini or rurece-carrine was a higher value silver coin. The old Neapolitan piastra was 120 grana coin. The Kingdoms of Naples and Sicily used similar units of currencies for centuries, which were united and whose ancient names were kept after the Congress of Vienna, the ducat being the main unit of currency.  There were gold 30, 15, 6 and 3 ducat coins, silver piastras, half piastras, and tarì (20 grana), and copper 10, 5, and 2 tornesi coins. Mints were in Naples and Palermo. Trans. Note.
(16) Statella, field marshall Count Errico Statella; Moliterno, Girolamo Pignatelli; Ottaiano, Prince Luigi de’ Medici of (1759-1830 ) prime minister and statesman active from the turbulent years of the 1799 revolution, the Napoleonic invasion and the Bourbon restoration and the creation of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. Russo pointed out in his annotations that these Neapolitan gentlemen were known for both their pomp and generosity and their loyalty to the Crown, as some still were in Russo’s day.
(17) Monsignor Caputo, Bishop Michele Caputo (1808-1862) of Ariano, Born in Nardò, he graduated from the theological college in Trani. Caputo was a prior for several years in Taranto and was elected provincial head of Puglia in 1845. In 1852 he was nominated bishop of Oppido Mamertina, where he was credited with founding a grain monte di pietà, but was involved in disputes with local prominent families regarding church properties and rights over properties and income. In 1858 Caputo was transferred to Ariano. Members of the King’s travelling party suspected a poisoning attempt during the King’s impromptu stay at the Bishop’s palace. According to several accounts, the Bishop did indeed  later boast of poisoning the King, apparently in an effort to ingratiate himself with the new regime. In any case, Caputo appears to have begun a careful revisionist campaign of his career once the Kingdom fell, siding with the Risorgimento, and he found himself directly at odds with the Anzani family and many other citizens of Ariano who were loyal to the Bourbons. Trans. Note.
(18) Sixty: the tragic year 1860. Trans. Note.
(19) Fifty-nine: the year 1859. Trans. Note.
(20) Francischiello: “Little Francis”, Francesco II (1836-1894), future King of the Two Sicilies, the son of Ferdinand II. Francesco II was affectionately called by the diminutive nickname, which later Risorgimento propagandists employed to make him look ridiculous as a more junior figure. Trans. Note.
(21) Santa Filumena: The well-known shrine of Saint Philomena in Mugnano, where the Royal Family stopped to rest from the bad weather.
(22) Baron Anzano: Francesco Anzani and his brother Girolamo Anzani, of the old noble Anzani family of Ariano who both had long military careers in the Two Sicilies and Francesco was a knight of the Real Ordine di San Giorgio della Riunione. The Anzani had prepared a lavish feast for the King but he did not attend it. Girolamo Anzani led a revolt in Ariano against the Savoy government in September 1860. Trans. Note.
(23) The curious detail of the satin shoes with which the Queen had to go about a mile is also in Bernardini, Ferdinando II a Lecce.
(24) Trellizze: Terlizzi. Trans. Note.
(25) Manferonia: Manfredonia
(26) Don Checco: a Neapolitan language opera buffa by the internationally respected Barese composer Nicola De Giosa (1819-1885), who was a student of Donizetti and active in Naples. It premiered in the Teatro Nuovo in the Quartieri Spagnoli and ran frequently in many theatres for about 40 years. The librettist was the Neapolitan lawyer and writer Almerindo Spadetta (1822-1894). Trans. Note.
(27) Lione: Dr. Giuseppe Leone (1814-?), a young trained surgeon, who attended to the King during his time at Lecce.  Accounts of Leone being a liberal sympathizer and having had Carbonari in his family are documented. However, he was not considered disloyal and was not accused of untoward actions. It was said he tested medicines from a local pharmacy given to the King by taking them himself. The Queen was offered the services of a more senior doctor named D’Arpe (who was of pronounced liberal political background) or Leone, and she ordered that Leone be the one to treat him. Leone wrote a log of the King’s illness, which was published. Trans. Note.
(28) A certain man named Marotta.
(29) Ramaglia: the well-known clinician Cav. Don Pietro Ramaglia (1802-1875), who was a very well respected court doctor who tended to Ferdinand II and the Royal Family. Ramaglia was a native of Ripabottoni, Molise and had studied in Larino and Toro Molise where he was recognized for his talents early on, and he decided to pursue medical studies in Naples, graduating in 1823 on a government scholarship for his merit. He began his career at the Incurabili hospital in Naples. In 1857 he co-founded the prestigious medical journal “Il Morgagni”. Ramaglia was widely known for his leading research in childhood meningitis and he authored several books on the same  based on his 40 years of research. He created a diagnostic method, which his student Capozzi (see note 23 below) wrote about and practiced. He treated patients in need at least one day a week for free throughout his career. He was decorated with the Royal Order of Francis I and was a Knight Grand Cross of the Constantinian Order.  Trans. Note.
(30) Capozze: Domenico Capozzi (1829-1907), was Dr. Ramaglia’s young assistant, and who became a well-respected scientist in his own right. Capozzi accompanied Ramaglia to Lecce in Puglia to assist in treating Ferdinand II. Capozzi followed in his mentor Ramaglia’s footsteps giving private lessons and obscuring political life and taught at the Incurabili in Naples. He also wrote articles and books, including his eulogy remarks upon the death of Dr. Ramaglia. Affectionately known as “Capozziello”, when he died he left a generous legacy to the Incurabili hospital and medical school and endowed a hospital in his native Morcone. Trans. Note.

November 25, 2018

Meridiunalata V: ‘O Luciano d’’o Re - The King’s Luciano by Ferdinando Russo (Parts I-III)

Ferdinando Russo
(November 25, 1866 – January 30, 1927)
Translated and annotated by Cav. Avv. Charles Sant’Elia
[In this installment of Meridiunalata/ Southernade, a bilingual offering of Duosiciliano poetry, we are publishing Ferdinando Russo's epic poem ‘O Luciano d’’o Re - The King’s Luciano in its original Neapolitan and for the first time ever in English. Due to space considerations, we are posting the masterpiece in three parts. – Il Regno]

See parts IV-VI, VII-IX

Translator’s Preface
Ferdinando Russo, the great Neapolitan poet, himself wrote an introduction and explanatory notes to his great historic and patriotic poem, ‘O Luciano d’’o Re. Here, for the sake of brevity, I have simplified Russo’s notes about places, names, traditions and local practices. I have added additional annotations regarding the language and names and places for further clarity to a non-Neapolitan audience and these are indicated as translator’s notes. I have omitted Russo’s notes on certain Neapolitan words, having translated them directly in the poem. Certain famous foods and traditions which are widely known to a global audience, such as “capunata” and “tagliuline,” while spelled in the Neapolitan manner, have been left in italics without adding to the already numerous footnotes. In the joint interests of accuracy and flow, no attempt at recreating the rhyme scheme in English has been made.
In the hope of bringing more attention to Russo and his work, as well as to the specific history and culture that is the subject of this masterpiece, we offer the following translation and encourage the reader to refer to Russo’s vast body of work. Volumes could be written about the history and the many now lost places and traditions catalogued in this poem, which captures the longing, melancholy and anger of the seafaring Neapolitan people. The epic narration of this particular poem evocatively summarizes the invasion and downfall of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies in 1860 and the subsequent tribulations of the Neapolitan people who suffered greatly during the military occupation and demise of a city which was a European capital for centuries, in constant direct dialogue with all of the great European powers and cultural movements abroad. Russo captures the feeling and spirit of the disillusioned Neapolitan, through the proverbial figure of the loyal people from Santa Lucia, the quintessentially Neapolitan borough, comprised of honest hardworking men and women, loyal to their Country and to their King, with whom they actually frequently interacted. While volumes could be written about the rich history and the many people and places mentioned in this epic poem, we leave such important tasks to the specialists who have so amply written about them elsewhere. The reader is recommended Raffaele De Cesare’s classic La Fine di un Regno (Città di Castello, 1908) which contains numerous accounts of the events recalled in Russo’s poem, and which the great Russo himself recommended. -CS

‘O Luciano d’’o Re
1.ª
-Addò se vere cchiù, Santa Lucia?!
Addò sentite cchiù l’addore ‘e mare?
Nce hanno luvato ‘o mmeglio, ‘e chesta via!
N’hanno cacciato anfino ‘e marenare!
E pure, te facea tant’allegria,
cu chelli bbancarelle ‘e ll’ustricare!
‘O munno vota sempe e vota ‘ntutto!
Se scarta ‘o bello, e se ncuraggia ‘o brutto!
2.ª
Ah, comme tutto cagna! A tiempo ‘e tata,
ccà se tuccava ‘o mare cu nu rito!
Mò ncopp”o mare passa n’ata strata,
tutto va caro, e niente è sapurito!
Santa Lucia m’ha prutiggiuto sempe!
M’ha rata ‘a vista ‘e ll’uocchie, pe veré
ca l’ommo cagna comme cagna ‘o tiempe,
e ca chi sa che vène, appriesso a me!
3.ª
Io, quacche vota, quanno sto nfuscato
e me straporto a quann’ero guaglione,
me crero ca so’ muorto e sutterrato
sott”a muntagna ‘e chisto Sciatamone!
Pare n’ato paese! È n’ata cosa!
Tu nce cammine e nun te truove cchiù…
E pure, è certo, era accussì spassosa,
Santa Lucia d”a primma giuventù!
4.ª
Arbanno juorno, dint”e vuzze, a mmare,
c’addore ‘e scoglie e d’ostreche zucose!
Verive ‘e bbancarelle ‘e ll’ustricare
cu tutt”o bbene ‘e Ddio, càrreche e nfose!
E chelli ttarantelle int”a staggione!
Femmene assai cchiù belle ‘e chelle ‘e mo’!
Uocchie ‘e velluto, vocche ‘e passione,
lazziette d’oro e perne, int”e cummò!
5.ª
Tutt”e ccanzone t”e ppurtava ‘o mare,
p”a festa r”a Maronna r”a Catena,
cu ‘a bbona pesca, ‘e cuoppe r”e renare,
e ‘a cantina ‘e Cient’anne sempe chiena!
Mò… che ne cacce? Cca s’è fravecato!
Tutto è prucresso, pe puté arrunzà!
Si’ marenaro? E, quanno ‘e faticato,
fai ll’uocchie chine… e ‘a rezza nun t”o ddà!
II
6.ª
Quanta ricorde! Quanta cose belle!
N’arena d’oro e n’abbundanza ‘e ciele!
Treglie e merluzze, vive, int”e spaselle,
e ‘o mare tutto cummigliato ‘e vele!
Veneva ‘a voce, da li pparanzelle:
“Aonna, ‘o mare! Aonna!…„ E li ccannele
s’appicciavano nnanza a li Ssant’Anne,
p”a pruvverenzia “ch’è venuta aguanne!„
7.ª
Te redevano ll’uocchie comm”o sole!
Tenive mmocca ‘o ddoce d’ogne mmèle!
Nfra l’anno ‘mmaretàvemo ‘e ffigliole
cu uno ‘e tutto, ‘e musulline e tele!
N’appicceco? Era justo ‘e tre pparole!
Muglièreta? Nu scuoglio! Era fedele!
Ncapace ‘e niente, a chillo tiempe bello,
c’ogne cazetta era nu carusiello!
8.ª
‘E state, tuorno tuorno all’ustricare,
muntagne ‘e freselline e tarallucce.
L’addore ‘e purpetielle e fasulare
faceva addeventà pisce ‘e cannucce!
E nterra ‘a rena sciascïava ‘o mare;
e, appriesso, ‘o ballo d”e ttarantellucce;
e nu suono e chitarra e tammuriello,
e na magnata d’ostreche ‘o Castiello.
9.ª
Facèvamo ‘Accarèmia ‘e ll’ova tosta,
a chi se mmucava a doi pe morza!
Scummessa fatta, s’accetta ‘a pruposta,
e n’agliuttive tre, cu tutt”a scorza!
E ‘a coppa, vino niro comm”a gnosta,
e danne quanto vuò ca cchiù se sorza!
E ‘o bello nun cadèvamo malate!
Robba sincera, e stuòmmece pruvate!
10.ª
‘E ffeste p”a Maronna ‘e miez’Austo!
‘A nzegna pe ncignà l’àbbete nuove!
Te nce spassave e nce pruvave gusto,
pecché ‘o pputive fa! Tenive ‘e chiuove!
Mo’, vai p’assaggià vino, e siente musto,
te vonno dà ‘e mellune senza prove,
e, comm’a chillo, sfurtunato ‘ntunno,
si mine ‘o sciato a mare, te va ‘nfunno…
11.ª
‘A nzegna ne chiammava folla ‘e gente!
D’uommene e nenne friccecava ‘o mare.
Sott”o sole, cu amice e cu pariente,
tu quanto te spassave, a summuzzare!
‘O furastiero, nun sapenno niente,
si se fermava a riva pe guardare,
se sentea piglià pèsole: e ched’è?
Mm”o carrïavo a mmare appriesso a me!
12.ª
E che vedive, llà! Strille e resate,
e chillo ca n’aveva calatune!
Doppo: “Signò, scusate e perdunate!
È festa, e nun s’affènneno nisciune…„
Cchiù de na vota nce se so’ truvate
‘a Riggina c”o Rre, sott”e Burbune…
E ‘o Rre, ca tuttuquante nce sapeva,
quanta belle resate se faceva!…
III
13.ª
Io mo’ so’ bbiecchio, tengo sittant’anne,
‘a sbentura mm’ha fatto ‘o core tuosto,
embè, affruntasse pure ati malanne
pe vedé ancora ‘a faccia d”o Rre nuosto!
Ferdinando Sicondo!… E che ne sanno?!
Còppola ‘nterra! N”o ttengo annascuosto!
E nce penzo, e me sento n’ato ttanto!
So’ stato muzzo, a buordo ‘o Furminanto!
14.ª
‘O Rre me canusceva e me sapeva!
Cchiù de na vota, (còppola e denocchie!)
m’ha fatto capì chello che vuleva!
E me sàglieno ‘e llacreme int’ all’uocchie!
‘A mano ncopp”a spalla me metteva:
“Tu nun si’ pennarulo e nun t’arruocchie!
Va ccà! Va llà! Fa chesto! Arape ‘a mano!„
E parlava accussì: napulitano!
15.ª
Quanno veneva a buordo! Ma che vita!
Trattava a tuttuquante comm’a frato!
Sapeva tutt”e nomme: Calamita,
Mucchietiello, Scialone, ‘o Carpecato…
Èramo gente ‘e core! E sempe aunita!
“Murimmo, quann”o Rre l’ha cumannato!„
Mo’ che nce resta, pe nce sazzià?
Ah!… Me scurdavo ‘o mmeglio!… ‘A libbertà!
16.ª
‘A libbertà! Chesta Mmalora nera
ca nce ha arredute senza pelle ‘ncuolle!…
‘A libbertà!.. ‘Sta fàuza puntunera
ca te fa tanta cìcere e nnammuolle!…
Po’ quanno t’ha spugliato, bonasera!
Sempe ‘a varca cammina e ‘a fava volle,
e tu, spurpato comm’a n’uosso ‘e cane,
rummane cu na vranca ‘e mosche mmane!…
17.ª
‘A libbertà! Mannaggia chi v’è nato!
‘A chiammàsteve tanto, ca venette!
Ne songo morte gente! S’è ghiettato
a llave, ‘o sango, sott”e bbaiunette!…
Mo’, vulesse veré risuscitato
a ‘o Rre ca n”a vuleva e n”a vulette!
E isso, ca passai pe ttraritore,
se ne facesse resatune ‘e core!

The King’s Luciano(1)
1.ª
-Where does one see anymore, Santa Lucia?!
Where do you smell the odor of the sea?
They’ve taken away the best, of this avenue!
They’ve even chased out the sailors!
And yet, it used to make you so much merriment,
with those little stands of the oyster man!
The world always turns and turns in everything!
One discards the beautiful, and one encourages the ugly!
2.ª
Ah, how everything changes! In dad’s time,
you used to touch the sea with a finger!
Now over the sea passes another street,
everything is expensive, and nothing is tasty!
Santa Lucia always protected me!
It gave me the sight of my eyes,  to see
that man changes as time changes,
and who knows what comes, after me!
3.ª
I, some times, when I’m perplexed
and I transport myself to when I was a kid,
I think I’m dead and buried
under the mountain of this Sciatamone!(2)
It seems like another country! It’s another thing!
You walk there and you don’t find yourself anymore…
And yet, it is true,  it was so fun,
Santa Lucia of one’s early youth!
4.ª
The day dawning, in the fishing boats, at sea,
with the smell of reefs and juicy oysters!
You’d see the oyster man’s little stands
with all the Lord’s bounty, full and wet!
And those tarantellas in the summer!
Women much more beautiful than those of now!
Velvet eyes,  mouths of passion,
gold straps and pearls, in the trunks!
5.ª
The sea brought you all the songs,
for the feast of Our Lady of the Chain,(3)
with good fishing, containers of cash,
and the tavern of Cient’anne(4) always full!
Now… what do you get? Here is built up!
Everything is progress, to slap things together!
You’re a sailor? And, when you’ve worked,
Wide-eyed… and the net doesn’t yield anything!
II
6.ª
How many memories! How many beautiful things!
Golden sand and an abundance of sky!
Mullet and cod, live,  in the wicker baskets,
and the sea all covered in sails!
The chant would come, from the little crews:
“It’s swelling, the sea! It’s swelling!…” and the candles
and candles were lit before Saint Anne,
for providence “that came this year!”
7.ª
Your eyes would smile like the sun!
You’d have the sweetness of every honey in your mouth!
In a year we’d marry the girls
with one of each, the muslins and cloths!
A fight? It was just three words!
Your wife? A rock! She was faithful!
Incapable of nothing, in those good times,
every stocking was a piggy bank!
8.ª
In the summer, all around the oyster man,
mountains of freselline and tarallucce.(5)
The smell of little octopuses and whelks
made your mouth water!
And yonder on the beach the sea delighted itself;
and, after, the dance of the little tarantellas;
and the guitar and tambourine playing,
and a feasting on Castle oysters.(6)
9.ª
We’d play the Hard-boiled Egg Academy,(7)
swallowing two with a single bite!
Bet placed,  the proposal was accepted,
and you’d inhale three, with the whole shell!
And on top of that, wine black as ink,
and they give as much as you want to sip!
And the best was we’d never fall sick!
True stuff, and tried and true stomachs!
10.ª
The feasts for Our Lady in mid August!
The Nzegna(8) to don new suits!
You’d have fun and truly enjoy it,
because you could! You had cash!
Now,  you go to try wine,  and you taste only must,
they want to give you melons without samples,
and, like that man, completely unfortunate,
if you caste your breath to the sea,  right down it goes…
11.ª
The Nzegna summoned a crowd of people!
The sea was a flutter with men and maidens.
Under the sun, with friends and with relatives,
how you’d enjoy yourself, diving under!
A foreigner,  not knowing anything,
if he stopped to watch,
he’d feel himself picked right up:  and what’s that?
I’d carry him down to the sea after me!
12.ª
And what you’d see, there! Shouts and laughter,
and those who had some good dunks!
Afterwards: “Sir, excuse and forgive!
It’s a feast, and nobody gets offended…„
More than one occasion were found there
the Queen with the King, under the Bourbons…
And the King, who everybody knew,
how many beautiful laughs one had!…
III
13.ª
Now I’m old,  I’m sixty years old,
misadventure has made my heart hard,
however, I’d yet face these hardships
to see the face of our King again!
Ferdinando the Second!… And what do they know about it?!
Hats off! I don’t hide it!
And I think about it, and I feel just as much!
I’d been a cabin boy,  on board the Furminanto!(9)
14.ª
The King knew me and knew about me!
More than once, (hats off and a bow!)
he made me understand what he wanted!
And tears well up in my eyes!
He’d put his hand on my shoulder:
“You’re not a scribbler and you don’t go meeting with conspirators!
Go here!  Go there!  Do this! Open your hand!„
And he talked like that: Neapolitan!
15.ª
When he’d come on board! But what life!
He used to treat everybody like brothers!
He knew everyone’s name: Calamita,
Mucchietiello, Scialone, ‘o Carpecato…(10)
We were people with a heart! And always united!
“We’ll die,  when the King commands it!„
Now what’s left,  to satisfy us?
Ah!… I was forgetting the best!… Freedom!
16.ª
Freedom! This sad ruination
which reduced us to no skin on our bones!…
Freedom!.. This false harlot
that does so much fake flattery for you!…
Then when it’s stripped you bare, good night!
Inevitably the boat always sails and the bean boils,
and you, picked clean like a dog’s bone,
you’re left with a bunch of flies in your hand!…
17.ª
Freedom! A curse upon your offspring!
You all called for it so much, that it came!
People died for it! They threw themselves
by torrents, their blood, beneath bayonetes!…
Now, they’d like to see resurrected
the King who didn’t want it!
And he, who passed as a traitor,
would make some heartfelt laughter!
Notes:
(1) Luciano, or Lucïano, from Santa Lucia, an inhabitant of the Santa Lucia neighborhood of Naples, which is the subject of many songs and poems. In Neapolitan lore the inhabitants of this area near the sea represent the figure of the quintessential Neapolitan sailors and fishermen, a people loyal to their King, and many of them had direct contact with His Majesty. To this day, the Luciano is considered among the most Neapolitan of the city’s natives, despite the transformation of area from the second half of the 19th century into the beginning of the 20th century. Trans. Note.
(2) Sciatamone, is a popular variant of Chiatamone (from Greek Platamon, whence its sometime Italianized spelling of Piatamone) Domenico Antonio Parrino  and his son Niccolò Parrino mention this variant in their 1725 Nuova Guida de’ Forestieri per ossservare e godere le curiosità più vaghe, e più rare della fedelissima gran Napoli (Naples, Parrino) and it is most likely even more ancient. The Chiatamone is hill which used to be the grottos near the seaside, reknowned since the Renaissance for its tranquil beauty. The variant Sciatamone comes from Neapolitan sciato, or breath, from the sighing of the nearby waves, Parrino states. Trans. Note.
(3) ‘a Maronna r’’a Catena, Our Lady of the Chain, whose devotion was said to have been introduced from Sicily, based on a 1390 miracle whereby Our Lady broke the chains of three innocent prisoners being held in Palermo. In 1576 the inhabitants of the borough of Santa Lucia had a simple church built and dedicated to Her, which was consecrated in 1579 by the archbishop of Naples, Card. Paolo Burali d’Arezzo. The church was later further adorned in the 16th century. The popular Nzegna feast was traditionally held at this church up until the 1950’s. Trans. Note.
(4) Cantina ‘e Cient’anne, a humble tavern, in existence since the 18th century, named after its owner’s nickname, which means “One Hundred Years”.
(5) Freselline e tarallucce: two typical and common Neapolitan foods. Freselle or freselline are rounded pieces of whole-grain bread toasted twice in the oven and then often soaked in salted water, and are frequently dipped in octopus broth, tripe sauce, or bean dishes, or broken up and served with olives, vegetables and anchovies to make capunata, and were stored and used as food by sailors; tarallucce are baked hard crispy bread rings, made with shortening and often decorated with almonds, pepper or fennel and were and are a common street food found not only in Campania, but also in regions like Puglia. The proverbial expression, to end with tarallucce and wine, means roughly, “all’s well that ends well”, often said ironically when two parties don’t agree by just agree to not debate any longer. In former times the saying was also used to indicate a humble feast, as festive as possible given the scarcity or humble nature of the foods available.  Trans. Note.
(6) Ostreche ‘o Castiello: a sought after variety of small oyster, from the area of the Castel dell’Ovo near the sea.
(7) ‘Accarèmia ‘e ll’ova tosta, an old drinking game, whereby the players would challenge each other to eat as many hard-boiled eggs as quickly as possible, without drinking any liquids. Used as a figurative expression, it refers to long-winded debates over useless topics.
(8) Nzegna: a feast said to originate in the late 1300’s, celebrated on Saint Laurence day (10 August), traditionally with a procession from the Pallonetto di Santa Lucia to the Royal Palace, passing the churches of Santa Lucia a Mare and the Madonna delle Catene, with a musical band and many people in costumes. A feast of sailors and fishermen, its true roots may lay in pagan antiquity. In the 19th century  a man and woman often dressed as the reigning monarchs. Many celebrants then also would make a purifying dive in the sea with their new clothes (‘o calatone) which was also a symbolic search for the sacred image of the Madonna, and would be pulled aboard boats which were decorated with colorful banners or signs or nzegne. An old out of service boat would also often be burned. In times long past, old clothes were also ceremonially burned. The King and Queen themselves often attended the festivities and cannon shots were fired to honor their presence.  As the feast fell into decline after the fall of the Kingdom, Mayor Achille Lauro revived it in 1962. It is interesting to note that other feasts, including those dedicated to Our Lady, involving flags, banners and standards known as nzegne are found also in Puglia and the Marche. Etymologically it comes from Latin insignia, cfr. Old French enseigne and English ensign. Trans. Note.
(9) Furminanto, or Fulminante, a steam motorized frigate ship of the Royal Two Sicilies Navy, built originally in 1848 in London by the Peninsular Steam Ship Navigation Company and called the Bombay. The ship was originally intended as a passenger mercantile ship destined to routes in Asia but was purchased during the revolutionary upheavals by the provisional Two Sicilies government before it was completed and it was converted to military use and called the Ruggero VII. After a legal dispute based on the right of the provisional government to contract etc, it was deemed property of the Two Sicilies government and christened as the Fulminante in 1851. Since it retained many passenger amenities, it became frequently used to transport the Royal Family. The Fulminante saw action during the final siege of Gaeta when the Kingdom fell, and was used to transport Bourbon royalist prisoners to Genoa. Because of its fabled history and connect with the Bourbons it became a symbol of Southern Italian pride and the royalist causes. Trans. Note.
(10) The names are descriptive nicknames, meaning roughly, “Divining rod”/”Magnet”, “Little heap”, “Partyer”, “Pockmarked”/”Spotty”. In the 19th century a well-known man named Mucchietiello, was an oyster vendor. Trans. Note.