IX

 

  1. One year floods rose,

  2. One year they fought in the snows,

  3. One year hail fell, breaking the trees and walls.

  4. Down here in the marsh they trapped him

  5.                                                     in one year,

  6. And he stood in the water up to his neck

  7.                                     to keep the hounds off him,

  8. And he floundered about in the marsh

  9.                                     and came in after three days,

  10. That was Astorre Manfredi of Faenza

  11. who worked the ambush

  12. and set the dogs off to find him,

  13. In the marsh, down here under Mantua,

  14. And he fought in Fano, in a street fight,

  15. and that was nearly the end of him;

  16. And the Emperor came down and knighted us,

  17. And they had a wooden castle set up for fiesta,

  18. And one year Basinio went out into the courtyard

  19.          Where the lists were, and the palisades

  20. had been set for the tourneys,

  21. And he talked down the anti-Hellene,

  22. And there was an heir male to the seignor,

  23. And Madame Ginevra died.

  24. And he, Sigismundo, was Capitan for the Venetians.

  25. And he had sold off small castles

  26. and built the great Rocca to his plan,

  27. And he fought like ten devils at Monteluro

  28. and got nothing but the victory

  29. And old Sforza bitched us at Pèsaro;

  30. (sic) March the 16th:

  31. "that Messire Alessandro Sforza

  32. is become lord of Pèsaro 

  33. through the wangle of the Illus. Sgr. Mr. Fedricho d'Orbino

  34. Who worked the wangle with Galeaz

  35. through the wiggling of Messer Francesco,

  36. Who waggled it so that Galeaz should sell Pesaro

  37. to Alex and Fossembrone to Feddy;

  38. and he hadn't the right to sell.

  39. And this he did bestialmente; that is Sforza did bestialmente

  40. as he had promised him, Sigismundo, per capitoli

  41. to see that he, Malatesta, should have Pèsaro"

  42. And this cut us off from our south half

  43. and finished our game, thus, in the beginning,

  44. And he, Sigismundo, spoke his mind to Francesco

  45.  and we drove them out of the Marches.

     


  46. A
    nd the King o' Ragona, Alphonse le roy d'Aragon,

  47. was the next nail in our coffin,

  48. And all you can say is, anyway,

  49. that he Sigismundo called a town council

  50. And Valturio said "as well for a sheep as a lamb"

  51. and this change-over (hæc traditio)

  52. As old bladder said "rem eorum saluavit"

  53. Saved the Florentine state; and that, maybe, was something.

  54. And "Florence our natural ally" as they said in the meeting

  55. for whatever that was worth afterward.

  56. And he began building the TEMPIO,

  57. and Polixena, his second wife, died.

  58. And the Venetians sent down an ambassador

  59. And said "speak humanely,

  60. But tell him it's no time for raising his pay."

  61. And the Venetians sent down an ambassador

  62. with three pages of secret instructions

  63. To the effect: Did he think the campaign was a joy-ride?

  64. And old Wattle-wattle slipped into Milan

  65. But he couldn't stand Sidg being so high with the Venetians

  66. And he talked it over with Feddy; and Feddy said "Pesaro"

  67. And old Foscari wrote "Caro mio

  68. "If we split with Francesco you can have it

  69. "And we'll help you in every way possible."

  70. But Feddy offered it sooner.

  71. And Sigismundo got up a few arches,

  72. And stole that marble in Classe, "stole" that is,

  73. Casus est talis:

  74. Foscari doge, to the prefect of Ravenna

  75. "Why, what, which, thunder, damnation????"

  76. Casus est talis:

  77. Filippo, commendatary of the abbazia

  78. Of Sant Apollinaire, Classe, Cardinal of Bologna

  79. That he did one night (quadam nocte) sell to the

  80. Illmo Do, Do Sigismund Malatesta

  81. Lord of Arimininum, marble, porphyry, serpentine,

  82. Whose men, Sigismundo's, came with more than an hundred

  83. two wheeled ox carts and deported, for the beautifying

  84. of the tempio where was Santa Maria in Trivio

  85. Where the same are now on the walls. Four hundred

  86. ducats to be paid back to the abbazia by the said swindling

  87. Cardinal or his heirs.

  88. grnnh! rrnnh, pthg.

  89. wheels, plaustra, oxen under night-shield,

  90. And on the 13th of August: Aloysius Purtheo,

  91. The next abbot, to Sigismundo, receipt for 200 ducats

  92. Corn-salve for the damage done in that scurry.

  93. And there was the row about that German-Burgundian female

  94. And it was his messianic year, Poliorcetes,

  95. but he was being a bit too POLUMETIS

  96. And the Venetians wouldn't give him six months vacation.



  97. And he went down to the old brick heap of Pesaro

  98. and waited for Feddy 

  99. And Feddy finally said "I am coming!...

  100. ... to help Alessandro."

  101. And he said: "This time Mister Feddy has done it."

  102. He said: "Broglio, I'm the goat. This time

  103. Mr. Feddy has done it (m'l'ha calata)."

  104. And he'd lost his job with the Venetians,

  105. And the stone didn't come in from Istria:

  106. And we sent men to the silk war;

  107. And Wattle never paid up on the nail

  108. Though we signed on with Milan and Florence;

  109. And he set up the bombards in muck down by Vada

  110. where nobody else could have set 'em

  111. and he took the wood out of the bombs

  112. and made 'em of two scoops of metal

  113. And the jobs getting smaller and smaller,

  114. Until he signed on with Siena;

  115. And that time they grabbed his post-bag.

  116. And what was it, anyhow?

  117. Pitigliano, a man with a ten acre lot,

  118. Two lumps of tufa,

  119. and they'd taken his pasture land from him,

  120. And Sidg had got back their horses,

  121. and he had two big lumps of tufa

  122. with six hundred pigs in the basements.

  123. And the poor devils were dying of cold.

  124. And this is what they found in the post-bag:

  125. Ex Arimino die xxii Decembris

  126. "Magnifice ac potens domine, mi singularissime

  127. "I advise yr. Lordship how

  128. "I have been with master Alwidge  

  129. " who has shown me the design of the nave that goes in the middle

  130. "of the church and the design for the roof and ..."

  131. "JHesus,

  132. "Magnifico exso.     Signor Mio

  133. "Sence to-day I am recommanded that I have to tel you my
    "father's opinium that he has shode to Mr. Genare about
    "the 
    valts of the cherch ... etc ...

  134.                         "Giovane of Master alwise P. S. I think it advisabl that
    "I shud go to rome to talk to mister Albert so as I can no
    "what he thinks about it rite.

  135. "Sagramoro ..."

  136. "Illustre signor mio, Messire Battista ..."

  137. "First: Ten slabs best red, seven by 15, by one third,

  138. "Eight ditto, good red, 15 by three by one,

  139. "Six of same, 15 by one by one.

  140. "Eight columns 15 by three and one third

  141.       etc ... with carriage, danars 151

  142. "Monseigneur:

  143.          "Madame Isotta has had me write today about Sr. Galeazzo's 
    "daughter. The man who said young pullets make thin "
    soup, knew what he was talking about. We went to see the
    "
    girl the other day, for all the good that did, and she denied
    "
    the whole matter and kept her end up without losing her
    "
    temper. I think Madame Ixotta very nearly exhausted the
    "
    matter.     Mi pare che avea decto hogni chossia. All the 
    "
    children are well.    Where you are everyone is pleased and
    "
    happy because of your taking the chateau here we are the
    "
    reverse as you might say drifting without a rudder.    Madame
    "
    Lucrezia has probably, or should have, written to you, I
    "
    suppose you have the letter by now.  Everyone wants to be
    "
    remembered to you.          
                                                          
    21 Dec. D. de M. "

  144. "... sagramoro to put up the derricks. There is a supply of
    "
    beams at ..."

  145. "MAGNIFICENT LORD WITH DUE REVERENCE:

  146.     "Messire Malatesta is well and asks for you every day.  He 
    "is so much pleased with his pony, It wd. take me a month 
    "to write you all the fun he gets out of that pony.   I want to
    "again remind you to write to Georgio Rambottom or to his 
    "boss to fix up that wall to the little garden that madame Isotta
    "uses, for it is all flat on the ground now as I have already told
    "him a lot of times, for all the good that does, so I am writing
    "to your lordship in the matter I have done all that I can, for
    "all the good that does as noboddy hear can do anything
    "without you. "        

  147.   "your faithful                                      
    LUNARDA DA PALLA.
                                       
    20 Dec. 1454."

  148. "... gone over it with all the foremen and engineers.    And 
    "about the silver for the small medal ..."

  149. "Magnifice ac potens ...

  150.                    "because the walls of ..."

  151. "Malatesta de Malatestis ad Magnificum Dominum Patremque suum.

  152. "Exso Dno et Dno sin Dno Sigismundum Pandolfi Filium

  153.                    "Malatestis Capitan General

  154. "Magnificent and Exalted Lord and Father in especial my 
    "lord with due recommendation: your letter has been presented to me by Gentilino da Gradara and with it the bay 
    "pony (ronzino baiectino) the which you have sent me, and 
    "which appears in my eyes a fine caparison'd charger, upon 
    "which I intend to learn all there is to know about riding, in 
    "consideration of yr. paternal affection for which I thank 
    "your excellency thus briefly and pray you continue to hold 
    "me in this esteem notifying you by the bearer of this that 
    "we are all in good health, as I hope and desire your Exct 
    "Lordship is also: with continued remembrance I remain

  155.                                              "Your son and servant

  156.                                                           MALATESTA DE MALATESTIS.

  157.                         Given in Rimini, this the 22nd day of December

  158.                                                       anno domini 1454"

  159.                                                                         (in the sixth year of his age)

  160. "ILLUSTRIOUS PRINCE:

  161.                                  "Unfitting as it is that I should
    "offer counsels to Hannibal ..."

  162.        "Magnifice ac potens domine, domine mi singularissime, 
    "humili recomendatione premissa etc.      This to advise your 
    "Mgt Ldshp how the second load of Veronese marble has 
    "finally got here, after being held up at Ferrara with no end 
    "of fuss and botheration, the whole of it having been there unloaded.

  163.  "I learned how it happened, and it has cost a few florins to
     get back the said load which had been seized for the skipper's
    "debt and defalcation; he having fled when the lighter was
    "seized. But that Yr Mgt Ldshp may not lose the moneys
    "paid out on his account I have had the lighter brought here
    "and am holding it, against his arrival. If not we still have the lighter.

  164.      "As soon as the Xmas fêtes are over I will have the stone 
    "floor laid in the sacresty, for which the stone is already cut. 
    "The wall of the building is finished and I shall now get the roof on.

  165.      "We have not begun putting new stone into the martyr 
    "chapel; first because the heavy frosts wd. certainly spoil 
    "the job; secondly because the aliofants aren't yet
    "here and 
    one can't get the measurements for the cornice to the columns 
    "that are to rest on the aliofants.

  166.       "They are doing the stairs to your room in the castle ... I 
    "have had Messire Antonio degli Atti's court paved and the
    "stone benches put in it.

  167.        "Ottavian is illuminating the bull. I mean the bull for
    "
    the chapel.  All the stone-cutters are waiting for spring
    "
    weather to start work again.

  168.         "The tomb is all done except part of the lid, and as soon as 
    "Messire Agostino gets back from Cesena I will see that he 
    "finishes it, ever recommending me to yr Mgt Ldshp

  169.                                                                                    "believe me yr faithful

  170.                                                                                     PETRUS GENARIIS."

  171. That's what they found in the post-bag

  172. And some more of it to the effect that

  173.                   he "lived and ruled"

  174. " et amava perdutamente Ixotta degli Atti"

  175. "e ne fu degna"

  176.                  "constans in proposito

  177. "Placuit oculis principis

  178. "pulchra aspectu"

  179. "populo grata (Italiaeque decus)

  180. "and built a temple so full of pagan works"

  181.                 i. e. Sigismund

  182. and in the style "Past ruin'd Latium"

  183. The filigree hiding the gothic,

  184.                      with a touch of rhetoric in the whole

  185. And the old sarcophagi,

  186.                such as lie, smothered in grass, by San Vitale.