The Betrothed (I Promessi Sposi)

The Betrothed (I Promessi Sposi)

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The Betrothed (I Promessi Sposi)

The Betrothed (I Promessi Sposi)

Read FREE!

Excerpt

Alexander Manzoni, who is best remembered by his novel, "I Promessi Sposi," but who did other things worthy of remembrance, was born in Milan in 1785, and died in 1873. His life was long and full. He was fortunate in his parents. His father--Count through a privilege which Alexander refused to claim--married a daughter of that Beccaria who was one of the first Continental writers to consider the question of crime and punishment from a humane and philosophical point of view. Alexander thought much in his youth, and came, like Dante, to hold that the tyrant deserved the same punishment as the murderer; but, unlike the most radical of his compatriots, he saw no reason why he should mete out the punishment. He believed in law and order; though the ultra-conservatives distrusted him, he had no sympathy with the principles of the French Revolution or with the revolt that had in it the germ of anarchy. In 1808 he married Mlle. Louise Henriette Blondel, a gentle Swiss blonde, to whom he never ceased to be intensely devoted. His life was uneventful. His friends might have said of him as others once said of Longfellow, "Any change would be for the worse." He was essentially a man of letters, and he loved, after the manner of Horace, a quiet country life; he saw that much more might be done for Italy than the exercise of futile physical force; good ethics, nobility of purpose, needed to be taught; the vital quality of a religion which was sinking to mere deism or perfunctory ceremonial needed to be proclaimed . . .
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