TEMPERAMENTI SANI

Di Renato Fucini

Quella mattina erano arrivate tristissime notizie dall’Affrica. Il signor Felice e il signor Pietro, l’uno negoziante d’olio e l’altro di granaglie, parlavano costernati fra loro, in mezzo alla strada, tenendo in mano un giornale.

Si leggeva sui loro volti biechi e accigliati il tumulto delle passioni che agitavano i loro animi di patriotti. Lo scoraggiamento per il disastro, la pietà per le vittime, l’ira contro i barbari vincitori, il rancore contro i responsabili dell’eccidio, si rimescolavano bollenti nel loro cuore, traducendosi esteriormente in brusche movenze, in convulsi serramenti di pugni, in animi monosillabi, in torbide occhiate, in gesti minacciosi.

Suonò in quel momento la campana di mezzogiorno. Come all’annunzio improvviso di una strepitosa vittoria delle nostre armi, le loro fisionomie si irradiarono di serena beatitudine; si strinsero con effusione la mano e, uno per un verso uno per l’altro, si allontanarono sorridenti e frettolosi.

Tutti e due ci avevano per desinare il loro piatto favorito. Il signor Felice ci aveva la fricassea d’agnello; il signor Pietro, il cavolo ripieno.

HEALTHY DISPOSITIONS

By Renato Fucini

That morning they had received terrible news from Africa. Mr. Felice and Mr. Pietro, one traded in oil and the other traded in grains, were in the middle of the road talking disconsolately, newspaper in hand.

You could see on their dark, frowning faces the wave of passion that stirred their patriotic souls. The anguish brought on by the disaster, the pain for the victims, the anger towards the barbarous winners, the resentment towards those responsible for the carnage, stirred their heated hearts, expressed, exteriorly, in brusque movements, convulsive tightening of fists, monosyllabic stances, flashing of the eyes, and threatening gestures.

At that very moment the bell struck midday. All of a sudden, as if someone had just declared the crushing victory of our troops, their faces lit up with quiet bliss; they shook hands energetically and, one going in one direction and one the other, moved away quickly, smiling.

Both were having their favourite dish at lunch. Mr. Felice was having a fricassee of lamb; Mr. Pietro, stuffed cabbage.

Translation by ©Matilda Colarossi

Renato Fucini was an Italian poet and writer. Know to write under the pen name Neri Tanfucio, in 1871 he published “Cento sonetti in vernacolo pisano”, in 1877 the reportage on Naples “Napoli a occhio nudo: Lettere ad un amico”, and many books of short stories: “Le veglie di Neri”, “All’aria aperta” (from which the short story was taken) and “Nella campagna toscana”.

Witty and ingenious, he was part of the realist literary movement (verismo).

His work can be found at: http://www.liberliber.it/mediateca/libri/f/fucini/all_aria_aperta/pdf/fucini_all_aria_aperta.pdf

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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