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Private Balkan trip

Wake your senses up with private Balkan trip

A private Balkan trip in the Balkan countries means a good possibility to sink into the history of the region and put the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle together.

What is a better way to tease and wake your senses up than travelling? They say that travelling is the key to happiness. Do you believe it? I do. Join us and let’s find out together.

The countries on the Balkan Peninsula are all different and at the same time they share this ‘similar difference’. (Balkan tours 2019 ) For example, ‘The coffee we had tastes like the Turkish coffee but they call it Greek. Or, ‘ Isn’t that dish the same as the one we had in the place, etc.’ These kinds of conversations probably look familiar to you. I am sure most of you experienced them and enjoyed them really much.

Read More

The Greek Merchant part 4

The Marquis then turned towards the old woman, observing, “Since it is clear that the money is none of his, but mine, and you have had the good luck to find it, pray keep it: the whole is your own; present it as a wedding-gift to your daughter. If it should happen that you meet with another purse, containing the ducats as well as the crowns, belonging to this gentleman, I beg you will return it to him without demanding any reward.”

Gratitude to the Marquis

The poor lady expressed her gratitude to the Marquis for this generous mark of his favor, and promised to observe his directions in everything. The wretched merchant, finding that the Marquis had truly penetrated into his motives, and that there was not a chance of succeeding in. his nefarious design, declared that he was now quite willing to pay the reward he had promised, if she restored the remaining money, which was indisputably his own. But it was now too late.

The Marquis turning toward

Read More

The Greek Merchant part 3

The old lady appeared extremely confused at this accusation, exclaiming in a distressed tone to the Marquis, “Oh, signor, can that be possible? Is it likely I should have stolen thirty- four ducats, when I had it in my power to possess myself of the whole? No; believe me, noble signor, I swear, as I value my hopes of heaven, that I have restored the exact sum which I found on my return from church; not a single farthing have I taken out.”

But the miserly old wretch continuing to affirm most solemnly that the ducats were in the same bag with the crowns, and that she must consider them as a sufficient remuneration, the affair seemed to perplex the Marquis not a little. Yet when he reflected that the old miser had only mentioned the four hundred crowns in the first instance, he began to suspect his design of imposing upon the poor woman in order to save the paltry sum offered as a reward.

Effectual chastisement

The Marquis felt the utmost indignat

Read More

The Greek Merchant part 2

With great courtesy the Marquis acceded to this request, expressing himself at the same time concerned to witness the excessive affliction under which the unfortunate Filargiro seemed to labor. The reward was accordingly proclaimed, and the gold- soon afterwards made its appearance in the hands of one of those aged old ladies, who, being great devotees, always walk with their eyes upon the ground as they come from church. In this way she discovered the lost treasure, and fearful lest her conscience should be loaded with such a weight of gold, though extremely poor, she would have been very greatly perplexed in what way to act, had she not luckily heard the crier announcing the reward of forty crowns, which she hoped she might receive with a safe conscience.

Humanely inquired

Observing her destitute appearance, the Marquis very humanely inquired whether she had any means of procuring her subsistence, and whether she had no one to assist her. “I have nothing,

Read More

The Greek Merchant part 1

Giovanbattista Giraldi Cinthio (1504-1573)

Cinthio is another of the famous Italian story-tellers to whom Shakespeare is indebted for a good plot: the story of Othello was lifted from the collection called the Hecatommithi. Cinthio is best known for his gruesome subjects and the violence of his methods of treatment. Of noble birth, he spent the greater part of his life in a secretarial position at the court of Ferrara. As critic, dramatist and novelist, he is one of the important figures in the literature of his country.

Original plots are rare, and The Greek Merchant can claim no other originality than that of treatment. But is that not enough? Like most of the Italian tales we have included, it is gracefully turned, and maintains its interest up to the last moment.

The present version is translated by Thomas Roscoe, and reprinted from his Italian Novelists, London, no date. The story has no title in the original.

The Greek Merchant

Read More

Our Lady’s Juggler part 4

At times he represented Her as a graceful child, and Her image seemed to say, “Lord, Thou art My Lord!”

There were also in the Monastery poets who composed prose writ­ings in Latin and hymns in honor of the Most Gracious Virgin Mary; there was, indeed, one among them—a Picard—who translated the Miracles of Our Lady into rimed verses in the vulgar tongue.

Perceiving so great a competition in praise and so fine a harvest of good works, Barnabas fell to lamenting his ignorance and simplicity.

“Alas!” he sighed as he walked by himself one day in the little garden shaded by the Monastery wall, “I am so unhappy because I cannot, like my brothers, give worthy praise to the Holy Mother of God to whom I have consecrated all the love in my heart.

Alas, I am a stupid fellow, without art, and for your service, Madame, I have no edifying sermons, no fine treatises nicely prepared according to the rules, no beautiful paintings, no cunningly

Read More

Our Lady’s Juggler part 3

The monk was touched by the simplicity of the juggler, and as he was not lacking in discernment, he recognized in Barnabas one of those well-disposed men of whom Our Lord has said, “Let peace be with them on earth.” And he made answer therefore:

“Friend Barnabas, come with me and I will see that you enter the monastery of which I am the Prior. He who led Mary the Egyptian through the desert put me across your path in order that I might lead you to salvation.”

Thus did Barnabas become a monk. In the monastery which he entered, the monks celebrated most magnificently the cult of the Holy Virgin, each of them bringing to her service all the knowledge and skill which God had given him.

The Prior, for his part, wrote books, setting forth, according to the rules of scholasticism, all the virtues of the Mother of God. Brother Maurice copied these treatises with a cunning hand on pages of parch­ment, while Brother Alexandre decorated them with delicate

Read More

Our Lady’s Juggler part 2

He had never thought much about the origin of wealth nor about the inequality of human conditions. He firmly believed that if this world was evil the next could not but be good, and this faith upheld him. He was not like the clever fellows who sell their souls to the devil; he never took the name of God in vain; he lived the life of an honest man, and though he had no wife of his own, he did not covet his neighbor s, for woman is the enemy of strong men, as we learn by the story of Samson which is written in the Scriptures.

Verily, his mind was not turned in the direction of carnal desire, and it caused him far greater pain to renounce drinking than to forego the pleasure of women. For, though he was not a drunkard, he enjoyed drinking when the weather was warm. He was a good man, fearing God, and devout in his adoration of the Holy Virgin. When he went into a church he never failed to kneel before the image of the Mother of God and to address her with this prayer:

Read More

Our Lady’s Juggler part 1

Anatole France (Anatole Thibault) (1844-1924)

Anatole France was born at Paris in 1844 and lived there most of his life. He was par excellence a man of letters. For over forty years he has written about Paris, the ancient world and the Middle Ages, en­dowing each novel or story with the philosophy of enlightened scep­ticism which is his contribution to modern thought.

Among the several volumes of stories he has written, L’Etui de nacre includes some of his very best. From this is taken Our Lady’s Juggler, which is a retelling of one of the most beautiful of the French mediaeval tales.

The present’ version is translated for this collection by Barrett H. Clark, by permission of Anatole France’s English publishers, John Lane, Ltd., the Bodley Head.

Our Lady’s Juggler

In the days of King Louis there lived a poor juggler by the name of Barnabas, a native of Compiegne, who wandered from city to city performing trick

Read More

The Jewish Mother

Biblical Literature

It is not surprising that the stories scattered so profusely through the Bible, the Apocrypha, and the Talmud, should be mostly moral tales. They were told in order to illustrate a theological or ethical contention or law, to glorify the race or nation to which the teller belonged, to attract and hold the interest of the listener. All of them were related by Jews, and all, even the parables of Jesus, bear the imprint of the Oriental imagination. The stories of Ruth and Susanna, from the Old Testament and the Apocrypha, are the earliest examples in this little group of Biblical tales. Ruth is the type of story that could easily be expanded into a novel, while Susanna conforms more exactly to the modern conception of what a short story ought to be. These two have been chosen from a great storehouse of prose narrative, which was designed in the first place to appeal to simple-minded shepherds and tradespeople.

In the New Testament we find among

Read More

Private Balkan trip

Wake your senses up with private Balkan trip

A private Balkan trip in the Balkan countries means a good possibility to sink into the history of the region and put the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle together.

What is a better way to tease and wake your senses up than travelling? They say that travelling is the key to happiness. Do you believe it? I do. Join us and let’s find out together.

The countries on the Balkan Peninsula are all different and at the same time they share this ‘similar difference’. (Balkan tours 2019 ) For example, ‘The coffee we had tastes like the Turkish coffee but they call it Greek. Or, ‘ Isn’t that dish the same as the one we had in the place, etc.’ These kinds of conversations probably look familiar to you. I am sure most of you experienced them and enjoyed them really much.

Read More

The Greek Merchant part 4

The Marquis then turned towards the old woman, observing, “Since it is clear that the money is none of his, but mine, and you have had the good luck to find it, pray keep it: the whole is your own; present it as a wedding-gift to your daughter. If it should happen that you meet with another purse, containing the ducats as well as the crowns, belonging to this gentleman, I beg you will return it to him without demanding any reward.”

Gratitude to the Marquis

The poor lady expressed her gratitude to the Marquis for this generous mark of his favor, and promised to observe his directions in everything. The wretched merchant, finding that the Marquis had truly penetrated into his motives, and that there was not a chance of succeeding in. his nefarious design, declared that he was now quite willing to pay the reward he had promised, if she restored the remaining money, which was indisputably his own. But it was now too late.

The Marquis turning toward

Read More

The Greek Merchant part 3

The old lady appeared extremely confused at this accusation, exclaiming in a distressed tone to the Marquis, “Oh, signor, can that be possible? Is it likely I should have stolen thirty- four ducats, when I had it in my power to possess myself of the whole? No; believe me, noble signor, I swear, as I value my hopes of heaven, that I have restored the exact sum which I found on my return from church; not a single farthing have I taken out.”

But the miserly old wretch continuing to affirm most solemnly that the ducats were in the same bag with the crowns, and that she must consider them as a sufficient remuneration, the affair seemed to perplex the Marquis not a little. Yet when he reflected that the old miser had only mentioned the four hundred crowns in the first instance, he began to suspect his design of imposing upon the poor woman in order to save the paltry sum offered as a reward.

Effectual chastisement

The Marquis felt the utmost indignat

Read More

The Greek Merchant part 2

With great courtesy the Marquis acceded to this request, expressing himself at the same time concerned to witness the excessive affliction under which the unfortunate Filargiro seemed to labor. The reward was accordingly proclaimed, and the gold- soon afterwards made its appearance in the hands of one of those aged old ladies, who, being great devotees, always walk with their eyes upon the ground as they come from church. In this way she discovered the lost treasure, and fearful lest her conscience should be loaded with such a weight of gold, though extremely poor, she would have been very greatly perplexed in what way to act, had she not luckily heard the crier announcing the reward of forty crowns, which she hoped she might receive with a safe conscience.

Humanely inquired

Observing her destitute appearance, the Marquis very humanely inquired whether she had any means of procuring her subsistence, and whether she had no one to assist her. “I have nothing,

Read More

The Greek Merchant part 1

Giovanbattista Giraldi Cinthio (1504-1573)

Cinthio is another of the famous Italian story-tellers to whom Shakespeare is indebted for a good plot: the story of Othello was lifted from the collection called the Hecatommithi. Cinthio is best known for his gruesome subjects and the violence of his methods of treatment. Of noble birth, he spent the greater part of his life in a secretarial position at the court of Ferrara. As critic, dramatist and novelist, he is one of the important figures in the literature of his country.

Original plots are rare, and The Greek Merchant can claim no other originality than that of treatment. But is that not enough? Like most of the Italian tales we have included, it is gracefully turned, and maintains its interest up to the last moment.

The present version is translated by Thomas Roscoe, and reprinted from his Italian Novelists, London, no date. The story has no title in the original.

The Greek Merchant

Read More

Our Lady’s Juggler part 4

At times he represented Her as a graceful child, and Her image seemed to say, “Lord, Thou art My Lord!”

There were also in the Monastery poets who composed prose writ­ings in Latin and hymns in honor of the Most Gracious Virgin Mary; there was, indeed, one among them—a Picard—who translated the Miracles of Our Lady into rimed verses in the vulgar tongue.

Perceiving so great a competition in praise and so fine a harvest of good works, Barnabas fell to lamenting his ignorance and simplicity.

“Alas!” he sighed as he walked by himself one day in the little garden shaded by the Monastery wall, “I am so unhappy because I cannot, like my brothers, give worthy praise to the Holy Mother of God to whom I have consecrated all the love in my heart.

Alas, I am a stupid fellow, without art, and for your service, Madame, I have no edifying sermons, no fine treatises nicely prepared according to the rules, no beautiful paintings, no cunningly

Read More

Our Lady’s Juggler part 3

The monk was touched by the simplicity of the juggler, and as he was not lacking in discernment, he recognized in Barnabas one of those well-disposed men of whom Our Lord has said, “Let peace be with them on earth.” And he made answer therefore:

“Friend Barnabas, come with me and I will see that you enter the monastery of which I am the Prior. He who led Mary the Egyptian through the desert put me across your path in order that I might lead you to salvation.”

Thus did Barnabas become a monk. In the monastery which he entered, the monks celebrated most magnificently the cult of the Holy Virgin, each of them bringing to her service all the knowledge and skill which God had given him.

The Prior, for his part, wrote books, setting forth, according to the rules of scholasticism, all the virtues of the Mother of God. Brother Maurice copied these treatises with a cunning hand on pages of parch­ment, while Brother Alexandre decorated them with delicate

Read More

Our Lady’s Juggler part 2

He had never thought much about the origin of wealth nor about the inequality of human conditions. He firmly believed that if this world was evil the next could not but be good, and this faith upheld him. He was not like the clever fellows who sell their souls to the devil; he never took the name of God in vain; he lived the life of an honest man, and though he had no wife of his own, he did not covet his neighbor s, for woman is the enemy of strong men, as we learn by the story of Samson which is written in the Scriptures.

Verily, his mind was not turned in the direction of carnal desire, and it caused him far greater pain to renounce drinking than to forego the pleasure of women. For, though he was not a drunkard, he enjoyed drinking when the weather was warm. He was a good man, fearing God, and devout in his adoration of the Holy Virgin. When he went into a church he never failed to kneel before the image of the Mother of God and to address her with this prayer:

Read More

Our Lady’s Juggler part 1

Anatole France (Anatole Thibault) (1844-1924)

Anatole France was born at Paris in 1844 and lived there most of his life. He was par excellence a man of letters. For over forty years he has written about Paris, the ancient world and the Middle Ages, en­dowing each novel or story with the philosophy of enlightened scep­ticism which is his contribution to modern thought.

Among the several volumes of stories he has written, L’Etui de nacre includes some of his very best. From this is taken Our Lady’s Juggler, which is a retelling of one of the most beautiful of the French mediaeval tales.

The present’ version is translated for this collection by Barrett H. Clark, by permission of Anatole France’s English publishers, John Lane, Ltd., the Bodley Head.

Our Lady’s Juggler

In the days of King Louis there lived a poor juggler by the name of Barnabas, a native of Compiegne, who wandered from city to city performing trick

Read More

The Jewish Mother

Biblical Literature

It is not surprising that the stories scattered so profusely through the Bible, the Apocrypha, and the Talmud, should be mostly moral tales. They were told in order to illustrate a theological or ethical contention or law, to glorify the race or nation to which the teller belonged, to attract and hold the interest of the listener. All of them were related by Jews, and all, even the parables of Jesus, bear the imprint of the Oriental imagination. The stories of Ruth and Susanna, from the Old Testament and the Apocrypha, are the earliest examples in this little group of Biblical tales. Ruth is the type of story that could easily be expanded into a novel, while Susanna conforms more exactly to the modern conception of what a short story ought to be. These two have been chosen from a great storehouse of prose narrative, which was designed in the first place to appeal to simple-minded shepherds and tradespeople.

In the New Testament we find among

Read More

Private Balkan trip

Wake your senses up with private Balkan trip

A private Balkan trip in the Balkan countries means a good possibility to sink into the history of the region and put the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle together.

What is a better way to tease and wake your senses up than travelling? They say that travelling is the key to happiness. Do you believe it? I do. Join us and let’s find out together.

The countries on the Balkan Peninsula are all different and at the same time they share this ‘similar difference’. (Balkan tours 2019 ) For example, ‘The coffee we had tastes like the Turkish coffee but they call it Greek. Or, ‘ Isn’t that dish the same as the one we had in the place, etc.’ These kinds of conversations probably look familiar to you. I am sure most of you experienced them and enjoyed them really much.

Read More

The Greek Merchant part 4

The Marquis then turned towards the old woman, observing, “Since it is clear that the money is none of his, but mine, and you have had the good luck to find it, pray keep it: the whole is your own; present it as a wedding-gift to your daughter. If it should happen that you meet with another purse, containing the ducats as well as the crowns, belonging to this gentleman, I beg you will return it to him without demanding any reward.”

Gratitude to the Marquis

The poor lady expressed her gratitude to the Marquis for this generous mark of his favor, and promised to observe his directions in everything. The wretched merchant, finding that the Marquis had truly penetrated into his motives, and that there was not a chance of succeeding in. his nefarious design, declared that he was now quite willing to pay the reward he had promised, if she restored the remaining money, which was indisputably his own. But it was now too late.

The Marquis turning toward

Read More

The Greek Merchant part 3

The old lady appeared extremely confused at this accusation, exclaiming in a distressed tone to the Marquis, “Oh, signor, can that be possible? Is it likely I should have stolen thirty- four ducats, when I had it in my power to possess myself of the whole? No; believe me, noble signor, I swear, as I value my hopes of heaven, that I have restored the exact sum which I found on my return from church; not a single farthing have I taken out.”

But the miserly old wretch continuing to affirm most solemnly that the ducats were in the same bag with the crowns, and that she must consider them as a sufficient remuneration, the affair seemed to perplex the Marquis not a little. Yet when he reflected that the old miser had only mentioned the four hundred crowns in the first instance, he began to suspect his design of imposing upon the poor woman in order to save the paltry sum offered as a reward.

Effectual chastisement

The Marquis felt the utmost indignat

Read More

The Greek Merchant part 2

With great courtesy the Marquis acceded to this request, expressing himself at the same time concerned to witness the excessive affliction under which the unfortunate Filargiro seemed to labor. The reward was accordingly proclaimed, and the gold- soon afterwards made its appearance in the hands of one of those aged old ladies, who, being great devotees, always walk with their eyes upon the ground as they come from church. In this way she discovered the lost treasure, and fearful lest her conscience should be loaded with such a weight of gold, though extremely poor, she would have been very greatly perplexed in what way to act, had she not luckily heard the crier announcing the reward of forty crowns, which she hoped she might receive with a safe conscience.

Humanely inquired

Observing her destitute appearance, the Marquis very humanely inquired whether she had any means of procuring her subsistence, and whether she had no one to assist her. “I have nothing,

Read More

The Greek Merchant part 1

Giovanbattista Giraldi Cinthio (1504-1573)

Cinthio is another of the famous Italian story-tellers to whom Shakespeare is indebted for a good plot: the story of Othello was lifted from the collection called the Hecatommithi. Cinthio is best known for his gruesome subjects and the violence of his methods of treatment. Of noble birth, he spent the greater part of his life in a secretarial position at the court of Ferrara. As critic, dramatist and novelist, he is one of the important figures in the literature of his country.

Original plots are rare, and The Greek Merchant can claim no other originality than that of treatment. But is that not enough? Like most of the Italian tales we have included, it is gracefully turned, and maintains its interest up to the last moment.

The present version is translated by Thomas Roscoe, and reprinted from his Italian Novelists, London, no date. The story has no title in the original.

The Greek Merchant

Read More

Our Lady’s Juggler part 4

At times he represented Her as a graceful child, and Her image seemed to say, “Lord, Thou art My Lord!”

There were also in the Monastery poets who composed prose writ­ings in Latin and hymns in honor of the Most Gracious Virgin Mary; there was, indeed, one among them—a Picard—who translated the Miracles of Our Lady into rimed verses in the vulgar tongue.

Perceiving so great a competition in praise and so fine a harvest of good works, Barnabas fell to lamenting his ignorance and simplicity.

“Alas!” he sighed as he walked by himself one day in the little garden shaded by the Monastery wall, “I am so unhappy because I cannot, like my brothers, give worthy praise to the Holy Mother of God to whom I have consecrated all the love in my heart.

Alas, I am a stupid fellow, without art, and for your service, Madame, I have no edifying sermons, no fine treatises nicely prepared according to the rules, no beautiful paintings, no cunningly

Read More

Our Lady’s Juggler part 3

The monk was touched by the simplicity of the juggler, and as he was not lacking in discernment, he recognized in Barnabas one of those well-disposed men of whom Our Lord has said, “Let peace be with them on earth.” And he made answer therefore:

“Friend Barnabas, come with me and I will see that you enter the monastery of which I am the Prior. He who led Mary the Egyptian through the desert put me across your path in order that I might lead you to salvation.”

Thus did Barnabas become a monk. In the monastery which he entered, the monks celebrated most magnificently the cult of the Holy Virgin, each of them bringing to her service all the knowledge and skill which God had given him.

The Prior, for his part, wrote books, setting forth, according to the rules of scholasticism, all the virtues of the Mother of God. Brother Maurice copied these treatises with a cunning hand on pages of parch­ment, while Brother Alexandre decorated them with delicate

Read More

Our Lady’s Juggler part 2

He had never thought much about the origin of wealth nor about the inequality of human conditions. He firmly believed that if this world was evil the next could not but be good, and this faith upheld him. He was not like the clever fellows who sell their souls to the devil; he never took the name of God in vain; he lived the life of an honest man, and though he had no wife of his own, he did not covet his neighbor s, for woman is the enemy of strong men, as we learn by the story of Samson which is written in the Scriptures.

Verily, his mind was not turned in the direction of carnal desire, and it caused him far greater pain to renounce drinking than to forego the pleasure of women. For, though he was not a drunkard, he enjoyed drinking when the weather was warm. He was a good man, fearing God, and devout in his adoration of the Holy Virgin. When he went into a church he never failed to kneel before the image of the Mother of God and to address her with this prayer:

Read More

Our Lady’s Juggler part 1

Anatole France (Anatole Thibault) (1844-1924)

Anatole France was born at Paris in 1844 and lived there most of his life. He was par excellence a man of letters. For over forty years he has written about Paris, the ancient world and the Middle Ages, en­dowing each novel or story with the philosophy of enlightened scep­ticism which is his contribution to modern thought.

Among the several volumes of stories he has written, L’Etui de nacre includes some of his very best. From this is taken Our Lady’s Juggler, which is a retelling of one of the most beautiful of the French mediaeval tales.

The present’ version is translated for this collection by Barrett H. Clark, by permission of Anatole France’s English publishers, John Lane, Ltd., the Bodley Head.

Our Lady’s Juggler

In the days of King Louis there lived a poor juggler by the name of Barnabas, a native of Compiegne, who wandered from city to city performing trick

Read More

The Jewish Mother

Biblical Literature

It is not surprising that the stories scattered so profusely through the Bible, the Apocrypha, and the Talmud, should be mostly moral tales. They were told in order to illustrate a theological or ethical contention or law, to glorify the race or nation to which the teller belonged, to attract and hold the interest of the listener. All of them were related by Jews, and all, even the parables of Jesus, bear the imprint of the Oriental imagination. The stories of Ruth and Susanna, from the Old Testament and the Apocrypha, are the earliest examples in this little group of Biblical tales. Ruth is the type of story that could easily be expanded into a novel, while Susanna conforms more exactly to the modern conception of what a short story ought to be. These two have been chosen from a great storehouse of prose narrative, which was designed in the first place to appeal to simple-minded shepherds and tradespeople.

In the New Testament we find among

Read More

Private Balkan trip

Wake your senses up with private Balkan trip

A private Balkan trip in the Balkan countries means a good possibility to sink into the history of the region and put the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle together.

What is a better way to tease and wake your senses up than travelling? They say that travelling is the key to happiness. Do you believe it? I do. Join us and let’s find out together.

The countries on the Balkan Peninsula are all different and at the same time they share this ‘similar difference’. (Balkan tours 2019 ) For example, ‘The coffee we had tastes like the Turkish coffee but they call it Greek. Or, ‘ Isn’t that dish the same as the one we had in the place, etc.’ These kinds of conversations probably look familiar to you. I am sure most of you experienced them and enjoyed them really much.

Read More

The Greek Merchant part 4

The Marquis then turned towards the old woman, observing, “Since it is clear that the money is none of his, but mine, and you have had the good luck to find it, pray keep it: the whole is your own; present it as a wedding-gift to your daughter. If it should happen that you meet with another purse, containing the ducats as well as the crowns, belonging to this gentleman, I beg you will return it to him without demanding any reward.”

Gratitude to the Marquis

The poor lady expressed her gratitude to the Marquis for this generous mark of his favor, and promised to observe his directions in everything. The wretched merchant, finding that the Marquis had truly penetrated into his motives, and that there was not a chance of succeeding in. his nefarious design, declared that he was now quite willing to pay the reward he had promised, if she restored the remaining money, which was indisputably his own. But it was now too late.

The Marquis turning toward

Read More

The Greek Merchant part 3

The old lady appeared extremely confused at this accusation, exclaiming in a distressed tone to the Marquis, “Oh, signor, can that be possible? Is it likely I should have stolen thirty- four ducats, when I had it in my power to possess myself of the whole? No; believe me, noble signor, I swear, as I value my hopes of heaven, that I have restored the exact sum which I found on my return from church; not a single farthing have I taken out.”

But the miserly old wretch continuing to affirm most solemnly that the ducats were in the same bag with the crowns, and that she must consider them as a sufficient remuneration, the affair seemed to perplex the Marquis not a little. Yet when he reflected that the old miser had only mentioned the four hundred crowns in the first instance, he began to suspect his design of imposing upon the poor woman in order to save the paltry sum offered as a reward.

Effectual chastisement

The Marquis felt the utmost indignat

Read More

The Greek Merchant part 2

With great courtesy the Marquis acceded to this request, expressing himself at the same time concerned to witness the excessive affliction under which the unfortunate Filargiro seemed to labor. The reward was accordingly proclaimed, and the gold- soon afterwards made its appearance in the hands of one of those aged old ladies, who, being great devotees, always walk with their eyes upon the ground as they come from church. In this way she discovered the lost treasure, and fearful lest her conscience should be loaded with such a weight of gold, though extremely poor, she would have been very greatly perplexed in what way to act, had she not luckily heard the crier announcing the reward of forty crowns, which she hoped she might receive with a safe conscience.

Humanely inquired

Observing her destitute appearance, the Marquis very humanely inquired whether she had any means of procuring her subsistence, and whether she had no one to assist her. “I have nothing,

Read More

The Greek Merchant part 1

Giovanbattista Giraldi Cinthio (1504-1573)

Cinthio is another of the famous Italian story-tellers to whom Shakespeare is indebted for a good plot: the story of Othello was lifted from the collection called the Hecatommithi. Cinthio is best known for his gruesome subjects and the violence of his methods of treatment. Of noble birth, he spent the greater part of his life in a secretarial position at the court of Ferrara. As critic, dramatist and novelist, he is one of the important figures in the literature of his country.

Original plots are rare, and The Greek Merchant can claim no other originality than that of treatment. But is that not enough? Like most of the Italian tales we have included, it is gracefully turned, and maintains its interest up to the last moment.

The present version is translated by Thomas Roscoe, and reprinted from his Italian Novelists, London, no date. The story has no title in the original.

The Greek Merchant

Read More

Our Lady’s Juggler part 4

At times he represented Her as a graceful child, and Her image seemed to say, “Lord, Thou art My Lord!”

There were also in the Monastery poets who composed prose writ­ings in Latin and hymns in honor of the Most Gracious Virgin Mary; there was, indeed, one among them—a Picard—who translated the Miracles of Our Lady into rimed verses in the vulgar tongue.

Perceiving so great a competition in praise and so fine a harvest of good works, Barnabas fell to lamenting his ignorance and simplicity.

“Alas!” he sighed as he walked by himself one day in the little garden shaded by the Monastery wall, “I am so unhappy because I cannot, like my brothers, give worthy praise to the Holy Mother of God to whom I have consecrated all the love in my heart.

Alas, I am a stupid fellow, without art, and for your service, Madame, I have no edifying sermons, no fine treatises nicely prepared according to the rules, no beautiful paintings, no cunningly

Read More

Our Lady’s Juggler part 3

The monk was touched by the simplicity of the juggler, and as he was not lacking in discernment, he recognized in Barnabas one of those well-disposed men of whom Our Lord has said, “Let peace be with them on earth.” And he made answer therefore:

“Friend Barnabas, come with me and I will see that you enter the monastery of which I am the Prior. He who led Mary the Egyptian through the desert put me across your path in order that I might lead you to salvation.”

Thus did Barnabas become a monk. In the monastery which he entered, the monks celebrated most magnificently the cult of the Holy Virgin, each of them bringing to her service all the knowledge and skill which God had given him.

The Prior, for his part, wrote books, setting forth, according to the rules of scholasticism, all the virtues of the Mother of God. Brother Maurice copied these treatises with a cunning hand on pages of parch­ment, while Brother Alexandre decorated them with delicate

Read More

Our Lady’s Juggler part 2

He had never thought much about the origin of wealth nor about the inequality of human conditions. He firmly believed that if this world was evil the next could not but be good, and this faith upheld him. He was not like the clever fellows who sell their souls to the devil; he never took the name of God in vain; he lived the life of an honest man, and though he had no wife of his own, he did not covet his neighbor s, for woman is the enemy of strong men, as we learn by the story of Samson which is written in the Scriptures.

Verily, his mind was not turned in the direction of carnal desire, and it caused him far greater pain to renounce drinking than to forego the pleasure of women. For, though he was not a drunkard, he enjoyed drinking when the weather was warm. He was a good man, fearing God, and devout in his adoration of the Holy Virgin. When he went into a church he never failed to kneel before the image of the Mother of God and to address her with this prayer:

Read More

Our Lady’s Juggler part 1

Anatole France (Anatole Thibault) (1844-1924)

Anatole France was born at Paris in 1844 and lived there most of his life. He was par excellence a man of letters. For over forty years he has written about Paris, the ancient world and the Middle Ages, en­dowing each novel or story with the philosophy of enlightened scep­ticism which is his contribution to modern thought.

Among the several volumes of stories he has written, L’Etui de nacre includes some of his very best. From this is taken Our Lady’s Juggler, which is a retelling of one of the most beautiful of the French mediaeval tales.

The present’ version is translated for this collection by Barrett H. Clark, by permission of Anatole France’s English publishers, John Lane, Ltd., the Bodley Head.

Our Lady’s Juggler

In the days of King Louis there lived a poor juggler by the name of Barnabas, a native of Compiegne, who wandered from city to city performing trick

Read More

The Jewish Mother

Biblical Literature

It is not surprising that the stories scattered so profusely through the Bible, the Apocrypha, and the Talmud, should be mostly moral tales. They were told in order to illustrate a theological or ethical contention or law, to glorify the race or nation to which the teller belonged, to attract and hold the interest of the listener. All of them were related by Jews, and all, even the parables of Jesus, bear the imprint of the Oriental imagination. The stories of Ruth and Susanna, from the Old Testament and the Apocrypha, are the earliest examples in this little group of Biblical tales. Ruth is the type of story that could easily be expanded into a novel, while Susanna conforms more exactly to the modern conception of what a short story ought to be. These two have been chosen from a great storehouse of prose narrative, which was designed in the first place to appeal to simple-minded shepherds and tradespeople.

In the New Testament we find among

Read More

Private Balkan trip

Wake your senses up with private Balkan trip

A private Balkan trip in the Balkan countries means a good possibility to sink into the history of the region and put the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle together.

What is a better way to tease and wake your senses up than travelling? They say that travelling is the key to happiness. Do you believe it? I do. Join us and let’s find out together.

The countries on the Balkan Peninsula are all different and at the same time they share this ‘similar difference’. (Balkan tours 2019 ) For example, ‘The coffee we had tastes like the Turkish coffee but they call it Greek. Or, ‘ Isn’t that dish the same as the one we had in the place, etc.’ These kinds of conversations probably look familiar to you. I am sure most of you experienced them and enjoyed them really much.

Read More

The Greek Merchant part 4

The Marquis then turned towards the old woman, observing, “Since it is clear that the money is none of his, but mine, and you have had the good luck to find it, pray keep it: the whole is your own; present it as a wedding-gift to your daughter. If it should happen that you meet with another purse, containing the ducats as well as the crowns, belonging to this gentleman, I beg you will return it to him without demanding any reward.”

Gratitude to the Marquis

The poor lady expressed her gratitude to the Marquis for this generous mark of his favor, and promised to observe his directions in everything. The wretched merchant, finding that the Marquis had truly penetrated into his motives, and that there was not a chance of succeeding in. his nefarious design, declared that he was now quite willing to pay the reward he had promised, if she restored the remaining money, which was indisputably his own. But it was now too late.

The Marquis turning toward

Read More

The Greek Merchant part 3

The old lady appeared extremely confused at this accusation, exclaiming in a distressed tone to the Marquis, “Oh, signor, can that be possible? Is it likely I should have stolen thirty- four ducats, when I had it in my power to possess myself of the whole? No; believe me, noble signor, I swear, as I value my hopes of heaven, that I have restored the exact sum which I found on my return from church; not a single farthing have I taken out.”

But the miserly old wretch continuing to affirm most solemnly that the ducats were in the same bag with the crowns, and that she must consider them as a sufficient remuneration, the affair seemed to perplex the Marquis not a little. Yet when he reflected that the old miser had only mentioned the four hundred crowns in the first instance, he began to suspect his design of imposing upon the poor woman in order to save the paltry sum offered as a reward.

Effectual chastisement

The Marquis felt the utmost indignat

Read More

The Greek Merchant part 2

With great courtesy the Marquis acceded to this request, expressing himself at the same time concerned to witness the excessive affliction under which the unfortunate Filargiro seemed to labor. The reward was accordingly proclaimed, and the gold- soon afterwards made its appearance in the hands of one of those aged old ladies, who, being great devotees, always walk with their eyes upon the ground as they come from church. In this way she discovered the lost treasure, and fearful lest her conscience should be loaded with such a weight of gold, though extremely poor, she would have been very greatly perplexed in what way to act, had she not luckily heard the crier announcing the reward of forty crowns, which she hoped she might receive with a safe conscience.

Humanely inquired

Observing her destitute appearance, the Marquis very humanely inquired whether she had any means of procuring her subsistence, and whether she had no one to assist her. “I have nothing,

Read More

The Greek Merchant part 1

Giovanbattista Giraldi Cinthio (1504-1573)

Cinthio is another of the famous Italian story-tellers to whom Shakespeare is indebted for a good plot: the story of Othello was lifted from the collection called the Hecatommithi. Cinthio is best known for his gruesome subjects and the violence of his methods of treatment. Of noble birth, he spent the greater part of his life in a secretarial position at the court of Ferrara. As critic, dramatist and novelist, he is one of the important figures in the literature of his country.

Original plots are rare, and The Greek Merchant can claim no other originality than that of treatment. But is that not enough? Like most of the Italian tales we have included, it is gracefully turned, and maintains its interest up to the last moment.

The present version is translated by Thomas Roscoe, and reprinted from his Italian Novelists, London, no date. The story has no title in the original.

The Greek Merchant

Read More

Our Lady’s Juggler part 4

At times he represented Her as a graceful child, and Her image seemed to say, “Lord, Thou art My Lord!”

There were also in the Monastery poets who composed prose writ­ings in Latin and hymns in honor of the Most Gracious Virgin Mary; there was, indeed, one among them—a Picard—who translated the Miracles of Our Lady into rimed verses in the vulgar tongue.

Perceiving so great a competition in praise and so fine a harvest of good works, Barnabas fell to lamenting his ignorance and simplicity.

“Alas!” he sighed as he walked by himself one day in the little garden shaded by the Monastery wall, “I am so unhappy because I cannot, like my brothers, give worthy praise to the Holy Mother of God to whom I have consecrated all the love in my heart.

Alas, I am a stupid fellow, without art, and for your service, Madame, I have no edifying sermons, no fine treatises nicely prepared according to the rules, no beautiful paintings, no cunningly

Read More

Our Lady’s Juggler part 3

The monk was touched by the simplicity of the juggler, and as he was not lacking in discernment, he recognized in Barnabas one of those well-disposed men of whom Our Lord has said, “Let peace be with them on earth.” And he made answer therefore:

“Friend Barnabas, come with me and I will see that you enter the monastery of which I am the Prior. He who led Mary the Egyptian through the desert put me across your path in order that I might lead you to salvation.”

Thus did Barnabas become a monk. In the monastery which he entered, the monks celebrated most magnificently the cult of the Holy Virgin, each of them bringing to her service all the knowledge and skill which God had given him.

The Prior, for his part, wrote books, setting forth, according to the rules of scholasticism, all the virtues of the Mother of God. Brother Maurice copied these treatises with a cunning hand on pages of parch­ment, while Brother Alexandre decorated them with delicate

Read More

Our Lady’s Juggler part 2

He had never thought much about the origin of wealth nor about the inequality of human conditions. He firmly believed that if this world was evil the next could not but be good, and this faith upheld him. He was not like the clever fellows who sell their souls to the devil; he never took the name of God in vain; he lived the life of an honest man, and though he had no wife of his own, he did not covet his neighbor s, for woman is the enemy of strong men, as we learn by the story of Samson which is written in the Scriptures.

Verily, his mind was not turned in the direction of carnal desire, and it caused him far greater pain to renounce drinking than to forego the pleasure of women. For, though he was not a drunkard, he enjoyed drinking when the weather was warm. He was a good man, fearing God, and devout in his adoration of the Holy Virgin. When he went into a church he never failed to kneel before the image of the Mother of God and to address her with this prayer:

Read More

Our Lady’s Juggler part 1

Anatole France (Anatole Thibault) (1844-1924)

Anatole France was born at Paris in 1844 and lived there most of his life. He was par excellence a man of letters. For over forty years he has written about Paris, the ancient world and the Middle Ages, en­dowing each novel or story with the philosophy of enlightened scep­ticism which is his contribution to modern thought.

Among the several volumes of stories he has written, L’Etui de nacre includes some of his very best. From this is taken Our Lady’s Juggler, which is a retelling of one of the most beautiful of the French mediaeval tales.

The present’ version is translated for this collection by Barrett H. Clark, by permission of Anatole France’s English publishers, John Lane, Ltd., the Bodley Head.

Our Lady’s Juggler

In the days of King Louis there lived a poor juggler by the name of Barnabas, a native of Compiegne, who wandered from city to city performing trick

Read More

The Jewish Mother

Biblical Literature

It is not surprising that the stories scattered so profusely through the Bible, the Apocrypha, and the Talmud, should be mostly moral tales. They were told in order to illustrate a theological or ethical contention or law, to glorify the race or nation to which the teller belonged, to attract and hold the interest of the listener. All of them were related by Jews, and all, even the parables of Jesus, bear the imprint of the Oriental imagination. The stories of Ruth and Susanna, from the Old Testament and the Apocrypha, are the earliest examples in this little group of Biblical tales. Ruth is the type of story that could easily be expanded into a novel, while Susanna conforms more exactly to the modern conception of what a short story ought to be. These two have been chosen from a great storehouse of prose narrative, which was designed in the first place to appeal to simple-minded shepherds and tradespeople.

In the New Testament we find among

Read More

Private Balkan trip

Wake your senses up with private Balkan trip

A private Balkan trip in the Balkan countries means a good possibility to sink into the history of the region and put the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle together.

What is a better way to tease and wake your senses up than travelling? They say that travelling is the key to happiness. Do you believe it? I do. Join us and let’s find out together.

The countries on the Balkan Peninsula are all different and at the same time they share this ‘similar difference’. (Balkan tours 2019 ) For example, ‘The coffee we had tastes like the Turkish coffee but they call it Greek. Or, ‘ Isn’t that dish the same as the one we had in the place, etc.’ These kinds of conversations probably look familiar to you. I am sure most of you experienced them and enjoyed them really much.

Read More

The Greek Merchant part 4

The Marquis then turned towards the old woman, observing, “Since it is clear that the money is none of his, but mine, and you have had the good luck to find it, pray keep it: the whole is your own; present it as a wedding-gift to your daughter. If it should happen that you meet with another purse, containing the ducats as well as the crowns, belonging to this gentleman, I beg you will return it to him without demanding any reward.”

Gratitude to the Marquis

The poor lady expressed her gratitude to the Marquis for this generous mark of his favor, and promised to observe his directions in everything. The wretched merchant, finding that the Marquis had truly penetrated into his motives, and that there was not a chance of succeeding in. his nefarious design, declared that he was now quite willing to pay the reward he had promised, if she restored the remaining money, which was indisputably his own. But it was now too late.

The Marquis turning toward

Read More

The Greek Merchant part 3

The old lady appeared extremely confused at this accusation, exclaiming in a distressed tone to the Marquis, “Oh, signor, can that be possible? Is it likely I should have stolen thirty- four ducats, when I had it in my power to possess myself of the whole? No; believe me, noble signor, I swear, as I value my hopes of heaven, that I have restored the exact sum which I found on my return from church; not a single farthing have I taken out.”

But the miserly old wretch continuing to affirm most solemnly that the ducats were in the same bag with the crowns, and that she must consider them as a sufficient remuneration, the affair seemed to perplex the Marquis not a little. Yet when he reflected that the old miser had only mentioned the four hundred crowns in the first instance, he began to suspect his design of imposing upon the poor woman in order to save the paltry sum offered as a reward.

Effectual chastisement

The Marquis felt the utmost indignat

Read More

The Greek Merchant part 2

With great courtesy the Marquis acceded to this request, expressing himself at the same time concerned to witness the excessive affliction under which the unfortunate Filargiro seemed to labor. The reward was accordingly proclaimed, and the gold- soon afterwards made its appearance in the hands of one of those aged old ladies, who, being great devotees, always walk with their eyes upon the ground as they come from church. In this way she discovered the lost treasure, and fearful lest her conscience should be loaded with such a weight of gold, though extremely poor, she would have been very greatly perplexed in what way to act, had she not luckily heard the crier announcing the reward of forty crowns, which she hoped she might receive with a safe conscience.

Humanely inquired

Observing her destitute appearance, the Marquis very humanely inquired whether she had any means of procuring her subsistence, and whether she had no one to assist her. “I have nothing,

Read More

The Greek Merchant part 1

Giovanbattista Giraldi Cinthio (1504-1573)

Cinthio is another of the famous Italian story-tellers to whom Shakespeare is indebted for a good plot: the story of Othello was lifted from the collection called the Hecatommithi. Cinthio is best known for his gruesome subjects and the violence of his methods of treatment. Of noble birth, he spent the greater part of his life in a secretarial position at the court of Ferrara. As critic, dramatist and novelist, he is one of the important figures in the literature of his country.

Original plots are rare, and The Greek Merchant can claim no other originality than that of treatment. But is that not enough? Like most of the Italian tales we have included, it is gracefully turned, and maintains its interest up to the last moment.

The present version is translated by Thomas Roscoe, and reprinted from his Italian Novelists, London, no date. The story has no title in the original.

The Greek Merchant

Read More

Our Lady’s Juggler part 4

At times he represented Her as a graceful child, and Her image seemed to say, “Lord, Thou art My Lord!”

There were also in the Monastery poets who composed prose writ­ings in Latin and hymns in honor of the Most Gracious Virgin Mary; there was, indeed, one among them—a Picard—who translated the Miracles of Our Lady into rimed verses in the vulgar tongue.

Perceiving so great a competition in praise and so fine a harvest of good works, Barnabas fell to lamenting his ignorance and simplicity.

“Alas!” he sighed as he walked by himself one day in the little garden shaded by the Monastery wall, “I am so unhappy because I cannot, like my brothers, give worthy praise to the Holy Mother of God to whom I have consecrated all the love in my heart.

Alas, I am a stupid fellow, without art, and for your service, Madame, I have no edifying sermons, no fine treatises nicely prepared according to the rules, no beautiful paintings, no cunningly

Read More

Our Lady’s Juggler part 3

The monk was touched by the simplicity of the juggler, and as he was not lacking in discernment, he recognized in Barnabas one of those well-disposed men of whom Our Lord has said, “Let peace be with them on earth.” And he made answer therefore:

“Friend Barnabas, come with me and I will see that you enter the monastery of which I am the Prior. He who led Mary the Egyptian through the desert put me across your path in order that I might lead you to salvation.”

Thus did Barnabas become a monk. In the monastery which he entered, the monks celebrated most magnificently the cult of the Holy Virgin, each of them bringing to her service all the knowledge and skill which God had given him.

The Prior, for his part, wrote books, setting forth, according to the rules of scholasticism, all the virtues of the Mother of God. Brother Maurice copied these treatises with a cunning hand on pages of parch­ment, while Brother Alexandre decorated them with delicate

Read More

Our Lady’s Juggler part 2

He had never thought much about the origin of wealth nor about the inequality of human conditions. He firmly believed that if this world was evil the next could not but be good, and this faith upheld him. He was not like the clever fellows who sell their souls to the devil; he never took the name of God in vain; he lived the life of an honest man, and though he had no wife of his own, he did not covet his neighbor s, for woman is the enemy of strong men, as we learn by the story of Samson which is written in the Scriptures.

Verily, his mind was not turned in the direction of carnal desire, and it caused him far greater pain to renounce drinking than to forego the pleasure of women. For, though he was not a drunkard, he enjoyed drinking when the weather was warm. He was a good man, fearing God, and devout in his adoration of the Holy Virgin. When he went into a church he never failed to kneel before the image of the Mother of God and to address her with this prayer:

Read More

Our Lady’s Juggler part 1

Anatole France (Anatole Thibault) (1844-1924)

Anatole France was born at Paris in 1844 and lived there most of his life. He was par excellence a man of letters. For over forty years he has written about Paris, the ancient world and the Middle Ages, en­dowing each novel or story with the philosophy of enlightened scep­ticism which is his contribution to modern thought.

Among the several volumes of stories he has written, L’Etui de nacre includes some of his very best. From this is taken Our Lady’s Juggler, which is a retelling of one of the most beautiful of the French mediaeval tales.

The present’ version is translated for this collection by Barrett H. Clark, by permission of Anatole France’s English publishers, John Lane, Ltd., the Bodley Head.

Our Lady’s Juggler

In the days of King Louis there lived a poor juggler by the name of Barnabas, a native of Compiegne, who wandered from city to city performing trick

Read More

The Jewish Mother

Biblical Literature

It is not surprising that the stories scattered so profusely through the Bible, the Apocrypha, and the Talmud, should be mostly moral tales. They were told in order to illustrate a theological or ethical contention or law, to glorify the race or nation to which the teller belonged, to attract and hold the interest of the listener. All of them were related by Jews, and all, even the parables of Jesus, bear the imprint of the Oriental imagination. The stories of Ruth and Susanna, from the Old Testament and the Apocrypha, are the earliest examples in this little group of Biblical tales. Ruth is the type of story that could easily be expanded into a novel, while Susanna conforms more exactly to the modern conception of what a short story ought to be. These two have been chosen from a great storehouse of prose narrative, which was designed in the first place to appeal to simple-minded shepherds and tradespeople.

In the New Testament we find among

Read More

Private Balkan trip

Wake your senses up with private Balkan trip

A private Balkan trip in the Balkan countries means a good possibility to sink into the history of the region and put the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle together.

What is a better way to tease and wake your senses up than travelling? They say that travelling is the key to happiness. Do you believe it? I do. Join us and let’s find out together.

The countries on the Balkan Peninsula are all different and at the same time they share this ‘similar difference’. (Balkan tours 2019 ) For example, ‘The coffee we had tastes like the Turkish coffee but they call it Greek. Or, ‘ Isn’t that dish the same as the one we had in the place, etc.’ These kinds of conversations probably look familiar to you. I am sure most of you experienced them and enjoyed them really much.

Read More

The Greek Merchant part 4

The Marquis then turned towards the old woman, observing, “Since it is clear that the money is none of his, but mine, and you have had the good luck to find it, pray keep it: the whole is your own; present it as a wedding-gift to your daughter. If it should happen that you meet with another purse, containing the ducats as well as the crowns, belonging to this gentleman, I beg you will return it to him without demanding any reward.”

Gratitude to the Marquis

The poor lady expressed her gratitude to the Marquis for this generous mark of his favor, and promised to observe his directions in everything. The wretched merchant, finding that the Marquis had truly penetrated into his motives, and that there was not a chance of succeeding in. his nefarious design, declared that he was now quite willing to pay the reward he had promised, if she restored the remaining money, which was indisputably his own. But it was now too late.

The Marquis turning toward

Read More

The Greek Merchant part 3

The old lady appeared extremely confused at this accusation, exclaiming in a distressed tone to the Marquis, “Oh, signor, can that be possible? Is it likely I should have stolen thirty- four ducats, when I had it in my power to possess myself of the whole? No; believe me, noble signor, I swear, as I value my hopes of heaven, that I have restored the exact sum which I found on my return from church; not a single farthing have I taken out.”

But the miserly old wretch continuing to affirm most solemnly that the ducats were in the same bag with the crowns, and that she must consider them as a sufficient remuneration, the affair seemed to perplex the Marquis not a little. Yet when he reflected that the old miser had only mentioned the four hundred crowns in the first instance, he began to suspect his design of imposing upon the poor woman in order to save the paltry sum offered as a reward.

Effectual chastisement

The Marquis felt the utmost indignat

Read More

The Greek Merchant part 2

With great courtesy the Marquis acceded to this request, expressing himself at the same time concerned to witness the excessive affliction under which the unfortunate Filargiro seemed to labor. The reward was accordingly proclaimed, and the gold- soon afterwards made its appearance in the hands of one of those aged old ladies, who, being great devotees, always walk with their eyes upon the ground as they come from church. In this way she discovered the lost treasure, and fearful lest her conscience should be loaded with such a weight of gold, though extremely poor, she would have been very greatly perplexed in what way to act, had she not luckily heard the crier announcing the reward of forty crowns, which she hoped she might receive with a safe conscience.

Humanely inquired

Observing her destitute appearance, the Marquis very humanely inquired whether she had any means of procuring her subsistence, and whether she had no one to assist her. “I have nothing,

Read More

The Greek Merchant part 1

Giovanbattista Giraldi Cinthio (1504-1573)

Cinthio is another of the famous Italian story-tellers to whom Shakespeare is indebted for a good plot: the story of Othello was lifted from the collection called the Hecatommithi. Cinthio is best known for his gruesome subjects and the violence of his methods of treatment. Of noble birth, he spent the greater part of his life in a secretarial position at the court of Ferrara. As critic, dramatist and novelist, he is one of the important figures in the literature of his country.

Original plots are rare, and The Greek Merchant can claim no other originality than that of treatment. But is that not enough? Like most of the Italian tales we have included, it is gracefully turned, and maintains its interest up to the last moment.

The present version is translated by Thomas Roscoe, and reprinted from his Italian Novelists, London, no date. The story has no title in the original.

The Greek Merchant

Read More

Our Lady’s Juggler part 4

At times he represented Her as a graceful child, and Her image seemed to say, “Lord, Thou art My Lord!”

There were also in the Monastery poets who composed prose writ­ings in Latin and hymns in honor of the Most Gracious Virgin Mary; there was, indeed, one among them—a Picard—who translated the Miracles of Our Lady into rimed verses in the vulgar tongue.

Perceiving so great a competition in praise and so fine a harvest of good works, Barnabas fell to lamenting his ignorance and simplicity.

“Alas!” he sighed as he walked by himself one day in the little garden shaded by the Monastery wall, “I am so unhappy because I cannot, like my brothers, give worthy praise to the Holy Mother of God to whom I have consecrated all the love in my heart.

Alas, I am a stupid fellow, without art, and for your service, Madame, I have no edifying sermons, no fine treatises nicely prepared according to the rules, no beautiful paintings, no cunningly

Read More

Our Lady’s Juggler part 3

The monk was touched by the simplicity of the juggler, and as he was not lacking in discernment, he recognized in Barnabas one of those well-disposed men of whom Our Lord has said, “Let peace be with them on earth.” And he made answer therefore:

“Friend Barnabas, come with me and I will see that you enter the monastery of which I am the Prior. He who led Mary the Egyptian through the desert put me across your path in order that I might lead you to salvation.”

Thus did Barnabas become a monk. In the monastery which he entered, the monks celebrated most magnificently the cult of the Holy Virgin, each of them bringing to her service all the knowledge and skill which God had given him.

The Prior, for his part, wrote books, setting forth, according to the rules of scholasticism, all the virtues of the Mother of God. Brother Maurice copied these treatises with a cunning hand on pages of parch­ment, while Brother Alexandre decorated them with delicate

Read More

Our Lady’s Juggler part 2

He had never thought much about the origin of wealth nor about the inequality of human conditions. He firmly believed that if this world was evil the next could not but be good, and this faith upheld him. He was not like the clever fellows who sell their souls to the devil; he never took the name of God in vain; he lived the life of an honest man, and though he had no wife of his own, he did not covet his neighbor s, for woman is the enemy of strong men, as we learn by the story of Samson which is written in the Scriptures.

Verily, his mind was not turned in the direction of carnal desire, and it caused him far greater pain to renounce drinking than to forego the pleasure of women. For, though he was not a drunkard, he enjoyed drinking when the weather was warm. He was a good man, fearing God, and devout in his adoration of the Holy Virgin. When he went into a church he never failed to kneel before the image of the Mother of God and to address her with this prayer:

Read More

Our Lady’s Juggler part 1

Anatole France (Anatole Thibault) (1844-1924)

Anatole France was born at Paris in 1844 and lived there most of his life. He was par excellence a man of letters. For over forty years he has written about Paris, the ancient world and the Middle Ages, en­dowing each novel or story with the philosophy of enlightened scep­ticism which is his contribution to modern thought.

Among the several volumes of stories he has written, L’Etui de nacre includes some of his very best. From this is taken Our Lady’s Juggler, which is a retelling of one of the most beautiful of the French mediaeval tales.

The present’ version is translated for this collection by Barrett H. Clark, by permission of Anatole France’s English publishers, John Lane, Ltd., the Bodley Head.

Our Lady’s Juggler

In the days of King Louis there lived a poor juggler by the name of Barnabas, a native of Compiegne, who wandered from city to city performing trick

Read More

The Jewish Mother

Biblical Literature

It is not surprising that the stories scattered so profusely through the Bible, the Apocrypha, and the Talmud, should be mostly moral tales. They were told in order to illustrate a theological or ethical contention or law, to glorify the race or nation to which the teller belonged, to attract and hold the interest of the listener. All of them were related by Jews, and all, even the parables of Jesus, bear the imprint of the Oriental imagination. The stories of Ruth and Susanna, from the Old Testament and the Apocrypha, are the earliest examples in this little group of Biblical tales. Ruth is the type of story that could easily be expanded into a novel, while Susanna conforms more exactly to the modern conception of what a short story ought to be. These two have been chosen from a great storehouse of prose narrative, which was designed in the first place to appeal to simple-minded shepherds and tradespeople.

In the New Testament we find among

Read More

Private Balkan trip

Wake your senses up with private Balkan trip

A private Balkan trip in the Balkan countries means a good possibility to sink into the history of the region and put the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle together.

What is a better way to tease and wake your senses up than travelling? They say that travelling is the key to happiness. Do you believe it? I do. Join us and let’s find out together.

The countries on the Balkan Peninsula are all different and at the same time they share this ‘similar difference’. (Balkan tours 2019 ) For example, ‘The coffee we had tastes like the Turkish coffee but they call it Greek. Or, ‘ Isn’t that dish the same as the one we had in the place, etc.’ These kinds of conversations probably look familiar to you. I am sure most of you experienced them and enjoyed them really much.

Read More

The Greek Merchant part 4

The Marquis then turned towards the old woman, observing, “Since it is clear that the money is none of his, but mine, and you have had the good luck to find it, pray keep it: the whole is your own; present it as a wedding-gift to your daughter. If it should happen that you meet with another purse, containing the ducats as well as the crowns, belonging to this gentleman, I beg you will return it to him without demanding any reward.”

Gratitude to the Marquis

The poor lady expressed her gratitude to the Marquis for this generous mark of his favor, and promised to observe his directions in everything. The wretched merchant, finding that the Marquis had truly penetrated into his motives, and that there was not a chance of succeeding in. his nefarious design, declared that he was now quite willing to pay the reward he had promised, if she restored the remaining money, which was indisputably his own. But it was now too late.

The Marquis turning toward

Read More

The Greek Merchant part 3

The old lady appeared extremely confused at this accusation, exclaiming in a distressed tone to the Marquis, “Oh, signor, can that be possible? Is it likely I should have stolen thirty- four ducats, when I had it in my power to possess myself of the whole? No; believe me, noble signor, I swear, as I value my hopes of heaven, that I have restored the exact sum which I found on my return from church; not a single farthing have I taken out.”

But the miserly old wretch continuing to affirm most solemnly that the ducats were in the same bag with the crowns, and that she must consider them as a sufficient remuneration, the affair seemed to perplex the Marquis not a little. Yet when he reflected that the old miser had only mentioned the four hundred crowns in the first instance, he began to suspect his design of imposing upon the poor woman in order to save the paltry sum offered as a reward.

Effectual chastisement

The Marquis felt the utmost indignat

Read More

The Greek Merchant part 2

With great courtesy the Marquis acceded to this request, expressing himself at the same time concerned to witness the excessive affliction under which the unfortunate Filargiro seemed to labor. The reward was accordingly proclaimed, and the gold- soon afterwards made its appearance in the hands of one of those aged old ladies, who, being great devotees, always walk with their eyes upon the ground as they come from church. In this way she discovered the lost treasure, and fearful lest her conscience should be loaded with such a weight of gold, though extremely poor, she would have been very greatly perplexed in what way to act, had she not luckily heard the crier announcing the reward of forty crowns, which she hoped she might receive with a safe conscience.

Humanely inquired

Observing her destitute appearance, the Marquis very humanely inquired whether she had any means of procuring her subsistence, and whether she had no one to assist her. “I have nothing,

Read More

The Greek Merchant part 1

Giovanbattista Giraldi Cinthio (1504-1573)

Cinthio is another of the famous Italian story-tellers to whom Shakespeare is indebted for a good plot: the story of Othello was lifted from the collection called the Hecatommithi. Cinthio is best known for his gruesome subjects and the violence of his methods of treatment. Of noble birth, he spent the greater part of his life in a secretarial position at the court of Ferrara. As critic, dramatist and novelist, he is one of the important figures in the literature of his country.

Original plots are rare, and The Greek Merchant can claim no other originality than that of treatment. But is that not enough? Like most of the Italian tales we have included, it is gracefully turned, and maintains its interest up to the last moment.

The present version is translated by Thomas Roscoe, and reprinted from his Italian Novelists, London, no date. The story has no title in the original.

The Greek Merchant

Read More

Our Lady’s Juggler part 4

At times he represented Her as a graceful child, and Her image seemed to say, “Lord, Thou art My Lord!”

There were also in the Monastery poets who composed prose writ­ings in Latin and hymns in honor of the Most Gracious Virgin Mary; there was, indeed, one among them—a Picard—who translated the Miracles of Our Lady into rimed verses in the vulgar tongue.

Perceiving so great a competition in praise and so fine a harvest of good works, Barnabas fell to lamenting his ignorance and simplicity.

“Alas!” he sighed as he walked by himself one day in the little garden shaded by the Monastery wall, “I am so unhappy because I cannot, like my brothers, give worthy praise to the Holy Mother of God to whom I have consecrated all the love in my heart.

Alas, I am a stupid fellow, without art, and for your service, Madame, I have no edifying sermons, no fine treatises nicely prepared according to the rules, no beautiful paintings, no cunningly

Read More

Our Lady’s Juggler part 3

The monk was touched by the simplicity of the juggler, and as he was not lacking in discernment, he recognized in Barnabas one of those well-disposed men of whom Our Lord has said, “Let peace be with them on earth.” And he made answer therefore:

“Friend Barnabas, come with me and I will see that you enter the monastery of which I am the Prior. He who led Mary the Egyptian through the desert put me across your path in order that I might lead you to salvation.”

Thus did Barnabas become a monk. In the monastery which he entered, the monks celebrated most magnificently the cult of the Holy Virgin, each of them bringing to her service all the knowledge and skill which God had given him.

The Prior, for his part, wrote books, setting forth, according to the rules of scholasticism, all the virtues of the Mother of God. Brother Maurice copied these treatises with a cunning hand on pages of parch­ment, while Brother Alexandre decorated them with delicate

Read More

Our Lady’s Juggler part 2

He had never thought much about the origin of wealth nor about the inequality of human conditions. He firmly believed that if this world was evil the next could not but be good, and this faith upheld him. He was not like the clever fellows who sell their souls to the devil; he never took the name of God in vain; he lived the life of an honest man, and though he had no wife of his own, he did not covet his neighbor s, for woman is the enemy of strong men, as we learn by the story of Samson which is written in the Scriptures.

Verily, his mind was not turned in the direction of carnal desire, and it caused him far greater pain to renounce drinking than to forego the pleasure of women. For, though he was not a drunkard, he enjoyed drinking when the weather was warm. He was a good man, fearing God, and devout in his adoration of the Holy Virgin. When he went into a church he never failed to kneel before the image of the Mother of God and to address her with this prayer:

Read More

Our Lady’s Juggler part 1

Anatole France (Anatole Thibault) (1844-1924)

Anatole France was born at Paris in 1844 and lived there most of his life. He was par excellence a man of letters. For over forty years he has written about Paris, the ancient world and the Middle Ages, en­dowing each novel or story with the philosophy of enlightened scep­ticism which is his contribution to modern thought.

Among the several volumes of stories he has written, L’Etui de nacre includes some of his very best. From this is taken Our Lady’s Juggler, which is a retelling of one of the most beautiful of the French mediaeval tales.

The present’ version is translated for this collection by Barrett H. Clark, by permission of Anatole France’s English publishers, John Lane, Ltd., the Bodley Head.

Our Lady’s Juggler

In the days of King Louis there lived a poor juggler by the name of Barnabas, a native of Compiegne, who wandered from city to city performing trick

Read More

The Jewish Mother

Biblical Literature

It is not surprising that the stories scattered so profusely through the Bible, the Apocrypha, and the Talmud, should be mostly moral tales. They were told in order to illustrate a theological or ethical contention or law, to glorify the race or nation to which the teller belonged, to attract and hold the interest of the listener. All of them were related by Jews, and all, even the parables of Jesus, bear the imprint of the Oriental imagination. The stories of Ruth and Susanna, from the Old Testament and the Apocrypha, are the earliest examples in this little group of Biblical tales. Ruth is the type of story that could easily be expanded into a novel, while Susanna conforms more exactly to the modern conception of what a short story ought to be. These two have been chosen from a great storehouse of prose narrative, which was designed in the first place to appeal to simple-minded shepherds and tradespeople.

In the New Testament we find among

Read More

Private Balkan trip

Wake your senses up with private Balkan trip

A private Balkan trip in the Balkan countries means a good possibility to sink into the history of the region and put the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle together.

What is a better way to tease and wake your senses up than travelling? They say that travelling is the key to happiness. Do you believe it? I do. Join us and let’s find out together.

The countries on the Balkan Peninsula are all different and at the same time they share this ‘similar difference’. (Balkan tours 2019 ) For example, ‘The coffee we had tastes like the Turkish coffee but they call it Greek. Or, ‘ Isn’t that dish the same as the one we had in the place, etc.’ These kinds of conversations probably look familiar to you. I am sure most of you experienced them and enjoyed them really much.

Read More

The Greek Merchant part 4

The Marquis then turned towards the old woman, observing, “Since it is clear that the money is none of his, but mine, and you have had the good luck to find it, pray keep it: the whole is your own; present it as a wedding-gift to your daughter. If it should happen that you meet with another purse, containing the ducats as well as the crowns, belonging to this gentleman, I beg you will return it to him without demanding any reward.”

Gratitude to the Marquis

The poor lady expressed her gratitude to the Marquis for this generous mark of his favor, and promised to observe his directions in everything. The wretched merchant, finding that the Marquis had truly penetrated into his motives, and that there was not a chance of succeeding in. his nefarious design, declared that he was now quite willing to pay the reward he had promised, if she restored the remaining money, which was indisputably his own. But it was now too late.

The Marquis turning toward

Read More

The Greek Merchant part 3

The old lady appeared extremely confused at this accusation, exclaiming in a distressed tone to the Marquis, “Oh, signor, can that be possible? Is it likely I should have stolen thirty- four ducats, when I had it in my power to possess myself of the whole? No; believe me, noble signor, I swear, as I value my hopes of heaven, that I have restored the exact sum which I found on my return from church; not a single farthing have I taken out.”

But the miserly old wretch continuing to affirm most solemnly that the ducats were in the same bag with the crowns, and that she must consider them as a sufficient remuneration, the affair seemed to perplex the Marquis not a little. Yet when he reflected that the old miser had only mentioned the four hundred crowns in the first instance, he began to suspect his design of imposing upon the poor woman in order to save the paltry sum offered as a reward.

Effectual chastisement

The Marquis felt the utmost indignat

Read More

The Greek Merchant part 2

With great courtesy the Marquis acceded to this request, expressing himself at the same time concerned to witness the excessive affliction under which the unfortunate Filargiro seemed to labor. The reward was accordingly proclaimed, and the gold- soon afterwards made its appearance in the hands of one of those aged old ladies, who, being great devotees, always walk with their eyes upon the ground as they come from church. In this way she discovered the lost treasure, and fearful lest her conscience should be loaded with such a weight of gold, though extremely poor, she would have been very greatly perplexed in what way to act, had she not luckily heard the crier announcing the reward of forty crowns, which she hoped she might receive with a safe conscience.

Humanely inquired

Observing her destitute appearance, the Marquis very humanely inquired whether she had any means of procuring her subsistence, and whether she had no one to assist her. “I have nothing,

Read More

The Greek Merchant part 1

Giovanbattista Giraldi Cinthio (1504-1573)

Cinthio is another of the famous Italian story-tellers to whom Shakespeare is indebted for a good plot: the story of Othello was lifted from the collection called the Hecatommithi. Cinthio is best known for his gruesome subjects and the violence of his methods of treatment. Of noble birth, he spent the greater part of his life in a secretarial position at the court of Ferrara. As critic, dramatist and novelist, he is one of the important figures in the literature of his country.

Original plots are rare, and The Greek Merchant can claim no other originality than that of treatment. But is that not enough? Like most of the Italian tales we have included, it is gracefully turned, and maintains its interest up to the last moment.

The present version is translated by Thomas Roscoe, and reprinted from his Italian Novelists, London, no date. The story has no title in the original.

The Greek Merchant

Read More

Our Lady’s Juggler part 4

At times he represented Her as a graceful child, and Her image seemed to say, “Lord, Thou art My Lord!”

There were also in the Monastery poets who composed prose writ­ings in Latin and hymns in honor of the Most Gracious Virgin Mary; there was, indeed, one among them—a Picard—who translated the Miracles of Our Lady into rimed verses in the vulgar tongue.

Perceiving so great a competition in praise and so fine a harvest of good works, Barnabas fell to lamenting his ignorance and simplicity.

“Alas!” he sighed as he walked by himself one day in the little garden shaded by the Monastery wall, “I am so unhappy because I cannot, like my brothers, give worthy praise to the Holy Mother of God to whom I have consecrated all the love in my heart.

Alas, I am a stupid fellow, without art, and for your service, Madame, I have no edifying sermons, no fine treatises nicely prepared according to the rules, no beautiful paintings, no cunningly

Read More

Our Lady’s Juggler part 3

The monk was touched by the simplicity of the juggler, and as he was not lacking in discernment, he recognized in Barnabas one of those well-disposed men of whom Our Lord has said, “Let peace be with them on earth.” And he made answer therefore:

“Friend Barnabas, come with me and I will see that you enter the monastery of which I am the Prior. He who led Mary the Egyptian through the desert put me across your path in order that I might lead you to salvation.”

Thus did Barnabas become a monk. In the monastery which he entered, the monks celebrated most magnificently the cult of the Holy Virgin, each of them bringing to her service all the knowledge and skill which God had given him.

The Prior, for his part, wrote books, setting forth, according to the rules of scholasticism, all the virtues of the Mother of God. Brother Maurice copied these treatises with a cunning hand on pages of parch­ment, while Brother Alexandre decorated them with delicate

Read More

Our Lady’s Juggler part 2

He had never thought much about the origin of wealth nor about the inequality of human conditions. He firmly believed that if this world was evil the next could not but be good, and this faith upheld him. He was not like the clever fellows who sell their souls to the devil; he never took the name of God in vain; he lived the life of an honest man, and though he had no wife of his own, he did not covet his neighbor s, for woman is the enemy of strong men, as we learn by the story of Samson which is written in the Scriptures.

Verily, his mind was not turned in the direction of carnal desire, and it caused him far greater pain to renounce drinking than to forego the pleasure of women. For, though he was not a drunkard, he enjoyed drinking when the weather was warm. He was a good man, fearing God, and devout in his adoration of the Holy Virgin. When he went into a church he never failed to kneel before the image of the Mother of God and to address her with this prayer:

Read More

Our Lady’s Juggler part 1

Anatole France (Anatole Thibault) (1844-1924)

Anatole France was born at Paris in 1844 and lived there most of his life. He was par excellence a man of letters. For over forty years he has written about Paris, the ancient world and the Middle Ages, en­dowing each novel or story with the philosophy of enlightened scep­ticism which is his contribution to modern thought.

Among the several volumes of stories he has written, L’Etui de nacre includes some of his very best. From this is taken Our Lady’s Juggler, which is a retelling of one of the most beautiful of the French mediaeval tales.

The present’ version is translated for this collection by Barrett H. Clark, by permission of Anatole France’s English publishers, John Lane, Ltd., the Bodley Head.

Our Lady’s Juggler

In the days of King Louis there lived a poor juggler by the name of Barnabas, a native of Compiegne, who wandered from city to city performing trick

Read More

The Jewish Mother

Biblical Literature

It is not surprising that the stories scattered so profusely through the Bible, the Apocrypha, and the Talmud, should be mostly moral tales. They were told in order to illustrate a theological or ethical contention or law, to glorify the race or nation to which the teller belonged, to attract and hold the interest of the listener. All of them were related by Jews, and all, even the parables of Jesus, bear the imprint of the Oriental imagination. The stories of Ruth and Susanna, from the Old Testament and the Apocrypha, are the earliest examples in this little group of Biblical tales. Ruth is the type of story that could easily be expanded into a novel, while Susanna conforms more exactly to the modern conception of what a short story ought to be. These two have been chosen from a great storehouse of prose narrative, which was designed in the first place to appeal to simple-minded shepherds and tradespeople.

In the New Testament we find among

Read More

Private Balkan trip

Wake your senses up with private Balkan trip

A private Balkan trip in the Balkan countries means a good possibility to sink into the history of the region and put the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle together.

What is a better way to tease and wake your senses up than travelling? They say that travelling is the key to happiness. Do you believe it? I do. Join us and let’s find out together.

The countries on the Balkan Peninsula are all different and at the same time they share this ‘similar difference’. (Balkan tours 2019 ) For example, ‘The coffee we had tastes like the Turkish coffee but they call it Greek. Or, ‘ Isn’t that dish the same as the one we had in the place, etc.’ These kinds of conversations probably look familiar to you. I am sure most of you experienced them and enjoyed them really much.

Read More

The Greek Merchant part 4

The Marquis then turned towards the old woman, observing, “Since it is clear that the money is none of his, but mine, and you have had the good luck to find it, pray keep it: the whole is your own; present it as a wedding-gift to your daughter. If it should happen that you meet with another purse, containing the ducats as well as the crowns, belonging to this gentleman, I beg you will return it to him without demanding any reward.”

Gratitude to the Marquis

The poor lady expressed her gratitude to the Marquis for this generous mark of his favor, and promised to observe his directions in everything. The wretched merchant, finding that the Marquis had truly penetrated into his motives, and that there was not a chance of succeeding in. his nefarious design, declared that he was now quite willing to pay the reward he had promised, if she restored the remaining money, which was indisputably his own. But it was now too late.

The Marquis turning toward

Read More

The Greek Merchant part 3

The old lady appeared extremely confused at this accusation, exclaiming in a distressed tone to the Marquis, “Oh, signor, can that be possible? Is it likely I should have stolen thirty- four ducats, when I had it in my power to possess myself of the whole? No; believe me, noble signor, I swear, as I value my hopes of heaven, that I have restored the exact sum which I found on my return from church; not a single farthing have I taken out.”

But the miserly old wretch continuing to affirm most solemnly that the ducats were in the same bag with the crowns, and that she must consider them as a sufficient remuneration, the affair seemed to perplex the Marquis not a little. Yet when he reflected that the old miser had only mentioned the four hundred crowns in the first instance, he began to suspect his design of imposing upon the poor woman in order to save the paltry sum offered as a reward.

Effectual chastisement

The Marquis felt the utmost indignat

Read More

The Greek Merchant part 2

With great courtesy the Marquis acceded to this request, expressing himself at the same time concerned to witness the excessive affliction under which the unfortunate Filargiro seemed to labor. The reward was accordingly proclaimed, and the gold- soon afterwards made its appearance in the hands of one of those aged old ladies, who, being great devotees, always walk with their eyes upon the ground as they come from church. In this way she discovered the lost treasure, and fearful lest her conscience should be loaded with such a weight of gold, though extremely poor, she would have been very greatly perplexed in what way to act, had she not luckily heard the crier announcing the reward of forty crowns, which she hoped she might receive with a safe conscience.

Humanely inquired

Observing her destitute appearance, the Marquis very humanely inquired whether she had any means of procuring her subsistence, and whether she had no one to assist her. “I have nothing,

Read More

The Greek Merchant part 1

Giovanbattista Giraldi Cinthio (1504-1573)

Cinthio is another of the famous Italian story-tellers to whom Shakespeare is indebted for a good plot: the story of Othello was lifted from the collection called the Hecatommithi. Cinthio is best known for his gruesome subjects and the violence of his methods of treatment. Of noble birth, he spent the greater part of his life in a secretarial position at the court of Ferrara. As critic, dramatist and novelist, he is one of the important figures in the literature of his country.

Original plots are rare, and The Greek Merchant can claim no other originality than that of treatment. But is that not enough? Like most of the Italian tales we have included, it is gracefully turned, and maintains its interest up to the last moment.

The present version is translated by Thomas Roscoe, and reprinted from his Italian Novelists, London, no date. The story has no title in the original.

The Greek Merchant

Read More

Our Lady’s Juggler part 4

At times he represented Her as a graceful child, and Her image seemed to say, “Lord, Thou art My Lord!”

There were also in the Monastery poets who composed prose writ­ings in Latin and hymns in honor of the Most Gracious Virgin Mary; there was, indeed, one among them—a Picard—who translated the Miracles of Our Lady into rimed verses in the vulgar tongue.

Perceiving so great a competition in praise and so fine a harvest of good works, Barnabas fell to lamenting his ignorance and simplicity.

“Alas!” he sighed as he walked by himself one day in the little garden shaded by the Monastery wall, “I am so unhappy because I cannot, like my brothers, give worthy praise to the Holy Mother of God to whom I have consecrated all the love in my heart.

Alas, I am a stupid fellow, without art, and for your service, Madame, I have no edifying sermons, no fine treatises nicely prepared according to the rules, no beautiful paintings, no cunningly

Read More

Our Lady’s Juggler part 3

The monk was touched by the simplicity of the juggler, and as he was not lacking in discernment, he recognized in Barnabas one of those well-disposed men of whom Our Lord has said, “Let peace be with them on earth.” And he made answer therefore:

“Friend Barnabas, come with me and I will see that you enter the monastery of which I am the Prior. He who led Mary the Egyptian through the desert put me across your path in order that I might lead you to salvation.”

Thus did Barnabas become a monk. In the monastery which he entered, the monks celebrated most magnificently the cult of the Holy Virgin, each of them bringing to her service all the knowledge and skill which God had given him.

The Prior, for his part, wrote books, setting forth, according to the rules of scholasticism, all the virtues of the Mother of God. Brother Maurice copied these treatises with a cunning hand on pages of parch­ment, while Brother Alexandre decorated them with delicate

Read More

Our Lady’s Juggler part 2

He had never thought much about the origin of wealth nor about the inequality of human conditions. He firmly believed that if this world was evil the next could not but be good, and this faith upheld him. He was not like the clever fellows who sell their souls to the devil; he never took the name of God in vain; he lived the life of an honest man, and though he had no wife of his own, he did not covet his neighbor s, for woman is the enemy of strong men, as we learn by the story of Samson which is written in the Scriptures.

Verily, his mind was not turned in the direction of carnal desire, and it caused him far greater pain to renounce drinking than to forego the pleasure of women. For, though he was not a drunkard, he enjoyed drinking when the weather was warm. He was a good man, fearing God, and devout in his adoration of the Holy Virgin. When he went into a church he never failed to kneel before the image of the Mother of God and to address her with this prayer:

Read More

Our Lady’s Juggler part 1

Anatole France (Anatole Thibault) (1844-1924)

Anatole France was born at Paris in 1844 and lived there most of his life. He was par excellence a man of letters. For over forty years he has written about Paris, the ancient world and the Middle Ages, en­dowing each novel or story with the philosophy of enlightened scep­ticism which is his contribution to modern thought.

Among the several volumes of stories he has written, L’Etui de nacre includes some of his very best. From this is taken Our Lady’s Juggler, which is a retelling of one of the most beautiful of the French mediaeval tales.

The present’ version is translated for this collection by Barrett H. Clark, by permission of Anatole France’s English publishers, John Lane, Ltd., the Bodley Head.

Our Lady’s Juggler

In the days of King Louis there lived a poor juggler by the name of Barnabas, a native of Compiegne, who wandered from city to city performing trick

Read More

The Jewish Mother

Biblical Literature

It is not surprising that the stories scattered so profusely through the Bible, the Apocrypha, and the Talmud, should be mostly moral tales. They were told in order to illustrate a theological or ethical contention or law, to glorify the race or nation to which the teller belonged, to attract and hold the interest of the listener. All of them were related by Jews, and all, even the parables of Jesus, bear the imprint of the Oriental imagination. The stories of Ruth and Susanna, from the Old Testament and the Apocrypha, are the earliest examples in this little group of Biblical tales. Ruth is the type of story that could easily be expanded into a novel, while Susanna conforms more exactly to the modern conception of what a short story ought to be. These two have been chosen from a great storehouse of prose narrative, which was designed in the first place to appeal to simple-minded shepherds and tradespeople.

In the New Testament we find among

Read More