Andrea Vitali 2019 essays

#82
The last essay by Andrea I summarized on this thread, except for one reported by Alain Bougearel and additions to a couple of other essays, was in January 2019 in post 62 at viewtopic.php?p=20622#p20622. I want to continue where I left off, just after "Favola della Papessa Giovanna". So in this post I will review the remaining essays in 2019.

Almost immediately I translated his next essay on the list, "Un Re da Tarochi - 1584" (A King of Tarot - 1584), and also the next one, "Matto come persona falsa e di poco conto" (Fool as a false person of little account), and the one after that, "I Tarocchi Sola Busca - Prima Parte". These need no further comment.

Then comes "Processo a Paolo Orgiano - 1605" (Trial of Paolo Orgiano), which documents the playing of tarocchi in the Vincenza area in that year, from the minutes of the trial of a nobleman accused of rape, There is testimony by an acquaintance as to his good character, that all they did when he visited was to play cards and tarocchi, and he never uttered any blasphemy or did any other shameful thing. To read the essay, just search for the title in Italian on Google, and when the item comes up, click on "translate this page". Then, for details about the charges, it will be necessary to bear in mind some pointers that I have enumerated at viewtopic.php?f=8&p=22924#p22924, in particular one that advises you to bear in mind that Google Translate often gives "her", "your," "you", and "she", instead of "him", "his" "my", "them", "it" and "he", and vice versa (Italian sua, suo, il, la, lei, and missing subject pronoun). Google Translate in this case mixes up who is said to rape whom, getting it backwards, in fact.

The next essay, "I Tarocchi Visconti di Modrone", is one for which I have already done the translation, so nothing more needs to be said.

The next is "Donne cartomanti," (Women cartomancers), is in part about the various cartomantic feats attributed to Lenormand, and in part the transcription of two reports in Italian of women cartomancers, one of 1871 and the other of 1878. The 1871 reports an old woman using tarot cards to read fortunes, exposed for her malice by a young man. The other describes young women's use of ordinary cards in a playful way in Venice to predict who they will marry, whether a handsome man,a merchant, a thief, or a spy. The 2 of Swords indicated a handsome man.

Then comes "I tarocchi nelle Riviste dell'Ottocento" - Tarot in magazines of the 19th century. This one is rather long, with reports that:.

(1) even clerics play tarocchi, and not only that, they sometimes cheat.

(2) a stage magician asks a gentleman in the front row to draw a card. It is the Page of Batons. The magician describes how this Page comports himself in the presence of the various trump figures, at the end of which the card has become the Knight of Swords. Of interest is his term for the Popess, to whom the Page kneels: "al papesso", in the masculine gender. This is in 1846.

(3) a man has allegedly lost his daughter, and after a time goes in search of her, asking each one her age and name. There are several cryptic sentences, apparently spoken by one or another character: "The golden king does not let himself be taken by your pope, I have the hanged man here that saves him." "If not [for] that tarot card, you would be fried." "This time a little Page of Batons takes the King of Swords." And finally: "Fortune fourteen, devil fifteen. The game is won with the devil." Andrea wonders how Fortune became fourteen.

(4) time is wasted playing tarot. Then there are the shouts of tarot players and moans of lovers in the boxes during opera performances. A ballet features the Page of Swords, Batons, and Cups, as well as a "King of Tarocchi".

(5) an opera review comments on unlucky 13, that if 13 people are at lunch, they will be lucky to get away with just indigestion. Likewise expect the carriage to break down if you go away on the 13th of the month, connected to the 13 of the tarot, the Death card. A satirical poem also singles out the thirteen of the tarot for special mention in an unfavorable situation.

(6) people will pay money for a doctor while foregoing other desirables, such as a tutor for the children, a lady to serve pastries and tea, and a fourth [person] at tarocchi. In 1870 a satire about the promotion of the King of Prussia to Emperor of Germany says that he found he could not play tressette without having in hand his cousins, the kings of Cups, Batons, and all four kings of the tarocchi. Not only that, but in tressetta a king was worth less than an ace. The only remedy could be the promotion to Emperor.

(7) in 1805 it seems that Napoleon desired a saint with his own name, to be celebrated on August 15, Napoleon's birthday. So a "San Neapolis" was found and duly elevated, Andrea says. This gave rise to a satire in Italy about this "San Napoleon". Although August 15 was Assumption Day, the pope could overlook that, due to the Concordant. The satire notes that 15 is the tarot card of the Devil, and that perhaps England and the King [of France?] are the two subsidiary devils.

(8) an 18th century poem written in Milanese dialect whose opening line is "Ma i mèe donn….se no sii donn de tarocch,...' which Andrea translates as (in modern Italian), with the following lines: "But my women .... if you are not dim-witted [sciocchi] women (crazy [pazzerelle]) / Open your eyes and know that it is cold or freezing /When you see this kind of people going around in skirts,..."

(9) an article about playing dominoes and tarot, speaking of "bagat-ultimo" and such things, ends with a reference to the "innocua figura del Matto ch'è simbolo e despota del.... tarocco": "the innocuous figure of the Fool who is symbol and despot of the ...tarocco."

(9) a historian of 1859 is a kind of "giant" upon whose shoulders we are "dwarves" (a quote from Bernard of Clairvaux, Andrea says). Andrea has quoted from this historian in other essays. In a brief entry on "Playing Cards" Pietro Maestri manages to speak of several staples of tarot history, true or not: the 1441 prohibition in Venice of imported playing cards, Filippo Visconti's 1500 gold scudi paid to Marziano [really, Michelino] for a pack of painted cards, and a reference to Domenico Bordigallo's History of Cremona, which (Maestri says) remembers [ricorda] that in 1484 Antonio Cicognara painted an excellent pack of illuminated tarot cards [mazzo de carte dette tarocchi] for Cardinal Sforza, and other illuminated games [giochi miniati] for his sisters, Augustinian nuns in Cremona. Andrea says that Maestri is citing Leopoldo Cicognara, who said that Bordigallo had "seen" [visto] that deck. Andrea observes that it is a pity that Bordigallo was just five years old at the time, having been born in 1479.

Andrea's last essay in 2019 is "I ‘Proverbi Italiani’ di Orlando Pascetti - 1603". From this book of proverbs, in Google Books, Andrea extracts those proverbs that incorporate analogies to situations in card games, including tarot occasionally. Many are rather enigmatic, e.g. "He is among them like the Fool in the tarot," . For some Andrea gives his interpretation - in this case, the saying derives from the fact that in the game "it has no power to take and cannot triumph over other cards". Another thing about the Fool, which Andrea says is not what is meant, is that it "is worth both everything and nothing."

Re: Andrea's 2019 essays, on Cicognara 1484 & the Fool

#83
I have a couple of comments regarding Andrea's 2019 essays. First, Maestri does not say that he is citing Leopoldo Cigognara. He also does not say that Bordigallo claims to have seen the 1484 deck. The verb Maestri uses is "ricorda", which is a vague term often just meaning "mentions". Even if it means "remembers", not all memories are based on personal experience. For example, I remember the phrase "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" in the American Declaration of Independence.

However because there is no such claim in Bordigallo, Cicognara must be his source. I can say that with some assurance because the entire Chronicle has been reproduced in searchable text in a doctoral dissertation of 2011, . Adobe Acrobat reports no occurrence of "Cicognara" or any latinization of that name beginning "Cicogn-". For "Aschanius", the Latinization of the name of the alleged recipient, Ascanio Sforza, there is no sentence about any cards or games or the like, for the year 1484 or anywhere else in the text (nor for Ascani-). For the year 1484, Ascanio is mentioned twice, once in connection with a triumph, but it seems to have been some kind of display in connection with some hostilities or threat of hostilities ("....cum triumpho et pompa creatur"). The second mention, in the next sentence, is of him and his brother Ludovico meeting with the duke of Calabria.

There is also mention of the Ascanius who fled from Troy, illustrious ancestor of the Visconti, and similar, if anybody is interested, and quite a lot else pertaining to Lombardy in general as well as Cremona in particular as well as about the Sforza and of course much about Francisco and Bianca Maria's wedding. I have found nothing more of interest to us, but I haven't looked beyond the obvious.

The pdf is at http://www.fedoa.unina.it/8793/1/BENEGGI.pdf

The second thing is that I wonder if the expression "like the fool in the tarot" means only "person of no account". Sallie Nichols in Jung and Tarot, 1980, p. 24, says that the expression means "to be welcome everywhere". She gives no source, but it is worth considering. That interpretation might refer to the card's valuable aspects, not so much that it has the maximum individual point value and cannot be taken, but as the excuse, to take the place of a more valuable card, and also, in the counting up of points, its function in some versions of the game of serving as the missing card in sequences, so that they count in the score. So perhaps it is someone who is of apparently no account yet welcome at any gathering, and who might, like Christ, be more than he seems. I am thinking of Ophelia's line in Hamlet, "They say the owl was a baker's daughter", referring to a legend that a baker's daughter, protecting her father's goods, refused to give a piece of bread to a beggar. He turned out to be Christ, and for her sin turned her into an owl. In the play, Ophelia's very statement, which appears to be just crazy talk, is her wise recognition that she was such a person.


Addition to the preceding, Nov. 9, 2020: In a subsequent essay, "Metafore tolte dal gioco dei tarocchi / Nella lingua italiana" (Metaphors lifted from the game of tarot in the Italian language), Andrea gives six examples using the expression "like the fool in the tarot", all but one from 19th century books, although the examples might be earlier. The exception is a 1760 English-Italian dictionary. The Italian is at http://www.associazioneletarot.it/page.aspx?id=199. It seems to me that they all support my interpretation of the phrase. First:
"To enter for everything, and to be accepted, grateful - I was among them (as / they say) the fool in the tarot , and the salt / Of their food and banquets" (Cecchi. Kit . 3,6)"
Salt adds to the taste, even if not to the calories; and even if by himself of little interest, he says that his being accepted among the others is the point of the comparison.

Second, in an explanation of English pronunciation:
"When the h is in the middle of the letter [sic: it should be "syllable"] or at the end, as we said above at the letter g, it serves us, like the fool in the tarot, for the convenience of some other letter, the pronunciation of which would be determined at great pain without the assistance of this sign."
In other words, the h in such words has no value in itself, but serves other letters to avoid mispronouncing them. (To understand this point of English grammar one has to have read the preceding discussion of g. Fortunately this book, A dictionary of the English and Italian languages, by Joseph Barretti, 1760, is in Google Books, pp. vi-vii. What seems to be relevant is the h in gh, which as the author presents it serves to change the pronunciation of g "in the middle of a syllable or at the end", making the g silent or changed to an f sound, or affecting the previous vowel. For example thug and though, rug and rough, bout and bought. This is actually a point about the combination gh, but the author is dealing with each letter individually.)

Third:
"The Cathedral of Westminster, that is, the Badìa, also has its considerable magnitude, when it is not compared to our Cathedral of Milan, which triumphs over it more than double, either in measure, or in marble, or in. The Badìa is of Gothic architecture, and darkly majestic, as well as of a style different from that of our Duomo. I don't know who the architect was. It is in it that the corpses of many kings are placed, of many writers, many warriors and many singular and famous architects to them say: Most of the distinguished English poets have there either the bone, or the statue, or the bust, or at least a tombstone. Like the fool in the tarrot, there is Saint-Evremond, French, of short furnishings (1)both in philosophy and in poetry. One of his noble Englishmen had him buried in it, paying I don't know how much money. And here we must tell you that the honor of having oneself or others buried in that famous Badìa is paid in cash."
__________________________
(1) [Andrea's note] The expression "of short furnishings" means that Saint-Évremond was considered by the writer (wrongly) an author of little importance. In a figurative sense, in fact, by furnishings we mean the set of notions that enrich the fundamental culture. The short definition identifies him as an author who has made a mediocre contribution to knowledge.
Although this poet is of no consequence in himself, he is welcomed into the august company at Westminster Abbey because of the cash that came along with him, as opposed to his impecunious but more significant peers. Again, he is a welcome addition.

Fourth:
"He was the first and most authoritative of that municipality, mayor, procurator, archifanfano, all of the place, and there was not a party to take, expense to do, treaty, sale or purchase, whether it was not done, but neither thought without of him who put his hand in everything; and he was like the madman in the tarot; and he was of all things believed by commoners better than the symbol of the apostles; and besides this, he knew where the devil has his tail, and was of acute knowledge."
The point of the comparison is again that the person's intervention in everything is seen as welcome and beneficial, just as the Fool is welcome in his role as "excuse" and in filling the holes in point-getting combinations

Fifth:
"G. And isn't it true that the Friars and Abbots enter right into the compilation of our Vocabulary like the fool in the tarot?"
It is the same: their contribution is welcome.

Sixth and last:
"M. Gentile : O brother, there
I am, in my house; I laugh, I sing, I make noise, I
dance, I play games, I tell
tales; in sum: I am among them
as is the fool in the tarot.

Geppo : O proper Comparison!"
In this one it is not so clear that he is welcome, as opposed to welcoming himself. But if he feels that comfortable, surely he is welcome, even if, he seems to be saying, he just indulges in nonsense and nothing practical.

Andrea 2020, pt. 1

#84
Now I turn to Andrea Vitali's essays in 2020. I want to emphasize that you can more or less read these essays for yourself in English and other languages by following my suggestions at viewtopic.php?f=8&t=1906. Essentially what you do is search on Google for "Saggi Letarot" and next to what comes up, click on the blue "translate this page". However at the link I have given some tips about how to decipher Google Translate when it doesn't make sense.

Andrea's first 2020 essay is Di una Lettera del Doni ad Annibal Caro -1552 -
A un poeta pazzo ben si addicono le carte dei tarocchi"

Of a Letter from Doni to Annibal Caro -1552
Tarot cards are well suited to a mad poet


Google Translate does not handle 16th century Italian poetry and poetry-like prose very well. But I think what is going on is that this Doni, born 1513 Florence, has written a poem which he imagines in his letter to have been written by someone else, a poet madly in love with a certain lady, with many allusions to Titian, Petrarch, the myth of Icarus, etc. Doni then comments on this poem. At the end of these comments, he says that he gives the Fool card to the lady, while keeping the Devil for himself. Andrea says that the Fool represents the poet's condition relative to the lady, and the Devil relative to himself. I wish Andrea had said more. The Devil presumably is chosen because the poet feels like he is burning in hell. And the Fool is chosen because of his love madness. This is my guess as to what Andrea means, but to me it is none too clear.

Next we have I Tarocchi Siciliani nelle opere di Giovanni Meli
Con una introduzione sulla storia del tarocco in Sicilia

The Sicilian Tarots in the works of Giovanni Meli
With an introduction on the history of the tarot in Sicily


Melli (Palermo 1740-1815 wrote in Sicilian dialect, his first work in 1762, but the poem cited here published in a collection of his poetry in 1787 but written considerably earlier. Fortunately, the poem has been translated into modern Italian, which Google Translate does a good job with.

He introduces it with material from Michael Dummett's Il Mondo e l'Angelo, 1993, on the beginnings of the Sicilian tarot, repeating the story that the game was introduced there by a new governor in 1663. (This view is somewhat compromised these days, since Franco Pratesi's 2011 essay pointing to a 1630 reference to the game in Palermo.) Andrea then lists the Sicilian trumps in order, which he will use in interpreting the references to the tarot. In the poem Don Quijote and Sancho Panza and Don Quijote, the the World card is referenced, with its picture of Atlas carrying the World on his shoulders, and the tarocchi as a whole is compared to a house of cards that falls just as the last card is being put into place. In another poem, La Fata Galanti, Jupiter is mentioned as the first of the triumphs, or highest, and Miseria as the lowest of them, which the translator mistranslates as the Bagatto. In one last poem, the poet recommends the tarot, among other things, as a recipe against the cold.

Next is Gesuiti e altri religiosi fra carte e tarocchi
Ombre e luci

Jesuits and other clerics, between [ordinary] cards and tarot
Shadows and lights


In this essay Andrea first cites a couple of passages critical of the Jesuits of the 18th century. In one, a cynic about religion goes to a sermon intending to laugh at the Jesuit preacher, but ends up being converted. However in a poem he is not without criticism of the Jesuits' tyranny over people by means of the confessional, harping on every little error someone makes.

Next is a long passage critical of the Jesuits, of which the one relevant sentence is the following: " Questo basterebbe, per esser messi in universale diffidenza presso i Popoli, nelle vostre grandi assoluzioni, che date, e farle stimare quanto quelle di Papa-monco, o del de’ Tarocchi Papa sei." Google Translate has : "This would be enough, in order to be placed in universal distrust among the People, the great absolution, which you give, and to make them esteem how much those of Papa-monco, or of the Tarocchi Papa are." Monco means "maimed, incomplete", according to online dictionaries. Andrea does not explain the meaning. I guess it is a play on the word "tarocchi", meaning both "crazy people" and the card of the mutilated Pope in the game. It further suggests to me the meaning of "tarocco" as "maimed". In English the word "lame" can have such a meaning, i.e. "stupid".

Next, a poem complains satirically that noble ladies' only criticism of Christianity is that they don't let dogs in the temple; later the poem indicates that for them it is upsetting for them to lose the Bagatto, against which they tell themselves "Patience, for the love of God."

Another deals with the criticism that foreigners visiting Rome come away with a bad impression of the clerics there, because they are seen so much playing cards.. The reply is that they do not play games of chance, and only for small stakes. One or two hours in the evening is just an innocent diversion, what is worse than playing is such murmurs in criticism, or so says a Roman priest of 70 or 80 and an exemplary life. Another excuse is that it is acceptable for those clerics involved in diplomacy, who must engage pleasantly with the nobility.

We also learn about how the clerics celebrate Carnival. Nuns dress up as men, with mustaches and swords and the clothes of their confessors, who are in the audience. Other shows bring in sleight of hand artists. The Jesuits watch Latin comedies. Other times two priests will perform, one acting out an ignorant person speaking nonsense in the language of the people, the other someone learned. In this context the word "bigoti" is used to describe the pious, in what appears to be a different sense than nowadays, when it is applied to the overzealous and self-righteous.

Another quotes a certain Cardinal Lugo, who said that if he saw a Jesuit playing cards, he would charge him with a mortal sin. For all that, Andrea says that even though card-playing at synods was forbidden, many in attendance did so anyway.

A Swiss says that the time spent playing card would be better spent on something more edifying, such as learning botany or minerology. Andrea ends by citing the Jesuit priest Claude-François Ménestrier (1631-1705), who among numerous works wrote a book about "the game of blazon cards", an educational game teaching the coats of arms of the French noble families.

Next comes an essay in three parts on the 1761 fantasy comic opera "L’Amore delle tre melarance" (The Love of Three Oranges), upon which Prokofief later based his opera of the same name. Besides Commedia d'Arte characters, the play opens with various tarot figures: the Fool, Fortune, and the king, knight, page, doctor (!), and ten numeral cards in Cups, as well as the Knights of Swords and Coins. In Act Two a Magician (Mago) is added, as well as "the hours", said to weave the thread of life, and so include the Fates, as on the Charles VI Sun card. Another "hour" is named Corragio, courage. There are also devils and a sorceress. Act Four opens in a cloister, with its backdrop a painting called "The Hermit of the Tarot" (L'Eremita dei tarocchi). In the last scene comes an "Angel of Harmony" to wrap things up with a happy ending. Besides these characters, Andrea finds resemblances between the plot and the tarot sequence.

The next essay is Pasquino e i tarocchi
Una statua parlante a satireggiare il clero romano

Pasquino and the Tarot
A talking statue to satirize the Roman clergy


Here we learn the origin of "Pasquinade", a satirical literary composition, directed at the clergy or the powerful in general. It comes from the Roman legionaire and tailor Pasquino, famous for a biting tongue, whose statue can be seen in a corner of the Villa Orsini in Parione of Rome. Andrea in other essays has already talked about a couple of them, and now he adds a few more. In one, the author complains of the high price of artichokes, relative to what the people can afford: "Ho ragione se io tarocco", which Andrea translates "I rightly curse [imprecare]". It is "tarocco" as a verb, as he has explained elsewhere. In another, Pasquino has a different derogatory vulgar term for every cardinal in Rome, all in rhyme. He calls one of them a "Cazatello / Un proprio bagatello de tarochi", meaning a "little prick, a proper Bagatto of tarocchi".

Finally, there is one about the Pope and the Popess, in answer to the question of whether she was history or romance, i.e. fiction. Apparently with reference to the mythical Pope Joan, the Protestants wanted the Popess but not the Pope, while the Catholics defend the Pope and deny the Popess. So Pasquino said that the way to reconcile them was to unite the Pope and the Popess in marriage. The curate objected that the Popess only existed in the figures of the tarot. The physician then asked, could the same be said of the Devil? The poor curate had found himself in a bind (imbroglio).

The next essay is Il significato di Tarocco in Andrea Moniglia-1660
Nel dramma per musica ‘La Serva Nobile'

The meaning of Tarot in Andrea Moniglia-1660:
In the musical drama 'La Serva Nobile'


In this essay Andrea identifies two occurrences of the word "tarocco" in two different comic operas by Moniglia. In La Serva Nobile (The Noble Servant), one character asks another, “E quel tarocco di Fernando?” (6). i.e., "And that tarocco of Fernando?". Andrea then refers to another work, a Declarations on the meanings of words in his works (I think), by the same author in reference to that use of tarocco, where he gives as synonyms "Balordo, Fantoccio, Malfatto". Malfatto means "malformed", which could apply to a person either mentally or physically. Fantaccio means "puppet", applied to a person someone with no will of their own, led around by others. By bolardo is meant someone who is obtuse, slow, ingenuous (although what Andrea writes is ingegno, meaning "intelligent", rather than ingenuo). It also indicates a confusion of mind. So it is close to "stupid".

The other use is in La Vedova (The Widow), where one woman, Frasia, one of the principals, is talking to an old servant woman, Geva:

Frasia: Leonora [one of her daughters]
Today must get married
With the Father of Leandro. And this fool [sciocco]
Now he says to her, now he writes to her
That a Lover of her lives;
Understand, Geva, in truth tarocco.

In this case Moniglia paraphrases tarocco as m’adiro, i.e. "I am angry". So there are two meanings for tarocco. Andrea reconciles them by saying that the second comes from the first: it is because of the confusion or stupefaction, preventing the person from attaining in that moment the necessary calm, that that the person is angry.

The next essay is Vita del Picaro Gusmano d’Alfarace - 1599
Le avventure, fra carte e tarocchi, di un furfante pentito

Life of the Rogue Gusmano d'Alfarace - 1599
The adventures, between cards and tarot cards, of a repentant villain


This essay is mainly about a novel translated from Spanish of Mateo Alemán, purporting to be the confessions of someone who cheated at cards. Google translate does a good job with the passages that Andrea has selected, about the methods of cardsharps. The Italian translation, even if from the early 17th century, is fairly simple. So I won't bother summarizing it or Andrea's account of him, which is also straightforward. The only confusing part is the end of a quote from the frontispiece " ...le Virtù conducono al supremo de gli Honori; et che i Vitij traboccano nel precipitio delle miserie, et fino alla mendicità” . I translate it as "the Virtues lead to supreme Honors; and the Vices overflow into the precipice of misery and even begging."

To put the Italian into Google Translate's English, let me remind you, follow my suggestions at viewtopic.php?f=8&t=1906.

The only things that are difficult to read are selections from two other authors, both 17th century Italian. You can get the general drift from Google Translate, although not enough to call it a real translation. If Andrea wants to include a translation into modern Italian, he can, but it hardly seems worth the trouble. There is one mention of cards, in the phrase "da carte"; Google translate has "from papers"; it should be "of cards," I think, since the words before were about rogues and swindlers. There is only one mention of tarot, and it is straightforward, just about playing tarot and other card games. If you want to know the names of the other games in Italian, just highlight the Google Translate English text.

To be continued

Andrea essats 2020, pt. 2

#85
Continued from preceding post:

The next 2020 essay by Andrea Vitali, in Italian at http://www.letarot.it/page.aspx?id=5, can be accessed in Google Translate's English by searching for "saggi letarot". That should put you at https://translate.google.com/translate? ... ch&pto=aue. Then in the list at the left you will find
Bagatella priests in the 16th and 17th centuries: Between fraudulence and heresy, a translation of "Preti bagatelli nel Cinque e Seicento
Fra fraudolenza ed eresia".


This is another essay not hard to read by way of Google Translate. Just bear in mind my suggestions at viewtopic.php?f=8&t=1906. In addition, here are some other suggestions for interpreting Google's version of this essay. For "pull" (tirare), in the sentence just before (9) read "pass the time". Then for "hora" read "now" [ora]. For "bagattellieri", read "sleight of hand artists". For "mattacini" read "jesters" (it is from "matto", of course). That gives you an idea of what the essay is about: the words "bagatelle" and similar in context.

The next essay is: Di eretici accusati di peccato bagatella
Nella città veneta di Cittadella

Of heretics accused of bagatella sin
In the Venetian city of Cittadella


This one is again easy to read in Google Translate. It is much the same as the preceding one. Some substitutions: for "stranger" read "foreign".
for "hostinatione" read "obstinacy". For "pretazzi" read "prey". For "I want" read "that appears to me".

Next is La Bagatella nelle opere di Ferrando Pallavicini
Vita e opere di un grande scrittore condannato dall’Inquisizione

The Bagatella in the works of Ferrando Pallavicini
Life and works of a great writer condemned by the Inquisition


More of the same, and again fairly easy to read in Google Translate. For "libertine" read "independent". For "cholera" read "anger" (collera). For "quisa", read "passage". For "aire" read "area". Then in the quotation before (7), for "until it was up" for "as long as it was raised". For "neglected" read "neglectful". For "supposing" read "subjecting", and for "which we bring" read "that we go". And for "concern" read "regard".

In the next quote, for "which gives themselves" read "by giving them". In the same sentence, for "you" read "them". For "yuol" read "want" (vuol). For "Pretaglia" read "a quantity of priests".

Next, Il Giuoco di Fortuna di Guido Casoni - 1622
Giocare a tarocchi con la fortuna

The Game of Fortune by Guido Casoni - 1622
Playing tarot with Fortune


This is a succession of dialogues or other fantasies on the subjects of the tarot and minchiate. Again, easy to read with Google Translate., except for a word here and there. It provides a certain context for these subjects, bearing in mind, however, that the intent is to be amusing and witty.

I do not know "nodrendovoi". I assume it means something like "throwing". For "hora fuscenda" read "darkening hour". "Forella" means "sister (sorella)".

In the section headed "The Fool", for "hair" read "hat"; for "spirit" read "possess". For "A fè" read "In faith". For "tāta" read "so much" [tanta].
In that of the Bagatto, "ciancioni" means "lies, gossip".
In that of the Emperor, for "real" read "royal".
In that of Love, for "manfueto" read "gentle" (mansueto).
In that of Justice, for "rufian" read "sycophant" and for "folds" read "leans": Justice, like a sycophant, leans to one side, whence it receives more.
In that of Luck, for "Luck" read "Fortune", for "machina" read "making", for "providēza" read "providence".
In that of the Devil, " çõ nembi" is "with clouds". For "tow" read "material" (stoppa).
In that of the Sun and the Moon, for "living death" read "dead life". For "fior" read "flower". I do not know the untranslated terms after that.
in that of the "soul of the world" for "map" read "card" (carte).
For "land" read "earth".
In that of Air, for "keep" read "take".
In that of the Zodiac, for "beautiful descent, & having young woman" read "descends a beautiful & youthful woman"

Next is Giocatori di carte contro immagini della Vergine
Nella Bologna del Cinquecento

Card players against images of the Virgin
In the Bologna of the sixteenth century


This should really be "images of the Virgin against card players", considering that the images miraculously responded to the insults made against them, according to the awed witnesses. It is again easy to read. For "candid dove" read "pure white dove". For "imagine" read "image". For "waves in a The instant" read "whence in an instant". For "Asinaries" read "donkey tenders". For "eglino" read "they". "Calcina" is "lime".

Next is Crittografia con i tarocchi nel Cinquecento
In occasione del tentato assassinio di San Carlo Borromeo

Cryptography with the tarot in the sixteenth century
On the occasion of the attempted assassination of San Carlo Borromeo


A would-be assassin of the Cardinal fails in the attempt, according to a report Andrea found, only brushing the him (not "smearing" as Google has it) with the arrow from his cross-bow (arquebus). His co-conspirator, the one paying the assassin, sends a message whose meaning will be understood only by him, "addesso che havete giocato à tarocchi, che la ronfa è andata in nulla” i.e. Now that you have played at tarot, the ronfa has come to nothing." Then the would-have-been assassin is told where he can go to pick up the money for his expenses. Andrea says that ronfa is a players' term for "result".

Reading this, what is most cryptic to me is what follows in the message: "potrete far che quello amico pigli il partito,"- You can make that that friend take him the party (or part?)," That to me is quite mysterious. The rest of the message is fairly clear: "vada a Vercelli nel modo che si è detto che la gli sarà data provigion" : go to Vercelli and it is owed that he will be given provision. Andrea interprets that as saying he was to go to Vercelli where he will be given what is owed him. So perhaps the clause before is just to say that he will get his "part" from the friend.

Andrea imagines, more generally, that messages could be sent with a single card enclosed: the Chariot, if the person was to move immediately, or if the Hermit, to wait. That would be cryptography by means of tarot cards, he says.

The next essay is Metafore tolte dal gioco dei tarocchi
Nella lingua italiana

Metaphors lifted from the game of tarot
In the Italian language


This essay collects idioms in Italian that are drawn from tarot in particular and card games in general. Unfortunately the explanations are themselves often in idioms I do not fully understand. However I think I understand a few of them.

"Papino" is the name of the lowest trump in Minchiate, the tarot's Bagatto. In billiards in Tuscany, to do a papino is to hit a ball incorrectly with the cue ball, so as to make a bad shot.

Then there is "to be the King in tarot." which is to say, to be the king of nothing, Andrea says. In one example, the kings of Europe, who have forced or bought their way to the crown and so are illegitimate in contrast to the Byzantine descendants of the Caesars, are called kings of the tarot. In another, someone wraps himself in various insignias, such as scraps of paper with tarot kings on them and pieces of tin in the shape of the double eagle and a crown. as though they symbolized his power, although of no real value. Another, said to adore only Mammon, i.e. riches, is called a king of the tarot. But these examples are expressed in idiomatic language, and it is hard for me to be sure I understand them.

Then there is "like the Fool in the Tarot." Andrea gives six examples. I will translate and talk about them in an addition to an earlier post of mine on this topic. Added: I have done so as an addition to post 83 of this thread, at viewtopic.php?p=22931#p22931.

Then there is "to have the value of the 2 of cups". - which is to say, no value.

From other games there is "having the Ace of Trumps", meaning the solution, and "being the Ace of Trumps", meaning a person able to resolve things. Ace was high. And "to count as the Two of Spades", meaning to be worth nothing. And others, some of which exist in English, too, but many that don't. Some are clear enough, but others are themselves so idiomatic I remain unclear what is meant.

Finally, so far, we have Il sonetto ‘Tarocco’ di Giovanni Prati
Un inno alla Poesia salvatrice

The sonnet 'Tarocco' by Giovanni Prati
A hymn to the savior Poetry


Andrea introduces and quotes four sonnets by this 19th century poet, all rather beautiful. One, Andrea says, is called "tarocco", which he thinks has a double meaning, referring both to the game and to his anger at Fortune, whose "crazy mane" he cannot grab ('by the forelock", the saying goes). It ends with a proverb, "The cancellation of the game makes fortune in love", which the poet says seems to him a lie. Andrea says that then fortune always lost. I do not understand. Then comes a sonnet where he sees the card that resembles him, referring to the Fool, for his vain hopes. At least I think that is what is meant. The third elaborates on that theme, personalizing each of the tarot Fool's features (In the Marseille design). But "engage with Fortune and you will be brought to the devil"(?). There are, however, wise cards, although it is not clear which ones he is alluding to - I'd guess the Angel of Judgment, because he speaks twice of being buried in the ground, but Andrea does not mention it. So poetry still elevates the soul, even if fortune abandons one. Or something like that. In this essay Andrea's commentary is almost as difficult for me to follow as the poems themselves. To be clearer would, I guess, be to rob the poems of their mystery.

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