Dispute with Forese Donati - III

Dante a Forese
 
Bicci novel, figliuol di non so cui,
(s’i’ non ne domandasse monna Tessa),
giù per la gola tanta roba hai messa,
ch’a forza ti convien torre l’altrui.
 
E già la gente si guarda da lui                      5
chi ha borsa a lato, là dove’ s’appressa,
dicendo: “Questi c’ha la faccia fessa
è piuvico ladron negli atti sui”.
 
E tal giace per lui nel letto tristo,
per tema non sia preso a lo ‘mbolare          10
che gli appartien quanto Giosepp’a Cristo.
 
Di Bicci e de’ fratei posso contare
ché per lo sangue lor, del male acquisto
sanno a lor donne buon’ cognati stare.
 
 
Forese a Dante
 
Ben so che fosti figliuol d’Alaghieri,
ed accorgomen pur a la vendetta
che facesti di lui sì bella e netta
de l’aguglin ched e’ cambiò l’altrieri.
 
Se tagliato n’avessi uno a quartieri,               5
di pace non dovevi aver tal fretta;
ma tu ha’ poi sì piena la bonetta,
che non la porterebber duo somieri.
 
Buon uso ci ha’ recato, ben til dico,
che qual ti carica ben di bastone,                10
colui ha’ per fratello e per amico.
 
Il nome ti direi de le persone
che v’hanno posto su; ma del panico
mi reca, ch’i’ vo’ metter la ragione.
 
Dante to Forese
 
O Bicci junior, son of no one knows
till Mona Tessa tells your father’s name,
into your throat so much have you gulped down
you are now forced to steal what is not yours.
 
Of such a man as you all men beware,                       5
who carry wallets. Seeing you come close,
“This fellow with a scar upon his face,”
they say, “is a familiar, public thief.”
 
And someone’s lying in his sorry bed,
for fear you may be caught in thievery,                      10
who is to you what Joseph was to Christ.
 
Of Bicci and his brothers I can say
that, for the bond of blood, in lawless gain,
they are to all their women suited kinsmen.
 
 
Forese to Dante
 
I know quite well you’re Alighieri’s son.
which I can prove by the revenge you took,
(a neat and splendid one) against the man
who changed his money just the other day.
 
If even you had quartered one of them,                       5
you should not have so quickly made your peace;
but you so managed to fill up your sack
two donkeys could not bear it on their back
 
Oh, let me tell you, you have done us good,
for everyone who whips you with a stick                   10
you call your brother and your only friend.
 
Well I could mention everyone by name,
who bet upon your cowardice; but first
bring millet, just to settle all accounts.

Notes:

Dispute with Forese Donati
 
Dante to Forese: O Bicci Junior, Son of No One Knows / (Bicci novel, figliuol di non so cui)
 
Forese to Dante: I know quite well you’re Alighieri’s son / (Ben so che fosti figliuol d’Alaghieri)
 
Dante’s accusation of Forese’s gluttony and thievery is renewed together with an imputation of illegitimacy, suggesting that his mother Tessa (Contessa) was of loose morals. Forese replies (Ben so che fosti figliuol d’Alaghieri) by renewing the accusation that, out of simple cowardice, Dante did not avenge an offense endured by his father, who is clearly accused of being a usurer. The last few lines mockingly and ironically suggest that Dante’s cowardice was well known to everyone. Millet was used to count and add.

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