Page images


Ah! che se gli è un Dio, ben tosto lo paghèra; ma veramente se non e'è Dio, è galant' huomo. (If there is a God, he will be well punished; but, really, if there is no God, he is a clever man.)

Attributed to POPE URBAN VIII (1568-1644), referring to Cardinal Richelieu (1585-1642). See Si le cardinal est en paradis &c. Anch' io sono pittore! (I, too, am a painter.)

Attributed to CORREGGIO (14941534), standing before Raphael's picture of St. Cecilia at Bologna, but its authenticity is doubtful. Another version is "Son pittore anch' io." (I am a painter also.)— P. Luigi Pungileoni, Memorie istoriche di Antonio Allegri detto il Correggio (Parma, 1817, vol. 1, p. 60.)

Ancora imparo ! (I am still learning!)

INSCRIPTION accompanying a favourite device of MICHAEL ANGELO (1474-1563) of an old man in a go-cart, with an hourglass upon it.

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

Attributed to POPE JULIUS II, otherwise Giuliano della Rovare (1441-1513), who held the Apostolic See from 1503 to 1513; referring to the Spanish army and all foreigners. According to Guiccardini (Istoria d'Italia, bk. ii) the Pope was continually hoping that "Italia rimanesse libera dai Barbari." (Italy should remain free from the barbarians.)

Godiamoci il papato, poichè Dio

ce l'ha dato. (Let us enjoy the papal office, since God has given it to us.)

POPE LEO X (1475-1521) was in the habit of using this phrase to his brother Giuliano.

Governo negazione di Dio. (The negation of God erected into a system of government.) PROVERBIAL PHRASE, said to be derived from the first of two letters to the Earl of Aberdeen on the state prosecutions of the Neapolitan Government (under date April 7, 1851) from the Rt. Hon. W. E. Gladstone (1809-98.) "I have

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

Il nostro è secolo di transizione e, quel che è peggio, di transazione. (Our century is one of transition, and what is worse, of [compromising] transactions.)

Saying of GIOVAN BATTISTA NICCOLINI (1765-1861), recorded by Vanucci in his Ricordi della vita e delle opere di G. B. Niccolini, vol. i, p. 382.

In Italia il potere non ha arricchito nessuno. (In Italy power has brought riches to none.)

Written by G. B. GIORGINI, on a draft bill for a pension to Luigi Carlo Farini (1822-66) brought before the Chamber of Deputies, April 16, 1863. ". . in Italia le "vicendep olitiche sono state per "molti una causa di rovina: il 66 potere non ha arricchito nessuno." (In Italy the vicissitudes of politics have been a cause of ruin to many; power has enriched no one.) Atti Parlam. Legisl. VIII, Sessione 1861-3, Camera dei Deputati, p. 4622.

Io non credo alla geografia. (I do not believe in geography). Attributed to PRINCE ONORATO CAETANI DI TEANO, better known as the Duke of Sermoneta, during his presidency of the Società Geografica Italiana. In allusion to the Duke Michelangelo, who, when a troublesome man was pressing upon him in an indiscreet manner a very expensive geographical work, replied: "Mi dispiace proprio tanto, ma io non credo alla geografia." (Indeed I am exceedingly sorry, but I have no faith in geography).

La monarchia ci unisce, la repubblica ci dividerebbe. (Monarchy unites us, the republic would divide us).

FRANCESCO CRISPI (1819-1901), in the Italian Parliament, May 1, 1864.

L'aritmetica non è un' opinione

[ocr errors]

(Arithmetic is not an opinion). Attributed to the Deputy BERNARDINO GRIMALDI, in a speech in parliament, Nov. 27, 1879. The phrase occurred in the course of a personal explanation, after resigning the post of minister of finance. "La "seconda dichiarazione che tengo a "fare è questa, che per me tutte "le opinioni sono rispettabili, ma "ministro o deputato ritengo che "I' aritmetica non sia un' opinione.' (The second declaration that I wish to make is this, that all opinions are respectable, in my view, but, whether minister or deputy, I maintain that arithmetic is not opinion.) Atti Parlam., Discussioni della Cam. dei Dep., Sess. 1878-9, (vol. x, col. 8707). But it really originated with Filippo Mariotti in a speech at Serrasanquirico. D. Gaspari Memorie storiche, 1883, p. 259).



Lente dell 'avaro. (The miser's [dish of] lentils).

GIOVANNI LANZA, in a speech to the Chamber of Deputies, Dec. 15, 1869. Quoted by Antonio Starrabba Di Rudini, (1839- )in a speech at Milan, Nov. 9, 1891. Libera Chiesa in libero Stato.

(A free Church in a free State). CAMILLE BENSO, Conte di Cavour (1810-61)-his dying words. Massari, Il Conte di Cavour, Ricordi biografici (2nd edit., 1875, p. 434). "Frate, frate, libera Chiesa in libero Stato." (Brother, brother, &c.).

He had often repeated the phrase, and notably in parliament, Mar. 27, 1861, on the occasion of a discussion on the whole question of Rome.

Libero io nacqui, e vissi, e morrò

sciolto. (Free I was born, have lived, and will die also). Words on a medal struck at Rome by QUEEN CHRISTINA, of Sweden (1626-89).

L'Italia è fatta, ma chi farà ora gl' Italiani? (Italy is made, but who will now make the Italians?)

MASSIMO D'Azeglio (1798-1866), at the first meeting of the Italian Parliament at Turin, in 1860.

L'Italia farà da sè. (Italy will make its own way).

CARLO ALBERTO (1798-1849), in his proclamation to the people, Mar. 23, 1848.

Nè elettori nè eletti. (Neither electors nor elected).

Saying used on the occasion of the abstention of the Catholics from voting at the election of Giacomo Margotti, director of the Unità Cattolica of Turin, in 1860. He replied in his paper by using the phrase "Ne apostati nè ribelli" (Neither apostates nor rebels).

Obbedisco. (I obey).

GUISEPPE GARIBALDI (1807-82), writing from Bezzecca, Aug. 9, 1866, replied to an order received from general La Marmora to retreat (upsetting his plans when on the point of success) as follows: "Ho

ricevuto dispaccio 1072. Obbe"disco. Garibaldi." (I have received your despatch, no. 1072. I obey).

Per Dio, l'Italia sarà! (By God, Italy shall be !).

VICTOR EMMANUEL II (1820-78) is reported to have said these words, pointing with his sword to the Austrian camp, soon after the defeat of Novara, March 23, 1849.

Piace a me e basta. (It pleases

me and that is enough). AGOSTINO DEPRETIS (1831-88), in parliament, when replying to the honourable Bosdari, to defend his

own measures.

Più santi che uomini da bene. (More holy than good men themselves).

FLORENTINE SAYING-applied to hypocrites who affect outward holiness of life, but are in their hearts worse than other men. Dati,

Lepidezze (Firenze, 1829, p. 41). Cf.

"Malus ubi bonum se simulat, tune est pessimus. Publilius Syrus, Sententiæ, 284. ("An ill man is always II; but he is worsti of all when he pretends to be a saint". Bacon.)

Re galantuomo. (King Honestman).

Surname given to VICTOR EMMANUEL II (1820-78) by the people (La vita e il regno di Vittorio Emanuele, vol. 1, p. 160.) Rispondo che non rispondo. (I

reply that I do not reply.)

GIOV. FILIPPO GALVAGNO, Minister of Agriculture (afterwards Minister of the Interior), in Parlia


Roma o morte. (Rome or death.)

BATTLE-CRY used in the unfortunate expedition of Aspromonte; also, some years later, in the equally unfortunate one of Mentana. The order of the day drawn up by Guiseppe Civinini, Garibaldi's secretary, on Aug. 1, 1862, and read by the general, began as follows: "Italia e Vittorio Emanuele, Roma o Morte"

[blocks in formation]

Se non è vero è ben trovato.


it isn't true, it is well discovered.)

Attributed to the CARDINAL D'ESTE (1479-1520), referring to Ariosto's Orlando Furioso. Cf.:

Se non è vero è molto ben trovato. (If it isn't true, it is marvellously well discovered)-Bruno, Gli Eroici Furori, pt. ii, dialogue 3.

Cf. "Fatti pure in là, non mi toc"car con essa; se non è vero, egli è "stato un bel trovato." (Goon ahead; don't trouble me with that matter; if it is not true, it was right well discovered.) Cf. A. F. Doni, Marmi (1863 ed., p. 76.) (The work was first pub. 1552, but probably the phrase was then already proverbial.) Se son piene le carceri, son vuote le sepolture. (If the prisons

are full, the graves are empty.) CARDINAL LUIGI LAMBRUSCHINI, Secretary of State under Gregory XVI (1765-1846), to someone who one day said to him that the prisons were not capable of accommodating any more political prisoners.

Tu sei piu rondo che l'O di Giotto. (Thou art rounder than Giotto's O.)

PROVERBIAL SAYING, alluding to a circle drawn with a pencil by G. di Bondone Giotto (1276-1336) as a specimen of his work to be submitted to pope Benedict XI about 1304. Another account says that the circle was drawn for Pope Boniface VIII, his predecessor. Cf. Carlyle's essay on Mirabeau.

Videre Napoli et Mori. (See Naples and Mori).

Mori isa little village near Naples. Said to be the origin of the expres sion. "See Naples and die." (a jeu de mots).

Viva Verdi! (Long live Verdi !)

Cry of the ITALIAN PATRIOTS (1859), really referring to VictorE(mmanuel) R(e) D'I(talie) (182078), under cover of the name of the composer (Guiseppe) Verdi.

Zone grigie. (Gray Zones).

FRANCESCO CRISPI (1819-1901), in a conversation with M. Saint-Cère, editor of the Paris Figaro in 1890; it was published in that journal, on

the 29th of September in the same year. "La question des nation"alités se meurt. Il n'y a puls de "divisions marquées, tranchées; il "y a sur toutes les frontières de tous "les pays des zones grises où les nationalités se mêlent." (The question of nationalities is dying. There are no longer any distinct, defined divisions, there are on the frontiers of all countries gray zones where the nationalities mix).

« PreviousContinue »