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Friday, May 9, 2014

Rebel With a Cause (4)

[6: 38.7 - 39.8] The tragedy looms

. . . 
- Chiedi a te stesso pur (disse il Norvegio)
Il primo grado in guerra e 'l primo pregio -.

- A me non già, che per usanza e stile
Cedo (rispose) a cavaliero antiquo;
Ma tu, ch'esser dovresti a' buon simìle,
Hor giudice di me sei troppo iniquo -.
- Menti - gridava - temerario e vile! -
L'altro, che troppo havea l'animo obliquo.
E Riccardo gridò: - Vedrai ben s'erro -
E nudo strinse con la destra il ferro.

"So," the Norwegian said, "ask for the primacy
And the first honor for yourself in war."
"Not for me," he replied. "I have the custom
Of ceding before such an ancient knight.
But you, who should be among the good,
Now prove an unrighteous judge with me."
"You lie, you reckless and base!" shouted
Gernand, whose mood was crooked in depth.
And Richard shouted, "I lie? You'll see!"
And he drew and clenched his sword.