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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Coup de théâtre (4)

[6: 56.1 - 57.2]

Ma più di lui turbato allhor Riccardo,
Con faccia irata e come notte oscura,
Gli rispondeva, e con feroce sguardo
Da spaventare ogni anima secura:
- Non hai, Goffredo, a' merti miei riguardo
Né del mio buon servir giusta misura,
Né grato d'opre sei d'alto coraggio,
Ma tua somma giustizia è sommo oltraggio.

Io già sofferir non voglio oltraggi ed onte
Di gente vile, al tuo rigor ministra -.

Then, even more upset than him, Richard,
His countenance angry and as dark as night,
Replied to Godfrey -- and his eyes were so
Fierce that would frighten the bravest,
"You have no regard for my own merits(*)
Nor a just judgment of my good service,
Nor gratitude for so many courageous deeds:
Your supreme justice is supreme injustice!
I do not mean to suffer dishonor and shame
From such base executors of your severity."

(*) Injured Merit! Milton's Satan well knew about it, or that was his opinion, at least. See CS Lewis' Preface to Paradise Lost.