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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

A fine reward! (2)

[6: 66] Richard's reply to John and Godfrey - follows

Ma se guerra apparecchia o guerra move
A Siòn, a l'Egitto, al Perso, al Mauro,
Comandi: io corro a l'animose prove
Senza premio sperar di regni o d'auro.
O qui si pugni o si guerreggi altrove,
Non voglio io di prigione ampio restauro,
Né del mio travagliar questo riposo
Perch'altri [ei]* faccia grande, altri famoso.

* "he," added in the printed version to make the text clearer

"If (Godfrey) prepares or wages a war against Jerusalem, or Egypt, or Persia, or Africa, let him freely command me: I will throw myself into the bold enterprise, without even asking for a kingdom or gold as a reward. Let us fight here or elsewhere, but I reject a long punishment in prison, nor will I have any break from my toils so as to let him make somebody else great and famous!"