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Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Beware of strangers (1)

[8: 21]

Partesi, e mentre va per dubbio calle
Sente un corso appressar che più s'avanza;
Et al fine spuntar d'angusta valle
Vede huom che di corriero havea sembianza:
Scotea mobile sferza, e a le spalle
Pendea il corno su 'l fianco, a nostra usanza.
Chiede Tancredi a lui per quale strada
Al campo de' christiani indi si vada.

He goes; while following an uncertain
Path, he hears running steps approaching,
Finally out a narrow valley there came
A man whose apparel was a courier's:
He shook a crop and over his shoulder
Carried a horn as is wont in our country. (*)
Tancred asked him about the best way
To go back to the Christian camp.

(*) Italy. Tancred himself was an Italian, not only in this fiction but historically.