El natural – Padua 1530

In 1529-33 Angelo Beolco (aka Ruzante) published the comedy “La moschetta” in Paduan dialect. In the appendix there is an “Egloga” where the author summarizes the plot and the message of the comedy (= the importance of being natural, keeping in mind that “la natura” and “lo natural” still designate the female and male sexual organs). “To be natural” also means to speak the language learned from mother’s milk, the dialect of one’s fellow citizens, without using the languages or dialects of other regions or cities, even if they are of great prestige (Dante’s Florentine, called “moscheto” that is “pretentious, affected”) in ยง 11 says: “How can one find anything more beautiful than the natural? But don’t birds sing better on willows than in cages? But is not a natural poplar better and more beautiful than an artificial one? It would be even better if it weren’t cold so that we could all walk around as we were born, completely naked. But don’t you think it’s nicer to see a woman all naked than with lots of skirts and overskirts? I think so. But it wouldn’t be bad either to see a man there as well, that at least no one would be fooled into choosing: men and women would have their due, I tell you the truth!”


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