Teofilo Folengo

I am reading the exhilarating poem “Baldus” by Theophilus Folengo, first published in 1517. It describes the picaresque adventures of Baldus, a peasant boy from Mantua who tries to emulate the Paladins of France’ exploits. It is written in macaronic Latin, i.e. in the dialects of the Po Valley (Mantua, Veneto, Brescia) with a superficial varnish of Latin, which produces a comic effect in itself (in addition to the narrated content).
From book 7, I report two quotes that can make us reflect even today:
v. 342- 343 Foemineae fazzae partem voltantur in altram, | quae tantum buttant vergognam tempore scuro
“The women turn their faces aside, for they throw off their shame only in the dark”.
v. 347-348 Qua propter vergogna focum smorzavit amoris, omnia vincit amor, sed scornus vincit amorem
“As a result, shame squelches the fire of love: | love conquers all, but scorn conquers love”.
[english translation by Ann E. Mullaney]

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