Francesco Berni

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Making a virtue of necessity.

Francesco Berni (ca. 1497May 26, 1536) was an Italian poet credited for beginning what is now known as "Bernesque poetry", a serio-comedic type of poetry with elements of satire.

Quotes[edit]

  • Let him look to it, who is pleased with the game of Tarocco, that the only signification of this word Tarocco, is stupid, foolish, simple, fit only to be used by Bakers, Coblers, and the vulgar, to play at most for the fourth part of a Carlino, at Tarocchi, or at Trionfi, or any Sminckiate whatever: which in every way signifies only foolery and idleness, feasting the eye with the Sun, and the Moon, and the twelve (signs) as children do.
    • Mention made on the Tarocchi in his Capitolo del Gioco della Primiera col Comento di messer Pietropaulo da San Chirico (1526).

Rifacimento of Orlando Innamorato[edit]

Quotes as reported in T. B. Habottle's Dictionary of Quotations (Italian) (1909)
  • Che il far giudicio appartien solo a Dio.
    • For judgment appertains to God alone.
      • III, 2
  • De la necessita virtu facendo.
    • Making a virtue of necessity.
      • III, 86
  • Un re, se vuole il suo debito fare,
    Non e re veramente, ma fattore
    Del popol che gli e dato a governare.
    • A king that would to do his duty try,
      Is steward, truly, and not sovereign
      Of those who bow to his authority.
      • VIII, 8
  • Non crediate che sia maggiore sdegno,
    Che quel di donna quando e dispregiata.
    • Think not that aught the fury can surpass
      Of woman, when she feels that she is scorned.
      • IX, 23
  • Che lasciar quel che s'ama, e peggio assai
    Che disiarlo, e non averlo mai.
    • To lose the thing we love is greater pain
      Than to desire and never to obtain.
      • XVII, 6
  • Nessuno e piu ch' un uom, sia chi si vuole:
    Ognun puo dire a suo modo parole.
    • Whoe'er he be, none more than human deem,
      And each may speak as good to him doth seem.
      • XVII, 22
  • Sia maladetto chi si fidò mai,
    O vuol fidarsi di donna che sia;
    Che false sono e maladette tutte;
    E più anche le belle che le brutte.
    • Cursed be he who e'er has put his trust
      Or who henceforth shall trust in woman's heart;
      False are they all, and to mankind a curse;
      The plain are bad enough, the fair are worse.
      • XXII, 49
  • Che chi a pazienza fa ogni cosa.
    • For he who patience hath can all things do.
      • XXIII, 64
  • Che 'l perder l'acquistato e maggior doglia
    Che mai non acquistar quel che l'uom voglia.
    • The loss of what we have is pain more dire
      Than not to gain the thing that we desire.
      • XXV, 58
  • Che guardar dee ciascun d'esser ben netto,
    Prima ch' altri riprenda di difetto.
    • Each should be sure of an untarnished name,
      Before he ventures others' faults to blame.
      • XXVI, 34
  • Ed ogni altro martir passa ed avanza
    Trovarsi vana l'ultima speranza.
    • And this doth overpass all other pain,
      To find that our last hope is all in vain.
      • XXIX, 13
  • Così da sempre ogni capo canuto
    Piu volentier consilio, ched ajuto.
    • So those whose heads with snowy locks are crowned,
      More ready to advise than aid are found.
      • XXX, 61
  • Savio e chi d'or in or, non d'anno in anno,
    Scudi, remedi, antidoti raguna
    Contra i colpi di morte e di fortuna.
    • Wise is he who this hour, not year by year,
      Makes himself safeguards, antidotes and shields
      Against the weapons death or fortune wields.
      • XXXI, 2
  • Non si conosce la virtu perfetta,
    Se non quando fortuna ne saetta.
    • Never a man unblemished virtue shows,
      Save when he is the butt of fortune's blows.
      • XXXI, 32
  • Ne la grandezza giova ne 'l diletto,
    Che s'acquista o si tenga con sospetto.
    • Nor power nor pleasure e'er can be enjoyed,
      What time they with suspicion are alloyed.
      • XXXVII, 29
  • Ch' un disordin che nasce, ne fa cento.
    • From one disorder oft a hundred spring.
      • XL, 1
  • Pochi si son del silenzio pentiti;
    De l'aver troppo parlato, infmiti.
    • Of keeping silence few have paid the cost;
      Of having said too much, a countless host.
      • XLI, 3.
  • Non vien si tardi il mal che non sia presto.
    • Mishaps
      How late soe'er they come, come aye too soon.
      • XLIII, 5
  • Con le calcagna pagava lo scotto.
    • With whip and spur he paid his tavern bill.
      • XLIV, 70
  • (Ed un certo proverbio cosl fatto
    Dice cbe) il danno toglie ancbe il cervello;
    E cbe cbi e rubato, come matto
    va dando la colpa a questo e quello.
    • A certain proverb, that the whole world knows,
      Says that loss also steals away our senses,
      And that the man thus robbed, like madman goes
      About, and right and left the blame dispenses.
      • XLV, 4
  • Che poco grato e 'l don chi tardi viene.
    • But little virtue hath the tardy gift.
      • XLV, 56
  • Chi ruba un corno, un cavallo, un anello,
    E simil cose, ha qualche discrezione,
    potrebbe chiarnarsi ladroncello;
    Ma quel che ruba la riputazione,
    E de l'altrui fatiche si fa bello,
    Si puo chiamare assassino e ladrone.
    • He who conveys a ring, a horse, a hat,
      And things like these, shows some discrimination;
      Mere petty pilfering a the name for that.
      But him who steals another's reputation,
      And on the fruits of others' toil grows fat,
      Hail thief and murderer by acclamation.
      • LI, 1
  • Per saper se 'l demonio e come pare,
    S'egli e si brutto com' egli e dipinto.
    • That we may know
      Whether the devil doth his looks belie,
      And if he is as ugly as we paint him.
      • LII, 1
  • Andava combattendo ed era morto.
    • He still fought stoutly on—and he was dead.
    • LIII, 60
  • A colpa vecchia pena nuova.
    • For fault inveterate, new punishment.
      • LVI, 8
  • Ha qualche volta un ortolan parlato
    Cose molte a proposito a la gente;
    E da un mantel rotto e sporco e stato
    Molte volte coperto un uom prudente.
    • Ere now a simple tiller of the soil
      Hath spoken words of wisdom to mankind;
      A cloak all tattered and besmirched with toil
      Hath ofttimes clothed a man of prudent mind.
      • LVIII, 1
  • Ne in prosa e detta ne in rima
    Cosa, che non sia stata detta prima.
    • Neither in prose nor verse we aught can say,
      But some one said it long before our day.
      • LIX, 1
  • Ben è un ramo senza foglia,
    Fiume senz' acqua e casa senza via,
    La gentilezza senza cortesia.
    • Like to a leafless tree,
      Dry river bed, or house in pathless waste,
      Is gentle blood that hath no courtesy.
      • LXIV, 61
  • Tal l'aspro saettare, e tanto dura,
    Che per l'ombra de' dardi il ciel s'oscura.
    • And still the arrows flew so thick and fast,
      That, as by clouds, the heavens were overcast.
      • LXIV, 61

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