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■ '.' 1







THE

DIALOGUE

BETWEEN

oAn ALMANAC SELLER

A N D A

PASSER-BY

The A U T H O R

QIACOMO LEOTA%DI



SAN FRANCISCO

e/f oNew Tear Qreeting from Edwin and Robert Grabhom

M CM XX I



THE if^i

DIALOGUE



Translated from the Italian by

CHARLES EDWARDES



Almanac Seller. Almanacs! New Almanacs! New

Calendars! Who wants new Almanacs?

Passer-by. Almanacs for the New Year?

Almanac Seller. Yes, Sir.

Passer-by. Do you think this New Year will be a

happy one ?

Almanac Seller. Yes, to be sure. Sir.

Passer-by. As happy as last year?

Almafiac Seller. Much more so.

Passer-by. As the year before?

Almanac Seller. Still more, Sir.

Passer-by. Why ? Should you not like the New Year

to resemble one of the past years?



M 35 «7



4 The DIALOGUE

Almanac Seller. No, Sir, I should not.

Passer-by. How many years have gone by since you

began to sell almanacs?

Almanac Seller. About twenty years, Sir.

Passer-by. Which of the twenty should }'ou wish the

New Year to be like?

Almanac Seller. I do not know.

Passer-by. Do you not remember any particular year

which you thought a happy one?

Almanac Seller. Indeed I do not, Sir.

Passer-by. And yet life is a fine thing, is it not ?

Almanac Seller. So they say.

Passer-by. Would you not like to live these twenty

years, and even all your past life from }^our birth,

over again?

Almanac Seller. Ah, dear Sir, would to God I could !

Passer-by. But if you had to live over again the life

you have already lived, with all its pleasures and

sufferings ?

Almanac Seller. I should not like that.



The DIALOGUE 5

Passer-by. Then what other life would you like to
live? Mine, or that of the Prince, or whose? Do you
not think that I, or the Prince, or anyone else, would
reply exaftly as you have done; and that no one
would wish to repeat the same life over again ?
Almanac Seller. I do believe that.
Passer-by. Then would you recommence it on this
condition, if none other were offered you?
Almanac Seller. No, Sir, indeed I would not.
Tasser-by. Then what life would you like?
Almanac Seller. Such an one as God would gi\'e me
without any conditions.

Passer-by. A life at hap-hazard, and of \vhich you
would know nothing beforehand, as }'Ou know
nothing about the New Year?
Alma?iac Seller. Exa61;ly.

Passer-by. It is what I should wish, had I to live my
life over again, and so would every one. But this
proves that Fate has treated us all badly. And it is
clear that each person is of opinion that the evil he



6 The DIALOGUE

has experienced exceeds the good, if no one would

wish to be re-born on condition of living his own

life over again from the beginning, with just its same

proportion of good and evil. This life, which is such

a fine thing, is not the life we are acquainted with,

but that of which we know nothing; it is not the

past life, but the fiiture. With the New Year Fate

will commence treating you, and me, and everyone

well, and the happy life will begin. Am I not right?

Almanac Seller. Let us hope so.

Passer-by. Show me the best almanac you have.

Almanac Seller. Here it is, Sir. This is worth thirty

soldi.

Passer-by. Here are thirty soldi.

Almanac Seller. Thank you, Sir. Good day, Sir. —

Almanacs! New Almanacs! New Calendars!





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Online LibraryGiacomo LeopardiThe dialogue between an almanac seller and a passer-by → online text (page 1 of 1)