An exemplary husband
We are in an unspecified location in the north or south of Italy, however, somewhere in Italy (sometimes, is not a good idea to say the name of the place) during the late nineteenth, early twentieth century. In this spot, in a city of the Italian Kingdom, was the prosecutor of the King (what today might be called the Public Attorney). He was a very respectable man, very close to the family, full of thoughtful attention to his wife, he certainly did not forget her birthday, and, of course, on Sunday afternoon, took her to the Café in the city so that she might feel happy and respected.
None of his children was neglected, and no one could say anything of the father since he provided everything for them; expensive schools, followed by private studies at home. A beautiful house, really nice, in which the boys had their own rooms and the nanny who took care of them. Even the cleaning staff and the maintenance guys of the house were perfect, everything was efficient, in short, everything was in the right place. There was nothing to blame in the father, his life was with a clear conscience, nothing to blame in him, he felt perfectly comfortable.
Sometimes, when you move with a good conscience, it can happen that you lower the "critics" for our actions, which should be precisely balanced and that it should be in a sense, like a defence for our morality. As asking ourselves: "Is it right what I do or not? And if it is, why is it? (Or vice-versa).
These questions of introspection (turned over to ourselves than to others), helps a lot to improve us or, at least, it helps to avoid mistakes which could have large consequences, unpleasant Otherwise, assuming that all things you do is right, good, we’ll be less critical because we won’t exercise in that direction so that you may be suddenly stuck in some kind of unforeseen situations, from which unpleasant, it will be very difficult to sort them out (if possible).
Going back to this gentleman, plunged into a state of total serenity and rightly so, considering that his family had everything. It is a natural thing to have some fun and, as the proverb says, the grass of the neighbour looks always better, so it will be obvious to go and take this herb (after all, if it's good...).
Of course the grass is not necessarily owned by someone but it could also be free, if the woman is free (this is the matter we're talking about), we won’t face the risk of finding someone with a sword or a gun, perhaps assisted by their godparents as used to be at that time. After all, nobody likes to be betrayed and at that time who was betrayed used to react in that way.
These were the circumstances that time to time, could come out and create, in the late 800 and early dell'900, in the high society, and there are different people who lost their lives because of these games.
The human mind is sometimes a little 'convoluted, in fact at the time, if a man of a certain social level was not the lover of anyone he was considered “not enough”, a very bad figure, but if you was her lover, still was not right because someone else could find it silly (maybe the betrayed husband?) in short, a big problem. How to do the right thing?
In case that this Lover gave birth to a child, it would be a total shame for the husband, for his wife, for the lover and especially for the child who would have her/his future completely ruined (even if, this man who had given birth, had proven to be exemplary man). After all it is well known that if a man and a woman are in sleeping together, something might happen and after all, it's really stupid to be surprised about it.
As Pirandello tells us, sometimes everyone knows a fact, but the most important thing is that none knows that others know it, (sounds complicated but it's simple). Using other words anything can happen even if it is not entirely a secret. The main thing is that it won’t became a scandal. In that case none would be able to says that he/she doesn’t know it. That 's what makes the difference, a difference like this one may even cause the death of someone.
It 's curious that events like those, in the present age, can even become a source of pride (maybe we're not hypocrites?) While the same facts in another era, was considered a real tragedy.
Returning to our character, who loved his wife and his family and at the same time, spent some afternoons of the week (not on Sunday) in the beds of his lovers who attended in rotation, the life spent entirely serene, alternating between a commitment and the other in his duties and performance. With the discretion and Pirandello, who recommends to avoid scandal, there were no problems. Husbands of his lovers, were men as him, and if you gave them the opportunity to know but not to know that others knows, the scandal was avoided and everything was OK.
Unfortunately, however, as the saying goes, the devil built pans but not the lids and even if everything looks okay, here it comes the usual Machiavellian quid: you expected it but you could not predict it and ruins everything. This person, belonging to the upper class of the society, with a title at that time was worth even more than a large bank account (which was present in any case..), was in contact with very important people, with prestigious families having different meetings. In one of these meetings... he has the opportunity to meet a girl belonging to one of these high-ranking families, one of the most prestigious of the Kingdom.
At that time girls, even belonging of high social class, were not as open minded as nowadays, they believed that storks were bringing children. Considering the art of the seduction that our man had developed over years, after a lots of experience, was really easy for him to get to know the girl, for the first time, the joy of “The Party”.
The girl was a baby only under the psychological and intellectual point of view, but not physically, in fact, after that experience with our character, who was considering her lover “marginal” in his life, she becomes pregnant and troubles begin. Because the fact is held in an absolute discretion environment, the first thing that the girl's parents thought, was to avoid the scandal as the only solution to this problem, despite the unborn, who wasn’t responsible for this fact. There will be a lot of events related to that unborn child, still considered as a marginal event in the life of our protagonist.
The girl child is away from families (for her now, the after “The Party” time begins). The girl is transferred to farmers (trusted by her family), with the excuse that she was not too healthy and she needed to breathe clean air in the countryside. When someone was visiting her, especially at the beginning when her condition wasn’t disclosed, she used to wear a very long dress, to better hide her pregnancy. Gradually, they avoided any contact with other people, until the happy event. (It was a real happy event because another life was called into existence), she was a female.
The charity wheel
As soon as born, was washed and treated to perfection, she received all the necessary precautions, she was fully dressed, lying gently in a small wicker basket. She was abandoned in a convent of nuns... this was a typical procedure at the time.
These nuns had vowed not live a regular life, avoiding any kind of contact with the world (from one exaggeration in one direction to another in the opposite direction). Nouns could not see the face of who made the offer, if anyone was putting the gift on the charity wheel, was ringing the bell and just disappear. The sisters turned the wheel in order to get the gift inside the building, not knowing who the author was offering, in perfect harmony with the evangelical maxim: "May your right hand not know what the left one did. "
This maximum proves very useful also to hide the scandals, especially of this kind. In fact, the sisters sometimes, instead of finding food, were surprised to find a nice boy or girl for a basic sense of moral duty, they should take care and maintain him/her.
And that was how the girl was grown up by nuns... all girls belonging to noble families that operated a “possible scandal” used to do that and nuns, in order to help noble families in this that sense, used to save the little soul and prevent the scandal.
They, knowing the whole truth about that happy event, could be trusted 100% and even more than that, nuns took care of the little girl until she was able to provide for herself... . The girl's parents had their weaknesses , they were victims of a mentality and a social custom, but they were not bad; they thought of their daughter, following her from afar, always with discretion of course.
In the town where the events took place, a terrible typhus epidemic arrived and claimed many victims. The illegitimate daughter, now almost thirteen, became seriously ill but treated she recovered completely. When she was ill, in a state of semi-consciousness, recalls how in a dream of a strange lady, very elegant, dressed all in white, with a large white hat, with a net that fell to cover the upper face.
She sat close to her spending days and sometimes whole nights to watch over her. This person looked at her with great tenderness and anxiety, the girl, despite her semi-conscious, watched her without speaking, as completely fascinated.
But as soon as she recovered completely, the mysterious white lady disappeared, not even the shadow was left. In vain she asked the nuns "Who was that lady who was sitting at my bedside when I was sick"? The sisters replied with gruff benevolence: "But what are you talking about? None else was here we would have noticed it, certainly what you saw, was the consequence of that very high fever that nearly took you to afterlife.
"Thanks Heaven that you are alive, not all have had your chance and now do not run behind your silly fantasies." The girl who certainly was not stupid, she knew that this lady was her mother, and she knew that her parents were important people of high society, for the gifts she received from the outside, which she used to share with everyone. Those gifts weren’t comparable to those that her friends in the same condition received, we may well say, "fellow sufferers ".
She irrevocably decided, once out, to discover who her parents were; this just to have the satisfaction, nothing else, to know who was the daughter of. Once you exit from the orphanage with her nurse diploma, which was making her able to support herself, she began with a perseverance method to look for her parents, despite sisters’ suggestions, to give up.
Like a detective worthy of the great actors that we admire in out televisions, following her research from time to time questioning people more or less involved to the fact. Sometimes she had only half sentence, a more intense facial expression, so she made her guess, and, starting from this point, she continue to proceed in the new direction. This type of research will bring her to an end, she will contact a very important gentleman.
This important person, found after her research, certainly knew a lot about her story. He could help her, so she decided to leave and go to visit this gentleman, he lived in another city.
Finally... she arrive at the destination point, with a beating heart. In his residence the servants announcer her arrival, and immediately she had a sit in a waiting room. After about half an hour of waiting, the girl went in the office of the gentleman who, when he saw her, showed a sincere and affectionate sympathy. She took a sit on a chair in front of his desk. The man asked her if she wanted any drinks or food, and because she was tired and hungry after the travel lasted several hours, she had an hot cappuccino and a croissant. While she ate, the character looked her with great interest, and spoke with her about many things, as his projects, and so on.. She felt completely comfortable with that person so gentle-mannered; really she wouldn’t expected to be treated so kindly. After the interview, the gentleman asked if she wanted anything else to drink. After that he greeted her affectionately reassuring that he would do everything possible to help her within her research.
The girl, very encouraged by his attitude, went away relieved, she felt that the truth wasn’t that far. She started walking on the elegant and stately steps of the stairs, going toward the exit, when, suddenly she heard a gunshot. Immediately she run back, going toward the location of the explosion, the office of this very kind person. She come in and saw him lying on the desktop, with a hole in his head. The right arm holding his gun still smoking.
She noticed an open drawer from which few letters were coming out; she instinctively read them and it was like a shock for her; ... this person, the King’s attorney, was her father. He saw that his daughter came too close to his family so he preferred to commit a suicide.
The girl..., as a result of this, decided to permanently discontinue her research, staying with her curiosity satisfied only for an half. She was scared that her mother, once identified, could do the same thing that unfortunately his father did.
Later she get married and she had several sons who had other children, and every time there was a new born (and later on, her son, grandson), the family of the baby received a package with a substantial gift from unknown origin. One day, later on, when another boy come to life, inexplicably he didn’t receive any package, no gift... In those days the lady was reading the newspapers, she noticed that a lady, belonging to the upper Italian aristocracy, died in advanced age.