Friday, November 03, 2006
The Wind Blows Where It Lists
Cardinal de' Conti, a stout and burly man, had been out hunting, and, towards noon, feeling hungry, came down to dinner; he took his seat at table, perspiring copiously (it was summer time) and requested that someone should air him with a fan. The servants had left the room on various duties, and he asked a certain Everardo Lupi, Apostolic Secretary, to ventilate him. -- "But," said the latter, "I do not know how that is done with you." -- "Never mind," answered the Cardinal, "do it as you like, in your own way." -- "All right, by Jove," replied the Secretary, and raising his right leg, he emitted from the very depths of his bowels the most sonorous fart, saying at the same time that that was how he was accustomed to make a breeze for himself. There was a numerous company, who could not help bursting out into a fit of laughter.
Cardinalis de Comitibus, vir crassus et corpulentus, cum aliquando venatum isset, esuriens circa meridiem ad prandium descendit; sudans ad mensam (aestas enim erat) ac poscens ut ventus flabello sibi fieret, cum ministri abessent diversis rebus occupati, jussit quemdam Eberhardum Lupi, Scriptorem Apostolicum, sibi ventum facere. At ille, 'Nescio id vestro more,' cum respondisset, -- 'Ut scis,' ait Cardinalis, 'et tuo modo facito.' Tum ille, -- 'Libens me Hercule!' et, suspenso dextro crure, pergrandem ventris crepitum edidit, eo pacto se ventulum facere solitum dicens. Quo excitati omnes (multi enim jam aderant) ad risum sunt maximum compulsi.
Poggio, Facetiae 136 (tr. anon., Paris: Isidore Liseux, 1879):
A like reply was made by the Cardinal of Tricarico to the admonitions of Alto de' Conti. The Cardinal led a most dissolute life, and, one day, when hunting, Alto urgently lectured him that he should amend his ways. On hearing this remonstrance, the Cardinal looked him a minute full in the face, stooped on his horse's neck, and gave a tremendous fart, exclaiming: "To your beard." He then moved off without another word, thus showing the value he set upon his advice.
Eodem instrumento Cardinalis Tricaricensis, Alto de Comitibus se monenti respondit. Nam cum Cardinalis esset vitae dissolutioris, Altus vero illum in venatione admoneret multis verbis ad melioris vitae mores, auditis Alti verbis, in eum paululum respexit; et e vestigio se in equi caput reflectens, ventris crepitum edidit ingentem, inquiens: 'Ad barbam tuam!' Quo solo responso abiit, ostendens quanti faceret suas monitiones.