Andrea Vitali's Historical Essays on the Tarot

Writing and Quarreling

The verb "Taroccare" from Giulio Cesare Croce to Giosuè Carducci


Translation assistance from Michael S. Howard

Giulio Cesare Croce - Giuseppe Berneri - Niccolò Forteguerri - Paolo Francesco Carli - Giovanni Santi Saccenti - Domenico Maria Manni - Giovanni Greppi - Giovanni Gherardo De Rossi - Gaetano Rossi - Felice Romani -Tommaso Gargallo - Reto Partenopeo - Ernesto Capocci - Anonymous freethinker - Pietro Laviano Tito - Giosuè Carducci. 


With this article we continue the discussion on the presence in literature of the verb "taroccare", introduced with The hospital of incurable madmen by Tomaso Garzoni of Bagnacavallo. As reported in our essay About the etymology of Tarot, the verb “taroccare” means "to grumble, vigorously to protest, to fret, in particular because of a strong emotional impairment, to quarrel, to snort, to get angry" (1). Some scholars believe that the word “tarot” is derived from this verb, as swearing and getting angry was a typical attitude of card players.

Among the many works of Giulio Cesare Croce, to whom we devoted a special essay, the two novels Bertoldino and Bertoldo are universally known. These were published for the first time in 1620, in a unique collection together with the Cacasenno, written by Adriano Banchieri. From Bertoldino we report Octave XLIII of Canto XII, where “taroccare” is expressed by the bad wishes listed in the beginning of the verse:


E tigna e flusso, fistol, cancro, peste,
     E de' malanni tutta la genia
     Augura a chi l'ha concio per le feste,
     E taroccando pur se ne va via.
     Nè avvien, che mai dal replicar s'arreste;
     Maledetto quel matto becco, e via.
     La nuova per la corte tosto è sparsa: 
     Se, v'era allor Molier, che bella farsa!


He wishes to those who have beaten him
     worms, the flow, pustules, cancer, plague
     and the whole brood of ills,
     and shouting [taroccando] he walks away.
     Damn that foolish beak, and so on.
     The news spreads quickly into the court:
     If Moliere were there, what a beautiful farce he would write!


On Giuseppe Berneri (1637-1701), playwright and poet, there are few reports concerning his life. A Roman, he became a member of several academies and secretary of the Accademia degli Infecondi (Academy of the Infertile), whose purpose was to promote a kind of edifying religious theatre. The Meo Patacca ovvero Roma in Feste nei Trionfi di Vienna (Meo Patacca [Patacca = Duffer] or Festive Rome in the Triumphs of Vienna) (1695), a mock-heroic poem in octaves, written in the Roman dialect, is undoubtedly his most famous poem.


In Octave 30 of Canto 2, we find the “taroccare” verb:


Con te tu ciancie no, non me la ficchi,
Co ste frollosarie  non m' infinocchi,
Disse Meo, con ingiurie tu me picchi,
E poi non vuoi ch'io contro te tarrocchi? 


With these your foolish things, you won’t make me believe what you say,
with these lies you won’t fool me,
Meo said, you hit me with insults,
and then you don’t want me to get angry with [tarrocchi] you?


Niccolò Forteguerri, an author we already quoted elsewhere (2), in Canto IV of Ricciardetto (between 1716 and 1724), writes:


Ma mentre ch' ei fatica e che tarocca,
Ecco che piomba ancor sopra di lui
Un'altra rete da quell'altra rocca
E restano prigioni tutti  dui [Orlando e Rinaldo]".


But while he struggles and curses [tarocca],
here is that other net from the other rock
again plunged over him
and both [Orlando and Rinaldo] remain prisoners.


The Abbot Francesco Paolo Carli (1652-1725), an imitator of Berni, was the author of various burlesque compositions. In many of  his poems he satirized a priest residing in Borgo a Buggiano, a certain Don Giovanni Paolo Lucardesi, who, full of literary pomposity, in his sonnet included a terrible theological blunder, writing that Christ was "crucified and three persons". Pietro Fanfani in an edition edited by him entitled Rime burlesche di eccellenti autori (Burlesque rhymes of excellent authors), Florence, 1856, so writes about La Svinatura (The Racking), Carli's work: "With this ingenious and vague poem, the author ridicules a distinguished pedant of his time, Giovan Paolo Lucardesi (here called Bietolone da Lucardo), schoolmaster in Borgo a Buggiano. and takes the occasion of a bad sonnet written by him ​​in praise of Father Marcellino, a preacher, in which he called Our Lord Christ crucified and three persons. And we can say that no sad writer was ever so severely punished for his presumption".


The author imagines that Bietolone [Big Chard], completely drunk, was involved in a fight with some villagers while he was with them crushing the grapes. After several combative actions against a woman named Cecchina, at the end of the dispute he is thrown to the ground, by this woman:


Quando e' si vide in terra
Privo d'ogni sua gloria,
E l'avversaria sua di tanta guerra,
Restata in piedi, udì gridar: Vittoria,
Si diede a voltolarsi in mezzo all'aja
A guisa di un porcello
A cui dolga il budello o l'anguinaja;
E prima miagolando,
E poscia taroccando,
Si pose al fine il saggio baccalare
Stranamente in tal guisa a bestemmiare:
Non c'è più Cristo per me,
Come s' io Cristian non fussi;
Eppur io fui che m’indussi
D’un ch’egli era a farne tre
Non c’è più Cristo per me.


When he saw himself on the ground

stripped of all his glory,

and the opponent in such a war

remained standing heard shouting: Victory,

he began to roll in the middle of the floor

like a pig

that suffers in the gut or the groin;

and first meowing,

and then cursing [toroccando],

at the end the wise baccalare  (1)

began to blaspheme strangely in this fashion:

there is no more Christ for me,

as if I were not a Christian;

and yet I was the one who asserted

to be triune a person who was only one, (2)

there is no more Christ for me.


(1) baccalare = famous man of letters, here in an ironic sense.

(2) allusion to Christ "crucified and triune" as mentioned above.


By Giovanni Santi Saccenti (1687-1749) (3), in the posthumous volume Le Rime di Giovan Santi Saccenti da Cerreto Guidi (Rhymes by Giovanni Santi Saccenti of Cerreto Guidi), a series of letters were reported addressed by him to various persons. While in Pistoia he wrote Alla Signora Margherita Fortini Sorelli di Firenze, Podestessa a Cerreto Guidi, in casa della quale era stato a convivere l’Autore da Studente (To the Lady Margherita Fortini Sorelli of Florence, Podestessa [female term for Podestà, Mayor] of Cerreto Guidi, in whose house he lived when he was a student), complaining of a running quarrel with some villagers (4).


Che il Diavol vi ricami la cotenna,
Villan plebei, con tante forconate,
Quanti eran Turchi a Buda e sotto Vienna.
Bestie cornute, e quando vi chetate?
S'io vi tratto con tanta civiltà,
Gli è anco dover, che non ve n'abusiate.
Me gli raccomandavo in carità,
Ma gli era giusto come ir predicando
In via de' pentolin la castità,
Ora, così scrivendo, e taroccando,
Saprete forse voi quel ch' io abbia detto,
Ch'io non lo sò, se non ve ne domando.


That the devil embroiders the hair,

villain plebeians, with so many forks

as the Turks in Budapest and below Vienna were,

horned animals, and when do you calm down?

If I treat you with much civility,

it 's your duty, not to abuse.

I recommended it in charity,

but it was just like going to preach

chastity along De’pentolin Street, (1)

Now, just writing, and cursing [toroccando],

 perhaps you know what I have said,

 I do not know, if I do not ask you.


(1) De’pentolin Street was a famous street in Florence where prostitutes worked


Among various works by Domenico Maria Manni (1690-1788), Crusca Academy member and Director of the Strozzi Library in Florence, should be noted Le Veglie Piacevoli ovvero Notizie de’ più bizzarri, e giocondi uomini toscani (Pleasant Vigils or Notices on the most bizarre and merry Tuscan men) (5) where in the Third Book is reported the Notizie di Manetto Ammannatini detto il Grasso Legnajuolo (Notices on Manetto Ammannatini called the Fat Carpenter).


Manetto was born in Florence in 1385 and became known for inlay art. Manni so writes about him:


"Manetto, being a master in inlay and a big man of corpulent appearance, was called the Fat Carpenter. The most singular event in his youth, that this work has the merit to tell at length, and that shaped his character, created the proverb Diventare il Grasso Legnaiuolo (To become the Fat Carpenter), which is reported by Egidio Menagio among others”.


The event mentioned by Manni refers to the story narrated in 1489 by Antonio di Tucci Manetti, Brunelleschi's biographer, then transferred into a story with the title Novella del Grasso Legnaiuolo (Novel of the Fat Carpenter), usually cited as anonymous because of uncertainty about  Manetti’s authorship. It is worthwhile to introduce this story because it is one of the most famous jokes concocted in Florence of the 1400s and not only by people in general, but even by Brunelleschi in  along with Donatello and Giovanni Ruscellai. The joke, which occurred in 1409, was to persuade Manetto to be someone else, a certain Matteo Manniti. After processions of creditors knocking at his workshop and other hilarious interventions, the story finds its first conclusion with the desperate flight of Fat to Hungary, adopted so as to avoid a situation that he was no longer capable of sustaining. He returned later to Florence and the story continues when Brunelleschi asked Fat to tell him what had happened to him, because without the story of the transformations undergone by the consciousness of the poor unfortunate, the joke would not be complete.


Taken from the Veglie Piacevoli (Pleasant Vigils) (6) we report below the story of Manni regarding the arrival of two people to Fat’s shop in search of his brother Matteo Manniti: "I do not know what you say, nor what your  tricks are. Matteo did not come here, and if he says he is me he is wrong, and by the comparison between my body and his I want to dispel this madness, and see if I am him or he is me. What kind of devilry is this the past two days?". And full of wrath and taking his coat he exits outside, pulling the  shop door shut behind him, and leaves them in the street, muttering and threatening, and goes to S. Maria del Fiore, walking up and down, not knowing what else to do. So while cursing [taroccando] there comes towards him a man who had been his companion when they were apprentices of Master Pellegrino of the Inlays, etc." (7).


Giovanni Greppi (1751-1827), playwright, actor and librettist, took in Arcadia the name of Florimondo Ermioneo. After a disappointment in love (he fell in love with the nephew of Pope Pius VI, by him created a Knight) he became a Franciscan and returned to the theatre after throwing off the religious habit. He moved to Milan during the Napoleonic occupation, in the Cisalpine Republic, for which he also composed its anthem, assuming here the post of Police Commissioner and Prefect. A rather famous author in his day, he wrote fifty comedies, basically the "tearful kind". Among his most famous works, we find the trilogy known as Amore irritato dalle difficoltà (Love irritated by difficulties) or "Trilogia di Teresa" (Trilogy of Teresa): Teresa and Claudio, Widow Teresa, and Teresa and Wilk; the historic melodrama Gertrude of Aragon; and Caprices of the Theatre, published in four books.


In Book III of this last work, printed in Venice in 1789 under the title Dei Capricci Teatrali di Giovanni Greppi, Socio della Reale Accademia Fiorentina (About the Caprices of the Theatre of Giovanni Greppi of the Royal Academy of Florence), we find the verb taroccare in the comedy Teresa and Wilk (Capriccio VIII), the third of the aforementioned trilogy:


Third Act - Scene II
Wilk, a Milord
Leggerezza [lightness], Secretary to Wilk and husband of Wilhelmina housekeeper


Wilk. Tu quì muggivi come un toro provocato da qualcheduno.
Leg.  Non potevate dir, ch'io gridava, senza far  uso di certe similitudini odiose?
Wilk. Via, dirò che gridavi: ma per qualmotivo, e con chi?
Leg. Io stava quì taroccando con quella pettegola dimia moglie, per cose di pochissimo momento... Già sapete, Mylord, come son fatte le donne... La vogliono vinta in tutte le maniere... e quando cominciano non la finiscono più.


Wilk. Here you bellowed like a bull provoked by someone.

Leg. You could not say I cried, without the use of certain odious comparisons?

Wilk. Well, I will say that you shouted: but for what reason, and with whom?

Leg. I was quarreling [taroccando] here with that gossip of my wife, for things of little moment ... You already know, Milord, how women are.... They want to win in every way ... and when they start they never end.


Giovanni Gherardo De Rossi (1754-1827), Minister of Finance of the Roman Republic, President of the Academy of Fine Arts of Portugal and Director of the Royal Academy of Naples, was a poet and playwright. Belonging to the Arcadia as Perinto Sceo, he wrote several comedies in the style of Goldoni, including Le sorelle rivali (The rival sisters), L’astratto geloso (The tormented jealous one), La commedia in villeggiatura (The comedy during the holiday), Il secondo giorno del matrimonio (The second day of the wedding) and Il maestro di cappella (The choirmaster), the latter made ​​famous by Cimarosa’s musical version.


In Le sorelle rivali and L’astratto geloso, each composed of three acts in prose, we find the verb taroccare.


Le sorelle rivali (The rival sisters)

First Act - Scene VII
Colombina, maid in the house of Count Asdrubale
Trivella, servant in the house of the same Count.


Col. Guai, se quel pover' uomo casca, e non è difficile, perché patisce di vino. Ma per te ci è un'altra novità; sai? La Padrona vuole, che tutti voi altri servitori vi tagliate i capelli tondi.
Triv, (con rabbia) A chi? Se la può far passare sta voglia. Vederete, che io il codino non lo dismetto proprio. Ma eccoli, che tornano. Addio Colombina, vado a dire al Cuoco, che vada a spasso. (parte)
Tornano taroccando, è meglio, che mi ritiri. (parte)


Col. Alas, if that poor man [the coachman] falls, and it is not difficult, because he suffers from wine. But there is another novelty for you, do you know? The Mistress wants  all of you other servants to cut your hair round.
Triv. (angrily) Who? This desire of hers may pass. You will see, that for me it is not proper to get rid of my pigtail (or, in no way will I cut my pigtail). But here they are, coming back. Goodbye Colombina, I'll tell the cook to go for a walk. (leaves)
Col. They come back quarreling (toraccando], it's better that I withdraw. (leaves)


L’Astratto Geloso  (The tormented jealous one)

First Act - Scene II

Ast. ...Ma perchè mi avete interrotto? Cosa dicevo io? Cosa volevo?
Eug. Noi so. Ma venivate dalla vostra camera taroccando, parlavate di licenziare, di bastonare.
Ast. Sì, quel briccone di Trivella, che sempre è in giro, che va sempre a spasso. Questa mane prima di uscire avevo bisogno di mandarlo dal Conte Alessandro con un' ambasciata di somma premura, e costui non si trova mai.

 Ast……. But why have you stopped me? What did I tell you? What did I want?
Eug. I don’t know. But you were coming cursing [taroccando] from your room, talking of dismissing, of thrashing.
Ast. Yes, that rascal of a Trivella, who is always around, always going for a walk. This morning before going out I needed to send him to Count Alessandro with a message of paramount  importance, and he is never found.


The semi-serious music drama Il Trionfo dell’Amore ossia Irene, e Filandro (The Triumph of Love, or Irene and Philander) was presented at the Teatro Nuovo above Toledo in Naples, as the second opera of 1811, with music by Stefano Pavesi, Kapellmeister (Choirmaster) of the Neapolitan School (8). The libretto by Gaetano Rossi, based on an event that really happened in Lombardy, tells of  Irene’s love for Philander and of the adventures that befell  the girl who, at first forced into retreat by her stepmother, was able to flee from there to encounter many dangers in search of her love.


First Act - Scene VI

Giannetta, a maid
Filandro, Irene’s lover


Gia. Non dubitate ... io sono a parte.
Di tutto: Irene a voi mi ha qui diretta...
Oh! in quest'arte son' io troppo provetta!
Fil. A lei ritorna, e dille ..
Gia. Eh! la meschina
Colla madrigna sua sta taroccando;
Entrate in quell’arcova, e li nascosto
Vi piaccia di fermarvi,
Finché non giunga Irene a consolarvi.
Fil. Vado .... ma tu t’affretta, e per me dille
Che venga in sul momento
A render men crudele il mio tormento.


Gia.  You must not have any doubt.... I was privy to all:

Irene sent me here to you...

Oh! in this art I am too expert!

Fil. Go back to her and tell her. ..

Gia. Eh! the poor girl

She is quarreling [taroccando] with her stepmother;

enter into that alcove, and hidden there

it will please you to stop,

until Irene comes to comfort you.

Fil. I'm going .... but make haste,

and tell her from me

to come immediately

to make my torment less cruel.


The semi-serious opera in two acts, Il Corsaro (The Corsair), with music by Alberto Mazzucato (9), was performed at La Scala in Milan during the Carnival of 1840. It is not surprising that the verb to quarrel (taroccare) is present in an opera libretto, Felice Romani the author considering its use throughout the nineteenth century. We find it at the end of the first scene of the first act. After the opening chorus, Agnes, keeper of the Castle of Belmonte, has praised the upcoming marriage of Lisetta, daughter of Agnes, with Don Ramiro. Then the arguing voices of Lisetta and Simoncino, an affluent resident of the village of Belmonte - are heard coming from afar:


Sim. No, ben mio, non hai ragione
Di condurti in questo passo.
Lis. Donnaiolo, ipocritone!
Coro. Che vuol dir codesto chiasso?
Agn. Con Lisetta, Simoncino
Taroccando arriva qua.
Tutti. Aspettiamo un momentino,
chè da rider sarà.


Sim. No, my dear, you have no reason

to behave in this way.

Lis. Womanizer, hypocrite!

Chorus. What does this noise mean?

Agn: Simoncino comes here arguing [taroccando] with Lisetta.

All. Wait a minute, and we will be laughing.


In the Second Book of the Satires of Horace, the Sixth is configured as a praise to life in a villa by the title of Vita di città e vita di campagna (City and country life). In a nineteenth-century translation given in the volume Delle Opere di Q. Orazio Flacco, versione di Tommaso Gargallo, Marchese di Castellentini (From the Works of Orazio Flacco, Version of Tommaso Gargallo, Marquis of Castellentini) (10) the Marchese uses the term “taroccando” (swearing) to translate the Latin phrase "Iratis precibus". Horace, in order to make us understand the confusion that reigned in the streets of Rome, tells how it was almost impossible to move along the roads due to the large numbers of people. For someone like him, used to going in a hurry, he was instinctively trying by every means to overcome the crowd, even if it meant having to push his way, so that when this happened someone was often insulted: "Quid vis, insane, & quas res agis? Improbus urget iratis precibus".


While the modern translation of the passage by Mario Ramous is: "What are you looking for, madman? What's wrong with you? An ill-mannered person assails me, swearing [imprecando] furiously", Gargallo writes "And what do you expect? Crazy person! For what great things do you have these hands? Thus, swearing [toraccando], at times a bad one curses and insults me”. From this we can understand how the meaning of the verb “taroccare” was still clearly present in the nineteenth century, in contrast to modern times where it is used almost exclusively as an adjective to describe a false thing, such as a fake [taroccato] jewel, a fake [taroccata] bag, etc..


From the Miscellanee del Cavalier Felice Romani tratte dalla Gazzetta Piemontese (Miscellany of Cavalier Felice Romani, taken from the Piedmont Gazette) (Turin, 1837) we report, from the "Theatre" section, an excerpt of L’Ultima sera della Stagione d’Autunno (The Last night of the Autumn Season) (December 1, 1835 - Gazette no. 273) (11), which describes the moments in the lives of actors, directors, set designers, etc., when leaving the places of entertainment at the end of the theatrical seasons in Turin.


"Le Agate intanto ed i Proculi si disponevano al viaggio, vagheggiando i bauli delle figliuole e delle mogli: le deità maggiori si rincantucciavano nelle loro carrozze, ravvoltate nelle immense pellicce rammentando i passati trionfi e calcolando i trionfi venturi: la plebe degli Dei minori, chi taroccando cogli osti e coi vetturini, ecc.


"In the meantime the various Agates and Procluses (1) were preparing for the trip, thinking of the trunks of their daughters and wives: the major deities (2) were in their carriages, wrapped in their immense furs, recalling past triumphs and calculating future triumphs: the rabble of the lesser gods (3), quarreling [toraccando] with the hosts and the coachmen, etc.


(1) The actors, here generalized to the most famous names of the characters they interpreted.

(2) The main actors, the so-called "First Ladies" (if both sexes, then “Frist Lords and Ladies”)

(3) The extras and technicians


I pazzi per le mode, commedia, del signor *** detto tra gli Ereini Imeresi Reto Partenopeo napoletano (The fools for fashion, a comedy by Mr. ***, said among them  Ereini Imeresi called Reto Partenopeo, Neapolitan) (Naples, at the expense of Dominico Sangiacomo, sold in the printing house near the monastery of Montevergine, 1790) "was written for some Gentlemen vacationers by Mr. D. Vincenzo Cimaglia, Official of the Royal Navy, known by the Republic of Letters for his Naval Tactics, and for his Physical/Historical news about the inhabitants and natural products of the Americas” (12). Anything more about this comedy is not possible to know, given the lack of the name of the author, known only as an academy member.


I Pazzi per le mode (The Fools for Fashion)


First Act - Scene I

Marquis Eustachio, philosopher of fashion

Cavalier Astolfo, traveller of fashion

Madam Countess Errichetta, lady of fashion, wife of Count Tablò, fanatic for the handiworks of fashion


Cav. Amico, faremo allora delle belle feste.
March. Ma ..... col mio cattivo gusto italiano.
Cav. Oh via, sappiamo, che n'avete del  buono. Avvertite però di non raccontar tutto a vostra moglie nella prima sera, come, taroccando sempre, fecero ieri gli sposi in casa della Marches' Astorga . Errigh. A proposito, Cavaliere, come vi piacque quella festa?

Cav.  Friend, then we will make  good parties.
Marq. But...with my bad Italian taste.
Cav. Oh, come on, we know that you have good [taste]. But be warned not to tell everything to your wife in the early evening, as the spouses  were always quarreling [taroccando] yesterday at Marquis Astorga’s..
Err. By the way, Cavalier, how did you like that party?


Ernesto Capocci, Director of the Astronomical Observatory of Capodimonte, was a very famous scientist in his time, receiving high accolades from the Specula of Berlin, Paris and London. To his core activity he joined an interest in literature that was  expressed in the historical novel Il Primo Vicerè di Napoli (The First Viceroy of Naples), published in Paris in 1837. Set in the early sixteenth century, the Angevins and the Aragonese then in full contention for the conquest of the Kingdom of Naples, the novel is interesting both in terms of the history and the narrative, assuming the prerogatives of a true "poetical narrative".


In Part Three, Chapter II, is the sentence of our interest:


"Mentre così palpitava un lontano mormorio di voci umane gli venne all’orecchio. Era la guardia sul ponte orientale, che dà l’adito principale al castello. Vegliavano ancora alcuni di quei soldati, taroccando fra loro per le copiose libazioni già fatte; ma occupati com’erano in una disputa, sulla potenza del gran Turco in paragone del  futuro loro sovrano D. Carlos, poco badavano al fracasso che si fe’ sentire nell’altro lato del fosso".


"While he was trembling like this, a distant murmur of human voices came to his ear. He was the guard on the eastern bridge, which was the main entrance for entering the castle. Still keeping watch, some of those soldiers, quarreling [taroccando] among themselves for  the copious libations already made, but because they were occupied in a dispute on the power of the great Turk in comparison to Don Carlos, their future sovereign, they lent little attention to the noise that was heard on the other side of the ditch”.


In Il Libero Pensiero, Giornale dei Razionalisti  “Filosofie, Scienze storiche, Giuridiche e Naturali applicate al razionalismo” (Free Thought, Journal of the Rationalists “Philosophies, Historical, Juridical, and Natural Sciences applied to rationalism) (13), we find an interesting article about the life of the apostle Peter, as interpreted by the rationalists. In Parma, copies of the newspaper where the article was published were seized, as the freethinkers were declared unacceptable for logic, concerning an event that happened to the Saint as reported by the Holy Scriptures. In this regard the author of the article writes: "I relate to you the things such as are described in the Gospels, and if Matthew and Luke contradict each other, the fault is not mine, but of the venerable heads of the Roman Church which teaches us that we must believe in spite of all contradictions - credere quia absurdum (believe because it is absurd), because faith moves mountains". The subsequent appeal to the Court of Assizes rendered justice to the Rationalists.


San Pietro (Saint Peter)


“A Pietro però grandemente rimordeva il suo peccato, e grande ed ampia fu la sua riparazione; imperocché quando lo Spirito Santo discese sugli apostoli ed egli ebbe acquistato il dono delle lingue, incominciò cogli altri a farsi intendere da tutti gli stranieri che concorrevano in Gerusalemme parlando ai Parti ed ai Medi, ai Frigi ed ai Panfili, a quei di Libia e di Cireno, e ad ognuno secondo la lor favella. Laonde tutti stupivano, dice la sacra cronaca, e l’un l'altro s'interrogavano sulla causa di questo fenomeno, e andavano dicendo: «essi son pieni di vin dolce» (Atti degli Apostoli C. II. 13). Ma Pietro allora, pieno com'era di spirito divino, alzatosi insieme agli altri, incominciò a gridare che egli ebbro non era, essendo allora soltanto le tre ore del mattino e quindi saltando di palo in frasca alla guisa di chi taroccando nella testa, non sappia tener dietro al suo discorso, incominciò a parlare del regno di Dio, poi del sole che si sarebbe mutalo in tenebre, e della luna che doveva cangiarsi in sangue (ibid 14 20) per lo che, tanto spavento ebbero gli astanti che tremila persone furono immediatamente convertite”.


"However, Peter felt great remorse because of his sin, and his reparation was large and ample, because when the Holy Spirit descended upon the apostles, and he had purchased the gift of languages, he began with the others to make himself understood by all the foreigners who had come in Jerusalem, speaking to the Parthians and the Medes, the Phrygians, to those of Libya and Cyrene, and to each according to their language. So all were astonished, the Sacred Chronicle says, and they questioned one another about the cause of this phenomenon, and it was said: "they are full of sweet wine" (Acts 2:13). But then Peter, who was full of the divine spirit, rising with the others, began to shout that he was not drunk, it being only three hours of the morning, and then constantly changed his speech in the manner of those quarreling [taroccando] in their head, not knowing how keep up with his speech. He began to speak of the kingdom of God, then of the sun that would be turned into darkness, and of the moon which would change into blood (ibid 14 20) so that the persons present were so frightened that three thousand people were immediately converted”.


Pietro Laviano Tito, theatrical critic, gave himself to writing comedies, and in turn suffered heavy criticism from Caccavone about his work, presented in Martellian verse (14), entitled Porpora a Vienna (Porpora in Vienna): "Se del pubblico fu strazio infinito / Porpora è di Nerone, e non di Tito” (If for the public was an infinite torture / Porpora belongs to Nero , and not to Tito).  We know instead of another of his comedies, Dopo la pioggia il sereno (After the rain the calm), dated to 1859, which enjoyed a considerable success.


In another work, a poem set in his time, called a Schizzo Comico (Comic Sketch), titled Non entrate per la finestra (Do not enter by the window), we find the verb quarreling [taroccare].


Second Scene
Malvina and  Isodoro, from the bottom


Mal. (si mette a lavorare) Povera Ortensia non può soffrire gli uomini. Per me sono di contrario avviso. Gli uomini non sono poi tali che possono far paura a noi altre donne... la povera mia zia diceva... figliuola mia quando vorrai prender marito pensaci seriamente due volte, ed io che ho questa intenzione, e che non voglio disubbidirla ci penso dalla mattina alla sera... quel giovane là... che pazzie!...
Isi. (di fuori) Ma lasciatemi... in pace , non posso.
Mal. Oh, ecco il signor Isidoro, e con chi sta taroccando?...
Isi. Signorina... Villani, insolenti...
Mal. Che avete signor Notaro?...
Isi. Che ho?... Che ho ?... per amore del Cielo vi prego, vi supplico vi scongiuro a volermi chiamare col nome che mi dettero i miei genitori... Isidoro... Signor Isidoro... insomma , come vi piace... ma...
Mal. Non serve riscaldarsi... ò inteso...
Isi. (con galanteria) Quando mi trovo presso alle donne belle e gentili non mi riscaldo mai... divento al contrario un ghiaccio...


Mal. (She gets to work) Poor Hortense, she can’t suffer men. I am of the opposite opinion. Men are not such that so that they can frighten us other poor aunt said ... my daughter,  when you seriously want to take a husband s think twice, and I, that I have this intention, and will not disobey her, I think about it from morning to night ... that girl there –what madness!
Isi. (outside) But let me ... in peace, I can’t.
Mal. Oh, here is Mr. Isidore, and with whom is he quarreling [toroccando]?
Isi. Miss ... Rude, insolent ...
Mal. What do you have, Mr. Notary? ...
Isi. What do I have? ... What do I have? ... please for the love of Heaven, I beseech you, I implore you to call me by the name my parents gave me ... Isidoro ... Mr. Isidoro ... in short, as you like ... but......
Mal. No need to heat up. I understood ...
Isi. (with gallantry) When I am with beautiful and gentle women I never heat up ... on the contrary I become ice ... 

At the end of our article, we have to mention Giosuè Carducci (1808-1858), who in his essay on Ariosto and Tasso, wrote about the former "In the middle of February 1522, Ariosto if he wanted to get some money from the Este salaries, had to go to the government of Garfagnana, where he remained, quarreling [taroccando] for a long time with the mountain people and the Duke, until June of the year 1525”.




1 -  Item "taroccare" in Salvatore Battaglia (ed.), Grande Dizionario della lingua Italiana (Great Dictionary of the Italian language), 2000. So the same entry in the Vocabolario Universale Italiano (Universal Italian Vocabulary) compiled by Tramater and Co. Printing Corporation, Naples, 1840: "(in a low voice) shouting, angry [worry shouting loud, cackling]. Lat. Anger, excandescere. From Greek Tarachos, turmoil. In Turkish, Taraka, tumult, noise. In Persian, Tyrak, applies for the same".
2 - About Forteguerri see the essay Tarot in Literature II
3 -  On this author see the essay Tarot in Literature II
4 - Reference edition for Rhymes: Florence, 1806,  Vol. II, p. 81
5 - Second Edition, Venice, 1759-1760.
6 - P. 48
7 - The word “Taroccando”, here inserted by Manni, it isn’t present in the original version of the short story
8 - The play had previously been set to music by Antonio Calegari and Gaetano Marinelli.
9 - The Corsair was also set to music by Filippo Celli, Giovanni Pacini and Giuseppe Verdi.
10 - Second Neapolitan Edition,  French Printing House, 1826, p. 341.
-  P. 459.
12 - L’Editore a chi legge (The publisher to who reads), in "A collection of modern comedies, most unusual", Second Edition, IX Book, Venice, 1792.
13 - Year- IV - July 1, 1869 - No. 1.
14 - Double septenary.