COMPANION TO CANTO XLIII
Annotations in the List of Works Cited:
Contributor name. The Online Companion to The Cantos of Ezra Pound, IV: n.gloss number. The Cantos Project. Web. Date of access.
Example: Preda, Roxana. The Online Companion to The Cantos of Ezra Pound, IV: n.13. The Cantos Project. Web. 5 September 2016.
(Contributor name, OCCEP IV: n.no).
Example: (Bressan, OCCEP IV: n.3). If no name is indicated, the gloss or translation was written by Roxana Preda. In this case, the citation will have this format: (OCCEP IV: n.13).
References to The Cantos
As The Cantos Project is numbering the lines of The Cantos, references to cantos already glossed will be by canto number and line(s), as standard with classical works. Example: III: ll.7–17.
For cantos that are not yet glossed within the project, the references will be by canto number slash page number, as standard in the research on the poem. Example: III/12. The page number refers to the American edition of The Cantos by Ezra Pound. New York: New Directions, 1998.
©Roxana Preda. Companion to Cantos XLII-XLIII-XLIV, 27 January 2020
LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS
Terrell, Carroll F. A Companion to The Cantos of Ezra Pound. Berkeley: U of California P, 1980.
Moody, David. Ezra Pound: Poet. Volume II: The Epic Years, 1921-1939. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2014.
Pound, Ezra. Guide to Kulchur. New York: New Directions 1970.
Pound, Ezra. Ezra Pound to His Parents – Letters 1895-1929. Eds. Mary de Rachewiltz, A. David Moody and Joanna Moody. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2011.
Kimpel, Ben, and T. C. Duncan Eaves. “Sources of Cantos XLII and XLIII.” Paideuma: A Journal Devoted to Ezra Pound Scholarship 6.3 (1977): 333-58.
Kimpel, Ben, and T. C. Duncan Eaves. “The Sources of the Leopoldine Cantos.” Paideuma: A Journal Devoted to Ezra Pound Scholarship 7.1-2 (1978): 249-77.
Kimpel, Ben, and T. C. Duncan Eaves. “Pound’s Use of Sienese Manuscripts for Cantos XLII and XLIII.” Paideuma: A Journal Devoted to Ezra Pound Scholarship 8.3 (1979): 81-93.
Piccolomini, Nicollò. Il Monte dei Paschi di Siena e le aziende in esso riunite. 9 vols. Ed. Narciso Mengozzi. Siena: L. Lazzeri, 1891-1925. Volume III. Volume IV. Volume V. Volume VI. Volume VII. München: Bayerische Staatsbibliothek.
Pound, Ezra. Ezra Pound’s Poetry and Prose: Contributions to Periodicals. 11 vols. Eds. Lea Baechler, A. Walton Litz and James Longenbach. New York: Garland, 1991.
Pound, Ezra. Selected Prose 1909-1965. Ed. William Cookson. New York: New Directions, 1973.
- serenissimo Dno – L. “Serenissimo Domino” (“Most serene Lord”). (MDP III: 267; K&E 1: 355). What follows are phrases out of the C document (2 November 1624) that preface the guarantees the city of Siena is pledging. See also XLII: n.15.
- et omnia alia juva – L. “and all other rights.” “Juva” should read “jura” (MDP III: 267, K&E 1: 355).
- eiusdem civitatis Senén – L. “ejusdem Civitatis Senarum” (“of the same city of Siena”) (MDP III: 267, K&E 1: 355).
- in the third place – What follows in the next lines is the series of guarantees that the city of Siena offered to the Ducal family to protect its finances in the case of the Monte’s failure. First, the assets of the Monte itself; second, the income from the existing Mount of Piety in Siena.
- M Dux – L. “Magnus Dux.” (“Grand Duke”). Ferdinand II, Duke of Tuscany.
- videlicet alligati – L. “namely the following.” Pound translated “alligati” to Dorothy as “tied to,” “connected.” See Calendar, 20 September 1936.
“Just before the second document (fol. 171r) is the notation ‘Tenor autem dd. [dictarum] deliberationum amplissimi collegij Baliae, et supplicationis, et precium, d[e] quibus supraest, videlicet alligati’ (‘The sense of the said deliberations of the most ample College of the Balia and of the supplication and prayers about the things above, namely the following’)” (K&E 3: 514).
- In the name of – Pound now turns to another document, delineating the deliberation of the Generale Consiglio del Populo (117 members) in the Sala del Mappamondo in the Siena town hall on 4 March 1623 (1622, Sienese style). As the Ducal family had given their approval for the Monte on 30 December 1622, (notarized on 2 January 1623), the Sienese had to deliberate among themselves about the charter of the bank and commit to the guarantees to the Florentine government. By choosing this document (B1), Pound creates a parallel with the beginning of canto 42, which uses the same one.
- Tuscanissimo – Abridgment of “Toscana Serenissimo” (MDP III: 263).
- dilettissimo – It. “most beloved.” The source reads “dilettissima Patria” MDP III: 263.
- siano soddisfatti – It. “are satisfied.” The Italian reads: “il desiderio che tutti i Cittadini siano sodisfatti et a pieno persuasi de tutto quello che per comun benefitio si tratta” (MDP III: 263). Achilles Fang noticed “soddisfatti” is a misprint (Fang I: 71).
- Ob pecuniae scarsitatem – L. “Because of the scarcity of money.” This was one of the main reasons for the petition of the Sienese Bailey to create a new public bank. The phrase is included in the founding document of the Monte in November 1624. See MDP III: 265 also XLII n.47.
- S.P. SENENsis ac pro eo amplissim/ Balia Collegium civices vigilantiae/ totius civitatis – L. original reads: “Senatus Populusque Senensis, ac pro eo amplissimum Baliae Collegium cujus vigilantiae totius Civitas” (MDP III: 265-6, K&E 1: 349). Phrases taken from the Latin part of the founding document of the Monte dei Paschi on 2 November 1624.
(“the Senate and the people of Siena and in its behalf the Most Illustrious College of the Balia to whose watchfulness over all the state”) (K&E 1: 350).
(“amplissim” is an abbreviation for “amplissimum” and “civices” is used instead of the original “cujus” [“whose”]) (C n.12).
Urban… elected – L in original: “Urbano Octavo Summo Pontifice, Ferdinando Secundo Romanorum Imperator electo, et Sermo Ferdinando Secundo Hetruriae Magno Duce quinto, Domino Nostro feliciter dominante.” (MDP III: 265, K&E 1: 349).
(Urban VIII Supreme Pontiff, Ferdinand II Roman Emperor elect, and the Most Serene Ferdinando II the fifth Grand Duke of Tuscany, Our happily ruling Lord”) (K&E 1: 350). These names head the foundation document of the bank, November 1624. Note that Tuscany is named “Hetruria” in Latin.
Urban VIIIth of Siena – Maffeo Barberini (1568-1644) was the son of a Florentine nobleman and became Pope Urban VIII in 1623.
Ferd. I mag duce do no – L. “Ferdinand I Grand Duke Our Lord.” “Ferd I” should be Ferdinand II (1578-1637) who was a Duke of Tuscany at the time. “do no” is an abbreviation for “domino nostro,” (“our Lord”).
felicitatem … elected – L. “ruling happiness and Ferdinand I.” Refers to Ferdinand II, the ruling Holy Roman Emperor elect (1578-1637).
In the original, the text reads “feliciter dominante” (“happily ruling”) and refers to the Duke of Tuscany, not to the Holy Roman Emperor.
- 1251 of the Protocols… arabic – Shelfmark indicating the location of the manuscript copy of the founding document in the Siena Archive. The document was in a collection called “Notarile postcosimiano.” No 1251 was “Libro dei protocolli del notaio Livio Pasquini.” (“Book of protocols of the notary Livio Pasquini”). On the spine of the volume, Pound could read the old shelfmark: “Stanza Prima. Scaffale No. XII Lettera F No.4” (“Room 1. Shelf no. 12, Letter F number 4) (K&E 2: 252; Fusi 128).
- carroccio – triumphal decorated cart that is paraded at the Palio in Siena after the horse race. It is drawn by four oxen and has the Palio banner.
- The gold eagles – the symbol of the guild predominant in the contrada (district) where Pound had his room in Siena, namely the guild of the notaries (Aquila). Aquila is situated immediately to the south-west of the Piazza del Campo in the centre of the city and is the district where the Duomo (cathedral) is located. Wikipedia.
- St George, two hokey-pokey stands and the unicorn – In relating what he sees, Pound enumerated the symbols of the contrade that he saw on the carroccio: St George might be the symbol of the dragons (bankers); the unicorn is the symbol of the goldsmiths. The emblems look like ice-cream cones (hokey-pokey) making the carroccio look like an ice-cream cart.
- Nicchio – the name of another contrada, which has the symbol of a seashell.
- kallipygous – H. “with beautiful buttocks.”
- salite – It. “hill paths.”
- laudate pueri – L. “praise, boys.”
- 17 banners – Only 17 contrade are allowed to take part in the palio.
- Duomo – the Siena cathedral.
- On the security mobile and immobile – the Monte was guaranteed against failure by the personal estates of every citizen in Siena, who were each to contribute towards the reimbursement of the Ducal family in case of the Monte’s total loss. This city-wide collateral was deliberated at the meeting of the Sienese councillors on 4 March 1623. See also XLII: l.85 “pledge the persons and goods of the laity” and XLII: n. 32.
- quocunque aliunde – L. “quorumcumque aliorum” (“any others”). Part of the most controversial article of the Monte’s charter, that citizens will be proportionally taxed on their houses and property to reimburse the ducal family in case of the Monte’s failure. Achilles Fang located the passage in MDP III: 267. (Fang I: 72).
- Maister Augustino Chisio equites – L. “Master Agostino Chigi knight.” See Chigi’s role and significance for the Monte in XLII: nn.53-4.
The original reads: “Domino Agostino Chisio, equiti Sacrae et III.mae Religionis Divi Stephani papae et martiris” (“Lord Agostino Chigi, Knight of the Sacred and Most Illustrious Order of St. Stephen pope and martyr”) MDP III: 266.
- ducatorum? no. ducentorum – L. “of ducats? No. of two hundred.”
- To be or not to be – The Monte dei Paschi was tied to the Monte di Pietà. It shared its magistrates and relied on the income from the pawnshop as one of the guarantees to the Ducal family. See also XLII n.12.
- libris septem – L. “seven books.” See XLII n.57.
- Summam, scutorum – L. “the sum of scudi.”
- Out of Syracuse –The story to which Pound refers is presented by Demosthenes in his speech Against Zenothemis, where the fraud is recounted in detail. See also GK 36; K&E 2: 253.
Before setting out to sea, shipmasters insured their voyages by taking loans with the ship as collateral, a practice called “bottomry.” The loan was meant to cover necessary repairs on route, as the captain and crew would not have access to funds while away. Maritime custom prescribed that if the ship arrived safely back into port, the shipmaster was to repay the loan with usurious interest (usually 30-40%). If the ship sank, he paid nothing, the loan was erased. The high interest of the loan reflected the risk both to the creditor and to ship and crew, who had to face storms and pirates on their voyage. See Schomberg 54n.1 and “Bottomry” Wikipedia.
The fraud Demosthenes refers to is a case where the shipmaster, Hegestratus, made the loan, but did not take the gold with him on his voyage. He planned to sink his ship and thus defraud the creditor of his money. Hegestratus’ plan was unsuccessful: he died while trying to damage the ship, and his crew, who knew nothing of his plan, managed to bring it safely into port. See Demosthenes’ speech for details. See also GK 36.
The episode is a parallel to the line about Antoninus in canto XLII: ll.6-7. See OCCEP XLII: nn.8-9.
By including these two separate cases of maritime insurance, Pound may have drawn an implicit parallel with Siena. Like the shipmaster asking for credit and mortgaging his ship to insure a perilous voyage, the Balia was putting the personal wealth of all Sienese citizens as collateral in order to secure the ducal approval and investment for the new bank. The risk to the Tuscan state was significant, yet the Ducal family was content to receive only the city’s general guarantee and did not ask for interest on its concession of tax revenue. And by giving the bank the status of “Signoria,” it made the Monte itself responsible for pursuing cases of fraud. See n.41 below.
- S.O. – “Standard Oil.” Pound may have wanted to draw a parallel to a famous contemporary scandal, possibly the Teapot Dome case, in which the Secretary of the Interior, A. B. Fall, received bribes to lease a lucrative oil reserve at Teapot Dome in Wyoming to Standard Oil without competitive bidding. A local Wyoming oil operator was angry about this secret deal and wrote to his local senator, asking for an investigation. The leases were not illegal, but Fall’s sudden wealth was. He was the first American member of presidential cabinet to land in prison for corruption.
The scandal made headlines in 1921-3 and was considered the most sensational in American politics before Watergate. Wikipedia.
- hall of World Map – Sala del Mappamondo in the Town Hall in Siena. Its most distinctive feature is a painting by Simone Martini, Maestà (Virgin Enthroned). The Virgin was the guardian of the city and of the Monte as well.
- Il Banditore – It. “town crier.”
- per annum – L. “per year.”
- PITY – The Mount of Pity or pawnshop (Monte di Pietà) in Siena was part of a group of charity organisations designed to help those in direst need against usurious loans. People could take small loans against a valuable object but paid no interest. In other cities, they were founded by the Franciscan order as institutions of the Church, but in Siena, the Mount of Pity belonged to the city. Pound insists that the Monte dei Paschi was no charity, but good business.
- Illus Balia eseguisca in tutto – It. “L'Illre. Balia eseguiva in tutto” (“the illustrious Bailey executes in everything”). Directive in the act whereby Maria Maddalena Tutrice gives executive power regarding the Monte dei Paschi to the Sienese Balia in December 1622. See MDP III: 263, K&E 1: 341. See also Commentary and document cluster A explained in OCCEP XLII: n.15.
- Rescript – the act of 2 January 1623, see XLII ll.126-9 and OCCEP XLII: nn.37, 38.
- Parochia S. Giovannis – L. “Parrochia S. Joannis” (“Parish of St. John”) in source: MDV III: 268. Fang I: 72.
- hoc die decim’ octavo – L. “on this eighteenth day.” Pound returns to Pasquini’s rescript of the Monte’s charter (document B2) on 18 July 1623. Achilles Fang observed the faulty transcription of the Latin. It should read: “hac die decima octava.” MDP III: 265. (Fang I: 72).
- Celso – Celso Cittadini (1555-1627), Italian philologist and archivist of Siena. In his research, Pound found an original idea that Celso proposed. He wrote to Dorothy:
“C. Cit. had scheme for using unused tax money to buy seed, whence crop to be sold to poor below market price, (orig. tax money then restored to gd. Duke.)” See Calendar, 29 July 1936. The plan is also in his notebooks: See K&E 2: 254.
See also canto 35 for parallel initiative: Franciscus Abbatibus wrote to Francesco I Gonzaga to suggest an economic strategy in Mantua in 1401 (XXXV: ll.93-115).
- raised into Seignory – the Monte was conferred political and judicial power in Siena.
“Il Monte enjoyed considerable authority. For 200 years, starting in the late 16th century, it actually had penal jurisdiction over both customers and employees in a number of civil and criminal cases. The bank’s board had the power to send people to jail or even impose the death penalty ‘not only over servants of Il Monte but also over any person who in his dealings with Il Monte shall contravene the orders and commands of the Board and Chairman; as also against any person who practices fraud or deception to the detriment of the same’” (Green 1991).
- Paris Bolgarini –member of the Sienese Balia taking part in the deliberations around the petition to create the Monte. Pound found the name in the records of the Balia in the Siena State Archive. See the Sources for more detail.
“Balìa 193，’Deliberazione Feb. 1621 — 1 Sep. 1627.’ On folio 51r，under the date ‘Martedi a di 3 Gennaio venardi a di 6 La festa de l’Epifania’ (‘Tuesday 3 January—Friday 6 the feast of the Epiphany’) 1622 (i.e. 1623), is the same letter to the Grand Duke of 29 December 1622 that is given in the printed volumes and the Protocols; only eleven members of the Balia were present at the meeting, but on the preceding page under 27-30 December are listed Paris Bolgarini and eleven others” K&E 3: 515.
- cancellarius – L. “secretary.” In the Siena state archive, Pound consulted the Protocolli 1251, folios 165v to 181r:
“Just before the letter of 29 December 1622 from the first document asking the Grand Duke to approve the bank (fol. 175v) is the notation “Ego Ventura Burghesius I.U.D. Canc.lius exemplavi et subscripsi manu propria" (“I Ventura Borghesi Doctor of Both Laws Secretary [Cancellarius] copied and wrote down with my own hand” (K&E 3: 513). See Sources for more detail.
- entrate – I. “entries” i.e. revenue from taxes.
- 150 to M/200 – Sienese Balia made an approximate estimate of the necessary basis of the Monte’s operations. The Ducal family approved the maximum, 200,000 scudi. “M” stands for “mille” (thousand). See A1 (XLII n.15 and Commentary).
“Et a questo effetto si referisce, che il rigiro et manneggio de questo Monte si crede che non sia per riuscir tale, che abbia a passare dalli centocinquanta alii dugentomila scudi. Et però basterà che se gli assegni un’entrata certa et sicura dalli otto alii dicimila scudi l’anno sopra all’entrate delle Gabelle ο Dogana ο d’altro membro sicuro di quella Città” (MDP III: 261)
[“And to this end it is reported that the administration and management of this Mountain will not, it is believed, turn out to be more than one-hundred-and-fifty to two-hundred thousand crowns (scudi). And therefore it is enough to assign it a certain and sure income of eight to ten thousand crowns yearly on the incomes of the Excise Taxes (Gabelle) or Customs (Dogana) or other safe organ of that city”] (K&E 1: 336).
- gabelle – I. “excise taxes.” An excise tax is one on a specific commodity such as salt, fuel, tobacco, or alcohol. Investopedia.
- dogana – It. “customs.”
- Wed. 6 Epifany – The feast of the Epiphany, commemorating the journey of the Magi is celebrated on 6 January. The line shows the day of the week should have been Friday.
“A good deal of Canto XLIII, pages 219-20, is derived from another manuscript, Balia 193, ‘Deliberazione Feb. 1621—1 Sep. 1627.’ On folio 51r, under the date ‘Martedi à di 3 Gennaio venardi à di 6 La festa de l’Epifania’ (‘Tuesday 3 January—Friday 6 the feast of the Epiphany’) 1622 (i.e. 1623) is the same letter to the Grand Duke of 29 December 1622 that is given in the printed volumes and the Protocols; only eleven members of the Balia were present at the meeting, but on the preceding page under 27-30 December are listed Paris Bolgarini and eleven others. Pound’s ‘Wed. 6 Epifany’ must be a simple error” (K&E 3: 515).
- 1622 January – reference to the Ducal approval document (A2) which decided that the tax on which the Monte should be based was to be the one on grazing, collected at the Office of Pastures. The date is Sienese style and should read 2 January 1623. See XLII ll.102-32. See also Commentary and OCCEP XLII: n.15.
- of wherever – there was a blank next to donna Orsola’s family name, which Pound marked by “wherever.” Pound uses the folio 51r of the Deliberazione Feb.1621–1 Sep. 1627 (K&E 3: 515).
- black money – Lead money, as Pound explains at l.194. He proceeds to give more examples of the activities of the Sienese Balia at the time the Monte was founded. Pound’s source is the Balia 193 “Deliberazione Feb. 1621 –1 Sep. 1627.”
“Under 24 March (fol. 72r) the customs officers are instructed to be more diligent in view ‘della introduttione in questo stato di tanta moneta nera forestiera con danno publico’ (‘of the introduction into this state of so much foreign black money with injury to the public’); Pound may have read ‘forestiera’ as ‘fiorentina’” (K&E 3: 516).
- Monte di Firenze – bank in Florence founded by Ferdinand I in 1591.
- vacabile – unlike the bonds issued by the Monte dei Paschi, which were “non-vacabili,” i.e. perpetual bonds at lower interest of 5%, the bonds issued by the Monte in Florence were issued at 8 1/2% interest that extinguished with the death of the bondholder (MDP III: 40-1); K&E 2:254; Burr Litchfield 103).
- gangsters admitted – Pound commented in his notebook: “absolutely no scruples – gangsters admitted insure anyone.” K&E 2: 254.
“il Granduca, sotto di 16 ottobre dell’anno suddetto , pubblicava una legge per l’erezione in Firenze di un Monte vacabile di centomila scudi... “a ragione di 81/2 per cento et ogni due mesi la rata ... essendo prohibito il commercio con li banditi, avrebbe potuto nondimeno per il concernente il detto Monte qual si voglia persona contrattare con banditi et condennati, ricevendo et mandando loro denari” (MDP III: 40-1).
[...the Grand Duke, under 16 October of the aforesaid year (1591), published a law for the erection in Florence of a redeemable Mountain of one hundred thousand crowns … “at the rate of 81/2 per cent, payable every two months … though communication with bandits is forbidden, nevertheless in matters concerning that Mountain any person whatsoever would be able to contract with bandits and condemned persons, receiving and sending them money”]. K&E 2: 254.
- 1621 – reference to Pound’s source, the Balia 193, the deliberations of the Sienese council Feb. 1621-1 Sep. 1627. Pound explores what else the Sienese Balia was confronted with at the time the Monte was created.
- Orazio della Rena – Maria Maddalena’s secretary, mentioned in her document of approval of the Monte and signatory of the notarial rescript of January 1623 (A3).
- Pietro de Medici – Pietro dei Medici (1554-1604) youngest son of Cosimo I de Medici, and the youngest brother of the Grand Duke’s grandfather. Pietro’s life was marked by women and money difficulties. After his death, his six illegitimate children were cared for in Tuscany. Horatio della Rena was paid to declare himself their illegitimate father. Wikipedia.
- Orbem bellis, urbem gabellis… implevit – L. “Urban VIII filled the world with wars and the city with taxes.” See also reference to Urban at n.13.
- Monte Paschale, fatto Signoria – Montepescali, a small town near Grosseto.
“Under ‘Xbre 1624’ (fol.141r) it is recorded that ‘Monte Peschali essendo stato fatto signoria，si notified al Magistrate) de Conservatori, et al Magistrate) de Paschi’ (‘Monte Pescali having been made a lordship, the Magistracy of Conservators and the Magistracy of the Pastures were notified’)” K&E 3: 517.
- in the said place – Montepescali, see n. 60.
“In another manuscript volume, Balia 866, ‘Rescritti 1621-1625,’ substantially the same entry occurs (p. 473): ‘Xbre 1624. Mte Pescali fatto signoria.’ On the next page is an order from the Grand Duke and his Guardians of 23 December 1624 giving Count Orso the administration of Monte Pescali (a small town about fifteen miles north of Grosseto). That Pound understood this is clearly shown by his use of the same document at the beginning of Canto L [ll.5-7]. The document restricts the powers of the Count: ‘Che in detto luogo non sia permesso al S. Conte e suoi successori assicurare banditi, ne criminalmente condennati delli stati di S. A. ma solamente per debiti civili’ (‘That in the said place the Count and his successors are not permitted to protect bandits nor persons criminally condemned by the states of His Highness, but only for civil debts’). The authority of the Magistracy of the Pastures is also reserved and the Count is not to change punishments or to make innovations to the prejudice of the inhabitants. ‘Vi resti l’obligo di levare il sale di Gross.o per il med.mo prezzo che di presenta’ (‘The obligation remains to take the salt of Grosseto at the same price as at present’). There is, of course, no mention of the Florentine Loan Office, which Pound added.” K&E 3: 517.
- anno domini – It. “year of the Lord”
- Grosseto – town in the Maremma, South of Siena.
- 1676 – Pound returns to the printed source for the information in the next lines (ll.204-16), MDP volume IV.
“In 1676 it was proposed to devalue Spanish pieces of eight, and the Sienese sent ambassadors to point out the bad results such a devaluation would have on their economy.
‘Gli ambasciatori si recarono a Firenze e vi si trattennero alquanti giorni. Conferirono con la Granduchessa madre, e ripetutamente col Granduca, il quale però dichiarava di non intendersi di quella materia, ed essere obbligato a fidarsi dei suoi ministri i quali fermamente gli assicuravano che dalla diminuzione del prezzo di quelle monete, sarebbero derivati vantaggi e non danni al paese.’ (MDP IV: 142)
[‘The ambassadors betook themselves to Florence and discussed there for several days. They conferred with the Grand Duchess mother and repeatedly with the Grand Duke, who, however, declared that he did not understand this matter and was obliged to trust his ministers, who firmly assured him that there would be gains and not losses to the country from the lowering of the value of the money’]” (K&E 2: 255).
- Grand Duke – Ferdinando II's son, the Grand Duke Cosimo III (1642-1723, reigned 1670-1723).
- non intendeva di quella materia – It. “He did not understand those matters.”
“In his notebooks Pound adds a comparison with the ‘Arch bastards of London’ in 1935 and ‘most of the ministers & ambassadors of 52 nations/ in eternal perdition’” (K&E 2: 256).
- Buonomini – It. “good men.” Magistrates over the Florentine Prisons. K&E 2: 256.
- Tolomei foundation – Celso Tolomei left money for a college to which the Monte made an interest-free loan in 1678. See K&E 2: 256.
- Dixbre ’22 – Pound returns to material he had previously covered in canto 42, (The A. documents, see XLII: n.15) about the report of the Florentine Senate and the approval of the Sienese petition to create a new Monte in Siena in December 1622, notarized in January 1623. He is summing up to conclude the canto and refashions XLII: ll.55-132, combining the information with banter on Horazio della Rena’s “bastards.” See nn.54-55 for detail.
- Paschi di detta Città – It. “pastures of the said city.”
- Cautele – It. “guarantees.”
- Firenze 1749… 12,000 – loans made from the Monte by the Habsburg Emperor Francis I for civil works, after the Medici family became extinct in 1737, but before Pietro Leopoldo became Grand Duke in 1765. See Pound’s source in MDP V: 417; K&E 2:258.
- public debt – Pound returns to the 1743 moment to conclude the bad economic situation of Tuscany at the end of the Medici rule, due in part to excessive taxes to pay for state debt:
All’epoca dell’estinzione della dinastia medicea la Toscana era gravata da un debito di 14 milioni di scudi, cioè di più che 80 milioni di lire ....Ed il tentativo, con savio intendimento fatto, ma presto abbandonato dall’ultimo Principe di questa Casa, per riordinare l’amministrazione di quel debito, aveva portato frutti scarsi e di breve durata .... (MDP V, 59-60)
(“At the time of the extinction of the dynasty of the Medici, Tuscany was burdened by a debt of fourteen million crowns, that is more than eighty million lire .... And the attempt, made with wise intention but soon abandoned, of the last Prince of that House, to reorder the administration of that debt had borne rare and brief fruit”) K&E 2: 258.
Pound’s conclusion at the end of this canto is corroborated by the larger historical context in Tuscany. This was not the only “Monte” the Medici created, but one of several, based on the various gabelle, i.e. taxes on commodities like salt, or flour.
“The financial problems resulting from Ferdinando II’s involvement in the War of Castro in the 1640s evoked a further effort to raise revenue through the creation and sale of monopolies for tobacco and spirits and a reorganisation of the Monte di Pietà. This had become a charitable loan and deposit bank in the sixteenth century, attracting the savings of Florentines at all levels of the social hierarchy. It was linked to the ducal finances in that Francesco I used its capital for a loan to Spain in 1583, Cosimo II borrowed from it in 1616, and it was then further plundered by Ferdinando II, who obliged depositors to accept only a fraction of their original interest in 1645. Thus the Monte di Pietà also became a part of the debt. […] The earlier Monti of Florence had been mostly perpetual funds, but a short-term Monte Vacabile was established by Ferdinando I in 1591. Cosimo III created another one in 1692, of 600,000 Scudi, with a board of six prottetori and a staff of fourteen. By these means the funded debt of the Medici reached truly immense proportions. At the beginning of the Hapsburg regency in 1737 it totalled some 14 million Scudi (Burr Litchfield 103).