rsz walks of italy in sienaCOMPANION TO CANTO XLIV



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.

In–text references

(Contributor name, OCCEP IV:

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




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.

K&E 1

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.

K&E 2

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.

K&E 3

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 VIVolume 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.


  1. And – Pound starts his canto with a powerful injunction, to mark the strength of Pietro Leopoldo’s reforms towards greater social and economic justice in Tuscany after he became Grand Duke in 1765.
    The “And” connects to Martin van Buren’s own reforms in favour of small debtors in the United States. Pound had presented them in canto 37 which starts with the line: “THOU SHALT NOT,” said Martin van Buren, “jail ’em for debt.”
  2. sequestrate for debt – Pound delineates some of Pietro Leopoldo’s reforms here, returning to them at the end of the canto and in canto 50. For the following lines (1-13), he turns to volume 6 of his source, Il Monte dei Paschi di Siena e le aziende in esso riunite, dedicated to Pietro Leopoldo’s reign. He quotes from legislation introduced in 1766 largely devoted to cutting the taxes impeding the circulation of agricultural goods in the duchy. Farmers used implements and animals as collateral for small loans – sequestering these for unpaid debt would have decisively impaired the farmer’s ability to produce enough to liquidate his loan or pay his taxes. This particular measure shows Pietro Leopoldo’s anti-usurious understanding of economics, as it privileges the flow of goods over the claims of creditors, be they private or public. 
    “Ε con proposito di manifesto riguardo per i coltivatori dei campi, era fatto divieto ai Giusdicenti ‘di gravare per causa di debiti i ferramenti, instrumenti ed arnesi di qualunque sorte attenenti all’agricoltura, come anco i bovi da giogo e le persone dei contadini, quando lavorassero con detti bovi’,ancorchè quei debiti fossero pubblici, fiscali ο dipendenti da trasgressioni” (MDP VI, 120)
    [“And with the design of manifest consideration for the cultivators of the fields, it was forbidden to the Judges ‘to burden because of debts the hardware, instruments, and utensils of whatever sort pertaining to agriculture, as also the yoke oxen and the persons of the peasants when they labor with the said oxen,’ even though these debts are public, fiscal, or arising from transgressions”] (K&E 2: 259).
  3. 614px Mengs Anton Raphael Pietro Leopoldo dAsburgo Lorena granduca di Toscana 1770 Prado

    Pietro Leopoldo – (1747-92), son of Francis I and Maria Theresa of Habsburg, and younger brother of Joseph II, the Emperor of Austria. He became Leopold I, Grand Duke of Tuscany in 1765 and ruled it until Joseph II’s own death in 1790. In that year, he succeeded his brother as Holy Roman Emperor Leopold II, until his own death two years later.    

    Pound may have become curious about Pietro Leopoldo while reading a letter from Thomas Jefferson to John Adams, which he quotes in canto 33: ll.36-9. Adams was trying to secure a loan for the American revolutionary war and Jefferson drew his attention to Tuscany, saying Pietro Leopoldo had money lying unused. TJ to JA 21 August 1777. See also canto title page.

  4. Mount – The Monte dei Paschi in Siena. See cantos 42 and 43.
  5. Grand Duchy – Tuscany.
  6. motu proprio – I. “on its own impulse.” In a monarchy, the term refers to a royal decree issued at the king’s own initiative.
  7. rsz 1joseph dorffmeister ferdinando iiiFerdinando – Ferdinando III (1769-1824), Pietro Leopoldo’s second son, who became Grand Duke of Tuscany in 1790. Ferdinando’s older brother, Francis, became Holy Roman Emperor at the death of Pietro Leopoldo in 1792. Ferdinando was forced to leave the Duchy on Napoleon’s invasion of Italy in 1799. He first fled to Vienna and was forced to abdicate in 1801. He returned when Napoleon was defeated in 1814 and ruled Tuscany until his death in 1824.

    “he went ON into managed economy, à la Douglas in some features, à la Corporate State with the control of import and export.” (A Social Creditor Serves Notice” in P&P VII: 94. Quoted in Malm 153).
    Referring to this change in policy (adverse to both the Monte dei Paschi’s and Leopoldo’s earlier laissez-faire trade policies), Pound later remarked in his Rome radio broadcast of 24 May 1943 that Ferdinand “corrected the exaggerations of the Leopoldine reforms” (K&E 2: 261-2).
  8. Flags, trumpets – Pound presents a public celebration in Siena in honour of Ferdinando’s decree to stop the exportation of grain on 5 December 1792. (MDP VII: 48n-50n; K&E 2: 261).   
    In matters of economics, Pound approved of self-sufficiency, believing a leader’s first responsibility lies with local population. He also witnessed Mussolini’s autarchic policies first hand. These beliefs might explain the considerable space Pound allowed these festivities in the canto.
  9. carillon – musical instrument formed of at least 23 bronze bells, usually housed in the bell tower of a church or municipal building. A carillon is played by striking a keyboard with the fist and pressing a pedal with the feet. Wikipedia.
  10. TE DEUM – L. “Te Deum laudamus” (“Thee, God, we praise”) is a Catholic hymn traditionally held to have been composed by Saint Ambrose in the 4th century.
  11. Chapel of Alexander – Chapel inside the Siena Cathedral endowed by Fabio Chigi (1599-1667), who became Pope Alexander VII (1655-67).
  12. St Catherine’s – Capella Santa Catherina inside the San Domenico church in Siena.
  13. Company Fonte Giusta – probable reference to the church Santa Maria in Portico a Fontegiusta in Siena, built in 1482. Wikipedia. See also ilcittadinoonline for more detail.
  14. Palace of the Seignors – the Palazzo Pubblico in Siena, the town hall of the city. Wikipedia.
  15. E di tutte le qualità – It. “of all kinds,” i.e. from all social classes.
  16. mortaretti – It. “little mortars.”
  17. Piazza Chapel – The chapel at the foot of the Mangia Tower next to the town hall.capella di piazza
  18. Evviva Ferdinando il Terzo – It. “Hail Ferdinand the Third.”
  19. Dovizia annonaria – It. “abundance of provision.”
  20. Frumentorum licentia… conservit – L. in original “Frumentariorum licentia coercita / Re annonaria laxata / Pauperum aeque ac divitum bono / consuluerit” MDP VII: 50.
    [“(For the safety / of Ferdinand III of Austria/ because/) when the licence of corn dealers was restricted/ and provisions were reduced/ he took measures/ for the good of the poor as well as the rich.”] (Translated by Peter Liebregts, 2020)
    “Frumentorum is a printer’s error as Pound’s notebook shows the word to be correctly transcribed as “Frumentariorum” and “de” as “re.” Pound transcribed “consuluerit” as “conserviverit.” Lineation in the notebook follows the Latin original (K&E 2: 266).
  21. take with him… 1796 – Ferdinando was forced to flee Tuscany on 27 March 1799 (not 1796) under the pressure of Napoleon’s troops that invaded the duchy. When he left, he did not take with him small-sized objects of value. See also MDP VII: 255, K&E 2: 266.
  22. il più galantuomo del paese – It. “the noblest gentleman in the country.” MDP VII: 255; K&E 2: 266.
  23. citizen priest – During the French Revolution, “citizen” was a universal appellation replacing the usual “Sir” or “Madam.” On 7 April 1799, the Sienese clergy participated in the raising of the “tree of liberty” when Siena was occupied by the French troops. (MDP VII: 261; K&E 2: 267).
  24. from 7,50 a bushel – After Bonaparte took over, the price for a bushel of wheat increased suddenly from 7,50 to 12 scudi (MDP VII: 274; K&E 2: 267).
  25. came men from Arezzo – Pound refers to an interlude in which Italian forces tried to dislodge the French troops from Siena. They came to the city on 28 June 1799 but instead of going to the castle to fight the French, they started attacking Jews. When on 3 July they finally decided to attack the fortress, they found that they had been sabotaged. Napoleon re-established control over Tuscany after the battle of Marengo on 14 June 1800. MDP VII: 321, K&E 2: 267.
  26. respectons les prêtres – Fr. “let us respect the priests.” Bonaparte wrote to Talleyrand on 22 November 1800 that in order to keep the Italian peasants in order and prevent them from rebelling, the French army had to respect the local clergy (MDP VII: 434-5; K&E 2: 268-9).           
    Though Pound’s notebooks show that he knew who had made the remark, he chooses to transfer it to Talleyrand (K&E 2:269).
  27. Charles Maurice de Talleyrand Périgord by François Gérard 1808

    Talleyrand – Charles Maurice Talleyrand de Périgord (1754-1838) French diplomat.        
    “After theology studies, he became in 1780 Agent-General of the Clergy and represented the Catholic Church to the French Crown. He worked at the highest levels of successive French governments, most commonly as foreign minister or in some other diplomatic capacity. His career spanned the regimes of Louis XVI, the years of the French Revolution, Napoleon, Louis XVIII, and Louis-Philippe. He was Napoleon’s chief diplomat during the years when French military victories brought one European state after another under French hegemony. However, most of the time, Talleyrand worked for peace so as to consolidate France’s gains.” Wikipedia.

  28. Premier Brumaire – Brumaire is the month from 22 October to 20 November in the French revolutionary calendar. Premier Brumaire is thus 22 October.
  29. Vous voudrez citoyen – Fr. “citizen, will you” 

    “In the same year the Monte dei Paschi (now joined with the Pawn Shop) received an order from one of the French officers:  
    “Au quartier general de Sienne le Ier brumaire an 9 della République Française.
    “J. F. Delort Adjutat Commandant, au directeur général de la caisse des Monts Reunis.
    “La Coramunauté de cette ville, ayant été imposée par le Lieutenant General Dupont, vouz voudrez Citoyen faire verser dessuite toutes les sommes qui sont dans votre caisse, dans celle de la Communauté. 
    “Salut et fraternite. Delort.” (MDP VII: 445)     
    [‘‘Headquarters of Siena, first Brumaire, 9th year of the French Republic.
    J. F. Delort, Adjutant Commander, to the director general of the till of the United Mountains.
    ‘The Community of this city, having been taxed by Lieutenant General Dupont, you will, Citizen, have paid over at once all the sums in your till into that of the Community.
    Greeting and fraternity.    Delort.’”] K&E 2: 269.
  30. Jacques Antoine Adrien Delort

    Delort – Jacques Antoine Adrien Baron Delort (1773-1846), French officer in Bonaparte’s army. Delort started his career in the revolutionary wars of 1791. By 1800, at 27, he was sub-lieutenant in Napoleon’s cavalry. He would distinguish himself in the Peninsular wars and become baron in 1810. At Waterloo, he fought as divisional general in June 1815. After the fall of Bonaparte, Delort distinguished himself in politics and was awarded peerage in 1837.

  31. Dupont – Pierre-Antoine, Count of Dupont de l’Étang (1765-1840), French officer in Napoleon’s army. In 1800, he was divisional general and chief of staff.
  32. 386px Luis de EtruriaLouis King of Etruria, Primus – After the conquest of Italy, Napoleon wanted to gain Spain as an ally against England by arranging for Louis, the Duke of Parma (who was a Bourbon, the Spanish royal family), to be compensated by the new Kingdom of Etruria that he created out of the Duchy of Tuscany. He forced Ferdinando III out, compensating him with the Electorate of Salzburg. He brought Louis of Parma (1777-1803) in as first King of Etruria. The kingdom survived for seven years (1801-1807). Luis died of epilepsy in 1803, leaving his wife, Maria Louisa, regent for Charles Louis, his minor son. See also nn.36-7.
  33. gen clarke

    Gen Clarke – Henri Jacques Guillaume Clarke (1765-1818) Franco-Irish general who started his career in the French revolutionary wars. In 1800, he was brigadier general and Napoleon’s chief topographical officer, state councillor and state secretary for the army and navy. Wikipedia. He was also French ambassador to Etruria (MDP VII: 557, K&E 2:270).

  34. Ministro degli Esteri – It. Minister of Foreign Affairs. At the time of Clarke’s letter, Talleyrand was the Foreign Minister of the French Consulate (1800-1804).
  35. fruits of the Mount – interest current at the Monte dei Paschi Bank in Siena.
    “Prende esso il denaro al due e due terzi nella consegna dei Luoghi, e l'impresta al tre e un terzo, e così coll'utile dei due terzi per cento destinati al suo mantenimento” (MDP VII: 559).   
    [“It takes money at two and two-thirds on the commission of the Shares and lends it at three and one-third, and thus with a profit of two-thirds per cent destined for its maintenance”] (K&E 2: 270).
  36. Maria Luisa of Spain queen of Etruria and duchess of LuccaMadame ma soeur et cousine – Fr. “Madam, my sister and cousin.” This letter of 5 December 1807 was written to Maria Louisa, the widow of Louis I, King of Etruria. In 1807, Napoleon had decided to incorporate Tuscany/Etruria into France and made another treaty with Spain to achieve it. The kingdom of Etruria was over, and she was to leave the country. See whole original letter in MDP VII: 612n-13n; original and English translation in K&E 2: 271-2.
  37. get to Spain – Maria Louisa was an Infanta of Spain, the youngest daughter of King Charles IV. It was therefore natural that she should want to return home after Napoleon had annulled her kingdom.
  38. General Reile – Honoré Charles Michel Joseph Reille (1775-1860) French general in Napoleon’s army.
  39. import troops from Lisbon – The original source reads Livourne (Livorno). K&E 2: 272. As Lisbon is on the next line, Pound may have mixed up the two towns in a hurried reading. He refers to Lisbon as “that capital” in l.129.
  40. taken possession of Portugal – Napoleon’s army invaded Portugal on 19 November 1807 and occupied it without resistance. Lisbon was taken on 30 November, the royal family fled to Brazil. Portuguese resistance built up and erupted in July 1808 with the battle of Évora. By August, British troops under the command of Arthur Wellesley landed in Mondego Bay and the Peninsular War began. Wikipedia.
    Bonaparte and Maria Luisa did meet in Milan but did not reach an agreement:
    “He promised her, as compensation for the loss of Etruria, the throne of a Kingdom of Northern Lusitania (in the North of Portugal), he intended to create after the Franco-Spanish conquest of Portugal. This was part of the Treaty of Fontainebleau between France and Spain (October 1807) that also had incorporated Etruria to Napoleons’ domains. Napoleon had already ordered the invasion of Portugal but his secret aim was ultimately to depose the Spanish royal family and have access to the money remitted from Spanish colonies in the New World. As part of the agreement, Maria Luisa would marry Lucien Bonaparte, who would have to divorce his wife, but both refused: Lucien was attached to his wife and Maria Luisa considered those nuptials a misalliance, and she would not allow herself to be put in Portugal in the place of her eldest sister, Carlota. Napoleon wanted Maria Luisa to settle in Nice or Turin, but her intentions were to join her parents in Spain. Crossing the south of France, on February 3, she entered Spain by Barcelona and on the 19th, she joined her family at Aranjuez” Wikipedia.
  41. those men – On 14 May 1809, “Napoleon granted the grand duchy of Tuscany to his sister Maria Ana Elisa Bonaparte (Mme Felice Bacciocchi), (1777-1820), princess of Lucca and Piombino. The diarist Bandini reported that when she entered Siena, men took the horses from her carriage and pulled it themselves, but that he was sure the action was not based on genuine enthusiasm.” C n. 41; MDP VII: 649, K&E 2: 272.
  42. Statue by Sallustio Bandini Piazza Salimbeni Siena 2016

    much lesser – the diarist Francesco Antonio Bandini was probably related to the illustrious Sallustio Antonio Bandini (1677-1760), archdeacon, economist and politician advocating free trade and the removal of feudal taxes. Sallustio donated his library to the University of Siena stipulating that it be open to the public. His donation is the foundation of the Biblioteca Comunale degli Intronati, where Pound was doing his research.   
    Sallustio is immortalised by a statue in the Piazza Salimbeni, in front of the Monte dei Paschi, which commissioned the work, completed in 1880.

  43. Bandini – Francesco Antonio Bandini (1762-ca. 1838), Sienese diarist whose 54-volume manuscript of the Diario Senese is preserved in the public library of Siena (K&E 2: 276). See also Notizie.
  44. Portrait of Elisa BonaparteSemiramis – Napoleon’s sister, Maria Ana Elisa Bonaparte was compared to the Babylonian queen Semiramis and called “Semiramide di Lucca,” due to her support and patronage of the arts. Her reign in Tuscany lasted five years, 1809-1814. She departed from Florence, not Lucca, in January 1814, when Neapolitan troops entered the city. MDP VII: 719-20, K&S 2: 273.
  45. monumento di civile sapienza – It. “monument of civil wisdom.”
    “Non e facile indicare ... gli effetti morali ed economici dei quali poteva essere capace l’azione di questo nuovo codice, che nel suo complesso costituiva un vero monumento di civile sapienza .... assicurava maggiori garanzie alia proprietà mercè il sistema ipotecario .... quella dominazione ·.. formò utili progetti per l'essiccamento di paduli, per l’apertura di nuove strade, per la coltivazione del cotone, per la introduzione dell’allevamento dei Merinos” (MDP VII: 724-25).     
    [“It is not easy to point out ... the moral and economic effects of which the action of this new code (the Code Napoleon) was capable, which in general constituted a real monument of civil wisdom .... it assured greater guarantees to property thanks to the mortgage system … that domination (the French) … formed useful projects for drying swamps, for opening new roads, for the cultivation of cotton, for the introduction of the breeding of Merino (sheep)…”] (K&E 2: 273-4).
  46. before him – after commenting on the improvements during the times of Bonaparte, Narciso Mengozzi returns to Pietro Leopoldo and for three pages lists his reforms, ending with the ones introduced by Ferdinando III. (See original in MDP VII: 726-8; original and translation in K&E 2: 274-6.)        
    Pound moved the reduction of the state debt at the top of the list (K&E 2: 276).
  47. mortmain – OF. “morte main” (“dead hand”), the privilege of perpetual ownership of land, usually belonging to the clergy, but also to corporations.
  48. lèse majesty – The lèse-majestè (Fr. “offence to majesty’) is a crime against the body or privilege of the king. Offences may consist in counterfeiting, which is a sovereign prerogative; also in insults addressed to the king in public demonstrations or in the press, through satire and caricature.
  49. Val di Chiana – the valley of the river Chiana in Tuscany.
    “When Napoleon fell, Ferdinando III was restored to the throne of Tuscany. II Monte dei Paschi describes in favorable terms his efforts to increase the prosperity of the country; among the benefits of his reign are listed ‘l’alleviamento per oltre la meta dei pubblici tributi’ and ‘le boniflche della Val di Chiana’ (‘the alleviation of the public taxes by over half’ and ‘the land reclamation of the Valley of Chiana’)” (MDP VIII: viii, 19, 76; K&E 2: 276).
  50. porto franco – It. “free port.”
    Ferdinand III’s son and successor, Leopoldo II of Tuscany (1797-1870, Duke 1824-59), was responsible with the enlargement of the free port of Livorno (MDP VIII: xii, 605; K&E 2: 276.)
  51. Madame Letizia – Maria Letizia Ramolino Bonaparte (1750-1836), Napoleon’s mother. She visited Siena 3-13 August 1815: the stay of a member of the Bonaparte family in Siena, two months after Waterloo, was now not ominous, but just a picturesque news item, recorded by the diarist Bandini (MDP VIII: 11, K&E 2: 277).
  52. Provveditore – It. “supervisor.” The quote can be found in MDP I: 6; K&E 2: 277. 
    “The magistrature of the bank, akin to the board of directors today, was composed of eight members of the nobility, while the daily business was watched over by the provveditore (literally, the “provider”), or CEO, whose title survives to this day. Each successive provveditore came from a different family, thus avoiding the hazard in many family banks, like that of the Medici in Florence, of being destroyed by kinsmen who were not up to the job. In each generation the bank benefited from an injection of fresh talent. As Ugo Fatini explains, “The noble families sent their best brain into the bank.’” (Green 1991)