Roman Legends: A Collection of the Fables and Folk-lore of Rome | Annotated Tale

COMPLETE! Entered into SurLaLune Database in October 2018 with all known ATU Classifications.

Daughter of Count Lattanzio, The


COUNT Lattanzio had a daughter who was in love with a lawyer, but the count was not at all inclined to let her marry beneath her station, and he took all the pains imaginable to prevent them from meeting; so much so that he scarcely left her out of his sight. One day he was obliged to go to his vineyard outside the gates, and before he left he gave strict injunctions to his servant to let no one in till he came back at 21 o'clock. [2]

               It was an hour before 21 o'clock, and there was a knock at the door.

               'Is the Count Lattanzio in?'

               'No, he won't be in just yet.'

               'Ah, I know, he won't be in till 21 o'clock; he said I was to wait. I'm come to measure him for a pair of new boots. [3]

               'If he told you to wait I suppose you must,' said the servant; 'otherwise he had told me not to let anyone in.' And as he showed him in he thought he was a rather gentlemanly bootmaker.

               Soon after there was another knock.

               'Is the Count Lattanzio in?'

               'No, he won't be in for some time yet.'

               'Ah, never mind; he said I was to wait if he hadn't come in. I'm the tailor, come to measure him for a new suit.'

               'If he said you were to wait I suppose you must,' answered the servant; 'but it's very odd he should have told you so, as he particularly told me to let no one in.' However, he showed him in also. Directly after there came another knock.

               'Is the Count Lattanzio at home?'

               'No, he won't be in for some time yet.'

               'Never mind; I'm the lawyer engaged in his cause before the courts. He said I was to wait if he wasn't in.'

               But the servant began to get alarmed at having to disobey orders so many times, and he thought he would make a stand.

               'I'm very sorry,' he said, 'but master said I wasn't to show anyone in.'

               'What! when I've come here with my two clerks, on particular business of the greatest importance to your master, do you suppose I'm going away again like that, fellow?'

               The servant was so amazed by his imperative manner that he let him in, too.

               Twenty-one o'clock came at last, and with it Count Lattanzio. Having given orders that no one should be let in, of course he expected to find no one. What was his astonishment, therefore, when, as he opened the drawing-room door, a loud cry of 'Long live Count Lattanzio!' [4] uttered by several voices, met his ear.

               The shoemaker was the bridegroom, the tailor the best man, the lawyer and his two clerks were the notary and his witnesses. The marriage articles had been duly drawn up and signed, and as the parties were of age there was no rescinding the contract.

               Count Lattanzio sent away the servant for not attending to orders; but that made no difference--the deed was done.



[1] This story, again, is perhaps more curious for the sake of the repetition of the name of Lattanzio, in so different a story as that at p. 155, than for its contents. There is doubtless a reason why this name should come into this sort of use as with that of 'Cajusse,' but I have not as yet been able to meet with it.

[2] '21 o'clock,' three hours before the Ave.

[3] 'Gisbuse' are high boots of unblackened leather reaching up to the thighs, worn by sportsmen about Rome.

[4] 'Viva!' or 'Evviva!' is a not very uncommon, though rather old-fashioned, mode of hearty greeting.

Bibliographic Information

Tale Title: Daughter of Count Lattanzio, The
Tale Author/Editor: Busk, Rachel Harriette
Book Title: Roman Legends: A Collection of the Fables and Folk-lore of Rome
Book Author/Editor: Busk, Rachel Harriette
Publisher: Estes and Lauriat
Publication City: Boston
Year of Publication: 1877
Country of Origin: Italy
Classification: unclassified

Back to Top