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Authors: Umberto Eco

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Baudolino

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Baudolino
Umberto Eco

Translated from the Italian by
William Weaver

A Harvest Book
HARCOURT, INC.
Orlando Austin New York San Diego Toronto London

© 2000 RCS Libri'S.p.A
English translation copyright © 2002 by Harcourt, Inc.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced
or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including
photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system,
without permission in writing from the publisher.

Requests for permission to make copies of any part of the work
should be mailed to the following address: Permissions Department,
Harcourt, Inc., 6277 Sea Harbor Drive, Orlando, Florida 32887-6777.

www.HarcourtBooks.com

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Eco, Umberto.
[Baudolino. English]
Baudolino/Umberto Eco;
translated from the Italian by William Weaver.
p. cm.
ISBN 0-15-100690-3 ISBN 0-15-602906-5
I. Weaver, William, 1923– II. Title.
PQ4865.C6 B3813 2002
853'.914—dc21 2002002345

Text set in Minion
Designed by Linda Lockowitz

Printed in the United States of America

First Harvest edition 2003
A C E G I K J H F D B

1. Baudolino tries his hand at writing

Rattisbon Anno
Dommini
Domini mense decembri mclv Cronicle of Baudolino of the fammily of Aulario.

I Baudolino son of
Galiaudo
Gagliaudo of the Aulari with a head that looks like a lion halleluia gratias to the Allmighty may he forgive me

ego habeo facto the greatest stealing of my life, I mean from the cabbinet of the Bishop Oto I have stollen many pages that may belong to the Immperial Chancellor and I have scraped clean almost all of them excepting where the writing would not come off et now I have much parch-mint to write down what I want which is my own story even if I don't know to write Latin.

if they find out the pages are gone God knows the Hell they will raze et may be theyll think it was some spy of the Roman bishops who hate the Emperer Fredericus

but may be nobody cares in the chancellery they write and write even when theres no need and whoever finds them (these pages)
can shove them up his
... wont do anything about them

ncipit prologus de duabus civilitatibus historiae AD mcxliii conscript saepe multumque volvendo mecum de rerum temporalium motu ancipitq

these lines were allready here before and I couldnt scratch them away so I leave them

if they find these pages now Ive writen on them not even a chancelor will understand them because this lingua here is what they talk at la Frescheta but noboddy knows to write it down

but even if its a langwadge noboddy understands they can tell right away its me because everyboddy says we Frescheta people talk a lingua no Kristian ever heard so I have to hide these pages well

Jesù writing is hard work all my fingers ake allready

my father Galiaudo always use to say I must have a gift of Santa maria of Roboreto because since I was a little pup if someboddy say just
quinkue
five
V words I could do their talk right off whether they came from Terdona or from Gavi and even from Mediolanum where they talk stranger than dogs, anyway even when I met the first Alamanni in my life who were laying siege seige seege to Terdona, all
Toische
and nasty and they say
rousz
and
Myn got,
before the day was over I was saying
rousz
and
Myn got
too and they woiud would say to me
Kint
go find us a pretty
Frouwe
and we'll do fiki fiki even if she doesn't wan to just tell us where she is and we'll grab her fast

whats a
Frouwe
I said and they said a womman a feemale
du verstan
and with theiur hands they made like big tits because in this siege we were kinmd of scarce on women, the ones in Terdona are in the town and when we enter just leave it to us but the wommen outside the town don't show their faces and then they set to cursing with words that gave even me goosebumps

lousy shitty Hunns, you needn't think I'm going to tell you where the
Frouws
are, I'm no informer, keep jerking off

mamma mia, they like to killed me

kill or necabant, now I'm writing Latin almost, not that I understand Latin even if I learned to read from a Latin librum and when they talk
Latin to me, I understand but its the writing I don't know how you write the words

Goddamm I never know if it's equus or equum and I always get it wrong while for us a horse is always a chivaus and I never get it wrong because nobody writes Horse in fact they dont write anything because they dont know how to read

but that day things went all right and the germanns didn't harm a hair of my head because just then some milites arrived yelling come on come on we're attacking again and then Hell broke loose and I couldnt think with the cavalry going this way and the foot soldeiers going that way with their banners and trumpets blowing and wooden towers tall as the trees of Burmia moving like carts with bowmen and fundibulari on them and others carrying ladders and all these arrows raining down on them like hail and the others flinging stones with a kind of big Spoone and they whistled over my head like the iaculi that the Derthonesi threw from the walls, what an uproar!

and I hidd myself for a good two hours under a bush saying sancta virgine help me then everything calmed down and some men ran by me speaking like people from Pavia and yelling they'd killed so many Derthonesi that it looked like a lake of Blood and they were very happy because now the Derthonesi would find out what it meant to side with the Mediolanenses

since those alamanns with the
Frouwe
business were coming back, may be not so many, because the Derthonesi hadnt exakly been idle I said to myself I better cleer out

so I walked and walked and got home when it was almost day and told the whole story to my father Galiaudo who said you big booby getting mixed up with seiges and the like one of these days you'll get a pike up your ass that stuff is all for the lords and masters so let them stew in their own juice because we have the cows to worry about and we're serious folk forget about Frederick, first he comes then he goes then he comes back and it adds up to fuckall

anyway Terdona didnt fall because they never got the fort. And it went on right up to the end of my story when the Allamanns cut off the water and so instead of drinking their own piss they told Frederick they were his men, he let them come out but first he burned the city and then chopped it to pieces like what the men of Pavia did because they're dead set against the Derthonesi here non est like the Alamans who all love one another and are as close as my crossed fingers but here at Gamondio if we see someone from Bergolio it makes our balls spin

but now back to my storey of when I was in the Frescheta woods there specially when theres real fog when you cant see the tip of your nose and things appear all of a sudden and you dont see them coming then I have visions like that time when I saw the unicorn and the other time when I saw Saint Baudolino who spoke to me and said sonofawhore youre going to Hell because the unicorn story goes like this everybody knows that to hunt a unicorn you have to put a girl whose still a virgin at the foot of a tree and the animal smells the virgin smell and comes and puts his head in her lap so I took Bergolio's Nena who had come with her father to buy my fathers cow and I said to her come into the woods with me and we'll hunt the unicorn then I put her under the Tree because I was sure she was a virgin and I said to her sit still like this and spread your legs to make room for the animal's head and she asked spread like this and I said there right there and I touched her and she began making some noises like a nanny goat dropping a kid and I lost my head and had something like a napocalips and afterwards she wasnt pure like a lily any more and she said o my god now how will we make the unicorn come and just then I heard a voice from Heaven said that the unicorn qui tollis peccata mundis was me and I started jumping around the bushes and crying hip heee frr frr because I was happier than a real unicorn because I had put my horn in the virgin's lap and this was why Saint Baudolino had called me son et setera but then he forgave me and I caught site of him other times but only if there is plenty of fog or if it isnt bright like to scorch everything.

but when I told my father Galiaudo that I saw Saint Baudolino he
hit me on the back thirty times with a stick saying O Lord this had to happen to me, a son who sees things and cant even milk a cow either I bust his head with my stick or I give him to one of those men who visit the fairs making an African monky dance and my sainted mother shouted at me goodfornothing your the worst all what have I done to make the Lord give me a son who sees saints and my father Galiaudo said its not true he sees saints hes a wors liar than Judass and he makes things up to get out of working

I am telling this story because if I dont you wouldnt undertstand what happened that evening with the fog so thick you could cut it with a knife and it was already april but in our Parts theres fog even in august and if your not from those Parts you get lost between Burmia and Frescheta especially if there isnt a saint to take you by the bridle and there I was heading for home when I saw right in front of me a baron on a horse all covered with iron

it was the baron covered with iron not the horse and with a sword he looked like the King of Arragon

and I like to died Mamma mia you want to bet this really is Saint Baudolino whose here to take me to Hell but he said
Kleine kint Bitte
and I caught on that he was an Alaman lord lost in the wood because of the fog and he couldnt find his friends and it was almost night and he showed me a Coin and I had never seen Money before and he was happy I could answer in his language and in
Diutsch
I said to him if you keep straight youll end in the swamp sure as sunshine

may be I shouldnt have said sunshine with that fog you could cut with a Knife but he understood all the same

and then I said I know the Germanes come from a country where its always Spring and maybe the seeders of Lebanon grow there but here in the Palea theres fog and in this fog there are some bastards roming around who are still the grandsons of the grandsons of the Ayrabics who fought against Charlemain and theyre a bad bunch and when they see a
stranger they hit him in the face with a club and they steal even the hair on his head ergo if you come to my fathers hut youll find a bowl of hot broth and some straw to sleep on in the stable then tomorrow morning at daybreak Ill show you the road specially if you have that Coin gratias benedicite we're poor folk but honest

so I took him to my father Galiaudo who started yelling you damn fool whats got into your head you told my name to a stranger whose with those people theres no telling maybe hes even a vassal of the marquis of Monferrato and hes going to ask me for a tithe de fructibus and de hay and leguminibus or a tax on the cattle now we are ruined and he was about to reach for his stick

I told him the Gentleman was an Alaman et non from Mon Ferrato and he said all the worse but when I told him about the Coin he calmed down because the Marengo people have heads hard as a bulls but sly as a horse and he understood that he could make something out of this and he said to me you speak all laangwidges so say these things to him

Item: we are poor folk but honest
Ive already told him that

all the same its better to repeat it and item thanks for the Coin. But theres also the matter of the hay for the horse item besides the hot soup I can add a piece of cheese and some bread and a jug of the good stuff item he can sleep where you sleep by the fire and tonight you go to the stable item show me the Coin and I want a Genovine solido and then fiat like one of the family because for us Marengo folk the guest is sacred

the Gentleman said
haha
you are smart you Marincum folk but a negotio est un negotio I will give you two of these Coins and you wont ask for a Genovine solido because with a Genovine solido I can
kauf
your house and all your stock but take this and be quiet because youre still making a profit my father kept quiet and took the two Coins that the Gentleman dropped on the table because the Marengo folks heads are hard but sly and he ate like a wolf (the gentleman) or rather like two (wolfs) then while my father and my mother went off to sleep after breaking their backs all day while I was out in the Frescheta the
herre
said
this wine is good I'll drink a bit more here by the fire so mine
kint
tell me how it is that you speak my langwidge so well

ad petitionem tuam frater Ysingrine carissime primos libros chronicae meae missur

ne humante pravitate

heres another place I couldnt scrape off

now to go back to my story of that Alaman lord who wanted to know how it was that I spoke his lingua and I told him that I have the gift of tongues like the Apossles and the gift of Vision like the Madalenes because I walk in the wood and I see Saint Baudolino riding a unicorn milk-colored like his twisted Horn just where horses have what for us would be a Nose

but a horse doesn't have a Nose other wise underneath there would be a beard like that Gentleman had who had a fine beard the color of a copper pan where as the other Alamans I had seen had yellow hair even in their ears

and he said well well you see what you would call a unicorn and maybe you mean the Monokeros but where did you learn that there are unicorns in this world and I told him I had read it in a book that the Frescheta hermit had and with his eyes so wide he looked like an owl he said What You know how to read too

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