Ciao e benvenuto al mio Rinascimento eredità! Wow, I hope I did that right...I don't speak Italian. Last time Isabetta made two wishes from her Genie; one to get Antonio to fall in love with her and the other to get money so Antonio's father would approve the marriage. Giovanni approved the marriage between Isabetta and Antonio and now the two are engaged, set to be married in just two days. Anyways, on with the show!
The two days passed in a blur and soon Isabetta and Antonio were standing in the local Church in front of the Priest. "Io, Antonio, dare il mio corpo per voi, Isabetta, leale nel matrimonio.“ "E io riceverlo.” Isabetta responded with a smile. (Translations are on the last page)
"Io, Isabetta dare il mio corpo a te, Antonio. “ "E io riceverlo.“ The Priest asked for any reasons they should not wed and when none were voiced, they were pronounced husband and wife. (Translations are on the last page)
The guests all stood and clapped heartily as the young couple sealed their vows with a kiss.
After the ceremony, the guests followed the couple back to their house for a night of feasting and revelry. The dining hall had been filled with delicious dishes and pastries. Sitting at the head of the table with her new husband, Isabetta enjoyed the variety of delicacies that money could provide. Once everyone had eaten their fill, Giovanni stood to propose a toast.
"Antonio and Isabetta," he began, "To be honest, your engagement surprised us all." That got a chuckle out of the audience. "However, your love has proved true and I wish you all the happiness in your married life.“ Glasses of wine were raised in agreement before being downed. Isabetta couldn't help but smile as she saw the look of joy that had been on Antonio's face since he had seen her at the church. [I]It's all fake![/I] she told herself before she got too caught up in the moment. Was it all the wine she had drunk or was she actually beginning to feel something for her new husband?
It was late that night before the guests left. "Come with me." Antonio took his wife's hand and led her up the stairs. "Where are we going?" Isabetta asked. "I want to show you your new suite." He said, throwing open a pair of double doors.
. Isabetta gasped when she saw how elaborately her rooms had been decorated. "Do you like it? I had it made them made up just for you." Antonio took his wife's hands as he spoke. "Like it? I love it! These rooms are amazing." Isabetta assured him, looking around at the silver wall sconces, the carved fireplace, and the stained glass in the doors. "I'm glad." Antonio answered. He let go of her hands and moved towards the door. "I'll be back in a moment. Why don't you get changed?" he winked rakishly as he shut the doors behind him.
As soon as the door shut, Isabetta crossed the room in quick strides to the wardrobe that sat against the opposite wall.
Flinging the doors open, she couldn't help but exclaim out loud when she saw the many dresses bursting off the rack. Antonio had sent a maid to get her measurements a few months ago, insisting that she would need a whole new wardrobe to fit her new station in life. Dresses of every style, color, and fabric were hanging there, just waiting to be worn. Isabetta looked through them briefly before choosing a gauzy, white night dress for tonight.
Slipping it on, she ventured into her bedroom. Her hope chest stood at the end of her bed, the genie's lamp safely concealed inside. A fireplace sat cold on one wall; no fire would be needed tonight. Isabetta lounged on the bed, waiting for her husband to come. Presently, Antonio arrived, wearing nothing but short cotton hose. Isabetta blushed.
"I see you found your dresses." Antonio said as he lay down next to Isabetta. "Yes, they're lovely. Thank you very much." she said, shy of his close proximity. "You're welcome." Isabetta hardly heard his words as he kissed her and pulled her close. Maybe marriage could be fun... she thought with a smile as she and her husband consummated their marriage.
Halfway across town, Giovanni and the rest of his family had just returned home. After the long, tiresome journey, each member of the household was ready for bed. Giovanni entered his bedchamber and saw his wife staring out the window, a worried look on her face.
"What's wrong, my dear?" He asked softly. "Oh, just being a mother, I guess. I'm worried about Isabetta." Cadence admitted. "Worried about Isabetta? Whatever for?“ "Well, this afternoon she just seemed...off. Not as excited as one would imagine a young lady at her wedding. I'm worried that she did this for all the wrong reasons."
"Don't fret, love." Giovanni said, tapping her chin. "If anything, Isabetta is smart. I have no doubt she knew what she was getting in to. And if not, she will soon learn.“ "I suppose so. I just hope she knows that some things are more important than money." Cadence said before kissing her husband goodnight and hopping into bed.
The next morning, Isabetta actually slept in. It was the first morning she hadn't had to get up before the sun to help around the house and she enjoyed every moment of it.
Stepping out on to her balcony, Isabetta looked around at the garden below her. The landscaping was beautiful, she had to admit. "I have to explore more!" she said aloud to no one in particular, eager to see how the rest of the house was decorated.
Coming back inside, Isabetta hurried over to the wardrobe, eager to sort through the gowns more closely than she had last night. Antonio had been called down an hour ago for a meeting with one of his business associates but had instructed her before he left that breakfast was served at eight-thirty and a maid would be up to help her dress at eight.
Isabetta's maid arrived promptly and eight and helped her bathe before lacing up her dress and arranging her hair. Isabetta couldn't help but smile in response to the lavishness of her morning; hopefully breakfast would be the same.
And it was. Servants laid plates heaping with eggs, sausages, biscuits, and fresh fruit along the sideboard and allowed Isabetta to help herself to whatever she wanted. "Good morning, dear. I trust you slept well?" Antonio said between bites of food. "Very well, thank you, Antonio." Isabetta answered demurely, taking a sip of her wine. "What did your associate want?"
"Well," Antonio began hesitantly, "he came bearing bad news, I'm afraid. A few of my ships were lost in a storm, so I have to go down to Sicily for a while to get it all sorted out but don't worry; it wasn't anything too bad and I shall be back in a couple of months.“ Isabetta's fork dropped to the plate. "When are you leaving?“ "I'm so sorry but I must leave this afternoon." Antonio said sadly.
"Oh." was all Isabetta could think to say. They had been married only a day ago and he was already leaving. Not that it matters , she reminded herself, this marriage means nothing . She took another bite of her food to fill the silence. "I know it's terrible news, but I promise I will come back as fast as I can!" Antonio said, trying to please his wife. "Alright. Er-just...be safe." Isabetta said awkwardly. "I will, Isabetta. I love you." he assured her.
"More wine?" Isabetta hopped from her chair and offered the bottle to Antonio. "Sure." he said, wondering why his wife seemed jumpy all of the sudden.
"Let's toast to your, er, safe journey!" she said as she poured two glasses of the fine wine.
"Let's!" Antonito said, taking his glass and raising it, waiting for Isabetta to begin the toast. "May you have a safe journey and Godspeed!" she said and both downed their glasses before finishing their meal.
That evening, a carriage pulled up outside and Antonio, his bags already packed by servants, took Isabetta aside to say goodbye. "My dear, I have left word with my clerk down at the Costa warehouse that I am leaving. He said he would be glad to come up now and again to check on you. If there is anything that you require while I am gone, just tell him and he will be more than happy to fetch it for you."
"Thank you, Antonio. I will be sure to do so." Isabetta said, watching the men secure suitcases to the roof of the carriage behind her husband. "Remember, I'll be gone only a couple of months. Try not to miss me too much." he said, trying to make his wife smile. "Have a safe journey." her mouth didn't curve upward the slightest.
"I love you." Antonio pulled his wife in for a goodbye kiss. Isabetta's heart fluttered for the briefest moment before her brain took control and told herself to stop acting foolish.
"Make a wish, Bianca, honey. Anything you want." Cadence told her middle daughter. Anything? Very well, then. I wish that I have many friends as I grow older. I wish to be close to those that I meet as well as close to God. Bianca's family clapped as she blew out her candles.
"You're so tall!" Isabetta exclaimed as she hugged her little sister. Having nothing better to do while Antonio was away on business, she had come to celebrate Bianca's birthday, even wearing her wedding dress to please her mother even though it was not nearly as fine as any of her others.
"Thank you, Isabetta." Bianca said quietly. Her sister had changed and she hadn't yet figured out if it was for the better. "Yes, I'm sure that with some suitable clothes, you would make a fine young lady. Antonio is away on business, but I could ask his clerk to make an appointment with a dressmaker in town for you." Isabetta said, scheming as she looked her sister up and down.
"I could even bring you along to some parties! I have already received many invitations. With my help, I'm sure you could find a suitable match.“ Bianca had to stop her sister before she went too far, "Please, Isabetta. This is not necessary. I have already made plans for my life and they do not include parties or fancy dresses."
"Oh, really? Pray, do tell!" Isabetta said, curious to hear what her sister had planned. "I have decided I wish to dedicate myself to God. I wish to become a nun." Bianca announced. "A nun?" Isabetta was shocked, though when she thought about it, her sister had always been the pious one of the family.
"Yes, a nun." Bianca said confidently, "When ever I go into town, I see the convent, I just know that I am to be one of them someday.“ "I understand, and I wish you all the success in the world." The excitement and determination in Bianca's voice matched the excitement and determination she had felt when she was yearning to be a member of the upper class, and just look where it got her. If Bianca was anything like her, she would stop at nothing to get what you want.
"Thank you, Isabetta." Bianca said, glad for her sister's support. "Now, let's have some cake!“ With a smile on her face, Bianca served two pieces of left over birthday cake.
"Mother?" Bianca asked quietly one night, a few days after Isabetta's visit. "Yes, dear?" Cadence answered, not turning around. She was trying to find Piero's books for his lessons with his father. "I was wondering if you had to time to talk." Bianca said.
"Of course!" Cadence said, forgetting the books for the moment and focusing her full attention on her daughter. "Well, it's just that, since I'm already fifteen and Isabetta is already off and married, I figured it was time I thought about my future, too.“ "And, have you decided anything? You must know that your father and I would be happy to give you anything you wished."
"Yes, mother. I have decided that I wish to become a nun." Bianca said quietly. She had rehearsed this speech a million times. She knew she was needed around the house to help with chores and wasn't sure how her mother would react.
"A nun! Why, Bianca-Marie! That's wonderful! My daughter wishes to dedicate herself to God!" Cadence was so proud! "Yes, mother!" Bianca said, smiling, "I wasn't sure how you would react, but I must say I never expected you to be this happy.“ "Of course I'm happy! I'll talk to your father right now. I'm sure he'll fell the same way." Cadence said, hugging Bianca before hastening up the stairs, forgetting that he was in the middle of teaching Piero his letters.
As promised, Cadence had a long talk with her husband that evening and, as Bianca was going to bed, her father called her aside.
"Bianca. I hear that you wish to be a nun." he said, his voice serious. "Yes, father. However, I understand if you cannot spare me to the convent as my work would be sorely missed." Bianca said, convinced that her father would not permit her to go. "Nonsense," he said, still serious, "you forget that it was once just your mother and I on this plot of land. If we were able to keep this house up and running then, we surely can now.“ Bianca's eyes sparkled, "Does that mean I can go, papà ?"
"Yes, dear. It means you can go." he said, giving her a hug. "However, we must wait a couple weeks to make arrangements.“ "Oh, grazie ! You have made me so happy!" Bianca said, hugging her father tightly. "I'm glad this is what you want, Bianca." he answered, smiling and motioning for his daughter to go to bed. "Not to run off with some, uomo I barely know." he added under his breath as he opened the door to his bedchamber.
Isabetta was bored. She had spent the past four months exploring the house up and down, but there was only so much to see. Even the books began to bore her. There were only a few that had interested her and she had already read them. Some of the neighbors had visited her, but they stopped coming around when Isabetta confided in one of them that she hadn't been feeling very well. Apparently they were too afraid for their own health to bother looking in on a lonely young bride once in a while.
The clerk had stopped by a few times. He was a nice fellow, but rather too strict in Isabetta’s opinion. Since her husband was not there to escort her, he hardly let her out of the house! She had not been able to attend a single party. It was such a shame that her ball gowns were going to such a waste, just sitting in the back of the wardrobe. Instead, she just lurked around the garden; her favorite place in the whole house. Antonio had sent word after his two months were up saying that things were worse than he had expected and he has to wait in Sicily for his father to join him and he had no idea how long it would take.
One morning, while she was clipping flowers in the garden to bring into the house, Isabetta was rather surprised to figure out why she hadn't been feeling well. She was with child.
Giovanni and Cadence, who had recently celebrated their birthdays, stood behind their two children, staring up at the imposing building before them. Giovanni had notified the convent that his daughter wished to join them and they welcomed her with no delay. It had hardly been a week since Bianca had told her wishes to her parents and it was already time for her to leave.
"Come give me a hug." Cadence said, teary-eyed. "I'm going to miss you, darling!“ Giovanni watched as one of the doors slid open and a young looking nun came out, looking to collect her new ward. Seeing that she was in the midst of saying good-bye, she hung back. "Me next, Bianca. I want to say goodbye." Piero said, sad that his sister was leaving.
He had also celebrated a birthday recently. Before blowing out his candles, he wished that he would be able to continue his studies and, maybe someday, be known for his discoveries.
"Are you ready?" the nun came down the steps after Bianca had finished saying good-bye. "Yes." Bianca could only manage one syllable. If she said much more, she was sure she would burst out in tears as her mother had done several times on the way over.
"You may follow me then. My name is Analisa." the nun said with a cheerful smile. "Don't worry, you'll love it here.“ "Pleased to meet you, Analisa." Bianca said before turning to follow her up the steps. Analisa held the door open and Bianca entered the convent, ready to start her new life; but not before she turned one last time to wave goodbye.
Ok, so the wedding vows in Italian on the earlier pages roughly translate to: “ I, Antonio, give my body to you, in matrimony.” “ And I receive it.” “ I, Isabetta, give my body to you, Antonio.” “ And I receive it.” Until next time, arrivederci!