chapter  209
3 Pages

Frederick the Emperor—Fidiricu ’Mperaturi

There’s a story told time and again that the French used to be in Sicily,and they were so oppressive that nobody could put up with them anylonger. Besides other terrible things, they made a law that any Sicilian woman who got married was not allowed to sleep with her husband until she had first slept with a Frenchman. We can assume that, if she was wealthy, she slept with a captain; if she was from the middle class, she slept with a sergeant or maybe a corporal; and if she was poor, she slept with an enlisted man. Should we have put up with such things? Not on your life! And it was made even worse by the fact that these Frenchmen took over all our possessions. They would enter and leave Sicilian homes as if they were their own, and they robbed us of our silver and gold and anything else they liked-and they did all this while molesting any man’s wife they wanted.