I am interested in reading Alessandro Manzoni's novel The Betrothed as it has scenes of the plague in Milan which are very relevant to our current times. I don't have time to read the entire novel so I am interested in reading some excerpts.

I am especially interested in reading the scenes where the priests are ministering to the plague victims. Can anyone point me to which chapters/page numbers depict these scenes? I am reading the online e-book at archive.org. I read online summaries of the novel but I can't find these scenes.


  • The full text is here - You can scan through easily by using CTRL+F to find words like "plague". I can't see any scenes that directly match your descriptions though.
    – Valorum
    Apr 14, 2020 at 12:52

1 Answer 1


The section that most resembles your description seems to be a portion of chapter XXXV and XXXVI, where Renzo finds Fra Cristoforo in the lazzeretto. There you can find a few descriptions of him and other Capuchin frias while they tend to the sick. For example:

Arrivò in quel punto un cappuccino con la barba bianchissima, portando due bambini strillanti, uno per braccio, raccolti allora vicino alle madri spirate; e una donna corse a riceverli, e andava guardando tra la brigata e nel gregge, per trovar subito chi tenesse lor luogo di madre.

At that moment a Capuchin friar with a very white beard arrived, carrying two screaming babies, one on each arm, picked up just at that moment from the deceased mothers; and a woman ran to receive them, and she went looking through the group and the crowd, to find immediately who could play the role of the mother for them.

(my translation)

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