I managed to find a copy of the critical edition edited by Roberta Turchi of Goldoni's La bottega del caffè. In this book, I found a note that caught my attention. It is a commentary regarding this dialogue, which belongs to Scene VIII of the Second Act:

DON MARZIO Oh che bestia! Oh che bestia! Oh che asino!

RIDOLFO Con chi l'ha, signor don Marzio?

DON MARZIO Senti, senti, Ridolfo, se vuoi ridere. Un medico vuol sostenere che l'acqua calda sia più sana dell'acqua fredda.

This is rendered this way Cornthwaite's translation:

DON MARZIO What an ass! What a stupid ass!

RIDOLFO Who is it now, Don Marzio?

DON MARZIO Listen, Ridolfo–you want a good laugh? Some asinine doctor claims that warm water is better for you than cold.

The note refers to this last sentence and states the following:

l'allusione con tutta probabilità è ad Antonio Cocchi, conosciuto dal Goldoni a Firenze e che proprio nel 1750 stampò il Trattato dei bagni di Pisa (in Firenze, nella Stamperia Imperiale) sostenendo che le acque calde termali «hanno meravigliosa facoltà di giovare come sovrano e quale universale rimedio» (p. 88). La preziosità del riferimento lascia supporre che esso sia stato aggiunto dall'autore nel momento della revisione del testo per consegnarlo alle stampe.

I'll try to translate it into English:

the allusion is most likely to Antonio Cocchi, whom Goldoni met in Florence, and who in 1750 published the Treatise on the Baths of Pisa (in Florence, at the Imperial Printing House), claiming that the hot thermal waters "have a wonderful ability to benefit as a sovereign and universal remedy" (p. 88). The preciousness of the reference suggests that it was added by the author during the revision of the text for publication.

About Antonio Cocchi, I have found the following information:

Antonio Cocchi (1695–1758) was a physician, sanitary administrator, and Professor of Anatomy at the University of Florence. Wide-ranging in his interests, he was also a philologist, botanist, and a cultured traveler through 18th-century Europe.

I wonder for what reason Goldoni would have wanted to include this reference to this Cocchi's work in his play.

  • 1
    A bit of topical humour? It's not uncommon for comedies to refer to something that is much-discussed at the time of writing. Commented May 29 at 7:39


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