Learn Italian from Pinocchio: chapter 4, part 7

Pinocchio has just told the cricket that he would rather lead the life of a vagabond than go to school; the cricket continues trying to teach him his lesson.

The portion of text from chapter 4 of Le avventure di Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi that you will study in this post contains the Tuscan usages codesto and spedale. This portion reads:

— Per tua regola — disse il Grillo-parlante con la sua solita calma — tutti quelli che fanno codesto mestiere finiscono quasi sempre allo spedale o in prigione. — Bada, Grillaccio del mal’augurio!… se mi monta la bizza, guai a te!… — Povero Pinocchio! mi fai proprio compassione!… — Perché ti faccio compassione? — Perché sei un burattino e, quel che è peggio, perché hai la testa di legno. —

— Carlo Collodi, Le avventure di Pinocchio, capitolo 4

This portion of text begins with the cricket, who says: Per tua regola tutti quelli che fanno codesto mestiere finiscono quasi sempre allo spedale o in prigione.

The expression per tua regola means for your information; I shall have you know. It is a shorter form of per tua norma e regola, meaning the same thing. This expression is used in a reprimanding tone to bring attention to something that has not been fully taken into account by the person being addressed. Regola is pronounced règola.

With his usual calmness (con la sua solita calma), the grillo informs Pinocchio that those who have as their form of employment the life of a vagabond almost always end up in hospital or prison: tutti quelli che fanno codesto mestiere (all those who do this trade) quasi sempre (almost always) finiscono allo spedale o in prigione (end up in hospital or in prison).

Codesto is a Tuscan usage. Outside Tuscany, codesto is replaced with questo or quello.

codesto mestiere
= questo mestiere

codeste monete
= queste monete

codesta donna
= questa donna, etc.

Where does codesto come from? Codesto is a contraction of eccoti esto, where the form esto means the same thing as questo.

As a side note, esto lives on in the spoken language as the contracted form sto. This is why you will hear things like sto libro (colloquial equivalent of questo libro), sta ragazza (colloquial equivalent of questa ragazza), etc.

The grillo warns Pinocchio that his preferred line of work may result in his ending up in hospital (finire allo spedale) or in prison (finire in prigione). The Italian word for hospital is un ospedale; however, in the text, you have uno spedale, which is a Tuscan form. In the national language, you can use finire in ospedale and finire in prigione.

Uno scoiattolo rabbioso mi ha morso e sono finito in ospedale.
A rabid squirrel bit me, and I ended up in hospital.

Sono finito in prigione per omicidio involontario.
I ended up in prison for involuntary manslaughter.

Pinocchio begins to lose his temper with the grillo, and tells him to look out: Bada, Grillaccio del mal’augurio!… se mi monta la bizza, guai a te! You have already seen much of the language used here (follow the links to review); however, you have not yet seen the verb badare (to look out, to be careful).

Bada a quello che dici!
Be careful what you say!

Bada di non scivolare!
Be careful not to slip!
Watch that you do not slip!

You will remember that bizza means anger. You can understand the expression se mi monta la bizza as meaning if I get angry, if I get worked up. Montare means to go up, to come up, so se mi monta la bizza literally means something like if anger rises in me, the idea being that anger rises before it explodes.

The grillo pities Pinocchio: mi fai compassione, he says. Fare compassione a qualcuno means to arouse pity in someone.

Mi fanno compassione.
I pity them. They arouse pity in me.

Mi fai proprio compassione.
I really do pity you. You really do arouse pity in me.

Perché ti faccio compassione?
Why do you pity me? Why do I arouse pity in you?

The reason the grillo pities Pinocchio, of course, is because he is a marionette and, quel che è peggio (what is worse), because Pinocchio ha la testa di legno (Pinocchio has a head of wood).

The portion of text appearing in this post breaks down as follows: — Per tùa règola (for your information) — dìsse il Grìllo-parlànte (said the Talking Cricket) con la sùa sòlita càlma (with his usual calm) — tùtti quélli che fànno codésto mestière (all those who do this trade) finìscono quàsi sèmpre àllo spedàle (almost always end up in hospital) o in prigióne (or in prison). — Bàda (be careful), Grillàccio del mal’augùrio (bad cricket of ill omen)!… se mi mónta la bìzza (if I get worked up), guài a te (look out)!… — Pòvero Pinòcchio (poor Pinocchio)! mi fài pròprio compassióne (I really do pity you)!… — Perché ti fàccio compassióne (why do you pity me)? — Perché sèi un burattìno (because you are a marionette) e, quel che è pèggio (and what is worse), perché hài la tèsta di légno (you have a head of wood). —

Important Italian usages appearing in this post include: per tùa nòrma e règola (for your information), per tùa règola (for your information), sòlito (usual, same), la càlma (calmness), codésto (this, that; this is a Tuscan usage), la prigióne (prison), un ospedàle (hospital; ùno spedàle is a Tuscan usage), finìre in ospedàle, finìre all’ospedàle (to end up in hospital; finìre àllo spedàle is a Tuscan usage), finìre in prigióne (to end up in prison), lo scoiàttolo (squirrel), rabbióso (rabid), mòrdere (to bite), ha mòrso (it bit), un omicìdio (homicide), involontàrio (involuntary), badàre (to look out, to be careful), scivolàre (to slip), montàre (to go up, to come up), la bìzza (anger), la compassióne (compassion, pity), fàre compassióne (to arouse pity), quel che è pèggio (what is worse), la tèsta (head).