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Story of the Beautiful Candida

Who, even though she was married, she allowed herself to flirt with 50 good looking lovers
(then repented), a model (of repentance) for both young men and women, and for married women.

Oh, you daughters who desire
to get married,
stop here for a moment,
because I want to talk to you.
I come to give you counsel
that you will need,
to keep the lily white
of your honesty.

I am a married woman
so I can give you counsel.
You can reflect 
upon my deviant life.

With fifty good looking men
I made love,
and then afterwards
they all left me with horror.

I was left betrayed
troubled and in big pain,
shameless, disheartened,
and in a great embarrassment.

I still remember the time and the day
in which they came to visit.
They were always very close to me,
only to try to make me happy.

From night to morning,
day and night, and at every hour,
my bedroom was full
of those nice good looking men.

I was there in my bedroom,
with a bunch of flowers in my hands,
and I looked like a female dog
with a lot of dogs around her.

My spouse was in the countryside,
always working,
and I was at home having fun
with my friends.

If my husband was at home
and I couldn’t flirt,
then I didn’t feel like eating anymore,
and I lost my desire to sing.

I faked a headache,
a stomachache, and chest pains.
Especially during holidays,
I felt a deep pain.

My husband, always at home,
was watching me,
and as the day went by,
I was always noticed that.

If I looked outside of the balcony,
many lovers were downstairs singing,
and my spouse with a stick,
came to beat me.

But then, when he left,
to go to work in the countryside,
I enjoyed a happiness
that I cannot here explain.

I spent the days,
always flirting.
And I didn’t have any other thought
other than making love.

To avoid being picked on,
and to avoid listening to questions,
I set up a day for each one
to come and visit me.

So, the first day of each month,
I can guarantee you
that Giovanni,  from Bologna,
came to hug me.

And under his mantle
he had a nice bag
with a roast beef
and two big cockerels.

So, I made an omelet,
and I took some good wine,
and that day
I enjoyed a nice man.

And then, on the second of the month,
early in the morning,
comes the dear Franceschino
with a token of his love.

And he comes close to my bed,
waking me up,
and he gives me a nice packet
of cookies and sweeties.

He then told me, “My jewel,
I beg you, do not sleep
because today
we should have fun.

Then, on the third day of the month,
Michele arrives,
and on the fourth Bernardin
on the fifth Raffaele
and on the sixth Manuelin,

Then on the seventh, Gregorio arrives,
on the eighth Pietrin arrives,
then on the ninth comes Vittorio,
and on the tenth Battistin.

On the eleventh comes Germano,
and on the twelfth Carlin,
then on the thirteenth Damiano,
and on the fourteenth Paolin.

Then, on the fifteenth comes Vincenzo,
and on the sixteenth Antonin,
on the seventeenth Lorenzo comes,
and on the eighteenth Gabrielin.

On the nineteenth Samuele comes,
and on the twentieth Giuseppin,
on the twenty-first Daniele comes,
and on the twenty-second Bartolin.

On the twenty-third Elin came,
on the twenty-fourth Alfonsin,
on the twenty-fifth Mattia comes,
and on the twenty-sixth the priest Serafin.

On the twenty-seventh comes priest Silvestro,
on the twenty-eight Angiolin,
on the twenty-ninth the priest Ernesto,
and on the thirtieth Giacomin.

And then Matteo comes
then Anselmo and the priest Martin,
then, Eliseo,
Guglielmo and Pasqualin.

Later Taddeo comes,
then Enrico, Cesarin,
Natalin, Amedeo
Virgilio, and  Luigin.

And finally Andrea comes,
then Emilio, Agostin,
Giulietto, Enea,
Teodoro ,and Davidin.

Besides the fifty lovers,
I even had other lovers.
More than five hundred,  (metaphorical)
with whom I used to make love.

When I went to help
cook the meal,
then after we were done eating,
we started to flirt.

All of these good looking men,
who came to visit me,
brought me gifts
to console me.

There was the one who gave me a handcraft,
the one who gave me a nice ring,
and the one who gave me a shawl
with an elegant embroidery.

I had a small house
worthy of every admiration,
that could have been seen up to Gaeta,
that was bombarded by a cannon.   (war)

Moreover, I had a viola
that played very well,
and even though those men were fat,
they looked vigorous.

Then at night I went to the dances
both near and far away,
to be more free to sin,
and I left for Milan.

I wasn’t afraid of the rain, the wind,
hot or cold weather, and not even a red sky.
My only thought was
to dance and find love.

Once at midnight
four or five good looking men,
wrestled against each other
and broke a fist.

Then they broke a pan,
three bottles, six glasses,
five vases, and a bowl
of  fine majolica.   (pottery)

Then four or five
young girls who were my relatives
gave me good advise,
but I didn’t want to listen.

Whoever gave me counsel
to live as a good Christian,
it made me uncomfortable,
and I kept treating him/her wrongly.

I continued to fake being a Christian,
pure, just, virtuous,
and I pretended to be called
a great example of honesty.

And among all of these lovers,
I had one from every nation:
Greeks, Turks, Protestants,
Romans, and Masons.

Then, I tried to go to confession
as a true penitent,   (repentant)
but my heart and mind
didn’t feel any pain.

I kept thinking about my lovers,
my tastes, my delights -
those were the true
designs of my heart.

And for fourteen years I continued
to have pleasure with these young men.
Then after many afflictions,
they came to candindin.  (?)

The Repentance of Candida
For my deep sins
And offences to the Creator,
My life in every way
became  troubled and pained.

Every kind of affliction
came to effect me,
but my sinful intention
I didn’t want to change.

I was looking for happiness
in my past mistakes,   (justify past actions)
but a sadness
kept coming inside of my heart.

When I went inside of the rooms
were I make love,
the old memories
made my heart dead.

Then, when I looked at the objects
my lovers gave me,
they seemed to be accursed,
and they gave me great pain.

So to conclude
the pure truth,
I had to tell Salomone
that everything depends on self-love.

And the woman who is married
if she wants to be treated well,
she has to stay at home
without looking for other lovers.

Looking at young men
who are smart as foxes,
listening to their words and conspiracies,
do not pay attention.

Because today many young men
only wish to behave badly.
When they talk, they seem saintly,
but they are only going to deceive you.

With nice gifts
they get close to you,
and induce you in their net,
only to be their puppet.

But you—women who are married,
if you believe in the Creator,
stay at home
and keep your honor.

Look virtuous  
in your speech and actions,
because scandalous deeds,
God knows how to punish.

And you have to remember,
that the first quality
of a married woman,
is to keep her honesty.

Especially at this time
of awful iniquity,
you have to give examples
of pure honesty.   (repentance)

Honesty is a great thing
that no one can explain,
And even if the world would be made out of gold,
It couldn’t buy honesty.

Honesty and wisdom
are springs of virtue,
mines of richness,
and I cannot say enough.

You have to use honesty
in the Church of God,
to not laugh or joke,
but pray to the Creator.

You have to use honesty
In speech and actions.
Even when you go for a walk,
you have to be modest.

Using good manners
is how good Christians act.
They stay away
from bad people.

You must have honesty
in your eyes and thoughts,
and you cannot desire
to obtain what is not legal.

Because sinning with a thought
is an offence to the Creator,
and it’s a most dishonorable path,
that brings you to pain.
So women, my sisters,
if you want to go to heaven,
try to avoid
my rebellious deeds.

Because if you will avoid
all of these lovers,
one day you will find yoursef
very happy with God.

And you—young men,
who are listening to me,
I will give you my wise counsel
to help you behave.

I beg you to stay away
from women who are not good,
who with their eyes and hands,
make you spend your money.

And each daughter or spouse,
who doesn’t try to be good
when it is Saint Rose day,
don’t even greet those young women.

Because if you young men were to talk to her,
in the end, it will happen
that you will be trapped
by their dishonesty.


Property of Andrea Cereghino and his sons.


Translated by: Chiara Degli Esposti, a native Italian who was attending Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.  She has now returned to Italy.