Ring and the Book cover

Ring and the Book

Robert Browning (1812-1889)

1. Chapter 1 - The Ring and the Book: "Do you see this ring?"
2. Chapter 1. "Word for word, So ran the title-page"
3. Chapter 1. "So was the trial at end, do you suppose?"
4. Chapter 1. "Well, British Public, ye who like me not,"
5. Chapter 1. "This was it from, my fancy with those facts,"
6. Chapter 1. "Enough of me!"
7. Chapter 1. "Then, yet another day let come and go,"
8. Chapter 1. "Also hear Caponsacchi who comes next,"
9. Chapter 1. "Then, since a Trial ensued, a touch o' the same"
10. Chapter 1. "Then must speak Guido yet a second time,"
11. Chapter 1. "Such, British Public, ye who like me not,"
12. Chapter 2 - Half-Rome: "What, you, Sir, come too? (Just the man I'd meet.)"
13. Chapter 2. "From dawn till now that it is growing dusk,"
14. Chapter 2. "These wretched Comparini were once gay"
15. Chapter 2. "He waited and learned waiting, thirty years;"
16. Chapter 2. "They went to Arezzo,--Pietro and his spouse,"
17. Chapter 2. "I see the comment ready on your lip,"
18. Chapter 2. "This makes the first act of the farce"
19. Chapter 2. "Leave it thus, and now revert"
20. Chapter 2. "So it went on and on till--who was right?"
21. Chapter 2. "Sir, what's the sequel?"
22. Chapter 2. "Therefore to Rome with the clear case"
23. Chapter 2. "The Canon Caponsacchi, then, was sent"
24. Chapter 2. "Come, here's the last drop does its worst to wound,"
25. Chapter 2. "But with a certain issue: no dispute"
26. Chapter 3 - The Other Half-Rome: "Another day that finds her living yet"
27. Chapter 3. "Truth lies between: there's anyhow a child"
28. Chapter 3. "Adam-like, Pietro sighed and said no more"
29. Chapter 3. "So--giving now his great flap-hat a gloss"
30. Chapter 3. "Then with the great air did he kiss"
31. Chapter 3. "And faith here made the mountains move."
32. Chapter 3. "Who could gainsay this just and right award?"
33. Chapter 3. "In short, he also took the middle course"
34. Chapter 3. "This is why;"
35. Chapter 3. "When first, pursuant to his plan, there sprung"
36. Chapter 3. "All was determined and performed at once"
37. Chapter 3. "Guido's tale begins--"
38. Chapter 3. "So was the case concluded then and there"
39. Chapter 3. "The priest went to his relegation-place"
40. Chapter 3. "You, What would you answer?"
41. Chapter 3. ""Come in," bade poor Violante cheerfully"
42. Chapter 4 - Tertium Quid: "True, Excellency--as his Highness says"
43. Chapter 4. "What's his resource? He asks and straight obtains"
44. Chapter 4. "Accordingly, when time was come about"
45. Chapter 4. "Indeed the prize was simply full to a fault"
46. Chapter 4. "Said and done."
47. Chapter 4. "On the other hand "Not so!" Guido retorts"
48. Chapter 4. "On the other hand, so much is easily said"
49. Chapter 4. "But then this is the wife's--Pompilia's tale"
50. Chapter 4. "Then, look into his own account o' the case!"
51. Chapter 4. "Guido rejoins--"Did the other end o' the tale"
52. Chapter 4. "Is it settled so far?"
53. Chapter 4. "And, as they left by one door,"
54. Chapter 4. "At this discrepancy of judgments--mad"
55. Chapter 5 - Count Guido Franceschini: "Thanks, Sir, but, should it please the reverend Court"
56. Chapter 5. "I am representative of a great line"
57. Chapter 5. "So I was."
58. Chapter 5. "Now, Paul's advice was weighty: priests should know:"
59. Chapter 5. "So much for them so far: now for myself"
60. Chapter 5. "Such was the starting; now of the further step."
61. Chapter 5. ""Far from that! No, you took the opposite course,"
62. Chapter 5. "So much For the terrible effect of threatening, Sirs!"
63. Chapter 5. "Oh, but we did not write a single word!"
64. Chapter 5. "I played the man as I best might, bade friends"
65. Chapter 5. "Now,--I see my lords Shift in their seat"
66. Chapter 5. ""Nay," said the letter, "but you have just that!"
67. Chapter 5. "Festive bells--everywhere the Feast o' the Babe"
68. Chapter 5. "But now Health is returned, and sanity of soul"
69. Chapter 5. "Then I proceed a step, come with clean hands"
70. Chapter 6 - Giuseppe Caponsacchi: "Answer you, Sirs? Do I understand aright?"
71. Chapter 6. "Men, for the last time, what do you want with me?"
72. Chapter 6. "I begin."
73. Chapter 6. "So I became a priest: those terms changed all"
74. Chapter 6. "Sirs, ere the week was out,"
75. Chapter 6. "I questioned--lifting half the woman's mask"
76. Chapter 6. "So, I went: crossed street and street: "The next street's turn,"
77. Chapter 6. "I answered, "It shall be when it can be."
78. Chapter 6. "I' the grey of dawn it was I found myself"
79. Chapter 6. "There she stood--leaned there, for the second time,"
80. Chapter 6. "For the first hour We both were silent in the night, I know"
81. Chapter 6. "We did go on all night; but at its close"
82. Chapter 6. "Suddenly I saw The old tower"
83. Chapter 6. "She started up, stood erect, face to face"
84. Chapter 6. "When we were parted,--shall I go on there?"
85. Chapter 6. "And I was just set down to study these"
86. Chapter 6. "I have done with being judged."
87. Chapter 6. "Why, Sirs, what's this? Why, this is sorry and strange!"
88. Chapter 6. "Sirs, I am quiet again. You see, we are"
89. Chapter 7 - Pompilia: "I am just seventeen years and five months old"
90. Chapter 7. "On second thoughts, I hope he will regard"
91. Chapter 7. "Six days ago when it was New Year's-day"
92. Chapter 7. "There was a fancy came"
93. Chapter 7. "When I saw nothing more, the next three weeks"
94. Chapter 7. "All since is one blank"
95. Chapter 7. "I felt there was just one thing Guido claimed"
96. Chapter 7. "So, home I did go; so, the worst befell"
97. Chapter 7. "I had been miserable three drear years"
98. Chapter 7. "There may have elapsed a week"
99. Chapter 7. "I returned,"
100. Chapter 7. "Now, understand here, by no means mistake!"
101. Chapter 7. "Off she went--"May he not refuse, that's all"
102. Chapter 7. "And this man, men call sinner? Jesus Christ!"
103. Chapter 7. "You see, I will not have the service fail!"
104. Chapter 7. "Well, and there is more! Yes, my end of breath"
105. Chapter 8 - Dominus Hyacinthus de Archangelis Pauperum Procurator: "Ah, my Giacinto, he's no ruddy rogue,"
106. Chapter 8. "Whew!"
107. Chapter 8. "Yet what do I name "little and a leak?"
108. Chapter 8. "So, doubtless, had I needed argue here"
109. Chapter 8. "May Gigia have remembered, nothing stings"
110. Chapter 8. "Have I proved"
111. Chapter 8. "Pause and breathe!"
112. Chapter 8. "And now, sea widens and the coast is clear."
113. Chapter 8. "Here fall to be considered those same six"
114. Chapter 8. "Third aggravation: that our act was done--"
115. Chapter 8. "But wait awhile!"
116. Chapter 8. "Talking of which flea"
117. Chapter 8. "And now, thou excellent the Governor!"
118. Chapter 9 - Juris Doctor Johannes-Baptista Bottinius: "Had I God's leave, how I would alter things!"
119. Chapter 9. "End we exordium, Phaebus plucks my ear!"
120. Chapter 9. "For lo, advancing Hymen and his pomp!"
121. Chapter 9. "Enough! Prepare,"
122. Chapter 9. "From all which, I deduce--the lady here"
123. Chapter 9. "Thus Would I defend the step,--were the thing true"
124. Chapter 9. "Fit place, methinks,"
125. Chapter 9. "And so he was contented--one must do"
126. Chapter 9. "It happened once,--begins this foolish Jew,"
127. Chapter 9. "Forgive me this digression--that I stand"
128. Chapter 9. "Yet doubt he dares!"
129. Chapter 9. "Your "this," friend, is extraneous to the law,"
130. Chapter 10 - The Pope: "Like to Ahasuerus, that shrewd prince,"
131. Chapter 10. "But, after John, came Sergius, reaffirmed"
132. Chapter 10. "O pale departure, dim disgrace of day!"
133. Chapter 10. "This is why Guido is found reprobate."
134. Chapter 10. "He purposes this marriage, I remark,"
135. Chapter 10. "Whereby the man so far attains his end"
136. Chapter 10. "So is the murder managed, sin conceived"
137. Chapter 10. "Nay, more i' the background, yet? Unnoticed forms"
138. Chapter 10. "And surely not so very much apart"
139. Chapter 10. "So do I see, pronounce on all and some"
140. Chapter 10. "O Thou,--as represented here to me"
141. Chapter 10. "Neither does this astonish at the end,"
142. Chapter 10. "And is this little all that was to be?"
143. Chapter 10. "How should I answer this Euripides?"
144. Chapter 10. "Still, I stand here, not off the stage though close"
145. Chapter 11 - Guido: "You are the Cardinal Acciaiuoli, and you,"
146. Chapter 11. "Life!"
147. Chapter 11. "That's Nature's way of loosing cord!--but Art,"
148. Chapter 11. "I say that, long ago, when things began,"
149. Chapter 11. "And the Pope breaks talk with ambassador,"
150. Chapter 11. "Enough of the hypocrites. But you, Sirs, you--"
151. Chapter 11. "Yes, presently...what hour is fleeting now?"
152. Chapter 11. "Why must your nephews begin breathing spice"
153. Chapter 11. "Panciatichi!"
154. Chapter 11. "All which just means,"
155. Chapter 11. "'Tis I preach while the hour-glass runs and runs!"
156. Chapter 11. "Just this immaculate official stares,"
157. Chapter 11. "And then my Trial,--'tis my Trial that bites"
158. Chapter 11. "Thus The time's arrived when, ancient Roman-like,"
159. Chapter 11. "So, let death atone!"
160. Chapter 11. "You too are petrifactions of a kind:"
161. Chapter 12 - The Book and the Ring: "Here were the end, had anything an end:"
162. Chapter 12. "Now for the thing; no sooner the decree"
163. Chapter 12. "And so forth,--follow name and place and date:"
164. Chapter 12. "I looked that Rome should have the natural gird"
165. Chapter 12. "For me, the weary and the worn, who prompt"
166. Chapter 12. "Alack, Bottini, what is my next word"

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    Summary

    "Better translate--"A Roman murder-case: "Position of the entire criminal cause "Of Guido Franceschini, nobleman, "With certain Four the cutthroats in his pay, "Tried, all five, and found guilty and put to death "By heading or hanging as befitted ranks, "At Rome on February Twenty-Two, "Since our salvation Sixteen Ninety Eight: "Wherein it is disputed if, and when, "Husbands may kill adulterous wives, yet 'scape 'The customary forfeit.'" (Excerpt from first chapter of The Ring and the Book.) Note from reader: The main text I have read from follows the first edition; but there are some words or lines that do not make sense, either through copying mistakes or because they are difficult if not impossible to make sense of in the first edition. In such cases, I have relied upon an alternate text, found at archive.org and also in the public domain, that contains the wording of the later editions. --Tony Oliva