Frederick and Geraldine

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Chapter 4- The Stories of The Passengers

(Geraldine was walking on the deck while waiting nervously for Fredrick. Suddenly, he appeared while speaking quickly and gesturing.)


''I've waited for you all day long to come up with some fuel.''

''I went to buy charcoal, water, and outdoor lamp oil.

At a crossroad, I've seen a stage driver who has been so cruel

To whip his horses to run faster; the oil spilled on the soil.


He drove a stagecoach; my horse was frightened by the sound

And my trolley overturned. I had to come back to buy

Again three barrels of oil.'' ''That oil spilled on the ground, ''

Said Geraldine, ''the money has gone, and this is not a lie!


I don't ask you to tell me where you've really spent the money.

It makes no sense to ask you for the truth. Is she beautiful?

Did you have a good time? To wash laundry in public, honey,

You may bring her here. This way, you can be dutiful.''


''I love you, '' screamed Frederick, '' so, you think you're funny.''

''Well, I may be funny although I'm never stupid.''

He held her, ''I sold some jewels. Take the money.

I could lie to you, but you're the one. I'm down with Cupid.''


''Do you remember that man having a ring with a skull? ''

''You've met him in Constantinople, '' ''I've met him here, too.

He was in that stagecoach liking this way his horses to cull.

He laughed saying, ''I'm a captain in search for my crew.''


''Frederick, I want to return home at Khadjibey.

Do you remember when we've met in the port and you

Gave me an emerald cut on a gold ring shining at the ray? ''

''I've asked you to marry me, '' ''I love you; you know it's true.''


''Then why do you want to turn back home? '' ''You know I'm scared.''

'' This is our chance. If we turn back in that unknown trading port

For slave markets, I will not survive; I'm not prepared

To ask the sanjak bey some protection and a lot of support.


I am an Italian and I've seen so many things.

I saw the terrible fate of those becoming galley-slaves,

The women enslaved being sexually abused, in sufferings,

But someone living in Khadjibey is a plow and a scythe. ''


'' Is this artwork painted by Paolo de Matteis or not? ''

Asked Francesca while coming to them. ''What are you doing here? ''

''We really like to admire that splendid island a lot.''

''Shall we offer them a string instruments' concert, Chiara dear? ''


Khadjibey was controlled by the Ottoman Empire

As a part of Yedisan in the Silistra Province.

To build a fortress named New World was the Turks’ desire.

Carla said, '' This meeting has been chosen by The Providence.''


Carla concluded that Geraldine was an American,

But Geraldine did not understand the confusion.

She learned Spanish from the Jews, who were Spain citizens

Coming to the Empire to avoid the conversion.


''My father lost a lot because of the plague and the disaster, ''

Said Miguel, ''a half of my wealth has been gone in the warfare.

We thought to immigrate to a new world which was moving faster

Than this one in which we were living as those lost in the nightmare.''


Cruz asked him, ''Why didn't you try your chance for a new life? ''

''I wasn't strong enough, and my son died in this war made

For the Spanish succession after the King Charles’ death; my wife

Still grieves for her unique child; our life cannot be repaid.''


'' In Gibraltar, the property that had been taken

By force became a British one; we moved to Barcelona.

The power balance mirrored those widows standing forsaken.

Let's cheer this Grand Alliance! It’s as the sun's light corona.''


'' The Anglo and the Dutch kings used the navy to open

The Strait of Gibraltar needing the naval power

In the Mediterranean zone.'' '' Guess what was broken? ''

Asked Bella, ''I think it's about our transatlantic economy shower.''


''By the Treaty of Constantinople, our Russian

Forces had been withdrawn and Zaporozhia lost all

The army protection, '' said Ivan, ''then, our discussion

Was to sell our goods and to leave a life that apart could fall.''


''In the Holy League, Russia joined Austria and Venice

To drive the Turks and to sign a treaty with Poland, ''said Cruz.

''Those horses have never met the steppe, '' said Ivan, '' became a menace,

''Leopold The First was helped by the Turks that Partition could refuse.''


(Geraldine and Erica were talking on the deck.)


''His father had been a soldier that came home after many

Years of serving the czar; he found that his wife had died and

Ivan had lived with an aunt that spent money but didn’t have any.''

For a few minutes, Geraldine was speechless and stunned.


''Erica, why did his mother die? '' ''She was the wife of a serf.

She was a subjugated slave laboring for a lord.''

''Was she beaten? '' asked Geraldine while dampening her scarf.

''She had been raped before she took her own life with his sword.''


''Who's sword? '' ''The lord's sword! He was drunk when he beat and raped her.''

''It was a matter whether she overcame the pressure

Of the peasant village where this mother lived not to err.

She died, but I'm sure she loved Ivan without measure.''


His father took Ivan home and worked a part of that lord's land

As a serf, barely leaving time to cultivate

The land allotted to him while taking care of his child.

Ivan didn't go to army but asked me to immigrate.''


(Erica, Ivan’s wife, ended the conversation while starting to cry.)


(Arturo, Lucca, Miguel, Frederick, Marco, Cruz, Pedro, and Ivan were playing cards and chess. Lucca, Cruz, and Miguel started to smoke clay pipes.)


''Nice angled bowl with a coat of arms, '' said Lucca. ''Yes, '' said Cruz

While smoking and relaxing, ''where did you buy them, Lucca? ''

''This one is made in Holland- a way to liberate your muse.''

''Give new life to a broken heart, '' said Miguel, '' It's like Sambuca, ''


Laughed Lucca, '' Ivan, how could you avoid the army as a serf? ''

''As a yeoman having my own land, I had an accident, ''

Cruz asked him, ’’Did you receive some support from a dwarf? ''

''I broke my left leg when I fell from my horse- a strange event.''


''Interesting! '' said Marco. ''You became a rich merchant

In the Ottoman Empire.'' ''Yes, I sold my land, '' smiled Ivan.

''You could go to Moscow, '' ''I didn't want to be a servant.

I was a middleman in the fur trade, '' ''Let's enliven


This game with some wine! '' '' These cards are unique, '' said Pedro.

''This rare pictorial pack is made in London, '' said Marco.

Lucca told Cruz, ''If you need new cards, I'll give you pronto.''

''Give me the most immoral hand, '' laughed Cruz, ''come in, Fargo! ''


(Fargo entered to bring the wine, which was served using glasses. Ibrahim brought dried fruits, nuts, biscuits and small cakes. The women had spent over an hour dressing for this meeting because it was customary for the women to change their entire outfit for any event on that ship. Rosa, Geraldine, and Erica were doing some needlework. Carla, Chiara, and Pedra were reading some expensive books. Chiara chose to read a book written by Elena Piscopia, Carla was reading some philosophy by Mary Astell and Pedra liked the books written by Aphra Behn. Francesca started to paint and Bella was trying to play ‘’Capriccio stravagante’’ by the Italian composer Carlo Farina using her violin.)


Francesca said, '' The violin replaced the viol, ''

''The music written for it established its identity, ''

Said Rosa, ''I like the opera 'L'Orfeo' and its tale.''

''Through polyphony, Monteverdi has supremacy.''


Francesca continued, ''Chiara, what are you reading? ''

''A book about Christ written by the monk Laspergio and late

Translated by Elena Piscopia, a nun being

The first woman that graduated with a doctorate.''


Carla said, ''Francesca, what are you painting in that blue? ''

'' I'm not Caravaggio, still I paint a medusa, ''

Carla replied, ''You used amazing hues, and it's sweet in view! ''

Chiara said, ''It's an image of the port of Siracusa! ''


(Francesca embraced Chiara.)


''It's so lovely to see you together; you are good friends, ''

Said Geraldine while finishing her work, ''do you have children? ''

''I've married Arturo six years ago; now, our love ascends

After his long widowhood; Francesca is his daughter.''


Chiara took Geraldine's hand with a noble gesture.

She told her that Arturo lost a fortune three months ago,

And this trip was offered by Lucca to change their life's texture.

''Maybe Francesca painted to petrify the time's flow.''


''Francesca is the sweetest child I've ever seen until now.

She's adorable in this purity of her mind.

She's shining like a star belonging to Ursa Major Plough,

And I love Arturo even in affairs he is so blind.''


(Arturo and Marco were the last passengers who left the room while talking. Arturo ended the conversation.)


‘’ Russia is a force needing an expansion quite quickly

But, unfortunately, her friends are not really her friends.

Pushing Russia, who is an honest power, clearly

Will turn the destiny of the whole world into dead ends.’’


Carla was a beautiful woman liking to dress in green.

Sometimes strong and other time weak, she needed to face the life.

Inside her, there was a child hoping to push the life scene

Into its own condition and the things into their right strife.


Her husband, Pedro, was very wise and precise -a strong man

Needing to gain stability while turning back from New Spain

To rebuild the life and to go forth on a new plan.

Their children and parents waited for them to come home again.


(Geraldine and Carla were talking on the deck. Carla started to confess.)


‘’Her name is Beatrice and he loved her for a while needing

To leave the family for a new meaning in this world.

I loved him secretly while her scent I was breathing.

I understood that I've lost him when our love became a sword.


I knew I was a mother in this combination of three,

And, sometimes, I thought that Beatrice should never exist,

And, other time, I wanted to leave everything to be free,

Or to end my life because it was so hard to resist.


I've tried to talk with her and the situation to explain,

But she laughed while telling me that Pedro is her lover.

I understood her laugh and that my efforts were in vain.

I was ill when we traveled to New Spain to recover.''


‘’ Carla, the things are not always as they seem to be.

You'll overpass this moment because you're a strong mother.

You must take care because nothing goes well as long as he

Doesn't assume the responsibility of a father.’’


Bella and Miguel liked to live in their own world of two.

They had a house in Barcelona, and they traveled to see

The world; they stayed months in India to throw backward a new view.

Marco and Rosa wanted their spirits to be free.


They were turning home after living three years in New Spain.

Carla and Pedra traveled with their husbands who were twins.

Rosa convinced them that in that place their strength is spent in vain.

Life became a music coming from the water violins.


Carla said, ''the education helps the women make

Right choices in marriage.'' Bella replied, ''What's a marriage?

It's not only a consecration in a church, an awake,

But it's a contract, an act no one can disparage.''


Miguel said, ''it's a transition from a moral conscience

To a pure concept of consciousness.'' ''You start to see it

As itself, '' replied Pedro, '' to eat the bitter consequence.''

''It's tied to the moral identity when love is in a fit, ''


Replied Bella. ' It has a Cartesian nature, ''

Said Carla explaining why love comes after the wedding.

''Then, the moral sensibility shapes it to our feature, ''

Replied Bella.Miguel smiled, '' tenderly in our bedding.''


'' The disparity in intelligence leads to misery, ''

Said Carla, ''the marriage must be based on a lasting friendship

Rather than on an attraction experiencing agony.''

Pedro said, '' when love is distorted into a sword to rip.''


Miguel said, '' the marriage that is not consecrated

In a church has the same legal validity.''

'' The lovers may marry secretly, but it's complicated, ''

Said Carla, ''and it's hard for the women of the nobility


To make an independent living.'' Pedro started to grin,

'' To secure a husband is an attitude having a great importance.''

''She's an object of thought, '' said Miguel while touching Carla's skin.

Pedro said, ''it happens only when we seek love in abundance.''


Carla said, '' the women's career options beyond the mother

Are none; they cannot have the same opportunity as the men.''

Pedro replied, '' your impracticable thoughts make the father

Leave the family.'' '' He's not allowed to come back again.''


Miguel said, ''She's allowed to express her sexuality.''

Carla said, '' it depends on how the woman perceives this thought.''

Bella started to play music to inspire some human morality

While using the violin to imitate- the cats' sounds brought to naught.


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