“Good day. The name’s Nello… Punchinello!”I’m not telling

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“On her wedding day he seemed the merriest of the merry, but that night he wept. If people had seen his tormented face they would have applauded him more than ever.

“A few days ago Columbine died. On the day of her burial Harlequin had permission not to appear on the stage, for he was a grief-stricken widower. The manager had to present something very gay, so that the public would not miss the pretty Columbine and the graceful Harlequin. Therefore the nimble Punchinello had to be doubly merry; with grief in his heart he danced and skipped about, and all applauded and cried, ‘Bravo! Bravissimo!’ Punchinello was called back again and again. Oh, he was priceless!

“After the performance last night the poor little man strolled out of the town to the lonely churchyard. The wreath of flowers on Columbine’s grave had already faded. There he sat – and what a study for a painter! – with his chin on his hand and his eyes turned toward me; he looked like a grotesque monument – a punchinello on the grave, strange and comical. If the public had seen their favorite, how they would have applauded and cried, ‘Bravo, Punchinello! Bravo! Bravissimo!'”


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