3028. The jailer said he could read and write, but that was a lie. He was able to write his name, and to read his name once he had written it down, but beyond that he was illiterate. Having claimed that he could read and write he was too embarrassed to confess the truth to the gardener, so when he was requested to be Faldoni’s teacher, he consented readily and with excitement, as if he had always desired to be a professor of the Italian language.
For a moment he had a pang of guilt about this deception, but then he
thought, “What’s the difference anyway, he will not exist in a few
weeks, and if in the mean time he thinks he is learning to read and
write, what’s the harm. Besides, it will keep his mind off of that
disagreeable thing of the burning.”
If only Faldoni had decided in his last month of life to do something
else with his time. I think it would have made more sense for him to
have decided to learn to play the flute, or the guitar. It might have
been difficult to procure a flute or a guitar under the circumstance,
but I am sure something could have been arranged, perhaps a loan or
something like that.
3031. I have often noticed that when very nice people, who are completely innocent of any wrong doing, are condemned to death by torture, the people who have to deal with them are often very sympathetic and helpful, and go out of their way to accommodate them in any way they can. That was the situation for Faldoni. I am sure his jailer, or even other monks in the monastery would have provided him with any sort of instrument he might have desired.