The tailor hating King Alfonse

A   story by popular tradition


A tailor named Francis lived in Naples, in the first half of  1400.

In the struggle between Aragon and Anjou   he chose  the Anjous  and sided with the defeated King René.

Master  Francis (that was his name) was considered a popular leader and never missed an opportunity to speak ill of the Spaniards and he kept defending the French.  He hated so much Alfonse that  he did not bother to show it publicly.

All this was reported to the king who, for his knowledge and for his own fun, wanted to  personally hear the tailor’s insults.  He decided to go out riding among the people, turning through the streets of the city, where he happened to get near Master Francis, who never tired of insulting him.

Alfonse, knowing it was the tailor,  listened to him carefully and  he heard what the  man was saying as he passed by: “And how good you are on horseback,” he said by a little high voice. “How much pride and arrogance  you have. You’ll see,  that will not last long, because King René is going to come  and he  will chase you.”

After this episode, the King  sent for Master Francesco.  The tailor, who perhaps was better in talking  than in  acting, began to tremble with fear.

He foresaw hanging from a rope in the public square, so he thought of making a will and he entrusted to his wife, his children and all his belongings.

He went to the palace where he was received with courtesy, with   bows and kindness  by dignitaries and officials. Then, when he came before the king, he was even more surprised by the welcome and kindness the King showed him .

“I will use your art,” Alfonse said, “and your services, because I know how much you are bound to me  and how you speak well of me.”

Francis at  these words was frightened,  even more believing that the King wanted to make fun of him before sentencing him to death.

Alfonse continued by  that tone  and before letting him go away, he gave him a bag of gold crowns for his family and its needs.  Still stunned Francis went home, told everything to his wife,  praising the Spanish King and  totally modifying  his previous  opinion about the King.

This is just one of the episodes passed on Alfonse of Aragon.

It seems that he was a benevolent Sovereing  with the Neapolitans: a strategy designed especially with the purpose  of not  increasing the love they felt for the French.

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