Study Guide

The Leopard Chapter 4

By Giuseppe di Lampedusa

Chapter 4

  • As the wedding day approaches, Fabrizio finds more reasons to like Calogero. He likes how the guy just plows through life with no regard for all the superficial mannerisms that aristocrats care so much about.
  • The Prince even asks for Don Calogero's advice for how to treat the people working for him. Calogero is ruthless in the way he does business. The narrator tells us that in the coming years, Fabrizio will get a reputation for being a hard and cruel boss under Calogero's influence.
  • For the first time, Angelica visits the Salina family as a bride-to-be. The Prince hugs her when she arrives and lingers a little too long for comfort. She nervously laughs it off. Heh heh.
  • The family gathers around and Princess Stella starts telling funny and embarrassing stories from Tancredi's childhood. Prince Fabrizio interrupts to talk about what a wonderful man Tancredi has grown into. He tells Angelica will never be bored with someone like Tancredi in her life.
  • Meanwhile, Angelica only cares about how good Tancredi will be in bed once they're married.
  • That evening, the Prince reads to his family from a novel, though he makes sure never to include anything smutty.
  • Tancredi returns from his military trip and the whole family gathers to greet him. Turns out that Tancredi has brought a buddy named Count Carlo Cavriaghi. The buddy wants to go visit the Calogero house, but the Prince wants to protect Don Calogero from having to show his wife to the young men, so he insists that it's raining too hard for the young men to venture out.
  • Tancredi and Cavriaghi have transferred from the rebel forces into King Victor Emmanuel's official Italian army, even though this has caused them to lose their ranks. They're working their way up the ladder all over again and they're happy to do it.
  • Cavriaghi starts flirting with Concetta, but she's not interested. While Cavriaghi reads some poetry to the group, Tancredi shows his uncle Fabrizio the ring he's going to give Angelica. Soon afterward, Tancredi rushes across the room, kisses Angelica on the mouth and puts the ring on her finger. The family is so charmed that they postpone their return to the city of Palermo for two more weeks.
  • As the days pass, Tancredi and Angelica visit many of the different parts of the Prince's house. But even though they're alone together a lot, they don't give in to their sexual urges. Meanwhile, Cavriaghi keeps fighting a losing battle to win Concetta's heart.
  • One day while wandering around, Tancredi and Angelica stumble on to a series of rooms filled with medicine jars and whips. It might be some sort of sex dungeon for all we know. Tancredi gets scared and tells Angelica to leave with him.
  • The next day, they find another room with a whip. But this whip was used by an old religious ancestor who would whip himself as punishment for his own sins. Yeesh.
  • As Tancredi and Angelica wander through the house, the narrator's descriptions of their conversation gets really sexual. It seems, though, that they take more pleasure from resisting their urges than they do indulging them.
  • When Tancredi and Angelica come back from their wanderings one day, Cavriaghi tells Tancredi to watch himself and not give in to his temptations too much.
  • Meanwhile, Concetta keeps turning away Cavriaghi's advances, even though her two sisters swoon whenever he's around. Concetta feels bad for the sisters because she knows their pride and shyness will probably keep them from ever finding anyone. Little do we know how true this will turn out to be…
  • One day, Prince Fabrizio receives a letter from the new Italian government saying that an guy named the Chevalley di Monterzuolo is coming to speak to him about something important.
  • The Prince insists on having Chevalley stay at the royal palace. When Chevalley gets there, he's really standoffish because he comes from a modest family and is intimidated by the wealth of the Salinas. But once he sees that they mean well, he finds his confidence.
  • The next day, Tancredi and Cavriaghi take Chevalley around Donnafugata and let him in on some of the local legends. Some of the legends are really violent and they scare Chevalley. But he reassures himself by thinking that the boys are just pulling his leg. Tancredi hears the trembling in his voice and decides to lay off on some of the town's most gruesome stories (which are all true, btw).
  • That afternoon, the Prince meets with Chevalley in his office. Chevalley gets to the point and says he'd like for the Prince to take the role of Senator for his part of Sicily. It's a good fit, since the Prince has cooperated with the transition of power and is still a highly respected man.
  • The Prince refuses, though. It's nothing personal, but he feels like his time is over and that Italy would be better off getting someone scrappy like the mayor, Calogero.
  • Chevalley doesn't understand, so Fabrizio gives him a crash course in the mentality of people from Sicily. Basically, he says that the people from Sicily are lazy and worn out. The summers are too long and hot. Besides, Sicilians don't like being told to improve because they already think they're perfect.
  • Chevalley tries to change Fab's mind, but the Prince won't listen. He's made peace with the fact that his days of power are over and that his family is going to fall. Chevalley leaves the next day and Fabrizio goes out hunting with Ciccio as if nothing has happened.