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I enter into no plots, but I never forsake my colours. If I march abreast with obstinate men, who will rush on guns and pikes, I must share the consequences.
Solco torto, sacco dritto—many a full sack comes from a crooked furrow ; and he who will be captain of none but honest men will have small hire to pay.
Go, Romola, go home and rest.
These fears may be only big ugly shadows of something very little and harmless. Even traitors must see their interest in betraying ; the rats will run where they smell the cheese, and there is no knowing yet which way the scent will come.
My daughter, every bond of your life is a debt : the right lies in the payment of that debt; it can lie nowhere else. In vain will you wander over the earth ; you will be wandering for ever away from the right.
I will go
If your own people are wearing a yoke, will you slip from under it, instead of struggling with them to lighten it? There is hunger and misery in our streets, yet you say, 'I care not; I have my own sorrows; away, if peradventure I can ease them. The servants of God are struggling after a law of justice, peace, and charity, that the hundred thousand citizens among whom you were born may be governed righteously ; but you think no more of this than if you were a bird, that may spread its wings and fly whither it will in search of food to its liking. And yet you have scorned the teaching of the Church, my daughter. As if you, a wilful wanderer, following your own blind choice, were not below the humblest Florentine woman who stretches forth her hands with her own people, and craves a blessing for them; and feels a close sisterhood with the neighbour who kneels beside her and is not of her own blood ; and thinks of the mighty purpose that God has for Florence; and waits and endures because the promised work is great, and she feels herself little.
You are flying from your debts : the debt of a Florentine woman ; the debt of a wife. You are turning your back on the lot that has been appointed for you—you are going to choose another. But can man or woman choose duties? No more than they can choose their birth-place or their father and mother. My daughter, you are fleeing from the presence of God into the wilderness.
You are seeking your own will, my daughter. You are seeking some good other than the law you are bound to obey. But how will you find good ? It is not a thing of choice : it is a river that flows from the foot of the Invisible Throne, and flows by the path of obedience. I say again, man cannot choose his duties. You may choose to forsake your duties, and choose not to have the sorrow they bring. But you will go forth ; and what will you find, my daughter ? Sorrow without duty-bitter herbs, and no bread with them.
My daughter, if the cross comes to you as a wife, you must carry it as a wife. You may say, 'I will forsake my husband,' but you cannot cease to be a wife.
The higher life begins for us, my daughter, when we renounce our own will to bow before a Divine law. That seems hard to you. It is the portal of wisdom, and freedom, and blessedness. And the symbol of it hangs before you. That wisdom is the religion of the
The pride of the body is a barrier against the gifts that purify the soul.
There is a mercy which is weakness, and even treason against the common good.
My daughter, it is enough. The cause of freedom, which is the cause of God's kingdom upon earth, is often most injured by the enemies who carry within them the power of certain human virtues. The wickedest man is often not the most insurmountable obstacle to the triumph of good.
Romola.—Take care, father, lest
enemies have some reason when they say, that in your visions of what will further God's kingdom you see only what will strengthen your own party.
Savonarola. And that is true! The cause of my party is the cause of God's kingdom.
Romola.-I do not believe it! God's kingdom is something wider-else let me stand outside it with the beings that I love.
Eat eggs in Lent and the snow will melt. That's what I say to our people when they get noisy over their cups at San Gallo, and talk of raising a romor (insurrection) : I say, never do you plan a romor; you may as well try to fill Arno with buckets. When there's water enough Arno will be full, and that will not be till the torrent is ready.
The Frate sees a long way before him; that I believe. But he doesn't see birds caught with winking at them, as some of our people try to make out. He sees sense and not nonsense.
If there's hot metal on the anvil, I lose no time before I strike; but I don't spend good hours in tinkling on cold iron, or in standing on the pavement as thou dost, Goro, with snout upward, like a pig under an oak-tree.
Sia; I'll not deny which way the wind blows when every man can see the weathercock.
There, then, take the coat. It's made to cheat sword, or poniard, or arrow. But, for my part, I would never put such a thing on. It's like carrying fear about with one.
I love not to be choked with other men's thoughts.
A philosopher is the last sort of animal I should choose to resemble. I find it enough to live, without spinning lies to account for life. Fowls cackle, asses bray, women chatter, and philosophers spin false reasons—that's the effect the sight of the world brings out of them. Well, I am an animal that paints instead of cackling, or braying, or spinning lies.
Women think walls are held together with honey,
A perfect traitor should have a face which vice can write no marks on-lips that will lie with a dimpled smile-eyes of such agate-like brightness and depth that no infamy can dull them-cheeks that will rise from a murder and not look haggard.
Va, Nello, thy tongue runs on as usual, like a mill when the Arno's full-whether there's grist or not.
There you go, supposing you'll get people to put their legs into a sack because you call it a pair of hosen.
Va! your human talk and doings are a tame jest; the only passionate life is in form and colour.