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but we can give him a reverence that needs no shutting of the eyes to fact, if we regard his life as a drama in which there were great inward modifications accompanying the outward changes. And up to this period, when his more direct action on political affairs had only just begun, it is probable that his imperious need of ascendency had burned undiscernibly in the strong flame of his zeal for God and man.
It was the fashion of old, when an ox was led out for sacrifice to Jupiter, to chalk the dark spots, and give the offering a false show of unblemished white
Let us Aing away the chalk, and boldly say,the victim is spotted, but it is not therefore in vain that his mighty heart is laid on the altar of men's highest hopes.
Enough, enough! I am an absurd old barber. It all comes from that abstinence of mine, in not making bad verses in my youth : for want of letting my folly run out that way when I was eighteen, it runs out at my tongue's end now I am at the unseemly age of fifty. But Nello has not got his head muffled for all that : he can see a buffalo in the snow. Addio, giovane mio.
Be not offended, bel giovane; I am but repeating what I hear in my shop : as you may perceive, my eloquence is simply the cream which I skim off my clients' talk. Heaven forbid I should fetter my impartiality by entertaining an opinion.
I get the flower of men's thoughts, because I seize them in the first moment after shaving. And that is what makes the peculiar fitness of a barber's shop to become a resort of wit and learning. For, look now at a druggist's shop : there is a dull conclave at the sign of Il Moro, that pretends to rival mine ; but what sort of inspiration, I beseech you, can be got from the scent of nauseous vegetable decoctions ?-to say nothing of the fact that you no sooner pass the threshold than you see a doctor of physic, like a gigantic spider disguised in fur and scarlet, waiting for his prey ; or even see him blocking up the doorway seated on a bony hack, inspecting saliva.
Ah, mind is an enemy to beauty! I myself was thought beautiful by the women at one time—when I was in my swaddling-bands. But now-oime! I carry my unwritten poems in cipher on my face !
If there are two things not to be hidden—love and a cough-I say there is a third, and that is ignorance, when once a man is obliged to do something besides wagging his head. The tonsor inequalis is inevitably betrayed when he takes the shears in his hand; is it not true, Messer Bardo ?
I have seen men whose beards have so invaded their cheeks, that one might have pitied them as the victims of a sad, brutalizing chastisement, befitting our Dante's Inferno, if they had not seemed to strut with a strange triumph in their extravagant hairiness.
We Florentines have liberal ideas about speech, and consider that an instrument which can flatter and promise so cleverly as the tongue, must have been partly made for those purposes ; and that truth is a riddle for eyes and wit to discover, which it were a mere spoiling of sport for the tongue to betray.
It isn't my wits are at fault,—I want no man to help me tell peas from paternosters,—but when you come to foreign fashions, a fool may happen to know more than a wise man.
Babies can't choose their own horoscopes, and, indeed, if they could, there might be an inconvenient rush of babies at particular epochs.
Between you and me, bel giovane—trust a barber who has shaved the best scholars—friendliness is much such a steed as Ser Benghi’s : it will hardly show much alacrity unless it has got the thistle of hatred under its tail.
What are a handful of reasonable men against a crowd with stones in their hands?
Bernardo Dovizi is a keen youngster, who will never carry a net out to catch the wind.
What says Luigi Pulci? ‘Dombruno's sharp-cutting scimitar had the fame of being enchanted ; but,' says Luigi, 'I am rather of opinion that it cut sharp because it was of strongly-tempered steel.' Yes, yes ; Paternosters may shave clean, but they must be said over a good razor.
San Giovanni be praised ! a blind Florentine is a match for two one-eyed men.
The cat couldn't eat her mouse if she didn't catch it alive, and Bratti couldn't relish gain if it had no taste of a bargain.
An ass may bray a good while before he shakes the stars down.
Deh! what are we sinners doing all our lives? Making soup in a basket, and getting nothing but the scum for our stomachs.
The secret of oratory lies, not in saying new things, but in saying things with a certain power that moves the hearers—without which, as old Filelfo has said, your speaker deserves to be called, 'non oratorem, sed aratorem.' And, according to that test, Fra Girolamo is a great orator.
Spiritual blasts break no walls down. But the Frate wants to be something more than a spiritual trumpet : he wants to be a lever, and what is more, he 25 a lever.
I measure men's dulness by the devices they trust in for deceiving others. Your dullest animal of all is he who grins and says he doesn't mind just after he has had his shins kicked.
There is as wonderful a power of stretching in the meaning of visions as in Dido's bull's hide. It seems to me a dream may mean whatever comes after it. As our Franco Sacchetti says, a woman dreams over-night of a serpent biting her, breaks a drinking-cup the next day, and cries out, "Look you, I thought something would happen—it's plain now what the serpent meant.'
Veracity is a plant of paradise, and the seeds have never flourished beyond the walls.
If a prophet is to keep his power, he must be a prophet like Mahomet, with an army at his back, that when the people's faith is fainting it may be frightened into life again.
Many of these halfway severities are mere hotheaded blundering. The only safe blows to be inflicted on men and parties are the blows that are too heavy to be avenged.
If a man incurs odium by sanctioning a severity that is not thorough enough to be final, he commits a blunder.
Satan was a blunderer, an introducer of novità, who made a stupendous failure. If he had succeeded, we