Petrarch: His Life and Times (Google eBook)

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G.P. Putnam's sons, 1907 - Italy - 319 pages
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Page 299 - I wol yow telle a tale which that I Lerned at Padowe of a worthy clerk, As preved by his wordes and his werk. He is now deed and nayled in his cheste, I prey to God so yeve his soule reste !
Page 68 - And men go about to marvel at the heights of the mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the broad estuaries of the rivers, at the circuit of the ocean, and at the revolutions of the stars, and forsake their own souls.
Page 236 - I made my own while reading your letter, but which I put away from me on thinking it over, as you will do also; for if you will only give heed to me, or rather to your own natural good sense, you will see that you have been distressing yourself about a thing that should have pleased you. Now if this message is really from the Lord, it must be pure truth. But is it from the Lord ? Or has its real author used the Lord's name to give weight to his own saying? I grant you the frequency of death-bed prophecies...
Page 237 - ... tis the pleasantest of comforts. Forsake the Muses, says he : many things that may grace a lad are a disgrace to an old man ; wit and the senses fail you. Nay, I answer, when he bids you pluck sin from your heart, he speaks well and prudently. But why forsake learning, in which you are no novice but an expert, able to discern what to choose and what to refuse?
Page 237 - All history is full of examples of good men who have loved learning, and though many unlettered men have attained to holiness, no man was ever debarred from holiness by letters. .. But if in spite of all this you persist in your intention, and if you must needs throw away not only your learning, but the poor instruments of it, then I thank you for giving me the refusal of your books. I will buy your library if it must be sold, for I would not that the books of so great...
Page 237 - And is not our life here labour and sorrow, and is it not its chief merit that it is the road to a better? . . . Ah! but you have come to old age, says your monitor. Death cannot be far off. Look to your soul. Well, I grant you that scholarship may be an unreasonable and...
Page 218 - ... growth, death, go on side by side; while the forest is older than its oldest tree, its youngest sapling may claim an immemorial lineage. When therefore we say that Petrarch founded Humanism and inaugurated the New Learning, we do not mean that he created something out of nothing ; we "mean that he inspired ideas and modes of thought, which preceding scholars had possessed in their own brains, but could not communicate to society at large.
Page 235 - ... only paying attention to the words ? But at last when I had turned and fixed my thoughts on the thing itself, the state of my soul changed altogether, and both astonishment and chagrin fled away. . . . "You tell me that this holy man had a vision of our Lord, and so was able to discern all truth a great sight for mortal eyes to see. Great indeed, I agree with you, if genuine ; but how often have we not known this tale of a vision made a cloak for an imposture? And having visited you, this...
Page 136 - Laura, a shining example of virtue in herself, and for many years made known to fame by my poems, first came visibly before my eyes in the season of my early youth, in the year of our Lord 1327, on the 6th day of the month of April, in the Church of St Clara of Avignon, in the morning. And in the same city, on the same 6th day of the same month of April, at the same hour of Prime, but in the year 1348, the bright light of her life was taken away from the light of this earth, when I chanced to be...
Page 43 - ... throughout the Middle Ages men travelled far and wide on errands of war, of diplomacy, of commerce, and of religion; but Petrarch may fairly be called (( the first of the tourists. Still keener was his passion for book-hunting, and the two went well together. " Whenever I took a far journey...

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