The Life of Petrarch: Collected from Memoires Pour la Vie de Petrarch, Volume 1

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A. Finley and W.H. Hopkins, 1809

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Page 28 - ... to live with as little evil as possible, and felt himself so dismayed by the uncertainty and insufficiency of all human knowledge, that he was on the point of abandoning letters for ever, and asked the advice of a friend more advanced in years : — ' Shall I quit study ? shall I enter into another course ? Have pity on me, my father !' — Now, if we remark that a few months after the date of this letter he became in love with Laura, we can believe him more readily when he says in his verses,...
Page 166 - ... of the Roman people. They were followed by six citizens of Rome clothed in green, and bearing crowns wreathed with different flowers. Petrarch walked in the midst of them ; after him came the senator, accompanied by the first men of the council. The streets were strewed with flowers, and the windows filled with ladies dressed in the most splendid manner, who showered perfumed waters profusely on the poet. He all the time wore the robe that had been presented to him by the king of Naples. When...
Page 115 - One of these gardens is shady, formed for contemplation, and sacred to Apollo. It overhangs the source of the river, and is terminated by rocks, and by places accessible only to birds. The other is nearer my cottage, of an aspect less severe, and devoted to Bacchus ; and, what is extremely singular, it is in the midst of a rapid river. The approach to it is over a bridge of rocks ; and there is a natural grotto under the rocks ; which gives them the appearance of a rustic bridge.
Page 214 - THey have likewise their parchments, to which are hung pieces of lead; and these they use as nets to catch the innocent and unwary, whom they fleece and burn to satisfy their gluttony. ' To the most simple repasts have succeeded the most sumptuous feasts; and where the apostles went on foot covered only with sandals, are now seen insolent satraps mounted on horses ornamented with gold, champing golden bits.
Page 114 - I am fond of the fish with which this stream abounds, and I sometimes amuse myself with spreading the nets. As to my dress, there is an entire change; you would take me for a laborer or a shepherd.
Page 121 - I desire them : they are never out of humour, and they answer all my questions with readiness, Some present in review before me the events of past ages ; others reveal to me the secrets of Nature : these teach me how to live, and those how to die : these dispel my melancholy by their mirth, and amuse me by their sallies of wit : and some there are who prepare my soul to suffer everything, to desire nothing, and to become thoroughly acquainted with itself.
Page 232 - I stayed only a moment, but I passed the whole of the next day with him. He asked me a thousand questions about you. and was much pleased that I was going to Naples. When I set out from Rome, he insisted on accompanying me beyond the walls. " I reached Palestrina that night, and was kindly received by your nephew John. He is a young man of great hopes, and follows the steps of his ancestors. " I arrived at Naples the llth of October.
Page viii - ... minds alone Petrarch will be ever dear. Such, while they regret his failings, and consider them as warnings to themselves, will love his virtues ; and, touched by the glowing piety, and heartfelt contrition, which often impressed his soul, will ardently desire to partake with him in those pathetic and sublime reflections, which are produced in grateful and affectionate hearts, on reviewing their own lives, and contemplating the works of God.
Page 234 - ... and your just demands. He behaved with incredible insolence. Susa, or Damascus, the capital of the Saracens, would have received with more respect an envoy from the Holy See. The great lords imitate his pride and tyranny. The Bishop of Cavaillon is the only one who opposes this torrent ; but what can one lamb do in the midst of so many wolves? It is the request of a dying king alone that makes him endure so wretched a situation. How small are the hopes of my negotiation ! but I shall wait with...
Page 240 - I was not acquainted with; but, by her laugh, and the gestures of those about me, I suspected something; and, observing her with more attention, I found under the helmet the face of this formidable virgin. Was I to inform you of half the things they relate of her, you would take them for fables: I will therefore confine myself to a few facts, to which I was witness.

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