Distribution Automatique

Saturday, May 22

For The Love of Books and Writing

"'ANTHONY CODRUS URCEUS, a most learned and
unfortunate Italian, born 1446, was a striking
instance' (says his biographer)'of the miseries
men bring upon themselves by setting their
affections unreasonably to trifles. This learned
man lived at Forli, and had an apartment
in the palace. His room was so very dark, that
he was forced to use a candle in the day time;
and one day, going abroad without putting it
out, his library was set on fire, and some
papers which he had prepared for the press were
burned. The instant he was informed of this ill
news, he was affected even to madness. He ran
furiously to the palace, and, stopping at the
door of his apartment, he cried aloud:
'Christ Jesus! what mighty crime have I committed?
whom of your followers have I ever injured that
you thus rage with inexpiable hatred against
me?' Then turning himself to an image of the
Virgin Mary near at hand, 'Virgin" (says he)
'hear what I have to say, for I speak in earnest,
and with a composed spirit. If I shall happen
to address you in my dying moments, I humbly
entreat you not to hear me, nor receive me
into heaven, for I am determined to spend all
eternity in hell.' Those who heard these
blasphemous expressions endeavored to comfort
him, but all to no purpose; for the society
of mankind no longer supportble to him, he
left the city, and retired, like a savage,
to the deep solitude of a wood. Some say that
he was murdered there by ruffians; others that
he died at Bologna, in 1500, after much
contrition and penitence."

William Hazlitt
"On Means and Ends"
Essay VII
"Mind and Motive"
from *Winterslow-
Essays and Characters
Written There*
first published