Archive for the 'Travel' Category

December 26, 2016

“For an ambitious youth, the fame and the brilliant position of the humanists were a perilous temptation; it seemed to him that he too ‘through inborn pride could no longer regard the low and common things of life’. He was thus led to plunge into a life of excitement and vicissitude, in which exhausting studies, tutorships, secretaryships, professorships, offices in princely households, mortal enemies and perils, luxury and beggary, boundless admiration and boundless contempt, followed confusely one upon the other, and in which the most solid worth and learning were often pushed aside by superficial impudence.

But the worst of all, was, that the position of the humanist was almost uncompatible with a fixed home, since it either made frequent changes of dwelling necessary for a livelihood, or so affected the mind of the individual that he could never be happy for long in one place. He grew tired of the people, and had no peace among the enmities which he excited, while the people themselves in their turn demanded something new.

Much as this life reminds us of the Greek sophists of the empire, as described to us by Philostratus, yet the position of sophists was more favorable. They often had money, or could more easily do without it than the humanists, and as professional teachers of rhetoric, rather than men of learning, their life was freer and simpler. But the scholar of the Renaissance was forced to combine great learning with the power of resisting the influence of ever-changing pursuits and situations. Add to this the deadening effect of licentious excess, and — since do what he might, the worst was believed of him — a total indifference to the moral laws recognized by others.

Such men can hardly be conceived to exist without an inordinate pride. They needed it, if only to keep their heads above the water, and were confirmed in it by the admiration which alternated with hatred in the treatment they received from the world. They are the most striking examples and victims of an unbridled subjectivity.”

~ “The civilization of the Renaissance in Italy”, Burckhardt.
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December 17, 2016

“The charm of the vagrant kind of life which I led for some years in Syria, is inconceivable; its constant variety, its perfect independence, the excitement of difficulty, the apprehension of danger, were so many powerful but agreeable stimulants. My wants were but few and easily supplied; my bed was the ground, my covering a cloak, and my canopy the heavens.”
~ Charles Colville Frankland

October 9, 2016

“Man was born a wanderer; he has no lasting rest here. He wanders, he is tossed to and fro a little while, and in the end, he sags and sinks down like a rat at the foot of a wall.”

“Mother rabbit said to Jussi-Rabbit: ‘Go your way, my little son, and always remember what I say: there’s a trap on every trail and a snare at every step’.”

~ Seitsemän veljestä

September 24, 2016

“I travelled through its silent and solemn forests, looking at the tracks of the wolves on the snow beneath, and listening to the crashes among the trees of the dense woods whose branches, bound together by icicles, were shaken by the stormy winds.” ~ John Bowring

September 24, 2016

“In a few places the ice of the gulf was a smooth sheet; in others it was roughly frozen in waves and large masses. The vast extended plain of ice, broken in abrupt ridges, the boundless and dreary track marked only by a line of trees and boughs, and the rugged rocks starting up on every side, afforded one of the most desolate scenes imaginable.” ~ William Coxe

“As we continued to advance across the more open sea, the ice became stronger: and being now at a considerable distance from any land, the prospect widened on all sides, and became at every instant more desolate and appalling. The wind had carried off every particle of snow; and we journeyed for many miles over a surface clear and transparent as glass.”~ Edward Daniel Clarke

“We were amused at the ice hills heaped one on another, sometimes to a considerable height. These were formed while the ice was yet in broken pieces, by the wind and the waves throwing one piece upon another.” ~ John Paterson

April 2, 2016

le-fontanelle_0743_di-treviso

April 2, 2016

“Only he who has learned everything is nowhere a stranger; robbed of his fortune and without friends, he is yet the citizen of every country, and can fearlessly despise the changes of fortune.”
~ Ghiberti, quoting Vitruvius.

“Wherever a learned man fixes his seat, there is home.”
~ Codri urcei vita, Bologna, 1502.

March 21, 2016

“Il mondo è poco” ~ Christopher Columbus

March 16, 2016

“As for me, I am tormented with an everlasting itch for things remote. I love to sail forbidden seas, and land on barbarous coasts.” ~ Herman Melville

Ricordo

April 18, 2011

Dove poteva essere? — Il sole era al tramonto,
nel mare quieto navigava la mia barca scura,
una bella donna, capelli neri, pallida, sicura,
sedeva accanto a me sulla stretta panca del rematore.

Era la fine di non so che viaggio
e la mia anima tremebonda doleva
per quel bacio lungo e poco saggio
della dama nera sul mare forestiero!
— Dov’era mai?

~ H. Hesse