Your Girlfriend is a Catalogue of Scents

Antonio Beccadelli,
Epigram to Giovanni Marrasio:

 

Cupid gave his golden spears to Angelina’s eyes,

And granted his torches to her cheeks at his mother’s command.

Her mouth smells like nectar, her head like ambrosia, her breast like cardamom,

And – I pass over this entirely – her vagina smells like balsam.

This same girl fastens true loves around her neck

And from the lap of Venus the divine girl grows warm.

The Sicilian poet Marrasio burns for her:

Certainly, Marrasio wishes to die in love.

didoofcarthage:
“Cupid fresco from a villa at Stabiae, Italy
”

Angelinae oculis dedit aurea tela Cupido

Donavitque genis, matre iubente, faces.

Os nectar, caput ambrosiam, flat pectus amomum

Et, quod praetereo, balsama cunnus olet,

Haec eadem collo veros adnectit amores

Deque sinu Veneris diva puella calet.

Hanc olim Siculus vates Marrasius ardet:

Marrasius certe vult in amore mori.

O Leonardo, Validate Me!!!

Giovanni Marrasio, Angelinetum (IX):

To that most eloquent and erudite man, Leonardo Bruni:

It was the habit among the ancients, when they wished to try their mental powers, to mingle often with the learned. No one was ashamed to listen to wise Marcus Cato, and plenty a crowd followed Aristotle – but I follow you. You are a prophet most celebrated throughout the world, the most distinguished orator, a speaker at the forefront of his art. Leonardo, look kindly upon me – I adore you like a god, for Apollo has yielded his lyre to you. Let it not be a source of regret to have read my book with a favorable eye, and do not be pained by the trifles you find therein. Oh, if only I could compose the sort of verses about you which Vergil and Callimachus brought forth! If the ancient poets wrote their songs to Maecenas, Maecenas was worthy of their song. If the words which I have written are pleasing to your mind, I will live everlasting as an old man through many generations, with you as my guard. So farewell – I will publish these idle scribblings once you have given them a final rounding-off. If not, the papyrus will be closed in a box. If the hateful bookworm doesn’t ruin it first, the pharmacist will wrap his pepper in its leaves.

https://www.firenze-online.com/img/artisti/foto-brunileonardo3.jpg

Ad eloquentissimum et eruditissimum virum Leonardum Arretinum.

Mos erat antiquis, sua quom trutinare volebant

Ingenia, ad doctos saepe coire viros.

Marcum non puduit sapientem audire Catonem

Multaque Aristotelem turba secuta fuit.

Te sequor: es toto vates celeberrimus orbe,

Orator summus, rhetor in arte prior.

Arretine, fave, te tamquam numen adoro:

Namque tibi placidam cessit Apollo liram.

Paeniteat nec te blando legisse libellum

Lumine, nec nugas inde dolare meas.

O utinam de te possem componere versus,

Quales Virgilius Callimachusque tulit!

Si ad Maecenatem veteres scripsere poetae

Carmina, Maecenas carmine dignus erat.

Si  < sunt >  grata animo quae scripsi verba, perennis

Auspice te vivam tempora multa senex.

Ergo vale, et nugas, postquam limaveris, edam;

Si minus, in cista clausa papirus erit,

Quae cito si tinea non obtundetur iniqua,

Vestiet ex chartis pharmacopola piper.

Madness, Prophecy, Poetry

Leonardo Bruni, 
Letter to Giovanni Marrasio on his Angelinetum:

“As Plato says, there are two types of madness: one coming from human maladies (a bad sort, to be sure, and detestable), and the other coming from a divine alienation from one’s mind. Of this divine madness, there are again four divisions, namely prophecy, mystery, poesy, and love. The ancients thought that there were just as many gods who supervised each of these, for they attributed prophecy to Apollo, mystery to Dionysus, poesy to the Muses, and love to Venus. Almost no one who has ever read anything in their lives is ignorant of what prophecy is. It is a kind of divination, but not all divination is prophecy, only but only that by which

the Delian prophet inspires the great mind and soul and lays the future open,

as Vergil says.

Haruspices and augurs and soothsayers and all the rest of that crowd are not prophets themselves, nor is their work actually prophecy, but rather it is simply the cunning of sane people and an ingenious prediction of future things. Mystery is concerned with religion, with the expiations and propitiations of the divine will with a more violent agitation of the mind – the sort of thing which are encountered so often in the Sacred Books, undertaken to placate heaven’s wrath with certain supplications. A poem receives much the same treatment which we gave to prophecy above. For, not every work is a poem, not even if it is written in verse; only that excellent work, that work worthy of this honored appellation, which is sent forth by a kind of divine breath, may be called a poem. And so, in the same degree by which prophecy excels mere prediction, a poem, which is born of madness, is to be preferred to the mere artifice of sane people. From this fact stem those phrases produced by a good poet as though they belonged to a madman:

‘From where do you order me to go, goddesses?’;

and Vergil’s

‘I shall speak of horrible wars, I shall speak of the battle lines and the kings driven by their spirits into battles, and the Etruscan band and all of Hesperia driven into arms. A greater order of things is now born from me, I am bringing forth a greater work.’

All of this was uttered by the poet in the prophetic mode.

Sappho Sings for Homer
Charles Nicholas Rafael Lafond, Sappho Sings for Homer

Sunt enim furoris, ut a Platone traditur, species duae: una ex humanis proveniens morbis, mala profecto res ac detestanda, altera ex divina mentis alienatione; divini rursus furoris partes quattuor: vaticinium, misterium, poesis et amor. His vero deos totidem praeesse veteres putaverunt: nam vaticinium Apollini, misterium Dionyso, poeticam Musis, amorem Veneri tribuebant. Et vaticinium quid tandem sit nemo fere qui modo quicquam legerit ignorat: est enim divinatio quaedam, sed non omnis divinatio vaticinium est, sed illa tantummodo “magnam quoi mentem animumque / Delius inspirat vates aperitque futura”, ut Maro inquit. Nam haruspices et augures et coniectores ac cetera huiusmodi turba nec vates quidem ipsi sunt nec eorum opus quidem vaticinium est, sed sanorum hominum prudentia et ingeniosa rerum futurarum coniectatio. Misteria vero circa religionem, expiationes et propitiationes divini numinis versantur cum vehementiori quadam mentis concitatione, qualia in Sacris Libris permulta ad placandam coelestem iram quibusdam suppliciis factitata leguntur. Poema quoque eandem fere determinationem recipit quam et de vaticinio supra dicebamus. Non enim omne opus poema est, ne si versibus quidem constet, sed illud praestans, illud hac honorata nuncupatione dignum quod afflatu quodam divino emittur. Itaque quanto vaticinium coniectationi dignitate praestat, tanto poema, quod ex furore fit, sanorum hominum artificio est anteponendum; hinc illae sunt  a bono poeta quasi vesani hominis emissae voces: “unde iubetis / ire deae?”; et Virgilius “dicam horrida bella / dicam acies actosque animis in proelia reges / Tyrrhenamque manum totamque sub arma coactam / Hesperiam. Maior rerum mihi nascitur ordo, / maius opus moveo”. Quod totum vaticinantis more prolatum est a poeta.

All In On Literary Life

Leon Battista Alberti,
On the Advantages and Disadvantages of Literature (Part VI):

“Yet, although the authority and reasoning of many stood against me, yet in some way it seemed that the case of literature stood otherwise. Yet I entertained an opinion of this sort, that, while those most erudite of men might judge for their own reasons that there were many disadvantages attending upon literature, and while they might think that the study of literature was to be subordinated to that of all other studies, I nevertheless thought that literature should take priority over all else. From that point, I so dedicated myself to the understanding of literature, that nothing could be declared splendid in literature which I did not seek in both my mind and my will – nothing which I did not pursue with my labors, with my care, with my nightly vigils, and nothing which I did not cultivate with the greatest diligence and reverence.”

Image result for leon battista alberti

Mihi vero quamvis multorum auctoritas rationesque obstarent, tamen nescio quo pacto de litteris aliter videbatur: erat enim eiusmodi apud me opinio ut, dum illi viri eruditissimi suis rationibus multa litteris incommoda adiudicarent, ego esse litteras censerem longe iucundissimas, dumque ceteris omnibus disciplinis illi cultum litterarum postponendum putarent, ego litteras rebus omnibus preponendas ducerem. Denique ita me cognitioni litterarum dedicaram omnino, ut nihil in litteris preclarum esse diceretur quod illud animo et voluntate non appeterem, quod laboribus, cura atque vigiliis non prosequerer, quodve summa diligentia et observantia quantum possem non excolerem.

Regretting a Life in Literature

Leon Battista Alberti,
On the Advantages and Disadvantages of Literature (Part V):

“I had often heard a great number of the most serious and most erudite men recalling those things about the study of literature which could not unjustly drive anyone away from literature and the desire of learning. Among their other many and various convictions which they adduced, they confessed openly that they were certainly not those sorts of people (though they had achieved much in the realm of literature) who, if their time were returned to them, would not think that it more profitable to undertake any other mode of life than to return to literature.

From this opinion, it was not only far from my opinion that I judged that they especially who left no time untouched by literature spoke otherwise than they truly felt, but it also happened that I judged them blameworthy for this. It seemed beyond their duty if these learned men were deterring the youth from literature, or if intelligent men were pursuing those things which they knew were hardly becoming. Thus it happened that, when I would question a large number of the educated with some diligence, it was clear that in almost all cases their very mind was dissociated from the study of literature, to which they had been in the greatest degree devoted.”

Related image

Sepe audiveram plerosque gravissimos eruditissimosque viros de studiis litterarum ea referentes que non iniuria possent a litteris discendique cupiditate ununquenque avertere. Ceteras enim inter persuasiones, quas quidem multas ac varias adducebant, palam profitebantur se minime illos esse, quanquam litteris profecissent, qui, si tempora restituerentur, non quidvis aliud vite genus subire quam ad litteras redire commodius ducerent.

Qua ego sententia esse eos presertim qui nullum tempus vacuum litteris pretermitterent a mea tantum opinione aberat, ut non modo aliter quam sentirent dicere illos arbitrarer, sed eosdem etiam propemodum inculpandos existimarem. Nam preter officium videbatur si docti deterrerent iuvenes a litteris, vel si prudentes viri ea sequerentur que parum conducere intelligerent. Ea re fiebat, diligentius plurimos litteratos cum percunctarer, tum in omnibus fere hunc ipsum animum comperire alienum videlicet a studiis litterarum, quibus essent maximopere dediti.

Grace Me With Your Correction

Leon Battista Alberti,
On the Advantages and Disadvantages of Literature (Part IV)

“Thus, bestowing some effort upon my own habit and the entreaties of my friends, I have published this little treatise on the advantages and disadvantages of literature. Which, to be sure, my brother, I will suppose to be pleasing to you, because I have both kept up the custom of my friends, but also because I have seized upon material which is neither common nor explained before this time. I am well versed in the study of literature, in which I have spent my whole life up until yesterday – I know what its advantages and disadvantages are. But you (to use a word from your Ephebes) my brother, read my little book over again, correct it, and change it according to your judgment. Make it so that my little contrivance here is more pleasing and more worthy by the grace of your emendation.”

Image result for MEDIEVAL CORRECTOR

Itaque consuetudini nostre et meorum petitionibus operam impertiens hoc de commodis litterarum atque incommodis edidi opusculum. Quod quidem, mi frater, tum quod meis morem gesserim, tum etiam quod fuerim materiam nactus non vulgarem neque satis ante hoc tempus explicitam gratum tibi futurum arbitrabor. Et novi studia litterarum, quibus ad hunc usque diem superiorem etatem omnem traduxi meam, quam sint commoda atque incommoda. Tu vero (ut tuo in Ephebis utar dicto), mi frater, relege hunc nostrum libellum, corrige, immuta tuo quidem arbitratu, emendationeque tua inventionem nostram effice gratiorem ac digniorem.

If You’re Happy and You Know It, Think of Death

Petrarch, Secretum 1.1:

Augustine: What are you doing, little man? Why do you sleep? What are you waiting for? Have you become so forgetful of your own misery? Or do you not remember that you are mortal?

Francesco: I remember, to be sure, and that thought never comes upon me without a certain horror.

Augustine: Would that you remember as you say you do and consulted your own interest! Indeed, then you would have freed me from a lot of labor, since it is indeed true that nothing is more effective for condemning the temptations of this life and composing the mind to endure the many tempests of this world than the recollection of one’s own misery and a constant meditation upon death. Yet, it should not come upon you lightly or superficially – it should settle into your bones and marrow.

The Ironboors are made of Salt and Snores - The Fandomentals

Augustinus: Quid agis, homuncio? quid somnias? quid expectas? miseriarum ne tuarum sic prorsus oblitus es? An non te mortalem esse meministi?
Francescus: Memini equidem nec unquam sine horrore quodam cogitatio illa subit animum.
Augustinus: Utinam meminisses, ut dicis, et tibi consuluisses! etenim et multum michi negotii remisisses, cum sit profecto verissimum ad contemnendas vite huius illecebras componendumque inter tot mundi procellas animum nichil efficacius reperiri quam memoriam proprie miserie et meditationem mortis assiduam; modo non leviter, aut superficietenus serpat, sed in ossibus ipsis ac medullis insideat.