A Crown of Fire: The Life and Times of Girolamo Savonarola

A Crown of Fire: The Life and Times of Girolamo Savonarola

A Crown of Fire: The Life and Times of Girolamo Savonarola

A Crown of Fire: The Life and Times of Girolamo Savonarola

Excerpt

Dawn came in that morning enveloped in a chill melancholy shroud making Florence resemble nothing so much as an enormous blank page. In the confused transition toward day the light was the color of white coffee, an undelectable mixture of gloom and sadness. The drizzle of the night had turned the pavement into rows of gleaming black mirrors. It was seventeen minutes before five o'clock. From far away across the Arno came the nervous tinkle of a monastery bell; a mere quiver of silvery vibration. When it stopped only the sound of the pigeons flapping their wings broke the stillness. The birds spent the night sitting on the heads and shoulders of the marble statues in the Loggia de' Lanzi, the magnificent open vaulted hall where Cosimo de' Medici posted his lancers on the occasion of great state ceremonials. Dim-looming through the floating haze a part of the grimy façade of the Palazzo Vecchio became visible. A thin frothy screen still concealed the slender top-heavy bell tower and the crenelated rampart on the palace roof. No human movement was as yet discernible. Only the haze rippled now and then like a lace curtain swaying in a gust of wind. When the veil lifted for an instant Michelangelo's gigantic statue of the boy David stood forth like a pale terror. Suddenly, and seemingly from all directions at the same time, a soft breeze blew into the Piazza causing whiffs and puffs of mist and vapor to race and dance back and forth like a myriad of ghostly wraiths and phantoms transforming the blank page of a moment before into a whispering pageant of past magnificence. . . .

In all ages and all seasons the Florentines poured into this Piazza in cascades now gay or somber, now raving mad or trembling with . . .

Author Advanced search

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.