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The abate himself had been engaged

Posted Jun 01 2012 12:43am
     ??Odo left the Duchess's circle with an increased desire to  cheap louis vuitton bags  penetrate moredeeply into the organisation of the little world about him, to trace theoperation of its various parts, and to put his hand on the mainspringabout which they revolved; and he wondered whether Gamba, whoseconnection with the ducal library must give him some insight into theaffairs of the court, might not prove as instructive a guide throughthis labyrinth as through the mazes of the ducal garden.
     ??The Duke's library filled a series of rooms designed in the classicalstyle of the cinque-cento. On the very threshold Odo was conscious ofleaving behind the trivial activities of the palace, with the fantasticarchitecture which seemed their natural setting. Here all was based on anoble permanence of taste, a convergence of accumulated effort toward achosen end; and the door was fittingly surmounted by Seneca's  louis vuitton outlet  definitionof the wise man's state: "Omnia illi secula ut deo serviunt."Odo would gladly have lingered among the books which filled the roomswith an incense-like aroma of old leather. His imagination caressed inpassing the yellowish vellum backs, the worn tooling of Aldine folios,the heavy silver clasps of ancient chronicles and psalters; but hisfirst object was to find Gamba and renew the conversation of theprevious day. In this he was disappointed. The only occupant of thelibrary was the hunchback's friend and protector, the abate Crescenti, atall white-haired priest with the roseate gravity and benevolent air ofa donator in some Flemish triptych. The abate, courteously welcomingOdo, explained that he had despatched his assistant to the Benedictinemonastery to copy certain ancient records of transactions between thatorder and the Lords of Valsecca, and  chanel bags  added that Gamba, on his return,should at once be apprised of the cavaliere's wish to see him.
     ??The abate himself had been engaged, when his visitor entered, incollating manuscripts, but on Odo's begging him to return to his work,he said with a smile: "I do not suffer from an excess of interruptions,for the library is the least visited portion of the palace, and I amglad to welcome any who are disposed to inspect its treasures. I knownot, cavaliere," he added, "if the report of my humble labours has everreached you;" and on Odo's affirmative gesture he went on, with theeagerness of a shy man who gathers assurance from the intelligence ofhis listener: "Such researches into the rude and uncivilised past seemto me as essential to the comprehension of the  louis vuitton bags outlet  present as the masteringof the major premiss to the understanding of a syllogism; and to thosewho reproach me for wasting my life over the chronicles of barbarianinvasions and the records of monkish litigations, instead ofcontemplating the illustrious deeds of Greek sages and Roman heroes, Iconfidently reply that it is more useful to a man to know his ownfather's character than that of a remote ancestor. Even in this quietretreat," he went on, "I hear much talk of abuses and of the need forreform; and I often think that if they who rail so loudly againstexisting institutions would take the trouble to trace them to theirsource, and would, for instance, compare this state as it is today withits condition five hundred or a thousand years ago, instead of measuringit  cheap chanel bags  by the standard of some imaginary Platonic republic, they would find,if not less subject for complaint, yet fuller means of understanding andremedying the abuses they discover."This view of history was one so new in the abate Crescenti's day that itsurprised Odo with the revelation of unsuspected possibilities. How wasit that among the philosophers whose works he had studied, none hadthought of tracing in the social and political tendencies of the racethe germ of wrongs so confidently ascribed to the cunning of priests andthe rapacity of princes? Odo listened with growing interest whileCrescenti, encouraged by his questions, pointed out how the abuses offeudalism had arisen from the small land-owner's need of protectionagainst the northern invader, as the concentration of royal prerogativehad been the outcome of the king's intervention between  chanel handbags outlet  his greatvassals and the communes. The discouragement which had obscured Odo'soutlook since his visit to Pontesordo was cleared away by the discoverythat in a sympathetic study of the past might lie the secret of dealingwith present evils. His imagination, taking the intervening obstacles ata bound, arrived at once at the general axiom to which such inductionspointed; and if he afterward learned that human development follows nosuch direct line of advance, but must painfully stumble across thewastes of error, prejudice and ignorance, while the theoriser traversesthe same distance with a stroke of his speculative pinions; yet theinfluence of these teachings tempered his judgments with charity anddignified his very failures by a tragic sense of their inevitableness.
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