Thursday, December 05, 2013

Wordy Wednesday: What Money Can Buy

Yes, it's Thursday, but I read it late on Wednesday ... 

Still in Wolf Hall.  I don't find it very quotable; the clever turns of phrase seem mundane without the backstory.  The whole of the backstory culminates into thoughts and ideas which are bigger than the phrase.  I did think this story was more self-contained than much of this book.  

[Cromwell] waits for her to shout, as women do, do you think you can buy me, but she doesn't, she listens, and he thinks she is entranced, her face intent, her eyes on his, as she learns his theory about what money can buy. "There was a man in Florence, a friar, Fra Savonarola, he induced all the people to think beauty was a sin. Some people think he was a magician and they fell under his spell for a season, they made fires in the streets and they threw in everything they liked, everything they had made or worked to buy, bolts of silk, and linen their mothers had embroidered for their marriage bed, title deeds, dogs and cats, the shirts from their backs, the rings from their fingers, women their veils, and do you know what was worst, Johane--they threw in their mirrors.  So then they couldn't see their faces and know how they were different from the beasts in the field and the creatures screaming on the pyre. And when they had melted their mirrors they went home to their empty houses, and lay on the floor because they had burned their beds, and when they got up next day they were aching from the hard floor and there was no table for their breakfast because they'd used the table to feed the bonfire, and no stool to sit on because they'd chopped it into splinters, and there was no bread to eat because the bakers had thrown into the flames the basins and the yeast and the flour and the scales. And you know the worst of it? They were sober. Last night they took their wineskins ..." He turns his arm, in a mime of a man lobbing something into a fire. "So they were sober and their heads were clear, but they looked around and they had nothing to eat, nothing to drink, and nothing to sit on."

"But that wasn't the worst. You said the mirrors were the worst. Not to be able to look at yourself."

"Yes. Well, so I think.  I hope I can always look myself in the face. And you, Johane, you should always have a fine glass to see yourself. As you're a woman worth looking at."

1 comment:

  1. I generally add mine on Thursday because of the time difference between the US and Australia. Very confusing at times.


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