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Dante Alighieri

Reading Books

For some words are childish, some feminine, some manly: and of these last some are sylvan, others urban; and of those we call urban we feel that some are combed-out and glossy, some shaggy and rumpled. Now, among these urban words, the combed-out and the shaggy are those we call grand; whilst we call the glossy and the rumpled those whose sound is superfluous, just as among great works some are works of magnanimity, others of smoke; and as to these last, although when superficially looked at there may be thought to be a kind of ascent, still (when they are viewed), by sound reason no ascent will be found, but rather a headlong fall down giddy precipices, because the marked-out path of virtue is departed from.

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