Posted by: vikingsinspace | April 5, 2010

VI.01.25. Read Bellarion the Fortunate

Date Accomplished: Summer 2007

Bellarion the Fortunate: The Writings of Rafael Sabatini Edition, vol. xxi

My Sabatini Journal

“It is easy to make philosophy upon the woes of others.” (13)

“He is a fool who helps to make a woman wise.” (53)

“A good memory … lies as much in an ability to forget as in a capacity to remember.” (63)

“They were as convinced as he himself was appalled by the fluency of his lying.” (69)

“Interest is ever the best spur to endeavour.” (73)

“He learnt manners and customs and all things so quickly that he might aptly be termed a fluid in the jug of any circumstance.” (110)

“The only good in life was study, because study was an endeavour that never reached fulfilment.  It busied a man to the end of his days, and it aimed at the only true reality in all this world of shams and deceits.” (326)

“In all this idle world there is naught so idle as to consider what we might be if it were different.” (329)

“It was a sword-thrust full into his vanity, which was the vital part of him.” (517)

“To be a dastard in the sight of a dastard is to be honourable in the sight of all upright men.” (534)

“A man may contain his soul for anything that is assured.  It is the doubtful only that makes him fret and fume.” (538)

Bellarion the Fortunate

Bellarion was rather unique in that the protagonist started as a monk, learning to maneuver in the secular world.  A series of events causes him to become a criminal, but is saved by the Princess Valeria who believed him to be a messenger.  To repay this act of kindness, Bellarion works to become the most successful and celebrated military leader in Northern Italy, and it was usually through wit and cunning that he would achieve his victories, rather than daring feats of arms.

Sabatini disappointed me a little towards the end, as I suspected that for once, the main character would not win the girl.  This time, not because the woman hated the man (as is usually the case in Sabatini’s works), but that the man, a monk, had no interest, having been reared in the cloisters where “love was not taught.”  But, Bellarion gives up his pursued life in the cloisters to wed the Princess Valeria.

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