Posted by: vikingsinspace | May 31, 2010

VI.01.06. Read The Shame of Motley

Date Accomplished: ???

The Shame of Motley: House of Stratus Edition

My Sabatini Journal

“I was still clothed in the livery of folly which I had worn on my arrival, and, wherever I might roam, there followed ever at my heels a crowd of underlings, seeking to have their tedium lightened by jests and capers, and voting me – when their hopes proved barren – the sorriest Fool that had ever worn the motley.” (3)

“I am … assured that the coat of a Fool is stouter protection than the best hauberk ever tempered.” (9)

“The fool of art is no brother to the fool of nature.” (13)

“… in a world in which Wisdom may be overlooked, Folly goes never disregarded.” (16)

“Oftentimes have I observed that it needs a fool to teach some elementary wisdom to the wise ones of this world.” (29)

“Shame had touched him at last, yet its grip was not enough to make a man of him.” (95)

“Transport the blackest soul from among the damned of Hell, wash it white of its sins and seat it on one of the glorious thrones of Heaven, then ponder its emotions, and you may learn something of what I felt.  At last, when I had mastered the exquisite torture of my joy…” (154)

“Rumour’s habit is to lie.” (162)

The Shame of Motley

The first thing that struck me about The Shame of Motley was that it was written in the first person.  I cannot think of any of Sabatini’s other books that are in the first person, but maybe some of his other early ones such as The Tavern Knight or maybe Bardelys the Magnificent.

One could ell that Sabatini enjoyed the concept of the “wise fool” and had quite a bit of fun with it early in the book, before Lazzaro Biancomonte / Boccadoro starts to become too serious.  This is obviously one of Sabatini’s early works (his sixth, I believe), and one can tell he’s not quite at his heighth.

I do believe The Shame of Motley could easily be adapted into a play and would be a rather entertaining one.  unfortunately the second half is not nearly as good as the first, and some of the resolutions became rather predictable.

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