“How terrible it must be to be a member of the noble class. So many rules. Such restraint. You must feel like a caged bird, battering its wings against the sides of its golden prison.”
“You should be more careful, you know."
"Careful?" she managed to croak. "You're the one who knocked me over."
"I couldn't resist," he said, and he actually had the nerve to wink at her. "It's not often I get the chance to put my hands on such a beautiful woman.”
“Falco's eyes widened in fake shock. "Well, then perhaps I should ask for a tour of the house." He grinned, clearly relishing Cass's embarrassment. "Can we start with your bedroom?”
“Madness weakens the mind and disease weakens the body, but nothing destroys the spirit like the loss of a true love.”
“I know you want this as much as I do," he said. "You aren't going to report me. And even if you did, I'm inclined to think a night with you might well be worth imprisonment.”
“How can God be so cruel to grow love in such hopeless places?”
“Come on," Falco said. "I'll see you safely home to your fancy sheets. I'd say you need your beauty sleep, but it looks like you've been getting plenty.”
“If I had your body, I'd stare at it for hours. Days, maybe.”
“You may study the bodies of the living and the dead for clues about the mechanism of the muscles, the bones, and even the brain, but you can never unravel the mystery of the human heart. . .”
“To my lovely starling,
Maybe there are magical words that will make you understand, but if so, I do not know them. Words are your domain. I've always been better with pictures.
I fear you think I am a monster. It's true I've disrupted many graves. The way I see it, the dead are dead. If, after their death, we can learn things from the about the human form - things that will increase the sum of human knowledge and the possibilities of art - what harm is that? After death, new life, new beauty. How can that be wrong? My friends and I have made use of some of the bodies as models. some we sell to surgeons who study them with the hopes of learning something about the frail mechanisms of the human body.
I don't know exactly what Dottor de Gradi does in his workshop on the Rialto, and I was as surprised as you were to stumble on it. He couldn't - he wouldn't tell me if your friend's body ended up there. But he did assure me all of his work is focused solely on extending human life.
I won't lie. I did it for the money as well. Don Loredan is holding a private exhibition in his palazzo tomorrow. The entry fee was quite steep but two of my paintings were accepted. This could be the beginning for me. I could find my own patrons. I could be more than just a peasant. Tommaso's assistant.
So yes; a little for money. But mostly I did for the art.
I don't expect these words to change how you feel. I simply want you not to see me as a monster. I don't want to be a monster. Not anymore. Not after meeting you. I know that we disrupted you dear friend's body, and for that I am deeply regretful. But if we had not done so, if I had not lingered in the San Domenico churchyard after standing guard for my friends, you and I might never have met. Meeting you is one thing I will never regret.
I hope you like the painting. Consider tit a wedding gift. How stupid of me to let my heart go. It was a lovely fantasy while it lasted, though, wasn't it?
“The healer and the killer both rely on the blade: the physician his scalpel, the assassin his dagger.”
“Don't fall into the trap of letting others do everything for you. It's noble to accept help when you need it, lazy to accept it when yo don't.”
“After all, death and life are just two phases of the natural order of things. It seems silly to embrace birth and fear death.”
“Signore, pietà.” Madalena recited the words along with the rest of the congregation. Cass sighed. Everyone else was apologizing to God for their sins, and here she was dreaming up some new ones.”
“Both the teardrop and the tempest are made of water, making it the most yielding and most destructive force on Earth.”
“Religion would have us believe that immortality is reserved for the gods. We remain skeptical.”
“Certain living things prefer the dark, thriving in the shadows of tombstones and crypts, flowering admist the dead. Others tend toward the sun, blooming in the light, embracing the warmth.”
“Falco wagged her journal in front of her. "This is yours, I presume." A slow smile spread across his face. "Let's find out exactly what you've been doing, shall we?"
"Give it back!" Cass reached for the journal, but Falco easily dodged her. He opened the leather-bound book to a random page and cleared his throat. Clutching a hand to his chest, he pretended to read aloud in a high-pitched voice. "Oh, how I love the way his fingers explore my soft flesh. The way his eyes see into my very soul."
This time, Cass managed to snatch the book out of his hands. "That is not what it says."
"I guess that means you won't be keeping me warm tonight?”
“The human body is a book of secrets, covered in skin and written in blood. Those who which to learn its mysteries must be unafraid to open it and study its entrails."
-The Book of The Eternal Rose”
“From death we gain knowledge of life, and from this knowledge we may one day vanquish death."
-The Book of The Eternal Rose”
“The heart is divided into four chambers, two to a side. When one side fails, the other must follow, and the body dies."
-The Book of The Eternal Rose”
“Civilized beings regard the act of intercourse as the highest expression of romantic love. One need only observe the behavior of animals, however, to realize that the act is often a form of violence.”
“The water that flows through the canals is both beautiful and deadly. Its tranquil surface belies that toxins beneath-unpleasant to touch, deadly to imbibe.”
“De Montaigne described marriage as much like a cage full of birds, where the unmarried struggle to get in and the married struggle to get out.”
“It is human nature
to fear the dead,
but it is the living
who are capable of malice,
evil and utter destruction.”
“After death, the body cools, then stiffens, then grows limber again as putrefaction begins to dissolve the tissues until the flesh becomes foul, black slime."
-The Book of The Eternal Rose”
“Cass sighed. She set the letter aside too. She'd never be able to send it anyway. Falco was gone. She might never see him again. Cass dipped her quill into the ink and touched it to her first page of the journal. She wrote:
You may study the bodies of the living and the dead for clues about the mechanism of the muscles, the bones, and even the brain, but you can never unravel the mystery of the human heart...”
“The Black Death announces itself by the appearance of foul, egg-sized swellings that erupt on the bodies of its victims, followed by spreading boils and hideous discolorations of the skin. So excruciating is the pain that death, when it comes, is a mercy."
-The Book of the Eternal Rose”
“Something else that her mind answer before the question ask. She know the answer. She can’t help nobody out of white man power, not even herself. The woman eye still asking. Lilith don’t know how to fix her eye to say no, so she look at the man and the same question come over him face.”
“Sanskrit is a beautiful contextual language. It is called “Dev Bhasha” the language of the soul. Here, meanings of the words must come from the heart, from direct experience – dictionary meanings or static meanings have not much value. Meanings of the words vary depending on mind-set, time, location and culture. The words are made to expand the possibilities of the mind.”
“He would set up as a mild eccentric, discursive, withdrawn, but possessing one or two lovable habits such as muttering to himself as he bumbled along pavements. Out of date, perhaps, but who wasn't these days? Out of date, but loyal to his own time. At a certain moment, after all, every man chooses: will he go forward, will he go back? There was nothing dishonourable in not being blown about by every little modern wind. Better to have worth, to entrench, to be an oak of one's own generation.”
“When did everything get so damn complicated?” “When your life became about more than just football.” “You sound like Yoda.” I grinned. “It’s the beer.”
“An uncredited study she read once said, quote, “Girls become really stupid in science after they get their period, so you’d better learn as much as possible before that happens.” I had such anxiety about this “clearly proven” biological fact that I was studying calculus by the age of twelve. When I finally got my period, I cried, not because I was growing up, but because I had just learned derivatives and really enjoyed doing them. I was scared that estrogen would wipe the ability to do them from my brain.”
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