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Poggio Bracciolini

Poggio has rescued Lucretius from annihilation.  He has visited the German monastery and uncovered the Truths.  He sits there in Roma, writing something in his exquisite hand.  He is a humanist, you know.  Although Lucretius is an Epicuran, Poggio doesn't claim to be.  The same does not go for Poggio's enemy, Lorenzo Valla.

Lorenzo is drinking wine in the annex and is singing it's praises in his exquisite hand.  There are prostitutes about.

Poggio, in his chambers, can almost smell them.

"Uh, howa darea he-a.  Howa darea hima!"  he says, and the nib on his quill breaks.  "Nowa looka whata ye'vea donea to mya quilla!"  he cries, and shakes his fist toward the sky.

Lorenzo Valla, in his chambers only smiles.  He is quite drunk.

Poggio is too.  He's a hypocrite.  They both are in the mood to brawl.

Poggio pushes himself up from his seat.  The rheumatism in his hands is acting up again, not unlike that heathen devil: Valla.

"Uh, I'lla showa hima!  Uh, I'lla showa hima reala gooda!"  Just then, Poggio espies some goodah cheese lying there on the corner of his desk.  "Nota thata kinda goodah!"  he cries, and shakes his fist skyward.  He gathers his robes around himself, and makes his way through the airy marble halls.

Valla, meanwhile, in his room chock full of prostitutes and sea nymphs and eunuchs, is luxuratingly inclined on one of his many "inclining couches".  He is smiling and laughing at nothing in particular, or maybe it's how the airs play upon his skin.  "Uh, Flavaflavius," he addresses one of the prostitutes.  "Uh, woulda you minda a-singing and a-dancing a bit.  Therea isa nothinga morea I-a coulda wanta righta nowa."

Flavaflavius is known for her singing and her dancing.  She straightens out her arms at her sides, and gathers her robes, so that they are not soiled or skewed on the ground.  Now her sandled feet can be seen, and they start hopping to and fro.  They say she can immitate any bird, and that when she sings, all the birds fly into the rooms, or into the windows of the rooms and bash their stupid heads.  Flavaflavius chirps and gorbles.  She weaves and swoops, and pecks things off the ground and cleans under her armpits and "ruffles her feathers".  Valla is in heaven.  His smile starts at one ear and it takes a long journey to the other.  His ears dance and chitter from all the heaven.

Just before he can attain Nibbanna, Poggio busts in.  He wears a triangulated cloth over his face and a large hood over his head.

"Uh, youa!"  he exclaims, and extends a long knobbly finger in the direction of Valla. Valla's smile disappears.  He drinks the rest of his wine in one gulp.  He throws his glass against the wall yonder, and it manages to avoid all the prostitutes and smashes into a thousand pieces.   Flavaflavius stops dancing and shrieks.  She rears up, bends over and runs like an ostriche might toward the courtyard, the other prostitutes follow and feathers are left in their wake.

"Thisa betta bea gooda, Poggio!  Ita hada betta bea reala gooda!  Alla mya prostitutios have lefta! Oh, ita hada betta bea gooda onea!"

Poggio lowers his arm and unfurls his finger.  A smile creeps upon his face.  From one of his pockets he pulls the wheel of goodah.

"Uh, noa," he says.  "Uh, noa, I'ma fraida it'sa nota gonna be that kinda goodah for youa todaya!" And he unties the cloth from his face, and takes a large bite out of the goodah, and laughs whilst gnashing at it.  His laughs echo through the large vaulted parlors.  The prostitutes outside fly once again, and feathers drift in their wake.

"Wella," Valla says, pushing himself up to standing position, "Don'ta leta youra welcomea exceeda it'sa staya."  He moves toward Poggio, who is furiously chomping at his round cheese.  He had brought the cheese as a kind of symbol, to scare some wits, but as it happen he is especially hungry.

"Oh-a!" Poggio thinks.  "I-a shouldna skippeda mya breakfasta!"  His mouth is so full of cheese.  He is trying to utter threats, but they are not forthcoming.  He is in a desperate battle between waylaying his hunger, or waylaying the beast that is Valla.  "Uh, justa onea morea bitea," he thinks.  "Justa onea morea gooey bitea!"

But alas, it is too late, Poggio has become "cheese-blind".  Valla furls his hand into a fist and pops Poggio on his big stupid nose.  The shock of it almost makes Poggio choke to death.  Poggio falls back in a dramatic display of assault.  He falls to the marble ground and crawls on his belly toward some safe retreat.  His eyes are like dinner plates as he looks back at his attacker.  Seeing that Valla is not advancing, but is rather nursing his sore handy-hoo, Poggio starts hacking up the cheese from his mouth. It was a long time ago he knew that to beat his enemies, some sacrifices would have to be made.  His robes are all in disarray.

Valla shuts the door to his chamber and locks it behind him.  Now the writing of On Pleasure will be anything but pleasurable.

Poggio crawls back to his room, and despite the most recent scuffle, quills a scathing codex of insults and slander about his enemy, Valla.

The howls of future Anti-pope John XXIII rang down the halls.  Things are not well.

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