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[Q]uando io mi viddi dar certe sentenzie per mano di questi avvocati, non vedendo modo alcuno di potermi aiutare, ricorsi per mio aiuto a una gran daga che io avevo, perché sempre mi son dilettato di tener belle armi; e il primo che io cominciai a
intaccare si fu quel principale che m’aveva mosso la ingiusta lite; e una sera gli detti tanti
colpi, pur guardando di non lo ammazzare, innelle gambe e innelle braccia, che di tutt’a due le gambe io lo privai. Di poi ritrovai quell’altro che aveva compro la lite, e anche lui toccai di sorte che tal lite si fermò.
When certain decisions of the court were sent me by those lawyers, and I perceived that my cause had been unjustly lost, I had recourse for my defense to a great dagger I carried; for I have always taken pleasure in keeping fine weapons. The first man I attacked was a plaintiff who had sued me; and one evening I wounded him in the legs and arms so severely, taking care, however, not to kill him, that I deprived him of the use of both his legs. Then I sought out the other fellow who had brought the suit, and used him also such wise that he dropped it.
–Benvenuto Cellini, La vita, ch. xxviii (1558-66)(J.A. Symonds transl. 1880)
More from Scott Horton:
Six Questions — October 18, 2014, 8:00 pm
Nathaniel Raymond on CIA interrogation techniques.
Mark Denbeaux on the NCIS cover-up of three “suicides” at Guantánamo Bay Detention Camp
From the June 2014 issue
Hours per day that a death-row inmate in China wears hand and ankle restraints:
A multidisciplinary team detected cardiac arrhythmia in the works of Beethoven.
There was a run on cases of 5.56mm M855 green-tip rifle bullets, after the White House moved to ban their manufacture and sale because they can pierce police armor.
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“He could be one of a million beach-bound, black-socked Florida retirees, not the man who, by some odd happenstance of life, possesses the brain of Albert Einstein — literally cut it out of the dead scientist's head.”