Those who are rewarded are rarely found waiting in the corners.

“Juan, so fresh and smooth that there is almost a girl’s prettiness to his face. But at nearly seventeen, there is nothing feminine in his behavior. Such boundless energy, such outrageous confidence. Where others see vanity, Alexander only sees promise. A young man roaring and chafing at the bit, ready to take on the world. And why not? When did life ever reward those who cowered in its corners?”

– Blood & Beauty by Sarah Dunant.

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It would not show if you did not know.

“The years never seem to weigh on Brother Maical, as if his inability to count their passing protects him from their passage. He watches the world through calm grey eyes, broad-chested, thick-limbed. If no one told you that his thoughts rattle in an empty head, you might think Brother Maical as capable a rogue as rides among the Brothers. In battle though his hands grow clever, and you’d think him whole, until the din fades, the dying fall, and Maical wanders the field weeping.”

– The King of Thorns by Mark Lawrence

Scared of the God that speaks through Humans.

“With so much religion abroad, holy madness was on the increase: people who lived with so much God that they didn’t know any longer how to be with humans. You came across them in the streets sometimes, chattering to themselves, laughing, crying, their vulnerability vibrating like a halo around them. For the most part they were benign souls, more like hermits. But not all. When God was fermenting inside them they could be very frightening.”
– The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant.

I could defend them only afterwards…

“The holy friar, it seemed, was in direct contact with God, and when they looked down together on Florence they saw a city corrupted by privilege and intellectual vanity. After so many years spent daydreaming my way through sermons full of scriptures but no fire, I found his (Savonarola’s) lava flow of words spell-binding. When he railed against Aristotle or Plato as pagans whose works undermined the true church while their souls rotted in eternal fire, there were arguments I could find to defend them, but only afterward, when his voice was no longer ringing in my ears. He had a passion that felt like possession, and he painted pictures of hell that curdled one’s insides with the smell of sulfur.”

The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant.