Chapter 16. The maze

'Salvation,' Mimi said, 'is a word denoting "Being led out of the space-time maze, where the servant has become the master."'

Philip K. Dick, Valis

There is a story told of a Genoese merchant who, by the mediation of Cosimo, prevailed upon Donatello to make a bronze head for him. When it was finished, the merchant coming to pay him thought that Donatello asked too much, so the matter was referred to Cosimo. He had it brought to the upper court of the palace and placed it on the wall overlooking the street, that it might be seen better. But when he tried to settle the difference, he found the merchant's offer very much below Donatello's demand, and turning to him he said it was too little. The merchant who thought it too much, answered that Donatello had worked upon it for a month, or a little more and that he would give him more than half a florin a day. Donatello upon that turned upon him in anger thinking these words too great an insult, and telling the merchant that he had found means in a hundredth part of an hour to destroy the work of a year, he gave the head a sudden blow and knocked it down into the street, where it was broken into many pieces, adding that it was evident that he was in the habit of bargaining about beans and not statues. The merchant repenting, offered to give him double as much if he would make it again, but neither his promises nor Cosimo's entreaties could make him consent.

Giorgio Vasari, Lives of the Artists

We are in the habit of ...

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