writer, lecturer, has been sentenced to be burnt alive for eight heretical views. Gran cosa forse ne promette il cielo: As a last act, before sentence is carried out, he spurns the crucifix, that device of the ancient Egyptians, appropriated by the Christians, whose true significance he alone understands.

As you lift your head, the bus-driver stops and turns. His face is the face of a god, his beauty like the sun. The other passengers rise, transformed similarly, their souls made free at last of the trappings of the flesh. Light bursts from their throats as the snow melts from their soles – the singing will never be done.


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