He was an enthusiast in music and other fine arts; and he habitually practised as an amusement, while deeply studying in theory, all sorts of athletic sports, including swimming and fencing.
He means this - that he is no mere ecstatic enthusiast or "dervish," whose primary aim is to keep up the warlike spirit of the people, taking for granted that Yahweh is on the people's side, and that he is perfectly free from the taint of selfishness, not having to support himself by his prophesying.
The wise man and the ignorant, the enthusiast and the man of the world, could all find acceptance here, and there was laid on no one more than he was able and willing to bear.
From the stores of valuable materials contained in those ten volumes, it will be enough here to cite (1) the Ricordi politici, already noticed, consisting of about 400 aphorisms on political and social topics; (2) the observations on Machiavelli's Discorsi, which bring into remarkable relief the views of Italy's two great theorists on statecraft in the 16th century, and show that Guicciardini regarded Machiavelli somewhat as an amiable visionary or political enthusiast; (3) the Storia Fiorentina, an early work of the author, distinguished by its animation of style, brilliancy of portraiture, and liberality of judgment; and (4) the Dialogo del reggimento di Firenze, also in all probability an early work, in which the various forms of government suited to an Italian commonwealth are discussed with infinite subtlety, contrasted, and illustrated from the vicissitudes of Florence up to the year 1 494.
In the month of May 1347 Cola di Rienzi accomplished that extraordinary revolution which for a short space revived the republic in Rome, and raised this enthusiast to titular equality with kings.
At length the clouds broke; the light became clearer and clearer; and the enthusiast who had imagined that he was branded with the mark of the first murderer, and destined to the end of the arch-traitor, enjoyed peace and a cheerful confidence in the mercy of God.
Here, in closest intimacy with Joseph Story, he became an enthusiast in the study of jurisprudence: at the age of twenty-three he was admitted to the bar, and was contributing to the American Jurist, and editing law texts and Story's court decisions.
But, an enthusiast for Hellenic culture, he seems to have shown but little interest in the native religion.
It is curious to find that Caxton, an honest man, and an enthusiast as to the future of the art of printing, which he had introduced into England, waxes enthusiastic as to the merits of the intelligent but unscrupulous peers who took an interest in his endeavours.
Whilst the worship of the Church of England was proscribed, every illiterate or frenzied enthusiast was allowed to harangue at his pleasure.