Gluttony from The Seven Deadly Sins, by Pieter Coecke van Aelst, c. 1550. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of Mrs. Frederic R. Coudert Jr., in memory of Mr. and Mrs. Hugh A. Murray, 1957.


Volume XIII, Number 2 | spring 2020


As a young man, Giacomo Casanova spent his nights roaming through Venice, “thinking up the most scandalous practical jokes and putting them into execution,” he later wrote in his memoirs. “When we could get into bell towers, we thought it great sport to alarm the whole neighborhood by ringing the tocsin that announces a fire, or to cut all the bell ropes…The whole city was complaining of our nocturnal malefactions, and we laughed at the investigations that were made to discover the disturbers of the public peace.”

I find the pain of a little censure, even when it is unfounded, is more acute than the pleasure of much praise.

—Thomas Jefferson, 1789