A History of the Man of Knowledge
in Four Parts
Part Three: Death and Dreams
I had no peace in Padua; the city was my home, yes, but Hunger is not some unwelcome guest to be turned away at the threshold. Hunger breaks down doors and wrenches aside iron bars.
The city lavished me with praise upon my return, giving me honors and a position at the University, but I cared not as I shivered and sweated. Ever hour I could steal away from my post, I would spend in the lands about Padua, feverishly searching for a spirit whose life could offer me relief.
Yet the hills were empty, and I felt like a drunkard among Mohammedans. Weakness came over me and the madness I fought began to break through. I would faint before students and cry out among the merchants; rumors of my dark dealings were born as I mumbled spells and ritual names to myself.
I was on the cusp of losing everything by being named either a lunatic or a sorcerer, a doom I escaped only by choosing a far more sinister path.
Roaming my home one night, moaning and clutching my head, a desperate thought came to me, the memory of a curse and cure that could ease my suffering.
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You can also buy the novel The Grand Tour, a story about William Bridgeman’s journey across Europe during the twilight of magic.