The Nolan, in order to cause completely opposite effects, has freed the human mind and the knowledge, which were shut up in the strait prison of the turbulent air. Hardly could the mind gaze at the most distant stars as if through some few peepholes, and its wings were clipped so that it could not soar and pierce the veil of the clouds to see what was actually there. It could not free itself from the chimeras of those who, coming forth with manifold imposture from the mire and pits of the earth (as if they were Mercuries and Apollos descended from the skies), have filled the whole world with infinite folly, nonsense and vice, disguised as so much virtue, divinity and discipline. By approving and confirming the misty darkness of the sophists and block-heads, they extinguished the light which made the minds of our ancient fathers divine and heroic. Therefore human reason, so long oppressed, now and again in a lucid interval laments her base condition to the divine and provident Mind that ever whispers in her inner ear, responding to suchlike measures:
Who will mount for me, O Madonna, to the sky,
And bring back thence my lost wisdom?
Now behold the man who has surmounted the air, penetrated the sky, wandered among the stars, passed beyond the borders of the world, effaced the imaginary walls of the first, eight, ninth, tenth spheres, and the many more you could add according to the tattlings of empty mathematicians and the blind vision of vulgar philosophers.
Cena de le Ceneri pp.27-28