Behind bejeweled fingers they grinned, they tittered, to hear their friend--his cup filled to spilling--propose his toast to progress; then declare the Pope, "A dupe, a dullard, a simpleton. A worm. A brass-brained dolt. A sheep. A braying ass spooked by its own shadow." Clearly he feared no man now. No--not even pious Pope Urban who strangled songbirds in the Vatican garden when they disturbed him.
From The Starry Messenger by George Keithley. Copyright © 2003 by George Keithley. Used by permission of the University of Pittsburgh Press. All rights reserved.