It is winter, and key limes are thick on the branches. Garlic is blooming, and soon there will be bright kumquats. Picking oranges, seeing how the tree branches had bent under their weight, I realized that the globes on Christmas trees represent fruit.
Every winter we quote from the Archpriest of Hita. This year we will quote in English, from the Willis translation, stanzas 317-320.
“You, Love, are the innkeeper and the lodging house of sloth; you never want a man to do any good works; as soon as you see him idle, you give him a life of torment; it begins in sin and ends in sorrow.
“You are never idle: once you have caught a man in your bonds you make him turn his throughts to deceits and many nasty brawls; he takes delight in sins and in disorderly acts: by your wicked arts you destroy bodies and souls.
“Also with sloth you bring hypocrisy; you go about in great simplicity plotting litigation; while you are in thought you are melancholy, your eyes will not be lifted up; when you spy a pretty girl you ogle her slyly.
“Of all the good that you preach, you yourself perform nothing; you delude everybody with your fair words; you want what the wolf wanted of the fox: you common-law barristers, listen to a worthwhile fable.”