Every Italian artist and man of letters in an age of singular intellectual brilliancy tasted or hoped to taste of his bounty.
"there is nothing in his remains to show that he possessed any real superiority either of intellect or knowledge, or even any remarkable brilliancy of expression."
But the second, notwithstanding the brilliancy of the narrative and the masterly art in the grouping of events, suffers from a radical defect which renders it a misleading guide.
Diptera in general are not remarkable for brilliancy of coloration; as a rule they are dull and inconspicuous in hue, the prevailing bodytints being browns and greys; occasionally, however, more especially in species (Syrphidae) that mimic Hymenoptera, the body is conspicuously banded with yellow; a few are metallic, such as the species of Formosia, found in the islands of the East Indian Archipelago, which are among the most brilliant of all insects.
This determination closes the first chapter of his life; the second, from 1304 to 1314, is occupied by his contest for the kingdom, which was really won at Bannockburn, though disputed until the treaty of Northampton in 1328; the last, from 1314 to his death in 1329, was the period of the establishment of his government and dynasty by an administration as skilful as his generalship. It is to the second of these that historians, attracted by its brilliancy even amongst the many romances of history and its importance to Scottish history, have directed most of their attention, and it is during it that his personal character, tried by adversity and prosperity, gradually unfolds itself.
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