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I lost serious interest once Ridolfi revealed his hand by delivering a panegyric to Savonarola and rebuking Machiavelli, who, it should be stressed, knew the friar first-hand, for judging Savonarola a fraud and a lair. In an attempt to assuage his own bruised moral sensibilities and still retain his admiration for Machiavelli, Ridolfi too quickly explains away the comment as a mere jest, a throwaway comment made among friends. This is seriously wrongheaded scholarship and mars the overall work.