Study Guide

Fra Lippo Lippi Section 3, Lines 336-343

By Robert Browning

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Section 3, Lines 336-343

—That is—you'll not mistake an idle word
Spoke in a huff by a poor monk, God wot,
Tasting the air this spicy night which turns
The unaccustomed head like Chianti wine!
Oh, the church knows! don't misreport me, now!
It's natural a poor monk out of bounds
Should have his apt word to excuse himself:
And hearken how I plot to make amends.

  • Lippo seems to notice that maybe he's spoken too hastily about the higher-ups at the monastery, since he cautions the guardsman to not dwell too much on his "idle word[s]." After all, he is drunk (on a good Chianti... hopefully sans human liver and fava beans). He's not used to drinking much so his slip of the tongue should be forgiven. (Yeah, right—we believe you Lippo.)
  • He hopes the guard won't report his disobedient words to the Church, because it's really natural that Lippo would speak this way, since he's so out of his element.
  • He seems to be quite the smooth talker, our Lippo.
  • Now, he's going to tell the guardsman how he'll make things right with the Church.

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