Process Of Elimination

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As a result of a military victory, Federigo, king of Naples, invited his general Prospero Colonna, to dine with him. Also invited was Vito Pisanello, the emperor's chief advisor. It seems that Vito had permanently unkempt hair of a type rarely seen on Italians. The fact that both guests detested each other only served to amuse the king, who felt their mutual hostility would enliven the evening.

When the meal was finished, the king was in an expansive mood and turned to his general.

"Prospero," he began, making an effort to appear serious, "have you not noticed how a man's physical characteristics are often held to be an indication of his nature? For instance, a man with a receding chin is thought to be weak. One with small eyes and thin lips is thought to be mean and miserly. A man with hair such as Vito's is thought to be either poetic or evil."

"Majesty," declared Prospero with great solemnity, as the other guest maintained a sullen silence, "surely Vito is not poetic ..."

- Leonardo da Vinci (14251519), Italian artist, scientist