Cellini, Benvenuto – The lizard which you see in the fire is a salamander
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
When Benvenuto Cellini was five, his father, sitting by the fire and singing to the viol, espied among the blazing logs, what he took to be a little creature like a lizard sporting in the heart of the flames.
“Becoming instantly aware of what the thing was, he had my sister and me called, and pointing it out to us children, gave me a great box on the ears, which caused me to howl and weep with all my might. Then he pacified me good-humouredly and spoke as follows "My dear little boy, I am not striking you for any wrong doing that you have done, but only to make you remember that that lizard which you see in the fire is a salamander, a creature which has never been seen before by anyone of whom we have credible information. "' (J A Symonds' translation)
That box on the ear kept the salamander in Cellini’s recollection for half a century.