As the richest of us would gain no honor by lavishing money upon those peoples who neither know nor esteem gold or silver, indeed, if he had no other way of winning esteem would be placed lower than the low and would not satisfy even his most essential needs with his money, so, where intelligence or wit have no value, or when no one understands how to appreciate them, the most intelligent, cleverest, greatest man, if he has no other gifts, will be despised and placed among the lowliest. It is the same where he has a certain kind of intelligence or wit that is not admired in that country. It is the same in relation to the times. In each place and at each time, one must spend the local currency. (258)
Leopardi, Giacomo, and Michael Caesar. Zibaldone. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2013.