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Selections from Erasmus - Principally from his Epistles
by Erasmus Roterodamus
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Habes imaginem ad optimum exemplar a pessimo artifice non optime delineatam. Ea tibi minus placebit, si continget Morum nosse propius. Sed illud tamen interim cavi, ne mihi possis impingere, quod 365 tibi minus paruerim, neve semper opprobres nimium breves epistolas. Etiamsi haec nec mihi scribenti visa est longior, nec tibi legenti, sat scio, prolixa videbitur: id faciet Mori nostri suavitas. Bene vale.

Antuerpiae decimo Calendas Augusti Anno M.D.XIX. 370



XXVII. A DISHONEST LONDONER

Hoc nuper cuidam accidit apud Britannos, medico mihi ut patria communi, ita et amicitia coniunctissimo. Civem quendam Londoniensem, virum egregie nummatum et habitum adprime probum, arte curaque sua liberarat, non sine suo ipsius periculo; nam is pestilentissima 5 febre tenebatur. Et ut fit in periculis, medico montes aureos fuerat pollicitus, si non gravaretur sibi in tanto vitae discrimine dexter adesse, obtestatus et amicitiam quae illi cum eo intercedebat. Quid multis? Persuasit et iuveni et Germano. Adfuit, 10 nihil non fecit; revixit ille. Ubi verecunde de pecunia medicus admonuerat, elusit nugator, negans de mercede quicquam addubitandum, ceterum arcae nummariae clavem penes uxorem esse: 'et nosti' inquit 'mulierum ingenium. Nolo sentiat tantam pecuniae summam a 15 me datam.' Deinde post dies aliquot hominem obvium forte factum, iam nitidum et nulla morbi vestigia prae se ferentem, appellavit et nondum datae mercedis admonuit. Ille constanter asseverare pecuniam suo iussu ab uxore numeratam esse. Medicus negare factum. 20 Hic vide quam ansam bonus ille vir arripuerit. Cum forte medicus eum Latine numero singulari appellasset, ibi velut atroci lacessitus iniuria, 'Vah,' inquit 'homo Germanus tuissas Anglum?' Moxque velut impos animi, prae iracundia caput movens diraque minitans, 25 subduxit sese. Atque ad eum modum honestus ille civis elusit, dignus profecto quem sua pestis repetat.

Risimus quidem fabulam, nec tamen sine dolore propter indigne frustratum amicum, nec sine tam insignis ingratitudinis admiratione. Referunt gratiam 30 leones in periculis adiuti; meminerunt officii dracones. Homo homini, amicus amico sic merito, pro mercede quae nulla satis digna rependi poterat, ludibrium reponit. Atque haec in facti detestationem diximus, non in gentis odium. Nec enim par est ex hoc uno nebulone 35 Britannos omnes aestimari.



XXVIII. THE CONDITION OF ENGLISH HOUSES

ERASMUS ROTERODAMUS FRANCISCO CARDINALIS EBORACENSIS MEDICO S.

Frequenter et admirari et dolere soleo, qui fiat ut Britannia tot iam annis assidua pestilentia vexetur, praesertim sudore letali, quod malum paene videtur habere peculiare. Legimus civitatem a diutina pestilentia liberatam, consilio philosophi mutatis aedificiis. 5 Aut me fallit animus, aut simili ratione liberari possit Anglia. Primum quam coeli partem spectent fenestrae ostiave nihil habent pensi: deinde sic fere constructa sunt conclavia, ut nequaquam sint perflabilia, quod inprimis admonet Galenus. Tum magnam parietis 10 partem habent vitreis tessellis pellucidam, quae sic admittunt lumen ut ventos excludant, et tamen per rimulas admittunt auram illam colatam, aliquanto pestilentiorem, ibi diu quiescentem. Tum sola fere strata sunt argilla, tum scirpis palustribus, qui subinde sic 15 renovantur, ut fundamentum maneat aliquoties annos viginti, sub se fovens sputa, vomitus, proiectam cervisiam et piscium reliquias, aliasque sordes non nominandas. Hinc mutato coelo vapor quidam exhalatur, mea sententia minime salubris humano corpori. 20

Adde quod Anglia non solum undique circumfusa est mari, verum etiam multis in locis palustris est salsisque fluminibus intersecta; ne quid dicam interim de salsamentis, quibus vulgus mirum in modum delectatur. Confiderem insulam fore multo salubriorem si 25 scirporum usus tolleretur; tum si sic exstruerentur cubicula, ut duobus aut tribus lateribus paterent coelo; fenestris omnibus vitreis ita confectis, ut totae possent aperiri, totae claudi, et sic claudi ut non pateret per hiantes rimas aditus ventis noxiis. Siquidem ut aliquando 30 salutiferum est admittere coelum, ita nonnunquam salutiferum est excludere. Ridet vulgus si quis offenditur coelo nubiloso. Ego et ante annos triginta, si fueram ingressus cubiculum in quo mensibus aliquot nemo versatus esset, ilico incipiebam febricitare. Conferret 35 huc, si vulgo parcior victus persuaderi posset ac salsamentorum moderatior usus; tum si publica cura demandaretur aedilibus, ut viae mundiores essent a caeno, curarentur et ea quae civitati vicina essent.

Ridebis, scio, otium meum, qui his de rebus sollicitus 40 sim. Faveo regioni quae mihi tam diu praebuit hospitium; et in qua libens finiam quod superest aevi, si liceat. Non dubito quin tu haec pro tua prudentia rectius noris; libuit tamen admonere, ut si meum iudicium cum tuo consentiat, haec viris principibus persuadeas. Haec 45 enim olim regum cura consuevit esse. Scripsissem perlibenter reverendissimo domino Cardinali; sed nec otium erat nec argumentum, nec ignoro quibus ille negotiis distringatur. Bene vale, vir humanissime; cui debeo plurimum. 50



XXIX. FISHER'S STUDY AT ROCHESTER

ERASMUS ROTERODAMUS IOANNI EPISCOPO ROFFENSI S.D.

Reverende Praesul, maerens ac dolens hoc verbum legi in epistola tua, 'Utinam vivum me reperiat liber,' &c. Auxit famulus dolorem, qui nuntiavit affligi te adversa valetudine. Nihil indulges isti corpusculo. Suspicor magnam tuae valetudinis partem nasci ex 5 loco. Nunc enim medicum agam, si pateris. Mare vicinum et lutum subinde maris decessu nudatum coelum exasperat. Et habes bibliothecam undique parietibus vitreis, qui per rimas transmittunt auram subtilem et, ut medici loquuntur, colatam, pestilentem 10 raris et imbecillis corpusculis. Nec me fugit quam assiduus sis in bibliotheca, quae tibi Paradisi loco est. Ego si in tali loco commorer tres horas, aegrotem. Magis conveniret cubiculum pavimento ligneo et parietibus undique ligno contabulatis. Spirant 15 enim lateres et calx noxium quiddam. Scio pie viventibus mortem non esse formidabilem, sed totius ecclesiae refert talem episcopum esse superstitem in tanta bonorum inopia.

Basileae. pridie nonas Septemb. Anno M.D.XXIIII. 20

* * * * *

NOTES

I

[An incident related in the Ecclesiastes (see p.15[*]). Erasmus was ordained in 1492 by this Bishop of Utrecht, who was a son of Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy; and perhaps heard this story at the time.]

[* At the end of LIFE OF ERASMUS. Transcriptor.]

1. FUERIT] Either (1) fut. perf. indic., for which erit might equally well stand; or (2) perf. subj. of qualified statement. Cf. crediderim, 'I am inclined to believe.'

5. PROFANA DICIONE ONUSTIS] At the time when Erasmus was ordained the diocese of Utrecht had been torn for more than twenty years with civil war; in the course of which the Bishop had at one time been a prisoner.

19. II QUIBUS, &c.] The officials to whom fees were payable by successful candidates.

21. HIERONYMOS] Jerome (died 420) was one of the Latin Fathers of the Church.



II

[A letter to a young merchant, Christian Northoff of Lubeck, who had come to Paris to study. Erasmus was teaching him; and one of the modes of instruction was a daily interchange of Latin letters between master and pupil. The scene here depicted, of course with some licence of exaggeration, is laid in the boarding-house where Erasmus was lodging; the mistress of which was a woman of violent temper.]

TIT. S.D.] salutem dicit, the common form of greeting at the head of letters; often occurring as S.P.D., salutem plurimam dicit.

1. MEL ATTICUM] An endearing mode of address.

2. Ne with the imperative is ante-classical (Plaut. and Ter.), and poetical.

5. PYXIDEM] One of the munera of l. 64.

6. Pandora was the first woman created, according to Greek mythology. She brought down from heaven a box, which she was forbidden to open; but in curiosity she raised the lid, and at once all the evils to which mankind is subject flew out and spread over the earth. Epimetheus was her husband.

13. TOGATA ... PALLIATA] The classical distinction between two kinds of Roman drama, according as the scene was laid in Roman or in Greek surroundings. In the former the toga was worn by the principal characters; in the latter the Greek pallium.

14. PLANIPEDIA] Acted by a planipes, a kind of pantomime; so-called because he used neither the soccus of comedy nor the cothurnus of tragedy in his performances.

15. EPITASIS] A Greek technical term, for the crisis of a play.

23. CATASTROPHEN] Also a Greek technical term; the point at which a play turns, leading to the conclusion.

26. OPTASSE] Dependent on a verb of statement understood from laudo. A common idiom.

41. CAROLI REGIS] Charles VIII, King of France, 1483-98.

42. GENTIL GERSON] Evidently gentil garcon, 'fine gentleman.'

47. FLAMMEUM] sc. velum. A flame-coloured veil, properly worn by brides.

53. SURDAE CECINISSE] A proverbial phrase of labouring without result; 'to waste one's breath.' 'Ortum videtur a ridiculo casu, quo saepe fit ut hospes incidat in surdum, quem percontetur multa, ridentibus iis qui surdum noverunt.' Erasmus, Adagia.

66. ALIENIS MANIBUS] by getting a friend to write his Latin letter for him.

67. FRONTIS] 'Frons habita est antiquitus pudori sacra, et facies item. Inde frontem aut faciem proverbio perfricuisse dicuntur, qui pudorem omnem dedidicerunt, velut absterso manu a vultu pudore.' Erasmus, Adagia.

70. Patroclus was the friend of Achilles. When Achilles refused to fight against Troy, Patroclus borrowed his arms, and was killed in the battle.

71. QUID SIMILE?] sc. inter nos.



III

[This letter describes a journey made in the exceptionally cold winter of 1498-9, when Erasmus paid a visit to his friend, James Batt. Batt was then at the castle of Tournehem, near Calais, acting as tutor to a young nobleman, the son of Anne of Borsselen, Lady of Veere, near Middelburg; to whose patronage he was generously trying to introduce Erasmus.]

TIT. GUILHELMO] This form of the name William represents the German Wilhelm; Gulielmus is more akin to the Italian Guglielmo; Guielmus, which also occurs, to the French Guillaume.

5. AEOLUM] The king of the winds, whom Juno had persuaded to oppose the Trojan fleet under Aeneas as it sailed from Troy to Italy. See Verg. Aen. 1. 50 seq.

14. VIDISSES] sc. si adfuisses.

31. Bellerophon, after having vanquished the Chimaera on Pegasus, wished to fly with his winged steed to heaven. But Pegasus threw him off and ascended alone, to become a constellation in the sky.

35-6. CREDAS ... ACCIDISSET] The slight irregularity of tense is easily intelligible.

35. Lucian, fl. 160 A.D., was a Syrian citizen of the Roman Empire. His writings, which are mostly satirical, are in Greek. One of them is entitled Vera Historia.

57. ALLEVARE] 'to exaggerate,' opp. to elevare,'to disparage.' Allevare can also mean 'to understate', but the sequence of thought is not so natural.

62. SCRIBEBAM] The epistolary imperfect, representing the time of the action when the words would be read by the recipient of the letter.

PATRIAM] Holland.

64. CONVICTU] Evidently it had been proposed that Erasmus should come and live with Lord Mountjoy in Paris as his tutor.



IV

[An extract from a letter to an Italian friend domiciled in France. Erasmus was probably writing from Bedwell in Hertfordshire, where Sir William Say, Lord Mountjoy's father-in-law, had a country-house. For the practice which Erasmus playfully describes in the second paragraph, see an additional note on p. 157.[*]]

[* See ADDITIONAL NOTES, first note, at the end of this text. Transcriptor.]

4. INVITA MINERVA] 'refragante ingenio, repugnante natura, non favente coelo.' Erasmus, Adagia. Minerva was the goddess of wisdom.

6. MERDAS] It has been well pointed out that the use of so coarse a word is foreign to Erasmus, whose writings, though often free, are marked by a delicacy unusual in his age; and that he is therefore probably alluding to the compositions of his correspondent, who knew no such restrictions, e.g. in his Querela Parrhisiensis pavimenti.

7. UT ... PEREAT] A wish.

9. ALATIS] Like Mercury, the messenger of the gods, who for his journeys attached winged sandals to his feet.

10. Daedalus was a mythical artificer who constructed the labyrinth for Minos, king of Crete; but being detained there against his will, he made wings for himself and his son Icarus and flew away to Sicily.

21. Solon (c. 638-558), the Athenian lawgiver, is said to have bound the people with an oath to observe his laws until he returned; and then to have absented himself from Athens for ten years.

23. PROPEDIEM] Erasmus was expecting to return to Paris in the summer of 1499. His visit to Oxford was only undertaken to fill an interval during which he was detained in England.



V

[This incident occurred in the autumn of 1499. Erasmus was staying on an estate belonging to Lord Mountjoy at Greenwich, and was visited one day by Thomas More with a friend Arnold from London. In the course of a walk they came to Eltham Palace ('a castle situated between two parks,' as it is described by two ambassadors in 1514), the splendid banqueting hall of which is still standing, and there paid their respects to the royal children with their tutor, John Skelton, the poet. Arthur, Prince of Wales, was then absent with his father: but the young Prince Henry, afterwards Henry VIII, received the friends gracefully. They stayed to dine in the hall, but apparently not at the 'high table'. The narrative is found in a Catalogue of Erasmus' writings composed in 1523.]

7. ANIMI CAUSA] Relaxation to the mind rather than exercise for the body was the object of the walk.

12. NOVEM] Henry was little more than 8, having been born on 2 June 1491; Margaret was born on 29 Nov. 1489 and was therefore not yet 11. The other ages given are correct. Inaccuracy in such trifling matters need not surprise us, seeing that Erasmus was writing more than twenty years after the visit.

16. IACOBO] James IV of Scotland, who was killed at Flodden, 9 Sept. 1513.

17. Mary afterwards became Queen of France by her marriage with Louis XII in 1514.

26. vel here intensifies the word that follows. It is often so used with superlatives.



VI

[A letter written to Lord Mountjoy, who had intended to join Erasmus in Oxford, but had been prevented by a summons to attend in Westminster Hall on 21 Nov. 1499, for the trial of the Earl of Warwick in connexion with the rising of Perkin Warbeck.]

6. John Colet (c. 1466-1519) was now lecturing in Oxford. For his influence on Erasmus see X; and Mr. Seebohm's Oxford Reformers.

Richard Charnock was Prior of St. Mary's College in Oxford; the Augustinian house, in which Erasmus was living. It is now practically demolished.

9. HORATIUS] Ep. 2. 1. 63:

Interdum vulgus rectum videt, est ubi peccat.

11. CUIUS] sc. vulgi.

12, 3. nostro illo ingressu] Erasmus' arrival at Oxford; which for some reason seems to have been discouraging.

35. TUM ... TUM] A post-Augustan construction, for which Cicero uses cum ... tum.



VII

[A letter written to describe a dinner-party in a College hall in Oxford; possibly at Magdalen, to which Colet, who was presiding, is thought to have belonged. With the exception of Charnock, the other guests mentioned have not been identified. The letter is to be dated in Nov. 1499; Sixtin, to whom it is addressed, was a Dutchman resident in Oxford. The manuscript in which Erasmus pretended to have found this story of Cain is, of course, fictitious.]

TIT. DOMINO] The title of a Bachelor of Arts.

2. CONVIVIO] 'Bene maiores nostri accubitionem epularem amicorum, quia vitae coniunctionem haberet, convivium nominarunt, melius quam Graeci qui hoc idem compotationem (symposium) vocant.' Cic. Sen. 13, 45.

6. Epicurus (342-270) was a Greek philosopher, who is traditionally but wrongly regarded as having taught that pleasure is the end of life.

7. CONDITUM] condi[*]tum, not condi[*]tum.

[* i.e. long 'i', not short. Transcriptor.]

Pythagoras (sixth cent. B.C.) was one of the greatest Greek philosophers.

20, 1. LAEVUM LATUS CLAUSIMUS] The left side was regarded as more exposed to attack than the right, which had the sword-arm. It was therefore a compliment to place oneself to the left of a friend, as though to protect him in case of need. Here nothing more is meant than that Erasmus sat on the Theologian's left.

25. POCULENTUM] connected with the wine-cups.

36. ALIUD] sc. quam solebat.

37. MAIORQUE] cf. Verg. Aen. 6. 49-51, of the Sibyl:

maiorque videri, Nec mortale sonans, adflata est numine quando Iam propiore dei.'

53. LEGERE] When the narrator is an eyewitness, the present infinitive is usual, even of past time.

80. RHOMPHAEA] a sword; the Septuagint word.

97. OMNIIUGA] This word is not classical; but multiiugus, 'manifold' (literally, of many yoked together, cf. biiugus, quadriiugus), is common.

110. QUID] 'for what purpose?'

129. ID GENUS] An adjectival accusative, equivalent to genitive of quality; cf. virile secus.

133. CULMI] The stalks of Cain's fine crops.



VIII

[A letter to an English friend, Robert Fisher, who had been a pupil of Erasmus in Paris in 1497 and had then gone to study law in Italy.]

4. IN EA...REGIONE] Italy was at this time regarded as being, and in fact was, more advanced than the rest of Europe in classical learning and refinement. In consequence to visit Italy was the ambition of every scholar.

SIS] In classical Latin when two reasons are given, of which one is denied and the other affirmed, the verb in the affirmation is usually in the indicative.

26. Wm. Grocin (c. 1416-1519) was one of the first to teach Greek in Oxford. He was now resident in London.

28. Thos. Linacre (c. 1460-1524) was an Oxford scholar who had recently returned from Italy and was now in London. He afterwards became one of the first physicians of his age.



IX

[A letter describing Erasmus' journey to Paris on his return from England in 1500. On 27 Jan. he was at Dover, whence he crossed to Boulogne. He went then to Tournehem Castle and after spending two nights with Batt set out for Paris. He reached Amiens in the afternoon of 31 Jan., started on with horses the same evening and slept at an unnamed village. On 1 Feb. he passed to the west of Clermont and slept at St. Julien (?), reaching St. Denis and Paris on 2 Feb.]

2. VIGILIAS] Writings, composed doubtless by the 'midnight oil'; in which Erasmus rightly considered his wealth to lie.

7. LUSIMUS] 'met.'

8. CRETIZAVIMUS] 'We behaved like a Cretan.' Cf. the English saying 'to give tit for tat'. Erasmus means that he gave the messenger full measure of conversation in return.

9. ANGLICA FATA] when preparing to leave England Erasmus had L20 in his pocket. But a law of Edward III, re-enacted by Henry VII, forbade the exportation of silver and gold; and in consequence all but L2 was taken from him in the Dover custom-house. This very real calamity he had of course related to Batt at Tournehem.

13. AEOLUM] Cf. III. 5 n.

21. Mercury was the god of traders and thieves. Cf. Ovid. Fasti 5. 673 seq.

QUOQUE] quo[*]que, not quo[*]que.

[* i.e. long 'o', not short. Transcriptor.]

26. DIVO IULIANO] There is no village of St. Julien which satisfies the required conditions. Juilly (Iuliacum) between Dammartin and Meaux is perhaps intended.

44. IUGULOS] iugulum, neuter, is the common form.

45. VICTIMAE] Predicative Dative of purpose.

51. obolere is only used intransitively in post-Augustan Latin.

55. MECUM] sc. reputo.

CICERONIANUM] Brut. 80. 278.

60. QUASNAM] Money of what country or of what coinage. The common difficulty of travellers was then increased by the variety of coinages in circulation within the same country. A further trouble was that through use or 'clipping' one coin might differ from another of the same value; and 'light' coins were always liable to be weighed and refused.

65. POSTULATUM] A particular kind of florin. Mr. Shilleto suggests that the name is connected with pistolet (or pistole), a French coin of this period.

67. SCUTATUM] A crown, Fr. ecu; in l. 136 one of these is specified.

74. ACCEDEBANT] At this point the narrative reverts to 31 Jan. It is resumed again at l. 128.

88. CORONATI AUREI] gold crowns.

91. VACUAM] A ruse to pretend that the purse was hardly worth keeping.

96. RELIGIONI] 31 Jan. 1500 was a Friday; a day commonly observed by fasting.

100. SIBILIS] 'in whispers.'

107-8. AD LAEVAM] sc. manum.

111. SICUT MEUS, &c.] Hor. Sat. l. 9. 1, 2.

118. HUC] Apparently not the house mentioned in l. 114.

119, 20. QUOD ... ACCEPTUS FUISSEM] me acceptum fuisse would be more usual.

144. CEDO] ce[*]do, not ce[*]do.

[* i.e. short 'e', not long. Transcriptor.]

151. VIRGINIA MATRIS PURGATIO] The Feast of the Purification; 2 Feb.

179, 80. QUID MULTA?] sc. dicam.

186. GALLICE] sc. loqui.

201. DONEC] lit. 'until'; here marks the final action to be taken, when any suspicions on the part of their companions had been allayed.

INDUSIATI] Strictly 'wearing an under-garment' (indusium); so here 'partially dressed'.

217. HORA NOCTIS UNDECIMA] About 5 a.m.; according to the Roman reckoning, in which the day began at sunrise.

219. QUID MULTIS?] sc. verbis opus est.

228. EXISTIMARET] An example of 'contamination', i.e. the combination, through confusion of thought, of two constructions, either of which would be correct. The idea in the robber's mind here could be expressed equally well by 'nisi quod nos quam pecuniosissimi essemus', the subjunctive indicating not a fact but only his opinion; or by 'nisi quod nos quam pecuniosissimos esse existimabat', where the opinion is definitely stated. By 'contamination' with essemus, existimabat is put into the subjunctive. Cf. Cic. Off. l. 13 'Rediit paulo post, quod se oblitum nescio quid diceret'.

230. MINUSCULUM] 'Just too small a sum.'

233. DUODENARIOS] Coins worth 12 pence; douzains.

234. divum Dionysium] St. Denis, 4-1/2 miles from Paris: which seems to have been regarded as practically the end of the journey.

235. LANCES] Cf. l. 60 n.

258. PONDERI] The weight used in the scales; not as in l. 256.

264. IN HIS] 'in these modern coins.'

268. INTELLEGERET] Cf. l. 228 n.

272. NIMIS QUAM] quam strengthens nimis, as freq. in Plautus.

291. AD SACRUM] To mass, in the monastery opposite.



X

[A letter written from Paris in the winter of 1504, after Erasmus had returned from two years' sojourn in the Netherlands. The influence exerted upon him by Colet in Oxford five years before is clearly shown.]

14. PERSUASERIM] Cf. I. 1 n.

19. NIHIL DUM] 'nothing as yet.' Cf. nondum.

TUARUM COMMENTATIONUM] Colet had been lecturing on the Epistles of St. Paul, at the time of Erasmus' visit to Oxford. Cf. XXIV. 308, 9.

23. The precise date of Colet's D.D. is not known. He was now administering the Deanery of St. Paul's, though he did not actually receive it until May 1505.

31. VELIS EQUISQUE] 'id est summa vi summoque studio.' Erasmus, Adagia.

41. AD ROMANOS] Cf. XVI. 183, 4. Never completed.

49. Origen (fl. 230 A.D.) was one of the Greek Fathers of the Church. Erasmus was engaged on an edition of his works at the time of his death in 1536.

50. evolvere, to unroll, is the classical word for opening and reading a book; belonging to the days when books were rolls (volumina) of papyrus.

54. LUCUBRATIUNCULAS] Erasmus published a volume with this title in 1503 or 1504. Its contents are sufficiently indicated here. One of them was the Enchiridion Militis Christiani, which was a manual of practical Christianity; its title, which may mean either 'dagger' or 'handbook', being perhaps intentionally ambiguous.

68. Erasmus had recently published a Panegyric, which he had delivered at Brussels on 6 Jan. 1504 in the presence of Philip, Archduke of Austria, and son of the Emperor Maximilian, congratulating the Archduke on the success of his recent journey to Spain; to the thrones of which he was, through his wife, the heir apparent.

103. INSCRIPTUM] The Adagia were dedicated to Mountjoy.

106. STUDIO] 'intentionally.'

124. Christopher Fisher was an English lawyer in the service of the Papal Court: who was at this time resident in Paris.



XI

[This incident occurred in January 1506, when Erasmus was paying his second visit to England. It is narrated in 1523, in the catalogue of Erasmus' writings, from which V is taken.]

3. LOVANII] During the years 1502-4.

4. PHILELPHUS] Francesco Filelfo (1398-1481) an Italian humanist. Erasmus was incited to attempt the translation by Filelfo's example, not by any direct communication.

6. tum reverts back to the tum in l. 3, after the digression.

7. PALUDANUS] John Desmarais (?), Public Orator of Louvain University.

9, 10. MONTIBUS ... AUREIS] 'Proverbialis hyperbole de iis qui immensa promittunt spesque amplissimas ostentant,' Erasmus. Adagia.

17. CANTUARIENSI] Warham. See XXII and XXIII.

25. REDIMUS] From Lambeth to London.

38, 9. NOSTRAE FAIRINAE] 'nostri gregis, nostrae conditionis.' Erasmus, Adagia. Farina is lit. 'meal': so 'substance'; so 'quality '.

41. BADIO] Josse Bade, a Paris printer.

42. The Iphigenia in Aulis is another play by Euripides.

44. UNAM] sc. fabulam.



XII

[A letter written in 1507 to the famous printer Aldus (1449-1515) proposing a new edition of the translations from Euripides mentioned in XI. Aldus assented and the book appeared in Dec. 1507.]

2. UTRIQUE] Greek and Latin.

7. VOLITATURUS] Cf. Ennius in Cic. Tusc. 1. 15. 34:

Nemo me lacrimis decoret nec funera fletu Faxit. Cur? Volito vivu' per ora virum.

20. Paul of Aegina was a Greek writer on medicine, whose works were much esteemed in the sixteenth century.

27. William Latimer (c. 1460-1545) was an Oxford scholar of great fame in his own day. He had recently been studying in Italy.

28. Cuthbert Tunstall (1474-1559) was a scholar and lawyer, who after discharging important embassies was made Bishop of London in 1522, and Bishop of Durham in 1530. He also had been studying in Italy shortly before this time.

33. Badius' edition had been published in Sept. 1506.

38, 9. Cf. Soph. Ajax 362, 3:

[Greek: Euphaema phonei mae kakon kako didous Akos, pleon to paema taes ataes tithei.]

41. MINUTIORIBUS ILLIS] The famous 'italic' type, first cast for Aldus, and said to have been modelled on the handwriting of Politian, the Italian humanist.

54. MERCURIUS] Cf. IX. 21 n.



XIII

[An extract from a letter written in 1531 to an inmate of a Venetian monastery, St. Antonio in Castello. It describes an interview which Erasmus had with Cardinal Grimani in 1509, just before leaving Rome to return to England. Grimani, who was one of the most influential cardinals at that time, resided in a palace built by Paul II—now the Palazzo di Venezia—near the Church of St. Mark. On his death in 1523 he left his valuable library to the monastery above-mentioned: whence it has passed into the Library of St. Mark's at Venice.]

12. UT TUM ABHORREBAM] This clause is explanatory of tandem.

15. MUSCA] A figurative expression, meaning 'the slightest sign'. Cf. 'as big as a bee's knee', of something small.

55. ERAM RELICTURUS] = reliquissem. An idiomatic use with the future participle. Cf. Livy 1. 40 'Gravior ultor caedis, si superesset, rex futurus erat'.



XIV

[An extract from a letter dated 29 Oct. 1511 to Colet, who was then engaged on the foundation of St. Paul's School, and had asked Erasmus to make inquiries at Cambridge for a suitable under-master.]

2. MAGISTROS] sc. artium.

19. NOS RELIQUIMUS] Matt. 19. 27.



XV

[An extract from a letter written to a French scholar in 1532 from Freiburg. It describes Erasmus' meeting with Cardinal Canossa, who had been sent to London by the Pope in June 1514 to endeavour for peace between England and France. Andrew Ammonius, who arranged the meeting, was an Italian who held the important post of Latin Secretary to Henry VIII, and was endowed with a Canonry in St. Stephen's Palace at Westminster, on the site of the present Houses of Parliament. He was an intimate friend of Erasmus, and as Canon had an official residence in St. Stephen's, on the banks of the Thames.]

1. IMMORTALITATI] By dedicating a book to him.

5. CULTU PROFANO] In the dress of a layman; instead of in his proper ecclesiastical garb.

14. PERSUASUS] An ante-classical use.

16. praesedit] 'took precedence of me in sitting down'.

37. ITALI] There were many Italian merchants and agents resident in London at this time.

58. PERTRAXERAT] Cf. XIII. 55 n.

62. DIRIMIT] Cuts the house off from neighbouring buildings, i.e. surrounds it.

63. OFFICII CAUSA] As a polite attention.

65. REDIRE] to London.

67. APERIT ... FABULAE SCENAM] Draws the curtain, i.e. discloses the facts.

70. SURDO] Cf. II. 53 n.



XVI

[When Erasmus became famous, a friend of his early days at Steyn, Servatius Rogerus, who had now risen to be Prior, wrote to him reproaching him for having abandoned the dress of his order and urging him to return to the monastery. The letter reached Erasmus in July 1514, when he was on his way to Basel and was staying a few days at Hammes Castle, an important military post in the English dominion near Calais, of which his old patron, Lord Mountjoy, was lieutenant. In reply Erasmus wrote an 'apologia pro vita sua', giving an account of himself and stating his reasons for the belief that he could make better use of his talents if he remained free. It is an important and confidential document; and Erasmus therefore never published it. But copies of it were being circulated in manuscript many years before his death.]

17. Cornelius, of Woerden, to the north of Gouda, was a school-friend of Erasmus. He had entered the monastery of Steyn and persuaded Erasmus to follow his example.

24. QUARUM ISTIC NULLUS USUS] This must not be taken to mean that good learning was unknown to the monastery; for Erasmus read a great deal in the classics at Steyn; but that a monastery was not a suitable home for a scholar.

40. ANNUM PROBATIONIS] The constitutions of the Augustinian Order provided that a novice could not make his profession as a Canon until he had completed his sixteenth year and had passed at least a year and a day in probation.

74. CALCULO] Stone in the bladder.

84. CONFRATRES] Brother belonging to the same order.

100. CONCANONICOS] fellow-canons. The word is appropriate here as Steyn was a house of Augustinian canons.

104. SOLONIS] Cf. IV. 21 n.

Pythagoras (cf. VII. 7 n.) travelled in Egypt and the East in search of knowledge, and ultimately settled in Magna Graecia. By birth he was a native of Samos.

Plato (c. 429-347) after the death of Socrates in 399 travelled in Egypt, Sicily, and Magna Graecia.

120. HIC IPSE] Leo X, who was Pope 1513-21.

135. ELEEMOSYNARIO] almoner. Wolsey (c. 1475-1530) now held this post, and was also Bishop of Lincoln.

136. REGINA] Catharine of Aragon.

145. SACERDOTIUM] The living of Aldington in Kent was given to Erasmus by Warham in March 1512. It was worth L33 6s. 8d. yearly; but after a few months Erasmus was allowed to resign, an annual pension of L20 being charged on the living and paid to him.

175. Erasmus' De Copia, first published in July 1512, was a treatise designed to assist the beginner in Latin composition by supplying him with variety of words and abundance of phrases.

178. CASTIGAVI] 'I have produced a critical edition of.'

180. OBELIS] The critical marks [Symbols: obelus, obelus] used to denote suspected passages in texts.

IUGULAVI] 'I have disposed of', lit. 'have cut their throats'.

201. CULTU CANONICORUM] The proper dress of an Augustinian canon consisted of a 'tunica candida cum linea toga sub nigro pallio. Tegumentum a scapulis impositum cervicem totumque contegit caput'.

215. THESAURARII FILIOS] Matthias and Mark Lauweryn, sons of the Archduke Philip's Treasurer; who were studying at Bologna in 1507. Mark afterwards became an intimate friend of Erasmus.

218. Julius II was Pope, 1503-13.

228. admonitus sum is followed here first by a statement and then by a piece of advice.

251. APUD MONACHAS ALIQUAS] Convents of nuns require a resident priest to conduct their services. These posts, the work of which was light, were usually given to monks advanced in years. Servatius himself in later life retired in this way to a convent of Augustinian nuns near Leiden.

253. NIHIL MOROR] The technical formula of dismissal, either of persons receiving an audience, or of an accused person when the charge against him is withdrawn. Then, by transference, 'I do not detain to make inquiries about,' 'I do not care about.'

268. PASCHA] Easter, 16 April 1514. In calculating dates the Romans reckoned inclusively, so that the tertius dies is Tuesday.



XVII

[An extract from a letter written in September 1514. On his way to Basel Erasmus passed through Strasburg, where he was welcomed with enthusiasm, especially by the Literary Society, of which James Wimpfeling, a native of Schlettstadt, was head. After his departure the Society, through Wimpfeling, wrote him a formal letter of welcome into Germany, to which this letter is the reply.]

6. CANTHAROS] casks.

8. John Sapidus (a Latinized form of Witz) was headmaster of the Latin school at Schlettstadt, which was one of the most important in South Germany.

15. Beatus Rhenanus (1485-1547) became a most faithful friend to Erasmus, working as his coadjutor in many of his publications.

44, 5. DE EODEM ... OLEO] A proverbial phrase for an uninterrupted effort. For the combination cf. oleum et operam perdere, to lose time (literally, light) and trouble.

46. liceat represents a slight change of mental attitude as to the condition being fulfilled.

62. CIRCUMFERUNT, &c.] The subjunctive would be more usual.



XVIII

[A letter written in 1516 at the close of a visit to England, when Erasmus was preparing to settle in the Netherlands. Reuchlin, to whom it is addressed, was the first Hebrew scholar in Europe at this time. The testimony in the final paragraph to the progress of learning in England is valuable, inasmuch as it is not written to an Englishman.]

3. ROFFENSIS] John Fisher (c. 1459-1535) had been a constant patron to Erasmus. He had been confessor to the Lady Margaret Tudor, mother of Henry VII; and through his influence she had used her wealth to endow learning, founding Professorships of Divinity at Oxford and Cambridge, and two colleges—Christ's in 1506 and St. John's which was opened in 1516—at Cambridge. Fisher became Bishop of Rochester and Chancellor of Cambridge in 1504, and was President of Queens' College, Cambridge, 1505-8.

7. PRO MEA VIRILI] sc. parte.

12. VENANTUR] It was evidently considered quite decorous for a bishop to hunt. Warham's abstinence from the chase, which is commended in XXII and XXIII, was clearly exceptional.

28. CALAMORUM NILOTICORUM] pens made from the reeds that grow on the banks of the Nile. Reed-pens from Cyprus were also in demand at this time.

30. POSSIS] Si ... sunt is not the protasis.

38. AD MEAM EPISTOLAM] in which Erasmus asked permission to dedicate his edition of Jerome to the Pope. It was dated 21 May 1515 from London; and Leo's reply 10 July 1515 from Rome.

44. UTERQUE CARDINALIS] Grimani and another, to whom Erasmus had written on the same subject.

46. Pace (c. 1482-1536), a scholar and diplomatist, who succeeded Colet as Dean of St. Paul's in 1519, and was now ambassador (oratorem gerere).

49. ET HIERONYMUM] as well as the New Testament. Jerome was dedicated to Warham.

51. CAROLUS] The young prince Charles, who afterwards succeeded his grandfather Ferdinand as king of Spain in 1517, and his grandfather Maximilian as the Emperor Charles V in 1519. He was now governing the Netherlands.

PRAEBENDAM] A canonry at Courtray.

55. ARCHIEPISCOPUS] Warham.

57. OMNIA SUA] Cf. XXIII. 24.

70. PHILIPPUM] Probably Melanchthon (1497-1560), who was Reuchlin's great-nephew. Erasmus evidently wished that he should be sent to St. John's.



XIX

[This letter, written to a familiar friend at Basel, describes Erasmus' journey down the Rhine to the Netherlands in September 1518; after a few months' residence in Basel, during which a beginning had been made with the second edition of the New Testament.]

5. DISTENTUS] from distineo.

10. ILLI] sc. caupones.

13. Gallinarius was the parish-priest of Breisach and an old friend of Erasmus.

15. MINORITAM] A name for a Franciscan; formed from the humble style adopted by the Order, 'Fratres Minores.'

17. SCOTICAM] worthy of Scotus; cf. XXIV. 27 n.

22. HORAM ... DECIMAM] Erasmus is here using the modern, and not the Roman reckoning; for which cf. IX. 217 n.

23. AD ILLORUM CLEPSYDRAS] sc. usque ad multam noctem: not being allowed to rise from table, to go to bed.

30. SODALITATIS] The Literary Society over which Wimpfeling presided. Cf. XVII introduction.

35. ANGLUS EQUUS] A horse given him by an English friend.

39. Maternus Hatten was precentor of the cathedral at Spires.

45. CAESARIS] The Emperor Maximilian.

53. PROFESSUS EST] taught, was professor.

71. PRAEFECTUS] Cf. XVI. 251 n.

73. OFFICIALIS] legal adviser, chancellor.

83. DIE DOMINICO] Sunday: Ital. Domani, Fr. Dimanche.

91. COMITEM NOVAE AQUILAE] Hermann, Count of Neuenahr (Germ. Aar, a poetical name for an eagle).

99. HOMERUS] Il. 3. 214.

107. TOTIES OFFERT] Cf. XVI. 135-6.

123. HESIODUS] I have not been able to find this phrase in Hesiod. Erasmus is perhaps unconsciously contaminating Sc. 149 with Hom. Od. 17. 322-3.

130. QUANTUS, &c.] Hor. Epod. 10. 7, 8.

148. PERIODUS] 'a round'; apparently the canons dined with one another in turn.

193. VEL MANU CONTACTA] 'with a mere touch of my hand.'

211. CUBICULUM] Erasmus had a room in the College du Lis at Louvain.

226. HEBRAEUM] A Jewish physician.

268. LAURINUS] Cf. XVI. 215 n.

291. POETAE] Cf. Hor. C. 3. 24. 31-2.



XX

[A letter to Erasmus' old friend and patron.]

10. WINTONIENSEM] Richard Foxe (c. 1448-1528), a powerful statesman and ecclesiastic. He founded Corpus Christi College at Oxford in 1516 to be the home of the Renaissance.

13. EBORACENSIS] In 1518 Wolsey, who was now Archbishop of York and Cardinal, founded six public Lectureships in Oxford, Theology, Humanity, Rhetoric and Canon Law being among the subjects on which lectures were provided.

14. SCHOLA] the University.

18. ROFFENSI] Cf. XVIII. 3 n.

28. TUAE CELSITUDINI] as we should say, 'your Lordship.'

32. CONFLICTANDUM] in repelling attacks made on his edition of the New Testament.

34. HOMERICA] Cf. Il. 1. 194 seq.



XXI

[An account of an explosion of gunpowder which took place in Basel in Sept. 1526. The correspondent to whom the letter is addressed was Principal of Busleiden's Collegium trilingue at Louvain.]

1. AFRICA] An allusion to the proverb, 'Semper Africa novi aliquid apportat.' Erasmus' Africa here is the city of Basel, where religious innovations were already beginning.

21. GIGANTUM MOLES] When they tried to scale the heights of heaven by piling Mt. Pelion on Mt. Ossa.

22. Salmoneus was a presumptuous Thessalian who invented thunder and lightning of his own, and was killed by Jupiter as a punishment.

Ixion was the king of the Lapithae who was bound upon an ever-revolving wheel as punishment for having affronted Juno.

26. FLORENTIAE] When the bellicose Pope Julius II was attacking Bologna in the autumn of 1506, Erasmus took refuge at Florence.

28. TONABAT] Impersonal.

58. PULVERIS BOMBARDICI] 'gunpowder.'

62, 3. RIMAS ... SPECULATORIAS] 'loopholes.'

65. ESSET ONERI FERENDO] Dative of Purpose; cf. solvendo esse, to be solvent.

80. LATERIS] sc. turris.

107. MEDIUM UNGUEM] The middle finger was regarded as 'the finger of scorn'.

111. CORYBANTES] The priests of Cybele, the mother of the gods, whose worship was conducted with a great noise of musical instruments.

114. NOSTRA TYMPANA] This playful protest indicates that there was a growing fashion of celebrating festive occasions with a din of drums and trumpets. It doubtless embodies also the dislike of the scholar for anything that disturbed his quiet.

ANAPAESTIS] The rataplan and rat-tat of the drum are compared to the metric feet, the anapaest ([Symbols: arsis, arsis, thesis] and the pyrrhic ([Symbols: arsis, arsis]).

121. CELEBRITAS] abstract for concrete.

130. TONITRUI] This form occurs in the Vulgate; but in classical Latin the singular follows the fourth declension.



XXII

[This and the following extract are to some extent coincident, but each contributes something to the picture of Warham which the other has not. Both were written in 1533, shortly after Warham's death, XXII in the first book of the Ecclesiastes (see p. 15[*]), which was begun some time before it was published; XXIII as a new preface for an edition of Jerome which was being printed in Paris.

[* At the end of LIFE OF ERASMUS. Transcriptor.]

William Warham (c. 1450-1532) was an eminent lawyer before he received ecclesiastical preferment. He was Master of the Rolls 1494-1502, Bishop of London 1501, Archbishop of Canterbury 1503, Lord Chancellor of England 1504-15, and Chancellor of Oxford University from 1506 until his death. In the severance of the English Church from Rome he was an unwilling agent to Henry VIII.]

8. IURIS UTRIUSQUE] The two branches of law, civil and canon (or church).

34. VENATUI] Cf. XVIII. 12 n.

48. A CENIS] See p. 157. [ADDITIONAL NOTES at the end of this text. Transcriptor.]

66. IBI] in England.

79, 80. FUIT ... EST] The subjunctive would be grammatically regular, but in both cases the indicative is used to express a fact independent of any condition.

82. ESSET] The subjunctive expresses the ground of the refusal.

84. PRAESTARE] Cf. l. 100 and oratorem gerere, XVIII. 47.

93. CUI RESIGNARAM] John Thornton, Suffragan Bishop of Dover, who was appointed to succeed Erasmus on 31 July 1512. Cf. XVI. 145 n.

94. a suffragiis] A suffragan. This form was common in late Latin for the designation of an office; cf. ab epistolis, a secretary; a libellis, a notary; a cubiculis, a poculis.

95. IUVENEM] Richard Masters, appointed in Nov. 1514. He was afterwards involved in the affair of the 'Holy Maid of Kent' and was deprived in 1534.

101. METROPOLITANUS] The title of an archbishop as head of an ecclesiastical province. All the bishops in his province are suffragans to him.



XXIII

5. CONCINNATUS] i.e. compositus.

16. CHARTIS] 'playing-cards.' An Act of 1463 forbade the importation of them into England; Foxe's statutes for C.C.C. Oxford (XX. 10 n.), dated 1517, prohibit the use 'chartarum pictarum (cardas nuncupant)'.

24. COMMUNIONEM] Cf. XVIII. 57-8.

32. PRO MORE REGIONIS] The following extracts from Erasmus' writings show the reputation of the English at this time in the matter of entertainment: 'Angli ostentatores': 'miramur si quis videat frugalem Anglum': 'asscribo Anglis lautas mensas et formam.'

33. VULGARIBUS] sc. cibis.

38. HOLOSERICIS] sc. vestibus. Similarly byssinis ac damascenis, l. 44.

40. CONVENTUM] This took place in July 1520, shortly after Henry's meeting with Francis I at Ardres, known as the 'Field of the Cloth of Gold '.

41. UNDECIM] Erasmus' memory for dates was uncertain.

42. EBORACENSIS] Wolsey.



XXIV

[A letter written in 1521 from Anderlecht, a suburb of Brussels, to Jodocus Jonas, a member of the University of Erfurt, and afterwards one of the followers of Luther. Jonas had asked for a sketch of the life of Colet, who had died on 16 Sept. 1519; and Erasmus in reply sent this letter, to convey some impression of the man to whom he felt himself to owe so much. With it he coupled a slighter sketch of another friend, also dead, in whose character he traced much the same features as he had admired in Colet. Very little is known of Vitrarius beyond the information contained in this letter; without which our knowledge of Colet and also of Henry VIII—the 'divine young king', as he was often called in these early years—would not be so full as it is.]

2. PAUCIS] sc. verbis.

17. ORDINIS FRANCISCANI] The order of friars founded by St. Francis of Assisi (1182-1226).

18. ADOLESCENS INCIDERAT] Here and in l. 38 Erasmus is clearly thinking of the circumstances under which he himself had embraced the monastic life (see p. 8[*]). His strong bias against monasticism, which is very evident throughout this piece, often makes him unjust in his representations of it.

[* At the beginning of LIFE OF ERASMUS. Transcriptor.]

27. SCOTICAS ARGUTIAS] An unflattering allusion to the philosophy of John Duns Scotus (the Scot), who was one of the leaders of mediaeval thought; fl. 1300.

30. Ambrose, Bishop of Milan (died 397) was—with Jerome, Leo, and Gregory—one of the four great Doctors of the Latin Church. Cyprian (died 257) was also one of the Latin Fathers.

50. OFFENDICULO] Cf. 1 Cor. 8. 9.

55. UNGUES] Cf. Juv. 7. 232.

56. DEDISSES] A conditional clause; the condition being expressed by placing the verb first, without si. Cf. Verg, Aen. 6. 31 'Partem opere in tanto, sineret dolor, Icare, haberes'; or in English such forms as 'Give him an inch, he will take an ell'.

68. DIVIDEBAT] Mr. Lupton, who has edited this letter, gives an example of this chilling method of division and subdivision, from a sermon on the Son of the Widow of Nain. 'Death is first divided into (1) the natural, (2) the sinful, (3) the spiritual, (4) the eternal. Of these 1 is further classified as (a) general, (b) dreadful, (c) fearful, (d) terrible. 2 is next compared to 1 in respect of four common instruments of natural death, that is to say, (e) the sword, (f) fire, (g) missiles, (h) water; and so on, to the end. This is no exaggerated specimen.'

81. Thomas of Aquino (1225-1274) was, like Duns Scotus, one of the leading mediaeval philosophers.

Durandus (c. 1230-1296) was a French writer on canon law and liturgical questions.

IURIS UTRIUSQUE] Cf. XXII. 8 n.

83. CENTONES] cento is lit. a patchwork, such as a quilt. The term was then applied to a kind of composition which came into fashion in later classical times and was very popular in the Middle Ages. It was made by stringing together detached lines and parts of lines from an author into a complete whole with a definite subject. Such centos were often made from Vergil and on Christian themes; but the term is probably used here for collections of texts from the Bible or the Fathers.

118. Ghisbertus was town-physician of St. Omer and a friend of Erasmus.

119. UTRIUSQUE SCHOLAE] 'of each party, or class.'

122. VIRTUTES] The Vulgate word, which in the English Bible is regularly translated 'mighty works'.

143. SODALI] As a safeguard against scandal the Franciscan rule prescribed that no brother should go outside the monastery without another brother as companion.

152. HILARI DATORE] Cf. 2 Cor. 9. 7.

154. Antony of Bergen, Abbot of St. Bertin's at St. Omer, was brother of the Bishop of Cambray, Henry of Bergen, to whom Erasmus had been secretary on leaving Steyn. This incident occurred in 1502, the only year in which Erasmus was at St. Bertin's in Lent.

157. QUADRAGESIMAE] Lent, the first day of which was roughly the fortieth before Easter. Cf. Septuagesima, Sexagesima, and Quinquagesima Sundays; where the calculation is again only approximate.

163. OMITTERES] Si must be understood from nisi faceres.

165. IUBILAEO] The faithful were encouraged to make pilgrimage to Rome in years of Jubilee, those that did so receiving the Jubilee Indulgence. The offerings made in return for these became so fruitful a source of revenue that successive Popes were tempted to reduce the interval at which Jubilees recurred from a hundred years to fifty, then to thirty-three, and finally Paul II (1464-1471) to twenty-five. Erasmus' statement may be an incorrect attribution to Alexander VI (1493-1503) of the action of Paul II in halving the period of fifty years; or it may be an allusion to the custom of celebrating the Jubilee outside Rome in the second year. In any case the Jubilee of 1500 is referred to here. The practice also grew up of selling the Jubilee Indulgence away from Rome; and bishops used to purchase the rights in their own dioceses for a fixed sum, afterwards reimbursing themselves by collecting what they could through their own agents.

169. SORTEM] principal; the sum given by the bishop for the right to sell indulgences.

182. SIMONIACI] Cf. Acts 8. 18 seq. The sin of selling spiritual privileges was called simony.

188. AFFIXA EST] to the doors of the principal church, or to some equally public place.

195. EPISCOPUM MORINENSEM] The Bishop of Terouenne, whose title, Morinensis, was derived from the coincidence of his diocese with the territory of the Morini in classical times.

199. AURI SACRA FAMES] Cf. Verg. Aen. 3. 56, 7.

201. COLLEGERANT] sc. accusatores.

222. THYNNUM] a tunny-fish caught in their nets, i.e. a rich person from whom gifts might be extracted.

231. GUARDIANUM] Warden; the regular title of the head of a Franciscan community.

244. HUNC] The new warden; qui cupiebant being his former companions.

246. SUBOLESCERET] 'grew up'; i.e. came to be.

249. VIRGINUM] Cf. XVI. 251 n.

261. GEMMEUM] Probably an allusion to the resemblance between Vitrarius and Vitrum. The vernacular form of his name is not known. Mr. Lupton conjectures Vitrier; or perhaps it was Vitre.

269. STOICUM] used to denote a morose fellow. The Stoics were a school of Greek philosophers, founded by Zeno in the third century B.C. They practised great austerity of life.

275. PATER] Sir Henry Colet, Kt., was Lord Mayor of London in 1486 and again in 1495.

285. SCHOLASTICAE] of the 'schoolmen', Scotus, Aquinas, &c., who taught philosophy in the mediaeval universities.

287. SEPTEM ARTIUM] A course of education introduced in the sixth century. It was divided into the trivium, grammar, logic, and rhetoric; and the quadrivium, arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy.

290. Plotinus (died 262 A.D.) was the Founder of Neo-Platonism; which he taught in Rome.

296. DIONYSIO] The reference here is to some philosophical writings, which in the Middle Ages were regarded as the work of Dionysius the Areopagite, who is mentioned in Acts 17. 34 as a pupil of St. Paul. They are now attributed to an unknown writer in the fifth century A.D.

303. Dante (1265-1321) and Petrarch (1304-1374) are evidently mentioned here as masters of Italian poetry, not for their work as forerunners of the Renaissance. Mr. Lupton conjectures with probability that Gower (c. 1325-1408) and Chaucer (c. 1340-1400) are the English poets intended.

309. ENARRAVIT] 'lectured on'.

316. CODICIBUS] manuscripts or printed copies of the Epistles to refer to.

319. DOCTORIS TITULUS] Cf. X. 23 n.

324. COLLEGIO] Chapter.

337. SYMBOLUM FIDEI] the Creed.

366. Erasmus describes a visit with Colet to Canterbury in the Peregrinatio religionis ergo, one of the Colloquia.

383. St. Paul's School was founded in 1510-1.

389. PRIMUS INGRESSUS] The portion of the room first entered.

CATECHUMENOS] A Greek word denoting candidates for admission to the Christian religion, who were undergoing instruction before baptism: here, pupils just entered.

399. REM DIVINAM] Divine service, with the mass; cf. ll. 551 seq.

437. PARADOXIS] 'unusual.'

438. PROCELLIS] Cf. ll. 597 seq.

449. PUERO] Probably here 'a servant'.

459, 60. SUMPTO ... PUSILLO] This substantival use of a neuter adjective is confined in classical Latin to the nominative and accusative cases.

474. ALTERAM ... PARTEM] sc. epistolae; i.e. the sketch of Colet.

489. HUNC] The person intended here must be not Scotus but Aquinas, who is the author of the Catena Aurea, a continuous commentary on the Gospels. This violation of the ordinary rule that hic refers to the nearer of two persons mentioned is necessitated by the appropriation of ille to Colet.

493. AFFECTUUM] Mr. Lupton translates 'unction'.

511. DECIDIT] 'settled,' 'left.'

516. APUD ITALOS] Mr. Seebohm, Oxford Reformers, 3rd ed. p. 22, conjectures that these Italian monks may have been Savonarola and his companions.

519. GERMANOS] Mr. Lupton conjectures that the Order of the Brethren of the Common Life, founded at Deventer by Gerard Groot in 1384, may be here intended. If this is correct, there is significance in the use of residerent, marking Colet's opinion, instead of resident; which would make the statement Erasmus' own: for Erasmus had been for two years at a school kept by the Brethren in Hertogenbosch and had not a high opinion of them.

542. COLLEGIA] Colet's censure of the colleges in the English universities must apply to the older institutions founded before the Renaissance. Erasmus is probably recalling here some utterance of the days before the foundation of Christ's (1506) and St. John's (1516) at Cambridge, and Corpus Christi (1516) at Oxford.

544. SCHOLIS PUBLICIS] Mr. Lupton rightly interprets this of the 'schools' at the universities, in which public lectures were given; and shows that as the lecturer had to hire the 'school' for his lecture, the competition for fees would necessarily be keen. Cf. also l. 576. The term is also used at this period for a school maintained publicly by a town.

548. UT CONFESSIONEM] Cf. ll. 133 seq.

563. ANSIS OMNIBUS] Like a vessel made with handles on all sides, i.e. more than are necessary: 'at all points.'

570, 1. AD TERNIONES] into groups of three, in a Breviloquium dictorum Christi. Mr. Lupton instances the three words to Mary Magdalene in John 20. 15-7. Cf. also l. 619.

574. CULTUM ECCLESIASTICUM] public celebration of Divine Service.

598. EPISCOPO] Rich. Fitzjames, Bp. of London, 1506-22.

605. COLLEGII] The canons and other ecclesiastical officers together constituted St. Paul's a 'collegiate church'.

606. QUIRITABANTUR] 'lamented.' The verb is commonly active; but the deponent form is cited by a grammarian from Varro.

608. ORIENTATE MONASTERIUM] Mr. Lupton shows that St. Paul's was in old times a monastery; and suggests that Erasmus, whose information probably came from Colet, was thinking of a king of the East Saxons, who took the religious habit there. The name Eastminster seems, however, to have been applied not to St. Paul's, but to an abbey near the Tower.

615. CANTUARIENSEM] Warham: see XXII and XXIII.

619. ILLUD EX EVANGELIO] John 21. 15-7.

635. PACEM] Cf. Cic. Fam. 6. 6. 5.

636. ID ... TEMPORIS] This attack on Colet may be dated in Lent of either 1512 or 1513; for in each year preparations were being made for a war with France. It is not clear what interval of time is meant by Erasmus to have elapsed between this and the attack mentioned in ll. 655 seq. about Easter 1513.

637. MINORITAE DUO] Edmund Birkhead, Bishop of St. Asaph 15 April 1513—died April 1518)—cf. l. 687—and Henry Standish who succeeded him in the see.

639. IN POETAS] because Colet allowed classical Latin poetry to be read in his new school. The Church had always discouraged the study of the poets of antiquity, on the ground of the immoral character of many of their writings.

656. PASCHA] Easter, 27 March 1513. This incident can only be placed in 1513: because the expedition of 1512 started in the summer.

657. PARASCEVES] Good Friday: Gk. [Greek: Paraskeuae], the day of preparation before the sabbath of the Passover.

666. CONSISTERET] consistere means 'to take a stand with a person', 'to agree.' This impersonal use is not classical.

669. IULIOS] As Mr. Lupton points out, there can hardly fail to be an allusion here, not only to Julius Caesar, but also to the warlike Pope Julius II (1503-1513); whom Erasmus had seen entering Bologna as a conqueror in 1506 (cf. XXI. 26 n.). Similarly the name Alexander suggests not only 'the great Emathian conqueror', but Pope Alexander VI (l. 165 n.).

672. VELUT AD BUBONEM] sc. aves. Owls are frequently teased by flocks of small birds.

696. PRAEBIBIT] A compliment in days when poisoned cups were not unknown.

703. LUPI ... HIANTES] 'Dicebatur si quis re multum sperata multumque appetita frustratus discederet. Aiunt enim lupum praedae inhiantem rictu late diducto accurrere: qua si frustretur, obambulare hiantem.' Erasmus, Adagia.

715. IN EO GENERE] As a friar.

723. IN CANONEM] into the catalogue of martyrs and saints, i.e. to canonize.



XXV

[An anecdote of Colet related in a letter written in 1523 to give a sketch of a friend lately dead. The date of the incident is uncertain; but Erasmus' description of himself in l. 22 as 'hominem infelicissimum' points rather to the year 1506, when he was still struggling and had not as yet obtained the leisure he desired for his studies.]

4. DE LANA CAPRINA] Cf. Hor. Ep. 1. 18. 15, 6:

Alter rixatur de lana saepe caprina, Propugnat nugis armatus.

'a (tali) eventu natum apparet, contentiose decertantibus duobus utrum lanas haberet caper an setas.' Erasmus, Adagia.

DE ASINI ... UMBRA] 'de re nihili.' Erasmus, Adagia.

7. GUILHELMUM] Warham; see XXII and XXIII.

9. ENOHIRIDIO] Cf. X. 54 n.



XXVI

[A sketch of Thomas More, sent in reply to a request from Ulrich von Hutten, the celebrated German knight; written in 1519.

Thomas More (1477 or 1478-1535) was the son of Sir John More (c. 1453-1530), knight, and afterwards Judge of the King's Bench. He was a friend of Erasmus' earliest months in England (see V). Henry VII attached him to his court and sent him on many embassies, and he afterwards filled numerous offices; being Under-sheriff of London, Privy Councillor, Treasurer of the Exchequer, Speaker of the House of Commons, and in 1529 Lord Chancellor in succession to Wolsey. This office he resigned in 1532, feeling himself in opposition to Henry's ecclesiastical policy; and this opposition cost him his life.

He married in 1505 Jane Colt; and shortly after her death, probably in 1511, Alice Middleton.]

29. Apelles was a Greek painter of the fourth century B.C. Alexander the Great thought so highly of him that he would allow no one else to paint his portrait.

30. FULVII RUTUBAEQUE] The names of gladiators (cf. Hor. Sat. 2. 7. 96); who are taken here as types of the unskilled.

35. LEGATIO] i.e. if either More or Hutten should be sent on an embassy, which would bring them together.

66. OVIDIUS] A. A. l. 509 seqq.

67, 8. E CULMO] 'e culmo perspicitur spica demessa: etiam in sene apparet cuiusmodi fuerit iuvenis.' Erasmus, Adagia.

81. MOS] The custom of the loving-cup.

120. HESIODO] Op. 713:

[Greek: Maede poluxeinon maed' axeinon kaleesthai.]

141. 'Though he was young of years, yet would he at Christmastide suddenly sometimes step in among the players, and, never studying for the matter, make a part of his own there presently among them, which made the lookers-on more sport than all the players beside.' Life of More, by W. Roper, his son-in-law.

145. MORIAS ENCOMIUM] The Praise of Folly; see p. 11. [in the middle of LIFE OF ERASMUS, paragraph starting with 'As he rode hastily'. Transcriptor.]

146. CAMELUS SALTAREM] 'Ubi quis indecore quippiam facere conatur, camelum saltare dicebant: veluti si quis natura severus ac tetricus affectet elegans ac festivus videri, naturae genioque suo vim faciens.' Erasmus, Adagia.

154. Democritus of Abdera (c. 460-361), 'the laughing philosopher,' who is famed for having maintained his cheerfulness in spite of being blind.

182. ABSOLVI] to be finished, fully trained.

191. Augustine (died 430), Bishop of Hippo, was one of the Latin Fathers of the Church.

192. PROFESSUS EST] 'lectured on.'

209. PUELLAE TRES] tres is a correction, made in 1521, when this letter was printed a second time, for quatuor, which was doubtless a mistake. The names of the children are not added till 1529, in a third edition. Margaret (1505-1544) married about 1520 William Roper, who wrote a Life of More. She was her father's favourite and friend, the ties between them being very close. She corresponded in Latin with Erasmus; and one of her letters to him is extant.

The other children, born in 1506, 1507, and 1509, were less distinguished. The name of Aloysia is usually given as Elizabeth. Erasmus perhaps made a confusion with the name of More's second wife.

218. SEVERITUDINE] ante- and post-classical for severitate.

222. REM] 'household business.'

233. PATER IAM ALTERAM] This passage implies that Sir John More was already married to his third wife; and in the edition of 1521 Erasmus speaks of a 'tertia noverca'. Only three wives are mentioned in the Dict. of National Biography. Erasmus is perhaps in error.

240. ADVOCATIONIBUS] 'his practice as a barrister.'

250. DIE IOVIS] Thursday; Fr. Jeudi.

255. DRACHMAS] shillings.

261. LEGATIONEM] On one of these, in 1515, he wrote the Utopia (l. 312).

276, 7. FELICES RES PUBLICAS] An exclamatory accusative.

294. EXPROBRAT] sc. beneficium; i.e. casts up against a man a benefit conferred.

308. COMMUNITATEM] 'communism.'

310. ANTAGONISTAM] Erasmus accepted this challenge; and both wrote declamations in reply to Lucian.

312. The Utopia (i.e. Nowhere, Gk. [Greek: ou topos], sometimes called Nusquama) is a description, written in Latin, of an ideal commonwealth; in which More develops a number of very novel political ideas. The first book, which was written last, deals with the condition of England in his day; the description of Utopia occupying the second.

322. IN NUMERATO] 'in readiness.'

344. TORQUATIS] an epithet regularly used by Erasmus for the inhabitants of courts with their chains of office (torques) round their necks; cf. XVII. 61-2.

Midas was a king of Phrygia renowned for his riches.

345. OFFICIIS] officials. This concrete use is late Latin.

348, 9. ALIAM AULAM] Hutten had written a satire entitled Aula. He was now living in the household of Albert of Brandenburg, Archbishop of Mainz.

353. STOCSCHLEII] John Stokesley (c. 1475-1539), ecclesiastic and diplomatist. He was now chaplain to the king, and in 1530 was made Bishop of London in succession to Tunstall.

354. CLERICI] John Clerk (died 1541), ecclesiastic and diplomatist. He was now chaplain to Wolsey; and subsequently became Dean of Windsor and in 1523 Bp. of Bath and Wells.



XXVII

[An extract from the Adagia, no. 796. The Dutch physician referred to is perhaps a Dr. Bont whom Erasmus knew at Cambridge in 1511 and who died there of the plague in 1513.]

9, 10. QUID MULTIS] Cf. IX. 219 n.

10. GERMANO] Their standards of honesty were then high, and they were in consequence apt to be imposed upon. England on the contrary was already 'perfide Albion'; as Erasmus writes in a letter of 1521, 'Britannia vulgo male audit, quoties de fide agitur'.

24. tuissare: to address as 'thou'. Cf. Fr. tutoyer, Germ. dutzen.

33. QUAE NULLA] a condensed expression equivalent to quae, quamvis maxima, non tamen.



XXVIII

[A letter written to John Francis, physician to Wolsey, and one of the promoters of the College of Physicians in 1518. The date of the letter is uncertain.]

3. SUDORE LETALI] The sweating-sickness. Ammonius (see XV introd.) fell a victim to it in 1517.

8. HABENT] sc. Angli.

10. Claudius Galenus (130-200) was a Greek physician, who practised at Rome in the reign of Marcus Aurelius.

13. COLATAM] a medical technical term (cf. XXIX. 10); lit. 'filtered'. So here 'fine draughts' of air coming in round the small window panes. Erasmus' idea seems to have been that when the winds were blowing, the air would be fresh and the windows should be opened; but that when the air was still, it was likely to be unwholesome and should be kept out.

24. SALSAMENTIS] Much of the leprosy which was prevalent at the time has been ascribed to the consumption of salt fish.

35. CONFERRET] 'It would be useful'; cf. conducere.

40. OTIUM MEUM] 'at my spending my time in this way.'



XXIX

[This extract from a letter written to Fisher in 1524 contributes something to the description of English houses given in XXVIII. Erasmus had sent one of his servants to England, earlier in the summer, with letters announcing that he was composing a book against Luther—as his friends had frequently urged him to do.]

6. MARE] Erasmus had visited Fisher at Rochester in 1516 and clearly had vivid recollections of the mud-flats of the Medway.

9. PARIETIBUS VITREIS] i.e. with continuous windows, as in the stern galleries of old sailing ships.

* * * * *

ADDITIONAL NOTES.

P. 23. IV. 13. EST PRAETEREA MOS] The reality of this practice in England may be illustrated from Erasmus' Christiani matrimonii Institutio, 1526, where he describes unseemly wedding festivities. 'Mox a prandio lascivae saltationes usque ad cenam, in quibus tenera puella non potest cuiquam recusare, sed patet domus civitati. Cogitur ibi misera virgo cum ebriis, cum scelerosis ... iungere dextram, apud Britannos etiam oscula'. The Lady of Crequi, between Amiens and Montdidier, welcoming Wolsey's gentleman, George Cavendish, in July 1527, said: 'Forasmuch as ye be an Englishman, whose custom is in your country to kiss all ladies and gentlewomen without offence, and although it be not so here in this realm, yet will I be so bold to kiss you, and so shall all my maidens'. So, too, Cavendish writes of Wolsey's meeting with the Countess of Shrewsbury at Sheffield Park, after his fall: 'Whom my lord kissed bareheaded, and all her gentlewomen.'

P. 85, XXII. 48, A CENIS] Cf. XXIII. 34-5, XXIV. 342. It was a recognized form of abstinence, to take no food after the midday prandium. In the colloquy Ichthyophagia, first printed in Feb. 1526, Erasmus states that in England supper was prohibited by custom on alternate days in Lent and on Fridays throughout the year (cf. IX. 96). Of the Emperor Ferdinand, when he visited Nuremberg in 1540, an observer wrote, 'Sobrius rex cena abstinuit'; and Busbecq records that it was his master's practice to work in the afternoon, 'donec cenae tempus sit—cenae, dico, non suae sed consiliariorum; nam ipse perpetuo cena abstinet, neque amplius quam semel die cibum sumit, et quidem parce'.

* * * * *

VOCABULARY

ABBAS, an abbot. ACCUBITUS, a reclining (at meals). ADAMUSSIM, precisely (AMUSSIS, a carpenter's rule). ADLUBESCO, to be pleasing to. AGRICOLATIO, agriculture. AMARULENTUS, bitter. ANATHEMA, curse of excommunication. ANNOTAMENTUM, a note. ANNOTO, to jot down. ANTISTES, a prelate; a master. ARCHIDIACONUS, an archdeacon. ARCHIEPISCOPUS, an archbishop. ATTEMPERO, to fit, adjust. AVOCAMENTUM, a diversion, relaxation.

BENEDICUS, speaking friendly words. BREVE, a Papal letter, Brief. BYSSINUS, made of linen.

CAECUTIENTIA, blindness. CANONICUS, a canon, of a cathedral, secular; of a monastery, regular. CANTOR, a precentor. CAPITULUM, a chapter (of a cathedral). CARBUNCULUS, a carbuncle. CARPA, a carp. CAULETUM, a cabbage-garden. CAUPONARIA, a female inn-keeper. CEREVISIA, CERVISIA, beer. CERVISIARIUS, made of beer. CHALCOGRAPHUS, a printer. CHIROTHECA, a gauntlet. CHIRURGUS, a surgeon. CINERICIUS, similar to ashes. COLLAUDO, to praise highly. COLLUCTOR, to contend with. COLO, to strain, filter. COMES, a count, an earl. COMMISSARIUS, an agent. CONCINNO, to arrange. CONFABULO, a companion. CONFOVEO, to warm, cherish. CONSARCINO, to stitch together. CONSILESCO, to keep silence. CONSPURCATUS, polluted. CONTIONOR, to preach. CUCULLUS, a cowl.

DAMASCENUS, made of damask. DECANUS, a dean. DELINEARE, to sketch out. DERODO, to gnaw away. DIACONUS, a deacon. DIATRIBA, a school. DICTERIUM, a witticism. DISSUO, to unstitch, sever.

ECCLESIA, a church. ELUCESCO, to shine forth. EMACULATUS, clear from faults, corrected. EPISCOPUS, a bishop. ESUS, an eating. EXCUDO, to print. EXOTICUS, foreign.

FEBRICITO, to be ill of a fever. FERMENTO, to leaven. FLATILIS, produced by blowing. FLAVOR, yellowness. FORMULAE, type.

GLAUCOMA, a mist before the eyes. GRAECANICUS, of Greek origin, Greek. GRAECITAS, the Greek language.

HAERETICUS, a heretic. HEBDOMADA, a week. HOLOSERICUS, made entirely of silk. HORTENSIS, belonging to a garden. HYPOCAUSTUM, a room heated from below with a stove. HYPODIACONUS, a subdeacon. HYPODIDASCALUS, an under-master.

IACTIO, a throwing. ILLECTO, to entice, attract. IMPOS, without control over. INCENATUS, without having supped. INCONTANTER, without hesitating. INQUINAMENTUM, a defilement. INTERULA, an inner garment. INVITABULUM, a place that invites.

LACTARIUM, milk food. LIBRIPENS, a man in charge of scales. LOCATOR, a jobmaster. LONGAEVITAS, long life. LUSITO, to play, sport.

MACTATOR, a slaughterer. MAGNAS, a great man, magnate. MALAGMA, a poultice. MONACHUS, a monk. MONOCHORDON, a musical instrument with one string. MORDACITAS, biting sarcasm. MORIONES, jesters. MULTILOQUUS, talkative.

NOLA, a bell. NUBILOSUS, cloudy, foggy.

OBOLEO, to give forth a smell, betray oneself by smell. OECONOMUS, a steward. OPIPARUS, sumptuous.

PANOPLIA, an equipment. PELLICIUS, made of skins or furs. PETASO, pestle or shoulder of pork. PHILARGYRIA, love of money. PONTIFEX, a pope. PRAESUL, a dignitary of the Church. PRESBYTER, a priest. PRIDIANUS, of the day before. PROGYMNASMA, an exercise. PROSUS, straightforward (of style), i.e. prose. PROTRITUS, common. PULSATILIS, produced by beating.

REDORMISCO, to fall asleep again. RHETORIA, a trick of rhetoric. ROSACEUS, made from roses.

SACERDOTIUM, a benefice, living. SACRIFICOR, to celebrate the mass. SACRIFICUS, a priest. SCHOLIUM, a note. SCRUPULUS, a scruple, fraction of an ounce. SESQUIHORA, an hour and a half. SOLOECUS, faulty, uncouth. SORBITIUNCULA, a posset. SUBCAESIUS, greyish. SUBDITICIUS, spurious. SUBMURMURO, to murmur softly. SUBNIGER, blackish. SUBSANNO, to sneer. SUFFLAVUS, yellowish. SUFFUROR, to steal away. SUPPOSITITIUS, put in the place of another, not genuine. SYNCOPIS, a fainting fit. SYNGRAPHA, a promissory note, document.

TABELLIO, a messenger. TELONES, a customs officer. TELONICUS, belonging to a customs officer. TEMPORALIS, connected with the things of this life. TESSELLA, a pane. TURPILOQUIUM, immodest speech. TYPOGRAPHUS, a printer.

VICE-PRAEPOSITUS, a vice-provost. VIVERRA, a ferret.

XENIUM, a present.

* * * * *

LIST OF PLACE NAMES

AGRIPPINA, Cologne. AMBIANI, Amiens. ANDRELACUM, Anderlecht. ANTUUERPIA, Antwerp. AQUISGRANUM, Aachen. ARGENTINA, ARGENTORATUM, Strasburg. ARTESIA, Artois.

BASILEA, Basel. BEDBURIUM, Bedburg. BELNA, Beaune. BONONIA, Bologna. BONNA, Bonn. BRISACUM, Breisach.

CALECIUM, Calais. CANTABRIGIA, Cambridge. CANTUARIA, Canterbury. CLARUS MONS, Clermont. COLONIA (AGRIPPINA), Cologne. CONFLUENTIA, Coblenz. CURTRACUM, Courtray.

DIVUS TRUDO, St. Trond.

EBORACUM, York.

FRIBURGUM BRISGOIAE, Freiburg-in-the-Breisgau.

GRIENWIKUM, Greenwich.

HELVETIA, Switzerland. HIEROSOLYMA, Jerusalem.

LEODIUM, Liege. LONDINUM, LONDONIUM, London. LOVANIUM, Louvain. LUTETIA (PARISIORUM), Paris.

MAGUNTIA, Mainz. MOSAE TRAIECTUM, Maastricht.

OXONIA, Oxford.

PARISII, Paris. POPARDIA, Boppard.

ROFFA, Rochester.

ROTERODAMUM, Rotterdam.

SANCTUM AUDOMARUM, St. Omer. SELESTADIUM, Schlettstadt. SPIRA, Speyer.

TENAE, Tirlemont. TONGRI, Tongres. TORNACUM, Tournay. TRAIECTUM, Utrecht.

VENETIAE, Venice.

WORMACIA, Worms.

THE END

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