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ON THE PAUCITY OF ENGLISH WRITERS, AND ON THE THINGS THAT OBSTRUCT LEARNING
VEN if it is to be lamented, distinguished sirs, that this place has for a long time remained deserted, and this institution (which should seem as if it were established for the public good) has gone without a public voice, nevertheless we must rejoice that its customary splendor has returned and its erstwhile population has been replenished. The recent calamity, together with our own enthusiasms and the alteration of the times, has inflicted this. For this University, which had been terrified by a sudden wound and immediately broken up by its fright, now appears to be regathering itself, all fear banished, and to be pleased by its crowded numbers. It seems to me that, now this most difficult situation has been resolved, the University is called back to its ancient home, eager and looking around itself, and by its exertions to be restoring its interrupted custom of public service. Indeed, these were not wholly suspended, but were excluded from these precincts by the violence of the times and confined within private walls. Having been shut up in those by the cruelty of that period, they have re-emerged thanks to the mildness of the present time. Wherefore, the same consideration of the times which had blocked the road to public studies now offers us every route of access. Likewise it was the times which had made us grieve for our abandoned, deserted study, but today it is the times that restores its delight. Thus it seems our predecessors acted prudently when, having perceived the difficulty of their time and having had experience of its peril, they decided to remove the young men from the University and dispatch them to some solitude. Had this not been done, and had we not prevailed by yielding to the force of the time rather than offering resistance, we should not be burning with regret for maintaining our public silence, but rather, perhaps, grieving for some public calamity such as have consumed many excellent learned men in similar distressed circumstances.
2. But inasmuch as we are now brought back to life, that plague banished, and have been restored to our studies, and our studies to us, let us enjoy them in such a way that they are not only sought for by all men, but also defended and adorned by unanimous consent. For what will be the use of having had this danger banished and tranquility established, unless we all are of one mind in protecting and preserving studies? There are a great many who take greater delight in their own mediocre talents than in other men’s excellent ones, and who are ready to scorn and disparage learning. Few students can be found who take pleasure in their masters’ efforts, and scarcely any masters who are pleased with their students’ diligence. Thus on both sides arises fastidiousness and disdain of studies, when students and masters are not well disposed, or rather positively hostile, towards each other. But grant that this is an engrained habit, grant that it has wholly taken root in our manners and our minds, either all men must support everyone’s studies, or, should studies of all things be abandoned by everybody, then the studies of all things are destined to perish universally. This life of ours possesses very many excellent delights, it possesses a certain pleasure derived from learning, it possesses a natural power whereby we are inspired to learn, it possesses the glory of understanding things, it also possesses a sweet and pleasing awareness in the studies of our bygone days. But no weapon is keener for inspiring studies and maintaining the mind’s enthusiasm than to have it understood that students are well-disposed towards their masters, and that those who teach have a concern for students’ profit and advantage. For the devotion of masters is aroused by their students’ strivings, and it is evident that their diligence depends on the approval and good disposition of their instructors. No keener stimulus can be found for inspiring both parties than if on both sides is visible an equal zeal for protecting and ornamenting the other. Therefore, just as in those commonwealths deemed to be happy there exist laws and ordinances by which the highest are conjoined with the lowest, and both with those of the middling sort, so I would have the constant good will of teachers and students enjoined by public law, so that, thanks to a common will, a common voice, and common pursuits, the studies of each and every one would be held dear among them all. Now that our young men have been recalled, if I could convince them to be of this will and opinion, I should think I had achieved something worth hoping for; but (and God avert that omen!) if this engrained habit of disdain will have no ending, it is to be feared that, when talented masters are scorned by fastidious students, they will not long enjoy the fruit of their fastidiousness.
3. If at this juncture any man should imagine this is said by me out of personal interest, if he were to understand the reason for my thinking, he would abandon this opinion. Up to now, the popularity of my lectures has not been the smallest, and I trust that, thanks to my diligence, my standing in this University will grow greater. But what I am now saying is the publicly-stated opinion of many men who complain that in the throes of their supreme efforts they are being deserted and abandoned, and that the sleepless nights they expend are being repaid by a trifling effort on the part of the young gentlemen. And so, just as the latter are fastidious in their learning, so they might grow negligent in their teaching; and, even if both sides should be in the wrong, nevertheless it would be pardonable for the young gentlemen to heed the words of negligent preceptors idly and half-asleep. Would that, just as those who profess to teach the young are diligent in the task they have undertaken, so those who gather to hear their lecturers, would be as eager for profit as for novelty! Assuredly, neither would the masters’ efforts be wasted, nor the students’ studies be retarded. And, indeed, we would have greater studies, richer arts, and a greater supply of first-rate writers. All of which are being held back, not by the inertia of those who are able to act with distinction, but by the intolerable fastidiousness of those who ought to cherish them in their pursuits. For, by the gods, who is there in the other arts who would be willing to place his products on public view, if he imagines they will either be scorned by others or that he will be looked upon with scorn? What painter possessed of consummate skill and science wants to display to many viewers what I might call even an average work of his, if he thinks they will be averse thanks to empty-headed satiation or silly opinion? The flautist thinks he should cast his flutes aside unless he can use them to move his listeners, the orator on the rostrum cannot speak if the people do not pay attention, and those who sing to instrumental accompaniment spare their voices and exertion if they perceive they are being heard with disdain. The voice of philosophy goes unheard in an assembly of drunkards. A man is mocked for trying to teach geometry to barbarians. Thus in all the arts and sciences, unless they encounter the attention they wish to receive from their audience, those who attempt to instruct others waste their effort and come to the conclusion that their zeal for teaching is foolish.
4. Wherefore, since this opportunity befalls me (or, to speak more truthfully, since I have sought it out) for putting an end to this idleness and correcting this error, I pray you not to imagine that I am adopting some strange manner of speech if I chide the disdain of our fellows a little more sharply. For this fault attaches not just to us who are here, but also to the manners of all Englishmen, and it is conjoined with a habit of many years’ standing, and has created inertia in those among us who excel, and produced in us, if not ignorance, at least a timidity imposed by the criticism of others, by which I mean the glorification of foreigners. For no other reason can be given why their writings should be adjudged excellent while our own should be held in scorn, rather than that we admire them and disdain ourselves. It cannot be said that there have been and are among us men who, had they devoted themselves to writing, could not have done so most elegantly and prudently. But their writings are non-existent, because they are neglected by their fellow countrymen, or at least not liked. All libraries, all men’s hands, are filled with the volumes of foreigners. Thus our admiration of foreigners makes their books and writings all the more wonderful. And so, that we might learn to honor our own men and compare our writers’ talents with theirs, let us sometime begin to admire them, and even if there is something greater than is given to our domestic authors and wholly to be credited to foreign ones, let us still love our own and put up some show of piety and enthusiasm. For, by the gods, since those things are sweetest which are closest to our own nature, and our neighbors and familiars are dearer to us than assorted races of men scattered through many cities, why are our own men not bound to each other in a closer connection, especially in a cause of mutual interest, than with foreigners? Those who seek out intercourse with strangers, and are over-eager in hunting after their company and companionship, are rightfully criticized. If someone delights in their manners and pursuits, scorning our own men and their talents, is he not to be rebuked?
5. Are we to approve of this novel form of fastidiousness, whereby our most learned men are rejected and the most trifling foreigners accepted? For though they excel in every respect, nevertheless, since we have no less a supply of ornaments at home than can be imported from them, why do we condemn our own and lend our ears to the voices of those others? I have no fear lest what I have to say seem somewhat insolent. I know no man even a little outspoken about these matters who does not prefer the most trifling work, even when written incompetently, as long as it is to foreign to the most careful mental products of our countrymen, who are consummate masters in every department. And albeit this vice is fed by an enthusiasm for novelty, it is somehow innate in the English character, either by nature or by habit, that those who wish to be considered erudite imagine they will gain this reputation if they look down on those endowed with great genius, to whom nature has granted great capacity for learning, or whose effort and diligence has adorned with various arts, if they are timid in undertaking things and bashful in bringing them to completion. Thus these are terrified by the judgment of all men. And this bashfulness or timidity, even if it greatly affects the sense of our best men (because prudence is cautious and timid by nature), is nonetheless intensified by the disdain of others. For we look down on the home-grown and chase after the foreign, even when it is unwholesome. As long as they are not everyday, we fetch kinds of plants and foodstuffs for our tables, even if they are gotten with difficulty and brought from far away, and relish them even if they are all but toxic. Nor is it only our palates that go a-roaming abroad, but also our ears, our eyes, and our minds. The paintings of our countrymen, even if most finely executed, are deemed to be less artistic since they are produced home. The capaciousness and dignity of our domestic building are to be outdone by the horror and melancholy of foreign architecture. Domestic vocal and instrumental music is rejected, the foreign is sought. Nothing, be it written ever so learnedly or prudently, can delight our delicate readers, captivated by foreign sweetness.
6. I think this is the truest reason why there are more of our men who excel in every pursuit than are thought to exist. For this opinion has its origin, not in the ignorance of our fellow-countrymen, but in their impudence, so that those who scribble something are accounted learned, whereas those who, content with the fruit of domestic literature and seeking nothing more, are held to be unschooled and ignorant of all learning. Whence it comes about that they employ so many tomes in inculcating themselves in our ears, disparaging genius in their books so categorically. And they have employed such diligence that, if they have not procured themselves any reputation, they at least create the opinion they do not amount to nothing, since they dare to be something. I am not speaking of their best writers (of whom there is a large number), but rather of those who turn to writing before gaining the ability properly to judge the writings of others. And even if they never criticize those men’s industry, their scorn and childish fastidiousness, which can be satisfied by no food but the foreign, makes us timid in our writing. For if in their eagerness to acquire literature and their erudition in reading they would either not treat our countrymen’s works with fastidiousness, or not impudently reject them, we would abound in a great number of writers. And for this reason I would argue at length that this popular vice, deeply rooted in our manners, should be suppressed or wholly eliminated. Although speaking on this subject my voice lacks that authority which is wont to prevail in great causes, it should never fall silent, nor will it shrink from employing its words and vociferation to chide you about that which it imparts to you all for the sake of the common good.
7. So trust me, let us all be devoted to one another, let us not criticize each other’s studies. Someday let us free ourselves from those discourses of foreigners, which they say are of no use to any Englishman for cultivating his talent or his writing. But this will not come to pass until this fastidiousness, by which we scorn the best writings, is abolished, and all of us come a-running to protect and approve our fellow countrymen. Among those foreigners there is supreme zeal for nurturing for talent, but among us only as much as can exist among men already satiated. Once upon a time this University contained distinguished men, held in high esteem because of their ability to speak. But after they were printed and occupied our ears every day, even if they possessed such a great power of learning that nothing could be more wonderful, we nonetheless gradually lost that great admiration because we had grown accustomed to what they had to say. Thus it came about that those men whose great talents impressed us at their first appearance, and whose industry was originally sought after by all men, afterwards began to be, if not held in contempt, at least abandoned. This University, in which their living voices rang out, can bear witness that when their words first came forth many men’s ears heeded them, but deserted them once they had become commonplace. It is scarcely credible how greatly their routine lectures were crowded. Nobody with a little more than average interest in learning, no lover of studies, no devotee of consummate talents failed to consider it his duty to honor by his presence those men who were unanimously regarded as the supreme ornaments of our commonwealth. There was no young gentleman hot for learning who did not rejoice that these preceptors had been born for his advantage, men from whom they could obtain their heart’s desire. Originally there was an earnest zeal, a keen enthusiasm, constant thronging on the part of all our men, no matter what their age, condition, or degree of rank. But afterwards, alienated by this inbred domestic disdain, they preferred to make their own individual beginning and progress, and refused to be educated and instructed by those men. And yet, good gods, what men they were! With what learning, what talents, what ability they were endowed! So they seem to me to have been deliberately created for the advantage of our studies and our use. Many men turned their backs on these men’s diligence (one in Greek, another in the civil law) not only in their lifetimes, but even nowadays, in their absence, are irked to hear other men speak their praises.
8. I recollect a time when I stood in this very place and, for the sake of encouraging the young gentlemen, I said much in praise of my own teacher, a right distinguished man who had lived for a long time in our presence, and lauded his virtue and the incredible power of his genius, which I had experienced at many places and times, not as accurately as I would have desired, but nevertheless as piously as I wished, some men stood up and criticized what they referred to as my excessive enthusiasm. It is possible that they envied the talent of the gentleman doing the praising, because he easily embellished the position he had taken. But in this they fueled the suspicion that they envied the gentleman being praised, when they aimed the arrows of their reproaches against the man doing the praising. These same fellows used to say that certain parties had been hit, or rather slandered, by me, because I was railing against their preposterous studies and depraved talents. If they take personally things which were not said about them (although things which are not irrelevant to their manners), are they to be reprehended for offering their necks to an axe scarcely aimed at them, or am I to be castigated for wanting to put an end to a vice common to many men, without any exhibition of malice? For, in the name of the gods, what statement have I ever uttered filled with affront rather than with sorrow? In that context, what complaint have I ever lodged, save when I wished to see idleness removed or a bad form of learning corrected? And, by heaven, the blame I cast on this thing made an impression on all those devoted to their studies, as it does even now. And I was frank in stating the rationale for this correction, not because there were no other men of greater judgment and authority, but because a certain necessity was imposed on me to speak of those these things, whereas it was not their desire, but rather the lack of a time and opportunity for speaking, that made them keep their silence. And so it came about that this common view was kept concealed in others, and yet they were no less troubled, whereas I, who was of the same viewpoint, was more candid than the rest with my facial expression and tongue. So now, if praises of that divine man offend some, he should rejoice in having conquered this envy by his virtue, more than I should be disturbed at having been decried for my dutifulness. For exceptional virtue is always envied, and grateful minds never cease being suspected of excessive flattery or false friendship. But now, since there are such great ornaments in the man and I have such a just cause for praising him, I am unconcerned about paying the penalty for my great piety and supreme love for the man in the sayings of those evil-minded fellows. Nor, since everything I have said was for the sake of exhortation or reprehension proceeded from a well-disposed mind, have any I any fear I cannot withstand their accusatory reproaches.
9. But now I return to the place whence I made my digression. In which I first desire, and then demand, that that thing be adjudged best for the promotion of studies whereby students, delighted by the efforts of their preceptors, and masters adapt themselves to the talents of their students. This has been done to a high degree rarely, if ever. I have shown that the reason lies in the fastidiousness or craving for novelty among our countrymen. If these two things should be removed, teachers of the greatest arts and excellent writers in all subjects will arise, who are lacking among our people for no other reason than that a love for foreign things preoccupies everybody’s minds, inducing a surfeit of domestic ones. Since our young gentlemen display a certain yearning for piety and learning, let this fastidiousness be abandoned, and let them at length love the men whose arts they desire to acquire. Let them be supportive of talents, and let them not imagine that, as soon as they become mired down in some mediocrity, they cannot greatly be helped by the efforts of other men; nor should they be molded by the precepts of foreigners more than those of their own fellow countrymen. For by this assiduity and these studies they will spur the industry of others working in the same field of study, and when they perceive that those men are following the same course, they will be drawn to it with more eager minds.
10. At the same time they should think that they possess as a reward for their efforts glory, which can never fail to attend upon things done aright. Even if it is not sought, it nevertheless attaches to honorable efforts and achievements. Naturally, some pursue it immoderately, while others are too severe in spurning it, both of which excesses are wrong. For to chase after empty acclaim, indulge in boastful self-praise, and seek pleasure in false rumors is not the mark of a man devoted to honorable studies so much as of some trifling actor who wants to mount the stage of a public theater so that he alone may garner everybody’s applause. On the other hand, scorning praise to the point that you wholly abjure it is characteristic of old wives’ superstition, or rather of a certain uncouth boorishness. For it should not be denied that the pursuit of praise and glory is to be limited to great endeavors, nor should its fruit be refused to young gentlemen of tender age. For among the young virtue is never so mature that it does not require safeguards. And so our ancestors used to act more prudently, who, when they strove to inspire young gentlemen to studies of great things, would supply many enticements both innate in those things themselves and born out of them. Thus those wise men never feared the word “glory” to the extent that they thought its enlargement should not be offered to young gentlemen. For either maturity or the consideration of perfected studies puts a limit on this. You will never find a person willing to undertake effort without a reason, not even among those who are eager to live amidst troubles.
11. So let these efforts be granted this reward, for they have no other distinction save for this one of praise and glory, and those who are unaccustomed to hard work cannot tolerate them, let alone greater ones, without due cause. For effort is hateful to men of every age, and particularly to youth, which, imbued with its softness, rejects the harshness of effort performed for its own sake. For at that time it takes no account of honor, wealth, or dignity, and it does not yet understand the power and nature of virtue and honesty. It can scarcely be captivated by the sweetness of learning, since this is bought by pain. That time of life prefers to go without the delight of knowledge, which it perceives slowly and with difficulty, rather than for its sake to take pains, which it feels immediately. But in its sensations, if there is something that provides immediate pleasure, this is not ignored, even if great pain follows. For nature chases after the sweetness of the thing at hand, and does not take future pain into its calculations. If there be anything that would trouble the senses, since nature is such that it rejects it, some medicine needs to be prepared which, combined with the trouble itself, can diminish its magnitude. There are many remedies of this kind, first those of sweetness, then those of virtue, and finally those of utility. But youth is not captivated by sweetness when it is only expected, it does not see virtue, and it is unmoved by utility. Therefore glory needs to be administered in conjunction with efforts, as the medicine for those efforts. For by it everybody’s minds and senses are moved, and daily life shows what a sharp stimulus to the study of learning this is for young gentlemen. And so you should think when you have achieved something outstanding you are on everyone’s lips, that your diligence is praised and highly spoken of, your industry lauded, your efforts and studies celebrated with the happiness and joy of many men. You should bear in mind the men who have acquired praise running the same course in which you are engaged. Remember those of olden times, imitate those of today. And when you have set before yourselves the image of praise and the fruit of glory, and abandoned your fastidiousness in learning and the novelty of the study of foreigners, this University will flourish and possess learned masters, skilled writers, and young gentlemen devoted to the best studies.
12. But in addition to these two difficulties (oppressed by which our studies have long laid prostrate) there is a third problem, not slighter, but less deplorable because it can be remedied more easily. This is situated not so much in fastidiousness as the tenacity with which men, entranced by the reputation of wonderful things, reject things which are less wonderful but nevertheless most necessary. Belonging to this category are the men who, heedless of what the commonwealth requires, approve nothing but the study of theology while scorning rhetoric, the single thing their art can least do without. They neglect this medicine, failing to understand that their ministrations cannot help sick, afflicted bodies. And they regard familiarity with the other arts as a game and a joke although, if they have come to their own without having been trained and prepared in the rest, their ignorance of them will tarnish the splendor of their most divine science. For that dictum was not said by a mere mortal, “no man can live well, unless all his life has been occupied with these studies.” In the first place, the precepts for living a good, happy life are moderate in number, and easily learned. I do not deny that their practice, exercise, and deep reflection are arduous and difficult. But these are situated not so much in learning as in constancy, gravity, and constant, unfeigned piety, unless perchance we mean that nobody lives well and happily except the professors of those arts. But if the constancy of life, religion, piety, and integrity of men who have never laid eyes on letters, who have attained to no part of this learning, who are busied in the fields, very remote from studies, are praised, let these fellows cease to be stubborn and concede that we are able to live honestly, even if we are engaged in other studies and sciences, or admit that they are ingrates for holding that they alone are blessed, and the countless remaining multitude of unlearned men are excluded from their company of the saints.
13. I nearly forgot to mention that one thing which all commonwealths most require, the science of civil law, under whose protection lie not only the fortunes of all citizens, but also of preceptors themselves, who would have no avenue open for teaching, unless commonwealths and kingdoms were governed by fixed law and prescribed ordinances. And no fitter grounds for this subject and its defense can be discovered than from nature, which has so distributed the senses of our mind, and has parceled out talents among such a variety of men that it is a wonder that any man would so depart from nature that he would not make judgments of other men’s talents according to either the swiftness or sluggishness of his own. For nature itself has silently prescribed for what category each man is most fit. Thus it has created some men polished and elegant, and endowed them with quickness of genius, and accommodated them to men’s senses. In this category are the pursuits of eloquence. In certain men it has created hidden, abstruse senses, as in those who are attracted to the investigation of hidden things. In others it has granted prudence for the conduct of business both public and private, calling them away from other pursuits and setting them at the helm of state. It has diverted other men’s talents from business affairs to leisure, shutting them apart from the ebbs and flows of the commonwealth for the tranquility of studies, snatching them away from humble things to the contemplation of the divine. Since, therefore, nature has endowed men with such varying senses, such different natures, and such dissimilar pursuits, do we wish to tie all men’s senses, minds, and talents to one study, to a single science? Are we to come close to committing violence against nature?
14. What about our bodies? Do we not discern distinct parts, each placed in its own proper place? And do we not understand that each individual part is so necessary for maintaining the strength of the entire body that, if it were to be removed from its place or perish by some accident, it is necessary for the body to die or be seriously crippled? If mind were the entire man, what would be left for mind to govern? If the whole body were an eye, how could it grasp anything with its hands, walk about on feet, or avail itself of any food and drink, things without which the physical nature cannot exist? And what we perceive in our bodies, we cannot even begin to imagine in the body of the commonwealth. We have muscles, bones, veins, blood, and breath, and life is thought to be maintained by all of these. We have comely looks, a fit composition of our parts, and grace in each individual one, by which it comes about that our bodies seem all the more wonderful. And the mind is derived from the nature of the divine, to whom, as it were, is granted government over the entire body, so that it rules, and the other parts obey it, and yet we do not set a great value on mind and condemn the other parts because it is endowed with divine sense and the rest have none. I say these things here so that we may regard the nature of the commonwealth, which is similar to that of a single body. It possesses fields, porticoes, money, a fleet, sailors, soldiers, and citizens, things by which commonwealths maintain their soundness and safety. There are other things which are not so necessary but which enhance it, such as an excellent ornament of a city, a dignity of buildings and churches, an abundance of theaters and spectacles, and crowded boulevards: these things do not make commonwealths safe and sound, but are possessed so they might seem rich and powerful.
15. Furthermore, the law is like the soul and mind of the state, its solemn pact for preserving the commonwealth. Nor, since the law is especially perceived to be concerned with the pursuit of virtue, should other ordinances be neglected, whereby concord between citizens is maintained and commonwealths kept under restraint. Rather, just as human nature consists of a joining of our bodies and minds, and just as various arts have been discovered (both by nature and by human diligence) for the preservation of men and their individual parts, so for the preservation of commonwealths and the preservation of states, there is need not for any one excellent art, but rather for a combination of them all. And so that opinion needs to be abolished, which is neither useful for that one, theology, upon which these men preen themselves, nor consonant with the right way of teaching the sciences. For unless they acquire some salt from the philosophers’ fountain, I shall not say that their studies are silly, but they are certainly uncouth. So, in order that disciplines may hold a steady course, we must take diligent provision that these arts be adopted as handmaidens to that divine one, and for them to prevail by their own power in their proper spheres. Let us have excellent instructors in every field, strong in their learning and diligence, so that they can and will serve the advantage of many. And among this great variety of study and arts, even if none is not praiseworthy, nevertheless some are more illustrious and necessary than others, and we should think we have the most need of those which have the broadest scope.
16. Among these, the science of civil law is especially conspicuous, although it lies in abeyance, disdained by many; or, if some retain it, there are few who practice it well, but many who do so in a slovenly matter. Therefore it is greatly to be regretted that this most distinguished art lacks both its erstwhile splendor or its former diligence. And it could have enjoyed these both, if we had any concern for maintaining it, when we had such an acute interpreter, a divine man endowed with singular genius. When he was wont skillfully to interpret civil law, there were few who gave him their approval, fewer who pretended to be following that course of study, and next to none who persisted in their efforts to learn the law. He was succeeded by my friend Haddon, that most intelligent of men, that he bestowed more praise on the subject by his eloquence than had his predecessor. And if he expounds it to our young gentlemen as I hope he will, he will bring it about that a branch of learning which has been befouled by barbarism and is held in contempt by nearly everybody, clad in an honorable garment, will appear fine and deserving to be studied by many. For why should this branch of learning lack its ornament in our times, which has never been cultivated and ornamented in the counsels of wise men or the suits of litigants? And if the institutions of kings and peoples, the manners of societies, the conditions of commonwealths, the judgment of citizens, the controversies of private citizens, the contracts, pacts, agreements and stipulations between neighbors, the rights of inheritance and possessions, have always been observed, without which not only can no commonwealth endure, but also no learning or art can be promoted, and if all civil law has had its origin in the counsels of wise men and the advantage of citizens, and if these same wise men have written about it learnedly, why are we willing to have that which is the greatest protection of the commonwealth, and the eloquence which the learned men of the rest of the world have uttered their pronouncements to lie in neglect?
17. In this matter I do not wish any man to imagine that this has been said by me out of self-interest, especially since I shall not look into their writings more closely. But malevolence has produced all this talk of those men who, as I have said, are occupied in theology and want the other branches of learning to be deserted and abandoned. These gentlemen fail to understand that, albeit theology is superior to all the rest, nevertheless, unless the various kinds of studies, arts and sciences are kept distinct for different ages, talents, and courses of instruction, the entire commonwealth is destined to fail along with their own discipline. In this context I shall say nothing about the concord of citizens, for there is no keener awareness that enjoins self-control on them than fear of punishment and the law. I shall only allow these critics to be dismissed, together with that ignorant stubbornness of theirs, and to have their old manner of pursuing their studies praised (or rather loved) when it is not steeped in ill-will, not habituated to carping, not superstitiously misleading, not skilled in the knack of pretence and simulation. And if these qualities do exist in any men, you should entrust their reprehension to your own prudence, and excuse me in my modesty from the task. Meanwhile let us cling to this principle, that teachers of various arts need to be nourished within this University, so that the progress of all disciplines might be assured, and so that chaste, modest virgin, the nurse of piety and religion, may reside in the loftiest citadel of learning, and be surrounded by a bevy of the other disciplines, which she can appropriate for her own uses, or dispatch separately, each to perform its own function. I have spoken.