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Selections from Erasmus Principally from his Epistles   By: (1469-1536)

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SELECTIONS FROM ERASMUS

Principally From His Epistles

By

P. S. ALLEN

PREFACE

The selections in this volume are taken mainly from the Letters of Erasmus. Latin was to him a living language; and the easy straightforwardness with which he addresses himself to what he has to say, whether in narrating the events of every day life or in developing more serious themes, makes his works suitable reading for beginners. To the rapidity with which he invariably wrote is due a certain laxity, principally in the use of moods and tenses; and his spelling is that of the Renaissance. These matters I have brought to some extent into conformity with classical usage; and in a few other ways also I have taken necessary liberties with the text.

In the choice of passages I have been guided for the most part by a desire to illustrate through them English life at a period of exceptional interest in our history. There has never been wanting a succession of persons who concerned themselves to chronicle the deeds of kings and the fortunes of war; but history only becomes intelligible when we can place these exalted events in their right setting by understanding what men both small and great were doing and thinking in their private lives. To Erasmus we owe much intimate knowledge of the age in which he lived; and of none of his contemporaries has he given us more vivid pictures than of the great Englishmen, Henry VIII, Colet, More, and many others, whom he delighted to claim as friends.

With this purpose in view I have thought it best to confine the historical commentary within a narrow compass in the scenes which are not drawn from England; and to leave unillustrated many distinguished names, due appreciation of which would have overloaded the notes and confused the reader.

The vocabulary is intended to include all words not to be found in Dr. Lewis's Elementary Latin Dictionary , with the exception of (1) those which with the necessary modification have become English, (2) classical words used for modern counterparts without possibility of confusion, e. g. templum for church ; (3) diminutives a mode of expression which both Erasmus and modern writers use very freely as to the origin of which there can be no doubt.

Mr. Kenneth Forbes of St. John's College has kindly gone through the whole of the text with me, and has given me the benefit of his long experience as a teacher. I am also obliged to him for most valuable assistance in the preparation of the notes.

LONGWALL, COTTAGE, OXFORD. June 1908.

In a second edition I have been able to incorporate a few of the corrections and suggestions made by reviewers and friends. My thanks are especially due to the Warden of Wadham and to Mr. Hugo Sharpley, head master of Richmond Grammar School, Yorks.

23 MERTON STREET, OXFORD. June 1, 1918.

CONTENTS

LIFE OF ERASMUS

I. AN ORDINATION EXAMINATION

II. A DOMESTIC AFFRAY (55 : 47)

III. A WINTER JOURNEY (88 : 82)

IV. AN ENGLISH COUNTRY HOUSE (103 : 98)

V. A VISIT TO COURT (I. p. 6 : i. p. 201)

VI. ERASMUS AT OXFORD (115 : 104)

VII. AN OXFORD DINNER PARTY (116 : 105)

VIII. LEARNING IN ENGLAND (118 : 110)

IX. A JOURNEY TO PARIS (119 : 122)

X. ERASMUS RENDERS ACCOUNT OF HIMSELF TO COLET (181 : 180)

XI. A VISIT TO LAMBETH (I. pp. 4 5 : i. p.393)

XII. A LETTER TO ALDUS (207 : 204)

XIII. AN INTERVIEW WITH GRIMANI ( :i. p. 461)

XIV. A CONVERSATION AT CAMBRIDGE (237 : 231)

XV. AN ENCOUNTER WITH CANOSSA

XVI. ERASMUS' APOLOGIA PRO VITA SUA (296 : 290)

XVII. ERASMUS' RECEPTION AT BASEL (305 : 298)

XVIII. BISHOP FISHER (457 : 446)

XIX. A JOURNEY FROM BASEL TO LOUVAIN (867 : )

XX. ENGLISH UNIVERSITIES (965 : )

XXI. AN EXPLOSION AT BASEL

XXII. ARCHBISHOP WARHAM. I

XXIII... Continue reading book >>




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