Life and Letters of Erasmus

Life and Letters of Erasmus

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Life and Letters of Erasmus

Life and Letters of Erasmus

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Excerpt

The following Lectures are published as they were delivered. The references are to the edition of the Works of Erasmus which was brought out at Leyden in 1702.

The letters from which I quote are so numerous and so elaborate that it is impossible for me in a mere sketch to give complete translations of them. I have been obliged, as the reader will see, to abridge, compress, and epitomise. My object has been rather to lead historical readers to a study of Erasmus's own writings than to provide an abbreviated substitute for them.

Erasmus advises students to read only the best books on the subjects with which they are occupied. He cautions them against loading their memories with the errors of inferior writers which they will afterwards have to throw off and forget. The best description of the state of Europe in the age immediately preceding the Reformation will be found in the correspondence of Erasmus himself. I can promise my own readers that if they will accept Erasmus for a guide in that entangled period, they will not wander far out of the way.

J. A. FROUDE.

July, 1894.

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