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 :: 1466-1536, Dutch Humanist

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Concealed talent brings no reputation.
~ Desiderius Erasmus - [Talent]

 

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No one respects a talent that is concealed.
~ Desiderius Erasmus - [Talent]

 

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It's the generally accepted privilege of theologians to stretch the heavens, that is the Scriptures, like tanners with a hide.
~ Desiderius Erasmus - [Theology]

 

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War is delightful to those who have had no experience of it.
~ Desiderius Erasmus - [War]

 

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Whether a party can have much success without a woman present I must ask others to decide, but one thing is certain, no party is any fun unless seasoned with folly.
~ Desiderius Erasmus - [Parties]

 

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Jupiter, not wanting man's life to be wholly gloomy and grim, has bestowed far more passion than reason --you could reckon the ration as twenty-four to one. Moreover, he confined reason to a cramped corner of the head and left all the rest of the body to the passions.
~ Desiderius Erasmus - [Passion]

 

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It is wisdom in prosperity, when all is as thou wouldn't have it, to fear and suspect the worst.
~ Desiderius Erasmus - [Pessimism]

 

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As an example of just how useless these philosophers are for any practice in life there is Socrates himself, the one and only wise man, according to the Delphic Oracle. Whenever he tried to do anything in public he had to break off amid general laughter. While he was philosophizing about clouds and ideas, measuring a flea's foot and marveling at a midge's humming, he learned nothing about the affairs of ordinary life.
~ Desiderius Erasmus - [Philosophers and Philosophy]

 

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Nothing is so foolish, they say, as for a man to stand for office and woo the crowd to win its vote, buy its support with presents, court the applause of all those fools and feel self-satisfied when they cry their approval, and then in his hour of triumph to be carried round like an effigy for the public to stare at, and end up cast in bronze to stand in the market place.
~ Desiderius Erasmus - [Politicians and Politics]

 

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For them it's out-of-date and outmoded to perform miracles; teaching the people is too like hard work, interpreting the holy scriptures is for schoolmen and praying is a waste of time; to shed tears is weak and womanish, to be needy is degrading; to suffer defeat is a disgrace and hardly fitting for one who scarcely permits the greatest of kings to kiss the toes of his sacred feet; and finally, death is an unattractive prospect, and dying on a cross would be an ignominious end.
~ Desiderius Erasmus - [Pope]

 

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Heaven grant that the burden you carry may have as easy an exit as it had an entrance. [Prayer To A Pregnant Woman]
~ Desiderius Erasmus - [Prayer]

 

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Prevention is better than cure.
~ Desiderius Erasmus - [Prevention]

 

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Picture the prince, such as most of them are today: a man ignorant of the law, well-nigh an enemy to his people's advantage, while intent on his personal convenience, a dedicated voluptuary, a hater of learning, freedom and truth, without a thought for the interests of his country, and measuring everything in terms of his own profit and desires.
~ Desiderius Erasmus - [Royalty]

 

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People who use their erudition to write for a learned minority... don't seem to me favored by fortune but rather to be pitied for their continuous self-torture. They add, change, remove, lay aside, take up, rephrase, show to their friends, keep for nine years and are never satisfied. And their futile reward, a word of praise from a handful of people, they win at such a cost -- so many late nights, such loss of sleep, sweetest of all things, and so much sweat and anguish... their health deteriorates, their looks are destroyed, they suffer partial or total blindness, poverty, ill-will, denial of pleasure, premature old age and early death.
~ Desiderius Erasmus - [Scholars and Scholarship]

 

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Ask a wise man to dinner and he'll upset everyone by his gloomy silence or tiresome questions. Invite him to a dance and you'll have a camel prancing about. Haul him off to a public entertainment and his face will be enough to spoil the people's entertainment.
~ Desiderius Erasmus - [Intelligence and Intellectuals]

 

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By a Carpenter mankind was made, and only by that Carpenter can mankind be remade.
~ Desiderius Erasmus - [Jesus Christ]

 

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Amongst the learned the lawyers claim first place, the most self-satisfied class of people, as they roll their rock of Sisyphus and string together six hundred laws in the same breath, no matter whether relevant or not, piling up opinion on opinion and gloss on gloss to make their profession seem the most difficult of all. Anything which causes trouble has special merit in their eyes.
~ Desiderius Erasmus - [Law and Lawyers]

 

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This type of man who is devoted to the study of wisdom is always most unlucky in everything, and particularly when it comes to procreating children; I imagine this is because Nature wants to ensure that the evils of wisdom shall not spread further throughout mankind.
~ Desiderius Erasmus - [Learning]

 

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Your library is your paradise.
~ Desiderius Erasmus - [Libraries]

 

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Give light, and the darkness will disappear of itself.
~ Desiderius Erasmus - [Light]

 

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