Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus

P. S. Allen (ed.), Opus Epistolarum Des. Erasmi Roterodami, Vol. 1: 1484–1514

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268. To John Yonge.

Plutarchi de valetudine precepta (1513).

  • London.
  • 1 January 1513.

[The preface to a Latin version of Plutarchi … de tuenda bona valetudine precepta. The first edition was published in London (Ep. 273. 3–5), probably by Pynson, but has been lost. It was reprinted at Louvain by Th. Martens, 10 Nov. 1513, and at Cologne by Cornelius de Siricksee, 17 Jan. 1514. The version was frequently printed in later editions, but the preface was omitted. There is no reason to question the date. The text given here is from the Cologne edition; which in one necessary place I have emended.

John Yonge (†26 April 1516), an ecclesiastic and lawyer, who by this time was in a position to be a good patron to Erasmus. He was appointed Commissary of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury 28 Jan. 1503/4 (Reg. Warham, f. 6 vo. at Lambeth); and Master of the Rolls 22 Jan. 1508. He served on an embassy to Brussels in 1512–3, and on a commission to Tournay in 1515. His preferment included the Deanery of St. Mary's at Leicester 16 Dec. 1512, and the Deanery of York 17 May 1514. See Brewer, i. and ii. and Le Neve.

He is not to be confused with John Yonge, S.T.P., who was Master of the Hospital of St. Thomas of Acon (Ep. 232. 4 n.) 1510–1526; see Dugdale, vii. 646, and Watney, pp. 63–108.]

clarissimo viro ioanni yonge sacrorvm scriniorvm magistro erasmvs roterodamvs s.d.

1Qvod ad tantum amicum tantulam mitto strenulam mirari non 2debes, qui scias hanc esse xeniorum naturam vt beniuolentiae sym- pg 521Editor’s Note 3bolo magis quam precio commendentur. Tum quid satis breue 4videri possit quod ad hominem mittitur tot obeundis legationibus, 5tot publicis regni negociis semper occupatissimum? vt ne illud Editor’s Note6addam, his turbulentissimis ac vere ferreis temporibus breuissimum 7esse conuenire quicquid ad Gratias ac Musas attinet. Verum vt hoc 8munusculum meum nonnihil etiam ornem verbis, primum e Plutar- 9chi thesauro depromptum est, a quo quidem authore scis nihil non 10egregium proficisci; deinde recens est et adhuc spirans officinam; ad 11hec vix credas quantis mihi pusillus hic liber constiterit sudoribus, 12non tam quod Plutarchus vel ob stilum vel ob infinitam rerum haud 13expositarum congeriem sit difficilior, sed multo magis ob id quod 14quam est omnium doctissimus, tam idem est omnium deprauatissi- 15mus, et vt est vnus precipue dignus qui legatur, ita vnus est qui 16minime legi possit. Adeo in singulis pene versibus cum mendarum 17portentis luctandum est. Denique si argumentum queras, docet quo 18pacto vel absque pharmacis bonam tueare valetudinem; quam etiam 19si nemo non plurimi facit, paucos tamen arbitror digniores quibus ea 20quam diutissime contingat quam te qui omnia tua studia ad publicam 21confers vtilitatem, vt non tam tibi quam patrie natus videare. 22Docet autem hoc minus quidem medice quam Galenus aut Paulus 23Aegineta, sed magis philosophice.

24Superest vt hoc quicquid est libelli iam in manus hominum exeat 25non solum tuo nomine commendatius verumetiam lima emendacius, 26atque adeo ob id commendatius quod emendatius. Bene vale.

27Londini Calendis Ianuariis, Anno. m.d.xiii.

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Notes

Editor’s Note
P. 521. Read,
l. 21, patriae.
l. 23, Aeginita.
l. 25, verum etiam lima emendatius.
l. 26, idipsum.
Editor’s Note
268. 6. ferreis] Cf. Ep. 269. 84.
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