De remediis utriusque fortunae

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A meaningless master’s degree has kept many from becoming true masters. Believing others rather than themselves, and believing to be what they were cried up to be but really were not, they never became what they could have become.

De remediis utriusque fortunae ("Remedies for Fortune Fair and Foul") is a collection of 254 Latin dialogues written by the humanist Francesco Petrarca (1304-1374), commonly known as Petrarch.

Quotes[edit]

as translated by C. Rawski (1967)

  • Ut stomachis sic ingeniis nausea sepius nocuit quam fames.
    • Like our stomachs, our minds are hurt more often by overeating than by hunger.
      • “On the Abundance of Books,” p. 31
  • Itaque sapiens non copiam, sed sufficientiam rerum vult; illa enim sepe pestilens, hec semper est utilis.
    • A wise man does not desire the abundance but rather the sufficiency of things, for former often being harmful, the latter always beneficial.
      • “On the Abundance of Books,” p. 31
  • Do you remember Seneca’s Sabinus boasting about the talents of his slaves? … Both of you boast about that which belongs to someone else: he about his slaves … and you about the knowledge in your books which is not your own.
    • “On the Abundance of Books,” p. 39
  • There are some who seem to know themselves whatever is written in the books they have at home. And when any subject happens to be mentioned, they say this book is in my bookcase, believing this is enough to indicate that it is also in their heart; and with smug superiority, they say no more—a ridiculous kind of people.
    • “On the Abundance of Books,” pp. 39-40
  • A large number of books keep many from learning.
    • “On the Abundance of Books,” p. 42
  • If you want glory from your books, you must … not just have them but know them; not place them in your library but in your memory; and lock them in your mind and not in your bookcase.
    • “On the Abundance of Books,” p. 43
  • Everybody is busy writing books. No age has had such an abundance of writers and commentators and such a want of knowledgeable and articulate men. What happens with these books Cicero describes in the same passage: The result is, he says, that such writers read their own books themselves along with their own circle, and none of them reaches any wider public than that which wishes to have the same privilege of scribbling extended to itself. This was unusual in Cicero’s time, but now it is a common practice. Everybody engages in it, because everybody, of course, wants the same privilege. Thus they encourage and admonish each other, scribbling foolishness, praising it, and grabbing for the praise of others who themselves are falsely praised.
    • “On the Fame of Writers,” p. 49
  • Multis ne magistri veri essent magisterii falsum nomen obstitit: dum de se plus omnibus quam sibi dumque quod dicebantur, sed non erant, esse crediderunt, quod esse poterant non fuerunt.
    • A meaningless master’s degree has kept many from becoming true masters. Believing others rather than themselves, and believing to be what they were cried up to be but really were not, they never became what they could have become.
      • “On the Master’s Degree,” p. 59
  • There are some so given to deceit that, through long habit of deceiving others, at last they begin to deceive themselves. Of what they persuaded others for so long, they now persuade themselves and hold to be true what they know to be false.
    • “On the Master’s Degree,” pp. 60-61
  • Virtus uno seu potius nullo titulo contenta sibi est titulus.
    • Virtue is content with one title, or rather with none at all. It itself is a true title.
      • “On the Various Academic Titles,” p. 65
  • Philosophia non sapientiam, sed amorem sapientie pollicetur.
    • Philosophy offers not wisdom but the love of wisdom.
      • “On the Various Academic Titles,” p. 65
  • Modo verus amor sit et vera quam ames sapientia, philosophus verus eris.
    • As long as your love is true and the wisdom true which you love, you shall be a true philosopher.
      • “On the Various Academic Titles,” p. 65
  • When it comes to confessing, professing is safer indeed. The latter induces humility and penitence—the former, levity and ignorance.
    • “On the Various Academic Titles,” p. 67
  • To seek the truth … and to express something so that it delights the ear is a great thing, hard, troublesome, and, hence, most rare. True poets certainly devote themselves to both these duties. Poets of the more common sort neglect the first and are content with the sonorous phrase.
    • “On the Various Academic Titles,” p. 67
  • There are a precious few whose studies are sound and honest and whose goal is truth and virtue. This is the knowledge of things and the improvement of moral conduct. … As for the others, of whom there is an enormous mass, some seek glory, an insipid, yet gleaming prize. But the majority aims only at the gleam of money, which is not only a rather poor reward, but dirty, and neither equal to the trouble involved, nor worthy of efforts of the mind.
    • “On the Various Academic Titles,” pp. 72-73
  • To those who are given to virtue, the boast of titles is wholly alien and distasteful.
    • “On the Various Academic Titles,” p. 73

External links[edit]