Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Gibbon on toleration

"The various modes of worship, which prevailed in the Roman world, were all considered by the people as equally true; by the philosopher, as equally false; and by the magistrate, as equally useful."

Edward Gibbon, The decline and fall of the Roman empire (1776-88), chap. 2, as reproduced in the 5th edition of the Oxford dictionary of quotations (1999).

Monday, January 4, 2010

Don't beat the Picards

"'Jehan, Jehan, cessat doctorum doctrina, discipulorum disciplina.  Jehan be good, Jehan be studious, Jehan don't stay out of college all night without legitimate excuse and your master's permission.  Don't beat the Picards, noli, Joannes, verberare Picardos.  Don't rot on the straw of the classroom like an illiterate donkey, quasi asinus illiteratus.  Jehan, let yourself be punished at your master's discretion.  Jehan, go to chapel every evening and sing an anthem with a verse and a prayer to Our Glorious Lady the Virgin Mary.'"

Jehan du Moulin, mocking his brother Dom Claude Frollo, the Archdeacon of Josas, in Victor Hugo's Notre Dame de Paris x.2, trans. John Sturrock ((New York, NY:  Penguin Books, 1978), 394).  cessat doctorum doctrina, discipulorum disciplina:  "The doctrine of the doctors, the discipline of the disciples have grown slack" (Sturrock again).