The Most Perfect Authors

Leonardo Bruni de Studiis et Litteris 8

“If she be delighted by secular authors, she will take up Cicero – good God, what a man! What amazing eloquence! What a fund of brilliance! How perfect in letters! How singular in everything worthy of praise! Next to him will be Vergil, the honor and delight of our literature. Then Livy, Sallust, and the other poets and authors will follow in order. She will steep herself in and nourish herself on these writings, and will carefully see to it that, whenever she must say or write anything, she uses no word which she does not first find recorded in one of these authors.”

Sive saecularibus delectetur, Tullium arripiet; quem virum, deus immortalis! Quanta facundia! Quanta copia! Quam perfectum in litteris! Quam in omni genere laudis singularem! Proximus huic Vergilius erit, decus ac deliciae litterarum nostrarum. Livius deinde et Sallustius et alii poetaeque et scriptores suo ordine subsequentur. His se maxime imbuet atque alet curabitque diligenter ut, quotiens ei vel loquendum sit aliquid vel scribendum, nullum ponat verbum quod non in aliquo istorum ante reppererit.

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