Scholarly Self-Denial

J.E. Sandys, A History of Classical Scholarship Vol. 2 (Budaeus)

“In 1503 he married the daughter of an ancient Norman house, and it is said that, on his wedding-day, by an exceptional act of self-denial, he limited his time of study to three hours only. In his studies he was aided in every possible way by the devotion of his wife. Once, when he was busy reading in his library, one of the servants suddenly rushed in to inform him that the house was on fire. The scholar, without lifting up his eyes from his book, simply said to his informant : — allez avertir ma femme ; vous savez bien que je ne m’occupe pas des affaires du menage!* His health was seriously impaired by his prodigious industry, and the surgeons of the day vainly endeavoured to cure him of his constant headaches by applying a red-hot iron to the crown of his head. Happily he was enabled to find a safer remedy by taking long walks and by cultivating his garden.”

*”Go tell my wife – you know well that I never concern myself with household affairs.”

Leave a Reply