My Friends Are the Enemies of My Studies

Mark Pattison, Isaac Casaubon:

“The diary begins again to echo with groans over time running to waste. He tells Lipsius that he is driven to do his translation of Polybius as the sheets pass through the press, ‘from want of time. The greater part of my day is wasted upon wretched nothings in this busy capital, busy because all the men have nothing to do.’ Day after day the entry in the diary is, ‘This day, too, my friends have made me lose! amici studiorum meorum inimici.‘ [My friends are the enemies of my studies.]‘ Aug. 3, 1601, O woe, O wretchedness, all study is at an end for me, how much of each day do I spend in reading, each day do I say, a whole week is gone, a whole month, and I can hardly get to look at a book.’ The wailngs of Montpellier are revived, but upon a greater stage. Being a sort of court pensioner, Casaubon too is part of the court. He has to wait upon the king; to wait, a good deal, upon Rosny; upon various grands seigneurs, a little in his own affairs, much in those of his friends. He began to experience the annoyances which await one who is supposed to stand well with men in power. ‘This morning my friends ad proceres me rapuerunt negotiorum suorum causa!’ [They took me away to see some aristocrats for the sake of their advancing their own affairs.]”

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