Erasmus, Colloquia Familiaria:
“Mauritius: You have returned to us fatter than usual. You have come back a bit longer.
Cyprianus: Yet I would have loved to come back more intelligent or more learned.
M: You left unbearded and have returned with a little growth. You contracted a bit of age while you were gone. What’s up with this paleness? What about this leanness? What of your goat-like forehead?
C: Just as fortune, so too goes one’s body…
M: Was your fortune bad?
C: It was never indeed favorable otherwise, but it never blew more hatefully than now.
M: I grieve for your misfortune – your calamity distresses me. But what evil was there?
C: I made a shipwreck of all my money.
M: In the sea?
C: Nope – on the shore, before I ever set sail.
M: Where the hell was that?
C: On the shore of Britain.
M: Well, it’s good that you swam back here alive. Better to lose your money than your life. The payment of money is lighter than the expense of one’s reputation.
C: Yet with life and reputation intact, all my money is lost.
M: Life can never be recovered, reputation can but with difficulty, yet it’s easy enough to repair the loss of money somehow. How did this disaster happen?
C: I don’t know – it must just be my fate. Thus it seemed best to the gods. Thus it pleased my evil genius.
M: You see then that learning and virtue are the safest riches, since they can never be taken away and they never burden their possessor.
C: That’s a pretty piece of philosophy you’re spouting, but I’m still pissed.”