You Reflect So Much Glory On Me!

Lorenzo Valla, Letter to Luchino Belbello
“Dear Luchino, you seem to progress and grow stronger in eloquence every day, even every hour! Would that the gods loved me as they do you – I really marvel both at your accurate and noble sentiments, and also at the charm of your speech. So go on, dear Luchino, so that you can be an honor to yourself, a benefit to your friends, and a profit to Pavia. Indeed, you even confer some glory upon me when you call me your teacher, and you engender a wondrous benevolence. How much do you think my favor has increased for you when I see you so learned, so eloquent, so full of humanity and of some kind of piety toward me? Indeed, I grieve that I didn’t give you an extra little polishing for a few short months and place the finishing touches on your ability.

Scarcity of time prevents me from writing much, for I am distracted by many different affairs which don’t even allow me time to breathe. But keep writing to me as elegantly as you do now: I will show your letters to all who listen to me, and they always praise and admire you in the highest terms, and agree with me when I heap the accolades on you. Farewell, my great hope!

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LAURENTIUS VALLA LUCHINO BELBELLO SALUTEM PLURIMAM DICIT.

In dies atque adeo in horas, mi Luchine, in eloquentia progredi et convalescere videris. Ita dii me ament ut te vehementer admiror, cum propter accuratas gravesque sententias, tum propter orationis venustatem. Quare perge, mi Luchine, ut et tibi honori et amicis utilitati et Papiensi reipublice emolumento esse possis. Nam mihi tu quidem et gloriam comparas, quem tuum preceptorem appellas, et miram tui benivolentiam ingeneras. Quid enim putas et quantum benivolentie mee in te accrevisse, cum videam te ita doctum, ita facundum, ita plenum humanitatis ac cuiusdam in me quasi pietatis? Doleo equidem quod te non etiam aliquot pauculis mensibus expoliam et tue facultati extremam manum imponam.

Temporis brevitas facit ut non possim multa scribere; distringor enim multis variisque occupationibus, que me respirare non sinunt. Tu tamen persevera scribere ad me eleganter, ut facis; quas tuas litteras auditoribus meis ostendam, qui te summopere laudant et admirantur et mihi te impense laudanti assentiuntur. Vale, spes magna.

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