Poet Laureate, So What?

Petrarch, Epistles 4.6:

“You ask what is the point of this labor, this pursuit, this concern – whether the laurel crown will make a person more learned, or better? Surely, it will make a person more famous, and expose them to the envy of the masses. But the seat of knowledge and virtue is the mind, and so they build their nests there, not in the leafy branches as birds do. ‘So, what good is this crown of leaves?’ You ask how I would respond. What good do you think, beyond that saying of the Jewish sage, ‘Vanity of vanities, all is vanity’? But such are humanity’s ways.”

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Queris quo hic labor, hoc studium, hec cura; an doctiorem, an meliorem factura sit laurea. Notiorem forte et plurium invidie expositum; scientie autem et virtutis sedes est animus, ibique non in frondosis ramis avicularum more nidificant. ‘Quorsum igitur hic frondium apparatus?’ quid respondeam, queris. Quid, putas, nisi illud Sapientis Hebreorum: «Vanitas vanitatum et omnia vanitas»? Sed sic sunt mores hominum.

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