“Let me tell you, my friend, how far I fall short of your estimation. This is not my opinion only; it is a fact: I am nothing of what you attribute to me. What am I then? I am a fellow who has never quit school, and not even that, but a backwoodsman who is roaming around through the lofty breech trees all alone, humming to himself some silly little tune, and – the very peak of presumption and assurance – dipping his shaky pen into his inkstand while sitting under a bitter laurel tree. I am not so fortunate in what I achieve as I am passionate in my work, being much more a lover of learning than a man who has got much of it. I am striving for truth. Truth is difficult to discover, and, being the most humble and feeble of all those who try to find it, I lose confidence in myself often enough.” – Petrarch, letter to Francesco Bruni, Oct. 25, 1362*
*cited by Kitty Ferguson in The Music of Pythagoras from The Renaissance Philosophy of Man: Selections in Translation edited by Cassirer, Kristeller, and Randall.
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