Front Page Titles (by Subject) AN ADMONITORY NOTE OF ERASMUS ON THE TRICKS AND IMPOSTURES OF A CERTAIN DOMINICAN, WHO HAD PUBLISHED IN FRANCE THE COLLOQUIES OF ERASMUS RIDICULOUSLY INTERPOLATED BY HIMSELF. - The Colloquies vol. 1
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AN ADMONITORY NOTE OF ERASMUS ON THE TRICKS AND IMPOSTURES OF A CERTAIN DOMINICAN, WHO HAD PUBLISHED IN FRANCE THE COLLOQUIES OF ERASMUS RIDICULOUSLY INTERPOLATED BY HIMSELF. - Desiderius Erasmus, The Colloquies vol. 1 
The Colloquies of Erasmus. Translated by Nathan Bailey. Edited with Notes, by the Rev. E. Johnson, M.A. (London: Reeves and Turner, 1878). Vol. 1.
Part of: The Colloquies 2 vols.
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AN ADMONITORY NOTE OF ERASMUS ON THE TRICKS AND IMPOSTURES OF A CERTAIN DOMINICAN, WHO HAD PUBLISHED IN FRANCE THE COLLOQUIES OF ERASMUS RIDICULOUSLY INTERPOLATED BY HIMSELF.
A BOOK of Colloquies had appeared, the material of which was collected partly from domestic talks, partly from my papers; but with a mixture of certain trivialities, not only without sense, but also in bad Latin,—perfect solecisms. This trash was received with wonderful applause; for in these matters too Fortune has her sport. I was compelled therefore to lay hands on these trumperies. At length, having applied somewhat greater care, I added considerable matter, so that the book might be of fair size, and in fact might appear worthy even of the honour of being dedicated to John Erasmius, son of Froben, a boy then six years old, but of extraordinary natural ability. This was done in the year 1522. But the nature of this work is such, that it receives addition as often as it is revised. Accordingly I frequently made an addition for the sake of the studious, and of John Froben; but so tempered the subject–matters, that besides the pleasure of reading, and their use in polishing the style, they might also contain that which would conduce to the formation of character. Even while the book I have referred to contained nothing but mere rubbish, it was read with wonderful favour by all. But when it had gained a richer utility, it could not escape τω¯ν συκοϕαντω¯ν δήγματα. A certain divine of Louvain, frightfully blear of eye, but still more of mind, saw in it four heretical passages. There was also another incident connected with this work worth relating. It was lately printed at Paris with certain passages corrected, that is to say, corrupted, which appeared to attack monks, vows, pilgrimages, indulgences, and other things of that kind which, if held in great esteem among the people, would be a source of more plentiful profit to gentlemen of that order. But he did this so stupidly, so clumsily, that you would swear he had been some street buffoon: although the author of so silly a piece is said to be a certain divine of the Dominican order, by nation a Saxon. Of what avail is it to add his name and surname, which he himself does not desire to have suppressed? A monster like him knows not what shame is; he would rather look for praise from his villany. This rogue added a new Preface in my name, in which he represented three men sweating at the instruction of one boy: Capito, who taught him Hebrew, Beatus Greek, and me, Latin. He represents me as inferior to each of the others alike in learning and in piety; intimating that there is in the Colloquies a sprinkling of certain matters which savour of Luther’s dogmas. And here I know that some will chuckle, when they read that Capito is favoured by such a hater of Luther with the designation of an excellent and most accomplished man. These and many things of the like kind he represents me as saying, taking the pattern of his effrontery from a letter of Jerome, who complains that his rivals had circulated a forged letter under his name amongst a synod of bishops in Africa; in which he was made to confess that, deceived by certain Jews, he had falsely translated the Old Testament from the Hebrew. And they would have succeeded in persuading the bishops that the letter was Jerome’s, had they been able in any tolerable degree, to imitate Jerome’s style. Although Jerome speaks of this deed as one of extreme and incurable roguery, our Phormio takes peculiar delight in this, which is more rascally than any notorious book. But his malicious will was wanting in power to carry out what he had intended. He could not come up to Erasmus’ style, unpolished though it be: for he thus closes his flowery preface: Thus age has admonished, piety has bidden me, while life is still spared in my burdensome age, to cleanse my writings, lest those who follow my mournful funeral should transcribe my departed soul!
This last work of the Colloquies, with the addition of an appendix, is issued in the month of September, 1524.
From a letter of Erasmus dated 5th Oct. 1532, we gather some further particulars about the obnoxious person above referred to. His name was Lambert Campester. Subsequently to his exploit at Paris in printing a garbled edition of the Colloquies, he “fled to Leyden; and pretending to be a great friend of Erasmus, found a patron, from whom having soon stolen 300 crowns, fled, was taken in his flight amongst some girls, and would have been nailed to a cross, had not his sacred Dominican cowl saved him. He, I say, many other offences and crimes having been proved against him, is at length in a certain town of Germany, called, I think, Zorst, in the Duchy of Juliers,—his cowl thrown aside, teaching the Gospel, that is, mere sedition. The Duke begged them to turn the fellow out. They answered that they could not do without their preacher. And this sort of plague spreads from day to day.”