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A Boy of Excellent Promise: Greeting.

The Book dedicated to you has surpassed my expectation, my dearest Erasmius: it will be your part to take care that you do not disappoint my expectation. Our studious youth are so in love with the book, seize upon it so eagerly, handle it so constantly, that your father has had repeatedly to print it, and I to enrich it with new additions. You might say it too was an [Greek: herasmion], the delight of the Muses, who foster sacred things. It will be the more your endeavour that you also may be what you are called, that is, that you may be, by learning and probity of manners, "most endeared" to all good men. It were deep cause for shame, if, while this book has rendered so many both better Latin scholars and better men, you should so act that the same use and profit should not return to yourself, which by your means has come to all. And since there are so many young fellows, who thank you for the sake of the Colloquies, would it not be justly thought absurd, if through your fault the fact should seem that you could not thank me on the same account? The little book has increased to the fair size of a volume. You must also endeavour, in proportion as your age increases, to improve in sound learning and integrity of manners. No ordinary hopes are placed upon you: it is indispensable that you should answer to them; it would be glorious for you to surpass them; disappoint them you surely cannot without the greatest disgrace. Nor do I say this, because your course thus far gives me occasion for regret, but by way of spurring the runner, that you may run more nimbly; especially since you have arrived at an age, than which none happier occurs in the course of life for imbibing the seeds of letters and of piety. Act then in such a way, that these Colloquies may be truly called yours.

The Lord Jesus keep the present season of your life pure from all pollutions, and ever lead you on to better things! Farewell.

BASIL, August 1st., 1524.

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