The illustrious scholar generally retired to rest shortly after supper.  At two or three o’clock in the morning, he was at his studies.  It was during these early hours that his best works were written.  His manuscripts usually lay on the table, exposed to the view of every visitor, so that he was robbed of several.  When he had invited any of his friends to his house, he used to beg one of them to read before sitting down to table some small composition in prose or verse.  He always took some young men with him during his journeys.  He conversed with them in a manner at once amusing and instructive.  If the conversation languished, each of them had to recite, in turn, passages extracted from the ancient poets.  He made frequent use of irony, tempering it, however, with great mildness.  “He scratches and bites,” said he of himself, “and yet does no harm.”

From: A History of the Reformation of the Sixteenth Century by J. H. Merle d’Aubigne; two volumes; translated from the French by H. White; reprint (Rapidan: Heartland Publications, 2006), 1:312.


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