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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
Disputation between Pepin, the Most Noble and Royal Youth, and Albinus the Scholastic
By Alcuin (735–804)
PEPIN—What is writing?  1
  Albinus—The treasury of history.  2
  Pepin—What is language?  3
  Albinus—The herald of the soul.  4
  Pepin—What generates language?  5
  Albinus—The tongue.  6
  Pepin—What is the tongue?  7
  Albinus—A whip of the air.  8
  Pepin—What is the air?  9
  Albinus—A maintainer of life.  10
  Pepin—What is life?  11
  Albinus—The joy of the happy; the torment of the suffering; a waiting for death.  12
  Pepin—What is death?  13
  Albinus—An inevitable ending; a journey into uncertainty; a source of tears for the living; the probation of wills; a waylayer of men.  14
  Pepin—What is man?  15
  Albinus—A booty of death; a passing traveler; a stranger on earth.  16
  Pepin—What is man like?  17
  Albinus—The fruit of a tree.  18
  Pepin—What are the heavens?  19
  Albinus—A rolling ball; an immeasurable vault.  20
  Pepin—What is light?  21
  Albinus—The sight of all things.  22
  Pepin—What is day?  23
  Albinus—The admonisher to labor.  24
  Pepin—What is the sun?  25
  Albinus—The glory and splendor of the heavens; the attractive in nature; the measure of hours; the adornment of day.  26
  Pepin—What is the moon?  27
  Albinus—The eye of night; the dispenser of dew; the presager of storms.  28
  Pepin—What are the stars?  29
  Albinus—A picture on the vault of heaven; the steersmen of ships; the ornament of night.  30
  Pepin—What is rain?  31
  Albinus—The fertilizer of the earth; the producer of crops.  32
  Pepin—What is fog?  33
  Albinus—Night in day; the annoyance of eyes.  34
  Pepin—What is wind?  35
  Albinus—The mover of air; the agitation of water; the dryer of the earth.  36
  Pepin—What is the earth?  37
  Albinus—The mother of growth; the nourisher of the living; the storehouse of life; the effacer of all.  38
  Pepin—What is the sea?  39
  Albinus—The path of adventure; the bounds of the earth; the division of lands; the harbor of rivers; the source of rains; a refuge in danger; a pleasure in enjoyment.  40
  Pepin—What are rivers?  41
  Albinus—A ceaseless motion; a refreshment to the sun; the waters of the earth.  42
  Pepin—What is water?  43
  Albinus—The supporter of life; the cleanser of filth.  44
  Pepin—What is fire?  45
  Albinus—An excessive heat; the nurse of growing things; the ripener of crops.  46
  Pepin—What is cold?  47
  Albinus—The trembling of our members.  48
  Pepin—What is frost?  49
  Albinus—An assailer of plants; the destruction of leaves; a fetter to the earth; a bridger of streams.  50
  Pepin—What is snow?  51
  Albinus—Dry water.  52
  Pepin—What is winter?  53
  Albinus—An exile of summer.  54
  Pepin—What is spring?  55
  Albinus—A painter of the earth.  56
  Pepin—What is summer?  57
  Albinus—That which brings to the earth a new garment, and ripens the fruit.  58
  Pepin—What is autumn?  59
  Albinus—The barn of the year.  60

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