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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
From a Rhymed Letter to the King
By Clément Marot (1496–1544)
At the Time of his Exile at Ferrara—1535

I THINK it may be that your Majesty, Sovereign King, may believe that my absence is occasioned by my feeling the prick of some ill deed; but it is not so, for I do not feel myself to be of the number of the guilty: but I know of many corruptible judges in Paris, who, for pecuniary gain, or for friends, or for their own ends, or in tender grace and charity to some fair humble petitioner, will save the foul and guilty life of the most wicked criminal in the world; while on the other hand, for lack of bribing or protection, or from rancor, they are to the innocent so inhuman that I am loth to fall into their hands….  1
  They are much my enemies because of their hell, which I have set in a writing, wherein some few of their wicked wiles I lay bare. They wish great harm to me for a small work….  2
  As much as they, and with no good cause, wishes ill to me the ignorant Sorbonne. Very ignorant she shows herself in being the enemy of the noble trilingual academy [Collège de France] your Majesty has created. It is clearly manifest that within her precincts, against your Majesty’s will is prohibited all teaching of Hebrew or Greek or Latin, she declaring it heretical. O poor creatures, all denuded of learning, you make true the familiar proverb, “Knowledge has no such haters as the ignorant.”…  3
  They have given me the name of Lutheran. I answer them that it is not so. Luther for me has not descended from heaven. Luther for my sins has not hung upon the cross; and I am quite sure that in his name I have not been baptized: I have been baptized in that Name at whose naming the Eternal Father gives that which is asked for, the sole Name in and by which this wicked world can find salvation….  4
  O Lord God … grant that whilst I live, my pen may be employed in thy honor; and if this my body be predestined by thee one day to be destroyed by fire, grant that it be for no light cause, but for thee and for thy Word. And I pray thee, Father, that the torture may not be so intense that my soul may be sunk in forgetfulness of thee, in whom is all my trust.  5

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