When I have a little money. . .


The following is from Erasmus’ letter of March/April 1515. He was on his way to the Frankfurt Book Fair. In Line of Ascent, Jake is with Erasmus on this trip.

In Mainz I had counted up my small stock of money so that I could know if anything had gone astray, for I was so frightened by reports that a ship had been ransacked that I had concealed it in my leggings. I found sixty-six gold coins. . .There was a parlor with a stove in it attached to my bedroom of which I had sole use, in which we talked far into the night, Schürer and I and several other friends. When they had all gone I left my purse there and went to bed. In the morning, not suspecting trouble, I thought I would count the money again, to make sure how much I could afford to take out for buying books. I soon saw that I was two nobles short. My heart sank; I counted again, and found that twenty-two gold florins were missing as well.

From the Collected Works of Erasmus, Vol 3.


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