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great ancient wise men, who wanted diligently
to understand in this way were not interested in amassing
any possessions, but only in learning pure knowledge.
They were not covetous nor interested in
amassing treasures. Indeed there were many of them who, wise as they were,
perceived that it was often as much of a burden to
keep their treasures, or to carefully to spend them in moderation, or to intentionally
save them up, sufficient for any needs that they might have, to the point that
that it took away their free time for learning.
So they separated themselves from and rid themselves of [things], so much that
some threw their possessions into the sea; others
declared themselves quit and abandoned them, and went to
live as hermits; others gave them away to the poor.
And there were yet others who left them in such a
way that they would not have to think about them, and kept them
only to use [as needed]. They were willing to hire other
people to serve them, so that they would not have to
deal with anything outside of their study and learning.
They had their houses built apart from other people,

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Marie Richards

original folio 14r
Walters folio 19r
BL Royal MS 19 A IX 18v-19r
Caxton, ed. Prior, p 23-24
Gossuin, ed. Prior, p 71

Marie Richards

"And many of them, as wise men,
perceived that it was often as much a burden to
keep their treasures or to spend them, as to gather them;
and that all this was a hindrance to learning." Caxton, p. 23, fn 1 for this modern translation.