„Those words had given me occupation enough, for I could not believe that it was by a mere accident that I happened upon them.“

—  Francesco Petrarca

Letter to Dionigi di Borgo San Sepolcro (26 April 1336), as translated by James Harvey Robinson (1898)
Kontext: My brother, waiting to hear something of St. Augustine's from my lips, stood attentively by. I call him, and God too, to witness that where I first fixed my eyes it was written: "And men go about to wonder at the heights of the mountains, and the mighty waves of the sea, and the wide sweep of rivers, and the circuit of the ocean, and the revolution of the stars, but themselves they consider not." I was abashed, and, asking my brother (who was anxious to hear more), not to annoy me, I closed the book, angry with myself that I should still be admiring earthly things who might long ago have learned from even the pagan philosophers that nothing is wonderful but the soul, which, when great itself, finds nothing great outside itself. Then, in truth, I was satisfied that I had seen enough of the mountain; I turned my inward eye upon myself, and from that time not a syllable fell from my lips until we reached the bottom again. Those words had given me occupation enough, for I could not believe that it was by a mere accident that I happened upon them. What I had there read I believed to be addressed to me and to no other, remembering that St. Augustine had once suspected the same thing in his own case, when, on opening the book of the Apostle, as he himself tells us, the first words that he saw there were, "Not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof."

„There is no lighter burden, nor more agreeable, than a pen. Other pleasures fail us or wound us while they charm, but the pen we take up rejoicing and lay down with satisfaction, for it has the power to advantage not only its lord and master, but many others as well, even though they be far away — sometimes, indeed, though they be not born for thousands of years to come.“

—  Francesco Petrarca

Letter to Giovanni Boccaccio (28 April 1373) as quoted in Petrarch : The First Modern Scholar and Man of Letters (1898) edited by James Harvey Robinson and Henry Winchester Rolfe, p. 426
Kontext: Continued work and application form my soul's nourishment. So soon as I commenced to rest and relax I should cease to live. I know my own powers. I am not fitted for other kinds of work, but my reading and writing, which you would have me discontinue, are easy tasks, nay, they are a delightful rest, and relieve the burden of heavier anxieties. There is no lighter burden, nor more agreeable, than a pen. Other pleasures fail us or wound us while they charm, but the pen we take up rejoicing and lay down with satisfaction, for it has the power to advantage not only its lord and master, but many others as well, even though they be far away — sometimes, indeed, though they be not born for thousands of years to come. I believe I speak but the strict truth when I claim that as there is none among earthly delights more noble than literature, so there is none so lasting, none gentler, or more faithful; there is none which accompanies its possessor through the vicissitudes of life at so small a cost of effort or anxiety.

„To-day I made the ascent of the highest mountain in this region, which is not improperly called Ventosum. My only motive was the wish to see what so great an elevation had to offer.“

—  Francesco Petrarca

Letter to Dionigi di Borgo San Sepolcro (26 April 1336), "The Ascent of Mount Ventoux" in Familiar Letters http://petrarch.petersadlon.com/read_letters.html?s=pet17.html as translated by James Harvey Robinson (1898); the name Mount Ventosum relates to it being a windy mountain.
Kontext: To-day I made the ascent of the highest mountain in this region, which is not improperly called Ventosum. My only motive was the wish to see what so great an elevation had to offer. I have had the expedition in mind for many years; for, as you know, I have lived in this region from infancy, having been cast here by that fate which determines the affairs of men. Consequently the mountain, which is visible from a great distance, was ever before my eyes, and I conceived the plan of some time doing what I have at last accomplished to-day.

„I seem to you to have written everything, or at least a great deal, while to myself I appear to have produced almost nothing.“

—  Francesco Petrarca

Letter to Giovanni Boccaccio (28 April 1373) as quoted in Petrarch : The First Modern Scholar and Man of Letters (1898) edited by James Harvey Robinson and Henry Winchester Rolfe, p. 417
Kontext: I certainly will not reject the praise you bestow upon me for having stimulated in many instances, not only in Italy but perhaps beyond its confines also, the pursuit of studies such as ours, which have suffered neglect for so many centuries; I am, indeed, almost the oldest of those among us who are engaged in the cultivation of these subjects. But I cannot accept the conclusion you draw from this, namely, that I should give place to younger minds, and, interrupting the plan of work on which I am engaged, give others an opportunity to write something, if they will, and not seem longer to desire to reserve everything for my own pen. How radically do our opinions differ, although, at bottom, our object is the same! I seem to you to have written everything, or at least a great deal, while to myself I appear to have produced almost nothing.

„I certainly will not reject the praise you bestow upon me for having stimulated in many instances, not only in Italy but perhaps beyond its confines also, the pursuit of studies such as ours, which have suffered neglect for so many centuries“

—  Francesco Petrarca

Letter to Giovanni Boccaccio (28 April 1373) as quoted in Petrarch : The First Modern Scholar and Man of Letters (1898) edited by James Harvey Robinson and Henry Winchester Rolfe, p. 417
Kontext: I certainly will not reject the praise you bestow upon me for having stimulated in many instances, not only in Italy but perhaps beyond its confines also, the pursuit of studies such as ours, which have suffered neglect for so many centuries; I am, indeed, almost the oldest of those among us who are engaged in the cultivation of these subjects. But I cannot accept the conclusion you draw from this, namely, that I should give place to younger minds, and, interrupting the plan of work on which I am engaged, give others an opportunity to write something, if they will, and not seem longer to desire to reserve everything for my own pen. How radically do our opinions differ, although, at bottom, our object is the same! I seem to you to have written everything, or at least a great deal, while to myself I appear to have produced almost nothing.

„Man has no greater enemy than himself.“

—  Francesco Petrarca

I have acted contrary to my sentiments and inclination; throughout our whole lives we do what we never intended, and what we proposed to do, we leave undone.
As quoted in An Examination of the Advantages of Solitude and of Its Operations (1808) by Johann Georg Ritter von Zimmermann

„Books have led some to learning and others to madness, when they swallow more than they can digest.“

—  Francesco Petrarca

As quoted in "Lifetime Speaker's Encyclopedia" (1962) by Jacob Morton Braude, p. 75

„Ché bel fin fa chi ben amando more.“

—  Francesco Petrarca, Il Canzoniere

For he makes a good end who dies loving well.
Canzone 140, last line
Il Canzoniere (c. 1351–1353), To Laura in Life

„The waters speak of love and the breeze and the branches and the little birds and the fish and the flowers and the grass, all together begging me always to love. But you, born in a happy hour, who call me from Heaven: by the memory of your untimely death you beg me to scorn the world and its sweet hooks.“

—  Francesco Petrarca, Il Canzoniere

Canzone 280, st. 3–4
Il Canzoniere (c. 1351–1353), To Laura in Death
Originál: (co) L'acque parlan d'amore, et l'òra e i rami
et gli augelletti et i pesci e i fiori et l'erba,
tutti inseme pregando ch'i' sempre ami.<p>Ma tu, ben nata, che dal ciel mi chiami,
per la memoria di tua morte acerba
preghi ch'i' sprezzi 'l mondo e i suoi dolci hami.

„To begin with myself, then, the utterances of men concerning me will differ widely, since in passing judgment almost every one is influenced not so much by truth as by preference, and good and evil report alike know no bounds.“

—  Francesco Petrarca

Epistola ad Posteros [Letter to Posterity] in Petrarch : The First Modern Scholar and Man of Letters (1898) edited by James Harvey Robinson and Henry Winchester Rolfe, p. 59

„I shall be what I have been, shall live as I have lived.“

—  Francesco Petrarca, Il Canzoniere

Sarò qual fui, vivrò com'io son visso.
Canzone 145, st. 4
Il Canzoniere (c. 1351–1353), To Laura in Life

„Ah new people, haughty beyond measure, irreverent to so great a mother!“

—  Francesco Petrarca, Il Canzoniere

Canzone 53, st. 6
Il Canzoniere (c. 1351–1353), To Laura in Life
Originál: (co) Ahi nova gente oltra misura altera,
irreverente a tanta et a tal madre!

„Resembles herself and no other.“

—  Francesco Petrarca, Il Canzoniere

Sol se stessa, et nulla altra, simiglia.
Canzone 160, line 4
Il Canzoniere (c. 1351–1353), To Laura in Life

„True is the proverb, one's hair will change before one's habits.“

—  Francesco Petrarca, Il Canzoniere

Vero è 'l proverbio, ch'altri cangia il pelo
anzi che 'l vezzo.
Canzone 122, st. 2
Il Canzoniere (c. 1351–1353), To Laura in Life

„I am she who gave you so much war and completed my day before evening.“

—  Francesco Petrarca, Il Canzoniere

I' so' colei che ti die' tanta guerra,
et compie' mia giornata inanzi sera.
Canzone 302, st. 2
Il Canzoniere (c. 1351–1353), To Laura in Death

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