Praise of Stupidity - Erasmus Rotterdam (1469-1536)

Literature of antiquity and the Middle Ages - Summary - 2019

Praise of Stupidity
Erasmus Rotterdam (1469-1536)

Stupidity says: let the rude mortals interpret her as they please, she dares to assert that her divine presence, only one, makes merry the gods and people. And now I will say the glorious word of Stupidity.

Who, if not stupidity, should become a trumpeter of his own glory? After all, the lazy and ungrateful mortals, diligently worshiping her and willingly enjoying her benefits, in the continuation of so many centuries, did not bother to give thanks in praise to the praise of Stupidity in grateful speech. And here it is, Foolishness, the generous submission of all the benefits that the Latins call Stultius, and the Greeks, Moriyya, self-advocate before all in all its glory.

So, since it is not known to everyone, what kind of it occurs, then, calling for the help of the Muses, first of all sets forth the stupidity of his genealogy. Her father is Pluto, who will not be told to Homer, Hesiod and even to Jupiter himself, and there is one and only father of gods and people. To whom he pleases, that is not the case to Jupiter with his thunder. And it was born stupidity, using the words of Homer, not in the noses of a dull marriage, but from the lust of free love. And at that time her father was clever and cheerful, hopeless from his youth, and even more so from the nectar whom he had baked fairly at the feast of the gods.

Born Stupidity on those happy islands where they do not sow, do not fall, but gather in granaries. There is no age or sickness on these islands, and you will not see there on the fields there are no witches, no beans and that kind of rubbish, but only lotuses, roses, violets and hyacinths. And the child asked their pussies two lovely nymphs - Methe-Drunkenness and Apedy-Imperfection. Now they are in the suite of companions and nippers of Stupidity, and with them Kolakiya-Lest, and Leta-Zabvienie, and Misoponiya-Len, and Gedona-Enjoyment, and Anoyia-Madness, and Tripe-Chervogogode. But there are two other gods who have become entangled in the girls' dance: Komos-Razgul and Negretos Hypnos-Unproblematic dream. With the help of these faithful servants, the Foolishness obeys the whole human race and gives orders to the emperors themselves.

Having learned what kind, what kind of upbringing, and what the retinue of stupidity is, grow your ears and pay attention to the benefits it gives to the gods and people and how wide its divine power extends.

First of all - what can be sweeter and precious of life itself? But to whom, if not to Stupidity, should the wise man call, if suddenly he wants to become a father? After all, say in conscience, which husband would agree to put on the brink of marriage, if, according to the custom of the wise men, we preliminarily weighed all the adversities of married life? And what woman would admit to her husband if she had thought and thought about the dangers and sorrows of childbirth and the difficulties of bringing up children? So, only thanks to the drunken and funny game of Stupidity, sinister philosophers and porphyry monarchs, and triple pre-eminent high priests, and even all the numerous hordes of poetry gods, are born.

Not only that, all that is in the life of a pleasant one is also a gift of Foolishness, and now it will be proven. What would be the life of the earth, if it had been deprived of its pleasures? Stoics themselves do not turn away from pleasures. After all, what remains in life, except sadness, boredom and hardship, if not to admire it with a small amount of pleasure, in other words, if you do not fool her with stupidity?

The first years are the most enjoyable and merry age in human life. How to explain our love for children, if not because wisdom has surrounded the infants with an attractive cover of nonsense, which, charisma of the parents, rewards them for the works, and gives the little ones love and guardianship, necessary for them.

After childhood, youth should follow, What is the source of the charm of youth, if not in Stupidity? The less the boy understands the mercy of the Foolishness, the more pleasant he is to everyone and everyone. And the more man is removed from Stupidity, the less he remains to live until the painful old age finally arrives. None of the mortals would have sustained old age, if Stupidity had not pity on the unfortunate and would not hurry to help them. By virtue of her grace, the elders can be considered insane companions, pleasant friends and even take part in a fun conversation.

And what are the ugly Sunnis who are studying philosophy! Unable to become young men, they have already become old, thorny thoughts have dried up their vital juices. But fools, on the other hand, are smooth, white-skinned, with a honey-skinned, real acar's mumps, they will never experience the burdens of old age unless they become infected by communicating with clever men. It is not for nothing that the folk proverb teaches that only stupidity can hold fast-running youth and remove old-fashioned forbearance.

And, in fact, not find on earth any fun or happiness that would not be gifts of stupidity. Men who are born for the affairs of the government and therefore have received some superfluous drops of the mind, are combined with a woman, a cattle incomprehensible and stupid, but funny and cute, so that she has its idiosyncrasy and sweetened the dreaded importance of the male mind. It is known that a woman will forever be a woman, in other words - a fool, but what attracts them to men, if not stupidity? In the Stupidity of women - the highest bliss of men.

However, many men find the highest bliss in the sweatshops. But can you imagine a funny feast without seasoning stupidity? Is it worth to burden the womb with snow and goodies, if at the same time eyes, ears and spirit do not enjoy laughter, games and jokes? Namely, by stupidity all this is for the benefit of the human race.

But maybe there are people who find joy only when communicating with friends? But here it will not do without stupidity and light-mindedness. What to interpret there! Cupid himself, the culprit and parent of all rapprochement between people, is not he blind and does not he seem ugly to the beautiful? God is immortal, how much would it be everywhere divorces or what is worse, if husbands and wives were not dressed and did not ease their home life with the help of flattery, jokes, light-heartedness, delusions, pretense and other companions of Stupidity!

In a word, without stupidity, no communication would be pleasant and durable: the people could not have long been demolishing their sovereign, the master - the slave, the maidservice - the lady, the teacher - the student, the wife - the husband, the landlord - the householder, if they did not foster each other honey of stupidity.

Let the wise man at the feast - and he immediately embarks on everyone with a gloomy silence or inappropriate questioning. Call him on dancing - he will swell like a camel. Take it with you on some spectacle - it will spoil the audience with all sorts of pleasure. If a wise man intervenes in conversation - everyone is scared not worse than a wolf.

But let us turn to science and art. There can be no doubt that any item has two faces, and these faces are not at all similar to each other: under beauty - disgrace, under learning - ignorance, under fun - sadness, good use - harm. Eliminating lies means to spoil the whole idea, because precisely liceadism and pretentiousness captivate spectators' eyesight. But even the whole human life is nothing but a comedy in which people, having grasped their faces, play their every role. And everyone loves and pamper fools. But sovereigns, those who love their fools, without any doubt, are more than foolish sages, for the last two languages, of which one speaks the truth, and the other speaks according to time and circumstances. Truth in itself is characterized by an irresistible attracting force, if only nothing offensive is mixed with it, but only fools have been granted the gods the ability to speak the truth without offending anyone.

Everyone is happier the one who is all crazy. People who love stories about false signs and miracles are baked from this test, and in no way can they listen to the fables about ghosts, lemurs, natives from that light and the like; and the more divergent these truths are, the more likely they are to believe. However, it is necessary to mention also those who, reading daily seven verses from the sacred Psalter, imply for themselves eternal bliss. Well, can I be stupid?

And why do people in the saints ask anything that has nothing to do with Stupidity? Take a look at the grateful offerings by which the walls of other temples are adorned down to the roof itself - will you see at least one donation among them for ridding us of stupidity, because the bearer has become a little smarter than logs? It's so sweet to think that all people will refuse, but not from Moria.

Not only the majority of people are infected with stupidity, but also whole peoples. And here in self-exclusion the British claim exceptional claims to bodily beauty, musical art and a good table. The French only give themselves a pleasant courtesy. The Italians conquered primacy in graceful literature and eloquence, and therefore they are in such a sweet enticement that of all the mortals alone they themselves are not considered barbarians. The Spaniards do not agree with anyone to give up their military glory. Germans boast of high growth and knowledge of magic. Hand in hand with self-sharpening is flattery. This thanks to her makes everyone more pleasant and lovely to herself, but in this it is the highest happiness. Flattery is a honey and seasoning in every kind of communication between people.

They say that to be mistaken is a misfortune; on the contrary, do not be mistaken - this is the greatest of misfortune! Happiness does not depend on the things themselves, but on our opinion of things, and knowledge often takes away the joy of life. If the husband is extremely ugly, but his husband seems to be a worthy opponent of Venus, then is not everything the same as if she was truly a beauty?

So, either there is no difference between sages and fools, or the position of fools is not an example more profitable. First, their happiness, resting on deception or self-deception, is much cheaper to them, and secondly, they can share their happiness with most other people.

Many people owe stupidity to all. There are among them grammars, rhetorics, lawyers, philosophers, poets, orators, and especially those who are scribbling paper with different fools, for whoever writes on an academic basis deserves more regrets than envy. Look at how these people are tormented: they add, change, strike out, then, after nine years, they print, they are still dissatisfied with their own work. Add to this frustrated health, faded beauty, short-sightedness, early age, and you will not list everything. And our wisdom will think of ourselves rewarded, if two or three of the same scientist who are blind will praise him. On the contrary, how happy is the writer, obedient to the suggestions of Stupidity: he will not bother at night, but he writes everything that he whispers to his mind, without any risk, except for a few money spent on paper, and knowing in advance that the more nonsense will be in his scriptures the more it will please the majority, that is to all fools and ignorant. But all the more fun, when fools begin to praise fools, ignoramus - ignorant, when they mutually glorify each other in flattering epistles and verses. As for the theologians, it is better not to touch this poisonous plant, although they are also in the great duty of Stupidity.

However, nobody should forget the measure and the border, and therefore speaks Stupidity: "Be good, glued, live, drink, reverent accomplices of the sages of Moria."