Of Saint Basil the Great, Archbishop of Cæsaria,Translated with Notes by
The Rev. Blomfield Jackson, M.A.
Under the editorial supervision of Philip Schaff, D.D., LL.D., Professor of Church History in the Union Theological Semimary, New York, and Henry Wace, D.D., Principal of King's College, London
Published in 1895 by T&T Clark, Edinburgh
Letter CCCL.Basil to Libanius.
Your annoyance is over. Let this be the beginning of my letter. Go on mocking and abusing me and mine, whether laughing or in earnest. Why say anything about frost  or snow, when you might be luxuriating in mockery? For my part, Libanius, that I may rouse you to a hearty laugh, I have written my letter enveloped in a snow-white veil. When you take the letter in your hand, you will feel how cold it is, and how it symbolizes the condition of the sender--kept at home and not able to put head out of doors. For my house is a grave till spring comes and brings us back from death to life, and once more gives to us, as to plants, the boon of existence.
Footnotes grite, an unknown word. Perhaps akin to kriote. cf. Duncange s.v.
Letter CCCLI.Basil to Libanius.
Many, who have come to me from where you are, have admired your oratorical power. They were remarking that there has been a very brilliant specimen of this, and a very great contest, as they alleged, with the result that all crowded together, and no one appeared in the whole city but Libanius alone in the lists, and everybody, young and old, listening. For no one was willing to be absent--not a man of rank--not a distinguished soldier--not an artisan. Even women hurried to be present at the struggle. And what was it? What was the speech which brought together this vast assembly? I have been told that it contained a description of a man of peevish temper. Pray lose no time in sending me this much admired speech, in order that I too may join in praising your eloquence. If I am a praiser of Libanius without his works, what am I likely to become after receiving the grounds on which to praise him?
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Behold! I have sent you my speech, all streaming with sweat as I am! How should I be otherwise, when sending my speech to one who by his skill in oratory is able to shew that the wisdom of Plato and the ability of Demosthenes were belauded in vain? I feel like a gnat compared with an elephant. How I shiver and shake, as I reckon up the day when you will inspect my performance I am almost out of my wits!
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