Cyprian, To Demetrianus
1 (tr. Robert Ernest Wallis):
For when you used often to come to me with the desire of contradicting rather than with the wish to learn, and preferred impudently to insist on your own views, which you shouted with noisy words, to patiently listening to mine, it seemed to me foolish to contend with you; since it would he an easier and slighter thing to restrain the angry waves of a turbulent sea with shouts, than to check your madness by arguments. Assuredly it would be both a vain and ineffectual labour to offer light to a blind man, discourse to a deaf one, or wisdom to a brute; since neither can a brute apprehend, nor can a blind man admit the light, nor can a deaf man hear.
Nam cum ad me saepe studio magis contradicendi quam voto discendi venires, et clamosis vocibus personans malles tua impudenter ingerere quam nostra patienter audire, ineptum videbatur congredi tecum, quando facilius esset et levius turbulenti maris concitos fluctus clamoribus retundere quam tuam rabiem tractatibus coercere. Certe et labor irritus et nullius effectus, offerre lumen caeco, sermonem surdo, sapientiam bruto; cum nec sentire brutus possit, nec caecus lumen admittere, nec surdus audire.