Erasmus (1466-1536), Complaint of Peace
22-23 (tr. Betty Radice):
The English are
hostile to the French, for no other reason than that they are French. The
Scots are disliked by the British, solely for being Scots. Germans don't
agree with French, Spaniards don't agree with either. What perversity — for
the mere name of a place to divide people when there is so much which could
bring them together! If you are British you are ill-disposed to a Frenchman.
Why don't you wish him well as another man and a fellow-Christian? How
can something so trivial weigh more with people than so many natural ties,
and so many bonds in Christ? Places divide bodies, not minds. In times past
the Rhine separated the French from the Germans, but the Rhine does not
divide Christian from Christian. The Pyrenees are the mountain-barrier
between the Spaniards and the French, but they do not destroy the
communion of the church. The English are cut off from the French by the sea,
but this does not break up the unity of faith.
Anglus hostis est Gallo, nec ob aliud, nisi quod Gallus est. Scoto Britannus infensus est, nec aliam ob rem, nisi quod Scotus est. Germanus cum Franco dissidet, Hispanus cum utroque. O pravitatem, disiungit inane loci vocabulum. Cur non potius tot res conciliant? Male vis Britannus Gallo, cur non potius bene vis homo homini, Christianus Christiano? Cur res frivola plus apud istos potest, quam tot naturae nexus, tot Christi vincula? Locus corpora dirimit, non animos. Separabat olim Rhenus Gallum a Germano, at Rhenus non separat Christianum a Christiano. Pyrenaei montes Hispanos a Gallis seiungunt, at iidem non dirimunt ecclesiae communionem. Mare dirimit Anglos a Gallis, at non dirimit religionis societatem.