I have been retired fifteen plus years now. So I have much time to catch up on history and such. Eleven volumes in their The Story of Civilization by Will and Ariel Durant offer all the history impossible for me to read in what time is left. How did they find time to write so much and more? Anyway, here are more quotes from The Reformation, one of the eleven volumes
Today I have shought out Chaucer
Durant wrote of Chaucer that, “He was not a very learned man, for he liked to display his learning….He mentions some problems of philosophy and theology, but shrugs his shoulders at them helplessly. Perhaps he felt, like any man of the world, that a prudent philosopher will not wear his metaphysics on his sleeve.
Durant says Chaucer, “…is disturbed by evils apparently irreconcilable with an omnipotent benevolence…” In that regard, here is my rough translation of a line or two of Chaucer spoken through Arcite, one of the travelers in Canterbury Tales—And what is mankind to you[God] than sheep that huddle in the fold. For slain is man same as another beast and is arrested and dwells in prison, and has sickness and great adversity,…and when a beast is dead he has no pain, but man in his death must weep and plea.