Friday, October 29, 2004

Wherein Our Hero Passeth a Trial of Exceeding Greatness

And it chanced upon a day that our Hero wandered into the book sale of St. Mike's and was in exceeding parlous straits. For it had been prophesied according to many certain omens that of all the university book sales, that at St. Mike's was most likely to embrangle his interests and bind his soul with many a mouldering tome. And lo! it was so.

And straightway he was in exceeding danger, for he discovered a Latinate Text, the Secunda Secundae of Thomas Aquinas. And our Hero said unto himself: "Behold! It is the Secunda Secundae of Thomas Aquinas." And immediately he began to wrestle with himself over the purchase of it. But Good Sense triumphed over Concupiscence, and he said unto himself, "The Secunda Secundae does not a Summa Theologiae make!" And he forthwith continued on his way.

And straightway he was again in exceeding danger, for he found the Prima Pars of Thomas Aquinas. And immediately he began to wrestle with himself. But Good Sense again triumphed over Concupiscence, and he said unto himself, "The Secunda Secundae and the Prima Pars together do not a Summa make!" And then he said unto himself, "Very well, but I will take the Latin Index to the Summa." And he did, and forthwith continued on his way.

And so it passed, with many a trial and tribulation, until finally the fates decreed he should pay. And therefore he paid for his acquisitions, which were the Latin Index; and an Opuscula Summa of Thomas Aquinas; and a translation of the Itinerarium of Bonaventure; and two tomes of Textes Inédites of Leibniz; and C. S. Lewis's Letters to an American Lady; and G. K. Chesterton's Charles Dickens. And the sum of his penance was thirty-one dollars. And he began to moan and wail within himself for the spending of the silver. But then he said unto himself, "Set your mind upon the words of the Immortal Erasmus, who said, 'Sometimes we have money for food and books, and sometimes for books alone.'" And he was quieted, and was no more troubled, and forthwith continued on his way.

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