Plate 78

"One who relies wholly upon God"


Moriae Encomium

Illustrated by Hans Holbein the Younger




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Holbein's illustration shown in Plate 78 from Moriae Encomium is associated with the following text drawn from

John Wilson's 1668 translation:


In like manner the common sort of men chiefly admire those things that are most corporeal

and almost believe there is nothing beyond them. Whereas on the contrary, these devout

persons, by how much the nearer anything concerns the body, by so much more they neglect

it and are wholly hurried away with the contemplation of things invisible. For the one give

the first place to riches, the next to their corporeal pleasures, leaving the last place to their

soul, which yet most of them do scarce believe, because they can't see it with their eyes. On

the contrary, the others first rely wholly on God, the most unchangeable of all things; and

next him, yet on this that comes nearest him, they bestow the second on their soul; and

lastly, for their body, they neglect that care and condemn and fly money as superfluity that

may be well spared; or if they are forced to meddle with any of these things, they do it

carelessly and much against their wills, having as if they had it not, and possessing as if they

possessed it not.



The associated French text from L'Eloge de la Folie (1728) follows:


Les Mondains font leur premiere & principale occupation, d'amasser du bien: ensuite, ils

s'appliquent à contenter le corps; & le dernier soin se reserve pour l'ame, dont la plupart ne

croyent point l'existence, parce qu'elle n'est pas visible. Les gens embrasez du feu de la Religion

prennent une route opposée: ils mettent toute leur confiance en Dieu, qui est le plus simple

des Etres: après lui, & cependant en lui, ils pensent à leur ame, comme à la chose qui approche

le plus de la Divinité. Ils ne se soucient nullement du corps: non seulement ils méprisent la

fortune, mais même ils la fuyent; & s'ils son obligez par devoir, & comme Peres de famille, à

veiller sur leur temporel, ce n'est qu'à regret, ce n'est qu'avec dégoût, parce qu'ils ont comme

s'ils n'avoient point, parce qu'ils possedent comme ne possedant point. Il y a encore plusieurs

autres degrez de difference entre les hommes qui ne s'occupent que du corps, & ceux qui se

donnent tout à fait à la pieuse culture de l'ame: pour mieux distinguer ces degrez, posons un

principe incontestable.