2. What good does it do me that he declares on his oath that it was through simplicity that he went wrong? His praises are, as you know, cast in my teeth, and the laudation of this most simple friend (which however has not much either of simplicity or of sincerity in it) is imputed to me as a crime. If he was seeking a foundation of authority for what he was doing, and wishing to shew who had gone before him in this path he had at hand the Confessor Hilary, who translated the books of Origen upon Job and the Psalms consisting of forty thousand lines. He had Ambrose whose works are, almost all of them, full of what Origen has written; and the martyr Victorinus, who acts really with simplicity, and without setting snares for others. As to all these he keeps silence; he does not notice those who are like pillars of the church; but me, who am but like a flea and a man of no account, he hunts out from corner to corner. Perhaps the same simplicity which made him unconscious that he was attacking his friend will make him swear that he knew nothing of these writers. But who will believe that he does not know these men whose memory is quite recent, even though they were Latins, being as he is such a very learned man, and one who has so great a knowledge of the old writers, especially the Greeks, that, in his zeal for foreign knowledge he has almost lost his own language? 3005 The truth is it is not so much that I have been praised by him as that those writers have not been attacked. But whether what he has written is praise (as he tries to make simpletons believe) or an attack, (as I feel it to be from the pain which his wounds give me), he has taken care that I should have none of my contemporaries to bring me honor by a partnership in praise, nor consolation by a partnership in vituperation.
See Ruf. Apol. i, 11. “I had grown dull in my Latinity through the disuse of nearly 30 years.”