Ah, Alcius, I cannot tell whether I should most lament in thee thy want of learning, or thy wanton lyvinge, in the on thou art inferiour to all men, in the other superiour to al beasts. Insomuch as who seeth thy dul wit, and marketh thy froward will, may well say that he neuer saw smacke of learning in thy dooings, nor sparke of relygion in thy life.
And by the report of Hector Boetius, some of them were not ignorant of the immortalitie of the one and euerlasting God. Scoti. li. 2. De migr. gen. lib. 2. And herevpon it commeth also to passe, that the British toong hath in it remaining at this day some smacke of the Gréeke. Annius in commen. super eundem. Ant. Cant li. 1. script. Britan. cent. 1. Nonnius. Marcel. Strabo. Diodor. Sicul. lib. 6.
I would have a tutor to correct this part, and that at first entrance, according to the capacitie of the wit he hath in hand, he should begin to make shew of it, making him to have a smacke of all things, and how to choose and distinguish them, without helpe of others, sometimes opening him the way, other times leaving him to open it by himselfe.
I see better than any man else, that what I have set downe is nought but the fond imaginations of him who in his youth hath tasted nothing but the paring, and seen but the superficies of true learning: whereof he hath retained but a generall and shapelesse forme: a smacke of every thing in generall, but nothing to the purpose in particular: After the French manner.
Hall, writing in the third person, in the assumed character of a friend, describes himself as "a man not wholly unlearned, with a smacke of the knowledge of diverse tongues ... furious when he is contraried ... as yourselfe is witnesse of his dealings at Rome, at Florence, in the way between that and Bollonia ... so implacable if he conceyve an injurie, as Sylla will rather be pleased with Marius, than he with his equals, in a maner for offences grown of tryffles.... Also spending more tyme in sportes, and following the same, than is any way commendable, and the lesse, bycause, I warrant you, the summes be great are dealte for."