TO GEORGE SPALATIN
Melanchthon was only twenty-one when sent by Reuchlin to teach Greek at the Elector’s request. August 31, 1518.
To the learned George Spalatin, my faithful friend in Christ, salvation!
What you wrote of our Philip has all come to pass, and will also be verified in the future, as you know. The fourth day after his arrival he gave a learned and eloquent address, to the delight of all who
heard him, so you need not laud him to us, for we have already formed the highest estimate of his person and intellect, and are most grateful to the Prince for conferring him upon us, and also for your services in the matter; and see how skilfully you can praise him to the Prince. So long as he lives I desire no other teacher in Greek. I only fear that our coarse food will not suit his delicate constitution, as I hear he is getting too small a salary, so that the Leipsic people are already boasting that they will deprive us of him. For they wished him at first. I, and others, fear Herr Pfeffinger has been too faithful a steward, as usual, to his Electoral Highness, in giving Philip as little as possible. Therefore, dear Spalatin (I speak freely, for it is with my best friend I talk), see that you do not lightly esteem his youth and boyish appearance, for the man is worthy of all honor. And I do not wish that we and our University should do such a mean thing, thereby causing our detractors to speak evil of us. I send you my hurried opinion of the coarse and rude Sylvestrum (high official in the Pope’s household), my sophistical opponent, for I scarcely deem him worth my attention. I thank God and you for protecting me and my cause.
Farewell, and love me in Christ. MARTIN LUTHER.