On unfulfilled scholars

William of Malmesbury:

I am often led to wonder why such unhappiness should attach to the learned of our time, that in so great a number of scholars and students, pale with watching, scarcely one can obtain unqualified commendation for knowledge.

So much does ancient custom please those who would commend the learned,

and so little encouragement, though deserved, is given to new discoveries, however consistent with truth, that

scholars and students are anxious to grovel in the old track, and everything modern is contenmed; and therefore, as patronage alone can foster genius, when that is withheld, every exertion languishes.


[check translation; further edited by estowe]