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Copernicus to Bishop Ferber - translation

Frombork, 27 July 1531

To his lordship, Most Reverend Father in Christ, Maurice [Ferber], by the grace of God bishop of Varmia, my gracious and most honorable lord

My lord, Most Reverend Father in Christ, my noble lord:

With due expression of respect and deference, I have received your Most Reverend Lordship's letter. Again you have deigned to write to me with your own hand, conveying an admonition at the outset. In this regard I most humbly ask your Most Reverend Lordship not to overlook the fact that the woman about whom your Most Reverend Lordship writes to me was given in marriage through no plan or action of mine. But this is what happened. Considering that she had once been my faithful servant, with all my energy and zeal I endeavored to persuade them to remain with each other as respectable spouses. I would venture to call on God as my witness in this matter, and they would both admit it if they were interrogated. But she complained that her husband was impotent, a condition which he acknowledged in court as well as outside. Hence my efforts were in vain. For they argued the case before his Lordship the Dean [of the Chapter], your Very Reverend Lordship's nephew, of blessed memory, and then before the Venerable Lord Custodian [of the Chapter]. Hence I cannot say whether their separation came about through him or her or both by mutual consent.

However, with reference to the [present] matter, I will admit to your Lordship that when she was recently passing through here from the Koenigsberg fair with the woman from Elbląg who employs her, she remained in my house until the next day. But since I realize the bad opinion of me arising therefrom, I shall so order my affairs that nobody will have any proper pretext to suspect evil of me hereafter, especially on account of your Most Reverend Lordship's admonition and exhortation. I want to obey you gladly in all matters, and I should obey you, out of a desire that my services may always be acceptable.

Frombork, 27 July 1531

Your Most Reverend Lordship's
most devoted

Nicholas Copernicus

Translation by Edward Rosen
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Mikołaj Kopernik
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