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Excerpt from The Love Letters of Abelard and Heloise: Translated From the Original Latin and Now Reprinted From the Edition of 1722; Together With a Brief Account of Their Lives and Work
From his noble father's home in Britany, Abelard, gifted and ambitious, came to study with William of Champeaux in Paris. His advancement was rapid, and time brought him the acknowledged leadership of the Philosophic School of the city, a prestige which received added lustre from his controversies with his later instructor in theology, Anselm of Laon.
His career at this time was brilliant. Adulation and flattery, added to the respect given his great and genuine ability, made sweet a life which we can imagine was in mist respects to his liking. Among the students who flocked to him came the beautiful maiden, Heloise, to learn of philosophy. Her uncle Fulbert, living in retired ease near Notre Dame, offered in exchange for such instruction both bed and board; and Abelard, having already seen and resolved to win her, undertook the contract.
Many quiet hours these two spent on the green, river-watered isle, studying old philosophies, and Time, Swift and silent as the Seine, spend on, until when days had changed to months they became aware of the deeper knowledge of Love.
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