Paschasius to my venerable lord and father Martin, presbyter and abbot.
When you asked me, most holy father, to translate into the Latin language the Lives of the Greek Fathers, which are carefully and eloquently composed, like many other works of the Greeks, I should have refused this unfamiliar task, if I had been allowed. I have never yet fashioned anything to be either written or read, being prohibited by my lack of ability and self-conviction. Lest I should be stealing an expression from the very wise Socrates, I dare not say that I know that I know nothing. Since I must accede to your request, I shall not mention my ability, but rather shall display even in an assigned work the confidence which I owe to you. But since there are many books of these eloquent men written in the Latin language, with the reading of which I have been admittedly acquainted under your instructions, if you happen to find anything inserted here from those sources or anything not eloquently expressed, please do not consider it my fault, because I have translated those writings exactly as they were in the manuscript that was given to me, although I admit that I am not able to do even that correctly. Hence, it remains for me to finish through your prayers what I have begun by your request. If you decide that it should be published, you must consent to improve it with your own words, for I shall not be satisfied that you liked any of it until I know that you disliked some of it.
(trans. by C. Bralowe 1969: 117; slightly altered)