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Link to an image of this pageLink to an image of this page †[B7v p30]

Quae ante pedes.[1]

Before your feet.

Quae gallina sibi concredita viderat ova
Exorbet, nullo pignore spemque levat.
Haec sibi non aliis inservit, nulla futuri
Cura, minus sensum posteritatis habet.
Hoc vicium est multis, qui nullo parta labore
Consumunt, reliqui temporis immemores.
Ubera quae sugunt vaccae mulctris proprium & lac
Praeripiunt, cur his pabula laeta feras?
At nos non solým nobis, sed vivimus ortu
Nostris, & patriae, saecula quosque ferent.

The hen sees the egg entrusted to her, and sucks it out, sparing not the future’s hope. She does not watch for others, but herself - but she has no care for the future, and even less sense for posterity. This is a fault in many people who consume what they have obtained without labour, not thinking of the times to come. Why give rich grass to cows who suck their tits and steal the milk that belongs in the pails? But we live not only for ourselves, but in the birth of our own kind, and for our country, and for those whom far centuries will bring.

Notes:

1.A Greek proverbial expression for what’s ‘at hand’.



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