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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [D5r p57]

Industria naturam corrigit.

Diligence improves nature

Tam rude & incultum nihil est, industria possit
Naturae vitium quin poliisse, labor.
Inventam casu cochleam, temereque iacentem
Instruxit nervis nuntius ille Deûm.[1]
Informem citharam excoluit: nunc gaudia mille,
Et reddit dulces pectine mota sonos.
Cur igitur quereris, naturam & fingis ineptam?
Nónne tibi ratio est? muta loquuntur, abi.
Ritè fit è concha testudo, servit utrinque:
In venerem haec digitis, saepiùs illa gula.

Nothing is so rough and uncultivated that diligence and industry cannot refine nature’s error. When that messenger of the gods by chance found a tortoise-shell, lying there without purpose, he provided it with strings. He perfected a shapeless lute: now it gives a thousand joys and it produces sweet sounds when it is moved with the quill. Why then do you complain and conceive of nature as tasteless? Do you not understand? Go away, mute things speak. It is appropriate that the lyre comes from a shell: both serve for love: the one with the fingers, the other more often with the throat.

Notes:

1.  Mercury, messenger of the gods, and patron of eloquence and invention.



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