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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [C4v]

SEMPER PRAESTO ESSE
infortunia.

Misfortune is always at hand

Ludebant parili tres olim aetate puellae
Sortibus, ad stygias quae prior iret aquas.
Ast cui iactato male cesserat alea talo,
Ridebat sortis caeca puella suae.
Cum subito icta caput labente est mortua tecto,
Solvit & audacis debita fata ioci.
Rebus in adversis mala sors non fallitur, ast in
Faustis, nec precibus nec locus est manui.[1]

Once three girls of the same age were amusing themselves, casting lots to see which of them would be the first to go to the waters of the Styx. When the dice were cast, the throw fell out unluckily for one of them, but she laughed with blind contempt at the fate predicted for her. Then suddenly she died, struck on the head as the roof fell in, and so paid the fated penalty for her bold mockery. In misfortune, a bad omen cannot be eluded, but even in prosperity neither prayers nor action have any place.

Notes:

1.  This is a translation of Anthologia graeca 9.158.


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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [P1v p226]

Mentem, non formam, plus pollere.

Intelligence matters, not beauty

EMBLEMA CLXXXVIII.

Ingressa vulpes in Choragi pergulam,
Fabrč expolitum invenit humanum caput,
Sic eleganter fabricatum, ut spiritus
Solům deesset, caeteris vivisceret.
Id illa cům sumpsisset in manus, ait,
O quale caput est! sed cerebrum non habet.[1]

A fox, entering the store-room of a theatrical producer, found an actor’s mask, skilfully shaped, so finely fashioned that the spirit alone was missing, in all else it seemed alive. Taking it up, the fox addressed it - What a head is this, but it has no brain!

Notes:

1.  See Phaedrus, Fables 1.7 (also in iambic senarii); Aesop, Fables 43.


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