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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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Che sempre le disaventure sono apparecchiate.

Mishaps are always in readiness.


Tre fianciulle giuocavano a la sorte
Di chi di lor toccasse a uscir di vita.
E quella, a cui peggior venne la sorte
L’una e l’altre compagna havea schernita:
Quando l’aversa irreparabil sorte
Fe che’da un trave al capo fu ferita,
Che d’alto cade, e fe morendo chiaro,
Che ria sventura suol fallir di raro.


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  • beam, joist, rafter ~ building material [47G5431] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Weakness, Powerlessness, Helplessness; 'Infermitą' (Ripa) [54AA7] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Luck, Fortune, Lot; 'Fato', 'Fortuna', 'Fortuna aurea', 'Fortuna buona', 'Fortuna pacifica overo clemente', 'Sorte' (Ripa) [54F12] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Turn of Fate, Wheel of Fortune (+ emblematical representation of concept) [54F121(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Adversity, Misfortune, Bad Luck; 'Fortuna infelice', 'Infortunio' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [54FF11(+4):51A4(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Mortality, Extinction of Life [58BB1] Search | Browse Iconclass

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