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IN FACILE A VIRTUTE
desciscentes.

Easily deflected from the right course

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Parva velut limax remora spreto[1] impeti venti,
Remorumque ratem sistere sola potest.
Si [=Sic] quosdam ingenio & virtute ad sydera vectos,
Detinet in medio tramite causa levis.
Anxia lis veluti est, vel qui meretricius ardor,
Egregiis iuvenes sevocat ą studiis.[2]

Just as the little slug, the remora, scorning the impetus of wind and oars, can by itself stop a ship from moving, so some trivial reason holds back in mid-course people who through intellect and ability are on their way to the stars: for example, a worrying law-suit, or that desire for whores which entices young men away from their good studies.

Notes:

1.  Textual variant: spreto Remora.

2.  [A34a053] notes, Cf. Erasmus, Parabolae pp.231, 253.


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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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