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DOCTOS DOCTIS OB-
loqui nefas esse.

It is wicked for scholars to wrangle with other scholars

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [F1r]

Quid rapis heu progne vocalem saeva cicadam,
Pignoribusque tuis fercula dira paras?[1]
Ac stridula stridulam[2], vernam verna hospita laedis,
Hospitam, & aligeram penniger ales avem?
Ergo abiice hanc praedam, nam musica pectora summum est,
Alterum ab alterius dente perire nefas.

Alas, Procne, why, cruel bird, do you sieze on the melodious cicada and prepare a dreadful banquet for your young? A whistler yourself, you harm the shrill singer; a summer visitor, you hurt another fine-weather caller; a guest, you harm a guest; a feathered bird, you hurt another winged creature. So let this prize go. It is the greatest sin for hearts devoted to the Muses to perish by one another’s tooth.

Notes:

1.  The reference is to the legend of Procne’s metamorphosis into a swallow. See [A50a070]. For swallows catching cicadas, see Aelian, De natura animalium 8.6.

2.  Textual variant: Stridula stridentem.


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IN VITAM HUMANAM.

On human life

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [E7v]

Plus solito humanae nunc defle incomoda vitae
Heraclite, scatet pluribus illa malis.
Tu rursus, si quando alias extolle cachinnum,
Democrite, illa magis ludicra facta fuit.
Interea haec cernens meditor, qua denique tecum.
Fine fleam, aut tecum quomodo splene iocer.[1]

Weep now, Heraclitus, even more than you did, for the ills of human life. It teems with far more woes. And you, Democritus, if ever you laughed before, raise your cackle now. Life has become more of a joke. Meanwhile, seeing all this, I consider just how far I can weep with you, how laugh bitterly with you.

Notes:

1.  This is a translation of Anthologia graeca 9.148. For Heraclitus, cf. [A50a016]. For the contrast between the despairing tears of Heraclitus (who withdrew from human society) and the sardonic laughter of Democritus when faced with the folly of men, see, among many sources, e.g. Juvenal, Satires 10, 28ff.


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