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In vitam humanam.

On human life

Plus solito humanae nunc defle incommoda 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.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [R5v f120v]

Das CXCII [=191] .

Vom Menschlichen Leben .[2]

Heraclite du alter greiß
Thu jetzt beweinen mit mehr fleiß
Deß Menschlichen Lebens unglück
Dann es steckt voller böser tück
Du aber widerumb erschell
Democrite dein glechter hell
Dann lecherlicher zu keiner zeit
Gewesen ist als jetzt die geit
Dieweil ich aber dieses sich
Betracht ich bey mir fleissiglich
Ob ichs mit dir beweinen sol
Oder mit dir verlachen wol.


1.  This is a translation of Anthologia graeca 9.148. For Heraclitus, cf. Emblem 37 ([A67a037]). 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.

2.  The German in certain parts of this emblem is particularly puzzling.

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