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Unde fit ut tonitru horrendo Bombarda frequenter
Dissiliat: rupta tam duri mole metalli?
AN quia vi nulla possunt diversa teneri?
Frigida c¨m pugnant calidis, humentia siccis,
Mollia cum duris: sine pondere habentia pondus.[1]
Namque sali petrae gelido, siccˇque, repugnat
Sulphur, quod calidum est: quo pinguis liquitur humor.
Ecquid & est gravius ferro? quid durius illo est?
Quid contrÓ levius flammis? quid mollius illis?
Ergo nec esse diu simul haec contraria possunt:
Quin mox erumpant misto cum murmure bombo.
Succida sic quoties iuvenili sanguine virgo
(Quae levis igniculis, quae molli carne tenella est)
Nupsit decrepito. cui vis exucca refrixit.
Qui gravis est annis. cui nil, nisi callus, & ossa.
Heu quam difficile est lecto ut teneantur eodem,
Quin indignantes furiarum ardoribus, irae
Ille quidem gravis, haec ardente libidinis igni,
Coniugium abrumpant, magno cum murmure gentis.

Why is it that cannon often explode with a thunderclap, and such a mighty heap of hard metal is shattered? Is it because things of a different nature can by no force be held together, when the cold fights with the hot, the wet with the dry, the soft with the hard, the weightless with the heavy? For sulphur, a hot thing, fights saltpetre, which is cold and dry: from which is left a juicy moisture [lit. fatty]. And what is heavier than iron? What is harder? What, on the other hand, is lighter than fire? What’s softer? Therefore, these contrary things can not exist together long without exploding with a great murmuring bang. This happens any time a fresh* young energetic girl (light and easy with tiny fires; tender and sweet with soft flesh) marries an aged wreck, whose vital forces are sapless and frigid, and who is heavy with years, who’s nothing if not stretched skin and bones. O woe! How difficult it is to keep them in the same bed, so that their anger, burning with the fires of the furies, he heavy, she flaming with lustful desires, should not break up their marriage with a great murmur of gossip.
* Lit. sappy, full of vital juices.


1. áEpic hexameters. Lines 4-5 were taken verbatim from Ovid, Metamorphoses, 19-20.

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