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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [B4r p23]

Quae sequimur fugimus, nosque fugiunt.

The things we pursue, we flee, and they flee us.

Ad Philippum Apianum.[1]

Quid semper querimur deesse nobis?
Cur nunquam satiat fames perennis?
Haud res nos fugiunt, loco solemus
Ipsi cedere sed fugaciore.
Mors nos arripit antč quām lucremur
Tantum quod cupimus, Deum & precamur,
Vel si rem fateare confitendam,
Res, & nos fugimus simul fugaces.
Ne sint divitiae tibi dolori:
Ac veram statuas beatitatem
Firmis rebus, in asperaque vita.

Why do we always bemoan our lack? Why does our endless hunger not sate us? Things don’t flee us: but we ourselves leave a position which is more transient . Death seizes us before we’ve acquired as much as we desire and pray God for; or if you face up to a fact which has to be acknowledged, both the things and ourselves are transient and fleeing. Don’t let filthy lucre cause you pain, but ground your true happiness in things that are firm not transient, and in a life that is austere.


1.  Philippus Apianus: Bavarian mathematician and cartographer, son of Petrus Apianus (original name Bienewitz), the humanist & astronomer.

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