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Link to an image of this pageLink to an image of this page †[C2r p35]

Caussae investigandae.

Scrutinize the causes.

Machina cur obelo fundetur quaeris, amice,
Et velit inversa conspicier facie?
In promptu caussa est, se celsa cacumina propter
Factam, parte tamen sed meliore premi.
Nemo sustineat quid molem pensat ab imo,
Et movet hic tantým conspiciendus apex.
Vera haec si ignoras, sunt fundamenta laborum,
Hisque vetustatis pÚst decus attribue.
Non formae solým nos, & spectacula vulgÚ
Commoveant, caussas sed quoque scire velis.

You ask, my friend, why this structure is based on an obelisk, and wishes to be examined upside down. The cause is in front of your nose! It was made for its high peak, but is pressed down by its better part. No man would be concerned with what counterbalances the structure from the bottom. The only thing that concerns him here is the conspicuous apex. If you do not know this truth, this is the foundation of your labours; and to these give the glory of longevity later. It is not only the appearance and the spectacle that are to move us in the ordinary way, but you should want to know the causes, too.

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