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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [E5v p74]

Physicae ac Metaphysicae differentia.

The difference between Physics and Metaphysics

Naturae multa est cognatio mobilis, atque
Prodiit aeternis, illaque nosse monet.
Est etenim foetus veluti genetricis amicae,
Sed patitur, solvit tempus edaxque brevem.
Quidquid enim regitur, proprio nec nititur ortu,
Compositis abeunt partibus, atque iacent.
Illa sed excelsa manet, & stat sede perennis,
Temporis ac nullis motibus obiicitur.
Ocia amat, mentem pascit, non utilis omni,
Huius tu sobolem sed cole praecipuam.
Utque solent τ’ἤθη vitam cumulare benignč,
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [E6r p75]Τοῖς μετὰ sic φυσικοῖς praefero ego φυσικὴν.
Illa tibi effigies monstrabit dextra, manusque
Accipitre aėrio provida templa Deūm.
Altera pars gravis est elementis atque caducis,
Et Vestae templo quae tibi Terra siet.
Attamen his potior cunctis sit relligionis.
Semper honos, mentem dirigat illa tuam.

There are many ways of knowing changeable nature, and she comes forth in eternal things, and warns us to recognize those. For she is as it were the child of a friendly mother, but she suffers, and hungry time puts a swift end to her. For whatever is ruled, and does not strive from its own origin is dissolved in component parts, and lies dead. But the other remains high and proud, and stands firm in her place, and is opposed by no movements of time. She loves what is swift, and pastures her mind, not useful to all. Cultivate then, assiduously, her noble progeny! And as the habits usually form abundantly the summit of life, I prefer physics to the metaphysical [the Greek original uses tmesis, a break in the word]. She will show an effigy in her right hand: the vaults of heaven, temple of the gods and nurturer of the airy sparrowhawk. One part is weighed down by mortal elements, and what to you is earth is a temple of Vesta. But let all these religious scruples always have more honour, and allow them to rule your mind.

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