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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [K8r p159]

Curis tabescimus omnes.

We are all dwindling away with worries

Ad Ioannem Hartungum, &c.[1]

Vesvius ardentes dum moles spirat in auras,
Faucibus accurrens Plinius obstipuit.
Dumque nimis caussas scrutatur, fortč vorago,
Et circum exusti corripuere loci.
Debuerat mortis Siculi memor esse poėtae,[2]
Qui dedit Aetneis frigida membra focis.
Incidit heu quantus, propius spectacula rerum!
Dumque fidem quaerit, materiam ipse fovet.
Num hic quoque Cyclopes formabant, Iuppiter, arma,
Ignibus, aut incus verbere quassa sonat?
Error quisque suus, nimium quos cura lacessit,
Et nisi consumit sollicitudo bonos.

While Mount Vesuvius blows burning masses in the air, Pliny hurries to the crater and is astounded. While he excessively probes the reasons, accidentally a chasm and the burning places around snatched him away. He should have remembered the poet of Sicily [i.e. Empedocles], who gave his cold limbs to the hearths of Mount Etna. Alas, what a great man fell, closer to the sights of [natural] objects! While he is searching for proof, he himself keeps his object of investigation warm. Did the Cyclopes not also make their arms here with the fires, Jupiter, or does here the battered anvil sound with the beating of the blow? Their own error kills those who are excessively disturbed by worry, if not anxiety wears them away.


1.  Johann Hartung, philologist.

2.  ‘The poet of Sicily’: Empedocles, 5th-century BC philosopher in Sicily, who, like Pliny, died in a volcanic eruption, although he threw himself in (the story relates that he hoped people would beleive his body had vanished and he had become an immortal god).

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