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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [M7r p189]

Pro ignotis sumere laborem.

Labour undertaken for the nameless.

Georgio Tanner.[1]

Rebus pro minimis saeva pericula
Stultum est suscipere, & consequier decus
Nullum pro dubiis nempe negotiis.
Graii cur Helenam praecipites velint
Conductam in patriam quam tulit Ilium?
Paucis visa fuit, libera nec foret
Ullis cognita qui lustra terunt duo.
Pro picta poterunt nec sibi conscia
Annos tot léviter sumere sponsula.
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [M7v p190]At nos in gravibus quod superest brevis
Ocii, non studio gloriolae levis
Ponamus, patriae rebus & asperis
Totos ingenio, ritè laboribus
Donemus: recinet posteritas bona
Famam, sic modica & vita erit utilis.

To undergo grave dangers in a small affair, and to pursue non-existent glory for causes that are clearly doubtful, is the mark of a madman. Why should the rash Greeks wish to bring Helen, whom Troy stole, back to her homeland? She was seen by only a few, and would not have been freely known to any of those who suffered for a decade. And yet they were capable of rashly wasting so many years of their lives for a painted and thoughtless wife who was worth nothing. But let us not hazard in danger what little remains of swift, short time on the desire for a insubstantial glory. Instead, let us give ourselves and our talents wholly to the hard times of our country: pious posterity will hymn our praises: thus, even a life of moderation will be useful.


1.  Georg Tanner, humanist and jurist.

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