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A falling drop at last will carve a stone.
All things obey fixed laws.
From the midst of the very fountain of pleasure, something of bitterness arises to vex us in the flower of enjoyment.
It is a pleasure for to sit at ease
Upon the land, and safely for to see
How other folks are tossed on the seas
That with the blustering winds turmoiled be.
- translated from Amyot's "Introduction to Plutarch" by Sir Thomas North (1579)
Religious questions have often led to wicked and impious actions.
Such crimes has superstition caused.
'Tis pleasant to stand on shore and watch others labouring in a stormy sea.
We notice that the mind grows with the body, and with it decays.
Yet a little while, and (the happy hour) will be over, nor ever more shall we be able to recall it.
From the very jaws of death I have escaped to this condition.
[Lat., E mediis Orci faucibus ad hunc evasi modum.]
- App. Met. (VII, p. 191) [Death]
Our life must once have end; in vain we fly
From following Fate: e'en now, e'en now, we die.
- De Rerum Natura (3, 1093),
(Creech translation) [Life]
Therefore there is not anything which returns to nothing, but all things return dissolved into their elements.
[Lat., Haud igitur redit ad Nihilum res ulla, sed omnes
Discidio redeunt in corpora materiai.]
- De Rerum Natura (bk. I, 250) [Nothingness]
We cannot conceive of matter being formed of nothing, since things require a seed to start from.
[Lat., Nil igitur fieri de nilo posse putandum es
Semine quando opus est rebus.]
- De Rerum Natura (bk. I, l. 206)
From the midst of the fountains of pleasures there rises something of bitterness which torments us amid the very flowers.
[Lat., Medio de fonte leporum
Surgit amari aliquid, quod in ipsis floribus angat.]
- De Rerum Natura (bk. IV, 11, 26)
How many evils has religion caused!
[Lat., Tantum religio potuit suadere malorum!]
- De Rerum Natura (I, 102) [Religion]
For it is unknown what is the real nature of the soul, whether it be born with the bodily frame or be infused at the moment of birth, whether it perishes along with us, when death separates the soul and body, or whether it visits the shades of Pluto and bottomless pits, or enters by divine appointment into other animals.
[Lat., Ignoratur enim, quae sit natura animai;
Nata sit, an contra nascentibus insinuetur;
Et simul intereat nobiscum, morte diremta,
An tenebras Orci visat, vastasque lacunas:
An pecudes alias divinitus insinuet se.]
- De Rerum Natura (I, 113) [Soul]
What can give us more sure knowledge than our senses? How else can we distinguish between the true and the false?
[Lat., Quid nobis certius ipsis
Sensibus esse potest? qui vera ac falso notemus.]
- De Rerum Natura (I, 700) [Knowledge]
The flaming ramparts of the world.
[Lat., Flammantia moenia mundi.]
- De Rerum Natura (I, 73) [World]
It is pleasant, when the sea runs high, to view from land the great distress of another.
[Lat., Suave mari magno, turbantibus aequora ventis
E terra magnum alterius spectare laborum.]
- De Rerum Natura (II, 1)
[Comfort : Misery : Misfortune]
What came from the earth returns back to the earth, and the spirit that was sent from heaven, again carried back, is received into the temple of heaven.
[Lat., Cedit item retro, de terra quod fuit ante,
In terras; et, quod missum est ex aetheris oreis,
Id rursum caeli relatum templa receptant.]
- De Rerum Natura (II, 999) [Heaven]
Nay, the greatest wits and poets, too, cease to live;
Homer, their prince, sleeps now in the same forgotten sleep as do the others.
[Lat., Adde repertores doctrinarum atque leporum;
Adde Heliconiadum comites; quorum unus Homerus
Sceptra potitus, eadem aliis sopitu quiete est.]
- De Rerum Natura (III, 1,049) [Death]
It is doubtful what fortune to-morrow will bring.
[Lat., Posteraque in dubio est fortunam quam vehat aetas.]
- De Rerum Natura (III, 10, 98) [Fortune]
How wretched are the minds of men, and how blind their understandings.
[Lat., O miseras hominum menteis! oh, pectora caeca!]
- De Rerum Natura (III, 14) [Mind]
The gods and their tranquil abodes appear, which no winds disturb, nor clouds bedew with showers, nor does the white snow, hardened by frost, annoy them; the heaven, always pure, is without clouds, and smiles with pleasant light diffused.
[Lat., Apparet divom numen, sedesque quietae;
Quas neque concutiunt ventei, nec nubila nimbeis.
Aspergunt, neque nex acri concreta pruina
Cana cadens violat; semper sine nubibus aether
Integer, et large diffuso lumine ridet.]
- De Rerum Natura (III, 18) [Gods]
The dreadful fear of hell is to be driven out, which disturbs the life of man and renders it miserable, overcasting all things with the blackness of darkness, and leaving no pure, unalloyed pleasure.
[Lat., Et metus ille foras praeceps Acheruntis agundus,
Funditis humanam qui vitam turbat ab imo,
Omnia suffuscans mortis nigrore, neque ullam
Esse voluptatem liquidam puramque relinquit.]
- De Rerum Natura (III, 37) [Hell]
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