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METASTASIO
(PSEUDONYM OF ANTONIO DOMENICO BONAVENTURA TRAPASSI PIETRO)
Italian poet
(1698 - 1782)
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A fortunate shepherd is nursed in a rude cradle in some wild forest, and, if fortune smile, has risen to empire. That other, swathed in purple by the throne, has at last, if fortune frown, gone to feed the herd.
      - [Fortune]

Every noble acquisition is attended with its risks; he who fears to encounter the one must not expect to obtain the other.
      - [Difficulties]

Fairer and more fruitful in spring the vine becomes from the skilful pruning of the husbandman; less pure had been the gums which the odorous balsam gives if it had not been cut by the knife of the Arabian shepherd.
      - [Affliction]

Fortune is the best school of courage when she is fraught with anger, in the same way as winds and tempests are the school of the sailorboy.
      - [Difficulties]

How full of error is the judgment of mankind! They wonder at results when they are ignorant of the reasons.
      - [Error]

If the internal griefs of every man could be read, written on his forehead, how many who now excite envy would appear to be the objects of pity?
      - [Grief]

If you wish to behold God, you may see Him in every object around; search in your breast, and you will find Him there. And if you do not yet perceive where He dwells, confute me, if you can, and say where He is not.
      - [God]

It is by no means a fact that death is the worst of all evils; when it comes it is an alleviation to mortals who are worn out with sufferings.
      - [Death]

It is the just decree of Heaven that a traitor never sees his danger till his ruin is at hand.
      - [Treason]

Let him speak of his own deeds, and not of those of his forefathers. High birth is mere accident; and not virtue; for if reason had controlled birth, and given empire only to the worthy, perhaps Arbaces would have been Xerxes, and Xerxes Arbaces.
      - [Ancestry]

O, how full of error is the judgment of mankind. They wonder at results when they are ignorant of the reasons. They call it fortune when they know not the cause, and thus worship their own ignorance changed into a deity.
      - [Judgment]

Of all faults the greatest is the excess of impious terror, dishonoring divine grace. He who despairs wants love, wants faith; for faith, hope, and love are three torches which blend their light together, nor does the one shine without the other.
      - [Despair]

Prepare thy soul calmly to obey; such offering will be more acceptable to God than every other sacrifice.
      - [Obedience]

Sharp and fell remorse, the offspring of my sin! Why do you, O God, lacerate my heart so late? Why, O boding cries, that scream so close to me,--why do I listen to you now, and never heard you before?
      - [Remorse]

The aged oak upon the steep stands more firm and secure if assailed by angry winds; for if the winter bares its head, the more strongly it strikes its roots into the ground, acquiring strength as it loses beauty.
      - [Firmness]

The eye that gazes upon the sun sees not the orb it looks upon, confounded by the excess of its brightness.
      - [Excess]

The pilot who is always dreading a rock or a tempest must not complain if he remain a poor fisherman. We must at times trust, something to fortune, for fortune has often some share in what happens.
      - [Anticipation]

Though the Indian ocean abounds in rich and rare gems, it does not boast a clearer sky nor more unruffled sea. If there be a shore that dreads not the fury of the faithless billows, it is some poor and narrow inlet unknown to the winds.
      - [Vicissitudes]

In the dark a glimmering light is often sufficient for the pilot to find the polar star and to fix his course.
  [It., Fra l' ombre un lampo solo
    Basta al nocchier fugace
      Che gia ritrova il polo,
        Gia riconosce il mar.]
      - Achille (I, 6) [Light]

That water which wall from some Alpine height is dashed, broken, and will murmur loudly, but grows limpid by its fall.
  [It., Quell' onda, che ruina
    Dalla pendice alpina,
      Balza, si frange, e mormora
        Ma limpida si fa.]
      - Alcide al Bivio [Purity]

If our inward griefs were seen written on our brow, how many would be pitied who are now envied!
  [It., Se a ciascun l'interno affanno
    Si leggesse in fronte scritto,
      Quanti mai, che invidia fanno,
        Ci farebbero pieta!]
      - Giuseppe Riconosciuto (I) [Grief]

The canker which the trunk conceals is revealed by the leaves, the fruit, or the flower.
  [It., D'ogni pianta palesa l'aspetto
    Il difetto, che il tronco nasconde
      Per le fronde, dal frutto, o dal fior.]
      - Giuseppe Riconosciuto (I) [Disease]

Know that the slender shrub which is seen to bend, conquers when it yields to the storm.
  [It., Sai, che piegar si vede
    Il docile arboscello,
      Che vince allor che cede
        Dei turbini al furor.]
      - Il Trionfo di Clelia (I, 8) [Conquest]

To take away life is a power which the vilest of the earth have in common; to give it belongs to gods and kings alone.
  [It., Il torre altrui la vita
    E facolta commune
      Al piu vil della terra; il darla e solo
        De' Numi, e de' Regnanti.]
      - La Clemenza di Tito (III, 7) [Life]

The bee and the serpent often sip from the selfsame flower.
  [It., L'ape e la serpe spesso
    Suggon l'istesso umore.]
      - Morte d' Abele (I) [Comparison]


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