Monday, July 03, 2017


The Living and the Dead

Petrarch (1304-1374), Rerum Familiarum Libri 6.4.5 (tr. Aldo S. Bernardo):
While I write I become eagerly engaged with our greatest writers in whatever way I can and willingly forget those among whom my unlucky star destined me to live; and to flee from these I concentrate all my strength following the ancients instead. For just as the very sight of my fellows offends me greatly, so the recollection of magnificent deeds and outstanding names gives me such incredible and unmeasurable delight that were it known to everyone many would be stupified to learn that I find greater pleasure in being with the dead than with the living.

inter scribendum cupide cum maioribus nostris versor uno quo possum modo; atque hos, cum quibus iniquo sidere datum erat ut viverem, libentissime obliviscor; inque hoc animi vires cuntas exerceo, ut hos fugiam, illos sequar. sicut enim horum graviter conspectus offendit, sic illorum recordatio magnificique actus et clara nomina incredibili me afficiunt atque inextimabili iocunditate, que si omnibus nota esset, multos in stuporem cogeret, quid ita cum mortuis esse potius quam cum viventibus delectarer.

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