Tuesday, June 28, 2022


The Fault Is Within Us

Manilius 1.904-905 (tr. G.P. Goold):
Wonder not at the grievous disasters which betide man and man's affairs, for the fault oft lies within us: we have not sense to trust heaven's message.

ne mirere gravis rerumque hominumque ruinas,
saepe domi culpa est: nescimus credere caelo.
This reminds me somewhat of Shakespeare, King Lear 1.2.116-130, although the moral is different:
This is the excellent foppery of the world, that, when we are sick in fortune, often the surfeit of our own behaviour, we make guilty of our disasters the sun, the moon, and the stars; as if we were villains on necessity; fools by heavenly compulsion; knaves, thieves, and treachers by spherical pre-dominance; drunkards, liars, and adulterers by an enforc'd obedience of planetary influence; and all that we are evil in, by a divine thrusting on. An admirable evasion of whore-master man, to lay his goatish disposition to the charge of a star! My father compounded with my mother under the Dragon's Tail, and my nativity was under Ursa Major, so that it follows I am rough and lecherous. Fut! I should have been that I am, had the maidenliest star in the firmament twinkled on my bastardizing.
Related post: Lack of Judgement.

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